10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Meghan markleKeep it in the family. Picture: Getty Images


1. You’re probably just two days away from spending the most money you’ve ever spent on a phone. (Or a computer.) But when the iPhone X is in your hands, Steve Kovach will have already owned his for three days. It’s taken just 18 hours for Kovach to tell us why he’s already sold on Apple’s $1529 flagship. And here’s a bunch of glowing reviews, where there’s more than one mention of the iPhone X being “not perfect”. At that price, it absolutely should be.

2. Today’s US atrocity was brought to you by New York City, where a gunman apparently rammed his vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians and opened fire. But first he drove in the bike lane for 10 blocks. As many as eight people are dead. We’re updating this all morning.

3. Bitcoin is setting up for another surge. It hit a new high of $US6,3000 this morning after the CME Group — the Chicago-based derivatives exchange which handles trillions of dollars of contracts annually — changed tack and approved the use of Bitcoin futures products. Tonight and tomorrow we get news on any pending UK and US rate hikes, and in Australia, October house price data drops at 10am. ASX futures traders are confident of another solid session, but the Aussie dollar ended October with a whimper and iron ore made it five losses on the trot.

4. Michael Pascoe just had to witness an economy class traveller on a Melbourne-Sydney flight recline. And he was in the coveted row 4! It’s the decline of society, IRL, but in a bid to save standards from slipping, Pascoe has outlined what he calls “The Bingham Code”. (Rule #2 is for that lady last week who kept us waiting on the tarmac in Sydney because she refused to hand her “$2500” Thermomix to cargo staff, and it was too big for overhead. It eventually had to fly in its own business class seat.)

5. Sydney house prices are stalling, and this might be why:

Source: CoreLogic

Make of that – the fact people are suddenly rushing to sell – what you will.

6. Bingham Code Rule #12 – have a getaway plan ready if you’re about to blow the whistle on Airbus. Here’s the story of retired British Army officer Ian Foxley, who believed he had uncovered a multi-million-pound bribery scheme while working for Airbus in Saudi Arabia. But head office found out Foxley had notified the British Ministry of Defence, and threatened to have him arrested. That was the point where “things get a bit James Bond-y”, Foxley says. Here’s how he got out, quickly.

7. And Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager who turned himself in to the FBI yesterday after being accused of being a unregistered foreign agent, used “bond007” as his password. Oh dear. Trump, meanwhile, distanced himself from allegations from his other former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, with all the dignity his office allows:

It didn’t have to be this way. A paper from three Oxford University researchers shows how if Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania had had 2% fewer robots, Hillary Clinton would have won office in 2016.

8. Staff have started arriving for work at Amazon Australia’s first warehouse in Melbourne:

Amazon Australia’s first fulfillment centre in Dandenong South, Melbourne. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

We still don’t know when Amazon will start selling from it, but we do know 500 Australian businesses have already signed up to sell from its Marketplace platform. There are more pics of the giant warehouse here.

9. In a US Senate committee meeting, senator Jim Risch asked: “What happens if somebody knocks on the door of the Oval Office and says, ‘Mr. President, they have launched’?” And here is defence secretary Jim Matiss’s reply. Trump, meanwhile, has decided to give the traditional visit to the Demilitarized Zone between South and North Korea a miss on his upcoming visit to Asia.

10. Conor McGregor wants a cage fight with Floyd Mayweather. “What sickens me is that the little motherf…er is retired now,” he said. If McGregor, 29, would like to retire as well, here’s how to figure out how much money anyone needs to save to retire by age 40.

BONUS ITEM: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly cousins. Of course they are.

Have a great day.

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