10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

VCG via Getty ImagesApple store in Shanghai, China.

Good morning!

1. Apple falling from the tree? The US Supreme Court has given the green light to a lawsuit against Apple on anti-competitive grounds, which could affect its ability to generate revenue from the App Store.

2. Things are going from bad to worse for Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder is currently in London’s Belmarsh prison awaiting extradition to the US on hacking charges, but in an unexpected twist, Swedish prosecutors have re-opened the rape investigation against him. The investigation was disrupted due to his seven-year stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK.

3. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released fresh indicators of the housing market’s woes, with the value of new home loans falling 3.2% in March. Lending to both owner-occupiers and property investors fell, and follows a smaller 2% increase in the value of new home loans in February.

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4. Middle East politics-watchers are nervous this morning as Saudi Arabia claims two of its oil tankers have been attacked in waters off the United Arab Emirates. The alleged attack follows warnings from the US authorities about Iranian aggression.

5. Crown of Thorne. Salesforce has announced some executive leadership changes in the Asia-Pacific, with its Sydney-based vice-president Rob Thorne tapped to run the MuleSoft subsidiary in the region. Some Wall Street analysts baulked at the $US6.5 billion price tag Salesforce paid for the SaaS company in 2018. But others say MuleSoft will be a big part of the cloud-computing empire’s ambitious revenue targets.

Rob Thorne, VP APAC at MuleSoft. (Image: Supplied)

6. Go get a job. Unemployment in Australia has been at historic lows off the back of strong hiring demand in key economic sectors, but that may be about to change. Both J.P. Morgan and Westpac are expecting unemployment to rise in the months ahead due to ongoing uncertainty about GDP and inflation.

7. China has made three big demands of the US in a bid to calm the escalating trade war, via its media agencies. Two of them are a bit far-fetched but one – that the US be more realistic about the amount of goods China much purchase from it – makes sense, analysts say.

8. While it is keeping analysts and economists busy, iron ore prices are apparently not paying much attention to the trade war headlines. Monday’s iron ore market saw limited movements, with the exception of an abrupt drop in the benchmark price.

9. Could you live in a 3D-printed space colony? NASA has revealed the winner of its 3D-printed Habitat Challenge after a four-year search. Some of the world’s top architects and scientists have been consumed with the task of designing a liveable habitat on Mars. The winner won a prize of US$500,000.

10. Warning: spoilers. The penultimate episode of HBO’s blockbuster fantasy hit Game of Thrones went to air across the world yesterday, but fans seem to have been less than happy with the plot. The episode attracted one of the lowest peer-reviewed ratings of the series yet.

BONUS ITEM!

If you thought the architects building Mars habitats and soldiers on the front line in Game of Thrones were intrepid, check out this guy. Texan private equity investor and explorer Victor Vescovo may have just made history with the “deepest manned sea-dive” in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench.


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