Good morning. It’s Friday.
Australia could finally be about to sign up to a net-zero target. After more than a decade of malaise on climate action, the Morrison government looks like it is nearing an understanding with The Nationals to adopt a proper target. In new remarks this morning, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg appeared to be paving the way for such an announcement saying, “we cannot run the risk that markets falsely assume we are not transitioning in line with the rest of the world.”
Australians will be travelling internationally by Christmas. The federal government promises international borders will reopen by the end of the year for states which have hit their 80% vaccination targets. For those incoming, international students and skilled migrants will be prioritised more than 18 months after Australia became a Hermit Kingdom.
New South Wales meanwhile looks like it will be the first major state to be given back its freedoms. The Berejiklian government confirmed it is preparing for an October 11 reopening date, despite conceding the app used to verify vaccination statuses isn’t ready yet.
Deliveries nationwide will face major delays and disruptions. A 24-hour strike against Australia Post-owned StarTrack unfolded on Thursday, while unions are threatening another one against FedEx next week, encompassing 6,000 workers. It comes as the Transport Workers Union (TWU) ratchets up its fight with logistics companies over worker conditions.
The RBA looks like it is preparing to crack down on home lending. In its most strongly-worded warning yet, the central bank cautioned on the ‘vulnerabilities’ and risks posed by a dangerous cocktail of high household debt and enormous property price growth. Australia is overshooting on both.
Twitter is backing Bitcoin and digital assets. The social media platform has rolled out its tipping feature that will allow anyone to send and receive tips in bitcoin, and says it is working on verifying NFTs displayed on user profiles. Founder Jack Dorsey is one of the biggest advocates of digital currencies, and is currently building a decentralised exchange.
Rolex has claimed the shortage of its watches isn’t an intentional marketing strategy. The notoriously opaque business, which controls 25% of the luxury watch market, has argued it simply cannot make more without compromising quality in a rare statement.
The Taliban is bringing back executions after retaking control of Afghanistan. As the militant group violently cracks down on protests against its rule, one of its founders Mullah Nooruddin Turabi has claimed punishments like executions and amputations are “necessary”.
Netflix is bringing a second season of “Tiger King” to its streaming service. The hit docuseries which found a captive audience during initial lockdowns in 2020 will be followed up by a sequel with “just as much mayhem and madness as Season 1”, despite the fact its protagonist Joseph Maldonado-Passage has been in prison since last year.
France reportedly ordered officials to ‘get revenge’ on Australia after it was dumped from the multi-billion dollar submarine contract with a view to getting financial compensation. In response, British PM Boris Johnson told the French to “get a grip”.