10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

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Good morning!

1. Markets tumble. The Aussie stockmarket is tipped to plunge today, following US markets falling more than 1.9% overnight. Investor fears have been sparked by China’s decision to lower the value of its currency below a key threshold against the dollar for the first since the GFC. The move from Beijing is being seen as an attempt to fight back against US tariffs in the trade war. Economists say China’s latest currency move is a bad sign for any trade deal, while President Trump has called it a “major violation”.

2. Australia tipped to become cannabis powerhouse. Sydney-based startup Greenfield MC is launching a joint-venture with US-listed company EPHS to cultivate medicinal cannabis in Australia, Business Insider Australia can reveal. EPHS is anticipating the Asia-Pacific cannabis market will become the world’s largest as demand for cannabis-based treatment grows.

3. The wealthy are reaping the rewards of the property market rebound. The Sydney and Melbourne property markets have had a wild ride since 2017, with the most expensive properties leading the charge. While they were the ones to plummet furthest during the correction, they are now also rising the fastest as the market bottoms out, according to new data from CoreLogic. The data also suggests owners in the richest pockets used the downturn to upgrade their homes.

The most expensive Melbourne properties are again leading the market (Graph: CoreLogic)

4. Facebook teams up with Australian media companies. Facebook’s Watch platform will begin playing content created specifically for it by local broadcasters and content creators including the Seven, Nine, and Ten networks, as well as SBS, Sky News and Pedestrian (which operates Business Insider Australia). Each company will receive funding for one new project that will be custom built for the Facebook Watch platform, and includes news, analysis, and content series.

5. US presidents react to the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. President Donald Trump urged social media companies to develop tools for identifying mass shooters before they attack. “We must recognise that the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalise disturbed minds and perform demented acts,” Trump said during a speech which aired on CBS News. “We must shine light on the dark recesses of the internet and stop mass murders before they start.” Former President Barack Obama, however, issued a rare and lengthy public statement calling for action to reduce gun violence. “No other developed nation tolerates the level of gun violence that we do. Every time this happens, we’re told that tougher gun laws won’t stop all murders … but the evidence shows that we can stop some killings,” Obama wrote.

6. Aussie John sells his superyacht. The Aussie Home Loans founder and major Commonwealth Bank shareholder has listed his enviable boat Hansa for a cool $160 million. The vessel is 73-metres long and features an 8-metre infinity pool, cinema, hair salon and gym. Take a look inside.

(Image: Burgess Yachts)

7. India has revoked part of its constitution that that granted Kashmir – a disputed region between India and Pakistan – independence. India also shut off the internet, placed politicians under house arrest and ordered tourists to leave the disputed region.

8. The Australian Taxation Office is set to increase beer tax in line with inflation, adding to Australia’s already-high beer taxes. Research from the University of Adelaide found Australians pay the fourth-highest beer tax in the world, followed by Norway (first) Japan (second) and Finland (third). The study also found the biggest cost of Australian-made beer is tax, which accounts for 42% of the cost of a carton of full-strength beer.

9. Airlines forced to cancel flights amid Hong Kong protests. Cathay Pacific, the flag carrier airline of Hong Kong, along with other airlines such as Cathay Dragon and Hong Kong Airlines have been forced to cancel more than 200 flights as protests continue to rage in the city.

10. WeWork is likely to name major investment banks JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs to lead its initial public offering in September, according to Bloomberg. The co-working company’s IPO is expected to bring in about $US3.5 billion.

The future of travel? Check out Japan’s flying car “quadcopter”:

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