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$A falls one cent; Dow and gold slump; 60' foot tall Life-sized Gundam robot in Yokohama now in testing mode; Real Estate 'Pockets of softness' !

Source : PortMac.News | Independent :

Source : PortMac.News | Independent | News Story:

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News Summary 24-09-20 | $A & Dow Slump | Giant Jap Robot
$A falls one cent; Dow and gold slump; 60' foot tall Life-sized Gundam robot in Yokohama now in testing mode; Real Estate 'Pockets of softness' !

Latest updates on Key Economic Indicators

Australian Dollar: $0.7070 USD (down $0.0100 USD)

Iron Ore Oct Spot Price (SGX): $111.65 USD (down $2.25 USD)

Oil Price (WTI): $39.59 USD (up $0.04 USD)

Gold Price: $1,863.56 (down $37.09 USD)

Dow Jones: 26,763.13 (down 525.05 points)

All changes compared to 7am yesterday.


Japanese giant Gundam robot shows off its moves

A giant robot based on a character from a classic anime series has undergone testing in the Japanese city of Yokohama.

The massive humanoid resembles a robot from "Mobile Suit Gundam," a popular TV series from the late 1970s, and can be seen walking, kneeling and gesticulating in a video of the test posted on Twitter on Monday.

The robot, which has been in the works since 2014, stands nearly 60 feet high and weighs 24 tons, with more than 200 pieces made from a mixture of steel and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, according to the company that created it.

Gundam Factory Yokohama is an upcoming amusement center themed after the Gundam franchise. Located at Yamashita Pier in Yokohama, Japan, it will be the home of the moving life-sized RX-78-2 Gundam.

Gundam Factory Yokohama was originally scheduled to open in October 2020, but was delayed to 'before the end of the year' due to COVID-19[1].

The robot was due to feature at the Gundam Factory Yokohama, a new attraction that will allow fans to get up close and personal with the creation and learn about how it was created.

The attraction was due to open in October 2020 but, because of the coronavirus pandemic, visitors will now have to wait slightly longer.

"This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of our fans and employees in response to the worldwide spread of COVID-19," the company that operates the site said in a statement.

"We apologize to all of our fans who were looking forward to our grand opening and ask for your understanding."

The team expects to open the factory "within the year," and details will be announced on the company's website.

Anime came about in the early 1900s when Japanese artists like Oten Shimokawa began experimenting through trial and error to create short animated films.

But back then, animations were costly to produce and works from Japan were overshadowed by Disney's success.

During World War II, the genre expanded as Japan's military government ordered animators to create propaganda films to influence the masses.

More recently, commercial hits like "Pokémon" and "Dragon Ball Z," have brought anime to audiences around the world.


PM plea to Andrews to accept soldiers

The Australian - Page 1 & 4 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Rosie Lewis, Rachel Baxendale - PortMac.News Summary

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has consistently stated that the federal government did not offer the use of Australian Defence Force personnel for the state's hotel quarantine program.

However, correspondence between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Andrews shows that the issue was raised in early July.

Morrison wrote to Andrews on 4 July expressing concern about the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the state, and noted that the federal government was willing to make ADF personnel available to assist with containing the virus.

Morrison again urged Andrews to consider an offer of ADF troops in a letter on 11 July, in which he suggested that the soldiers could work with Victoria Police officers.


Melbourne lockdown to ease but not by much

The Australian - Page 5 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Rachel Baxendale, Tessa Akerman - PortMac.News Summary

Victoria recorded 15 new coronavirus cases on 23 September, with 10 linked to known outbreaks.

Melbourne's 14-day daily average of new cases has fallen to 29.4, below the lower end of the state's target for relaxing the lockdown restrictions.

Premier Daniel Andrews will announce a further easing of restrictions on 27 September, to take effect on the following day.

Andrews has confirmed that some restrictions will be eased more quickly than was outlined in the government's recovery 'roadmap', but he stresses that the details have not been finalised.

The state's death toll from COVID-19 has risen by five to 771; the national toll is now 859.


Fears over detain powers: MPs baulk at bill to stop Covid spread

Herald Sun - Page 12 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Shannon Deery, Alex White, Kieran Rooney - PortMac.News Summary

The Victorian government needs the support of at least four of the 12 upper house crossbenchers to pass its controversial COVID-19 Omnibus bill.

However, a survey of the crossbenchers suggests that the bill is likely to be rejected by the Legislative Council; half of them have stated that they will oppose the bill in its current form, while the remainder are undecided.

Reason Party leader Fiona Patten is among the crossbenchers who will seek amendments to the bill, which would allow the police and other 'authorised officers' to detain people who may be a COVID risk.

Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien has described the bill as "offensive" and says he will not support it.


Who will stand against Andrews' outrage?

