Uber potentially faces a major fine for "misleading customers".
Rideshare company Uber has admitted to breaching Australian Consumer Law after falsely telling customers they may be charged for cancelling trips and misrepresenting prices of competing taxi companies.
The company now faces a $26 million penalty after agreeing to make joint submissions to the Federal Court with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Between 2017 and 2021, users were told they could be charged for cancelling a trip they had requested, even though they were within the advised time period for free cancellation. Uber had told more than two million Australian users they "may be" charged a cancellation fee during the five-minute period when they should have been able to cancel without penalty. Last September the messaging was updated to tell users they would not be charged for cancelling during that time frame.
Uber admitted it misled consumers and may have caused some of them to not cancel their ride for fear of being charged, ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said on Tuesday.
Last week, the ACCC also secured a $44.7 million fine against accommodation booking site Trivago, whose algorithms were meant to find the best available deal at a hotel but gave prominence to sites that paid them a commission.
Uber faces $26m fine in Australia over misleading cancellation warnings and taxi fare estimates https://t.co/M5AkkAtxvg— The Guardian (@guardian) April 26, 2022
- With AAP.
NSW Premier "disappointed" that teachers are striking again.
NSW public school teachers will strike for 24 hours next week, renewing their campaign over pay, staff shortages and "unsustainable" workloads. The NSW Teachers Federation executive voted on Tuesday to walk off the job on May 4, frustrated that negotiations with the government had stalled.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet says it's disappointing after a disruptive two years for students and parents.
"(Parents) have a right to be frustrated. I've made it very clear that we will work through these issues, and we'll get a good outcome on the other side."
Cost of living pressures and inflation are causing real challenges, but of course the situation is not unique to NSW. Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said after a strike in December, the union had suspended action to negotiate in good faith.
"We provided the Perrottet government with a singular opportunity to sit down with us and negotiate - genuinely negotiate - and reach a mutual agreement in order to address the crippling teacher shortage and its underlying causes: uncompetitive pay and crippling workload. The Perrottet government refused to embrace that opportunity."
The government has capped public sector wage increases to 2.5 per cent, while inflation was running at about 3.5 per cent.
"If we don't pay teachers what they are worth, we won't get the teachers we need,” Gavrielatos said. "The profession is now left with no alternative but to act in the interest of our students and our profession, and take industrial action."
The union wants a pay rise of between five and 7.5 per cent, as well as two extra hours of planning time. The union also voted to ban the implementation of new government policies or initiatives, and says members will walk out if NSW government MPs visit schools. It comes as a new poll of 10,000 NSW teachers released on Tuesday found 73 per cent said their workload was unmanageable and 70 per cent were reconsidering their position due to the workload.
Listen to the evening headlines from The Quicky, right here:
- With AAP.
Ben Affleck and a Selling Sunset scandal.
Channel 7 has announced that Nigella Lawson will join the cast of My Kitchen Rules as a judge for the 2022 season, but her appointment seems to have stirred up a little rivalry with another Australian network.
Plus, Megan Thee Stallion has given her first interview about the 2020 incident where rapper Troy Lanez allegedly told her to ‘dance’ and proceeded to shoot her in the foot. The reaction to the interview is not what anybody was expecting and we need to talk about why.
Plus, Ben Affleck has somehow become the breakout star of the new season of Selling Sunset, thanks to one of the stars of the show saying he tried to chase her down on the celebrity dating app Raya. Ben Affleck and his team are now telling a very different story but when it comes to online dating scandals this is not Ben's first offence. And he's not the only high-profile celebrity who has been caught out.
Listen to today's episode of The Spill now!
I commemorate Anzac Day every year, but this year felt different.
Did you head out to a dawn service or a march yesterday?
I did. And it just so happened to be my first 'mass gathering' event in two years.
I felt like that plus the fact our Anzac Day commemorations have been either capped or cancelled for the past two years made this year even more important. Even more emotional.
Did you feel it too? I've written my thoughts below, would love to hear yours.
Elon Musk buys Twitter, and all the news you need to know this morning.
Morning everyone and welcome back after the long weekend.
In case you missed it, Alex Fevola spoke to Mia Freedman about how her marriage came back from AFL star Brendan Fevola's affair on the No Filter podcast. My colleague Adrienne Tam wrote all about it here.
But first, let's get you across the biggest news stories making a buzz this Tuesday April 26.
1. Elon Musk buys Twitter for $61 billion.
The world's richest person, Elon Musk, has clinched a deal to buy Twitter Inc for $44 billion cash (A$61 billion) in a transaction that will give him control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders.
Discussions over the deal, which last week appeared uncertain, accelerated over the weekend after Musk wooed Twitter shareholders with financing details of his offer. Under pressure, Twitter started negotiating with Musk to buy the company at the proposed $54.20 per share price.
"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," Musk said in a statement.
🚀💫♥️ Yesss!!! ♥️💫🚀 pic.twitter.com/0T9HzUHuh6— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
The transaction was approved by the board and is now subject to a shareholder vote. It was not immediately clear what the breakup fee would be or who would run the new company.
Republicans on Monday cheered the news of a possible Musk buyout of Twitter, betting it will lead to former president Donald Trump's reinstatement on the social media platform.
Trump was banned from Twitter over concerns around incitement of violence following last year's US Capitol attack by his supporters. At the time, Musk Tweeted, "A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech."
However, Trump, whose company is building a rival to Twitter called Truth Social, said he will not return to Twitter, according to a Fox News interview.
