10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Fate of the world still in the hands of these two clowns? Check. Picture: Getty Images

Hello, and welcome to 2018.

Let’s see what’s changed.

1. US markets haven’t, yet. The bull market is entering its ninth year of delivering fat profits, and all the lead strategists at top Wall Street firms expect stocks to lift again in 2018. We know, because we asked them, and they’re all expecting a boost from Trump’s tax reforms. Sorry bears.

2. Apple will acquire somebody. You can lock that in, especially as Trump’s corporate tax cut includes a one-time allowance for companies to repatriate cash stored overseas without a major tax hit. So what would Tim Cook splurge on if he could splurge on one thing? Well hello, Netflix.

3. Kim Jong Un is still threatening the US. In fact, he made a point of opening 2018 by telling the people of the Hermit Kingdom in a broadcast he had a nuclear button “always” on his desk, ready for pressing, and the “entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons”. But there was at least one hope for peace on the Korean Peninsula in his New Year’s Day speech.

4. US President Trump will continue to wear his bow tie badly. And the First Lady donned a plastic hat in NYE celebrations at their Mar-a-Lago private club:

A post shared by Party on the Moon (@partyotm) on

Then Trump used his first two tweets of 2018 to lash out at Pakistan, for taking $US33 billion in aid and returning “lies & deceit”, and Iran for “failing at every level”.

At least 12 people have died this week in protests in the largest protests in Iran since 2009. The Iranian government has even blocked access to Instagram in a bid to break it up.

5. The business world is in shock after the death of Richard Cousins, the 58-year-old CEO of catering company Compass Group, and four members of his close family, in a seaplane accident on the Hawkesbury River. Richard Cousins ran Compass Group, the world’s largest catering company, but was due to finish up in March and marry his fiancee of three years, OK arts editor, Emma Bowden. They and Richard’s sons Ed, 23, and William, 25, died when their fly-dine sightseeing plane banked and nosedived into the river about 30km north of Sydney. Sydney Seaplanes pilot Gareth Morgan also died in the crash.

6. Bitcoin is struggling. Just kidding, it’s around $US13,500 right now. But it’s all you need to know about the little crypto that jumped more than 1500% in 2017 that “struggling” means “struggling to break back above $US15,000”. According to Nomura, about 1 million Japanese people hold nearly a fifth of all bitcoin, and the rise in value could be adding 0.3% to Japanese GDP growth. So who took this guy’s famous advice back in July?

“Bitcoin Sign Guy” was just named CoinDesk’s Most Influential in Blockchain in 2017 for his moment in the sun (which netted him around $100K instantly in bitcoin). Here’s his take on the coin’s future and why he chose that moment to show his card.

7. Books are still popular. Our reading lists were consistently among BI’s most read posts in 2017, but you’re out of time to get through everything we recommended, because people won’t stop writing them. So here’s Shana Lebowitz with the 15 insights she learnt from them, about relationships, productivity, and success.

8. Women are still being harassed. So hundreds of top women in showbiz have launched an initiative to stop workplace abuse, including Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, and Reese Witherspoon. It’s called “Time’s Up” and it’s already drawn some $US13 million in donations for a defence fund.

9. Game of Thrones will return. To the news, at least, but maybe not to screens in 2018. Sansa Stark let slip to Variety a couple of weeks ago that “Game of Thrones comes out in 2019”, but there will still be wholesale dissection of every rumour, image, trailer and fan theory that hits the webs. For now, let’s reflect on what an inconsistent mess Season 7 was, saved by “Spoils of War”. Which, as it turns out, was pretty much the best 50 minutes of TV in 2017. Here’s why.

10. And these are the 25 worst movies of 2017, according to critics. If you haven’t watched them, don’t.

BONUS ITEM: If 2018 puts you in a mobility scooter, make it this mobility scooter:

Have a great year.

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