10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Linh Pham/Getty ImagesMilitary carry equipment into the Tham Luang Nang Non cave to continue the rescue operation in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Good morning.

1. Donald Trump’s trade war is set to kick off today with tariffs on $46 billion worth of Chinese goods coming into effect at 2pm AEST. The 25% tariff will apply to 818 Chinese goods, ranging from aircraft to chicken incubators and industrial magnets. The Chinese government has promised to respond with tariffs of equal measure soon after. Meanwhile, the US Fed once again flagged its concerns about the damage the tariffs could cause the US economy. More on that here.

2. US stocks shrugged off any trade war fears as markets returned from the July 4 holiday. European stocks had a boost following reports President Trump may withdraw his tariff threat against European automakers. Meanwhile the ASX looks set to follow that strong lead, despite further falls on Chinese markets yesterday.

3. The clock is ticking for the Thai boys’ soccer team which has been trapped in a cave for 12 days. Authorities have been able to drain some of the water, which may allow the team to swim and even walk out of the cave without the use of diving equipment. Some of the boys are now not well enough to attempt a rescue mission. Rescuers are trying to quickly figure out the safest way to extract them, as monsoon rains are predicted for this weekend may further complicate their efforts. Elon Musk’s representatives are talking with Thai authorities to see if the entrepreneur’s technology can assist. On Thursday, the Tesla CEO said on Twitter that he was “happy to help” the Thai government “if there is a way to do so.”

4. Home loan lending standards are getting tougher in Australia. New analysis from UBS suggests the maximum borrowing capacity for individual owner-occupier and investor borrowers may have fallen around 10% and 20% respectively since 2015. If borrowing capacity is reduced, it will likely impact home prices at the top end of Australia’s housing market. David Scutt has more.

5. ICYMI: David Leyonhjelm won’t be apologising to Sarah Hanson-Young despite the Greens Senator threatening him with a lawsuit for defamation. In a statement released yeterday afternoon, Leyonhjelm said, “Senator Hanson-Young’s action is without merit. She is also wasting her time, money and endless reserves of outrage, because I will not be issuing an apology.” More here.

6. QF 9. Been thinking about trying out the new Dreamliner Perth to London flight? Illustrator Liz Anelli shared her review of the trip in economy with Business Insider. She said the biggest comfort difference was the advanced technology air conditioning. “Basically, your body thinks it is at 5000, not 40,000 feet,” she says.

7. While we’re on airlines, Air New Zealand is now serving the faux meat “Impossible Burger” to business class passengers. The plant-based burger took six years to develop and mimics the smells, taste and texture of beef, but local politicians have complained about it being an “existential threat” to the country’s main export – meat.

8. A balloon of Trump as a 6-metre-long angry baby has been cleared to fly over London for his diplomatic visit next week. London’s mayor on Thursday gave permission for the balloon to fly in Parliament Square when Trump visits on July 13. The balloon is set to fly in one of the most iconic areas of the city: right beside the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Here’s what it will look like:

Trump Baby UKCampaigners made this representation of their plan to fly the balloon from Parliament Square, right beside the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

9. Are you employees taking World Cup-related sickies? Recruiter Robert Half says there’s a way to minimise them — just embrace the sporting event. Research shows 42% of HR managers believe that hosting company events to watch sporting events actually increases employee engagement and improves motivation. Get planning, it’s just 10 days until the final.

10. Check these photos out:

US ArmyU.S. Army Sgt. Peter Scaion, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, swings an improvised bat during a fun game of baseball near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 23, 2018.
US Army

They are of US troops playing baseball during a break between hammering ISIS in Syria, and they look like they’re straight outta “Apocalypse Now”. See the full series of shots here.

Have a great day.

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