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Source : PortMac.News | Independent | News Story:
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Latest updates on Key Economic Indicators
Australian Dollar: $0.7648 USD (up $0.0058 USD)
Iron Ore May Spot Price (SGX): $160.00 USD (up $4.50 USD)
Oil Price (WTI): $58.78 USD (down $0.56 USD)
Gold Price (2 Apr): $1,728.99 (up $21.50 USD)
Gold Price (6 Apr): $1,728.55 (down $0.44 USD)
Bitcoin: $58,973.58 USD (up 0.94% in last 24 hours)
Dow Jones: 33,527.19 (up 545.64 points)
All changes compared to 7am Thursday, except gold.
Two deaths on NSW Mid North Coast beaches
In a tragic Easter weekend on the New South Wales Mid North Coast, two surfers have died in separate incidents about 150 kilometres apart.
Both were pulled unconscious from the ocean within an hour of each other on Sunday afternoon.
In the first incident, a 64-year-old man from Saratoga is believed to have had a medical incident. He was pulled from the water at Killick Beach at Hat Head, north of Port Macquarie, at about 4pm.
Less than an hour later, the region's rescue helicopter pulled an unconscious man from the surf at Minnie Water, about 150km further north.
The 48-year-old was taken to shore where CPR was performed but he too was declared dead at the scene.
AstraZeneca vaccine program unlikely to be shelved
Herald Sun - Page 11 : 6 April 2021 - Original article by Tamsin Rose, Kieran Rooney - PortMac.News Summary
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation will meet on 7 April to discuss the future rollout of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine.
A 44-year-old Melbourne man was recently admitted to hospital with a rare blood clotting condition after receiving the vaccine. Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd says it is "likely" that the case is linked to the vaccine, but he adds that there is no evidence to suggest that the risk is sufficiently high to halt the rollout.
Kidd stresses that the vaccination program is necessary as Australia will remain vulnerable to future outbreaks, particularly as its international borders re-open.
Malcolm Turnbull dumped from clean energy board
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says the NSW government has capitulated to a "Ferocious campaign" from the media after his appointment to a clean energy board was overturned.
Last month, NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean had backed Mr Turnbull to lead the Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy board, adding he was a great friend.
But this morning, Mr Kean released a statement that said the purpose of the role was to create jobs in low carbon industries and see the state reduce its emissions while growing the economy.
Mr Kean said the head of the board shouldn't distract from achieving results and as such had made the decision to not proceed with Mr Turnbull's appointment to the board.
Mr Turnbull, who has been a fierce critic of News Corp, said the government had caved to pressure from the Murdoch press by backing down on his appointment.
"[It was a] pretty ferocious campaign, a vendetta, really, in the characteristic way that News Corp operates," Mr Turnbull said.
"Its goal was to bully the state government into not appointing me chair of this net zero board."
Northern NSW snap Covid restrictions lifted
The Guardian Australia - Page Online : 6 April 2021 - PortMac.News Summary
Health authorities have urged residents in northern New South Wales to remain vigilant after temporary COVID-19 restrictions were removed at 11.59pm on 5 April.
The restrictions were imposed on 31 March after a coronavirus case in NSW was linked to one of the Queensland clusters.
NSW has now recorded four consecutive days with no locally-acquired cases of COVID-19. Queensland has also recorded no new locally-acquired cases in the last 24 hours; however, there are 10 new cases in hotel quarantine nationwide.
Aussies lose to foreign arrivals
Herald Sun - Page 10 : 6 April 2021 - Original article by James Morrow - PortMac.News Summary
An estimated 35,000 Australian citizens and permanent residents remain stranded overseas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, some 42,830 travellers were allowed into the country in the four weeks to 21 March; analysis by the Australian Border Force shows that about 14% were not citizens, permanent residents or their immediate families.
Matthew Lesh of the Adam Smith Institute says it is 'Startling' that international students and non-citizens are being given priority.
