10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Piper – just a dog, forever chasing birds. Picture: Cherry Capital Airport/Instagram

G’day.

1. Mark Textor reckons there’s a lot our politicians can learn from the structure and discipline of mathematics. For starters, it would drag us away from the interminable “feel-pinions” foisted upon us by journalists who think normal people care they think. Worse:

Textor is one of Australia’s most prominent political and corporate strategists, having advised the likes of NZ Prime Minister John Key and British Prime Minister David Cameron through their recent election victories. Today, he gives us this very in-depth look at why maths beats “feel-pinions” in modern elections, with support from a young René Descartes. Read it, and feel like you’ve learnt something today.

2. To markets, where some candles are forming in US markets. Both the Dow and S&P were down around 1% overnight on talk of a June rate hike and a solid rise in headline CPI of 0.4%. That’s sent the SPI 200 June contract is down 29 points, 0.5%, and unlikely to break through the 5400 level it failed at yesterday, although it still finished up 0.69% at 5395.50 on solid mining and energy returns. The Aussie dollar rallied hard after the release of the minutes yesterday and is sitting just above 73 cents this morning.

3. Wages are an interesting thing to read about, mainly because we all get one. But no one likes to see charts like this:

Don’t expect it to turn any corners today, either. When the ABS releases its March quarter wage price index at 11.30am AEST, forecasters reckon we’ll see wages grew at levels not seen since at least the early 1990s recession. David Scutt has the preview you’ve been looking for.

4. John McAfee’s also interesting, mainly when he’s disguising himself as a Guatemalan street vendor with a limp, making viral videos about bath salts and guns, or running for the US presidency. But markets love the cybersecurity legend too, when he’s making money, and he has a mysterious new company which is suddenly the most traded stock in America right now.

5. At the other end of the pile, Standard & Poor’s just cut the investment firm controlled by billionaire Carl Icahn to junk status.

6. There’s a seceret gold vault in London, and it’s one of Europe’s largest, holding up to 2000 metric tons of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium – about $83 billion dollars worth. It was opened by Barclays back in 2012. China’s ICBC Standard Bank – the world’s biggest by assets – just bought it.

7. Piper is a dog with the best life of any dog. He gets to chase birds off the runway at Cherry Capital Airport in Michigan, all day. And wear badass goggles:

A photo posted by K-9 Piper (@airportk9) on

This is his story.

8. The so called “Apple of China”, Xiaomi, is one of the biggest tech companies in the world. It’s not scared to compare its products to Apple’s, but it’s yet to convince US consumers. They are, however, interested in this tweet suggesting Xiami has something big planned for Google’s I/O conference this week:

As for the forthcoming iPhone 7, Steve Kovach reckons it will be boring. Here’s why.

9. Phil Wang is telling it like it is:


He’s sharing a concern with thousands of other anguished home chefs wondering why the BBC plans to scrap its food website and archive the recipes. The website holds more than 11,000 recipes, submitted by chefs from around the world, so clearly costs bugger all to host. But it may be because the Beeb’s output – which is supposed to focus on being a national broadcaster – is knocking about its commercial rivals a bit too much.

10. Fireball!


That was a good one. It was caught on dashcam lighting up the entire New England sky, and was probably from the tail end of the annual Eta Aquarids which targets Earth when orbits through the tail of Halley’s Comet.

BONUS ITEM: Aspiring and current politicians, please learn how to close your tabs properly before posting screenshots to your Facebook page. This from Mike Webb, who’s running for US Congress in Virginia:

He’s a Conservative, so no surprise there. And he’s offered some sort of explanation to Gawker.

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