The Australian - Page 20 : 24 September 2020 - article by Robert Gottliebsen - PortMac.News Summary

The Victorian government's COVID-19 Omnibus bill brings to mind the words of 18th century Irish statesman Edmund Burke, who said "the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing".

It is encouraging that a group of barristers and retired judges have openly expressed their opposition to the bill, but Victoria needs more "good" men and women to stand up against the government on this issue.

It is to be hoped that this will include some Victorian Labor MPs.


High Court likely to 'free' Covid's political prisoners

The Australian - Page 10 : 23 September 2020 - Original article by Mirko Bagaric - PortMac.News Summary

A number of past High Court judgments would suggest that the Victorian government's policy of arresting anti-lockdown protestors is constitutionally illegal.

The state government cannot override the right to freedom of assembly that is enshrined in the Constitution.

A series of High Court rulings have also found that freedom of political communication and freedom of association are implied in the Constitution.

Although placing restrictions on mass gatherings such as protests may be permissible, they can be permitted to go ahead with appropriate measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as making face masks and social distancing mandatory.


He said, she said: now it's ministers in the dark on who made quarantine choices

The Australian - Page 1 & 4 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Ewin Hannan, Remy Varga - PortMac.News Summary

Victoria's Jobs Minister Martin Pakula has told the inquiry into the state's hotel quarantine program that he did not know who had made the decision to use private security guards.

Pakula also said that he did not know that his department was entering into contracts with private firms to provide security at the hotels.

He claimed that the Department of Health & Human Services had "overall responsibility" for the quarantine program, and that the role of his department was to assist the DHHS.

Police Minister Lisa Neville in turn has told the inquiry that she only became aware of the decision to use private security firms after it had been made.

She also believed that the DHHS was ultimately in charge of the program.


Leading health union demands 'clueless' Mikakos quit

Herald Sun - Page 6 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by James Campbell - PortMac.News Summary

Health Workers Union secretary Diana Asmar has called for Victoria's Health Minister Jenny Mikakos to resign or be sacked.

Asmar has written to Premier Daniel Andrews stating that Mikakos is "clueless" and lacks "even a basic understanding of her portfolio".

Asmar has also criticised the government for providing aged-care workers with sufficient personal protective equipment while overlooking the needs of cleaners and other staff of nursing homes, who have also contracted COVID-19.

Mikakos will appear before the inquiry into the state's hotel quarantine program on 24 September.


Keating: RBA should 'fund' budget deficit

The Australian Financial Review - Page 1 & 4 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Phillip Coorey, John Kehoe - PortMac.News Summary

Former prime minister Paul Keating has criticised the Reserve Bank of Australia's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

He has accused the central bank of failing to support the federal government's fiscal response to the coronavirus-induced recession, arguing that with the cash rate already at a record low, fiscal rather than monetary policy will be crucial in boosting the economy.

Keating contends that the RBA should support the government's fiscal policy by more actively buying government bonds. The RBA has bought some $63bn worth of federal and state government bonds since March.


Budget focus: surplus out, spending in

The Australian - Page 4 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Simon Benson, Patrick Commins - PortMac.News Summary

The federal government is widely tipped to confirm on 6 October that the budget deficit will blow out to more than $200bn in 2020-21.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will use an Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry speech on 24 September to advise that targeted stimulus will the priority for the budget, and returning it to surplus will be put on the backburner for some time.

However, the government is still committed to ensuring that tax receipts as a proportion of GDP remain below its cap of 23.9 per cent.


Porter seeks compromise on small business

The Australian Financial Review - Page 8 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by David Marin-Guzman - PortMac.News Summary

Industrial Relations Christian Porter says he is pleased with the level of good faith demonstrated by participants in the federal government's industrial relations reform working groups.

Porter adds that it was a "healthy, useful exercise" but concedes that there was little consensus regarding solutions to the problems that were identified.

He says the government will seek the "best compromise" but stresses that no proposal will be considered unless they can generate jobs.

The government's working groups have formally concluded their discussions, although some informal talks will continue.


COVID-19 risks trump right of unions to enter the workplace

The Australian Financial Review - Page 8 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by David Marin-Guzman - PortMac.News Summary

The Fair Work Commission's deputy president Alan Colman has ruled that iron ore miner Citic Pacific was entitled to prevent Maritime Union of Australia officials from accessing an offshore worksite due to the coronavirus pandemic.

MUA officials had sought access to a vessel that is used to load bulk carriers with iron ore. Citic contended that the confined spaces and close contact among workers on the vessel meant there was a high risk that the virus would spread quickly if there was an outbreak.

It argued that there would be a major impact on export volumes from its Sino Iron project if the vessel had to stop operating.


'Encourage risks, scrap JobKeeper' to rebuild

The Australian Financial Review - Page 6 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Matthew Cranston - PortMac.News Summary

Productivity Commission chairman Michael Brennan has stressed the importance of industrial relations reform to the Australian economy's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

He contends that rebuilding the supply side of the economy will be more important than the demand side in the wake of the pandemic. Amongst other things, he has called for the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme to be phased out, arguing that it will stymie the recovery by encouraging workers to remain with their existing employer.

