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No jab, No flight: Qantas mandates COVID vaccine for international travel

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Qantas A380

Australia’s major airline, Qantas has mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for passengers that wish to fly internationally

Qantas will require that all passengers on international flights be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus when it restarts worldwide operations in December.

Chief Executive Alan Joyce confirmed the move, making it one of the first airlines in the world to require proof of vaccination for everyone on board.

Joyce made the announcement in an interview with the Trans-Tasman Business Circle, a network for business and industry leaders in Australia and New Zealand.

“Qantas will have a policy that internationally we’ll only be carrying vaccinated passengers because we think that’s going to be one of the requirements to show that you’re flying safe,”

Joyce Said in the virtual meeting

The Qantas boss noted that many countries will require arriving travelers to be vaccinated anyway, as part of entry requirements.

Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce | Image: File

Alan Joyce stated that he hoped the policy would be in place “by Christmas”

Alan Joyce also indicated that the airline is hoping vaccinated Australians can undergo home quarantine upon return from overseas, rather than being put into a hotel isolation for two weeks.

“When you vaccinate people, you will probably be able to enter into a lot of these countries,” he said.

Qantas, headquartered in Sydney Australia, suspended international operations during the pandemic — but did resume flights to New Zealand in April this year before suspending them again on July 31.

The airline plans to restart flights internationally in December 2021 

According to CNN, Joyce said in November of last year that he was considering banning unvaccinated travelers on international flights, but did not offer a timeline.

Joyce’s latest comments mean the airline has become one of the first airlines to require that international passengers be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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EU plans to force USB-C chargers for all phones

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EU plans to make USB-C connectors the standard port for all smartphones and tablets, angering Apple

The European Commission rules to force manufacturers to create a universal charging solution for phones and small electronic devices. The European Commission is aiming to have a common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, cameras, headphones, and handheld videogame consoles.

The ruling has been in the making for a decade, with environmental concerns the main driving force behind the historic move.

Reducing waste

The rule will reduce waste by encouraging consumers to re-use existing chargers when buying a new device. Politicians have been pushing for this uni9versal charging rule for over a decade.

Disposed and unused charging cables generate approximately 11,000 tonnes of waste per year.  Research shows the average person owns around three mobile phone chargers.

A decade ago there were about 30 different types of chargers, now, phones use either USB-C, lightning, and USB micro-B.

Rotten Apple

The move would see all smartphones in the EU sold with the same charger, a motion Apple is not happy about. The tech giant says this move would damage ongoing innovation.

The tech giant is the main manufacturer of smartphones using a custom charging port, as its iPhone series uses an Apple-made “Lightning” connector. Apple argues its Lightning connector is used by one billion active iPhone users.

“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,”

Apple spokesperson

The proposed changes would apply to the charging port on the device body and will also standardise charging speeds. It may be a number of years before the proposals come into effect.

It will be thoroughly debated by the European Parliament and national Governments.

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Trade war fires up as U.S companies pass tariffs onto consumers

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Japan Exports

The trade war between the United States and China is continuing to heat up, but this hasn’t stopped American businesses from leaving the Chinese mainland

This all follows the US implementing tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese consumer products in a bid to bring manufacturing back to American shores.

A new report has found this is hurting the US economy and has not been successful in pressuring China to change any of its economic policies.

Meanwhile, businesses based in either China and America have remained “deeply integrated” with the other… with foreign investment into China hitting a record high of US$144.4 billion in 2020.

This comes as Joe Biden moves to review US policy towards China, including the previous policies of Donald Trump.

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Business

Energy prices soar for Europeans as winter chill approaches

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There are growing concerns for European residents as energy prices continue to skyrocket in the lead-up to winter

The wholesale prices of natural gas in Britain, France, Spain, Germany and Italy have reached record highs, with overall household bills now through the roof.

This all comes as the continent braces for a cold winter and fuel is needed for increased electricity generation.

Meanwhile, the Europen Consumer Organisation warns it has seen a huge price increase… saying “It’s worrying ahead of the winter when gas consumption will necessarily increase.”

This latest price hike is being caused by a number of factors… including a depletion of natural gas stockpiles during a cold spring and a growing demand for gas in China.

Russia is also supplying less gas to the market than it ever has before.

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