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Source : PortMac.News | Independent | News Story:
News Story Summary:
Latest updates on Key Economic Indicators
Australian Dollar: $0.7740 USD (up $0.0050 USD)
Iron Ore Feb Spot Price (SGX): $166.14 USD (down $1.35 USD)
Oil Price (WTI): $53.28 USD (up $0.28 USD)
Gold Price: $1,869.02 (up $28.31 USD)
Dow Jones: 31,165.10 at 3.08 pm NY time (up 218.90 on yesterday's close)
All changes compared to 7am yesterday.
Trump pardons former adviser Steve Bannon
The Age - Page Online : 21 January 2021 - Original article by Matthew Knott - PortMac.News Summary
Former US President Donald Trump has pardoned 74 individuals and commuted the sentences of another 70 on his last day in office.
A number of people who received pardons have links to the Republican Party, including Trump's former adviser Steve Bannon, former fundraiser Elliott Broidy and ex-congressman Robin Hayes.
However, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and attorney Rudy Giuliani have not been pardoned.
Trump has also not pardoned himself or members of his family after advisers cautioned against such a move.
Trump provided a last-minute pardon for Albert Pirro, the ex-husband of Fox News Channel host and Trump ally Jeanine Pirro, shortly before Joe Biden was sworn in as his successor.
Grand slam host to pay $40m for quarantine
The Australian Financial Review - Page 4 : 21 January 2021 - Original article by Hannah Wootton - PortMac.News Summary
The number of COVID-19 cases linked to the upcoming Australian Open has risen to 10, with four new cases being reported on 20 January.
This includes two tennis players, although one is believed to be a case of viral shedding. Another player who had been previously classified as positive has been deemed to be non-infectious.
Meanwhile, Tennis Australia has advised that it will bear the full cost of quarantining Australian Open players and their entourages, which is expected to cost about $40m.
TA was forced to clarify the situation after CEO Craig Tiley initially said the Victorian government was contributing to this cost. There are 34 active COVID-19 cases in Victoria.
Experts urge NSW to be cautious on Sydney easing
The Australian Financial Review - Page 4 : 21 January 2021 - Original article by Finbar O'Mallon - PortMac.News Summary
New South Wales has recorded three new cases of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine, although the state has had no new locally-acquired cases for three days.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has flagged the possibility that coronavirus restrictions will be further eased, but Burnet Institute epidemiologist Michael Toole is among the experts who believe that the government should not act too quickly.
He says the recent decline in daily testing rates may be evidence that NSW residents are experiencing coronavirus 'fatigue'.
There are 98 active COVID-19 cases in NSW.
Local alarm at mining camp lockdown plans
The Australian - Page 5 : 21 January 2021 - Original article by Charlie Peel, Michael McKenna - PortMac.News Summary
The Gladstone Regional Council has expressed concern about a proposal to quarantine returned overseas travellers at a mining camp in central Queensland.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk flagged the option of housing returned travellers in remote mining camps instead of metropolitan hotels in the wake of the recent three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane.
The council is concerned that using the Homeground mining camp as a quarantine facility could lead to a local outbreak of COVID-19 and impact on the region's resources sector.
Palaszczuk will raise the issue of quarantine camps at the national cabinet meeting on 22 January.
Covid vaccines may need updating to protect against new variant, study suggests
The Guardian - Page Online : 21 January 2021 - Original article by Ian Sample, Linda Geddes - PortMac.News Summary
Researchers at South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases have warned that the new strain of COVID-19 presents a significant risk of infection.
The government scientists say that the emergence of the B1351 variant of COVID-19 in South African may require vaccines to be redesigned in order to maintain their effectiveness against the coronavirus.
South Africa has reported a number of cases of COVID-19 patients who have been reinfected with the B1351 variant.
11-month high for stocks on tech gains
The Australian - Page 20 : 21 January 2021 - Original article by Rebecca Le May - PortMac.News Summary
The Australian sharemarket posted solid gains on 20 January, with the S&P/ASX 200 adding 0.41% to close at 6,770.4 points.
BHP rose 0.94% to $46.30, Woodside Petroleum was up 1.78% at $27.40 and Afterpay rallied 5.22% to end the session at a new high of $141. However, the ANZ Bank was down 0.89% at $24.46 and Regis Healthcare shed 8.09% to finish at $1.70.
Hydro stored energy deal a 'game changer'
The Australian Financial Review - Page 13 & 17 : 21 January 2021 - Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith - PortMac.News Summary
Hydro Tasmania has secured a new type of hedging contract which will allow it to trade stored energy.
The landmark deal with Macquarie Group and energy giant Shell will allow Hydro Tasmania to sell the rights to stored energy when daily prices are at their peak and in turn buy energy when prices are at their lowest.
In return, Macquarie and Shell will have virtual access to stored electricity. Caroline Wykamp of Hydro Tasmania says the virtual storage hedge contract provides battery developers with certainty over the price difference between the highest and lowest price periods.
Digital code breaks trade deal, says US
The Australian Financial Review - Page 1 & 2 : 21 January 2021 - Original article by Miranda Ward, John Kehoe - PortMac.News Summary
A Senate committee has been told that the federal government's proposed revenue-sharing code of conduct for digital platforms may breach the non-discrimination provisions of the free-trade agreement with the US.
Such concerns have been raised by both the US Chamber of Commerce in its submission to the Senate inquiry and the US government's Trade Representative.
Nine Entertainment CEO Hugh Marks has rejected suggestions that the News Media Bargaining Code is in breach of Australia's obligations under the free-trade deal, while Free TV Australia has urged parliament to implement the code as soon as possible.
New regime tipped to go for break-up of big tech
The Australian Financial Review - Page 10 : 21 January 2021 - Original article by Yolanda Redrup - PortMac.News Summary
King River Capital's co-founder Zebediah Rice expects the Biden administration to pursue a major crackdown on technology companies such as Google and Facebook.
Rice says the "aggressive approach" will result in demergers in the technology sector; he argues that this will in turn create opportunities for new companies to emerge.
Amongst other things, Rice believes that Facebook is likely to be broken up into three separate companies.
He also expects digital platforms' handling of user-generated content to attract more scrutiny by the Biden administration in the wake of the recent riots at the US Capitol.
Fox fires top staff linked to election night
The Australian Financial Review - Page 12 : 21 January 2021 - Original article by Sarah Ellison - PortMac.News Summary
The Fox News channel's senior vice-president Bill Sammon has advised his staff that he will retire at the end of January.
A spokesman declined to comment on the reason for Sammon's retirement, although it is believed to be at least in part due to Fox's coverage of the US presidential election.
Fox News attracted criticism from Rupert Murdoch and other senior network executives for making an early call of a win for Democrats candidate Joe Biden in the state of Arizona.
Murdoch believes that the handling of the Arizona call damaged the reputation of Fox News, even though Biden subsequently won the state.
Meanwhile, Fox has retrenched nearly 20 employees.
Tokyo Olympic Games unlikely to go ahead, says London 2012's Sir Keith Mills
The Guardian - Page Online : 21 January 2021 - PortMac.News Summary
The International Olympic Committee and the organisers of the Tokyo Olympic Games are confident that the rescheduled event will go ahead in July.
However, Sir Keith Mills believes that the growing number of COVID-19 cases worldwide means that the major sporting event will have to be cancelled.
Sir Keith was the deputy chairman of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games.
He says the Tokyo organising committee is likely to wait until the last minute to cancel the Games, which were postponed by a year due to the coronavirus.
The Japanese government recently extended its COVID-19 state of emergency.