1. First, the markets, and it was a good day for the locals yesterday who pushed the ASX 200 back through 4900 points but couldn’t quite get through 5000. It looks unlikely to happen today though, because oil was up to its old tricks again and being useless. All the big OS markets followed it down – although only slightly – setting up a weaker open for the ASX this morning with the March SPI200 contract down 24 points, 0.5%. The Aussie dollar was knocked a little weaker by the employment report and sits at 0.7150.
2. Sleepover at Malcolm’s. The prime minister is having his NZ counterpart John Key around to his place tonight for dinner and a sleepover, in an apparently unprecedented welcome for a visiting head of state. Key and his wife are reportedly going to crash at Turnbull’s sprawling mansion after dinner on the deck. They’re bringing the grog.
3. Imagine if petrol were 10 cents a litre! That’s what it was like to be a motorist in Venezuela yesterday. Now imagine if it went up to $6 a litre. That’s what it’s like to be a motorist in Venezuela this morning.
4. An Aussie won the World Press Photo Contest in the most trying of circumstances. Here’s Warren Richardson’s moment from these modern times we live in:
Not only did Richardson have to contend with watching a man pass his child under a razor-wire security fence on the Serbia-Hungary border, he had to take the shot with the moon as his only light while trying not to be caught by border police. Here’s what he had to say about that night, and here are 22 other stunning – and often very graphic – award-winners from the competition.
6. Nobody goes after Donald Trump. Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic world, said Trump was “not Christian” for wanting to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the US. Trump responded by calling the Pope “disgraceful”.
7. Russia is getting serious about blowing up the 2036 ‘Doomsday Asteroid’ Apophis. Which will actually pass by us next in 2029, but won’t present a danger – at that time. But, and it’s an incredibly tiny but, if coming close to Earth changes its path even fractionally, Doomsday preppers will start prepping a little more frantically for the next pass in 2036. Russia, on the other hand, isn’t mucking about and is pushing ahead with a plan to build a network of missiles that could destroy — at a moment’s notice — oncoming asteroids or comets.
8. Here’s why you should always have at least one Scandinavian in your World Rally team:
As part of the NATO exercise Cold Response 16, Norwegian instructors teach US Marine M1A1 Abrams tank crews to drive, and yes, drift, their tanks in the snow. Here’s the full video and it’s every bit as awesome as it sounds.
9. Another skilltester. Ford, needing to give its cars a proper workout, has spent years driving along appalling roads across the globe. They took all the baddest bits and now their 2km stretch of cobblestones, potholes, granite blocks and speed bumps in Belgium is easily the worst road – best Jeremy Clarkson voice – in the world. Pity the test drivers who have to belt along it at 65km/h for no more than two hours at a time, lest they do themselves an injury.
10. Posh kids. If you ever wanted to know what life is like at the most elite boarding school in America, look no further. BI’s Melia Robinson spent a day at Phillips Exeter Academy, whose alumni include a US president and Mark Zuckerberg, and brought back these pics.
BONUS ITEM: Ed Force One has landed. Bruce Dickinson nailed it.
Have a great weekend.
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