Brennan also says there also needs to be incentives to encourage Australians to take a risk on starting a new business.


Trust on the economy bolsters Trump in oh-so-close Florida and Arizona: Poll

ABC News (US) - Page Online : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Gary Langer - PortMac.News Summary

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll suggests that the presidential election is too close to call in the swing state of Florida.

It shows that support for Democrats candidate Joe Biden among registered voters is now 48%, compared with 47% for Donald Trump.

However, Trump leads 51%-47% among people who are most likely to vote. Likewise, Biden leads 49%-47% among registered voters in Arizona, but Trump is ahead 49%-48% among people who are likely to vote.

Meanwhile, 52% of registered voters in Florida trust Trump to handle the economy, while 41% trust Biden. This trust gap widens to 56%-41% in favour of Trump in Arizona. [Click to view full article here]


US gains, rate cut tip lift stocks

The Australian - Page 19 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Samantha Bailey - PortMac.News Summary

The Australian sharemarket rallied on 23 September, with the S&P/ASX 200 rising 2.42 per cent to close at 5,923.9 points.

BHP was up 1.3 per cent at $37.15, National Australia Bank added 2.9 per cent to end the session at $17.12 and CSL was 3.8 per cent higher at $297.21. However, Kathmandu was down 8.5 per cent to $1.08.


Westpac, Austrac close to deal

The Australian - Page 13 & 16 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Richard Gluyas - PortMac.News Summary

Sources have indicated that corporate criminal Westpac is close to finalising a settlement with Austrac over the bank's massive breach of anti-money laundering laws.

A deal is expected to be announced in coming days, and Austrac is said to be seeking a settlement of at least $1.5bn. Any deal will have to be approved by Attorney-General Christian Porter, who criticised Westpac in mid-2019 for running a "PR campaign" while in negotiations with Austrac.

Westpac has already made provisions of $900m in its financial accounts for a settlement.


Crown boss kept Packer briefings secret

The Australian Financial Review - Page 1 & 9 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Lucas Baird - PortMac.News Summary

A New South Wales inquiry into Crown Resorts has heard evidence from the listed casino group's CEO Ken Barton.

He has told the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority's inquiry that James Packer had received daily updates on Crown's financial performance in 2019 via a controlling shareholder protocol. Barton also indicated that Crown's other shareholders had not been informed of these briefings.

Barton was Crown's CFO at the time. The inquiry is examining Crown's suitability to hold a restricted gaming licence for its new Sydney casino.


Content will be cut, says Nine

The Australian - Page 15 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Lilly Vitorovich - PortMac.News Summary

Diversified media group Nine Entertainment has signalled that it will have to produce less content if digital platforms Facebook and Google do not pay for news.

Nine chairman Peter Costello has noted in its annual report that the company invested up to $1bn in content across its print, broadcast and streaming operations in 2019-20.

However, he has warned that this will be in jeopardy without the proposed revenue-sharing code of conduct for digital platforms.

Costello added that a reduction in Nine's content would affect Australian "creators, consumers, and culture", while having no impact on the global businesses of Facebook and Google.


Foxtel, Seven buckle up for Supercars deals

The Australian - Page 15 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Lilly Vitorovich - PortMac.News Summary

Pay-TV group Foxtel will provide live coverage of every race in the Supercars Championship after securing a new five-year rights deal.

The agreement covers linear broadcasts as well as its streaming services, including Kayo Sports. Meanwhile, Seven West Media will replace Network Ten as the free-to-air broadcaster of the Supercars series, in a deal that is also believed to be for five years.

Seven is understood to be paying about half the price that Ten has paid under its current deal.


TikTok hits back at 'misinformation' about its ties to China in submission to Senate inquiry

The Guardian Australia - Page Online : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Katharine Murphy - PortMac.News Summary

Video messaging app TikTok has downplayed concerns about its links to China in a written submission to the Senate's inquiry into foreign interference through social media.

TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based technology company ByteDance, has emphasised that it is a global platform with "strict controls" regarding security and access to data.

TikTok contends that the personal information that is collected from its 1.6 million users in Australia is stored on servers in the US and Singapore, and that it has never shared this data with the Chinese government.

TikTok representatives will appear before the inquiry on 25 September.


Property will see 'Pockets of softness': CBA

The Australian - Page 17 : 24 September 2020 - Original article by Joyce Moullakis - PortMac.News Summary

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO Matt Comyn says the nation's residential property market has been more resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic than the bank had expected.

He is generally upbeat about the outlook for the housing market, but cautions that that there will continue to be some "pockets of softness".

Comyn is also bullish about the outlook for Australia as a whole, noting that the nation is much better placed than many countries to ride out challenging conditions over the next several years.


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