Meanwhile, international flights to Melbourne will resume on 8 April, with the number of passengers to be initially capped at 800 per week. Victoria currently has one active COVID-19 case in hotel quarantine.
Airlines prepare for NZ takeoff
The Australian - Page 1 & 5 : 6 April 2021 - Original article by Rosie Lewis, Robyn Ironside - PortMac.News Summary
The New Zealand government is said to be poised to announce a starting date for the much-anticipated trans-Tasman travel bubble.
John Hart from the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry says airlines have been told that two-way quarantine-free travel will begin on 19 April, and they have already started taking bookings.
Other sources have indicated that the travel bubble could begin on 12 April. New Zealanders have been able to travel to Australia without quarantining since October, although Australians are currently required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in NZ.
Covid 'Just China's first virus threat'
The Weekend Australian - Page 1 & 2 : 3 April 2021 - Original article by Greg Sheridan - PortMac.News Summary
Donald Trump's secretary of state Mike Pompeo believes that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan laboratory, but that Chinese authorities did not release it intentionally.
Pompeo believes that further outbreaks of viruses similar to COVID-19 are likely because of what he claims is China's continued biological weapons research, and that the world must do all it can to prevent such outbreaks occurring.
He believes China may launch military action against Taiwan in the next few years in order to seek reunification, and that the US and its allies need to make it clear that any such action would come at an enormous cost.
UK eyes traffic light system for overseas travel after May 17
The New Daily - Page Online : 6 April 2021 - PortMac.News Summary
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is tipped to announce a 'Traffic light' system for residents of England wanting to travel overseas, with the system expected to take effect as from 17 May.
People travelling to 'green' countries would have to take COVID-19 tests before and after departure, but would not have to go into quarantine when they return to England.
Those travelling to 'amber' and 'red' countries would have to enter quarantine on their return, as well as taking the tests.
The system is expected to be based on a range of criteria, including the number of people a country has vaccinated, and its rate of infection.
Taming house prices carries economic risk
The Australian Financial Review - Page 12 & 22 : 6 April 2021 - Original article by Sarah Turner - PortMac.News Summary
Economists surveyed by 'The Australian Financial Review' are predicting median GDP growth of 8.7 per cent for 2020-21, compared to a forecast of 7.4% in the previous survey. The survey's median inflation forecast is 1.5% for the end of June on an underlying basis, up from 1.3%.
The economists are forecasting that house prices will continue to surge in 2021, but they are divided on whether this will result in a policy clampdown that could lead to an economic slowdown.
Bob Cunneen of MLC is the only economist who thinks the Reserve Bank will increase official interest rates in the foreseeable future.
IMF spurs debate on JobKeeper extension
The Australian - Page 4 : 6 April 2021 Original article by Steve Jackson - PortMac.News Summary
The International Monetary Fund's latest economic outlook report highlights the role that job-retention schemes have played in supporting nations' economies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Washington DC-based agency has also cautioned against winding back such measures too soon.
Grattan Institute CEO Danielle Wood contends that the federal government's fiscal capacity is sufficient to have maintained the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme, which ended on 28 March. She notes that some sectors are still struggling in the wake of the pandemic.
Calls for freeze on minimum wage increase
The Australian Financial Review - Page 4 : 6 April 2021 - Original article by David Marin-Guzman - PortMac.News Summary
Unions are urging the Fair Work Commission's wages panel to increase the minimum wage by 3.5%, or $26.38 a week.
The Restaurant & Catering Association has called on the panel to freeze any increase until February 2022, while retail groups have called for either an increase aligned to inflation or none at all.
The federal government has urged the panel to adopt a 'Cautious approach' when making its decision, claiming that studies suggest that increases in the minimum wage have their greatest impact on employment when the economy "Is in a recession or a prolonged slowdown".
The ACTU says this contradicts the government's forecast that the economy will grow by 4.5 per cent.
Right to disconnect looms as massive work change giving lives back to employees
abc.net au - Page Online : 6 April 2021 - Original article by Daniel Ziffer - PortMac.News Summary
Victoria Police staff have won the 'Right to disconnect' in their most recent negotiations.
