10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. It’s time to gloat; the urn has returned. Here’s the moment:

And it returned in brutal fashion, with Australia claiming an outright victory as rain in Perth and shoddy groundskeeping threatened to derail the final day. Mitchell Starc got the best wicket, but Josh Hazlewood found the cracks in the WACA deck and cleaned out the visitors with 5-48. Only six times has any team lost by an innings after scoring more than 400 in the opening innings, and three of those times have been England since 2016.

2. If you’d invested $11 in Berkshire Hathaway in 1965, you’d have $US300,000 today. A year ago, that would have sounded phenomenal, but bitcoin has been a bit of a buzzkill for Wall Street’s favourite success story in the past 12 months. Still, $US300K a share. And overnight, it was NASDAQ’s turn to hit a record high. ASX200 Futures traders are counting on the local market to follow global stocks higher at the open. The Aussie is enjoying a grounded greenback right now and iron ore is going bonkers. It’s up 26.7% since October.

3. Christmas is a time of tradition, and one of those traditions at BI around now is predicting what will happen to us all next year. So here’s all our defence and military reporters with what they think 2018 will bring for the world, from Trump to South Korea, ISIS, Saudi Arabia and beyond. (Spoiler alert because we got most of them right last year.)

4. Here’s a prediction lock – the US President will continue to tweet in 2018. Twitter has built in a special exemption that will allow him to, as it finally gets around to rolling out an abuse policy which immediately saw Britain First barred. JPMorgan likes the new policy and has upgraded the stock, calling Twitter one of its “top ideas” for 2018.

5. The cofounder of one of the world’s biggest bitcoin sites, bitcoin.com, is out of BTC. Emil Oldenburg sold all his bitcoin recently, saying high transaction costs and lead times are making the cryptocurrency “as good as unusable”. He’s put it all into Bitcoin Cash. BTC was down slightly overnight after CME Group became the second exchange group to launch a bitcoin futures market. You can read all about that and everything else crypto in our new roundup, Crypto Insider.

6. Here’s a terrible investment in 2017:

Sydney’s home values fell again last week, and have grown by a paltry 3.8% in 2017. At that rate, it would take around 20 years to double your money on buying a home. If you’ve got a good chunk of that value under a mortgage, you’re going backwards – and it’s even worse in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Still, humans will dream. This £30 million pad was the most clicked-on property in London in 2017. And we just learned that the world’s most expensive home, sold in 2015, was bought by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

7. Early reviews – mainly from critics treated to special screenings – for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” were glowing. But there’s a grumble growing amongst fans who aren’t so impressed, which we can’t go into really, due to spoilers. We did, however, get to address those concerns with the guy who actually made the film, director Rian Johnson. Again, there are spoilers here. But not everyone hates spoilers. Mark Hamill just told Graeme Norton how Harrison Ford got angry with him because he knew Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father and Ford only found out after watching the first screening. Obviously neither of them had heard Vader himself had given away the biggest spoiler in cinema history two years earlier.

8. Today’s Not News – Apple may be doing something dodgy to get people to buy a new iPhone. Reddit users discovered that shortly after the battery on an old iPhone was replaced, they noticed a dramatic increase in performance. Benchmark tests and data backed it up, suggesting Apple is somehow limiting performance when the battery deteriorates to a certain point. Apple won’t comment until its PR peeps can put a “Well, that’s obviously because” spin on the news.

9. It’s almost time to shout at your kids to get moving and argue with your spouse about how many suitcases really are necessary, because Christmas hols are the best. Unless you were flying into or out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta yesterday, when a fire knocked out power. Here’s how the chaos unfolded, in tweets from a CNN reporter who was stuck on the tarmac in a plane for six hours.

10. It looks like we finally have a miracle drug that lifts our mood, improves our memory and protects our brains against ageing. It’s called “exercise”, and here are 11 ways getting your heart rate up for 20 minutes a day can do extraordinary things to your body and your brain.

BONUS ITEM: MoonPie wins PR in 2017:

Have a great day.

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