10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Abroad. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning and welcome to your week.

1. Trump goes abroad. And he stayed on script during his highly-anticipated address to Arab and Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia. The US president didn’t mention the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” once during a speech in which he announced the creation of a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology. But he did make sure to mention that when the Saudis are ready to spend the $110 billion flagged for a defence purpose, “we will be sure to help our Saudi friends to get a good deal from our great American defence companies”. You can read his full speech here.

2. To markets, and finally, some good news for Aussie stocks – ASX200 futures are pointing higher today after the index dropped last 1.1% last week. The Aussie dollar is grinding its way up and is back to around US74.5 cents, with some support likely today as the greenback remains under pressure. And iron ore just hit a 2-week high.

3. It takes an average of 103 days to sell a home in the US, and 54 in the hot spots. In Australia, it’s 38 days across the nation. But US real estate site Zillow has identified a problem millennials are having in the US that might also apply here – they’re looking for exactly the same type of homes as baby boomers are.

4. Apocalypse. It could come in a trillion billion years, when the universe tears itself apart, or tomorrow, when a world leader does something truly stupid. But for 12 wealthy families with the cash to shell out for something that may never exist, life will go on in Larry Hall’s Survival Condo Project, in a missile silo somewhere in Kansas. Take a look inside the 15-floor bombproof development – it’s sold out.

5. For our podcast this week, we’re joined by Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital. Even better, we finally have some volatility in the markets to talk about. Find the show on iTunes or listen in below.

6. Unemployment in the UK hasn’t been this low since 1975. But 40 years ago, low unemployment meant being able to push for big wage increases – up to 30% a year. Today, average wage growth is only 1.9%, and it’s almost exactly the same situation we face here in Australia. Why? Here’s Jim Edwards with a distressing rundown of how the “gig economy” is destroying wages.

7. The ATO’s acting commissioner of taxation is confident his organisation can soak up any bad publicity from the alleged $165 million tax fraud involving the son and daughter of the deputy ATO commissioner. He recently told staff that “a lot of this is fake news”.

8. Twin Peaks is back, and if you didn’t watch the first two series back in 1991, you’ll be hopelessly lost. If you did watch the first two series back in 1991, there’s a better than average chance you’ll still be hopelessly lost. But at the very least, right now here’s the one moment from the original series you need to know about before watching the new season, and it involves this little dancing guy:

Red room twin peaks creepyWelcome to the Red Room. Picture: ABC

9. German discount supermarket Lidl, which offers up to 50 per cent off rivals’ prices, has trademarked the words LIDL TO GO and LIDL YOU in Australia. But a Lidl representative told Fairfax Media the chain had “no plans” to enter Australia. Kaufland, however, is another story.

10. In the past 50 years, Japan’s fertility rate has dropped from 2.75 children per woman to 1.41. The country’s population has actually declined by 1 million and low spending has led to trillions in lost GDP. This is a fascinating story of how a country works itself to death when there is simply no time for sex.

BONUS ITEM: Pressure is building…

Have a great day.

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