10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Ben Pruchnie/Getty ImagesBoris Johnson

Happy Friday!

1. Tributes to former Deputy PM Tim Fischer. The former Nationals MP died from leukaemia aged 73 on Thursday. He served as Australia’s deputy prime minister from 1996 to 1999 under John Howard and played a key role in Australia’s groundbreaking gun buyback program after the Port Arthur massacre.

2. Qantas will trial non-stop flights from Australia to New York and London. The trials will research how the roughly 19-hour flights will affect passengers and crew members and could become a permanent fixture.

3. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, with Macron dismissing Johnson’s demands to renegotiate the UK’s Brexit deal. During the meeting, Johnson was pictured putting his foot up on a table in the Élysée Palace which on Twitter user dubbed “rude” and “embarrassing”.

4. Sydney and Melbourne house prices are set to rise despite low sales numbers. The percentage of successful auctions each week are at their highest level since 2017 in both cities, however, commentators noted that the actual number of properties on the market is much lower than normal.

Sydney clearance rates and auction numbers

5. Pauline Hanson claims she has been suspended from Twitter. It comes after the senator posted a video suggesting Queensland police should use cattle prods against peaceful protesters, which violated the platform’s rules against harassment and abuse.

Pauline Hanson claims she has been suspended from Twitter (Source: senatorhanson.com.au)

6. Car sales are picking up in Australia. In a good sign for the economy, online car ad site Carsales.com has revealed its revenues increased by 11% over the last 12 months, indicating Australians are increasingly buying cars and spending.

7. Tesla stocks jumped after Volkswagen’s CEO reportedly said he would invest in the company. Tesla shares rose more than 2% in early trading on Thursday after the report from Manager Magazine.

8. New vaping research. 68% of smokers say they would be open to switching to so-called “smoke-free alternatives” like e-cigarettes if they had more information about them, according to new research from tobacco company Philip Morris.

9. Marvel fans want Spiderman back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. More than 70,000 frustrated fans signed a Change.org petition to keep Spider-Man with Disney and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after a deal between Sony and Disney fell through.

10. Microsoft contractors reportedly listened to Xbox players in their own homes, according to Motherboard. One contractor said they mostly heard children’s voices.

BONUS ITEM
This vending machine in China lets people pay for items using facial recognition:

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