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Black Friday sickies will cost the economy millions



Australian shoppers will spend more on this week’s Black Friday sales than Boxing Day.

New research from Finder has found one in three Australians will shop during the Black Friday sales.

The sales succeed the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., and marks the start of the Christmas shopping period.

The sales have taken off around the world. In fact, the festive shopping event is expected to drive the market up to US$123.9 billion internationally.

But employers will be paying a big price as staff prepare to take the day off and take advantage of those sales.

Taylor Blackburn is a personal finance expert at Finder, who said Black Friday could cost Australian employers $192 million in lost productivity/

“Employers could be facing a spike in absenteeism this Friday as Aussie’s hunt down the best end of year deals.”

Men (4%) are more likely to call in sick to hit the shops than women (3%).

This is not a new phenomenon, as over 544,000 Australian workers have called in sick to go shopping this year.

“The holidays are a notoriously expensive time of year, compounded by the spiralling cost of living so the bigger discounts on offer during Black Friday may well be too enticing to pass up.”


The global retail market has changed over the past decade. A rise in instant purchases online has led to a decline in purchases made at traditional public outlets, according to Future Market Insights.

In addition, analysts believe the Covid-19 pandemic has seen a reluctance from customers to enter crowded stores.

“By luring more consumers into stores and encouraging online spending, Black Friday and Cyber Monday soon became a ‘thing’ that jumped borders to stake their claim Down Under,” said Erik Bigalk, who is a licensee at Calendar Club’s Sunshine Coast.

Finder’s research found millennials are most likely to call in sick to go shopping, with 7 per cent admitting they have taken a day off this year.

Clothing and shoes (69%), electronics and gadgets (36%), and food and alcohol (25%) remain some of the most popular items on shopping lists.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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“TikTok represents two national risks to Australians”: should you delete the app?



Democracies continue to ban popular video-sharing app TikTok over national security concerns

Australia recently banned TikTok from all federal government owned devices over security concerns.

Canberra is the latest in a string of U.S.-backed allies to take action against the popular video-sharing app.

The ban centres around concerns China could use the app to trace users’ data, and undermine democratic values.

Senator James Paterson is the Australian Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, who said TikTok poses a risk to Australians.

“They can get access to awful amount of information on your phone.

“Because it’s beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, there’s no guarantee it won’t fall into their hands,” he said.

Senator Paterson said there are “six or seven million Australians who use the app.”

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Cyber attacks are on the rise, so what is being done to combat them?



Australia experienced two of its worst cyber attacks on record last year, as the world braces for cyber warfare to rise

Ukraine has suffered a threefold growth in cyber-attacks over the past year.

Viktor Zhora is leading Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection agency, who said cyber attacks are occurring at the same time as missile strikes at the hands of Russia.

Mr Zhora said in some cases, the cyber-attacks are “supportive to kinetic effects”.

On the other side of the planet, Russian hackers were responsible for Australia’s Medibank scandal.

“This is a crime that has the potential to impact on millions of Australians and damage a significant Australian business,” said Reece Kershaw, who is the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police.

Australian Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security is James Paterson, who said Australia can learn from cyber warfare in Ukraine.

“Ukraine is a lesson for the world.

“They are fighting a hybrid war, one on the ground and one online. If there is to be future conflict including in our own region, in the Indo-Pacific, it’s highly likely that the first shots in that war will occur cyber domain not in the physical world,” Senator Paterson said.

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Amazon employees walk out to protest office policies



Staff at warehousing giant Amazon have walked off the job to protest the company’s return-to-office program

Over 1,900 Amazon employees pledged to protest globally over proposed changes to the company’s climate policy, layoffs and a return-to-office mandate.

The activist group behind the rally is known as Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ), who are seeking a greater voice for employees.

“Our goal is to change Amazon’s cost/benefit analysis on making harmful, unilateral decisions that are having an outsized impact on people of color, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable people,” organisers said.

Over 100 people gathered at the heart of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters on Wednesday. The company said it had not witnessed any other demonstrations.

AECJ said the walkout comes after Amazon made moves “in the wrong direction”.

The company recently has recently overturned a desire to make all Amazon shipments net zero for carbon emissions by 2030.

The company maintains a pledge on climate change.

Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser told Reuters the company is pursuing a strategy to cut carbon emissions.

“For companies like ours who consume a lot of power, and have very substantial transportation, packaging, and physical building assets, it’ll take time to accomplish.”

AECJ protesters also sought support for the 27,000 staff, who had lost their jobs in recent months —around 9 per cent of Amazon’s global workforce.

The company has also mandated a return-to-office program.

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