Good morning. We’re nearly at Friday.
1. There’s truly nothing better than a hot mic. A video from a NATO reception at Buckingham Palace appears to show several world leaders, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and French President Emmanuel Macron, having a laugh about Trump and his impromptu “40-minute” press conference earlier in the day. Good to know even arguably the most powerful workplace in the world still indulges in idle gossip. Now Trump is leaving the summit early. Possibly related. Who knows.
.@JustinTrudeau, @EmmanuelMacron, @BorisJohnson and other VIPs shared a few words at a Buckingham Palace reception Tuesday. No one mentions @realDonaldTrump by name, but they seem to be discussing his lengthy impromptu press conferences from earlier in the day. (Video: Host Pool) pic.twitter.com/dVgj48rpOP
— Power & Politics (@PnPCBC) December 3, 2019
2. Rugby Australia has come to a settlement with Israel Folau, ending the legal dispute which dominated headlines earlier in the year. The former star had his contract axed after he made a series of posts on Instagram saying “hell awaits” those he described as “drunks, homosexuals and adulterers”. It kicked off a massive culture war centred on the often uneasy relationship between religious freedom and anti-discrimination. The settlement amount hasn’t been disclosed, but The Daily Telegraph is reporting this morning it is understood to be $8 million.
3. Liberal MP Gladys Liu is embroiled in a spat with her party, reportedly requesting it pay back the six-figure sum she gave to her own election campaign. Liu gave her campaign $100,000 in the lead-up to the May election, after she was told it was necessary in order to secure the seat of Chisholm. Party officials are pushing back, saying they had no idea she thought it was a loan. Liu still faces questions over past association with groups linked to the Chinese government’s United Front Work Department.
4. The ATO is warning us all about a brand new scam we have to worry about, and it’s related to cardless cash. Basically, those annoying scammers who pretend you have an ATO debt will work out if you’re with a bank which offers cardless cash via the smartphone app, and they’ll try to get you to send them a code. Ideally, you would have bowed out of the call before that point.
5. Those waking up in Sydney this morning will note it is still appreciably smoky outside – meaning the haze caused by bushfires has been going on for quite some time now. Is this the new normal for Sydney summers with climate change? Though climate change is no doubt a factor in the increase of bushfire risk and intensity, this smoke has been caused by a “perfect storm” of factors, including the ongoing bushfires, two atmospheric systems bringing dust and hot air from Australia’s dry interior.
6. A consolation prize for those in Sydney choking through the smoke: The city’s much-vaunted new light rail line will start on December 14. Melbournians who have actually developed spacial awareness over the past century of trams will no doubt be very keen to see feckless Sydneysiders struggle with navigating their new urban environment.
7. Google’s cofounders stepped down from the Alphabet board yesterday. Here’s the goodbye letter they sent staff at the tech giant, and Sundar Pichai’s email about taking over. Meanwhile, US presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren tweeted that lawmakers would still hold Larry Page accountable for the company’s business practices, as he still retains effective control of the board.
Congrats on the move, Larry Page! Quick reminder: We do still expect you to testify before Congress. And changing your title while staying on the board and retaining effective control of it will not exempt you from accountability.https://t.co/Hr0w3Kz6zg
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) December 4, 2019
8. Videos and photos of long lines at Tesla Supercharger stations over in the US over Thanksgiving weekend is a sober reminder of a core challenge when it comes to EVs. Availability of charging infrastructure is often cited as a key concern for those thinking about going electric – and though most charging is done at home, there will inevitably be times when demand increases substantially on public charging networks.
9. Leaked documents circulating in the British media today reveal US drug companies think the British market will be much easier to crack after Brexit. There’s the possibility this could result in higher drug prices in the UK. This obviously causes some concern among Brits, who tend to like their public healthcare and would rather it not look like America’s.
10. Uber rival Ola is set to be in every capital city in Australia, as it continues its rollout across the country. Some regional areas, like the NSW Central Coast and Ballarat in Victoria, are also getting Ola coverage. Three international ridesharing companies are jostling for space in the Aussie market – Uber, Ola, and Didi.
The Nintendo Switch
Behold: every single ‘Popemobile’ the Pope has ridden in this year. Including a modified Ford Ranger XLT.
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