1. Donald Trump has emerged from the summit with Kim Jong Un a changed man with fresh hopes for peace in Korea. An estimated 100,000 North Koreans live in political prisons in conditions on par with the inhumanity of Nazi German death camps. All North Koreans live oppressed in their self-expression by Kim’s government. Yet Trump not only sidelined talk about human rights –- he offered apologies for Kim, saying Kim had just done what he had seen done and loved his people. Trump also appears to have failed to implement meaningful action towards denuclearisation with Kim.
And while he concedes that he could end up being wrong about Kim’s pledge to denuclearise, Trump said he’d probably never admit it and would most likely find “some kind of an excuse” if it came to that. Meanwhile this was one of the best moments from the day: Trump jokingly asked photographers to make him and Kim look “nice, handsome, and thin.” Kim’s reaction says it all:
2. The summit did little for markets with US stocks going nowhere after the historic meeting of leaders. US 10-year Treasury yield and the dollar climbed as the US Federal Reserve began its two-day policy meeting. That saw the Australian dollar fall across the board. As of 7am in Sydney, the AUD/USD was down 0.47% to 0.7573.
Meanwhile, RBA governor Philip Lowe is set to deliver a speech in Melbourne on “Productivity, Wages and Prosperity” at 1.20pm AEST.
3. “Unintended consequences.” The Australian Labor Party’s (ALP) plans to limit negative gearing and halve the capital gains discount from 50% to 25% could result in a series of “unintended consequences” in Australia’s housing market, according to a new report co-authored by RiskWise and WargentAdvisory. The report suggests it could lead to a reduction in new dwelling supply, potentially exacerbating affordability constraints for both potential buyers and renters. More here.
4. Mega-merger. A US judge has cleared the $US85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner in a deal that will accelerate content and streaming initiatives between Time Warner properties and AT&T, and potentially affect tech and media for decades to come. The US Department of Justice lost its antitrust lawsuit to block the vertical merger but can still appeal the case — a possibility some industry experts think will happen.
5. Unlockd has gone into administration, blaming Google for sinking its pending IPO. The Australian startup, which rewards users for watching ads, is now in administration, saying “ramifications of Google’s actions have had and continue to have a deep impact on the business… As such, we have not been able to secure the capital we had expected to replace the IPO and therefore have been left no choice but to move into voluntary administration.” More here.
6. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere just hit its highest level in 800,000 years, and scientists predict deadly consequences. The average concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere topped 411 parts per million in May. In April – the previous month – the concentration hit 410 ppm for the first time in recorded history. These are the highest CO2 levels in the 800,000 years for which we have good data. Research indicates that if unchecked, increased CO2 levels could cause pollution-related deaths to increase by tens of thousands, lead to the slowing of human cognition, and cause rising sea levels, searing heatwaves and superstorms.
7. Pt Leo Estate is the best in Australian dining right now, according to Business Insider’s Simon Thomsen who has reviewed the restaurant on Victoria’s pristine Mornington Peninsula. A few drawcards for visiting include Rockpool executive chef Phil Wood’s focus on local produce, a remarkable sculpture park with views across Western Port Bay, and a monumental cellar door.
8. The bad news for Blue Sky continues as the funds manager slashes the value of its fee-earning assets under management. Instead it will focus on Private Equity, Private Real Estate and Real Assets. The restructure, coupled with the independent review of carrying values of investments, will cut $59.4 million from full year net profit after tax. It comes as the company’s shares fell 12.9% to $1.95 after they came out of a trading halt yesterday.
9. Hate sitting in traffic? You’ll hate this even more — Tiger Woods will be staying on his $US20 million, 155-foot yacht, which he called a “dinghy”, to avoid US Open traffic. Yep. Here’s a look at that dinghy.
10. Heels are on the out and it’s causing a massive shift in the shoe industry. New data from resale site ThredUp showed that in the past three months, there has been an increase in the number of high heels being sent in by customers who no longer want them. Meanwhile, the company has seen its sneaker sales grow. In 2017, sales of high heels declined by 11% in the US, according to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service. Women’s sneaker sales were up 37% in the same period.
BONUS ITEM: Just a dog playing a guitar.
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