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Successful SpaceX flight fuelling tensions between billionaires space race

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The successful test flight of Elon Musk’s SpaceX starship is a major milestone for private space exploration.

But tensions continue to fuel with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, as his rival company Blue origin battles to send people to the moon too.

After 4 failed attempts that even ended in explosions… Elon Musk’s SpaceX has finally landed its futuristic starship

The Tesla CEO wants to land astronauts on the moon and send people to Mars.

This is a huge step in the program… to successfully launch a test flight of the mars rocket prototype.

The rocket launched and flew about 6 miles above Earth, then re-lit its engines and landed the SN15 prototype on the landing pad

A fire at the base of the 50-metre rocket was quickly extinguished and the rocket remained standing after the six-minute flight.

NASA chose the SpaceX Starship to deliver astronauts to the moon in the next few years.

An artist’s illustration of SpaceX’s Starship on the moon. 

The 3 billion dollar contract was halted last week after Jeff Bezo’s company – blue origin protested it.

BATTLE OF THE BILLIONAIRES

The Amazon CEO announced Blue Origin will launch its new Sheppard rocket and capsule in July

The interior of the New Shepard crew capsule, which will carry people for the first time on a July 20 launch

The Sheppard’s flights are “sub-orbital” meaning they will take passengers on a short trip into space and back down to earth.

The company says “only 569 people have ever been over the so-called Kármán Line in space… and it wants to change this and change it dramatically”

SpaceX also plans to launch people into space by Autumn this year. 

So the battle between the billionaires to turn their rockets to riches continues on… until the winner is crowned within the next one or two years.

Business

Wall Street tumbles on China contagion

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Wall Street has plunged as fear of contagion from a potential collapse of China’s Evergrande prompted a broad sell-off

Overnight, investors were fleeing equities for safety.

The Nasdaq fell to its lowest level in about a month, and Microsoft Corp, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Tesla were among the biggest drags on the index.

All 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower.

Investors also were nervous ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting this week.

It follows the collapse in the price of iron ore, which has shocked markets in Australia and throughout the world.

What does this mean for the Chinese economy?

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Third Australian airline enforces vaccine mandate

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A third Australian airline has moved to mandate the COVID vaccine amongst staff

Rex Airlines on Monday confirmed the vaccine will be mandated to all of the airline’s frontline, customer facing staff.

Employees have until November 1, 2021 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The mandate makes Rex the first Australian airline to achieve that goal, and would include company employees working at check-in and all pilots and cabin crew across its regional and domestic networks.

The airline reassures that passengers onboard Rex flights will be travelling in “the safest possible circumstances” as all crew will be vaccinated.

“We have a duty of care to both our passengers and staff to provide the safest possible
environment,”

Rex Deputy Chairman, the Hon John Sharp AM, said.

Rex confirmed it would offer the small number of unvaccinated frontline staff non customer facing roles wherever available, while unvaccinated office staff will be required to wear a mask while at work.


“As we provide an essential service operating to regional centres and remote communities
throughout Australia, it is incumbent upon us to do whatever we can to help those residents remain safe and healthy.”

Rex is Australia’s largest independent regional and domestic airline operating a fleet of 60 Saab 340 and six Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to 62 destinations throughout all states in Australia.

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China crackdown wipes billions off top companies

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China’s regulatory crackdown has wiped hundreds of billions off the market capitalisations of some of its largest companies and put investors on alert over who may be next

China is cracking down on some of its largest companies with regulatory stings wiping hundreds of billions of dollars off their market value.

From technology, to education and property – it seems no sector is safe from Beijing’s far reaching tentacles.

Let’s take a closer look at who’s been affected so far.

First up is Alibaba.

China’s biggest e-commerce company was founded by this man, once China’s richest person – Jack Ma.

Ma made a speech back in October 2020 blasting the country’s regulatory system.

Those stinging comments are widely viewed as the trigger for what came next. Beijing abruptly suspended the record $37 billion stock market debut of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group.

Later, Chinese regulators fined the company $2.75 billion for abusing its market dominance. Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares have shed more than $400 billion in value since Ma made that speech.

Next up is China’s largest gaming and social media company Tencent. It was fined for failing to report past deals to anti-trust regulators.

Tencent has also been affected by China’s latest efforts to combat gaming addiction among minors.

In August under-18-year-olds were banned from playing video games for more than three hours a week. The company has lost nearly $350 billion in market value since February.

The food delivery company – Meituan – became another target of an antitrust probe in April, after its founder and Chief Executive Wang Xing posted an ancient poem on social media.

Some perceived it as criticizing the government and President Xi Jinping. Meituan has lost more than $150 billion in value since February.

The company has also been accused of violating consumer rights and mistreating delivery drivers.

China’s largest provider of private educational services has seen its value tumble following a policy shift in Beijing.

In July, the Communist Party issued new rules barring for-profit tutoring on the school curriculum.

Since then, the market value of New Oriental Education and Technology Group’s U.S. listed shares has fallen by $7.4 billion.

Beijing wants to ease pressure on school children and reduce a cost burden on parents.

BEIJING, CHINA – MAY 15: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a news conference at the end of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on May 15, 2017 in Beijing, China. The Forum, running from May 14 to 15, is expected to lay the groundwork for Beijing-led infrastructure initiatives aimed at connecting China with Europe, Africa and Asia. (Photo by Nicolas Asfouri-Pool/Getty Images)

But analysts warn that the new rules threaten to decimate the country’s private education sector.

So what’s the motive behind Beijing’s regulatory crackdown?

President Xi Jinping has called for China to achieve “common prosperity.”

The campaign seeks to narrow the yawning wealth gap between the rich and the poor.”Common prosperity” as an idea is not new in China, but a sharp escalation in official rhetoric and a crackdown on excesses in industries has rattled investors in the world’s second-largest economy.

Reuters.

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