1. Australia’s jobs report for March is about to be released. Employment has increased for 17 consecutive months, the longest stretch of gains in the 40-year history of the ABS survey. In the past 12 months alone, over 420,000 Australians have found work, the second-largest increase over a comparable period on record. It’s been a jobs bonanza. See David Scutt’s state of play here.
2. Iron ore is up and away. Iron ore spot and futures prices jumped on Wednesday, underpinned by strong Chinese property data and a modest liquidity boost from the People’s Bank of China. The benchmark spot price now sits at the highest level since March 22. And with Chinese iron ore futures surging by over 4% overnight, it’s likely further gains will be seen in spot markets on Thursday.
3. Yeah, nah. It looks like Trump is backtracking on a radical change to his trade policy. The US President tweeted on Tuesday that the US would likely not get back into the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact — just five days after he told top advisers to look into reentering the deal.
While Japan and South Korea would like us to go back into TPP, I don’t like the deal for the United States. Too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn’t work. Bilateral deals are far more efficient, profitable and better for OUR workers. Look how bad WTO is to U.S.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
Can we also point out that South Korea is not part of the TPP.
4. Theresa May just suffered a major Brexit defeat on her plans to leave the customs union after the House of Lords on Wednesday voted for an amendment to the Brexit bill. It will now see May forced to negotiate a deal which keeps Britain in the customs union after she previously insisted that customs union membership would “betray the vote of the British people” because it would limit Britain’s ability to strike its own free trade deals. The defeat comes as pressure grows in Whitehall for a change in course.
5. The passenger killed on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 was partially sucked out of the plane’s window after an engine exploded in midair. Passengers and flight attendants were able to pull the woman back into the aircraft but said that she was unconscious and had significant injuries. The passenger – a 43-year-old woman named Jennifer Riordan – died on Tuesday at a hospital. It was the first fatality in a US passenger plane accident in nine years.
6. An IS commander and an Australian IS fighter have been captured in Iraq. Senior Australian officials have told the ABC that commander Tarek Khayat and his Australian relative, Ahmed Merhi, were detained earlier this year. Khayat, a Lebanese citizen, is allegedly responsible for hatching a plan to blow up a flight from Sydney last year using bombs hidden in a meat grinder and a Barbie doll. It was only when a check-in officer weighed the carry-on bag that the plot was revealed. Merhi, who travelled from Sydney to Syria in 2014, is the first Australian Islamic State fighter known to be detained in Iraq.
7. Tensions in the South China Sea may be about to boil over after it was revealed that China may be jamming US Navy jets off aircraft carriers. While jamming isn’t anywhere near shooting, the provocative activity “could lead to an escalatory pattern that could be negative for both sides,” and the US will “not look kindly” on the practice, according to an expert. The US Navy’s USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier travelled to the Philippines after Beijing was accused of encroaching on the Philippines’ territorial waters.
8. You’ve got another think coming if you think the common expression is “you’ve got another thing coming”. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, and NPR, which tracked down some early uses of the idiom from the 19th century, “think” is the correct way to say the popular expression. And it’s probably not the only phrase you get wrong. For example, if you’re getting close a particular target or objective, you might say you’re “honing in” on something, but the expression is to actually “home” in. Here’s why.
9. The Queen’s only remaining corgi has died just days before Her Majesty’s 92nd birthday. Willow, who was almost 15 years old, was put to sleep at Windsor Castle on Sunday to prevent further suffering from a cancer-related illness. Willow became famous for appearing in the Queen’s London 2012 Olympic James Bond sketch. The Queen has had more than 30 corgis since 1945.
10. We all should stop and take some advice from Tyra Banks’ mum. At the height of Banks’ high fashion career, she was called “too big” by designers during Milan Fashion Week. While Banks panicked and wondered how she could change her body, her mother instead took her daughter out to pizza and together they came up with a plan where they would target brands that celebrated curves. She said: “Those are the careers that you need to look at and figure out how you can implement some of those strategies, and those are the clients that you are gonna call to see if they will hire you. Goodbye high fashion, hello girl next door.”
BONUS ITEM: Core Espresso, this is not OK. Put your Vegemite on your toast and get on with it.
Have a great day.
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