10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

The day comedy changed. Picture: Comedy Central

1. Markets. They drifted lower pretty much across the globe as geopolitical concerns lingered. Gold continues to rise and US 10-years broke lower. The ASX has had a good run this week, but June Futures are pointing to a down day as we run into the four-day break for Easter. US President Trump reckons the US dollar is too strong, but Janet Yellen “is not toast” in 2018. The Aussie dollar is heading up and iron ore is in freefall.

2. People say they’re seeing an animal that supposedly went extinct 81 years ago. That would be the Tasmanian tiger, only the sightings haven’t been in Tasmania. Two seemingly credible accounts have come from Far North Queensland, by a “frequent camper” and a long-time Nationals Parks employee. James Cook University is on the case, with lots of cameras.

3. Trouble in the air, and it’s not United Airlines. It’s our own Qantas, whose passengers on Flight QF29 to Hong Kong last week learnt what a “stick-shaker” was. Turbulence, basically, so bad that the plane is in danger of stalling (falling) that it sends a physical warning to pilots by vibrating their control stick. They made it down alive, but 15 passengers were hurt.

4. Back on the ground, in hospital, David Dao has lawyered up in a fight with United Airlines that has already cost it a couple of hundred million in market cap. Here’s a new video of the moments before the moment:

It didn’t have to be that way. Our own Simon Thomsen, his family and 19 other passengers once got bumped from a flight out of Kuala Lumpur. Here’s how Malaysia Airlines handled it.

5. International diplomacy #1. Donald Trump finally relented and told Fox Business about the moment he told China’s president Xi Jinping he’d launched 59 missiles at Syria. It was while they were eating “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen”. Meanwhile, his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, just endured an especially frosty reception at the Kremlin.

6. International diplomacy #2. That chocolate cake must have been good, because whatever Trump said to Xi about North Korea, it seems to have worked. The reports of 150,000 Chinese troops moving to the North Korea border are yet to be fully verified, but if they are there, here’s what they’re probably up to.

7. In 2013, Kim Jong-un spent an estimated $US644 million on luxury purchases, make up, and cheese. His dad blew around 20% of the country’s GDP on Omega watches and cognac. The country’s missile program costs around $US1.3 billion annually. So how does North Korea make money – apart from keeping 70% of its citizens food-insecure?

8. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos put out a great annual note overnight. He touched on how businesses can avoid irrelevance and “excruciating, painful decline”, how United could have saved itself a lot of trouble, and pretty much all you need to know about AI. And if you’re planning on using his rocket to experience space, why you need to go to the loo first.

9. The guy who started Android, Andy Rubin, has been working on a few new toys. Most notably, a smartphone, which he teased recently. Now, he’s back to getting everyone guessing, offering a signed version of whatever this is to whoever can guess whatever this is:

10. Windows 10 users got some new tech this week, free. Microsoft rolled out its Creators Update, and it’s surprisingly generous. The highlights:

  • Game Mode, which diverts power and memory to the game you’re playing
  • Beam, Microsoft game-streaming answer to Twitch
  • Night Light, to reduce blue-light emissions and help you sleep
  • And Paint is now a brilliant 3D tool

BONUS ITEM: Vale, Charlie Murphy, Eddie Murphy’s brother. You told the best very NSFW story of all time:

Have a great Easter break, and stay safe.

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