10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Kill Bill/ IMDb

Good morning.

1. Donald Trump has walked back from his explosive comments with Putin amid harsh blowback from allies and critics, saying he “misspoke” when he didn’t back up the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election. The US President read from a typed script when explaining his mistake. The paper also included a handwritten note saying “THERE WAS NO COLUSION (sic).” His actions come amid comments from US national security experts warning Trump is behaving more and more like a “controlled spy.”

2. US Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank should keep “gradually” raising rates “for now.” In a testimony before a Senate committee, he highlighted a “considerably stronger” economy and seemed to downplay growing trade tensions. That saw US stocks rise, with the Nasdaq hitting an all-time high.

3. Japan and the European Union signed a trade deal amid mounting US protectionism. The agreement gets rid of nearly all bilateral tariffs on products, creating one of the biggest free-trade zones in the world. The EU and Japan were “sending a clear message that we stand together against protectionism,” European Council President Donald Tusk said at a press conference.

4. The US, Australia and its allies sank a warship for practice in the Pacific as part of the 26th iteration of the US-led RIMPAC exercise, which runs from June 27 to August 2. Sinking exercises are not a new drill, but the latest version comes amid growing tension with China in the region, and several first-time features of the exercise underscore how the US and its allies are preparing for new and emerging threats in the Pacific. You can watch the strike on the warship below.

5. Bitcoin soared over $7,000 on Tuesday — one of its biggest upswings in recent memory, jumping close to 10%, according to Markets Insider data. The cryptocurrency, which at the end of 2017 reached close to $US20,000 a coin, has struggled to stay above $US10,000 for much of this year. But the volatile digital currency pushed through the $7,000 price level on the heels of bullish reports in the market for digital currencies, including one by Bloomberg News that suggested Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange, was inching closer to trading cryptos deemed securities.


6. Australian scientists have created a breakthrough blood test to detect deadly melanoma in early stage patients. The world-first blood test will save thousands of lives, as well as millions of dollars for the health system. In Australia, almost 2,000 people die a year from melanoma alone. Chris Pash has more.

7. Brexit chaos continues. British Prime Minister Theresa May has narrowly defeated an effort by pro-European Union MPs to keep Britain in a customs union with the EU after Brexit. The House of Commons voted on Tuesday against an amendment to the Trade Bill which would have forced the PM to pursue a full customs union with the EU if she fails to secure frictionless trade by January. The amendment was defeated by just 307 votes to 301. Had it gone the other way it could have triggered a full-scale leadership crisis for the prime minister.

8. Successful Australian CEOs have shared their advice for university graduates entering the workforce with Business Insider. From PayPal Australia’s MD Libby Roy to SafetyCulture’s founder Luke Anear, here’s what they had to say.

9. “Oddball” — that’s the name scientists have given to one of a dozen new moons that have been discovered around Jupiter. While searching for a hypothetical planet at the far edges of our solar system known as Planet Nine or Planet X, a team of astronomers made the discovery that brings the total number of moons around gas giant to 79. Eleven of the new moons join existing groups of Jovian satellites, but one of Jupiter’s new moons follows a unique, odd path hence its name. Meanwhile, get ready because the longest total lunar eclipse in a century is about to happen. On July 28, a total lunar eclipse, or blood moon, will happen in the early hours of the morning. Unfortunately only WA will see the entire eclipse though. See times here.

10. No ninjas. A small Japanese city is facing a ninja shortage — even with salaries as high as $115,000. Given Japan’s extremely low unemployment rate, which is just 2.5%, the city is finding it difficult to hire highly specialised ninja performers. More here.


Here’s your first look at Zoox — the self-driving car backed by Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes — in action.

Have a great day.

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