The 10 most important things in the world right now

B1 & B2… tennis twins Bob and Mike Bryan will set a new Grand Slam record of 17 titles if they win the doubles at the Australian Open. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images.

1. The clock is about to start ticking on Brexit after Theresa May gave parliament the bill they need to approve to start the two-year exit process. And after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he’ll order opposition MPs to vote in favour, his clock might be counting down too if a wave of front bench resignations ensues. Tulip Siddiq is already gone.

2. Google’s parent business, Alphabet, watched its shares slide after missing its earnings target. At $US26bn, revenue was up 22% YoY, and beat analyst expectations of $25.2bn, but costs climbed similarly. The EPS was $9.36 versus $9.67 expected by analysts.

3. When Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Wall Street he was comfortable, there was some discomfort. Analysts think voice-based computing is a chink in the armour of a business relying on screen ads for revenue.

4. Elon Musk thinks a former employee stole company secrets. Tesla filed a lawsuit against former Autopilot director Sterling Anderson, alleging he took documents, then teamed up with the former head of Google’s self-driving-car project, to launch a competing venture called Aurora Innovation.

5. It takes two to taco on Twitter. Here’s how international diplomacy works in the Trump era: the US president sends out a tweet saying if Mexico won’t pay for the border wall, it should cancel an upcoming meeting. Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto responds on Twitter, cancelling.

6. Trump’s suggested a 20% tariff on Mexican imports to pay for the wall. But it won’t just hurt south of the US border. It will hit the US auto industry “like a ton of bricks” one trade expert says. The S&P 500 Auto Parts & Equipment index fell 2% on the news.

7. China isn’t making enough babies. Despite its two-child policy, Beijing is concerned the birthrate is too low, creating the internal problems of a shrinking labour force and ageing population.

8. Everyone headed for the exits in the US State Department. The entire senior management abruptly left positions they’d held for decades and no one yet knows if they resigned in protest or were pushed. Either way it’s unprecedented.

9. Trump is looking at a bilateral trade deal with Japan to replace the TPP scrapped earlier this week. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe heads to the White House next month.

10. The Australian Open finals have turned geriatric. Serena Williams, 34, meets older sister Venus, 35, for the ninth time in a women’s final on Saturday. Roger Federer, 35, is the oldest Grand Slam men’s finalist in 43 years, playing either Nadal, 30, or baby Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, 25, on Sunday. Meanwhile, American twins Bob and Mike Bryan, 38, are in the doubles final and on track to break the Grand Slam record of 16 victories.

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