10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

Apple geniuses, you’re driving housewives to desperation. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning. Here’s your essential update.

First, the markets:

1. The troubles in Europe, economic and military, have left the market off the highs from the past 24 hours but the September SPI 200 futures are unchanged this morning at 5,646. Iron ore tanked again overnight with September futures falling $1.43 a tonne to $85.27. Asian stocks had a good day yesterday with the Hang Seng playing catch-up to the recent moves, up 2.3% to 25,318. Shanghai’s recovery continued apace, rising 1.01% to 2,289. The Nikkei was more subdued, rising just 0.38% to 15, 728. With USDJPY back below 105 it might be a poorer performance for the Japanese market today.

2. On Currency markets, the Ukrainian peace talks and the clear signal from RBA governor Stevens that he is not going to cut rates anytime soon combined to drive the Aussie dollar higher. It sits at 0.9341 this morning, up 70 pips from yesterday’s lows. On the data front, we have a huge day ahead of us: retail sales for July are out in Australia and the market is looking for a 0.4% rise. Trade is also out in Australia.

3. Clive Palmer kills your favourite tax write-offs. Much of the Budget cash lost by the Abbott Government in scrapping the mining tax will be paid for by small business through changes to tax deductability laws. We’re talking billions. The biggest change will be reducing that instant asset write-off down to $1000, from $5000, saving the Government $2.3 billion. And claiming $5000, straight up, on the car is gone too. Boo, Clive.

4. Paul Keating weighs in. The former PM says the other part of the deal between Palmer and the Abbott Government – which sees super payments to workers fixed at 9.5% until 2021, six years further away than rises originally pegged by Labor – is just “cheap ideology”.

They omit to say that superannuation savings represent deferred consumption, not lost consumption. More than that, their superannuation contributions become compound savings.

5. iCloud update. Tim Cook is beseiged on the eve of one of Apple’s biggest product launches. Its admission of non-guilt yesterday flopped, late night shows are mocking the company, and How To Hack iCloud tutorials are popping up everywhere. Last night, Apple’s iOS App Store, iTunes store and iBookstore were offline for nearly six straight hours and today… Eva Longoria says Apple employees keep using her in-store appearances as ways to get hold of her email address. Result:

6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of those films that lives with you forever. Especially if you were a star of the vastly superior original version. Mike Teevee (real name Paris Themmen) just did a fantastic Reddit AMA where he spilled the beans on Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder, “very gentle and soft-spoken”) the Oompa-Loompas and exactly how much candy he got to eat. Hint: the chocolate river really was chocolate, and it stank.

7. The World Architecture Festival will be held at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands from October 1-3. There are 27 categories and just one structure from the 300-odd entries will be named World Building of the Year. Australian architects took out three awards last year, and have another strong showing in Singapore. Among tham are NAB’s new Melbourne digs, Garangula Gallery in NSW and this wonderful Stamp House by Charles Wright Architects in Queensland.

8. There’s a lot of smartphone news. Starting with Samsung’s overnight launch of the new Galaxy Note 4, which looks to have built impressively on its popular predecessor, and the appearance of this strange Edge phone, which kind of features an extra screen. Apple fans in China have already been given the choice to pre-order the iPhone 6 in two sizes, and in the US, fake mobile signal towers are popping up everywhere. Weird.

9. How to win the war against ISIS. Put Qassem Suleimani in charge. He’s the head of Iran’s Quds Force, something like a cross between the CIA and Special Forces, and it’s no coincidence that he was present in the town of Amerli when its Shi’ite population sucessfully repelled ISIS forces recently. Suleimani has an incredible resume of success in the Middle East – this write-up in The New Yorker last year tells you all you need to know about The Shadow Commander.

10. The guys behind YouTube channel Epic Meal Time keep reinventing food in horrific ways and surviving. Today’s speciality – poutine, a Canadian favourite involving chips, gravy and cheese. But in Epic Meal Time’s world, “chips” becomes entire sushi rolls, which are topped with rice balls and a spicy mayo “gravy”. Go on, try this at home.

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