10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

‘We’ll thaw you out as soon as we’re cash positive.’ Picture: Lucasfilm

Good morning.

1. We now know more about the final straw that drove Trump to fire Comey. The US president was apparently already all het up by separate reports on how badly Comey handled the Clinton email investigations, but the hammer fell last week when Comey claimed it made him “mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some kind of impact on the election”. But Trump said he would have fired Comey anyway, because he was a “showboat”. Because the last thing the White House needs right now is a big old grandstander.

2. Bill Shorten gave his Budget Reply speech last night, saying Labor was happy to tax the banks but would try to block moves to strip school funding and impose a higher Medicare levy on low-income earners. “The days of earning millions and paying nothing are over, no matter who you are,” he said. You can read his full reply here.

3. Markets remained cautious. The S&P500 eased back after its attempt at breaking 2,400, while US 10-year treasuries fell back below 2.4% and gold moved off its recent lows. The Bank of England held rates as expected nd the Aussie dollar was this morning climbing back towards US74 cents. Iron ore clung on but future traders are unconvinced and have still marked the local index down by 9 points this morning.

4. In tech today, Apple gave Microsoft’s appalling App Marketplace exactly the kind of gift it needs to make the new Windows 10 S a success – iTunes. And if you’re looking for a good TV speaker, Tony Yoo liked the new Sonos Playbase so much, he actually ponyed up for one after his review, instead of making hackneyed tech journo excuses to the PR people like “I need to see how it performs over three years”.

5. This, kids, is why you need to stay in school:


NASA has been quietly working on a Mars rover concept that looks like a Batmobile.

6. Or if high-tech weaponry is more your thing, join the US Navy and shoot down drones with missiles. We have the video here. Get in quick, before Trump takes all the military technology back to the Golden Age of Steam.

7. You might think high-end wine is a w..k. But only 236 people in history have ever earned the title of Master Sommellier, and if you’re ever lucky enough to find yourself with one on hand, try to remember this fascinating rundown of what it takes to even get to the application process.

8. Ever wondered what Kraft Singles are made of? The gory details are here:


But you’re probably better off eating crayons coloured with the first new shade of blue we’ve discovered in 200 years.

9. You might remember Steve Harvey as the wisecracking host who once awarded the Miss Universe title to the wrong Miss Universe. But today he’s the TV star who wrote a leaked email to staff telling them “do not attempt to walk with me” and “do not wait in any hallway to speak to me”. Here’s why.

10. And once more in great jobs. Growing up to be a “full stack engineer” doesn’t sound real sexy, but if you’re a full stack engineer at San Fransisco-based hedge fund Numerai, they’ll drain your body of fluids and replace them with a mixture of organ preservation and antifreeze chemicals. After you die, obviously. Yes, cryonic preservation is now a perk in Silicon Valley.

BONUS ITEM: You’ll spend a long, long time looking for someone in journalism and broadcasting who touched more lives in better ways than ABC legend Mark Colvin, who died yesterday after magnificently fighting various illnesses for more than 20 years. Here’s the ABC’s tribute:

And here are some of his words to live by.

RIP Mark.

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