10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Jack Derwin

Good morning, from my home to yours.

1. Spain will introduce a universal basic income as it looks to fight the coronavirus economically, as well as epidemiologically -- say that last bit five times fast. While not revealing an exact date for the rollout, Spain's economic affairs minister Nadia Calviño said "we’re going to do it as soon as possible. So it can be useful, not just for this extraordinary situation, and that it remains forever." The Europeans sure know how to live, don't they?

2. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been placed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). A spokesperson for the PM said Johnson's condition had deteriorated on Monday afternoon. While he remains conscious, he has made UK Foreign Secretary Dominiic Raab his "designated survivor". This is what happens if he becomes too ill to remain PM. In the meantime, Trump says he has offered some kind of help, but it's difficult to know what from the President's own explanation.

3. The country's white-collar workers have all but gone remote but some companies are working from home better than others. Business Insider Australia caught up with some of the top workplaces in the country to see how they transitioned. From virtual pubs, dedicated chefs putting together daily video recipes for staff to make at home, and lunch money every day, this is what the rest can learn from the best.

4. Perhaps proving the point that not all quarantines are created equal, the Thai King is reportedly self-isolating with his entourage of 20 women in the Bavarian Alps. In a show of modesty, the hotel is only four stars but it hasn't been enough to stop the King's subjects from insulting him on Twitter, despite the strict penalties that can be levelled for doing so.


5. The Dow Jones has surged more than 1,600 points overnight, with Wall Street climbing more than 7% across the board. Investors are rejoicing at the fact that the COVID-19 daily death toll has begun to ease in New York, with the impact of national lockdowns and strict social distancing in Italy, Spain and France appearing to work. The Australian market looks to gain more than 2% when it opens on Tuesday in response, according to futures.

6. The lawyers defending failed blood-testing startup Theranos have urged that their work be deemed 'essential' so they can continue preparing to defend founder Elizabeth Holmes in her criminal trial starting in July. Holmes, the once billionaire founder lauded as 'the next Steve Jobs', now faces 20 years in prison if convicted. She faces multiple federal charges of fraud stemming from allegations that she schemed to defraud the startup’s investors, its doctors, and its patients while knowing that its test results were inaccurate and unreliable. Sounds like they might have caught this one at the right time.


7. As Airbnb's business dries up, the short-term rental company has been forced to go capital raising. It revealed on Monday that it has managed to attract $US1 billion in investment to see it through a difficult period, as it downgrades its internal valuation from $US31 billion to $US26 billion.

8. Struggling Australian restaurants have pivoted to groceries in an attempt to survive the coronavirus shutdown, but platforms like Deliveroo and Uber threaten to cannonball even that. While 30-35% commissions undermine their regular trade, Deliveroo Essentials, a new grocery service, poses direct competition to its partners new market and is a "final nail in our coffin" eateries told Business Insider Australia.

9. The US Masters, the world's premier golf tournament, has been rescheduled -- perhaps a little ambitiously -- for November. If it happens it'll be the first time the historic event has ever been held outside of March or April. Then again, 2021 might be looking a little more sure right now.

10. Speaking of curious scheduling decisions, Russia has decided to forge on with its annual World War II memorial service this year, which typically attracts crowds in excess of 100,000 in Moscow. The event will happen in early May, officials say, despite a small but growing spread of COVID-19 within its borders. Bold move.

Bonus item

Alright, you got to the end. Here's your animal video of the day. See Beluga whales doing their best impersonation of humanity during containment, staring out the window and being blown away by the outside world.