10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

The house where half your life was born. Picture: Rob Price/BI

Good morning. Five sleeps to go.

1. Trump’s tax overhaul – the biggest in a generation – is all but done after the bill passed the House this morning. It now heads to the Senate, and could be signed as soon as tomorrow. All you need to know about it is there’s a corporate tax cut from 35% to 21%, and Republicans say it will help middle-class families. Democrats say it will favour the rich, and neither side seems to care about the other 55% of the US population, otherwise known as The Ones Most Likely to Suffer when the US has to find $US1 trillion in the next 10 years to pay for it all.

2. Gah!

Disney World just added a robot Trump to its Hall of Presidents. And it has a speaking role!

3. On markets, US bonds were sold off as the strong data keeps rolling in. But even that and the new tax bill can’t save the US dollar in the face of a strong euro, and the Aussie is now holding steady, slightly below its 200-day moving average this morning. And the early results for Wall Street bragging rights are in, with JP Morgan on track to be top dog again.

4. Eight years ago, London committed £14.8 billion ($25 billion) to boring 42km of new tunnels between 30 underground stations, and free wifi. It’s called the Elizabeth line and is now just a year away from opening. Close enough to check up on how it’s looking, in this series of pictures for anyone who loves huge holes and massive machinery.

5. Remember this scene?

Then you’ll remember the Facebook house in Palo Alto, California, where Zuckerberg and Sean Parker built a $US500 billion business. The owners have banned ziplining, but they do rent it out to budding startups, and the current tenants gave us a tour of the now-iconic five-bedder.

6. If you want seven good reasons to feel that the world is becoming a better place, Bill Gates can help you. He just tweeted out his highlights of “amazing hope and progress” we made in 2017, including extreme reading challenges and a Bollywood movies about toilets.

7. Bearing all the trademarks of classic British engineering, the Royal Navy’s newest, biggest, most powerful, and most expensive ever warship is… leaking. The HMS Queen Elizabeth is taking on about 200 litres an hour, actually. But the ship’s commanding officer, Captain Jerry Kyd, says “it all works very well”. Here’s where the water’s coming in.

8. Sorcery:

That’s a University of Tokyo reseracher showing off glass that can heal itself after it has been broken. And they discovered it completely by accident. This could destroy AppleCare.

9. Sick of hearing about bitcoin? Get used to it – Morgan Stanley says $US2 billion was pumped into cryptocurrencies this year, and it expects that amount to double in 2018. BofA says long bitcoin was the most crowded trade of the year, and there are now 28 other cryptocurrencies with a market cap of more than $US1 billion. But Nomura says BTC still isn’t viewed as a risk to the financial system.

10. And while bitcoin has returned more than 13,000% for investors since its inception, blockchain-focused California-based hedge fund Pantera Capital has been rewarding its clients who braved the ride. It’s delivered a 24,004% return since 2013. It’s also delivered $US1.3 billion to the Winklevoss twins, and that’s why they cut their wallet key up into pieces and stash it in deposit boxes around the US.

Have a great day.

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