10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

TheNawww, he thinks he’s people. And the dog’s cute, too.

Good morning.

1. MARKETS GO WILD is an exciting start to the day. They went wild because the minutes from the US Fed’s April meeting put a June rate hike squarely in view for the markets. So the Dow and S&P were up, down and all around overnight before finishing a fraction down. And after all that, the ASX looks set to open largely unchanged with the SPI 200 June futures down 4 points. The US dollar enjoyed the action, advancing strongly and further hosing the Aussie, which is now down 8% over the month.

2. Also on a wild ride is those shares in that company cybersecurity legend John McAfee will be heading up. MGT Capital is down about 10%, after opening trading with a double digit gain and then dropping by nearly 35%. It started life as a mobile gamemaker, then pivoted into cybersecurity and yesterday announced it was buying into a tiny drugmaker. There’s a fair chance this story has some way to run yet…

3. Google spent the first day of it I/O conference telling the world how it will knock off its competitors. It showcased Google Home, a gadget to compete with Amazon’s Echo, Google Daydream, a gadget to compete with Oculus Rift, Google Duo, a video messaging app to compete with Apple FaceTime, and Google Apps API, a tool to turn Googe Docs into Office 365. So yeah, literally knocking off its competitors.

4. Watch auction season just opened and a record has already been set after one collector paid $US3.5 million for this 1958 Rolex GMT Master:

Rolex GMTPhillipsA stunning example of the Rolex GMT Master, reference 6542.

It’s gold, which is rare for a Rolex, and features that Bakelite face. And the person who bought is extremely satisfied, because they missed out in a bidding war for it the last time it set a record price seven years ago.

5. Icelandic strongman Hafþór Júlíus “Thor” Björnsson, aka “The Mountain” has a new little mate Ástríkur. The Pomerainian pup even has its own Instagram page under the handle @asterix_astrikur, where he posts videos of his daily workout routine with the “Game of Thrones” monster:

6. The science on GMO crops is in, and the verdict is weighed heavily towards the “for” case. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found that GMO crops aren’t posing any greater risk to the environment compared with regular crops. It also found “no evidence” that they “are less safe to eat than conventional food”. That’s a 400-page report on 900 studies done on GMO crops since the 1980s.

7. Here’s another glowing report. Denmark evaluated F-35 Joint Strike Fighters against Eurofighters and F-18 Hornets and found while they were expensive to buy, they were much, much more effective and cheaper to run. So the Danish Prime Minister and Defence Minister said we’ll have 27, thanks.

8. A US patrol plane was intercepted by two Chinese military aircraft over the South China Sea. The J-11 Chinese fighter jets apparently flew roughly 15 metres away from the US plane, a Navy P-3 Orion aircraft. A senior Obama official last month said US jets routinely conduct surveillance operations all over the world to “challenge maritime claims that would unlawfully restrict rights and freedoms”. Here’s a map of where the incident occurred – see if you can spot the problem:

South china sea china claimsChinese Defence MinistryChina’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

9. No one is buying clothes anymore. Retail stocks have been getting hammered this week following rubbish quarterly sales numbers from stores including Macy’s, Gap, Nordstrom and Target. They’re all losing on apparel, which apparently no one’s wearing any more. Here’s what we’re all spending our money on instead.

10. Well hello, Judith:

Image: (c) Mike Skrepnick

Ain’t she purty? Her scientific name is Spiclypeus shipporum and surely dino scientists were having some fun when they decided to paint big eyes on her neck shield. What they do know is she was at least 10 years old and had a nasty bit of arthritis in her shoulder. But the best bit is she’s called Judith because she was found in the Judith River geological formation by a retired nuclear physicist who started scratching around for fossils after moving to the dinosaur rich area of Montana.

He found a whole new dinosaur.

Have a great day.

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