This condition requires managers to respect their days off, and not to contact them outside of work hours unless it is an emergency or to check on their welfare.
The right to disconnect was legislated in France in 2016, and other countries have since introduced similar legislation.
Police Association of Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt says the new 'Right to disconnect' measure is already having a positive impact on his members, while Property Council of Australia Victorian executive director Danni Hunter says that 'Switching off is so incredibly important'.
Review into Paracetamol
The New Daily - Page Online : 6 April 2021 - Original article by John Elder - PortMac.News Summary
Paracetamol has been available in Australia since 1956, but a review into its effectiveness as a painkiller has concluded there is no strong evidence it is actually effective against most ailments.
The review looked at 44 different pain conditions that are regularly treated with paracetamol, but only four were supported with solid evidence that paracetamol actually relieved pain; they included tension headaches and knee and hip osteoarthritis.
Professor Chris Maher, lead author of the review, contends paracetamol would not be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration if it was released on the market now. [Click to view full article here]
Dire ratings cloud Q&A's future
The Australian - Page 19 : 5 April 2021 - Original article by Sophie Elsworth, James Madden - PortMac.News Summary
ABC insiders have conceded that news and current affairs panel discussion show 'Q&A' may have to be moved to a new timeslot following a sharp fall in its ratings.
The program attracted just 231,000 viewers on 18 March, but audience numbers have exceeded 300,000 just once since moving to Thursday nights at the start of 2021.
'Q&A' has been widely criticised for an alleged left-wing bias, with some conservative politicians opting to boycott the program.
What's the deal with News Corp?
Sharecafe - Page Online : 31 March 2021 - Original article by Glenn Dyer - PortMac.News Summary
News Corp outlaid over $1 billion in three deals in a matter of days towards the end of March, including the $US275 million ($360 million) purchase of financial website Investors Business Daily.
The other two deals were REA Group's $A244 million ($US186 million) bid for Mortgage Choice, with REA being 61% owned by News Corp, and News Corp's purchase of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's consumer book business for $US349 million ($457 million)
There are suggestions that News Corp would not have made any of these purchases if it had succeeded in buying Simon & Schuster from ViacomCBS in 2020; Simon & Schuster was instead bought by Bertlesmann for $US2.2 billion.
Facebook data leak: Australians check account
The Guardian - Page Online : 6 April 2021 - Original article by Mostafa Rachwani - PortMac.News Summary
The details of over 500 million global Facebook users have been found on the internet, although Facebook has stated that the leaked data is old and results from a problem it resolved in 2019.
However, computer security experts contend that the leaked information could still result in issues for users who are impacted by the problem.
They state that the simplest way to find out if a person's data has been leaked is to look on websites operated by security researchers; these include 'HaveIbeenpwned.com'.
(See full story on PortMac.News today)
Opera House to stream a 'Tenor for a Tenner'
The Australian Financial Review - Page 3 : 6 April 2021 - Original article by Natasha Gillezeau - PortMac.News Summary
The Sydney Opera House's new streaming service will be launched on 6 April, and will feature live-streamed shows and archived performances.
To be known as 'Stream', the service has been developed by US video software company Vimeo under the direction of Stuart Buchanan, the Sydney Opera House's director of digital programming.
Pay-per-view prices will eventually range from $10 to $35, while 'Stream' will initially only be available through web browsers; TV, mobile and iPad apps will be released later in 2021.
Home truths about housing bubble
The Australian - Page 9 : 6 April 2021 - Original article by Judith Sloan - PortMac.News Summary
House prices in some parts of Australia are tipped to rise by as much as 20% in 2021, and many are saying that the nation is in another housing bubble.
There are some features of the current bubble that distinguish it from previous bubbles, including the low rate of population growth and the relative absence of investors in the housing market when compared to owner-occupiers.
Finding affordable rental accommodation is currently a challenge in many areas, while life for renters in New Zealand could become even more difficult than for renters in Australia as a result of new taxes on investors there.