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Australia’s largest private health insurer Medibank Private has joined the list of institutions hit by cyber incidents.
Medibank has issued a statement saying it has detected unusual activity on its network. However, the health insurer added that, at this stage, there is no evidence that any sensitive data – including customer data – has been accessed.
“As part of our response to this incident, Medibank will be isolating and removing access to some customer-facing systems to reduce the likelihood of damage to systems or data loss,” the statement reads.
This includes its AHM and international student policy management systems, which are expected to be offline for most of the day.
Taiwan has begun welcoming back visitors after finally ending mandatory quarantines to control the spread of COVID-19.
Officials welcomed the first tour group to step off the plane shortly after 12.01am on Thursday, local time, with gifts of cuddly toy black bears.
A bustling night market in Taipei. Taiwan is again accepting tourists without asking them to quarantine. Credit:AP
Taiwan had kept some of its entry and quarantine rules in place as large parts of Asia relaxed or lifted them completely (although in June, politicians cut the number of mandatory days in isolation for arrivals from seven days to three).
While Taiwan has reported almost 7 million domestic cases of COVID-19 since the start of this year, the government has pressed on with reopening, saying life has to return to normal.
Taiwanese citizens and foreign residents had not been prohibited from leaving and then re-entering during the pandemic, but had to quarantine at home or in hotels for up to two weeks.
Prior to the pandemic, Taiwan was a popular tourist destination – mostly for travellers from Japan, South Korea and South-East Asia – attracted by the island’s cuisine and natural beauty.
Reuters
An outage of the Reserve Bank’s fast payment system has caused online and mobile banking failures and delays across Australia’s banking system.
Last night’s issue affected the New Payments Platform and Osko payments service, creating flow-on problems for commercial banking transactions.
Banks including Westpac, ANZ and St George tweeted they were still working to process payments that had been delayed or rejected following the outage.
More on this issue here.

Earlier, we told you that census data shows substantial levels of intra and interstate movement around the time of the coronavirus lockdowns.
The most popular destinations over the past year include the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and the ACT.
Here are the top regions peopleare moving away from:
The federal government will formally register a complaint with Indonesia over a “distressing” Bali bombings commemoration ceremony at which footage was aired of the 2002 attack as well as of the terrorists who plotted the bombing.
This is what a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told us:
The Australian government wasn’t involved in organising the evening event in Bali. We are deeply disappointed by the decisions made by organisers. We will be formally registering our concerns with the Indonesian authorities.
We understand the distress it has caused and stand ready to offer assistance to any Australians who may need it.
More on this issue here.
Having racked up $7 billion in losses since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, Qantas reckons it has turned the corner with more than $1 billion in profits expected for the December half.
In a trading update to investors this morning, Australia’s largest airline predicted an underlying profit before tax of between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion for the first six months of its financial year, despite the burden of higher jet fuel prices and inflation’s impact on consumer spending.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.Credit:Peter Rae
The company’s shares rallied after the announcement, soaring 12.6 per cent to $5.82 in early trading.
Read the full story here.
The world’s wildlife populations have declined by more than two-thirds since 1970 as forests have been cleared and oceans polluted, according to a new assessment.
This “serious drop … tells us that nature is unravelling and the natural world is emptying”, said Andrew Terry, director of conservation and policy at the Zoological Society of London.
The World Wildlife Fund report, which used 2018 data from ZSL on the status of 32,000 wildlife populations covering more than 5000 species, found that population sizes had declined by 69 per cent on average.
Deforestation, human exploitation, pollution, and climate change were the biggest drivers of the loss.
Wildlife populations in Latin American and the Caribbean were hit especially hard, experiencing a 94 per cent drop in just five decades. One population of pink river dolphins in the Brazilian Amazon plummeted by 65 per cent between 1994 and 2016, the report said.
Its findings were broadly similar to those in WWF’s last assessment in 2020, with wildlife population sizes continuing to decline at a rate of about 2.5 per cent every year, Terry said.
Reuters
To international news now, and Britain says it will donate air defence systems capable of shooting down cruise missiles to Ukraine in the wake of Russian strikes on Kyiv and other cities.
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the new support ahead of a NATO meeting in Brussels.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (left) with Defence Minister Richard Marles in the UK earlier this year.
Ukraine’s allies had pledged new air defences and more aid on the sidelines of the meeting.
Britain said the advanced medium-range air-to-air missile, or AMRAAM, would be provided in coming weeks. It can be used with surface-to-air missile systems already pledged by the United States.
Hundreds of additional air defence missiles of other types will also be donated, according to the UK, along with more aerial drones and a further 18 howitzer artillery guns.
Wallace said:
Russia’s latest indiscriminate strikes on civilian areas in Ukraine warrant further support to those seeking to defend their nation.
So today I have authorised the supply of AMRAAM anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine.
Reuters
Australians fled Sydney and Melbourne to escape the harsh reality of COVID lockdowns, but most drew the line at departing their home state as they sought out a safe place to ride out the pandemic.
Data from the 2021 census, released yesterday, shows substantial levels of intra and interstate movement out of the nation’s two largest cities as people headed for the regions.
To gauge how often and how far Australians move homes, the census – conducted in August last year as most of the east coast was in COVID lockdown – asked people if they were living in the same place as they were in August 2020 and in August 2016.
Just over 79 per cent of residents, or 19.9 million people, lived at the same address as a year earlier. There were 55,130 Australian-born people who moved back from overseas, a sharp fall on previous censuses due to the effective shutdown of the international border.
Over five years, almost 41 per cent of people changed their address. Of that 9.8 million people in total, almost 7.4 million moved within their state, another 921,000 moved interstate and 1.3 million left the country.
More on the data here.
Former prime minister Paul Keating is finding himself in the headlines this morning after suggesting the royal family would have preferred it if Australia became a republic more than 20 years ago.
Keating was PM in 1993 when he set Australia on course for a referendum on becoming a republic by establishing the Republican Advisory Committee. However, by the time the vote happened in 1999, Liberal John Howard was in charge.
Former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Paul Keating at labor federal election campaign launch this year.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen
During a talk organised by La Trobe University’s Ideas and Society program, Keating last night revealed that he discussed the prospect of Australia becoming a republic with Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle back in 1993.
“I met her and told her I would not involve her family in any of this,” he said.
“I had a great relationship with her, really. I think the royal family would’ve been so glad for the referendum to have passed, to be honest.”
Keating still blames Howard for undermining the referendum.
“The republican movement say to me [following the Queen’s death], ‘You should be out there now speaking to this.’ Why would you? We fluffed it.
“If Australians have so little pride in themselves … that they’re happy to be represented by the monarch of Great Britain, why would somebody like me want to shift their miserable view of themselves?
“It [the referendum] was close-run. Properly argued by the then-prime minister, it would’ve succeeded.
“Who in their right mind could believe that the monarch of Great Britain could represent our aspirations here? It’s so pathetic that it barely doesn’t stand to argument.”
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