2. Greens push to sue coal & gas companies as Labor announces Pacific plan.
Coal and gas companies could be sued for climate-fuelled flood damage under legislation promised by the Greens.
Greens leader Adam Bandt will join the party's candidate Mandy Nolan for the flood-affected region of Richmond, NSW, to announce the policy today while offering extra support for flood victims.
The Greens will also push for a $190 million a year fund for local communities in Richmond to build and upgrade critical infrastructure to reduce flood impacts, and will move to change the investment restrictions on the Emergency Response Fund to ensure $600 million is spent each year up until 2026/27, and $300 million a year afterwards, on climate resilience.
Neither Liberal or Labor have a plan that will keep us safe. When we need to be getting out of fossil fuels, they’re trying to open 114 new coal and gas mines.— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) April 24, 2022
The Greens will stop new coal and gas. If we act now, we can turn this around.https://t.co/RQQG1xrNzX
Meanwhile, Labor has announced their plan to challenge China's expansionism, saying the ABC would get $8 million a year to deliver Australian content to Pacific nations.
The election promise will be unveiled today by senior Labor members who have criticised the coalition government over the security pact between the Solomon Islands and China, which security experts fear could lead to a Chinese military base.
A $6.5 million Australia Pacific Defence School would also be set up to train personnel from regional neighbours, to be run by the Australian Defence Force, and funding for aerial surveillance under the Pacific Maritime Security Program would be bolstered by $12 million a year to help Pacific nations guard against illegal fishing and drug smuggling.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will start the day in Townsville, campaigning in the Liberal seat of Herbert which is held by a margin of 8.4 per cent.
3. Russia announces ceasefire in Mariupol.
Russia has announced a new ceasefire and a humanitarian corridor for civilians trapped in a steel plant in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.
According to the Defence Ministry in Moscow, the Russian army was set to cease hostilities at 2pm local time on Monday with civilians able to leave via a humanitarian corridor.
According to Russian sources, about 2,500 Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries are held up at the Azovstal steel plant, which has became a last refuge for the people still trapped in Mariupol. Kiev says there are also 1,000 civilians in the steel plant.
#Russia’s defense ministry has announced a ceasefire around the Azovstal steel plant in #Mariupol to allow a civilian evacuation from the industrial area that has been sheltering the remaining Ukrainian resistance in the port city.https://t.co/gRuvNhpLhv— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) April 25, 2022
Early on Monday, a series of Russian offensives were blocked in eastern Ukraine, according to reports out of Kiev.
The civilian death toll amid the Russian invasion stands at 3,818 according to Ukrainian district attorney Iryna Venediktova, in comments reported by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
She noted, however, that the statistics are incomplete, as authorities are unable to investigate in many parts of the country due to the ongoing invasion.
4. COVID-19 cases aboard one of the first cruise ships back in WA.
A dozen people have contracted COVID-19 on one of the first cruise ships allowed back into Western Australia since the pandemic began.
Ten passengers and two crew have tested positive aboard the Coral Discoverer, which arrived in Broome early on Monday.
The vessel, carrying 61 passengers and 30 crew, had completed a 10-day voyage from Darwin.
A spokesman for the ship's operator, Coral Expeditions, said all guests and passengers were triple-vaccinated in line with WA requirements.
The positive guests and their close contacts had isolated and some had been transported to designated hotels in Broome to finish their isolation periods.
"All of the guests were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms," he said.
Small cruise ships carrying no more than 350 passengers and crew have been permitted to enter West Australian waters since April 17.
WA Health on Monday reported 5,639 COVID-19 cases and the death of a man in his 80s. There are 240 cases in hospital, including nine in intensive care.
5. Donald Trump to be fined $10,000 a day until he complies with court order.
Former president Donald Trump has been held in contempt of court for not producing documents subpoenaed in a civil probe of his business practices, and will be fined $10,000 per day until he complies.
Trump lost a bid to quash a subpoena from state Attorney General Letitia James, then failed to produce all the documents by a court-ordered March 3 deadline, later extended to March 31 at his lawyers' request.
Justice Arthur Engoron ruled that a contempt finding was appropriate because of what the judge called "repeated failures" to hand over materials and that it was not clear Trump had conducted a complete search for responsive documents.
A New York judge held Donald Trump in contempt of court for failing to turn over documents related to an inquiry by the state attorney general. He will be fined $10,000 per day until he cooperates. https://t.co/sjHoGiiSZk pic.twitter.com/vWeRkKpyhR— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 25, 2022
James is investigating whether the Trump Organization, the former president's New York City-based family company, misstated the values of its real estate properties to obtain favourable loans and tax deductions.
She said her probe had found "significant evidence" suggesting that for more than a decade the company's financial statements "relied on misleading asset valuations and other misrepresentations to secure economic benefits."
And that's it, you're all up to speed. We'll be back to bring you more of the top stories throughout the day.
- With AAP.
Shanghai lockdown: What’s really going on.
COVID-19 restrictions in Australia eased further over the weekend as we continue to adjust to living with the virus, but for the more than 25 million people who call Shanghai home, life looks very different as they remain in one of the world's toughest lockdowns.
Reports of people being forced to stay in their homes without even basic food, medicines and other essentials are widespread.
The Quicky speaks to a woman who recently escaped from Shanghai and an expert in China to find out what is really going on in one of Asia's biggest cities, and why the Chinese government is still pursuing a policy of COVID zero.
Feature Image: AAP.