10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

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Morning, folks.

1. Good news out of Victoria first up. The state recorded just 11 new cases of coronavirus and 2 deaths this morning. Following a similarly low count of 14 yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews flagged the possibility of a more accelerated roadmap out of restrictions.

2. New South Wales has signed up for the federal government’s paid pandemic leave program following the state’s first COVID-19 death since August. NSW recorded two new cases on Sunday, but there is concern after a taxi driver worked for nine days while infected.

3. Westpac has updated its property forecasts, expecting a serious boom in the coming years. The bank’s economists expect prices to fall nationwide by just 2.3% more to June before booming to 2023. Fuelled by low-interest rates and record economic support, chief economist Bill Evans and Matthew Hassan expect some capital cities to boom by as much as 20%.

4. A big read in the Nine papers this morning getting behind the scenes of the government’s economic response to COVID-19. Also some interesting notes on where we might go next – including the claim from Treasury that household savings will ‘cushion’ the blow from the end of mortgage deferrals and the slashing of JobSeeker and JobKeeper.

5. A Facebook page purporting to be run by Australian police officers has leaked a Victoria Police internal email instructing members not to wear the Thin Blue Line symbol. The Thin Blue Line is a pro-law enforcement symbol that has become linked to far-right extremists and anti-Black Lives Matter campaigners. Facebook users linked to the page and other law enforcement-related groups claim they will refuse the order, criticising management and the media, and called Black Lives Matter and Antifa extremist movements.

6. Oracle announced Saturday it will become a minority investor in TikTok’s global business, and will be its designated its “trusted technology provider.” On Friday, Trump signed an executive order that would ban new downloads of TikTok and popular chat and commerce app WeChat, effective Sunday, September 20. But by Saturday evening, Trump announced he had given the Oracle deal his “blessing.”

7. Thousands of leaked documents from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network were shared with hundreds of journalists, revealing how big banks have for years engaged with dirty money. The agency, which operates under the U.S. Treasury Department, compiles “suspicious activity reports” when it detects potential or evident financial crimes. Banks such as JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, and Deutsche Bank facilitated the movement of criminal money even after getting caught, the agency reported.

8. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at the age of 87 over the weekend. Her death was announced Friday evening. She had multiple types of cancer in the past 20 years. This opens up a contentious fight to replace her, with Donald Trump and the Republicans agitating to replace her before the November election. Ginsburg herself reportedly said: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

9. The EU is looking to give itself sweeping new powers to crack down on US tech giants, EU commissioner Thierry Breton told the FT in an interview Sunday. The regulatory blueprint includes massive penalties to force tech companies to sell off their European operations and even shutting them out of the European single market. Breton compared the power tech giants wield now to that of the banks before the financial crisis.

10. Analysis done by The Guardian newspaper showed Facebook user engagement with anti-vaccination content more than trebled from July to August. The analysis was based on monitoring six popular pages which posted anti-vaccine messages. In response Facebook said The Guardian’s analysis was not reflective of the platform as a whole, and said it took down 7 million pieces of misinformation related to COVID-19 between April and June.

BONUS ITEM

Funny one for ya. A Tripadvisor user, who posts under the name Guillaume R, gave one of Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants a rare one-star review. The claim? They say they were served a tiny, tiny steak.

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