10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

The united colours of solidarity. Picture: Hennepin County/Twitter

Welcome back.

1. To markets, which look like they’re in for a fight today. US stocks are on a bit of a tumble right now and traders also realised this Brexit thing might just be kind of a big deal. Bonds, gold and the yen are all rallying and change in mood has pushed the SPI 200 into a collapse from where the physical market finished the week Friday at 5312. Down at 5219, Greg McKenna reckons there’s “a real chance of a 100-point plus loss today”. Sorry about that.

2. Microsoft’s feeling pretty good about things though. Good enough to chuck, ooh, about $US26 billion at LinkedIn. Yes, the biggest tech buyout of the past several years just happened and no one saw it coming. LinkedIn shares jumped more than 47% when the markets opened. Microsoft shares, which were halted in pre-market trading pending the news, opened then fell about 4%. Here’s the big wrap and here’s what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told employees about the buy and why LinkedIn will be the opposite of the Nokia disaster.

3. The big winners? Well, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner for one. Microsoft agreed to buy the company for $US196 a share in cash, a 50% premium over LinkedIn’s closing price on Friday, which pumped Weiner’s pay-day for the deal up to a tidy $US28 million. Which actually seems like small bikkies for a $US26 billion deal, but not bad for a wage earner. LinkedIn co-founder and chairman Reid Hoffman’s take looks like it will be about $US2.8 billion. But unless he wants to lose $1 billion of it to taxes, Hoffman’s chosen charity could also be in for a welcome windfall.

4. They weren’t done yet either. Over at E3, the biggest gaming conference of the year, Microsoft announced two new versions of its Xbox One. The more powerful version, “Project Scorpio”, won’t be out until at least mid-2017 and most importantly, it will support the Oculus Rift VR headset. But if you can’t wait, at least wait a couple more months so you can get the sexier Xbox One S, which is skinny and white. There was, of course, a ton of new Xbox games on show as well.

5. Landmarks around the world lit up in up rainbow colours in response to the Orlando shooting at a gay nightclub, the deadliest incident on US soil since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Sydney’s Town Hall flew the rainbow flag, showing its support alongside the One World Trade Centre, Trevi Fountain and Tel Aviv City Hall. Here are the best of them.

6. The US President’s response to a mass shooting is almost certainly one thing Barack Obama won’t miss once he vacates the Oval Office. Obama used this weekend’s tragedy to reinforce his call for tighter gun control, saying the gunman would have failed a background check and not been allowed to buy the guns he used… except effective background checks are only a thing in the US when it comes to buying an airline ticket. Hillary Clinton followed Obama’s lead. And Donald Trump said he “absolutely wouldn’t” ban assault rifles because people “need protection”. But then made some of the most pro-LGBT remarks ever seen from a Republican candidate.

7. And this was the response from UKIP donor Arron Banks’ Leave-EU movement, sensing an opportunity to kick a goal for the Brexiters:


8. Apple is in the middle of its big developer conference, WWDC. You won’t see any new products, but you will see all the best stuff about to be rolled out that will make your iPad/iPhone/Watch/Mac better. Here’s the round-up from this morning first wave:

9. That’s the kind of thing that gets Apple CEO Tim Cook into our exhausting list of the top 100 business visionaries creating value for the world. We’ve called it “The Creators”, and it’s here to show how capitalism can and should be a force for good. Take a bow, people – you can be genuinely amazing.

10. This is why we have the internet. Because it shows us how to ripen a rock-hard avocado in under 10 minutes.


Picture: Warner Bros TV

To be precise, RIP, the guy inside the ALF costume – 84cm Hungarian actor Michu Meszaros. Thanks for the memories and near-death cats, Michu.

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