THE NEWS WRAP: Google unveils new social networking service

Google has launched a new foray into the social networking space by revealing a new service, called Google+.


The service will allow users to post updates, photos and links. Google+ is seen by some industry observers as a strategy to curb the growth of Facebook, although its focus will be on sharing with a tight group of friends rather than an entire social network.


It will be open to a limited number of Google users, who will be able to invite others. 



SMEs face double wage hike


Businesses in the retail, fast food and hospitality industries are set to be hit by a double pay increase on July 1.


This year’s minimum wage rise of 3.4% will coincide with higher weekend penalty rates introduced in some states on Friday. Pay increases ranging from 1.5% to 6% will be introduced under the new system of modernised awards. 


Lagarde handed IMF top job


French finance minister Christine Lagarde has been appointed the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund.


Lagarde, who has been handed a five-year term in the role, replaces Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has been charged with serious sexual assault in New York and is awaiting trial. 





The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 145.13 points to 12,188.69. The Australian dollar was up slightly, to 104.46 US cents.


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