10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Event Horizon Telescope/A computer simulation of how a supermassive black hole’s accretion disk and its event horizon (or inner ‘shadow’) might appear to an observer.

Good morning!

1. “It feels like looking at the gates of Hell,” said an astrophysicist on the black hole project. The first ever picture of a black hole has been released — here’s the actual image. The Event Horizon Telescope released the first picture around 11pm AEST last night. It took over a decade to to capture due to the unusual physics, complexity and cost.

2. ELECTION ALERT: It’s finally here! It looks like we have an election date. Prime Minister Scott Morrison is due to call the election date today after meeting with the Governor General early this morning. It has just been officially announced that it wll occur on May 18. More to come.

3. It’s not utegate, but it’s yet another controversy around utes and politicians. One of issues swirling around this election is on electric vehicles, the environment and how much tax you’re going to have to pay (of course). The Labor Party has had to defend their policy and confirm that they are not out to tax people’s utes. Bill Shorten has even had to come out and say that they aren’t planning to confiscate people’s utes from them after some misleading Coalition ads were distributed on Facebook.

4. The Aussie dollar has jumped to six-week highs after a particularly drawn out period of stagnation. Yesterday’s speech from the RBA help buoy the dollar. Read more here.

Investing.comAUD/USD 4-Hour Chart

5. Your selfie game is about to go up a notch. Samsung has just announced a new Galaxy phone (no, not the s10, another one) that has a pop-up camera that swivels around for selfie-mode. I can’t stop watching it.

6. Australians can’t let go of their love for property. Despite prices continuing to drop in key capital cities, sentiment towards the property market is on the up. The Westpac-MI Consumer Sentiment Survey showed the “time to buy” index at its highest levels in four years. It comes with caveats, of course, such as what the RBA might do next…

7. Place your bets! The RBA isn’t convinced that they need to cut rates, while speculation is still strong that this will happen. In an announcement yesterday, RBA Deputy Governor Guy Debelle said the bank is still determining which key indicator — GDP or unemployment — is the best signal on the strength of the economy. “The labour market could be a lagging indicator,” he said. Here’s his reasoning.

8. The death of the pitch deck. The CEO of three venture-backed startups just raised US$45 million in Series A funding and he did it without a pitch deck. The downside of using a deck is that someone has to be there to walk potential investors through it – they’re not a stand alone document. Here’s what he used to secure funding.

9. Boeing out. Airlines have stopped ordering the troubled 737 Max planes, but their other models are losing purchasers too. The company’s first quarter data showed a dip in deliveries of all 737 models, including the 737-800 and other older models. The plane manufacturer is reducing production following two fatal plane crashes involved the 737 Max. Meanwhile, shareholders are looking to sue Boeing, claiming they were defrauded over safety deficiencies.

10. Could Brexit really be cancelled? It appears as though British MPs are making another move on revoking Article 50, the part of the Lisbon Treaty that outlines how to exit the EU. If MPs are able to successfully revoke the article they can theoretically exit Brexit. How likely is it to happen? Well, it’s gaining traction in the UK, with six million people signing a recent petition for it. Here’s how it could work.

BONUS ITEM:
This walrus has been going viral. It was captured by David Attenborough, one of the most prolific documentary makers of our time, for his new show Our Planet.

Attenborough recently spoke at Davos and was interviewed by Prince William about the devastation that our planet is facing.

Be warned, it might be disturbing for some viewers.


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