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Croations are worried the Euro is leading to higher prices



The country adopted the euro as its offical currency on January 1

Croatians are complaining about steep price hikes after the country introduced the euro on January 1.

The situation has left the government and businesses at loggerheads with traders blaming inflation for the rises.

At this open-air market in Zagreb, people are on the hunt for the freshest produce and the lowest prices.

But since Croatia started using the euro at the beginning of the year – shoppers say prices have spiked, making that hunt a lot harder.

“We have all felt the price increases,” says one woman. “It’s certainly 30% more, for everything.”

This shopper says he’s felt it too – adding that he knows people looking for new jobs to cope.

When traders began to round prices from the local currency in January – most shot up.

The government has threatened sanctions unless they cut prices back again – but traders point the finger at inflation.

Igor Vujovic is the president of the country’s consumers’ association.

“We have been observing what’s happened from January 1, when we switched to the euro, and the prices have been going wild. Energy, oil, electricity and water prices didn’t change in the previous two months. We switched to the euro and the prices are still rising between 5 and 20 percent, I can say everyday in the last 10 days – it depends on the product.”

Over a two-week period, inspectors handed out fines totalling more than $250,000 and found about 40 percent of businesses hiked prices unjustifiably.

Critics say the government rushed to introduce the euro amid an energy crisis and high inflation.

Last year Croatia reported one of the highest inflation rates in the EU, with an annual rate of 10.8 percent.

But the government has long argued the euro will make Croatia’s economy stronger and make the country more resistant to external shocks. #trending #featured

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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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