Good morning, and welcome to Thursday!
Here’s what you need to know:
- They did it: Australia beat South Africa by 245 runs to win the third Test against South Africa overnight, taking the series with it. It’s the first series loss by South Africa at home in five years and a huge reassurance for the Australian team under coach Darren Lehmann that their crushing dominance in The Ashes against England wasn’t just a factor of the Poms’ obvious weaknesses. It was harder work for the Australians than the final scoreline suggests – South Africa started the day with six wickets in hand and made a good fist of grinding it out, but Ryan Harris finally took out tail-enders Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel to seal the win. Australia is now the No.2 ranked team in the world – the algorithms don’t quite put them on top yet.
- Qantas developments: it’s getting scrappy. The first redundancy notices have been issued; unions are claiming cutbacks mean planes won’t be fully cleaned, issuing warnings of dirty nappies in seat-back pockets, which the airline denies; emails revealing intense monitoring of the Qantas issue by Treasury officials last November, and former Qantas exec and Rudd advisor David Epstein admitting he won’t be flying in style with the airline any time soon after he gave the airline a bucketing in a column yesterday.
- Apple shifted some $9 billion from Australia to Ireland over the last decade to reduce its tax liabilities, according to a Fairfax Media investigation.
- It’s a good week for economic news in Australia, with yesterday’s GDP data that showed 2.8% year-on-year growth being stronger than expected. Coles has also announced it will be creating 16,000 jobs over the next three years, with half of them to be in construction – exactly where the economy needs them. Retail sales data, a critical leading indicator, is out today at 11.30am eastern.
- James Packer’s film company RatPac-Dune will pocket $US40 million from its investment in Gravity.
- The Australian reports a “war has broken out” between federal MPs over whether to show Sky News or ABC News on the TV screens in the Parliament House gym. No prizes for guessing which side of politics wanted which channel.
- NATO has its co-operation with Russia under review following the Crimean incursion on the weekend.
- A storm system off the north-east coast is highly likely to develop into a cyclone that could track towards North Queensland in the coming days, forecasters say.
- Stephanie Rice has admitted having two nose jobs in recent years for “cosmetic and health reasons”. She says the change has made her much happier. Good for her.
- There’s bad news for Australian rugby, with world-class flanker David Pocock out for another year after another knee reconstruction. He’d played just two games with the Brumbies in the Super Rugby season since his return from recovering from a similar problem.
Bonus item: Next time you get knocked back on an idea, have a read of this rejection letter from a record label to U2 in 1979.
Have a cracking day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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