10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Paramount‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout.’

Good morning.

1. US-China trade tensions are on the rise again following reports the Trump administration is preparing to increase the size of proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%. The move would be a major escalation of the next planned round of tariffs.

2. The Australian dollar remains choppy and directionless, falling modestly on Wednesday after rising slightly on Tuesday. Its performance mirrored broader risk appetite as trade concerns flared again. At 7am AEST, the Aussie was down 0.28% to 0.7405.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

3. The US Federal Reserve held its benchmark interest rate unchanged. The central bank noted the economy was growing at a “strong” pace in its latest remarks, and remains on track for another rate hike in September.

4. Brexit. British Prime Minister Theresa May could keep free movement in a no-deal Brexit. A leak from the UK Home Office has revealed that May’s government has discussed retaining free movement for EU citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit. See what that will mean here.

5. Google is creating a censored search engine for China — and employees are not happy about it. The US internet giant is facing backlash following a report that it plans to relaunch a search service in mainland China, complete with government censorship. The project is codenamed “Dragonfly” and the new service may take the form of an Android app.

6. Brace yourselves. Australian home prices fell faster, and in more locations, during July — for the 10th consecutive month. The pattern suggests weakness in Sydney and Melbourne is now starting to impact values in other parts of the country, and according to Capital Economics, the worst is yet to come.

7. Feel like your dollar doesn’t get you as far as it used to? You could be right. Cost of living pressures are building for Australian households, regardless of whether their main source of income is from wages, government benefits or retirement savings. According to the ABS Living Cost Index, after-tax incomes needed to increase by 2% to 2.5% over the past year in order to keep up with living expenses, the fastest increase seen in four years. Want to know more? Read it here.

8. Facebook’s security boss is leaving, a day after the social network revealed it detected a coordinated effort to influence US politics ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Alex Stamos says he’s going to Stanford University, where he’ll continue digging into cybersecurity research.

9. 106 skydives with a broken ankle. No it wasn’t a stunt double, rather a feat pulled off by Tom Cruise during the filming of Mission: Impossible — Fallout. Business Insider spoke to the key members of the thrilling HALO-jump sequence shown at the beginning of the movie, including the director Christopher McQuarrie, to break down its yearlong planning and execution. Here’s how it happened.

10. Ruff news for dog lovers. A US man had to have his hands and legs amputated because of a bacterial infection he got after being licked by a dog — here’s what to know about the risks.

BONUS ITEM: Songs just sound better performed with brass. First, it was Killing in the Name of. Now, we bring you Wake Up.

Have a great day.

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