10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. US president Donald Trump said he would be “honoured” to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “under the right circumstances”. That’s caused a stir for journalists, but Trump’s been saying he’d be willing to “open a dialogue” with the Kim regime for nearly a year. Here’s why it’s important to show the North Koreans there’s a way out of this that doesn’t end with their abject humiliation/total annihilation.

2. To markets, and bank stocks shifted uncomfortably following Trump’s comment that he was thinking about breaking up the big banks. The KBW Bank Index dropped 0.8%, but then snapped back to flat for the day, in another sign that the US stock market has stopped paying attention to what Trump says. But ANZ is doing very nicely, thank you – it’s just announced a lift in half-year cash profits to 23%. ASX200 futures are up as US 10-years rose back above 2.3% and it’s Rates Day. There’s no chance of a shift, with more interest in any hints of a downside move in the accompanying statement.

3. A Deloitte Access Economics study found that Australian universities receive enough revenue in funding and fees to more than cover the cost of teaching most degrees. Cue hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts in next week’s May budget. Here’s what you need to know about the HECS shock about to hit students. And here’s Joe Hockey in 1997:

4. Right now, every spot in Amazon’s top 20 best-selling toys and games list is occupied by something like this:


If you just groaned, you’ve got a kid, and there’s a better than average chance that kid’s an adolescent boy. Fidget toys became overnight sensations last year when the Fidget Cube raked in $7 million in orders for its Kickstarter founders. They’re supposed to help ease symptoms of anxiety and ADHD, but they’re better known to teachers as tiny, noisy pains in the arse.

5. Here’s an alarming prediction from World Bank president Jim Yong Kim about how many jobs these countries are in danger of losing:

  • 85% in Ethiopia
  • 77% in China
  • 72% in Thailand

That’s jobs lost to robots.. 77% in China.

6. SpaceX landings – irresistible. Especially when there’s a ring of fire involved:

Close-up of rocket stage separation, fast flip, boostback burn in a ring of fire and then landing burn

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

Also cool was the fact it had just given a spy satellite a lift into space.

7. In Japan, people evaporate. About 100,000 a year, leaving behind parent, lovers and children. Mainly because they can, as Japanese privacy laws allow citizens to keep all their details under wraps from just about anyone other than the police. They’re called “johatsu” and a French pair tracked the phenomenon for five years for a fascinating insight into why it happens and where they go.

8. Frank Underwood can see a future America with him in charge, right through to 2036. At least. Here’s a familiar scene from the trailer that just dropped for House of Cards, season five:

Art imitates life. Picture: Netflix

It’s pretty grim.

9. You can cook steak in a washing machine. It will taste like old boot leather, but it will keep you alive. And Israeli design student Iftach Gazit hopes that’s exactly how homeless people might use his “vacuumed laundry dinners”. He says they’re getting tastier.

10. Twitter took off again last night after announcing it would team up with Bloomberg to launch a 24 hours a day, seven days a week streaming news service. That’s an 18.5% rise since last week’s earnings call. Facebook, meanwhile, hit a new high of $US151.83, ahead of its earnings call Thursday morning AEST. It might just be a coincidence the spike came after it showed one of Australia’s big four banks how it could track the emotional state of its users, but absolutely would totally never use that power to advertise to vulnerable teens. Pinky promise.

BONUS ITEM: Here are the 10 most popular baby names in Australia for 2017. Here is the most popular baby in New Zealand for 2017:

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.