1. Super Saturday. Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition have been saying that Labor doesn’t have much to crow about after Super Saturday, in which the opposition retained all four seats it had to re-contest after citizenship problems for its MPs. However, one thing that will certainly be a talking point among senior government strategists will be the 10-point collapse in its primary vote in the Queensland seat of Longman, which saw a swing of more than 4% to Labor. A repeat of that across the state in a general election would see a range of Coalition seats falling and almost certainly see Bill Shorten into the Lodge. More here.
2. The Australian dollar is struggling to go anywhere. It rose modestly on Friday following the release of US Q2 GDP data, managing to eke out modest gains against the greenback and most of the major crosses. Here’s an hourly chart of the AUD/USD, providing a visual indicator on what’s been happening with the Aussie recently: nothing much.
At 7.50am AEST, the Aussie was down 0.04% to 0.7397.
3. Nigel Farage and the “crackpot lunatic conspiracy theory”. Some months ago, Bloomberg reported on the interest of currency-trading hedge funds and the profits they made on the night of the Brexit vote. Traders are still discussing this, and over the weekend Business Insider published details of the specifics that would need to be involved – it includes a “knock-in” trade, which means a speculator suddenly takes a short position when a higher price is reached. The pound rose on a concessionary statement from Farage on Brexit night before plummeting soon afterwards when key results came in. You can read the full, fascinating report here.
4. A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the popular tourist island of Lombok in Indonesia at 6am on Sunday, killing 14 and injuring more than 160. Authorities are now working to get medical personnel, health equipment, water and food to the region.
5. Geraint Thomas has won the Tour de France. It’s Team Sky’s sixth win in seven years. Thomas beat Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) by one minute 51 seconds, and defending champion and teammate Chris Froome by 2:24.
6. Wikileaks’ Julian Assange will be removed from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London “imminently”, a source has told The Times of London. Assange has been there six years, in an attempt to avoid extradition to the US, where he faces prison if convicted of charges related to the publication of US documents that were subject to national security secrecy protections. He is also sought after by prosecutors in Sweden in an investigation of rape and sexual assault. Assange’s health is said to be failing, lending some urgency to the search for a solution.
7. The MH370 mystery is about to be laid to rest for good. The Malaysian Airlines flight carrying 238 people vanished on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing four years ago. After numerous investigations failed to make sense of what happened to the plane, Malaysia’s government hopes a report out on Monday will draw a line under the mystery, but it’s unclear what it could say to stop the questions.
8. An Australian has become the first woman to win the Clipper round-the-world yacht race. The ABC reports Wendy Tuck, 52, guided Sanya Serenity Coast to victory as she arrived in Liverpool, England on Friday. The event, which spans more than 40,000 nautical miles, was contested by amateur crews helmed by experienced skippers. The only other female skipper in the race came second — making it the first time that two female skippers have finished first and second in the race.
9. The wildfire ravaging California created an insane-looking “fire vortex” as it ripped through the town of Redding. While the vortex may appear similar to a tornado, it’s created through a different mechanism. The fire has destroyed 500 structures, and officials say 5,000 more are threatened. Around 37,000 people remain under evacuation orders. Watch the terrifying footage here:
— ABC10 (@ABC10) July 27, 2018
10. Hello, Scarlet Lady. Virgin Voyages, the cruise line company launched by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, has released renderings of their new cruise ship, the Scarlet Lady, and they are pretty remarkable. The brand’s design concept features both interiors and exteriors imagined by a handful of the world’s most successful design firms, and boasts a nightclub, a thermal spa, two restaurants, an indoor and outdoor athletic club, and a barbershop. Where do we sign up?
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