Qantas auction sparks multi-million point spending ‘frenzy’
Qantas’ first-ever points auction has blown expectations out of the sky
Loyalty members have splashed up to 12.3 million Qantas points in a bid to nab some exclusive items.
Among the unique launch offerings, were a rare set of Qantas lie-flat business Skybeds and a lavish Dash-8 private charter flight for up to 30 mates.
Two Qantas A380 sky beds used for crew training since 2008 have “sold” for two million frequent flyer points and that equates to around $40,000.
With little flying going on, Qantas came up with the concept of a “points auction” to engage frequent flyers who have continued to amass points from activities like credit card use and grocery shopping.
Five items or experiences have gone up for auction since Monday, with the sky beds attracting the second-highest bid to date.
Other items to go under the hammer in the daylong auctions included a Boeing 787 simulator experience with a Qantas captain which went for 1.2 million points.
A soccer clinic for 20 children with Socceroos coach Graham Arnold attracted a winning bid of 501,000 points and a holiday for four to Queenstown flying in business class “sold” for 3.76 million points.
“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.”
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.
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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