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5 things you need to know today

Thursday, August 16, 2018

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1.     More than 500 firefighters worked overnight to control dozens of fires across NSW, with two still left burning out of control. On Wednesday, crews from the Rural Fire Service battled more than 80 fires across the state, with 50 uncontained. The worst blazes were in Ulladulla and Bemboka, which burned out of control into the evening.

2.     New Zealand has banned most foreigners from buying existing homes in the country - a move aimed at making properties more affordable. The ban only applies to non-residents, while Australians and Singaporeans are exempt because of free-trade deals. New Zealand is facing a housing affordability crisis which has left home ownership out of reach for many.

3.     Former Donald Trump aide Paul Manafort had "a huge dumpster of hidden money" abroad, a prosecutor has said, urging a jury to convict the former Trump campaign chief on financial fraud charges based on a paper trail of evidence. Mr Manafort is on trial on tax and bank fraud charges, along with failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

4.     Telstra has seen its full-year profit fall 8.4% to $3.6 billion as the impact of the NBN rollout and competition for mobile customers erode the company's bottom line. Telstra chief executive Andy Penn said the impact of things like the NBN was a worldwide phenomenon and was having an enormous impact on business.

5.  Chinese tech giant Tencent troubled the tech stock world after fessing up to a disappointing quarterly profit report. Tencent's U.S.-listed shares dropped 6.7% after coming out with its poorest revenue growth rate for three years. And US shares played follow the leader with Facebook, Apple and Alphabet all dropping. It’s been bad for the Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba and Baidu which are all down over 20% since the Trump trade war talk hotted up.

And a bonus 'thing' for today:

6. Sydney has gone up the ladder for the global best city to live in list. Staring from 11th last year to number five but it still trails Melbourne! The Victorian capital has gone from no. 1 to no. 2 in the world!

Published: Thursday, August 16, 2018

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