Good morning, and welcome to Monday.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The G20 communique committing to an extra 2% global growth is “something of a feather in the cap of Mr. Hockey, who spearheaded the push for growth in the face of some skepticism, notably from Germany,” according to The New York Times. Indeed it is. But at the same time, it’s unclear if there’ll be any kind of consequences for countries that don’t pitch in. One of the biggest challenges is productivity, and how to increase workforce participation, particularly amongst women, worldwide. An issue now for the G20 central banks is to consider potential spillover effects from their decisions for emerging markets, which have seen huge capital outflows since the US started winding back its QE program. So that puts the US, and new Fed chair Janet Yellen, pretty squarely in the frame here.
- South Africa’s bowlers demolished Australia overnight in Elizabeth in another epic collapse for the Aussies on Proteas soil. Australia were 1-152 at one point before losing a crushing 9-64 to hand the Test to South Africa. It leaves the series tied heading to Cape Town – if Australia tie or win it, they are on track to be the No.1-ranked team in the world.
- Reporting season continues this week, with Qantas results on Thursday – where the company will outline cost-cutting plans and likely further job cuts – set to be among the few grim results posted for the season. Overall it has been a thumping reporting season, but the results have come amid a steady stream of announcements of manufacturing closures and continually shaky data on business and consumer confidence. Greg McKenna has taken a look at the contradictions in some detail here this morning, observing that perhaps there’s a new “structural pessimism” afflicting Australian consumers.
- David Jones has agreed to engage with Myer over the coming weeks to look more closely at its takeover proposal, according to a report in the AFR.
- Troubled former Olympian Grant Hackett had a panicked incident over the weekend which saw him down in the lobby of Crown in Melbourne in the early hours of Saturday wearing nothing but a towel, looking for his four-year-old son.
- The Oldest Bit Of The Earth’s Crust Is In Australia And It’s 4.4 Billion Years Old
- Shane Warne was on the front page of The Sun in the UK at the weekend after being linked to a “bra queen”. More here.
- The mobile world congress is underway in Barcelona, with the major event expected to be the unveiling of Samsung’s Galaxy S5, a major update on the S4 with a stack of new features. There’ll be stacks of other news, and we’ll have coverage of it through the week. Steve Kovach reports this morning that Microsoft told a press briefing that the Windows phone had overtaken BlackBerry – drawing laughs from the pack.
- Charlotte Dawson had been reflecting about her former marriage to Scott Miller with friend Richard Wilkins on Friday, the day before she was found dead in her apartment, The Daily Telegraph reports. It’s also reported she owed some $80,000 in debt, and police have been trawling through her social media accounts for recent encounters with trolls.
- Israel Folau has picked up where he left off in Super Rugby, running in three tries as the NSW Waratahs flogged the Western Force 43-21 yesterday. It’s a good start for the perennially patchy ‘Tahs and might get the fickle supporter base energised about the season ahead.
Bonus item: Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovich fled his compound over the weekend, and people have been able to get a look at its ridiculous extravagance. Below is a photo of his pirate ship – there are more photos here.
Have a great day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo.
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