10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Is that a Penfolds? Picture: BBC BBC

Good morning.

1. Sent packing. Australian cricket captain Steve Smith, co-captain Dave Warner and player Cameron Bancroft have been suspended by Cricket Australia for the fourth Test in Johannesburg for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal. All three players were found guilty of breaching article 2.3.5 of Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct and will fly home from South Africa on Wednesday. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, who flew to South Africa to complete an internal investigation of the incident, also says the national team’s coach has been spared.

“No other players or support staff had prior knowledge and this includes Darren Lehmann, who despite inaccurate media reports, has not resigned from his position.

“He will continue to coach the Australian men’s team under his current contract.”

2. Up in arms. Many authoritative voices in the cricket world continue to share their perspective on the unfolding ball-tampering saga. Yesterday, Australia cricket legend Steve Waugh wrote in a Facebook post how “deeply troubling” the incident is and suggests the Spirit of Cricket document be revisited. “The Australian Cricket team has always believed it could win in any situation against any opposition, by playing combative, skilful and fair cricket, driven by our pride in the fabled Baggy Green,” he said. “I have no doubt the current Australian team continues to believe in this mantra, however some have now failed our culture, making a serious error of judgement in the Cape Town Test Match.” Meanwhile, others such as former English Test cricketer Kevin Pietersen have expressed their thoughts in fewer words:

3. It’s not just the Australian cricket team that’s hurting. The Australian dollar has been slammed again falling heavily across the board on Tuesday as trade war fears flared again (more on than in the next item). The AUD/USD dropped 0.90% to 0.7676, just above its year-to-date low.

AUD/USD Hourly Chart

4. And US stocks took a dive 600 points from their high after reports Trump will crack down on Chinese companies investing in the US. Bloomberg reported that as part of new sanctions on China – which included tariffs on $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods – the US Treasury Department is looking into using a decades-old national-security law to prevent Chinese firms from investing in up-and-coming technologies. The market reaction was swift and unforgiving, first hitting tech stocks and spreading into other major US indexes.

5. Dislike. Major technology companies are gearing up for rounds of marathon hearings and heavy scrutiny from the US Congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other concerns about individual privacy. Zuckerberg, along with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, are slated to face a barrage of questions about their respective companies’ data collection and privacy policies. In related news, Twitter dropped after Citron Research said it’s the social media company “most vulnerable to privacy regulation.”

6. Company tax cuts axed. The Turnbull government has pulled its flagship $65 billion company tax cut to avoid a Senate defeat after it failed to swing the last two Senate votes needed before the Easter break. Finance minister and chief negotiator Mathias Cormann says “more work” was needed and the government would try again when the Senate sits for three days in May for the federal budget.

7. Freebie! Telstra just gave Australia’s Gold Coast “the world’s first 5G wifi precinct”, for free. The series of wifi hotspots have been set up on Scarborough and Nerang Streets in Southport, as well as a 5G Connected Car. The innovation will see Australian consumers be among the first people in the world to try the new technology.

8. Living in Sydney’s east? According to Australia’s 2016 census, you have the highest level of socioeconomic advantage in Australia. Residents in these areas tended to be middle-aged, had high levels of education, worked in more skilled occupations and had high incomes. Here are the top 10 most advantaged areas in Australia:

Source: ABS

9. That’s a lot of plonk. Chinese police have seized more than 50,000 bottles of fake Penfolds wine in a raid on a warehouse in Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan province, which uncovered a stash worth 18 million yuan ($3.7 million). According to the AFR, it is the most significant case of counterfeit Penfolds yet. It comes as the Australian brand cracks down on copycats in the Chinese market.

10. A space junk disaster is a real possibility. China’s school-bus-size space station is expected to fall to Earth in a fiery blaze this weekend. It and about 23,000 other human-made objects larger than a softball are zipping around the planet at more than 28,000km/h – roughly 10 times the speed of a bullet. As companies and government agencies launch more spacecraft, concerns are growing about the likelihood of a “Kessler syndrome” event: a cascading series of orbital collisions that may curtail human access to space for hundreds of years.

Have a great week.

You can get 10 things direct to your inbox each morning by punching your details into the form below.

[edm list=”am”]