10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

IMDbHarrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Good morning.

1. Amazon will now electronically track and record US delivery drivers’ hours to “enable transparency and accuracy of pay”, according to an internal company email. The new requirements follow a Business Insider investigation into Amazon’s delivery system that detailed numerous reports of missing wages and lack of overtime payments. The company has also announced it will increase the minimum wage for US warehouse workers to $US15. Watch employees go wild as news breaks of the company’s new minimum wage.

2. The Australian dollar came under renewed selling pressure on Wednesday, driven lower by heightened investor concerns surrounding Italy’s fiscal position and another ugly session for emerging markets in Asia. The AUD/USD fell to as low as .7162, a two-week low. The performance of emerging markets in Asia will likely dictate the Aussie’s broader direction today despite the release of domestic economic data. At 7am AEST, the Aussie was down 0.50% to 0.7187.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

Meanwhile, BAML predicts the Australian dollar will be the comeback kid of currency markets next year.

3. People in Indonesia are digging for bodies with their bare hands after a catastrophic magnitude-7.5 earthquake and a subsequent tsunami killed more than 1,200 people. The damaged road and airport has slowed the arrival of heavy machinery and forced rescuers to manually dig through mud, rubble, and debris. Palu, one of the hardest hit cities, is still without power, four days after the earthquake. Mass graves are being dug for the death. The death toll is expected to rise.

4. The new US-Mexico-Canada deal could free up US President Donald Trump to escalate the trade war with Beijing. The new deal, which overhauls NAFTA, states that while any party can enter into a free trade agreement with a non-market country, such as China, doing so will grant other parties the option to terminate the USMCA deal on six-month notice and replace it with a bilateral agreement. And given the tight links between the three North American economies, maintaining the USMCA would most likely take priority over a deal with China.

5. Photos of the standoff between the US Navy destroyer USS Decatur and a Chinese warship in the South China Sea have surfaced online, and they show just how close the Chinese ship came to colliding with the American vessel. That’s the USS Decatur on the right:


There’s more here on what it means for US-China relations right now.

6. Coinbase is reportedly closing a $US500 million funding round that values the six-year-old cryptocurrency trading platform at $US8 billion. Coinbase’s most recent private valuation was at $US1.6 billion, according to investors who contributed to its $US100 million funding round last year.

7. The new CEO of Goldman Sachs says people used to “cower in a corner” when he got in the elevator — until they learned he’s a DJ on the side. David Solomon says the experience has taught him about the power of showing his human side while leading the bank. “It’s all about being human and opening yourself up,” he said.

8. Bad form. A day after being named Kangaroos captain, Greg Inglis was rubbed out for two tests after he was arrested for speeding and drink driving on Monday. With a blood alcohol reading of 0.085, he also automatically loses his licence for six months. Inglis has pleaded to keep the captaincy and apologised for his actions.

9. An FBI agent was shot by a booby-trapped wheelchair in a house rigged “like an Indiana Jones movie”. A criminal complaint filed at a court in Oregon also said that the house was rigged with a hot tub in the garden turned on its side that would roll down a ramp onto anyone who triggered a tripwire and with a series of spike stripes. Crazy.

10. An escaped racehorse burst into a bar… it sounds like the beginning of a joke, right? No. A horse caused a disturbance in Chantilly, France when it escaped its trainer and ran into a nearby bar. Security footage shows the filly bucking into the bar, sending bartenders and patrons fleeing and knocking over chairs and tables. Luckily, no one was injured and the horse was caught at a nearby parking lot. See it unfold below:

BONUS ITEM: A motivational video that puts a sword into the whole shtick about how it’s not winning but taking part that counts — from European legends of the Ryder Cup.

Have a great day.

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