Good morning! It’s Tuesday.
1. The US Government shutdown is over. Or is it? After three days of a partial shutdown a compromise was reached and the Senate voted to reopen the government. Senate Democrats struck a deal with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for bipartisan immigration bill for the so-called “dreamers”, 700,000 unauthorised immigrants who came to the US as minors and are at risk of deportation. But it’s a short-term funding deal with another deadline on February 8 and the danger is the whole thing could Groundhog Day once again then, with Congress already hostile to the Democrats plan.
2. To the markets. The S&P500 jumped to another record high thanks to the deadlock resolution, European stocks are up too and there are expectations the ASX will have a better time today after yesterday’s flat performance. The Aussie dollar climbed back above US80 cents, but the UK pound was the standout in global currencies, climbing nearly 1% as traders backed a soft Brexit. The Japanese yen was the only major currency to lose ground against the greenback ahead of the Bank of Japan’s interest rate announcement at 2pm, Australian time, today. Oh, and bitcoin is heading south towards the $US10,000 level.
3. The International Monetary Fund is bullish on global growth, upgrading its predictions to a 3.9% rise in 2018 and 2019, citing a synchronised global economic upswing and the positive effect of the US tax cuts. The IMF’s only concern is the outlook for market sentiment if global asset valuations fall.
4. Amazon’s next big adventure has begun. Amazon Go is the retail giant’s vision for supermarkets. The 1800 sq feet store officially opened in Seattle overnight after a month of beta testing. There’s no checkout – you use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and then leave. The technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart – so expect Jeff Bezos to pitch a solution to your chocolate addiction to you via Amazon Prime a few months later. But oh the irony – the curiosity factor is so high, people are waiting in a line wrapped around the block to shop in a store that claims to ban lines.
5. The world’s toughest job right now is Chinese hip-hop artist. China banned hip-hop from TV late last week, with the media regulator issuing an edict that said programs “should not feature actors with tattoos [or depict] hip-hop culture, sub-culture (non-mainstream culture) and dispirited culture (decadent culture)”. It came with four “Don’t” rules, including “Absolutely do not use actors who are tasteless, vulgar and obscene” or “actors with stains, scandals and problematic moral integrity”.
6. What do NYPD cops and Monopoly have in common? Get out of jail free cards. New York city police, including retired officers, are apparently receive cards they give to family and friends – or even sell on eBay – you show to police to avoid trouble if you’re busted for minor infractions. But the number they get has been cut and the New York Post says current and former NYPD members are reportedly furious. Now excuse me, I need to set up an eBay alert.
7. Buckingham Palace is in royal wedding frenzy. The Queen’s granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, 27, will marry Jack Brooksbank, 31, later this year at St George’s Chapel in Windsor – the place where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting hitched in May. Eugenie, currently eighth in line to the throne, has been dating the London nightclub manager since 2010. He’s also royalty of sorts as a brand ambassador for George Clooney’s tequila company, Casamigos.
Congrats to the happy couple.
Princess Eugenie and Mr. Jack Brooksbank were photographed earlier today following the announcement of their engagement. pic.twitter.com/ArYQIDeNZw
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 22, 2018
8. Rupert Murdoch has a plan for Facebook. As the media industry holds its breath over the latest changes to Mark Zuckerberg’s algorithm deciding what people see in their news feed, the News Corp chairman has a come up with a cunning plan for the social media giant – it should start paying publishers for content.
“If Facebook wants to recognise ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies,” Murdoch said. And Facebook’s and Google’s algorithms are “inherently unreliable” for distributing news, he added. Your move Mark.
9. “The greatest outfield catch[es] you’ll ever see!” The Adelaide Strikers put the Melbourne Renegade to the sword by 26 runs last night, helped by this little bit of combined magic by Ben Laughlin and Jake Weatherald.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 22, 2018
10. JB Hi-Fi is now one of the world’s biggest retailers. The bright yellow electronic consumer goods seller joined Woolworths and Wesfarmers as a global top 250 retailer, making its debut on the Deloitte Global Powers of Retailing report at number 218. Wesfarmers is 21 and Woolworths 23.
BONUS ITEM. Farewell Kurt Tippett. The 30-year-old Sydney Swans announced his immediate retirement from AFL last night after 178 games. Injuries in recent seasons, plus post-season reconstructive surgery to his ankle sealed his fate.
“It’s really tough to leave a game and a club which I really love, but the reality is that my body isn’t going to stand up to the rigors of professional football,” Tippett said after breaking the news to his teammates yesterday. Tippett played 74 of his 178 games for the Swans after being initially recruited by Adelaide in the 2006 draft. He moved to Sydney in 2013 and was the side’s leading goalkicker that year, booting 325 during his career.
— Sydney Swans (@sydneyswans) January 22, 2018
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