The Queen has said she supports prince Harry and his wife's Meghan decision to "step back" from royal duties and pursue a more "independent life". Following a family summit at Sandringham, the monarch said there'd been constructive discussions" about the couple's future. While she supports the couple's decision to spend more time in Canada, the Queen made it clear she would have preferred Harry and Meghan to remain "full-time" working members of the royal family.
Melbourne and much of Victoria's east is enveloped in thick hazardous smoke haze this morning. Visibility is poor and at one point in the early hours, Melbourne had the second worst air pollution in the world, just behind an industrial town in India. NASA is predicting a plume of smoke from the country's devastating bushfires will travel right around the globe, with the potential to move back over Australian skies again in the coming days.
Westpac has offered to pay mortgage repayments for one year for fire-affected customers who've lost their homes. The bank will cover up to one thousand two hundred dollars per month as part of a support package for bushfire victims. Westpac says it will also offer interest free home loans to customers who need to rebuild, while it's offering low-interest loans to businesses affected by the bushfires.
Australian actor Margot Robbie has been nominated for an Academy Award. She's in the running to win the best supporting actress Oscar for her role in "Bombshell" The Batman spin-off, "Joker", led the pack with 11 Oscar nominations. For the second year in a row no female filmmakers were nominated for best director.