Hi there. It's Monday, August 1, and you're reading The Loop, a quick wrap-up of today's news.
One thing to know: Australian house prices are falling, and quickly
A new report from analytics firm CoreLogic has found that house prices in Australia are dropping at their fastest pace since the global financial crisis in 2008 and market conditions are "likely to worsen" as interest rates continue to rise.
The data shows the nation's median property value dropped by 2 per cent since the beginning of May to $747,182 (this includes both houses and apartments).
But the numbers vary depending on location, so here's a breakdown of what has happened in the major cities:
Commonwealth Games 2022: Event kicks off in Birmingham
Prince Charles will appear in place of The Queen, 96, as she remains at Balmoral for the summer break over fears the long trip down to Birmingham would be too taxing for her mobility issues.Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will attend the official start of the games and represent Her Majesty, who is patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Head of the Commonwealth.
Economists predict Australian house prices could fall between 12 and 20 per cent after recently reaching record highs.
Today we heard a lot about China's influence in Solomon Islands
A major investigation by Four Corners has uncovered details of how money from Beijing has helped keep the controversial leader of Solomon Islands in power.
It also revealed how China is pursuing economic opportunities across Solomon Islands to boost its strategic interests in the Pacific.
A Chinese state-owned company is negotiating to buy a deep-water port and a World War II airstrip in the country.
You can read the full report from the Four Corners team right here.
Here is what happened when Four Corners tried to film a Chinese business in Solomon Islands as part of the investigation …
Little mermaid now the giant of swimming
Emma McKeon, dubbed the 'little mermaid' by her father, is now an unrivalled swimming giant.Aged 18, she pondered quitting after not making Australia's swim team for the 2012 London Olympics.
News you might have missed
Australian swimmer Emma McKeon has won a record-breaking 11th Commonwealth Games gold medal, overtaking legends of the sport such as Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones to have the most gold medals of any Commonwealth Games athlete. On social media she described the moment as "a huge milestone" in her career
- You might remember that last week we reported on what appeared to be large pieces of space junk which were discovered in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains region. Well, the existence of another huge piece has now been brought to light (well, to Earth, more accurately). It's also believed to be linked to SpaceX, but the company is yet to claim ownership of it. Here's what it looks like …
- The federal government has warned gas producers that it will pull its "gas trigger" to restrict their exports if domestic supplies for next year aren't guaranteed. It comes after consumer watchdog the ACCC warned the government to consider intervening because the outlook for next year was "very concerning", with most gas supplied slated for export
Here's what Australia has been searching for online
- Bill Russell. The celebrated American basketballer and civil right activist has died at the age of 88. Russell was a 12-time NBA All-Star and the centrepiece of a Boston Celtics dynasty which won 11 championships in 13 years. Tributes have been flowing from basketballers and activists around the world, including the NBA itself …
- Nichelle Nichols: The American actor who broke barriers for black women in Hollywood when she played lieutenant Nyota Uhura in the original Star Trek TV show has died aged 89. She also served for many years as a NASA recruiter, helping to bring minorities and women into the astronaut corps. Here's how her fellow Star Trek cast member George Takei remembered her today …
One more thing: There was a huge cycling crash at the Commonwealth Games
Some dramatic photos have emerged after three cyclists were taken to hospital and spectators were injured in a horrific crash during a heat of the men's scratch race at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
More Snowy Mountains space junk found amid visit from Australian Space Agency
The discovery of the pieces could be the largest space junk find in Australia since parts of NASA's Skylab space station fell to Earth in Western Australia in 1979.Two other pieces of debris were recently found by farmers at neighbouring properties in Numbla Vale, after a loud bang was heard in the region on July 9.
England's Matt Walls was catapulted over the barriers and into the crowd at the Lee Valley VeloPark, before receiving treatment and eventually leaving in an ambulance.
Spectators were also hurt when Walls and his bike came over the top of the barriers at a corner of the track.
Retired Australian cyclist Stuart O'Grady told Channel Seven he believes the varying abilities of cyclists has contributed to the crashes we've seen at the Commonwealth Games (there was an earlier one involving Australia's Matt Glaetzer too).
"We have got a varying ability of athlete at the Commonwealth Games, more so than Olympics and World Championships," he said.
"We may not be at the level as the big international superstars, so when you are racing on a few millimetres of tire on bikes with no breaks and high-pressure incidents, things can go wrong really quickly."
You're up to date!
We'll be back tomorrow with more.
If you happen to hop on a bike before then, just …