1. The US Fed has raised interest rates for the third time this year and signalled one more hike in 2018, most likely in December. It also removed language in its statement that referenced “accommodative” monetary policy, even after President Donald Trump last month complained about rising interest rates. More here.
2. Stripe, one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups, just raised a $US245 million monster round — making it a $US20 billion company. The money will go toward product development, international expansion, and building out its payments network. Meanwhile the startup’s President John Collison says there are no plans for an IPO any time soon.
3. The Australian dollar went on a wild ride on Wednesday, surging above the 73 cent level against the greenback. However, despite all the volatility, it finished the session largely unchanged against the US dollar. At 7am AEST, the Aussie was up 0.11% to 0.7258.
4. Australian home prices look like they’re falling faster in early spring. After declining for 11 consecutive months, it appears a near certainty the streak will extend to 12 when CoreLogic releases its monthly Hedonic Home Value Index for September in early October. And not only are values set to fall again, it looks like the pace of declines may be accelerating based on the chart below from Macquarie Bank.
5. China has announced it would cut tariffs on about 1,500 goods starting November 1, just days after the latest round of tariffs in the US-China trade war went into effect. China’s tariffs cut shows it’s committed to fighting Trump in the trade war for the long haul.
6. The ABC fallout continues as the government launches an inquiry into potential interference at the ABC after an email from the broadcaster’s chairman, Justin Milne, urging the former managing director Michelle Guthrie to “get rid of” a journalist was leaked to the media. The ABC held an emergency board meeting on Wednesday afternoon, which backed Milne, despite ABC staff unanimously passing a motion calling on Milne to stand aside. Simon Thomsen has the latest.
7. RIP Mars robot. NASA’s Opportunity rover has been sleeping through a dust storm that enveloped Mars for nearly 100 days. The robot shut down to keep its batteries charged, but now the storm has passed it has yet to wake up and contact NASA. A satellite orbiting Mars took a photo of the rover, which – along with 3D illustrations – shows the exact hill where Opportunity is located. The US space agency may give up trying to contact the rover on a daily basis after October, perhaps signalling the 15-year mission’s end. Here’s a look:
8. Facebook has just announced a new virtual reality headset that doesn’t require a PC. The Oculus Quest headset will launch around March next year for $US399. The headset will be compatible with some Oculus Rift software and comes with built-in audio and two controllers, and will offer full positional tracking.
9. Australian universities have slipped in the 2019 world university rankings as Chinese universities rise. Despite that, nine unis still ranked in the top 200 in the world with the University of Melbourne remaining as Australia’s highest-placed institution at equal 32nd.
10. 3D printable homes represent the latest wave in construction, but they’re not cheap to build — until now. New Story, a housing nonprofit based in San Francisco, has a printer that can build a 55-75 square metre home in just 24 hours for $U5,500 or less. Incredible.
BONUS ITEM: A seal jumps out of the sea and slaps kayaker in the face with an octopus — not kidding.
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Wrong place, right time. ???? Yes I got slapped in the face with an octopus by the seal! I know crazy right. Here’s the story. Last weekend I was out testing the new #GoProHero7 with @kaikourakayaks and my mate @taiyomasuda. After a fun paddle around the peninsula catching waves we spotted a giant male seal fighting an octopus. Before we knew it the fight came to us and well the rest is slap to the face ???? I’m not sure who got more of a surprise the seal, the octopus or me. Either way the octopus held onto the bottom of kayak for some time before our guide was able to get it off with his paddle then it swam away to fight another day. True story. #GoPro #Kaikoura #Hero7Black #GoProANZ
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