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Beijing denies it tested nuclear missile

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Beijing has denied that it tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile earlier this year

Military vehicles carrying DF-31A long-range missiles drive past the Tiananmen Gate during a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee

This all comes as concerns grow about China’s weapons capabilities… with hypersonic missiles being much faster and accurate than other models.

The nation’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson says the test “was not a missile” and the test “is of great significance for reducing the cost of spacecraft use.”

The reports that China had tested a nuclear weapon first appeared in a Financial Times report and when asked whether this report was false, the spokesperson replied “yes”.

The Financial Times article quotes five unnamed sources who say China test-flew a hypersonic missile in summer, flying it through space before it cruised back down to earth.

Washington responded to this information, with U-S ambassador Robert Wood saying leaders were “very concerned” and Washington “had held back from pursuing military applications for this technology”.

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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Who is PewDiePie and what’s his net worth?

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Felix Kjellberg, popularly known as PewDiePie, is a Swedish YouTube sensation who has risen to fame as one of the most prominent content creators on the platform.

With millions of dedicated fans worldwide, he has become a household name.

PewDiePie’s journey to stardom began in 2010 when he started creating videos centered around gaming, commentary, and humor. His charismatic and relatable persona resonated with viewers, propelling him to unparalleled success. Over the years, he diversified his content to include vlogs, reviews, and a wide range of entertainment.

One of the defining moments of PewDiePie’s career was his “T-Series vs. PewDiePie” battle in 2019, where he competed with the Indian music label T-Series for the title of the most subscribed YouTube channel. This event garnered immense attention and support from his fans, further solidifying his status as an internet icon.

Now, as of 2021, PewDiePie’s net worth stands at a staggering $40 million, thanks to various revenue streams such as ad revenue, merchandise sales, and sponsorships. He’s not only a YouTube star but also a successful entrepreneur, with his own line of merchandise and a book.

PewDiePie’s journey is a testament to the power of online content creation and the immense influence YouTubers can have on global audiences. As he continues to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of online media, one thing remains clear – PewDiePie is here to stay.

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Elon Musk raves about “next-level” Tesla Cybertruck performance

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Elon Musk expressed his excitement about the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck Performance version, declaring it to be a game-changer in the electric vehicle industry.

With just seven words, Musk summed up his enthusiasm: “It kicks ass next-level.”

Musk’s comment came during a press conference where he discussed the latest advancements in Tesla’s electric vehicle lineup. The Tesla Cybertruck has been a highly anticipated release since its initial unveiling, and the Performance version promises to take things to a whole new level.

According to Musk, the Tesla Cybertruck Performance will feature cutting-edge technology and performance capabilities that will exceed all expectations. While specific details about the vehicle remain limited, Musk hinted at its impressive acceleration, handling, and range, suggesting that it will outperform any other electric truck on the market.

The Tesla Cybertruck has already generated a significant amount of pre-orders, and with Musk’s endorsement of the Performance version, it’s likely to attract even more attention from consumers and investors alike. This announcement could also have a positive impact on Tesla’s stock price, as it demonstrates the company’s commitment to innovation and its ability to stay ahead of the competition.

As Tesla continues to push the boundaries of electric vehicle technology, the Tesla Cybertruck Performance version is set to be a standout addition to their lineup. With Elon Musk’s stamp of approval, it’s safe to say that the electric truck market is about to witness a significant shake-up.

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The rise of the apologetic CEO

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We now live in the era of the apologetic CEO, but do those words have meaning and consequences?

There was a time when CEOs bore the stiff upper lip. Never explain, never complain. It worked for hundreds of years, essentially telling customers and employees “We are trying our best, but if you don’t like it, leave”. Hold the line.

But the Covid pandemic, and the rise of the Teflon-politician plus social media, have now changed business and the way a CEO and their company deals with the outside world.

Sorry now seems to be the easiest word.

Apology strategy

It works like this:

  • Major stufff up that the company expects will go unnoticed
  • Denial of the stuff up or silence
  • Public and then political backlash
  • CEO accidentally says something publicly that makes it worse
  • Board intervenes
  • CEOs top media team hire external crisis comms team to fix things
  • External camera crew hired and sets up in the lobby of corporate HQ or on the factory floor
  • CEO makes a grovelling apology trying to connect with customers.

But what does it do to fix the original crisis? And has it become a cynical attempt at being seen to take ownership (the buck stops with me), but then nothing happens?

The Qantas case

Qantas prides itself as the national flag carrier, even though it’s a publicly listed company now. But it finds itself constantly caught in the grips of customers, unions, the media and the government.

Following the pandemic, Qantas found itself in a world of pain. On the plus side, travel was back in a big way and the profits would soon follow. In this instance, it was better to be the CFO than the CEO.

