1. Australia’s economy may need a backup plan as economists are strategising for a scenario where RBA rate cuts will no longer boost economic activity to the level needed. There are a number of backup plans, including “helicopter money,” which is money distributed by the government, which Citibank’s economic strategy team thinks will be more effective than negative interest rates.
2. Trump armed with GDP results. A stronger than expected GDP result in the US has left Trump grinning as the US election season gets into full swing. The GDP hit 3.2%, significantly higher than the anticipated result of 2.3% projected for the first quarter. Leading economists believe that we shouldn’t get too excited by the result, however, as it is inflated from once-off funding and external factors that aren’t likely to last.
Trump gave a typical response to the news:
“Our economy is doing great. Number one in the world. We’re number-one economy right now in the world and it’s not even close.”
3. Another shooting targeting worshipers occurred over the weekend. A synagogue in California was attacked by a gunman with an assault rifle, leaving one dead and three injured. A manifesto was posted to 8chan on the same day as the shooting, by a user with the same name as the synagogue shooter, and this document spoke of being inspired by the Christchurch shootings. World leaders and politicians have come together to condemn the attack.
Jill and I are devastated to hear about today’s shooting at the Chabad Poway synagogue. No one should have to worship in fear.
As a country, we must speak out against bigotry and gun violence. We’re in the battle for the soul of this nation—and it’s on all of us to act.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 28, 2019
4. Big brother can now fire Amazon employees. A new report has revealed that Amazon’s employees can be fired by algorithm. The employees are constantly tracked for productivity, including how long they take breaks for and whether or not they’re meeting production targets. Some employees have reported being too scared to go for bathroom breaks.
5. Japanese markets are closed for a week from today. The traditional Golden Week holiday in Japan has been extended to celebrate the succession of their Crown Prince to Emperor. Analysts have warned that we could see a “flash crash” as pressure rises on the USD/JPY. Brace yourselves for intense movements as this closure puts a strain on other Asian markets.
6. China continues targeted destruction of Muslim minority. The Uighar people in China has long been a target of Beijing, with a series of humans rights abuses occurring against the minority group. China has been internationally called out over targeted AI surveillance programs, arbitrary imprisonment and now it appears that traditional architecture is being eradicated. Satellite maps show mass removal of key cultural and religious sites, including the ancient city of Kashgar.
7. BMW is looking to Australia to supply cobalt for new electric vehicles. Australia lags in second place behind Democratic Republic of Congo as having the world’s largest cobalt reserves, but the Congo mines have long been associated with corrupt child labour practices. Amnesty International have publicly criticised electric vehicle manufacturers, from General Motors to Tesla, for turning a blind eye to the abuses.
8. Uber has gifted its drivers up to US$40,000 over the weekend as a celebration of its IPO. The ride-share company relies on drivers entirely for revenue, but there are a number of factors for a driver to qualify for the driver appreciation bonus. The gift applies to US and non-US drivers where Uber is run through owned operations.
9. Flight Centre shares drop as outstanding wages court case gets filed. The case was filed last week over accusations that staff were payed below minimum wage with the travel company’s structure of retainer and commissions. The filing legal team have suggested that it is a warning to other companies to pay attention to their wage structures. The share price of Flight Centre dropped 11.7% after the filing was announced.
10. From 5 to 95 years old, this celebrity trainer has given us their list of top workouts to keep you active. Emily Samuel trains supermodels at the famous Dogpound gym and she’s given some tips for us lesser folk that will get the blood pumping through everyday activities.
BONUS ITEM: Talk about giving it all you’ve got.
This elite athlete collapsed inches from the finish line, but manages to drag herself across the line in time to score a personal best in the London marathon.
A stellar finish!
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