10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Getty ImagesParliament shares its tributes to former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Good morning!

1. The Federal Government has received enough crossbench support to pass all three stages of its $158 billion income tax plan. It comes after Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie confirmed that she will vote for the package later today.

2. Interest rate cuts are good news for the major banks, but less so far customers. A report by comparison site Mozo has found that as a result of not passing on the cut or delaying the cut, Australia’s big four banks have pocketed more than $3.8 billion since 2016. It comes after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the official cash rate to 1% on Tuesday, its lowest level in history.

3. US stocks closed at a record high. The stocks reached an all time high on Wednesday, led by the technology and consumer sector.

4. On Wednesday, Woolworths announced a new merger. Woolworths is merging two of its drinks and retail businesses – Endeavour Drinks and ALH Group – to form Endeavour Group. The merger is set to create Australia’s largest drinks and retail business.

5. Queensland One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts had an interesting approach to praising Bob Hawke. Roberts gave a speech on Wednesday to pay tribute to the former prime minister and it was a little unusual. Here are 9 cooked things he said, including comparing Hawke to Pauline Hanson.

6. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dell and HP are reportedly pulling their product manufacturing out of China. The companies have been scouting other Asian countries to conduct electronics production amid the trade war between the US and China.

7. Facebook apps experienced outages. Facebook, Whatsapp, Messenger and Instagram experienced outages on Wednesday, affecting users in the Australia, US, Europe and South America.

8. Google Assistant comes to Australia. Google Assistant has launched on Sonos is Australia, joining its AI rival, Alexa.

9. Jigsaw, the Alphabet arm tasked with handling cybersecurity issues such as online harassment, has reportedly cultivated a toxic work culture of its own. Female employees have reported being subjected to sexist remarks and discrimination.

10. The world’s biggest video game retailer, GameStop, is dying. The company has been in a steady decline for years, but its stocks dropped significantly in 2019, from $US16 in January to US$5 in July.

BONUS ITEM
The bottle cap challenge is taking over the internet and actor Jason Statham is one of many celebrities to take it up:

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