10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Win McNamee/ Getty Images.

Good morning.

1. The Facebook, Cambridge Analytica saga is blowing up. The the CEO of the political research company, Alexander Nix, has been suspended pending a “full, independent investigation” of his involvement in allegedly entrapping politicians. It comes after he was secretly filmed boasting about how the company won Donald Trump the US presidential election. And he’s not the only one in hot water. US regulators are reportedly investigating Facebook, and founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been summoned to explain the scandal to UK Parliament. Facebook’s value has dropped almost $65 billion in 2 days.

2. The Aussie dollar fell to a three-month low on Tuesday, weighed down by a resurgent greenback ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision on Wednesday. The AUD/USD has now lost more than 5.5% since January 26. Against the crosses, the Aussie put in a mixed performance, rallying against the Kiwi dollar and euro but losing ground against the Loony. The session ahead is likely to be a quiet one with the Fed interest rate decision arriving at 5am Sydney time on Thursday.

AUD/USD Hourly Chart

3. Bitcoin is gunning for $US9,000. Cryptocurrency markets continued to push higher following reports from a G20 summit in Argentina that financial leaders from the 20 largest economies showed no sign that they would make moves to clamp down on the nascent market. The price of bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, jumped during Tuesday’s trade from around $US8,500 to above $US8,800 a coin, according to Markets Insider data. That’s its highest point since last Wednesday.


Despite recent gains, bitcoin’s price chart looks awfully familiar to strategists at Morgan Stanley, who think it mirrors that of the Nasdaq Composite Index during the dotcom bubble era — except it’s moving 15 times faster. More on that here.

4. “Machines have replaced humans” — and their impact on the next financial crisis could be devastating, according to Goldman Sachs. Charles Himmelberg, the co-head of global markets research, says the February sell-off in US stocks demonstrated the impact of automated trading on markets. “In this new market structure, machines have replaced humans, and speed has replaced capital.” He thinks the new ecosystem dominated by machines has dried up the sources of liquidity that would be needed in the next major wave of selling.

5. The world’s last male northern white rhino has died. Sudan, who had been suffering from age-related health issues and a series of infections, was euthanised on March 19. Before he died, he was photographed by Tim Flach for his book “Endangered”, which showed “what extinction looks like”. The photo, which was tweeted by biologist Daniel Schneider, went viral last year. Here is the sad reality:

6. Stephen Hawking’s ashes will be interred at Westminster Abbey in central London. The Gothic church is home to the remains of numerous legendary British scientists, from Charles Darwin to Sir Isaac Newton. A thanksgiving service will be held for him later this year.

7. Here’s what Apple’s futuristic smart glasses might look like. For years now, Apple has been carefully laying the foundation to bring augmented reality into the mainstream. If you’re still wondering what a pair of augmented-reality glasses from Apple might look like, Freelancer.com recently held a contest for wannabe designers. We’re not sure if we’re too excited by their ideas.

8. #ICYMI: Yesterday people went crazy over this photo of Jeff Bezos taking a robot dog for a walk:

The robot dog is made by Boston Dynamics, and is the same robot that recently learned how to open doors. Bezos was attending the invite-only MARS conference, which stands for Machine learning, home Automation, Robotics, and Space exploration.

9. Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will race using a car with no steering wheel, gearstick, or pedals. Instead the champ will use a headset that will allow him to control the car using his brain. Hamilton verbally committed to the race while speaking at the two-day Global Education and Skills Forum event in Dubai last weekend.

10. Missedyabus. Someone on Instagram is posting videos of the moments Sydney commuters miss their trains — and they’re amusing yet painful to watch. The account shows people running to catch their ride, and their devastation when they don’t make it. Here’s an example of one of the posts.

Have a great day.

You can get 10 things direct to your inbox each morning by punching your details into the form below.