10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Jason deCaires TaylorAn octopus’ garden in the Maldives?

Hello! It’s Wednesday. Keep working – until 67 at least.

1. Australia’s Q2 GDP report lands at 11.30am today, offering a snapshot of how the economy fared under the old PM when the current one was treasurer, taking in the budget period. In the March quarter, real GDP grew by 1%, the fastest increase since late 2011 while year-on-year growth sits at 3.1%, a fair clip above the 2.75% many consider the sweet spot. The CBA economics team is forecasting a quarterly gain of 1.1%, and 4.9% over the year. Your 10-second guide to today’s GDP release is right here.

Here’s how things have looked since about five prime ministers ago:

Meanwhile, Australian dollar was hammered again on Tuesday, tumbling to a fresh multi-year against the greenback as well as losing ground against most of the major crosses. After opening trade above the 72 cent level, the AUD/USD fell steadily in Asian trade. David Scutt has more on the latest here.

2. In a bit of prime ministerial ad libbing on Nine’s Today Show, Scott Morrison cut 3 years off your retirement age this morning. The Coalition has been trying for five years – 2 PMs ago – to raise the retirement age to 70 in the name of budget repair, despite the voter backlash and a hostile senate that wouldn’t pass the measure. This morning a viewer on Nine’s Today Show asked the PM about it and he announced the government was scrapping the policy and would keep the retirement age at 67. In politics, that’s called clearing the decks. More here.

3. Amazon is the world’s 2nd $1 trillion business. The online retailer joins Apple at the top of the corporate tree after its shares gained about 2% in trading Tuesday to hit an all-time high of $US2,050.27. It’s taken just 24 years to get there. There’s more on how it happened here.

4. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is testifying before a US Senate select committee on 2016 election interference by Russia on Wednesday and we have a copy of her opening statement, which includes an apology that Facebook was “too slow to spot this and too slow to act.” While America has always confronted attacks seeking to undermine democracy, the tactics are new and she wants everyone to work together to stay on top of the issue. Twitter boss Jack Dorsey is also due to appear before the committee. Sandberg’s full address is here.

5. Five years ago, Federer-slayer John Millman took an office job. Ahead of the Australian Open this year, the 29-year-old Queenslander (and “battler”, as they like to say) talked about his career in a first-hand account on the excellent Player’s Voice website. His story his recounting of taking an office job in 2013 following his second shoulder surgery. It’s well worth a read, including his views on how “Roger’s all class”. Meanwhile, we loved his post match interview, involving fantasy football.

“It’s 1 o’clock now. I probably should try to get a recovery. I’ve got a 7-o’clock-in-the-morning fantasy draft,” Millman said. “So, I’m going to get up for that, and hopefully I have a good draft. I’m second pick. I don’t know whether to go Gurley or Le’Veon Bell.”

And if Scott Morrison’s looking for a successor for the next Coalition leadership spill:

6. RBA Governor Philip Lowe used a speech in Perth last night to remind Canberra that the country is watching as the nation’s most dysfunctional workplace bickers over the bullying and intimidation of women. With the new $50 note being released on October 18, Lowe read the note’s microtext, which features the nation’s first female MP, Edith Cowan, and quotes from her first speech in the WA parliament, in which she said: “If men and women can work for the same state side by side and represent all the different sections of the community… I cannot doubt that we should do very much better work in the community than was ever done before”.

Lowe added: “Nearly 100 years on, this sentiment is just as relevant as it was back in 1921.”


7. Today in Musklandia. We spoke to 42 current and recent Tesla employees about what it’s like to work for one of the world’s most ambitious and controversial companies. The boss works so hard staff often find Musk curled up under desks or tables napping. And here’s what it’s like to work at the gigafactory. Oh and the feud with the British diver from the Thai cave rescue drags on, with Musk telling a reporter to “stop defending child rapists” in an expletive-laden email.

8. What would Ellen Ripley do? Remember last week’s hole in the International Space Station, fixed with tape, which NASA believed may have been caused by space trash, or a micrometeorite? Well, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency, has suggested sabotage, either up there or beforehand, saying the cause of the hole was “a technological mistake of a technician” since “it is clear that the damage was caused from inside the spacecraft.”

“We can see the mark where the drill bit slid along the surface of the hull,” Rogozin said.”But where did it happen? On Earth or in orbit?”

Over to you Sigourney.

9. A New Zealand journalist on Nauru for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), had her accreditation withdrawn on Tuesday for risking “the safety and security of herself and others” when she spoke to a refugee. Barbara Dreaver says she was interviewing a refugee outside a restaurant when “a police car then turned up with three officers who said I breached my visa and I had to go with them to the police station” She was questioned for three hours before being released and her footage was confiscated. In response the government denied she was detained, saying Dreaver “voluntarily accompanied” the police. More on the incident here.

10. A $5000-a-night Maldives luxury resort has built an underwater sculpture museum you snorkel around. Check out the photos here.

BONUS ITEM: How do you know when a fish is fresh? Check its eyes. So keep an eye out *chuckles to self* for this scam.

Have a great day.

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