Good morning, and a hearty TGIF to you and yours.
1. Victoria's coronavirus outbreak has spread to other states and territories. New cases were confirmed in Sydney and Darwin from travellers returning from hotel quarantine in Melbourne. Health officials are urging anyone who lives in Balmain to come forward for testing if they display symptoms, as the Sydney case worked at a Woolworths there.
2. It is "highly likely" more Melbourne suburbs will be forced back into lockdown, epidemiologists say. Another 77 people in Victoria were reported to have coronavirus on Thursday, with a total of 332 confirmed cases acquired through unknown sources. "My guesstimate on our best path out of this is a few more suburbs will go into lockdown and then hopefully we are able to get on top of it," epidemiologist Tony Blakely from the University of Melbourne told The Age.
3. Using the government’s super early access scheme, 400,000 Australians under the age of 35 have withdrawn the entirety of their retirement savings, according to estimates from Industry Super Australia. With applicants able to make a self-assessment and thus access the scheme even if technically ineligible, ISA chair Greg Combet said he hopes the ATO will more “carefully monitor” applications for the next round, with people able to draw a further $10,000 as of July 1. We have a story about all of this dropping today – keep your eyes peeled.
4. AMP is in revolt, with many employees demanding the sacking of AMP Capital boss Boe Pahari following revelations he was elevated to chief executive despite having been financially penalised over a sexual harassment claim. There are some pretty striking comments from staff at the AMP company meeting in that report.
5. Dan Murphy's and BWS have seen a jump in the purchase of non-alcoholic beverages, as consumers look to moderate their alcohol intake. The retailers, both owned by Woolworths, have reported a doubling of non-alcoholic beverage sales over the past year.
6. While we're on Woolies: the company has been slugged with a $1 million fine for breaching spamming laws. The supermarket breached the Spam Act 2003 after continuing to send marketing emails to people who had unsubscribed from them. It’s the biggest infringement penalty the Australian Communications and Media Authority has ever given.
7. Afterpay's extraordinary stock market tear – which saw the buy now, pay later company shoot from a low of below $8 in March to $66 yesterday – has minted a pair of new billionaires. With about 20 million shares each, Nick Molnar and fellow co-founder Anthony Eisen own about $1.35 billion in stock apiece. With that much wealth tied up in equity, and considering the way the sharemarket has behaved recently amid the pandemic, who knows if they'll stay on that pedestal.
8. Ghislaine Maxwell, a British heiress and longtime girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested by the FBI. Maxwell faces charges related to Epstein’s case and is scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday. The grand jury indictment accuses Maxwell of grooming young girls, engaging in sexual acts with them herself, and lying about her involvement with Epstein in sworn statements.
9. Tesla is paying CEO Elon Musk $US1 million to insure its board against lawsuits for up to $US100 million, regulatory filings revealed Tuesday. Tesla announced in April that Musk would be personally insuring its board because it said it couldn’t find a reasonable quote from an insurance company.
10. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos will all testify before Congress in an antitrust hearing in late July. All four have faced scrutiny on this front for some time – this will be one to watch.
Virgin Galactic has released a virtual tour of its spaceship cabin, which will apparently take paying passengers to the limits of Earth's orbit. 'Apparently' being the key modifier here. Take a look: