News

Stock-market bulls brace for major gut check as earnings, Fed and GDP loom

Stark reality for the euphoric stock market? The coming week may present the closest thing to a gut check for bullish investors so far in 2021.


US existing home sales hit 14-year record despite pandemic

Record low mortgage rates amid the coronavirus pandemic fueled a US housing boom last year, pushing existing home sales to the highest since 2006, according to a survey released Friday. "Home sales rose in December, and for 2020 as a whole, we saw sales perform at their highest levels since 2006, despite the pandemic," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.


Cut food waste at home by sniffing and tasting, urges new campaign

Worried about whether the yoghurt, milk and cheese sitting in your fridge is still safe to eat? Rather than rely on the misleading “best by” date stamped on the side, perhaps its time to “sniff and taste” your staple foods. That’s the aim behind a new initiative to fight the UK food-waste mountain, by reducing the amount thrown away in the home. Leading UK dairy and food brands are joining forces to roll out new on-pack messaging to persuade...


Clive Palmer coal mine poses 'significant risks' to Great Barrier Reef, scientists say

A committee of Commonwealth-appointed scientific experts has expressed "extreme concern" about businessman Clive Palmer's proposed central Queensland coal mine, saying the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area just 10 kilometres away could not be safeguarded.


Victoria's Great Ocean Road is going quiet, and it's both a blessing and a curse for locals

As Victoria's Great Ocean Road goes without busloads of predominantly Chinese tourists this summer, businesses are calling out for more help.


Larry King, decades-long fixture of U.S. TV interviews, dead at 87

Larry King, decades-long fixture of U.S. TV interviews, dead at 87


Davos ski resort eerily quiet without economic talkfest this year

Davos ski resort eerily quiet without economic talkfest this year


Ex-Education Secretary DAVID BLUNKETT: We have a duty to pull together

DAVID BLUNKETT: Just imagine, for a moment, what it must be like to be a child in lockdown. Stuck indoors, unable to play with friends and banished from school for weeks and months on end.


Coronavirus and lockdowns have put London's iconic black cabs under threat

As London endures its third national lockdown and the UK's economy declines due to the coronavirus pandemic, the city's iconic black cabs and their drivers face an uncertain future.


He began buying Tesla at just $7.50, and now he’s retiring at 39 years old with $12 million worth — he still refuses to sell a single share

While just about every financial planner out there continues to espouse the "diversify" mantra, Jason DeBolt, a former Google and current Amazon employee, has taken a decidedly different approach.


UK bosses set up IT systems to track Covid vaccine status of staff

Employers are creating vaccine databases of their workers to track who has been inoculated against the coronavirus. With some companies announcing they would either sack or refuse to hire people who will not take a Covid-19 vaccine, others are using IT systems to create a form of vaccine passport in the workplace to monitor the number of staff who have had the jab. Workday, which provides payroll and other human resources software to 1,300...


Relocating to Queensland? Get in line, Sunshine state builders record four-fold rise in new home enquiries

A building company says the level of inquiry for new homes in south-east Queensland is "phenomenal," with a mass domestic migration to the Sunshine State apparently underway.


Head to Israel, which aims to vaccinate the whole country by April

If all goes well with its vaccination programme, tourism in Israel will be open for business in April - which happens to be one of the best months to visit. Here's our guide to the country...


Set up shop in Europe, government advisers tell Brexit-hit businesses

British businesses that export to the continent are being encouraged by government trade advisers to set up separate companies inside the EU.


Can I plan an extension on a house I haven't yet bought?

Property listings on the online portals often carry the bullet point, 'potential to extend subject to planning permission (STPP)'. And estate agents love to talk about 'potential'.


Retail sales down 4.2 per cent in December

Retail spending moderated in December as COVID-19 restrictions put a dampener on shopping, and after the sharp increase in November.


Hollywood director Ron Howard finishes quarantine in Australia

Ron Howard is ready to begin filming his next big-budget movie on Australia's Gold Coast.


Trade Minister Dan Tehan writes to new Chinese counterpart in attempt to end trade dispute

Trade Minister Dan Tehan writes to China's new Commerce Minister to "get a dialogue in the relationship happening again" in attempts to end China's trade punishment against Australia.


Morgan Stanley CEO's annual pay rises by over 20%

Morgan Stanley CEO's annual pay rises by over 20%


Cambridge trial allowing EVs to use bus lane criticised by groups

Cambridgeshire County Council said the trial is 'intended to test the effect of allowing additional vehicles to use the lane' and if judged to be successful 'may be extended' across the city.


Search resumes for man, 20, swept into choppy seas off NSW coast

The search for a man believed to have been swept into choppy seas off Coffs Harbour yesterday has been resumed.


Aust shares dip but 1.27pc higher for week

ASX investors had minor losses on Friday but the market climbed for the week as first-half earnings season looms.


Stocks falter as Johnson says new UK virus strain more deadly

Global stocks mostly fell Friday as investors fretted about the economic impact of fresh virus shocks amid worries that newer Covid-19 strains may be even more deadly than earlier ones. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned a newer Covid-19 strain may be more deadly, while US President Joe Biden said fatalities in the hard-hit country are expected to exceed 600,000.


'I want to feel safe again': Americans lament slow pace of U.S. COVID-19 vaccine rollout

'I want to feel safe again': Americans lament slow pace of U.S. COVID-19 vaccine rollout


Reliance profit soars despite oil business slump

Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries on Friday said that its profit soared 12.5 percent during the last quarter of 2020 despite sharp revenue fall in its dominant oil-to-chemicals business. The 12.5 percent growth figure was in line with the market estimates after a 15 percent fall in its quarterly profits during the quarter ending September 2020.


More than half of UK households fear losing savings in Covid crisis

More than a third of households in the UK have not managed to put aside any money since the first coronavirus lockdown began last year, and more than half are worried about running out of savings, a survey has found. Despite Bank of England figures showing record levels of cash flowing into deposit accounts, many households are struggling with lower incomes and are eating into their savings. The latest household financial confidence tracker, for...


US housing boomed in 2020 even as pandemic slammed economy

The US housing market boomed in 2020 even as the coronavirus pandemic caused one of the worst economic contractions of modern times, as Americans took advantage of low borrowing rates to buy homes. The surge in new and existing home sales, and home construction, underscores the unequal experience of the pandemic across the United States. Even as tens of millions of people lost their jobs due to the pandemic disruptions, others were able to...


We were friendly with our neighbors for decades, until recently. One day, they introduced us to their financial adviser…

‘We dug trenches, poured concrete foundations, and worked to build our house; they hired contractors. They traded in cars frequently; we ran ours into the ground.’


Google threatens to block Australians over media law

Google threatened Friday to block Australians from using its search service unless the government changed landmark legislation to make the internet giant pay news outlets for their content. Under the laws, the firms would be required to compensate Australian media outlets, ranging from Rupert Murdoch's giant News Corp to public broadcasters ABC and SBS, for publishing snippets of their content in search results.


Orange sells 1.3 billion euros worth of fixed fibre assets in France

Orange sells 1.3 billion euros worth of fixed fibre assets in France


Counting on a tax refund or stimulus check? 5 things to know before filing your taxes

The IRS will start accepting returns on Feb. 12. Here’s what to know to make the most out of a tax season that has a lot riding on it.


GameStop shares rocket as frustrated short seller walks away

Shares in GameStop rocketed on Friday as an activist short-seller said he was walking away from the stock in the retailer due to what he called an "angry mob" that has terrorized him and his family. Andrew Left of Citron Research put out word of the decision on Twitter a day after he posted a video at YouTube detailing reasons he was certain the retailer was overpriced in the market. GameStop shares ended the formal trading day up 51 percent,...


After Covid, will digital learning be the new normal?

