A calming of the rhetoric between the US and China as well as reports the US will delay tariffs on European car imports, saw markets lift overnight despite weak economic data.
Reuter news agency reported that Trump administration officials told it the US President was expected to delay a decision on tariffs on imported cars and parts by up to six months.
Adding to the improvement in market sentiment were comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that discussions between China and the US were continuing.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones gained 0.5 per cent, tech stocks led the Nasdaq more than 1 per cent higher and the broader S&P 500 index rose 0.6 per cent.
Those gains were despite unexpectedly weak economic data out of both the US and China.
US retail sales and industrial production fell in April, while similar indicators out of China abruptly slowed.
“We expect [US] manufacturing to remain under pressure in the coming months,” said Wells Fargo senior economist Sarah House.
“The latest escalation in the trade war between the United States and China is not likely to immediately show up in next month’s production figures … but disarray to global supply chains and heightened levels of uncertainty are likely to negatively impact investment.”
Australia’s worst serial killer Ivan Millat, now 74, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is unlikely to return to solitary confinement at Goulburn Supermax Jail.
He is chained to his bed in Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital bed as he undergoes further tests for lumps found in his throat and stomach. Two prison guards watch him around the clock.
Known as the Backpacker Killer, Milat has never shown remorse for murdering seven travellers — some of whom were stabbed, shot and beheaded.
Their bodies were found in unmarked graves in the Belanglo State Forest between 1989 and 1993.
The former road worker was handed seven life sentences in 1996.
He has lost 20 kilograms over the past few months, with a source close to his family saying he was suffering from geriatric anorexia and was “dangerously thin”.
But prison sources are reported to have told the ABC he would constantly refuse food or swallow sharp objects like paperclips and razor blades if guards did not meet his demands.
Milat, who constantly complains about prison food, recently once threatened self-harm when his toasted sandwich maker was confiscated because of “bad behaviour”.
When he was admitted to the hospital ward for inmates at Randwick, the “high risk” prisoner was tested for possible organ failure linked to rapid weight loss.
But instead, Milat was told he was in the “advanced stages” of cancer, and that he would most likely be transferred to Long Bay Prison Hospital in Sydney’s south.
That hotel room you recently stayed in may not be as clean as you think it is, according to an ABC news report.
A former hotel housekeeper named “Vee” said told ABC news she swore she would never stay at a hotel again after working at a five star establishment.
“You think you are getting the best services, clean linen and everything, but when you actually go behind the scenes to do the work, you realise that not everything goes as you expect,” she was quoted as saying
The 19-year-old student, who worked at a five-star hotel in Melbourne, said it was common for hand towels to be used to clean toilet bowls and for housekeepers to be rushed from room to room.
At a smaller hotel, she said, doona covers and comforters were very rarely changed, and practices were “the same” everywhere she had cleaned.
It’s been an issue of concern for years, but up-to-date research data is limited. A union-commissioned investigation in Melbourne in 2010 found a “hygiene crisis” in five-star hotels that was attributed to lack of time given to cleaners to clean the rooms.
Two years later, a study published in Scientific American found hotel room remote controls, carpets, telephones and cleaning items had high levels of bacteria — and about 81 per cent of hotel room surfaces sampled had at least some faecal bacteria.
Vee, who did not want to use her full name, said her advice for travellers was not to trust what they saw on the surface and “carry extra towels”.
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