10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

Lance Franklin, who makes his debut for the Sydney Swans in round 1 of the AFL this weekend. Photo: Getty

Good morning, and welcome to a Friday that kicks off an almighty weekend of sport. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. The global talking point of the week has been the mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which disappeared almost a week ago with 239 people aboard, including six Australians. Everyone has a theory: a hijacking gone wrong, Chinese terrorists, al-Qaeda, North Korea. Last night it emerged that data beamed back to Boeing from the engines suggested the plane flew for four full hours after contact was lost between the flight and civil aviation authorities. But Malaysian officials have denied the plane flew for that long. One US counterterrorism official has said told the WSJ that a line of investigation is whether the plane was “diverted to be used later for another purpose”. If it did fly on, this map show the vast area of the globe it could have covered.
  2. South Australia and Tasmania hold elections tomorrow with the likely outcome in both looking like wins for the Liberals. If that happens the only Labor government left in the country would be in the ACT.
  3. US markets took a drubbing overnight with the run of poor data out of China and the continuing tensions in Ukraine moving investors to risk-off positions. It sparked a round of short covering on US Treasuries, pushing down the yield on 10-year notes by nine basis points to 2.64%. We’ve got 11 charts here that confirm the slowdown in China, which isn’t necessarily all bad news as it’s partly driven by a tightening of lending standards. Domestically, the huge surprise in Australian jobs numbers yesterday – 47,000 when the market expected a comparatively piffling 15,000 – was a bright note after an otherwise grim week and the dollar is still sitting pretty above US90c – higher than the RBA would like.
  4. While Ukraine may have been pushed out of the headlines somewhat, it’s still a long way from settled. Ukrainian officials say there are 80,000 Russian troops and 270 tanks are standing on the border ready to roll.
  5. Wondering if the buzz big data can help your business? Rio Tinto boss Sam Walsh says the company’s data project is saving the company $80 million in cash flows.
  6. The police who caught Daniel Morcombe’s killer will brief the media today. The conviction of Brett Peter Cowan is a huge relief for the family and a credit to the police involved. But it is Cowan’s history of depraved crimes against kids – revealed now that the trial is over – that will be provoke some deep thought across the country in the weeks and months ahead.
  7. The sporting calendar is chockers this weekend with the start of the 2014 AFL season, the F1 on in Melbourne, the Waratahs playing the Brumbies in the Super Rugby, the Sea Eagles playing the Rabbitohs tonight while in Europe it’s the final round of the Six Nations, with Brian O’Driscoll playing his last-ever game as Ireland play France in Paris.
  8. Countries with more money tend to be more godless, according to a study on wealth and morality from Pew. With two notable exceptions: the world’s two biggest economies, China and the US.
  9. If you want to work for a global technology giant, we’ve taken a detailed look at kinds of people they hire in Australia.
  10. WA mining magnate Chris Ellison, owner of Australia’s most expensive private home, has put another of his houses, in the Perth suburb of Applecross, on the market. Check it out here. Amazing to think this is someone’s “other house”.

Bonus item: Former US Secretary of State has posted this photo on Facebook last night, a “selfie” he took of himself some 60 years ago. “Eat your heart out, Ellen,” he wrote in the caption. Mark Zuckerberg was among those who hit Like.

Colin Powell selfie

I’m on Twitter: @colgo. Have a cracking weekend. Go Tahs, and go Ireland.

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