10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

No jetskiing today. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. A wise woman once said “money, money changes everything”. If you’ve got enough, you can join the US president at his swanky Palm Beach resort along with the Japanese prime minister. If you’re lucky, you might get to see him briefed on the latest nuclear crisis. We know, because some guy called Richard DeAgazio did and took pictures of the moment for his Facebook page:

In one night, Richard got snaps of sensitive documents, a selfie with Steve Bannon, and another with the guy carrying the “nuclear football” case. Score!

2. The missile that caused all the concern was launched by North Korea. It doesn’t have the range to strike the US, but it is propelled by solid fuel – and that’s a whole other sort of nightmare.

3. Scott Morrison was waving a piece of coal around in Parliament last week, much to the guffaws of his back bench. All the theatrics around energy policy, however, mask a more troubling problem: the lack of policy consensus, particularly around renewables, is making it impossible for businesses to make investment decisions that will, you know, keep the lights on. One thing’s for sure: they’re not building any more coal power stations. Simon Thomsen looks in details at this policy shambles — a perfect example of why people are looking for political alternatives.

4. Iron ore’s next big break is – wait for it – $100. That’s the kind of turnaround that could have CUBs all over Australia hoping their jetskis are still at the pawn shop.

US stocks continued their climb too, and it’s risk-on again in local markets. We’ll get China PPI and inflation data today, which could be interesting, and business confidence here at home.
SPI futures for March are up 17 points and the Aussie dollar is in retreat.

5. So surely a Mar-A-Lago membership is the best investment a spy can make right now? That, or you could do what two former Israeli ops have done and use the techniques and technology you picked up in your former life to help salespeople close more deals. CaliberMind has already raised $US1.1 million to get its spooky startup off the ground.

6. It looks like pressure is easing at the Oroville Dam, but nearly 200,000 people living downstream aren’t ready to return to their homes just yet. The issue wasn’t the wall itself, it was the 60-odd inches of rain California has received already this season, and how it nearly collapsed the dam’s spillway:


There are some amazing before and after pics here – and more rain on the way.

7. Happy Valentine’s Day. If you’re single, the past week or two has been a terrible time to be trying to hook up online, as everyone wants a date for the big day. But here’s how to make your profile stand out. Remember, claiming you speak a second language is one of the easiest, most justifiable little white lies you can tell. And if you’re still single tomorrow, here are 8 science-backed reasons why that’s better than being in a relationship.

8. NASA has an idea for a new fusion-powered spacecraft which could orbit and land on Pluto. And if you’re hating Earth right now, sign up for Mars, because once humans get there, biologist Scott Solomon reckons they might evolve to the point where Earth people aren’t welcome.

9. Elon Musk just told the World Government Summit in Dubai that he expects most cars will be built with full autonomy “in probably 10 years”. Ford’s on board, and just announced it will pour $US1 billion into a new driverless car company, Argo. That company was started by Bryan Saleksy, with the huge payout he received based on the valuation of the last self-driving car division he worked for at Google. Along with a bunch of other geniuses, Bloomberg claimed, who were essentially paid so much, they quit.

10. People are falling out of love with Apple, apparently. People that matter to Apple – shareholders – aren’t. Apple stock just hit an all-time closing high. So here’s Tim Cook dancing:

Have a great day.

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