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THE NEWS WRAP: 800,000 US workers take unpaid leave as Affordable Care Act reforms roll out

Wednesday, 2 October 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

The US government shutdown has come into effect with more than 800,000 government employees forced to take unpaid leave, as Affordable Care Act reforms roll out.


“This Republican shutdown did not have to happen – I want every American to understand why it did happen,” US President Barack Obama says.


“[The Tea Party Republicans] shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans.


“One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government because they didn't like the law.”


Facebook introduces new mobile app ad capabilities


Facebook has introduced new capabilities to its mobile app ads, claiming the features will boost the amount of time users spend in third-party mobile apps.


Instead of ads simply prompting users to install additional apps, the ads can now also be used to promote in-app purchases.


The new feature allows, for example, an ad in a travel app to promote a discounted airfare.


Melbourne and Sydney boost average house prices to a record high


The average value of houses in Australia’s major capital cities has been boosted to a record high, fuelled by rises in Melbourne and Sydney, according to new RP Data-Rismark figures.


The average capital city house price rose by 1.6% during September, boosted by a 2.5% rise in Sydney, a 2.4% increase in Melbourne and 1.1% in Adelaide.


The increases offset falls in Darwin, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane and Hobart.


“Over the past 10 years, values have only risen by an annual rate of about 2.5%. So in many ways Sydney's playing catch up at the moment,” RP Data analyst Tim Lawless says.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.41% to 15191.7. The Aussie dollar is down to US94.01 cents.