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Detainees walk inside the now-closed Immigration Detention Center compound on Christmas Island in February 2012. Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a news conference Wednesday the country's national airline Qantas would evacuate "isolated and vulnerable" Australians at risk from coronavirus in China and quarantine them on Christmas Island.

The big picture: Authorities would prioritize evacuating children and elderly people in the virus-hit city of Wuhan to the island, an Australian territory some 870 miles from Indonesia notorious for its now-closed refugee detention center. Citizens would also be evacuated from China's Hubei province, Morrison said. It's a joint evacuation with New Zealand, which has about 50 affected citizens. Australia has 600.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

38 mins ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

Senate Democrats unveil new income tax for billionaires

Sen. Ron Wyden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday released a billionaires' tax proposal, designed to help support President Biden's social spending and climate change legislation.

Why it matters: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the Billionaires Income Tax would raise "hundreds of billions of dollars" and would affect approximately 700 taxpayers who have more than $1 billion in assets or incomes of over $100 million a year.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.