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UK-style subsidy won’t work here: Cormann



Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has ruled out a UK-style wage subsidy but says the Morrison government will announce alternative stimulus measures in the next few days.

Business, unions and Labor have urged the government to consider UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 80 per cent wage subsidy aimed at keeping people employed during what could be a prolonged coronavirus crisis.

But the Australian government has repeatedly baulked at the idea.

“No, we will not look at a UK-style system because in an Australian context that just wouldn’t work,” Senator Cormann told Sky News on Friday.

He said the country was looking at six months of economic disruption from COVID-19 so support needed to get to people “as quickly as possible”.

“If we came up with a completely different system, a completely different approach and had to start up a system from scratch it would take us way too long to get that into the community.”

But Labor industrial relation spokesman Tony Burke said it was not just the UK that has managed to set up a wage subsidy scheme but also Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

“They’re all setting up wage subsidy schemes so people can keep their jobs instead of joining unemployment queues during this crisis,” Mr Burke told AAP.

“The Morrison government’s response? Nah, it’s all too hard.

“The Australian people deserve better.”

Senator Cormann said the government continues to assess ways to improve levels of income support, while further expanding support and incentives for business to hold on to staff.

“We would expect an announcement in the next few days,” he said.

A survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, released on Thursday, showed almost half of all Australia’s businesses have felt the impact of the coronavirus and four out of five expect to be hit in coming months.

Thousands of workers have already lost their jobs in the past week alone as the impact of the virus bites.

The hospitality, travel and retail sectors have had the bulk of the casualties, with outdoor leisure equipment Kathmandu adding to the dole queues on Friday by standing down 2000 workers. Other outdoor retailers are likely to follow suit.

Labor has been particularly critical of the length of time improved unemployment benefits are getting into people’s hands under the government’s current stimulus package.

The coronavirus supplement – paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight – will effectively double the JobSeeker payment, which recently replaced the Newstart allowance.

But the supplement won’t reach sacked workers until April 27.

The second payment won’t be paid until July 10, while pensioners and families will have to wait 16 weeks for the payment.

Senator Cormann defended the timetable, saying making payments of this magnitude to so many people is a significant logistical exercise.

“We have got to make sure we get this right,” he said.

“Logistics is what is driving the timetable … we are working as fast as we can and we are working to the tightest possible deadlines.”



Celebrities and entertainers who have died from the coronavirus




Joe Diffie, a country music singer, died due to complications related to COVID-19.

FILE - This Aug. 22, 2018 file photo shows Joe Diffie performing at the 12th annual ACM Honors in Nashville, Tenn. A publicist for Diffie says the country singer has tested positive for COVID-19. Diffie is under the care of medical professionals and is receiving treatment. (Photo by Al Wagner/Invision/AP, File)

Joe Diffie died due to complications related to the novel coronavirus.

Associated Press

Joe Diffie, a Grammy-winning country singer, died from complications related to the novel coronavirus on Sunday, his publicist announced in a news release. He was 61.

His publicist previously announced that Diffie had tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. 

“I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment. My family and I are asking for privacy at this time. We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic,” he said, according to the statement. 

The Oklahoma native released 13 albums and over 20 Top 10 hits during his career and was known for his country ballads including  “If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” “New Way (To Light Up An Old Flame),” and “Honky Tonk Attitude.”

More recently, Diffie has been mentioned in younger country star’s music, including Jason Aldean’s song “1994.” Thomas Rhett and Chris Young have also referenced the artist in their work.

When asked how he felt about being mentioned by other country artists during an interview with All Access, Diffie called it an “honor.”

“It’s super flattering. It really is, but it’s taken me a little while to kind of get used to being in that role. I admit, I always heard songs about people like George Jones or Merle Haggard, and I just didn’t ever feel like I was at that level. But it’s a really big honor, and I’m just kind of happy to roll with it now,” he said. 


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"Little Women" Fans Freak Over Water Bottles in Scene | E! News




Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the literary classic has eagle-eyed viewers noticing a plastic water bottle behind Timothée Chalamet in the film. Watch!

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“Little Women” Fans Freak Over Water Bottles in Scene | E! News


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Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack Styles Are on Sale at Nordstrom




Longchamp has been known for their signature Le Pliage handbags and accessories for decades now. In fact, there are so many iterations that it’s truly become iconic in the world of fashion — and we can all instantly recognize one of the label’s designs!

These bags are never going to go out of style, and they’re certainly worth the investment if you love the Le Pliage look. But it’s even better when you can find one of these Longchamp bags on sale, which is exactly what happened to Us while casually browsing at Nordstrom!

Longchamp Le Pliage Club Backpack (Blue) Nordstrom

See it!

Get a Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack (originally starting at $125) on sale with free shipping for prices starting at just $84, available at Nordstrom!

We found a ton of Le Pliage backpacks marked down up to 40% off, which is absolutely fantastic — and seriously rare! The only trouble we’re having with this deal is picking out just one style and color from all of the available options! Our top choice might be one of the bright Le Pliage Club backpacks. They come in four incredible shades: sky blue, rose pink, neon yellow and bright orange. These hues are perfect for the summer season, and they’re more a youthful version of the classic Le Pliage style.

If you prefer a more neutral look, the Le Pliage Club backpack also has you covered! You can select a navy blue, classic black, dark gunmetal grey or a chic ivory white. The Longchamp logo is embroidered on the right side of the bag in different colors, depending on which option you choose. What we love about this particular style is that it’s smaller than their classic Le Pliage backpack. The tiny adjustments that the brand made takes their standard model and freshens it up a bit — making it perfect for 2020!

Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack (Gunmetal)
Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack (Gunmetal) Nordstrom

See it!

Get a Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack (originally starting at $125) on sale with free shipping for prices starting at just $84, available at Nordstrom!

Trends come and go, and there’s nothing wrong with sticking to timeless pieces. If you’re looking for the traditional Le Pliage backpack, that style is also up for grabs and on sale as well! Both the black and gunmetal colors are marked down, with that familiar chestnut brown pebbled leather flap embossed with Longchamp’s famous logo.

What we love most about Longchamp’s Le Pliage styles is that they’re compact, yet offer up a ton of room to fit anything we may need. Each version can neatly fold up and fit into small compartments, which makes storing them a breeze. These are ideal bags to have on hand while traveling — because they’ll never take up too much space. Not that you needed more convincing, but scoring one of these bags on sale is major!

See it: Get a Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack (originally starting at $125) on sale with free shipping for prices starting at just $84, available at Nordstrom!

Not what you’re looking for? Check out more styles from Longchamp and shop all of the handbags and accessories available at Nordstrom here!

Check out more of our picks and deals here!

This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.

The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at Happy shopping!


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