Good morning. In case you missed it:
1. There’s been another passenger plane crash, this time a Germanwings Airbus 320 in the French alps. All 144 passengers and six crew aboard were killed, with the debris reportedly scattered over five acres. Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop this morning confirmed a mother and her adult son from Victoria were among the dead. Here’s all we know about Germanwings, a low-cost airline that is entirely owned by Lufthansa, Germany’s flag carrier.
2. The collapse of Alphatise. There’s a lot of talk in the tech startup world about “failing fast”, but that doesn’t necessarily mean investors don’t have their limits. Australian online shopping startup Alphatise launched in a blaze of publicity by offering the “world’s best internship”. Two years later, it had burned through more than $3 million, including a $500,000 PR bill for all that media coverage. Here’s the painful profit and loss summary:
3. To the markets. Or not, according to the NAB, which had this to say about last night’s action or lack thereof:
“Financial markets last night may not have been as exciting as the final stages of the rain-reduced New Zealand – South African World Cup cricket semi-final, but were certainly not without their moments. Nevertheless, comprehending the finer points of the Duckworth-Lewis formula that set the Black Caps 298 to win in 43 overs against the Proteas’ total of 281 is a bigger early morning talking point this morning than anything that anything that happened across global capital markets.”
4. In Asia yesterday, the Chinese flash manufacturing PMI missed by a mile with a print of 49.2, the worst since April 2014’s 48.1. That knocked Shanghai down to a low of 5,601 before a 10-point drop on PBOC weekly repos and hope of more easing turned things around very quickly and stocks in Shanghai ground higher over the rest of the day to finish in the black. It was a remarkable performance that shows the power of stimulus. This China slowdown is bad news for Australia and iron ore prices – Treasurer Hockey has reportedly knocked another $10 a tonne off the forecast price for iron ore in the Budget.
5. Datawise, today sees the release of the RBA’s Financial Stability Review, which will attract more interest than normal given the RBA and APRA have been airing their concerns about the recent increases in investment lending. Elsewhere, German IFO and US durable goods will be very important.
6. The Minecraft guy’s mansion has a $200,000 wall of candy. Look:
The $70 million Beverly Hills digs were bought by Markus Persson, who your kids know as “Notch”. And it’s just as fantastic as the architecture his game inspires, with a glassed-in garage turntable, designer fire extinguishers, an $85,000 carved stone bathtub and a gold toothbrush made especially for Notch.
7. Our digital economy, if it were an industry, would be our biggest. By far, and stretching ahead of agriculture, transport and retail at a rapid rate. Deloitte Access Economics conducted the second of its Connected Continent reports, following up on a 2011 report. It found our digital economy contributed $79 billion to the economy, up from $50 billion in 2011 and heading for $139 billion by 2020.
8. Plasma shields are real. Boeing has won a patent for a protective force field that could stop vehicles from being harmed by explosions. The patent is for technology that detects explosions near a vehicle, and then quickly heats up the air or water that’s in between the vehicle and the blast. The heat creates a plasma shield that’s more dense than normal air, adding to the vehicle’s protection.
9. The world has another Bingle. Allegedly. Woman’s Day is reported Lara Bingle and Sam Worthington have welcomed a baby boy into the world. The couple have been seen out together in LA since Thursday and an Instagram post by Lara’s mum gave away the fact she’s also in LA. “A source close to the pair says they have welcomed a beautiful baby boy!” Woman’s Day reports. If it’s true, congratulations to the new parents.
10. Yes, UnZed won the crucket, in a thriller, courtesy of a six on the second-last ball and a horror day in the field from the choking South Africans. A quick D-L primer for the NAB fans – New Zealand had to chase more because rain robbed the South Africans of the final seven overs which they’d normally do all their power hitting. But the Kiwis still have one more match to go if they want to claim their first ICC ODI World Cup. Australia has, ahem, four.
BONUS ITEM: The moment a moth shagged this reporter’s ear live on air… and left two eggs in it:
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