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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Partly submerged houses in flood-affected areas along the Hawkesbury River, Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday. Photo: Lukas Coch/Pool/Getty Images

Australian officials confirmed on Wednesday the first fatality from the country's extreme weather event, after a man's body was found in a car submerged by floodwaters in western Sydney.

The big picture: Millions of people in the states of New South Wales and Queensland's southeast who'd endured heavy rains since last Thursday finally saw sunshine on Wednesday, but the flood threat remains.

  • Flood warnings were issued Wednesday for every state except South Australia and also for the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Some 18,000 people were told to evacuate in New South Wales, and new evacuation orders were issued for western Sydney on Wednesday.

What they're saying: New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters, "What we still have to be aware of is the fact that thousands and thousands of people are still on evacuation warnings, that the rivers will continue to swell."

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said authorities had made 10,000 disaster recovery payments so far and noted "there is a massive clean-up task" ahead.

Go deeper: Nearly a year's worth of rain fell in 6 days in parts of Australia

Go deeper

Tech's war for your wrist

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech's biggest companies are ramping up competition for the real estate between your hand and your elbow.

The big picture: The next big hardware platform after the smartphone will likely involve devices for your eyes, your ears and your wrists.

1 hour ago - World

Tokyo Olympics to allow up to 10,000 fans at each event

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto (L) and IOC President Thomas Bach on Monday. Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics said Monday that venues can be filled up to 50% capacity when the Games kick off on July 23, with a maximum of 10,000 Japanese spectators at each event, AP reports.

Why it matters: Medical experts advising the Japanese government had recommended against allowing fans, citing the low vaccination rates in Japan and the potential for new variants to drive up infections.

2 hours ago - Health

The psychology behind COVID-19 vaccine lotteries

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NBA season tickets. Scholarships. A chance at $5 million. The list of lotteries and raffles states are launching to drive up COVID-19 vaccination rates is growing, and some local officials are already reporting "encouraging" results.

Driving the news: The reason why, some psychologists and public health experts say, is that the allure of lotteries for many people is simply that the prospect of winning a great prize seems better than passing up the chance, regardless of the odds.

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