10 things you need to know in Australia this morning

A protestor prepares to fire a bow and arrow during a confrontation with police at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. (AP Photo, Kin Cheung)

It’s Tuesday. Let’s get cracking.

1. Violence has erupted in Hong Kong again, with protesters launching Molotov cocktails and police firing tear gas on a university campus on Monday. It’s the latest major escalation after long-peaceful demonstrations took a turn with the death of a protester in late October.

2. For the first time ever, the highest-paid CEO in the country is a woman. Macquarie Group CEO Shemara Wikramanayake topped the AFR’s list, raking in some $18 million. But she’s just one of four ladies in the top 50. Take note, however, that’s only according to company reports. As you might recall, total realised pay including stocks would see Qantas CEO Alan Joyce lead the pack with around 24 million clams. It’s a lot of cheddar at any rate.

Shemara Wikramanayake, the highest paid CEO in Australia.

3. Put down the food delivery apps, it could be putting your favourite restaurant out of business. That’s the message straight from the horse’s mouth, with the majority of businesses claiming the services are hurting their already-battered bottom line. Instead, Australians are being urged to go to their eateries directly and even dine in. Otherwise, restaurants and cafes fear they’ll have no choice but to hike prices or shutter their doors for good.

4. Yesterday, we spoke about the rise of “flight shame” — the feeling of guilt associated with the carbon footprint of flying. Well, we have some good news for those afflicted. A sustainability guru says there’s no point feeling shameful about unavoidable flights and provided some tips to alleviate your burden. As a lapsed Catholic, I’m not sure it’s quite so easy ridding yourself of guilt but hell, it’s worth a shot.

5. In case you were under any other assumption, the bushfires raging around Australia are severe — so severe, in fact, the smoke has even made it to New Zealand. In light of this, and the fact that bushfire season has a long way to run, we took a deep dive on the companies doing their bit to support the victims. Meanwhile, the political conversation around them and climate change is starting to sound a lot like the one in the US over gun control. Not a favourable comparison, I’m afraid.

6. Commonwealth Bank is under fire after telling customers their money was at risk with potential competitors. It comes as the open banking regime tears down the barriers to switching institutions. Customers that have linked their accounts to fintech companies have received the warning messages, with the CEO of Raiz labelling it “at best, misleading, and, at worse, an abuse of market power”. Hear, hear.

7. Another glimpse into the ether that is WeWork shows that departed CEO Adam Neumann might still be calling the shots. It’s been reported despite having left the company, he still may have the power to appoint directors to the board. If true, it would be a bizarre development. Then again, here are 10 other weird revelations about the company, including Jedi comparisons.

8. Vaping is back in the spotlight after a 17-year-old vaped so much he needed a double-lung transplant. I’m no doctor but that sounds like a damn high price to pay for flavoured smoke. Meanwhile, Lana Del Ray dropped the words “my vape is killing me” into a live performance of one of her songs. Whatever convinces you, people.

9. Now here’s one for the kids: TikTok, the app beating Instagram, is looking to rebrand itself overseas for fears of being hampered by its Chinese roots. It comes as the company’s chief said he wouldn’t even turn data over or censor a video for the Chinese President himself. Huge call.

10. More disturbing details from the leaked Chinese Communist Party documents: The Chinese government has been telling Uighur Muslims it is abducting their families so they can cleanse their brains like they have a disease. The ethnic minority group is concentrated in western China and has long been the target of government suppression, with experts estimating that more than 1 million people have been detained in just the last few years.

Bonus item

San Francisco airport now has a therapy pig called LiLou that plays a toy piano. About bloody time, I say.

LiLou the therapy pig at San Francisco airport. (Jane Ross)

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