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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Always there is a woman involved. Picture: Terry Richardson for Yves Saint Laurent


1. To markets, and Janet Yellen lightly smacked her talkative US Fed colleagues by telling the Economic Club of New York that there was no rush to raise rates. Some say even a June rise could be off the table, so the US dollar is weaker today, stocks are bid and the Aussie dollar rose to 0.7650. And with the ASX200 SPI futures contract up 33 points, Greg McKenna dares traders to buy the banks and other stocks and push the 200 index back above 5040/55. We love it when he talks tough.

2. Google CEO Sundar Pichai was paid a salary of $US652,500 in 2015, and given “other” compensation of $US22,935. Not a bad start in his first year under the reorganisation of the company under the Alphabet umbrella. Oh wait – he was also awarded restricted stock worth $US99.8 million. Here’s why Google loves him.

3. All your Italian castle dreams are for sale. There are three-bedders in Sydney going for more than this magnificent fiefdom on 2100 acres in Todi:

Douglas Elliman Real EstateA nice little earner.

Just $10.7 million (knock them down to 9) gets you the traditional 10th-century Castle di Sismano which was donated by Emperor Otto in 962 AD, and passed on to the family of the Prince Corsini. Two members of that family became popes. Two. You also get a chunk of the village around it and a well-reviewed 22-room B&B business.

4. But if you just want to live like royalty for a couple of days, rent one of these 19 hotels that used to be luxury homes of the world’s royals and politicians. From the Ottoman Sultan’s palace in Istanbul to the extravagant summer home of Napoleon’s brother-in-law on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, they’ve all sold out and now rent themselves to the general unwashed. So get in and muck up the place a bit.

5. There was a hostage drama on-board an EgyptAir A320 with 63 people on board in Cyprus last night. But a man who turned out to be wearing a fake suicide belt was detained. Did officials panic? No:

“He’s not a terrorist, he’s an idiot.

That was one official at Egypt’s ministry of foreign affairs. Not to be outdone, Cyprus’ president, when asked if the incident was “all over a woman”, laughed and replied:

“Always there is a woman involved.”

And he was right.

6. Never bring a knife to a gunfight. Well, not unless you’re this guy:

That’s Donavon Phillips breaking a new record of 27 water bottles during the BladeSports International World Cutting Competition last year in Georgia. Yes, knife is a sport in the US. Don’t pretend you’re surprised.

7. Atlassian is having a decent run back towards its initial float price. After riding the market all the way down to $17.92 in early February, it’s back up above $24 and worth about $US5 billion on the open market. But how will it grow from here without any kind of traditional sales team and comparatively no marketing spend? This is how, says Atlassian’s head of growth Cameron Deatsch.

8. This woman’s “illness” led her to eat nothing but KFC for three years straight. For some reason, she felt the need to be “cured”.

9. You’ve been pronouncing Cartier all wrong. Here:

And here’s how you pronounce eight other famous French brands properly.

10. There’s been some changes to your favourite social digital things. Instagram is probably trying to deflect angst about its new feed protocol by giving everyone 60-second videos, up from 30-second videos. Snapchat made it a lot faster to catch up on your friends’ stories before they disappear within 24 hours. And Soundcloud is hoping it can convince a sizeable chunk of its 175 million users to sign up up for its $US9.95 a month music streaming service.

Have a great day.

BONUS ITEM: What it looks like when an asteroid slams into a near-galactic neighbour. Maybe:

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