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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Sharon Masige

Good morning!

1. Hong Kong tensions escalate. Riot police were sent to Hong Kong airport on Tuesday night - armed with clubs and pepper spray - where they began to clash with protesters. It was the fifth day in a row that protesters held a demonstration at the airport, which had been largely peaceful. Meanwhile, US intelligence has reported that Chinese troops have been moved to the border with Hong Kong and US warships have been blocked from making a port stop there. Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam says the city is at risk of falling into an "abyss".

2. The consumer watchdog ploughs ahead with Facebook and Google regulation. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has vowed to enforce rules on Facebook and Google following its inquiry into the power of the digital platforms. Sims said Australia will act independently of the rest of the world if need be, reminding the tech giants they are subject to Australian laws and if they don’t like it, they can leave.

3. Sydney stabbing suspect caught by chairs. Members of the public chased down and trapped a stabbing suspect under wicker chairs and plastic crates in the Sydney CBD on Tuesday. The suspect was trapped for several minutes before he was later arrested by police.

4. Federal Court judge finds Australians with a penchant for caviar, wagyu beef and fine wine could give all those things up if their mortgage repayments required it. In a dispute between Westpac and the Australian and Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Justice Nye Perram ruled that Australians were able to cut back on their spending if they are granted a mortgage, throwing out concerns by the regulator that the banks have been under-estimating borrowers' expenses.

5. Australian cricketer Steve Smith wins big after investing in a mattress company. Smith invested $100,000 in local mattress start-up Koala back in 2015 and with its most recent valuation, Smith’s stake is now estimated at $12.18 million — more than he’s earned from cricket according to the Australian Financial Review.

6. Instagram tests the complete removal of 'likes'. The Facebook-owned platform confirmed to Business Insider Australia that the mechanism preventing ‘likes’ showing on posts is based on your relationship with the poster and who has liked the post.

7. The Morrison government pledges $20 million to boost Australia’s recycling industry. The announcement is part of the government’s broader plan to ban Australia's export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres overseas. While The Australian Council of Recycling has welcomed the spend, one environmental group told Business Insider Australia that more needs to be done.

8. JB Hi-Fi shines in its latest full year results. The electronics retailer has managed to avoid the so-called retail recession plaguing businesses across Australia, generating $7.1 billion in revenue (up 3.5%) over the last 12 months. It also managed to increase profits after tax by an impressive 7.1%, to just shy of $250 million.

9. The US exempts and delays a portion of tariffs on Chinese imports. The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it would exempt certain Chinese imports from additional tariffs that are set to take effect in September. In addition, tariffs on certain items such as phones laptops and computer monitors would be delayed until December 15.

10. New Zealand allows companies to pay workers in cryptocurrency. New Zealand has become the first country to legalise cryptocurrencies as payment for workers, Financial Times reported. The country’s tax agency ruled salaries and wages may be paid in cryptocurrencies so long as it is directly convertible into a normal form of payment.


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