10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Getty ImagesVladimir Putin.

Good morning.

1. It’s Australian GDP day. Australia will receive its latest economic report card today with the release of March quarter GDP. After a sharp slowdown in the final three months of 2017, partially reflecting temporary disruptions to Australian commodity exports, growth is expected to accelerate sharply in the March quarter, boosted by household consumption, government demand, stronger exports and a lift in business inventories. Here’s a 10-second guide to get you up to speed ahead of the release.

2. Citigroup Global Markets Australia, Deutsche Bank and the ANZ Bank have been formally charged with criminal cartel offences following an investigation by competition watchdog the ACCC. Senior executives at all three, including two former CEOs, also face criminal charges. The charges involve alleged cartel arrangements relating to trading in ANZ shares held by Deutsche Bank and Citigroup. ANZ and each of the individuals are alleged to have been knowingly involved in some or all of the alleged conduct. More here.

3. An olive branch has been extended to US President Donald Trump by Chinese President X Jinping that could help alleviate some of the trade tensions between the two countries. China has offered to purchase close to $US70 billion worth of US goods over the next year if the Trump administration backs off proposed tariffs. The deal would include purchases of soybeans, corn, natural gas, crude oil, coal, and more.

4. Kate Spade has died at 55. Police found a note in the home of the fashion designer with the namesake brand, leading authorities to believe her death was a suicide. She is survived by her husband, Andy, whom she started her business with, and her 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade. In an interview from 2002, Spade shared how she wanted to be remembered: “I hope that people remember me not just as a good businesswoman but as a great friend — and a heck of a lot of fun.”

5. It’s a connected world. A new report from BI / Research looks at the application of IoT technology for several industries, ranging from retail and mining to agriculture and real estate, and how executives deal with the challenge of investing in the IoT efficiently. To learn more, read The Connected World Report here.

6. The Dark Sword fighter jet. Just the name sounds terrifying. China released images of its new stealth fighter-style jet which will likely be a nightmare for Western military powers. An air-combat expert says: “Something like this could transit to areas very fast, and, if produced in large numbers without having to train pilots, could at the very least soak up missiles from US fighters, and at the very best be an effective fighter by itself. If you can produce lots of them, quantity has a quality all its own.” Did you catch that bit about “without having to train pilots”? It’s unmanned. Here’s a look.

Chinese Internet / Business InsiderIs this the US Air Force’s nightmare?

7. Bali Nine member Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen has died in an Indonesian hospital. The Australian was suffering from stomach cancer. In 2005, Nguyen was given a life sentence for drug smuggling. Nguyen is the third member of the Bali Nine member to die after Andrew Chan and Sukumaran were executed by firing squad in 2015.

8. C’mon mate, it’s 2018. On Tuesday, the CEO of Qatar Airways said that a woman couldn’t do his job because it is “very challenging” when trying to explain that women were not being underrepresented at the airline. His comments were met with boos and groans from a room of journalists at the transportation conference. Later that day he attempted to row back the comments, saying he would actually welcome a woman as his successor.

9. Dad bod pride. Russian President Vladimir Putin defended the shirtless pictures of him on holiday that have taken the internet by storm in recent years, telling an Austrian journalist he has “no need to hide”. He said: “When I am on vacation I see no need to hide behind the bushes, and there is nothing wrong with that.” Putin seems unfazed by the memes and ridicule surrounding his shirtless photos, including this one:

10. Go the Blues! Tonight the 2018 State of Origin kicks off at 8:00pm AEST at Melbourne Cricket Ground. The mighty Queensland Maroons side of the past decade is barely recognisable following key retirements by Cooper Cronk, Johnathan Thurston and Cam Smith. Oh, and Billy Slater has been ruled out of Game I with hamstring injury. According to Sportsbet, the Blues are the favourite to win, paying $1.42. The Maroons are sitting at $3.00.

Have a great day.

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