1. It’s Aussie jobs day, meaning Australia’s April jobs report will be released at 11.30am AEST. Given Australia’s weak March quarter wage price index (WPI) report released earlier this week, showing annual wage growth remained steady at 2.1% despite strong employment growth, there’ll be plenty of interest in today’s report, especially on whether there’s been any progress in reducing the amount of underutilised workers that exist within the labour market at present. David Scutt has a 10-second guide on what to expect here.
2. Stocks in the US rose overnight, on the heels of a strong data print for industrial production in April. Australian shares are also poised to edge higher, in line with gains on Wall Street. ASX futures were up 11 points at 7.15am AEST. Meanwhile, higher prices for oil and copper helped provide support for the AUD, which is back above US75 cents this morning.
3. We now know why North Korea appeared to flip on diplomatic talks with the US, and it’s thanks to a dark, threatening statement from John Bolton, Trump’s new national security adviser. Bolton suggested the US could follow a “Libya model” for denuclearising North Korea. Libya’s former leader was violently killed after giving up his weapons of mass destruction. It’s unclear why Bolton chose to mention Libya in the context of North Korea, knowing the violent end Libya’s leader met, but the comment looks to have soured peace talks for now.
4. Theresa May’s Brexit customs plans could be illegal. The Brexit secretary David Davis has written to the British prime minister warning that her plans for a new customs relationship with the EU may break international law. The attorney general has been tasked with urgently examining the legality of both of May’s proposed solutions for post-Brexit customs arrangements. May’s government is reportedly considering a “third way” in which Britain remains in the Customs Union for some time after Brexit.
5. When golf is life…
Despite the US Geological Survey raising its alert level to red, indicating that “major volcanic eruption is imminent, underway, or suspected with hazardous activity both on the ground and in the air”, some golfers at the Volcano Golf and Country Club aren’t letting anything get in the way of their game. See more images here.
6. Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Alexander Downer has been interviewed by the FBI as part of their investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the US presidential election, according to new reports. The ABC has all the details.
7. Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of media magnate Rupert Murdoch, is poised to become the CEO of the remaining 21st Century Fox business, which is being referred to as New Fox, following a proposed deal to sell most of its entertainment assets to Walt Disney Co. Rupert Murdoch will become co-chairman, alongside his son.The AFR has more.
8. We can print submarines. Well, Melbourne company Titomic now has the technology, after it unveiled the world’s largest 3D metal printer yesterday. Titomic’s printer can print out parts as large as 40 cubic metres – that’s 40 times larger than the next biggest machine at GE. And CEO Jeff Lang has hired the guy who specced up James Cameron’s deep sea submarine for future projects.
9. Are you ready for the “tube home”? Hong Kong architect James Law has designed a low-cost solution to address housing shortage crises around the world: stackable, retro-fitted water pipe “O-Pods” that could be rented cheaply to young people. Is this the future?
10. Gmail can now autocomplete entire emails. The new Gmail feature called Smart Compose will complete words and phrases in your messages, speeding up the somewhat mundane but necessary workplace activity. Here’s what it looks like.
Maybe I should see what happens if I write this column in Smart Compose…
BONUS ITEM. Reminder: don’t get in-between Karolina Pliskova and the umpire. Not happy, Jan.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) May 16, 2018
Have a great day.
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