10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Get in the fridge! Picture: Lucasfilm

Good morning, and welcome to Blue Monday. Chin up.

1. Here’s what happens when Germany finally settles on a ruling party:

Source: Investing.com

That strength in the euro weighed on the US dollar, and helped the Aussie, in the words of NAB strategist Ray Attrill “(make) mincemeat of the 0.7880-90 resistance area” and close in on the 80 US cent level. On stocks, higher bond yields in the wake of a beat on US core inflation Friday night didn’t stop the Dow, S&P500 and NASDAQ hitting new record highs to end the week. But ASX200 Futures traders have the local market opening down. And iron ore just suffered its largest fall this year.

2. Facebook changed. It looks like Mark Zuckerberg didn’t want to be remembered as the guy that manipulated the world for the worse. The shock announcement came on Friday (well, shock for media outlets and publishers) that Facebook would go back to the good old days where it prioritised content from friends and family of its 2 billion users over content from media and brands. Stock dropped about 4.5% on the news, but it’s still up 40% for the past 12 months, perhaps because Facebook’s success is almost wholly dependant on keeping its users feeling good about life. And since the news media these days seems to be almost wholly focused on keeping everyone fighting, it had to go. Derek Mead, Vice Media’s global executive editor, summed that up:


In the note explaining the changes, Facebook warned media publishers and brands they “should not focus on engagement baiting”. And users are saying they’re already seeing the changes.

3. While we’re on news that may or may not be fake, that “s..thole countries” comment from the US President came to the Washington Post via a 72-year-old Democrat senator with a history of leaking damaging, unsubstantiated comments from Republicans behind closed doors. Here’s the kind of fallout that kind of news can spark around the world, powered by Facebook sharing. And here’s the Wall Street Journal having a dip with its interpretation of what Trump said about his relationship with Kim Jong Un.

4. The flight was excellent but the landing was a 1/10. The pilot gets a 1 for not plunging off the cliff into the ocean:

‘We’ve arrived in Trabzon. Don’t forget to open the overhead compartments slowly, and exit the plane over the wing, taking care not to fall in the ocean.’ Picture: Getty Images

There were no injuries among the 168 people on board the Pegasus Airlines flight, which took off and landed smoothly by all accounts, but skidded off the runway.

5. For real panic though, you can’t beat the old “incoming missile alert” trick:


That ran on TV in Hawaii, which has had its share of surprise attacks in the past. The alert was apparently caused by an employee at Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency pushing the “wrong button” by accident. Language acceptable in these circumstances, but warning nonetheless:


Here are more reactions regarding the 38-minute gap between the warning and clarification.

6. England got one back. It was only pyjama cricket, but record-breaking pyjama cricket nonetheless as the Poms were set a record run chase at the MCG of 304. And they got there. Opener Jason Roy’s 180 was the highest by an Englishman in ODIs and surpassed Mark Waugh’s highest innings in an ODI at the MCG of 173.

7. Matt Weinberger has been in Las Vegas for a week now and gambled twice. The first time, he lost $1 on the pokies. The second time, he tried to buy $1 worth of bitcoin at a bitcoin ATM – and lost $11. He reckons it just proves how far bitcoin is from replacing regular money.

8. Also in Las Vegas is sexual harrassment. At the world’s biggest technology industry conference, CES, Avery Hartmans was assailed by cheerleader outfits and strange looks from guys who clearly still don’t know what women are for.

9. If you’re in the tech industry in San Francisco and want to get away from the usual rubbish, there are a bunch of gated societies you can hang out with. Like The Battery, a $US2000 a year private club set up by the billionaire former owners of early social network Bebo. It has a “no photos” policy, but we got photos, like this:

Douglas Friedman/The Battery

Here are more pics of what it’s like inside.

10. In the 20th century, the Ford Motor Company dominated the industry with its Model T. But by the 1950s, while Ford stuck to cranking out black Model Ts, General Motors outcompeted it by offering cars for “every purse and purpose”. Fast-forward to 2017, where Tesla is winning the stock market over for being a first mover. And GM – or rather, GM’s CEO Mary Barra – is right there with it, ready to consign Elon Musk to the same fate as Henry Ford.

Have a great day.

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