10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

One hot koala waits as a resident pours water on its back. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

Good morning!

1. Europe has lost an economy the size of Spain. Austerity measures following the GFC has led Europe down a path of irreversible damage to its economy with the latest numbers looking dire. Economists are predicting an imminent recession if political decision-makers don’t change tack.

2. The Aussie dollar is fighting back. The dollar made modest gains against the greenback following a spike in the Chinese yuan, which rose to five-month highs. Further China-US trade talks are helping with these gains. The British pound is in an unexpectedly strong position, despite weak economic reports from the UK and Europe.

Investing.comAUD/USD 4-Hour Chart

3. “An unforgivable breach of democracy” is how Theresa May has described a failure to deliver on Brexit. The vote is going ahead on Tuesday, local time. Various MPs are reportedly attempting to re-write the rules of parliament in order to control the vote – a move that could have damaging effects on the May government’s ability to govern.

4. You know when Australia declares a heatwave, it’s going to be really bloody hot. Temps are creeping up to the 40s in Adelaide, while Sydney and Melbourne are seeing the mid-30s throughout the week. According to the BOM, the worst is likely to come through at the end of the week and affect nearly all of Australia.

Bureau of Meteorology

5. While tech aims to make our lives easier, some of the latest and greatest in tech innovations are bringing new challenges to the fore. Microsoft president Brad Smith has outlined his predictions for the top concerns in tech, from fake news to privacy. Here’s his list.

6. The fate of Amazon could rest in MacKenzie Bezos’ hands, according to family law experts. The division of assets from the high profile divorce between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos could see her become the second biggest shareholder in the company. If either Bezos decides to sell their shares for the divorce settlement, “the stock would go way down,” an expert has said.

7. If you’re worried about your phone “spying” on you, you can add your TV set to that list. TV manufacturers are collecting data from your viewing habits to on-sell to advertisers and other third-parties. The silver lining? It’s making high-tech set much more affordable.

8. Three B-2 spirit bombers and 200 airmen have been deployed at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii to reassure allies of US military strength in the Pacific region. The move comes after increasing tensions between the two countries has seen escalating displays of force.

Wikipedia CommonsBy Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III

9. Trump has reportedly confiscated interpreter’s notes in order to hide communications between himself and Vladimir Putin from his own administration. US officials have stated that there are many conversations between Trump and Putin with no detailed records.

10. Want to know a sweet trick to staying fit? Scarlett Johansson’s personal trainers have recommended dark chocolate before a workout. The trainers have a pretty good argument around how this works and it makes your New Year’s resolution that much more achievable.

BONUS ITEM: Watch if you dare…

This snake covered in more than 500 paralysis ticks was pulled from a Queensland pool. The poor little guy swam into the pool to try to drown the parasites. The entire rescue was captured on video.

Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher/ Facebook

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