History is likely to record that Britain’s teachers were better prepared for Covid-19 than government ministers. With cases rising in Europe, 14 schools in England had already closed their gates by the end of February 2020. When senior staff at Barham primary school began drawing up contingency plans on 26 February, they realised they needed to up their use of digital technology. They decided to upload work daily to ClassDojo, a popular app they...


Queen bee shortage leaves beekeepers in Australia struggling to rebuild hives

The number of commercial queen bee breeders is dwindling by the day, leaving beekeepers to battle to secure the much-needed queens that are vital for each hive's honey production.


Flood claims were up as much as 9,000% last year

More people seem to have been hit by storms over the past year as there was a 177% increase in storm claims and a 90% increase in flood claims in 2020, compared to 2019, data shows.


Aussies paying $140,000 to stay connected

Bills for the internet, mobile phones and streaming services quickly add up, but a changing market and 5G entering the fray means the chance for a better deal.


British lawmakers seek investigation into UK-registered firm possibly linked to Beirut blast


Asia to dominate Davos virtual forum as virus-hit West struggles


'A Brexit nightmare': the British businesses being pushed to breaking point

Christophe Fricke lectures in German at the University of Bristol and adores living in England. He was born in Germany but his anglophilia became so strong after moving here that he wrote a book called 111 Gründe, England zu lieben (“111 Reasons to Love England”) in 2018. He selected the gardens of Cornwall, the National Portrait Gallery, the way the English use collective nouns for groups of animals (herds, packs, and so on) and their...


Google says it will pull Search out of Australia if the government doesn't back down on the media bargaining code

Google Australia boss Melanie Silva has told a Senate Committee that the company could pull its search engine out of Australia. The threat comes as the tech giant demands the Australian government change proposed legislation that would compel it to pay local news companies.


The strange case of Alibaba's Jack Ma and his three-month vanishing act

Wearing burgundy lipstick and a long peroxide wig, the diminutive entrepreneur who would soon become China’s richest man took to the stage and belted out Can You Feel the Love Tonight ? from Disney’s The Lion King. Jack Ma, chief executive of e-commerce giant Alibaba, had earned the right to make a spectacle of himself. On that day in September 2009, in front of 16,000 adoring employees packed into Hangzhou’s Yellow Dragon stadium, the eccentric...


Australian government's housing policy continues to ignore low income earners

Both Scott Morrison and Joe Biden use the slogan “build back better”, but what they mean by it reveals some fundamental differences over who they believe the government should care about. This week there was some focus on the homebuilder program after the latest home loan figures showed a strong surge in mortgages for building homes since July. It certainly is an example of a policy working – giving people $25,000 if they take out a loan to...


Walt Disney World is eliminating these popular perks for hotel guests

The perks were designed ‘to keep people inside the Disney bubble,’ one travel expert said.


I married my husband 20 years ago. He has 4 kids and I have one. I paid for our home. How should we split it after we’re gone?

‘The majority of the purchase price was from my condo sale and my inheritance savings, but my husband did contribute several thousand dollars.’


Firms urged to hike their pension contribution rate under proposals

The Resolution Foundation has called for a 'living pension' as it found that even a lifetime of minimum pension contributions under auto-enrolment may not be enough for an adequate retirement.


We want to buy a home on 10 wide-open acres and live on $50,000 a year — where should we retire?

The reader says finding the right mix of climate and geography is the big issue -- or is it really the budget?


Man who strained his back picking up company car keys will receive workers compensation

A man who accidentally dropped the keys to a company car, and strained his back picking them up, will receive workers compensation.


Toshiba regains Tokyo exchange's top category amid calls for better governance

Toshiba regains Tokyo exchange's top category amid calls for better governance


IRS ‘stands ready’ to send out third round of stimulus checks and process tax returns

The IRS is done with its pile of unopened mail, but 'millions' of last year's tax returns are still being processed.


Delivery apps in Mexico make temporary cut to fees as restaurants struggle

Delivery apps in Mexico make temporary cut to fees as restaurants struggle