Qantas stood down thousands of workers, many of whom left the relatively low-paying fickle aviation industry for higher-paying, stable jobs on the other side of “air side”.

Staff problems

I recently met a tram driver who used to be a Qantas International pilot. Instead of trekking to Melbourne airport to start work, he now begins his shift by meeting the tram at the end of his street. Basically, the staff moved on.

As the post-covid era rolled along, bags were lost, flights were canceled and angry customers vented to the media, then-CEO Alan Joyce ran through the “PR crisis handbook” outlined above.

Deny, blame, admit, move on.

Here was Alan Joyce’s apology in August 2022:

“On behalf of the national carrier, I want to apologise and assure you that we’re working hard to get back to our best.”

Fast forward to this month, and Alan Joyce is out at Qantas. His replacement is his CFO, Vanessa Hudson.

CFOs focus on operations and streamlining processes but sometimes struggle with human connection. A CEO has to put everybody first, but a CFO has to put the company first.

Vanessa Hudson is a lower-profile CEO than Joyce, so far avoiding the spotlight, or being seen mingling with celebrity chefs.

A year after Joyce’s apology, Ms Hudson recorded a video statement to customers:

“I was a part of the leadership at the time, but clearly I wasn’t the chief executive then. I am the chief executive now and what I would say is that I would like to be judged by what we do now and how we behave going forward.”

Moving On

While the CEO has changed, the messaging has not. This may soon happen, as Vanessa Hudson grows into the role and identifies people who need to be moved on and people who need to be moved in.

But once she builds the right team, listen to them. Often CEOs ignore internal advice and only listen to external consultants.

For passengers though, what difference does an apology make? What happened in that year after Alan Joyce apologied that made Qantas better for today?

Historically when Qantas has been in trouble, they unleash another rendition of I Still Call Australia Home during some sort of sports final.

It’s like the partner who keeps breaking trust and continually begs for forgiveness. It’s time to pack your bags and burn that red flag.

The Qantas dilemma

Qantas has some big issues that will take decades to fix. Airlines are slow-moving beasts.

Aside from the huge debt burden, unions that are bolstered by a High Court win, plus favourable governments running the country and the states, and an angry customer base ready to rock up with pitchforks, there are even more fundamental issues facing the new CEO.

Australians are famously egalitarian. We demand high service at a low cost, and we’re not afraid of complaining until things are changed. That’s how we’ve built this great nation and keep rolling Prime Ministers.

Qantas flight QF1, an Airbus A380-800 aircraft, takes off from Sydney International Airport en route to Dubai, above Botany Bay, in Australia August 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files

Jumbo sized problem

For decades, Qantas has been stuck with the wrong-sized planes. Not since the 747 has there been an aircraft that meets the comfort needs of passengers and the budgets of airlines at the same time.

Airlines have been demanding more fuel-efficient planes and aircraft manufacturers are trying to squeeze more range out of smaller carbon fibre frames.

Anyone who has flown a 787 Dreamliner will soon forget the LED windows, and remember how much more space there was on a 747 or A380. Anyone who has dropped an Airpod in economy knows what I’m talking about.

Australians are big people who require big planes and bigger seats with wider pitch.

Australia is a long way from anywhere. As is New Zealand, yet Air New Zealand has come up with far more innovative ways to keep passengers comfortable on long-haul flights than Qantas.

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 airplane takes off from the airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, July 29, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

The airline industry has been marching to the same tune for decades, since the emergence of RyanAir and Southwest. Cheaper flights, poorer service, and a relationship with customers that is cost-based, not value-based. The rise of airport security only tipped the scales even further towards mean airlines.

For those times, Joyce was the right CEO for Qantas, as he had successfully built up Jetstar in Australia. And frankly, Qantas couldn’t carry on running as a government-funded airline.

The Crying CEO

Qantas is an example but far from the only company that struggles with its messaging. There are the CEOs that go even further.

Remember the CEO who took to LinkedIn to post a weeping selfie after making the decision to make staff redundant?

Braden Wallake runs the Ohio-based business-to-business marketing agency Hypersocia. The post received more than 6,700 comments and nearly 33,000 reactions.

Some LinkedIn users mocked Wallake’s post, calling him “out of touch” and “cringe-worthy” or suggested that he should focus on helping his former employees rather than on how the situation had affected him.

New CEOs Building Trust

The appointment of a new CEO marks a significant transition that can shape the future of an organisation.

Upholding a strong ethical compass reassures stakeholders that the CEO will make decisions aligned with the organisation’s core beliefs. This builds trust over time.

The CEO’s track record and expertise play a pivotal role. In the case of Vanessa Hudson, this will be her most difficult task, given she was holding the financial levers at the airline.

Apologising is good spin, but action is a must.

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