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Australia

President Biden Hosting Leaders From India, Japan, Australia Friday in First 'Quad' Summit

AP News | Equities.com |

President Joe Biden on Friday is set to host the first in-person gathering of leaders of an Indo-Pacific alliance known as “the Quad” as he wraps up a difficult week of diplomacy after facing no shortage of criticism from allies and adversaries.

The White House meeting with leaders from India, Japan and Australia gives Biden a chance to put the spotlight on a chief foreign policy goal: greater attention to the Pacific in light of what the United States sees as China’s coercive economic practices and unsettling military maneuvering in the region.


President Biden's New Alliance With Australia and Britain Angers France and European Union

AP News | Equities.com |

President Joe Biden’s decision to form a strategic Indo-Pacific alliance with Australia and Britain to counter China is angering France and the European Union. They’re feeling left out and seeing it as a return to the Trump era.

The security initiative, unveiled this week, appears to have brought Biden’s summer of love with Europe to an abrupt end. AUKUS, which notably excludes France and the European Union, is just the latest in a series of steps, from Afghanistan to east Asia, that have taken Europe aback.


Australia High Court Rules Media Companies Liable for Third Party Comments on Their Facebook Pages

AP News | Equities.com |

Australia’s highest court on Wednesday made a landmark ruling that media outlets are “publishers” of allegedly defamatory comments posted by third parties on their official Facebook pages.

The High Court dismissed an argument by some of Australia’s largest media organizations — Fairfax Media Publications, Nationwide News and Australian News Channel — that for people to be publishers, they must be aware of the defamatory content and intend to convey it.


Facebook Reaches Agreement With Australian Government To Restore News Sharing

Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

Facebook Inc (Nasdaq: FB) will soon restore news pages in Australia after government officials agreed to change some of the terms within the country’s proposed new media code.

The compromise announced Tuesday by Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg will still require Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s (Nasdaq: GOOGL) Google to compensate media companies for stories but will also provide more time for the social media platforms to negotiate with media companies over payment.


Facebook Blocks Australian Users From Finding or Sharing News on Platform

Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

In a surprise move Wednesday, Facebook Inc (Nasdaq: FB) blocked its Australian users from sharing news stories on the social media platform, escalating a dispute with the government over whether or not tech giants should be required to pay news publishers for content.

Australian news publishers will no longer be able to share stories on the social media site and international news will not be visible or shareable by local Facebook users. Overseas Facebook users also will not be able to read or share Australian content.


BHP Group Reports Best First Half Profit in Seven Years; Declares Record Interim Dividend

Reuters | Equities.com |

BHP Group on Tuesday reported its best first-half profit in seven years and declared a record interim dividend, as top metals user China’s strong appetite for iron ore to support its infrastructure push kept prices elevated.

China’s reliance on commodity-intensive stimulus measures to sustain economic growth has sent prices of the steel making ingredient to multi-year highs, while the COVID-19 vaccination push has brightened outlook for global trade this year.


Microsoft Says Bing Search Engine Can Fill Gap If Google Exits Australia

Reuters | Equities.com |

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had administered 31,123,299 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Sunday morning and distributed 49,933,250 doses.

The doses are for both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines as of 6 a.m. ET (1100 GMT) on Sunday, the agency said.


Shell Agrees To Sell Minority Stake in Queensland Curtis LNG Facilities for $2.5 Billion

Reuters | Equities.com |

Shell said on Monday it has agreed to sell a 26.25% stake in its Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) facilities to Global Infrastructure Partners Australia for $2.5 billion, helping the oil major meet its annual target for divestments.

Shell, advised by Rothschild & Co, put a minority stake in the asset up for sale earlier this year, after infrastructure investors expressed interest in the asset which has a guaranteed earnings stream for 15 years.

The sale price was in line with analysts’ expectations.


Australia Will Make Facebook and Google Pay Media Outlets for News Content

Reuters | Equities.com |

Australia locked in plans on Tuesday to make Facebook Inc and Google pay its media outlets for news content, a world-first move aimed at protecting independent journalism that has drawn strong opposition from the internet giants.

Under laws to be introduced to parliament on Wednesday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Big Tech firms will have to negotiate how much they pay local publishers and broadcasters for content that appears on their platforms.

If they can’t strike a deal, a government-appointed arbitrator will decide how much they will need to pay.


Qantas Celebrates Subdued 100th Birthday During Its Most Difficult Year

Reuters | Equities.com |

Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd, the world's third-oldest airline, on Monday marked its 100th birthday during its toughest year yet due to the coronavirus pandemic but is looking to the future with optimism, its chief executive said.

“Qantas every decade has literally reinvented itself,” Chief Executive Alan Joyce said in a recorded message. “That is why it has survived as long as it has.”

The airline, founded in Australia's outback as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd (Qantas) in 1920, is the world's third-oldest operating carrier behind Dutch airline KLM and Colombia's Avianca Holdings SA.


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