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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

James Hennessy

Happy hump day.

1. Both Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer and chairman Lindsay Maxsted are on their way out amid the money laundering scandal engulfing the bank, but their pain isn't quite over. Both men are now facing calls from Labor to front a parliamentary inquiry to establish how all of this came to happen. "Westpac must answer for this unprecedented money-laundering scandal," Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh said.

2. Meanwhile, the business lobby thinks we should avoid "bank bashing" in the wake of the Westpac disaster. Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott says proposals to cap banker pay from the Greens would "make credit harder and make our institutions weaker". Standing up for the banks – tough gig these days.

3. Reserve Bank of Australia boss Philip Lowe has watered down the suggestion Australia will follow some central banks overseas in pursuing unconventional monetary policy. But he hasn't extinguished the idea entirely. "There may come a point where [quantitative easing] could help promote our collective welfare, but we are not at that point and I don't expect us to get there," he said. "QE is not on our agenda at this point in time."

4. TikTok, the app dominating teen internet culture, is facing scrutiny after it suspended a user who posted a video about China's oppression of Uighur Muslims disguised as a makeup tutorial. The app, which is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, has been accused of censoring content at the behest of the Chinese government – an allegation the company strenuously denies.

5. Following the news Uber lost its licence to operate in London, competitors are circling. Ola – the India-based company which has made significiant inroads in Australia – has announced it plans to move into London in 2020. This comes amid analysis Uber may not be well-positioned to successfully appeal its ban in the city.

6. The sharing economy provides everything, even if it's dubious whether it really should. Swimply, the "Airbnb for pools" has launched in Australia, giving you the rarified opportunity to swan about in a stranger's swimming hole for a few hours at a time. The price is somewhat steep – anywhere from $20 to $50 per hour – and the options are fairly thin on the ground at the moment. Whether or not you'd feel comfortable going to someone's backyard instead of a readily available public pool is totally up to you.

7. The plant-based meat industry in Australia continues to grow. v2food, the 'fake meat' startup behind Hungry Jack's new plant-based Whopper, raised $35 million in Series A funding. The company, which is backed by the CSIRO, believes the sector is only going to grow as traditional meat production fails to meet demand.

8. The identity of the mystery bidder which tried to buy Fitbit over Google has been revealed. Yep, it was Facebook. Goes to show both how hot the smartwatch market is looking, but also – maybe more sinisterly – how much tech companies want the sort of very personal data wearables can provide.

9. Billionaire rapper Jay-Z is suing a small online Australian bookstore over claims it infringes his copyright. The Little Homie produces a picture book named "AB to Jay-Z", which teaches the alphabet using hip-hop artists.

10. SoulCycle, the US fitness startup which was phenomenally popular for a little while a few years ago, just lost its CEO. Melanie Whelan is stepping down from the company as part of a “mutual agreement” between Whelan and the board. The company was subject to boycotts earlier in the year following revelations the chairman of its parent company had ties with Donald Trump.

BONUS ITEM
Todays viral item: this absolutely bizarre interview with the former CEO of US pizza chain Papa John's.

https://twitter.com/bubbaprog/status/1199167890370510848?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1199167890370510848&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.businessinsider.com%2Fpapa-johns-ex-ceo-john-schnatter-slams-pizza-chain-2019-11