Australia markets closed

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

James Hennessy

Hello folks. Thursday is here.

1. More on the Westpac disaster: It turns out the scale of the company's breach was much larger than originally reported, but six million breaches are outside the statute of limitations. Westpac's official account of the scandal shows junior-level staff identified problems with the bank's software responsible for automatic reporting back in 2017, but for some reason that information didn't make its way up to the executives in a timely manner.

2. Scott Morrison is standing by beleaguered MP Angus Taylor as police investigate whether he was involved in the creation of a "fraudulent" document. This scandal his been on the broil for weeks now, after Taylor shared incorrect data about spending by the City of Sydney Council. The MP presented a document alleging the City of Sydney spent $15.9 million on travel for its councillors, when the real costs were less than $6,000.

3. Donald Trump has long alleged the FBI inserted spies into his 2016 campaign at Barack Obama's behest, and he has often repeated that claim at his rallies. Now, Trump's own Justice Department has found no evidence to support the allegation. One assumes Trump probably won't stop saying it regardless. Anyway, while this story was breaking, the president tweeted this. Powerful.

4. Across the pond in the United Kingdom, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has released 451 pages of secret documents he says proves the Conservatives plan to sell off the country's public health system after Brexit. According to Corbyn, the documents show Boris Johnson and his party raising the possibility of US pharmaceutical companies having increased access to the UK market, with drug pricing "a key consideration going forward". The Conservatives say the papers merely represent "preliminary sessions".

5. Woolies CEO Brad Banducci has agreed to forgo $2.7 million in bonuses this financial year, in the wake of the underpayment scandal engulfing the company. In a statement, Banducci described it as a "personal decision” to do so. It's chump change next to the estimated $300 million the company owes around 5,700 staff, of course.

6. Sendle, the Aussie delivery company which has received a lot of attention for its jabs at Australia Post, has launched in the US. It's entering a challenging market dominated by players like FedEx, UPS, DHL and Amazon. One of its distinguishing features, which it will maintain in the US, is its carbon-neutral delivery – offsetting every package it sends.

7. It turns out buying cheap electronics online isn't always worth the reduced price tag, if you can believe it. A new investigation by Electrical Safety First, a UK nonprofit, found a selection of "potentially deadly" products sold on Amazon, eBay and Wish. In one extreme example, a hairdryer purchased on Wish exploded when its airflow was restricted.

8. Microsoft has teamed up with traditional Indigenous custodians in Kakadu National Park, using AI and drones to rehabilitate threatened wetlands. Drone footage and Microsoft AI have been used to keep track of native species like magpie geese, with the goal of eradicating an invasive weed named para grass. Very cool.

9. At least 27 current and former staff at huge Australian cosmetics and skincare retail chain Mecca have made written complaints about a culture of bullying at the company. The process, facilitated by union outfit the Young Workers Centre, alleges bullying at all levels of the company – from the stores to the corporate office. The company says it has "zero tolerance for bullying, harassment, and discrimination of any kind" and has hired an independent consultant to deal with the concerns.

10. Twitter faced a bit of backlash over the past few days after it announced it would delete inactive accounts in order to free up usernames. People had concerns, including that this would result in the content of deceased users disappearing entirely. The company says it will now hold off on doing anything until they have addressed these concerns.

In case you were already squeamish about the plane landing process, let me make that worse for you.