DIGEST

The Informer: Paris Hilton, diamante masks and Groundhog Day

It's a bit like Groundhog Day in Victoria at the moment - another day, another batch of coronavirus cases.

Today the state count increased by 77 - the biggest single-day increase in community transmission since the start of the outbreak.

More than 300,000 people in 36 suburbs entered a second lockdown in Melbourne's inner north and west. They will be heavily monitored, police assured.

And while authorities are trying to keep the lid on additional outbreaks, the inquiry into exactly what happened to Victoria's hotel quarantine program for returning travellers is set to begin.

With allegations of under-trained staff, inadequate personal protective equipment, billing rorts and even claims that some hotel guards slept with guests, it's bound to be an eye-opener.

This wasn't so much an eye-opener but rather an eye-roller ...

You might have missed the "news" that a certain Paris Hilton allegedly wore a diamanté mesh face mask out to dinner in Los Angeles,

With *just* 6682 new cases in California on Wednesday and the confirmed case count nearing 240,000, you might just be forgiven for that epic eye-roll.

Before we return to reality, here's another OMG moment, too. Meet the US grandma who makes relatable lockdown dolls. Tonya Ruiz, who goes by Grandma Gets Real on Instagram, has been making pandemic-appropriate props and boxes for her dolls. Eye-roll and eye-opener all in one.

Back on Planet Earth, Aussie actor Geoffrey Rush was awarded a record $2.9 million in damages after Nationwide News lost its appeal against a defamation finding.

And also in a court of sorts, former Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad was cleared of any wrongdoing over the appointment of a school principal. But her interference in the process posed a "corruption risk", according to the state's corruption watchdog.

On the international stage, China's in the spotlight again - in Britain regarding its controversial national security law and in New Zealand where Foreign Minister Winston Peters has defended Kiwis' right to protest for Hong Kong independence.

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