10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

‘And out the left window, you can see an angry guy.’ Picture: Twitter/TheWeatherChannel

Good morning.

1. Malcolm Turnbull, having briefly enjoyed ushering two Greens senators out of Parliament due to their dual citizenship status, has now lost two government senators and two MPs. So of course he’s now saying we, the people, must be “warned” – “Dual citizenship is an issue.” He’s right. It’s such a big issue, Parliament itself has been warned on it many times in the past 45 years by its own members, notably in 1981, 1992, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2010 and 2013. Simon Thomsen easily found all those times Australian MPs were warned in big red flashing letters in the Parliamentary Library and did nothing about it. So, serves them right.

2. On global markets, geopolitics ruled the stage after talks about forming a three-party coalition government in Germany collapsed, possibly sending the country back to the polls. The euro jumped around a bit, but the DAX actually rose a bit. Back home, the yield spread on Aussie and US 2-years is now almost at parity for the first time in over 15 years, and the Aussie is hanging onto a five-month low by a thread. Morgan Stanley sees the AUD sliding to US65 cents by 2019.

3. Charles Manson finally got out. As far as Kern County hospital in California, where the notorious cult leader and killer died yesterday. For more than 45 years he had served nine life sentences for nine murders as the leader of the “Manson Family”. Manson himself was convicted of two first-degree murders and was denied parole 12 times between 1978 and 2012. And once formed a strange and brief relationship with The Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson.

4. When local retailers start selling on Amazon Australia – possibly as soon as this week – they’ll pay $49.95 plus GST each month just for the privilege, plus 6% to 15% of each item sold. That will make it difficult if their products are competing with the AmazonBasics products that briefly popped up on the Australian site on the weekend:

AmazonBasics item on Amazon Australia site: doona. (Source: screenshot)

And when Tony Yoo was charged $12.88 to return an electric cat-feeder to Kogan.com that turned out to be an electric dog-feeder, he found yet another reason why Amazon could crush its Australian rivals.

5. Billionaire Nigerians are real, and they are looking for wives. Oil and gas tycoon Kenneth Oboku married interior designer Ehi Ogbebor on the weekend, and guests were showered with $US100 bills and given microwave ovens. And two guests got brand new Toyotas:

Here’s what a lavish Nigerian wedding looks like.

6. Facebook Likes are a great way to pretend you’re interested in your friends’ holidays, yoga and hokey backyard philosophy. You probably hit Like 10 times a week, or 100. But you only need to do it once for advertisers to mine a stack of information about you, target you, and achieve up to a 40% increase in clicks and 50% increase in purchases from you after adjusting the way they target you. That’s what you get for being a slacktivist mate.

7. In mid-November, US Marine Corps pilots and support crew donned Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) gear level four while executing a “hot refuelling” in Japan. That’s when the pilot keeps an F-35’s engines on while it takes on more gas, so it can take off in a moment’s notice. Level four is the highest grade of protective gear. It’s worn when fighting under hazardous conditions created by chemical, biological, or nuclear attacks.

8. One of the largest domed stadiums in the US, the Georgia Dome, was demolished overnight. The Weather Channel got there early and set up to record the whole thing:


Gah! Here’s a better view.

9. Yesterday, we saw the not-evil side of Monsanto, at its campus in Woodland, California, where it’s creating a juicier melon, a more shelf-stable onion, and a tomato that doesn’t go limp in the good old-fashioned non-GMO way. Today, we visit Walmart’s secret lab in Arkansas to try out their sweet, year-round cantaloupe, tomatoes that don’t rot, and an unbelievably tasty yellow-skinned watermelon. And some birthday cake flavoured oatmeal and fruit punch flavored pickles.

10. Remember when we said whenever legendary automotive guru Bob Lutz says something, pay attention? That was when he was talking about how massive autonomous fleets will replace vehicles as we know them. This week, Lutz says Tesla is doomed.

BONUS ITEM: You can’t bend bullets. But you can bend arrows:

Have a great day.

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