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ASX up, Facebook cuts and 5 other things to start your day

The cost-of-living crisis hasn’t hit all industries, and Australia’s best town has been named.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the ASX board.
The ASX is expected to rebound today. (Source: Getty)

ASX

The local share market is expected to open higher this morning after Wall Street bounced back in the wake of the Silicon Valley Bank fallout.

Housing fund

As a battle looms in the senate over a proposed housing future fund, experts on Indigenous housing, homelessness and Australia's property sector will front a parliamentary committee today to examine the plan.

The federal government's signature $10 billion housing fund passed the lower house in February but faces an upper house battle as the Greens demand further measures to ease the property squeeze.

Extreme weather

Some of the nation's top climate scientists have unpicked the factors behind Australia's disastrous and deadly year of weather and climate extremes.

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Devastating rain and flooding events overshadowed all others in 2022 after a third consecutive La Nina smashed rainfall records around the country.

While the east coast was awash with water, plenty of other events were happening, including extreme heat in the west as well as wild winds and hail storms.

What crisis?

Aussies are cutting back on illicit drug consumption but cost-of-living pressures have had no impact on demand, with the country's most popular drug - methamphetamine - also the most expensive.

More than 14 tonnes of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and MDMA were detected in wastewater systems between August 2021 and August 2022, according to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission's latest wastewater snapshot.

That's a reduction of about 10 per cent compared to last year but the commission attributes the fall to drug busts rather than financial pressures.

Road rules

Drivers could be fined as much as $3,200 for parking in spaces for electric vehicles as part of little-known penalties introduced in four states and territories.

The fines, some of them added to road rules late last year, range from $3,200 in the Australian Capital Territory to $369 in Victoria.

Job cuts

Facebook parent Meta is slashing another 10,000 jobs and will not fill 5,000 open positions, as the social media pioneer cuts costs.

The company said on Tuesday (local time) it would reduce the size of its recruiting team and make further cuts in its tech groups in late April, and then its business groups in late May.

Best town

When the beach house breaks the budget, a sea of cabanas blocks the ocean views and the sunburn stings: that's when the countryside comes calling.

Albury, a NSW regional city on the banks of the Murray River, has been named Town of the Year, as Australians increasingly seek out long weekends in the regions.

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