10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Charlize Theron has some wicked skills. Check the bonus item. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)

Good morning!

1. “I love it,” was how Donald Trump Jr. responded to an email from a Russian lawyer offering to provide the Trump campaign with “some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” It was part of “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” John McCain described it as another shoe dropping, and believes there will be more to come.

In short this appears to be the strongest evidence yet that Russia was helping the Trump campaign. As Jim Edwards points out here, it also aligns with parts of the explosive dossier by an ex-spy published by BuzzFeed. Respected Citi global strategist Tina Fordham believes it increases the risk of a Trump impeachment.

2. The US stock market slid when the emails were first revealed, with the financial index falling more than 1%. But the dip was bought and all the major indices finished flat for the day.

3. Staying with markets, and it was a good night for commodities, with crude putting on 2.8% and iron ore now staging a pretty explosive rally, adding another 2.1% overnight to $65.40 a tonne for the benchmark 62% fines. it’s now up 22.6% from May 13, and has re-entered a bull market. Here’s the chart:


Looking ahead, SPI futures are down five points ahead of the open. There’s not much in data today, but tonight’s big for the global picture with Janet Yellen’s testimony to Congress and the Bank of Canada rates decision, where we’ll find out if it’s joining the tightening party.

4. Business conditions are booming in Australia. Companies are reporting the best conditions since the GFC, according to the NAB survey released yesterday which was strong across the board, and even showed strength in the retail sector. The big question now, as David Scutt outlines here, is how this can now be reconciled with the continuing weakness in the consumer sector which is largely being driven by low wages growth and a grim take on the five-year outlook for the economy. Read it.

5. Remember the footage of Kim Jong-un smoking a cigarette beside an ICBM? It turns out US intelligence was watching him for a full 70 minutes, and could have taken him — and the missile — out. That they didn’t fits with the theory that America’s plan is to “bring North Korea to its senses, not to its knees.”

6. Ads are coming to Facebook Messenger. After tests in Australia and Thailand, Facebook says users will start seeing ads in the main inbox area (rather than in conversations).

7. A tale of two startups: Buzinga, a Melbourne software company, is going into liquidation with $250,000 owed to creditors. Its fellow Victorian startup Whispir, meanwhile, which provides app services including tailored messaging to users, has a $15 million war chest and has doubled its staffing levels to 140 in the past year.

8. Got a lazy $180,000 to drop on a holiday? You could do worse than the new Four Seasons round-the-world trip, which features being flown between the chain’s resorts around the world on its private passenger jet, with stops including Japan, Bali, The Seychelles, Rwanda, and Morocco. Food and flights included, natch. Here’s a look:

That’s living.

9. If you’re looking to understand what’s going on in Australia’s housing market across prices, population movements, household incomes and affordability around the country, this is an excellent place to start.

10. Worst interviewees ever. We asked Australian executives to share the worst questions job candidates have asked them in interviews. One guy asked if he could have the phone number for the receptionist. Another asked the chairman of the company what their role was. It’s hard to pick a winner but here’s a good contender: “What does your company actually do?”

BONUS ITEM: It turns out Charlize Theron is a total badass. This behind-the-scenes video for her new movie, Atomic Blonde, shows her fight training for the movie, in which the stunt choreographers decided to change their whole plan when they realised she could do up to 20 fight moves without having to cut the shot. Remarkable.

Have a great day. I’m on Twitter, and you can get this column delivered daily to your inbox by entering your details into the form below.