10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

SpaceX via Getty ImageA Tesla roadster launched from the Falcon Heavy rocket with a dummy driver named ‘Starman’.

Good morning.

1. Australia’s housing downturn could turn into the “longest and deepest in modern history,” according to Capital Economics. Australian home prices have fallen 3% from their peak, and while it’s a comparatively mild downturn compared to others in the past, these analysts don’t think it will end anytime soon.

2. It’s RBA day! The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will announce its September interest rate decision today, an event that’s likely to attract plenty of attention, especially compared to previous months, despite widespread expectations that the official cash rate will be left unchanged for a record 25th consecutive month. Here’s a quick 10-second guide to what you need to know.

3. The Australian dollar is crawling higher ahead of today’s RBA rate decision. The Aussie bounced on Monday after falling to fresh multi-year lows earlier in the session. The move likely reflected short-covering ahead of major economic events in the coming days, as well as modest recovery in the Chinese yuan on Monday. At 7am AEST, the dollar was up 0.32% to 0.7213.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

4. The circumstances surrounding the death of the 20-year-old Australian Instagram star who was found in a critical condition on a billionaire’s superyacht in Greece still remains a mystery. Sinead McNamara died on Thursday after being found on a superyacht she was working on, owned by Mexican mining magnate Alberto Bailleresas, as it toured Europe. The SMH reports the yacht has since been released by investigators, suggesting there were no signs of foul play.

5. Superbugs resistant to most antibiotics have been uncovered by Melbourne researchers in Victorian hospitals. The bacteria, called Staphylococcus epidermidis, are widely found on human skin but these new strains are resistant to almost all antibiotics. More here.

6. One of China’s richest men was arrested in the US on sexual misconduct allegations, then left the country. Liu Qiangdong, the founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com was arrested in Minneapolis over the weekend, detained over a sexual-misconduct allegation, which his company says is unfounded. Liu left the US after he was released despite the fact police were still conducting an investigation into another incident. China’s foreign ministry said it is looking into the matter. Liu has substantial business interests in Australia.

7. Astronomers aren’t happy with an artist who’s about to send a new “star” into space aboard a SpaceX rocket. The 33m reflective obelisk is an installation created by Trevor Paglen. The diamond-shaped polyethylene balloon will be packed into a CubeSat and when it reaches its destination, will inflate. And as long as it stays up without disintegrating — and that should be at least two months — it will reflect the Sun’s rays back to Earth. But some astronomers — and journalists — are annoyed about that, because we’ve got enough debris surrounding our planet without having to deliberately add to it. Here’s an artist’s impression of it:

Image courtesy The Nevada Museum of Art

8. The Atlassian Summit just highlighted how embracing diversity and conflict has changed human history at the annual developer conference in Barcelona. Business Insider is at the event, where the focus is on “making teams productive”. Shane Snow – journalist, geek, best-selling author – gave an intriguing keynote which used the FBI, the Wright Brothers and hip hop to help discuss why the key a team’s success well isn’t “about getting along; it’s about not getting along”.

9. Oh deer. A small brewery in New Zealand is making deer beer for the Chinese market. The beer is infused with deer velvet, which grows on the antlers of deer for about three months a year before turning into bone, is widely thought to have health benefits, especially in Chinese medicine. Bottoms up!

10. A huge fire probably destroyed hundreds of artefacts, including a 12,000-year-old skeleton, a pterodactyl, and priceless indigenous texts at Brazil’s national museum. The fire tore through the 200-year-old Museu Nacional in Rio De Janeiro over the weekend. Here’s a look at the most revered and priceless items which are likely lost in the blaze.

BONUS ITEM: A kindergarten in China enlisted a pole dancer to perform for kids on their first day back at school. Umm, this is not OK.

Have a great day.

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