Hi there. It’s Wednesday, June 22, and you’re reading The Loop, a quick wrap-up of today’s news.
One thing to know: There’s been a major earthquake in Afghanistan
Government officials in Afghanistan say hundreds of people have died and hundreds of others are injured following a magnitude-6.1 earthquake in the country’s east.
Here’s what we know so far:
We’ve heard a lot of debate about the Sydney Harbor Bridge flag plan
In case you missed it, New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Sunday that installing a third flagpole on the Sydney Harbor Bridge to permanently fly the Aboriginal flag had an estimated cost of $ 25 million.
He defended the cost, saying it was a “small price to pay” for unity. But there’s been heated debate about the price tag.
Here’s the latest on the saga:
- We now know the estimated price includes the installation of the new pole, as well as the refurbishment of the two existing poles and the relocation of an aircraft beacon
- Defending the $ 25 million figure, Transport for NSW has pointed out the Harbor Bridge is “a heritage asset”
- Indigenous leaders have labeled the debate over the price as “a joke”, saying it is being used to divide Australians
- While the project will go ahead, NSW treasury has confirmed it will get a second opinion on the price
News you may have missed
- A report by KPMG and The University of Sydney shows Chinese investment in Australia dropped by almost 70 per cent last year to its lowest level since 2007. Experts say while Chinese-Australian tensions are easing, investors are not returning anytime soon. Here’s a chart showing how investments have been tracking:
- A jury in a civil trial has found that entertainer Bill Cosby sexually abused a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975. The verdict was delivered in favor of Judy Huth, who is now 64, and awarded her $ US500,000 (more than $ 717,000). Mr Cosby did not attend the trial or testify in person. He continues to deny the allegation
Here’s what Australia has been searching for online
Caleb Swanigan. The former NBA player, who played for the Portland Trail Blazers spirit Sacramento Kings, has died of natural causes at the age of 25. His college team, Purdue, wrote: “The world lost a gentle soul last night. Love you Biggie.” The NBA also shared its condolences
- Juri Vips. The Estonian Formula 2 driver, who races for Red Bull Racing, has been suspended pending an investigation after he used a racial slur during a live stream. Vips has apologized on social media and said he will cooperate with the investigation
One more thing: Could you eat 6kg of avocado a year?
Avocados aren’t usually the cheapest fruit, but growers are appealing to customers to eat up while prices are low and supplies are overflowing.
Some growers say they are struggling to make a profit while supply remains higher than demand, and we’ve seen distressing images of truckloads of avos being dumped and left to rot because there are too many to sell.
Avocados Australia chief executive John Tyas says the industry wants people to up their intake:
Reckon are you up to the challenge?
You’re up to date!
We’ll be back tomorrow morning after some smashed avo.
ABC / wires