10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

England – still winning. Picture: Getty Images

1. Suddenly no one is expecting rate hikes in the US this year and all the positivity has boosted pretty much every market overnight, along with the spirits of futures traders who helped the December SPI200 contract move 39 points higher this morning to 5,246. That puts the ASX 200 within striking distance of the top of the recent range again. Greg McKenna reckons any move above 5,300 could be the signal for a strong rally.

2. Commodities had a shocker. The oil recovery “appears to be delayed” and iron fell on its face again, badly. But the dollar’s still doing OK, above 73 cents, although AUDNZD has collapsed to 1.0694. And we’ve got a big data release here today, with the RBA’s deep dive into how things are going in the Australian economy – the Financial Stability Review.

3. The end of the world is nigh, eventually. But don’t panic – Vivos founder Robert Vicino has plans for you to be able to watch it all unfold in comfort. That’s if you’ve got $US35,000 available right now to reserve a bunker, or even $US5 million for a full, two-storey underground suite with a swimming pool:

And it’s not a fantasy – Europa One is already being built in a massive Soviet bunker in Germany, paid for “by a mysterious philanthropist”.

4. Tesla owners go to bed wondering if they’ll get a surprise software update overnight that completely changes their car. This morning, recent model buyers got a very unexpected surprise – their Tesla can now drive itself. And BI’s transportation editors tried it out.

5. About that “alien” structure orbiting a distant star. A couple of astronomers have a fantastic proposal to nab some time in January at the NRAO’s Green Bank Telescope to check out strange signals emitting from KIC 8462852. Basically, something that isn’t a planet is orbiting it, but the star is too old for anything else besides planets to be orbiting it. One of the astronomers, Jason Wright, is intrigued by the very remote possibility it could be an artificial structure. Here’s what other astronomers think.

6. Australia’s global fitness sensation Kayla Itsines is still going strong, blowing out her Instagram follower numbers from 1.7 million to 3.8 million in the past year. Last night, she was named Australia’s Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, and to celebrate, she’s given us permission to give away her number one weight-loss secret. The big gong – Australia’s Entrepreneur of the Year- went to Manny Stul, the Melbourne toy-maker who got your kid addicted to the Trash Pack and Shopkins.

7. England barely got a start in the Rugby World Cup, but London mayor Boris Johnson was pretty keen to show the world Poms aren’t a pushover. So keen, he took out 10-year-old Japanese schoolboy Toki Sekiguchi during a rugby match while on an official visit to the country:

8. Don’t you just hate it when conversations turn away from stuff about you? Or when people expect you to be interested in all the emotions and issues they’re struggling with? Yes? Then you’re a narcissist, and there’s no denying it. But there is something you can do about it – this, according to pyschologist Joseph Burgo, the author of “The Narcissist You Know”.

9. Microsoft really wants you to put down your MacBook Pro and pick up its new Surface Book. Microsoft VP of Windows and Devices Terry Myerson was even happy to admit to BI the Surface Book was aimed squarely at winning over Apple users. “Our best versus their best” is the challenge, and the numbers are, not surprisingly, already being dissected by fans of both brands.

10. A Danish zoo publicly dissected a baby lion that was in perfectly good health. One girl among the 300-odd schoolkids invited to watch told public broadcaster DR it was “fun to see but also a bit disgusting”. But the quote of the day belonged to zoo butcher employee Rasmus Kolind, with this gem:

“Is there anyone who would like an eye?”

Yes, there was outrage. And yes, the zoo has what it believes is a very good excuse for doing it.

BONUS ITEM: Master swordsman Isao Machii is exactly that. If you don’t believe us, watch him slice a baseball in half travelling at 161km/h. And note he hasn’t drawn his sword when the ball’s journey begins:

Have a great day.

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