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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

ADF internships – testing. Picture: © Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

Good morning. Here’s what you’ve missed so far.

1. It’s Rates Day and sorry to tell you again that there’s no expectation that the RBA will move rates. All attention will be on the wording of the accompanying monetary policy statement, particularly towards the level of the Australian dollar, commodity prices, business investment, the labour market and the all-important final paragraph in which the bank offers its forward guidance on rates, or bias. If it stays soft, that means rates are more likely to be heading down. All the action drops at 2.30pm, but until then, here’s David Scutt’s 10-second guide to the call.

2. To markets, where China’s central bank, the PBOC, cut the RRR by 0.5% to release more cash into the economy. And data in the US last night showed the US economy is also slowing. So US markets are down around 0.7%, but we’re holding up well here, all things considered. ASX March SPI 200 futures are down just 12 points, 0.2%, after a day’s trade yesterday best described as “ordinary”.

3. “Get ready to yodel.” That’s how the offer of employment letter from Yahoo opened for Amazon CFO Lisa Utzschneider, and we’ve got it after Yahoo filed it with the SEC yesterday. We don’t know if she actually yodelled though, but given the offer was for $US16 million, there may have been some noise.

4. Recently we featured some of the incredible images photographers took of the Royal Australian Navy in action over the past year. Today, it’s the Australian Army’s turn, and there’s this one of a tank that looks like a huge flamethrower:

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

And the worst Vegemite sandwich ever put to bread.

5. The VR revolution is on hold. Microsoft just revealed the release date for its incredible HoloLens goggles which turn your world into something like what’s in Tron. They’re ready to roll on March 30, but just for qualified developers to tool around with. The price? $3000. Yes, it will be slashed heavily when the consumer version pops up, but even the HTC Vive will set you back $1400 in Australia. For essentially a games machine, without a lot of games. It will be a couple of years before both of these crucial elements become reasonable.

6. You have to carry ID to ride a bicycle in NSW from today. It’s so cops can book you when you break a road law. No biggie.

7. Here are the 10 most beautiful cars money can buy, including an Aston Martin, the cars it stole its design cues from that don’t break down within a month, a typo that snuck a US model into the list and the Pagani that isn’t a Zonda. If you have any idea what all that means, you’ll enjoy spluttering with outrage and knowing better than we do. Check them all out here.

8. John Oliver wanted to ignore Donald Trump. He really did. But he couldn’t any more after polls showed Trump leading every Super Tuesday state. So here’s how Oliver opened his epic 21-minute rant against Trump on Sunday night:

“At this point, Donald Trump is America’s back mole. It may have seemed harmless a year ago, but now that it has gotten frighteningly bigger it is no longer wise to ignore it.”

It got a lot better, including the launch of a campaign to make Trump change his name back to Donald Drumpf, which, according to one researcher, is his ancestral name. Oliver even had a Chrome extension built to do it for you.

9. Disruption! It’s now even in your home. If you’re one of the suffering millions who have awkwardly struggled with scissors all your life, things might be about to change.
Shane Vermette reckons his Right Shears are “the most important innovation in scissor design in 2,000 years”:

And here’s the power board you’ve been looking for:


The Youmo power strip is modular, which means you can attach different modules to it. Actually, that one’s pretty nifty.

10. A whale-sized asteroid will come within 4.8 million kilometres of Earth next week. Unlike that one which no one saw last week, NASA has been watching 2013 TX68 since 2013. And they’ll watch it on March 8 too, because it might also come within 25,000 kilometres. The science is bit rubbery, apparently.

BONUS ITEM: Leonardo DiCaprio accepting his Best Actor Oscar with grace:

Have a great day.

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