Good morning! Let’s get started…
1. Markets, iron ore, the dollar – they’re all down. It was a nasty day on the ASX yesterday and the Australian market is now, amazingly, on the verge of being net negative for the year. The Australian market fell 1.3% yesterday, with banks and miners leading the way. Another fall in the iron ore price overnight to below $US80 could also weigh on the miners today. The down-draught is compounded with the fall in the Aussie dollar, now below US89c.
2. China is a big driver. Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei warned yesterday the government wouldn’t be taking the covers off stimulus measures because of weakness in one economic indicator (industrial production numbers last weekend were a big miss). BI’s Linette Lopez points out that as well as the official data, there’s also been a big fall in demand for scotch whisky in the Chinese market, another spur in the story of a general softening in demand.
3. To the scoreboard, and the US markets followed the sell-off in Asia yesterday. The Dow was down 0.6%, the S&P 5t00 down 0.8%, and the Nasdaq was off 1.1%. Alibaba and Yahoo took a beating, both off more than 4% in trade. ASX futures are pointing to a modestly lower open, with the key contract off 8 points ahead of the start of trade. Today in Australia we get the weekly consumer confidence from ANZ and then China flash PMI, which the market will be watching closely.
4. The chilling ISIS threat against Australians. Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, one of the senior ISIS leaders, has called on followers of the movement to kill civilians, “in any way possible” in a lengthy new speech that Greg Barton from Monash University thinks will bring new domestic challenges. Al-Adnani specifically names Australians among the targets in the wide-ranging speech which acknowledges the weakness of ISIS against airstrikes, and refers to John Kerry as an “uncircumcised old geezer”. Also in the Middle East, it’s worth noting that Yemen appears to be imploding, with Shiite militia taking control of the capital. How distant the Arab Spring seems now.
5. What’s going on at Tesco? The British supermarket giant is in a rolling crisis after declaring last week that it had found a $460 million overstatement in its first half profits. Now it has emerged that several key executives have been suspended, including the UK finance director; regulators are crawling all over the company and the chairman says he can’t guarantee that the number declared is the full extent of it. Here’s all the details.
6. What not to do. Looksmart founder Evan Thornley has admitted he “stuffed up” when trying to make a point about the inaction on gender diversity in the technology industry at Blackbird Ventures’ Sunrise conference last week. Thornley argued women were undervalued in the global labour market, and pointed out that Looksmart had actively worked hard for a strong gender balance in the company. Ok, but the slide he used included a picture with a horror caption: “WOMEN – Like men, only cheaper”, with a tiny little asterisk saying “If you don’t like it, help us change it.” What could possibly have gone wrong?
7. Taxi apps are upending the California taxi industry. Taxi use in San Francisco has declined a staggering 65% in just 15 months, according to a new report, and it’s all thanks to the arrival of the mobile taxi booking apps. With Uber, GoCatch, and ingogo all making a lot of progress in Australia, these kinds of numbers will be horrifying to the established taxi industry.
8. Apple made a change with photos that’s freaking people out. The new iOS update removes Camera Roll, the place where most people would go to manage – and delete – their photos. Now when you want to delete a photo, you need to go to the “Recently Added” folder and delete it which, rather than removing the picture, moves it to a “Recently Deleted” folder where it’s stored for 30 days. More troublesome for Apple is that it’s not clear if the photos are moved to iCloud – the digital storage facility from which hackers stole all those nude celebrity photos – while awaiting final removal.
9. Gary Ablett Jr didn’t win the Brownlow Medal. West Coast Eagle Matt Priddis did, after being rejected in the AFL Draft four times, and, embarrassingly, by this year’s All Australian selectors. The 29-year-old pulled ahead of Ablett in the final couple of rounds and held off Port’s Travis Boak and ever-consistent Adelaide ballgetter Patrick Dangerfield. Lance Franklin stormed home for a runner-up place as well – his 22 votes was the most ever polled by a Coleman Medallist. And the talk of the town on the red carpet was the outfit, whatever it was, worn by Geoffrey Edelsten’s girlfriend Gabi Grecko.
10. How to be a perfect public speaker. Learning a few simple tricks for addressing a crowded room can be exactly the confidence boost you need to pull it off. Toastmasters specialise in helping people get there and last month, they named one of their very best the World Champion of Public Speaking. Here’s a couple of things that made his speech great, and they’re easy to implement, too.
Bonus item: The TV reporter who said “F**k it, I quit,” live on air, promising to go and campaign for marijuana legalisation. The reaction from the anchor after she walks off screen is priceless. Enjoy: