Social media giant Facebook will restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content, the company has said, adding that this is in response to the news media code that was passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday night.

Nine Entertainment, owner of a number of well-known newspapers which it bought from the now defunct Fairfax Media, has signed a letter of intent for a five-year deal with Google in return for payment of more than $30 million in cash per annum for use of its news content.

The Australian Department of Defence is continuing to use a Chinese-owned data centre, Global Switch, for hosting some of its data, even though it was told to switch providers by the end of last year.

More Australian media deals with Google's News Showcase appear to be in the offing, aided by some government sweeteners, with a number of news publishers reported to be in discussions with the online advertising giant set to finalise agreements before the Australian Parliament passes the news media code into law.

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has slammed the he proposed authorisation of coercive search powers for the Australian Federal Police and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission in a current bill — the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020 — saying the warrants sought are not traditional evidence gathering tools, but effectively tools to prevent crime before it took place.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said he expects to see "some significant commercial deals" between Australian news publishers and digital platforms before the government votes on its news media code which is currently before Parliament.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is offering $16.5 million in grants to expand the network of electric vehicle chargers.

The Federal Government appears to be trying to remove the need for passing the news media code legislation by encouraging, and helping, media companies to join up to Google News Showcase.

The Federal Government is likely to give Google and Facebook a major concession before it puts its news media code legislation up for a vote, with a clause that says the two companies do not have to cut deals with publishers under the law if they can convince them to sign up to their news products.

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