10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

US Marine CorpsSanta Trump’s sleighs got an upgrade for the Pyongyang leg.

Good morning.

1. “We’re not committed to a peaceful resolution. We’re committed to a resolution.” And with that, US President Donald Trump’s national security advisor abandoned formality and admitted the US is ready to take North Korea’s nukes by force. Just across the North Korean border, residents in China’s Jilin province were given a full-page instruction on how to survive a nuclear blast. Five new refugees camps have also been built in Jilin recently. And Yonhap reports the US and South Korean militaries were recently drilled on “infiltrating North Korea and removing weapons of mass destruction”.

2. Now Trump’s tax bill has passed the House. It did yesterday too, but they stuffed it up and had to vote again. Trump says he has delivered on his promise to give the American people “a big, beautiful tax cut for Christmas”. But equally important has been his ability to give the internet something to mock, aka:

Here are the 12 best Trump memes of 2017.

3. And bonds are getting crushed, all over the world, most likely due to speculation that the Trump tax cuts will stoke economic growth. But stocks had the cuts priced in, so the S&P traded flat overnight and there was little movement worth noting in currency markets. And New Zealand Q3 GDP figures are out this morning – and the US version tonight – in data’s last hurrah for 2017.

4. HilAirAsia. A Malaysian senator bravely stood up in parliament and admitted that his wife was “worried whenever I fly alone on Malindo or AirAsia”. What peril could Datuk Megat Zulkarnian Omardin possibly be facing? This:

Picture: Getty Images

Cue laughter from other parliament members, but Datuk Megat was simply supporting a motion by another senator to “really look into” the fitted attire of female cabin crew members which “can arouse passengers”.

5. Even by crypto standards, there were some big moves overnight. Bitcoin cash surged 40% after Coinbase enabled the token, then disabled it two minutes later due to the high volatility. But the surge began before Coinbase took it on. In other insider trading news, the creator of Litecoin sold his entire stake because he was tired of being accused of trying to manipulate its price every time he tweeted about it. Bitcoin took a hit on the Coinbase news, but has recovered most of it.

6. Sixteen months and $US1.9 billion later, augmented reality startup Magic Leap has revealed its headset:

Magic LeapThe Magic Leap One setup.

But early hands-on reports suggest there’s a huge difference between what Magic Leap is promising and what it’s offering.

7. So where will AR and VR take us in 2018? The global design and strategy firm with the unnecessarily lower-cased name of frog took a look at it as one of its 12 tech trends that will define 2018, along with transport, the blockchain and tiny robots.

8. Fresh from crashing its $US3.26 billion Cassini probe into Saturn, NASA has ended 2017 by narrowing down the choice for its big mission to explore the galaxy. After taking 12 submissions for New Frontiers-4, NASA will choose between a lander that would head to Saturn’s moon Titan, or one that will collect samples from the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet.

9. All the best images. Today, you can choose from incredible photos like this from the US Marines in 2017:

U.S. Marine Corps/Facebook

Gorgeous Star Wars scenes made with LEGO:

Vesa Lehtimaki © 2015 by DK. All rights reserved.

Or for real alien scenes, these stunning images of our planet taken by NASA, including Australia’s own Lake Carnegie:


10. Remember earlier this week when we said we were waiting for Apple’s “Well, that’s obviously because” spin on how old iPhone speeds mysteriously drop before a new iPhone is released? It took two days, but here it is.

BONUS ITEM: Merry Christmas all *wipes single tear*:

Have a great Christmas. Drive safely.

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