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Qantas pushing back dates, not planes

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International travel is set to remain off the cards for Qantas for much longer than hoped for

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JULY 22: Qantas Airways Boeing 737-800 planes sit parked on the runway at Sydney International Airport on July 22, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by David Gray/Getty Images)

Australia’s biggest airline has been forced to push back its international travel date from October to late December 2021.

In a statement, Qantas said the Australian Federal Government has “revised its anticipated timeline for the completion of Australia’s vaccine rollout to end-2021 and its timeline for significantly reopening our international borders to mid-2022.”

In light of these two dates, the Qantas Group will adjust its planned international flights from end-October 2021 to late December 2021.

The trans-Tasman bubble with New Zealand at this stage remains unchanged.

We remain optimistic that additional bubbles will open once Australia’s vaccine rollout is complete to countries who, by then, are in a similar position”

This planning assumption will allow the Qantas Group – and Australia – to be ready to take advantage of pockets of tourism and trade opportunity as they emerge in a post-COVID world.

Qantas said they will keep reviewing these plans as they move towards December and surrounding circumstances evolve.

In the meantime, the Qantas Group will continue to provide critical repatriation and freight flights overseas and support the recovery of domestic travel. The resurgence of domestic travel remains the most important element of the Group’s recovery.

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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Russia defaults on foreign debt for the first time in a century

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Russia has failed to pay out its overseas debt for the first time in over 100 years

The country missed its Sunday deadline due to challenges in transferring the payments to international creditors.

Moscow has the funds to make the 100 million dollar payment but sanctions have complicated the process.

The country is unhappy with the situation with the finance minister calling the situation “a farce”.

The last time that Russia defaulted on its foreign debt was in 1918 when leader Vladimir Lenin did not pay out debts on behalf of the Russian Empire.

Russia has been hit with sanctions by a number of countries in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

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Business

Instagram introduces new process to crack down on underage users

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The majority of social media platforms have an age limit of 13 years old, but how is this really being regulated?

Instagram is exploring new ways for teenagers to verify their age and comply with platform rules.

The gram is turning to video selfies to crack down on minors editing their date of birth to make them appear over 18.

The Meta-owned app is testing video selfies with facial analysis software as a new age-verification method.

For a U.S. teen who wants to join insta, they will need to upload ID, ask three adult users to vouch for them or take a video selfie.

Meta says it hopes the new methods will ensure teens have an “age-appropriate experience” on the content sharing app.

Video selfies have become a popular way for digital platforms – such as online banking apps – to verify users’ age or identity.

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Business

U.S. firms to pay staff travel expenses for abortions

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Major companies have reassured staff that if they require an abortion, they will cover their travel expenses

Disney, JP Morgan, Amazon and Meta are among the companies to announce similar moves for women.

This comes as millions of US women face restricted access after a landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

A growing number of companies have confirmed they will cover travel costs through their health insurance plans for employees who leave their home state to get an abortion.

Disney employs around 80,000 people at its resort in Florida, where the governor has already signed into law a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is scheduled to take effect on 1 July.

Banking giant JP Morgan and another leading US investment bank, Goldman Sachs, also said it would cover travel expenses for employees.

Social media company Meta said it intended to reimburse travel expenses where permitted by law.

Other companies which have indicated they will take similar steps include Vogue publisher, jeans brand Levi and ride hailing companies Lyft and Uber.

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