10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia
France has accused Australia of betraying it. (Mustafa Yalcin, Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Good morning folks. So ends another week.

Australia’s new defence deal with the US and the UK is creating geopolitical waves. Revealed on Thursday, the ‘landmark pact’ for eight nuclear submarines torpedoed a long-standing $90 billion deal with France for conventional subs.

The French say they have been betrayed. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian claimed Biden was behaving like Trump, and criticised Australia for backing out of a deal it had reconfirmed just two weeks ago. “It’s a stab in the back. We created a relationship of trust with Australia and that trust has been broken,” Le Drian told France Info radio. Overnight, the French Embassy in Washington cancelled a ‘ridiculous’ celebration of bilateral ties.

Australians are financially better off under lockdown. CBA analysis shows government support payments exceeded the dip in incomes last month and helped Australians rack up $230 billion in savings. The ‘almighty war chest’ will help fuel the recovery, economists say, but not everyone is doing so well.

Unemployment is still falling, hitting 4.5% in August, but there’s a catch. The headline figure has become misleading during the pandemic and doesn’t capture the reality of the jobs market. That’s because Australians worked 66 million fewer hours over the month, while underemployment and youth unemployment are rising sharply.

Speaking of misleading, ASX-listed companies have been accused of some of the worst greenwashing in the country. A new Greenpeace investigation has named and shamed a host of corporates, from Qantas to AGL, for making net zero claims without actually reducing fossil fuel emissions.

Remote work won’t kill the CBD office space. Australia’s major cities will adapt to the workplace disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, despite the pandemic proving that “many people could do their jobs at home just as well as in the office”, the Productivity Commission has concluded.

Amid an NFT boom, their biggest marketplace has been accused of skimming a bit off the top. Opensea says it is ‘disappointed’ in reports its head of product has been engaged in insider trading. “Yesterday we learned that one of our employees purchased items that they knew were set to display on our front page before they appeared there publicly,” cofounder and CEO Devin Finzer said in a statement.

Piers Morgan is coming to Australian television after signing a major deal with News Corp. The outspoken broadcaster will host a weeknight show on Sky News Australia, will write columns and publish a book, after resigning from Good Morning Britain following criticisms of Meghan Markle.

Want to avoid being censored on Facebook? Learn another language. The social media giant’s AI moderation can’t interpret many languages, new reports claim, leaving users in some countries more susceptible to harmful content. The blind spots are letting bad actors post harmful, violent content and conduct illegal business.

Americans are madly preparing for the end and someone is making serious money. Ron Hubbard — not the founder of scientology — says he made $1.7 million in a single week selling doomsday bunkers to the ultra rich, and that Biden’s presidency was the biggest driver, as Republicans go panic-shopping. “We’re here for it,” he told Business Insider.

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