10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Tourists flock to see AFP staff in their natural Canberra habitat. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. On the local market, there’s only one figure that matters today – the inflation report. What makes today’s call a bit more interesting is there’s some divide over whether it will come in above or below expectations. If it comes in hotter (TD Securities), a rate hike from the RBA could be closer than thought. Colder (Westpac) and any possibility of a rate hike next year will be snuffed out. So it’s kind of a big deal. Here’s your 10-second guide to the drop at 11.30am.

2. Your tax dollars at work. Dozens of AFP officers raided the offices of the Australian Workers Union trying to find documents proving the AWU made wrongful donations to GetUp and Bill Shorten’s election campaigns a decade ago. It’s part of the Registered Organisations Commission investigation, set up by the Turnbull government this year.

3. Here are Lonely Planet’s Top 3 Cities for 2018:

Picture: Lonely Planet

“Criminally overlooked Canberra packs a big punch for such a small city,” wrote Chris Zeiher. It’s the highest place any Australian city has appeared on the list.

4. Saudi Arabia is working on a plan to end its economy’s heavy reliance on oil. It’s called NOEM, and it’s basically “build a massive new city”. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the plan yesterday. The US$500 billion mega city will be more than two times larger in area than Sydney and, he says, will run on 100% renewable energy. And if this promotional video is anything to go by, it will be a very different Saudi Arabia.

5. Google’s Pixel 2 smartphone is struggling. Several major reviewers are recommending holding off buying the phone after reports of screen ghosts, clicking and whining in early models. It also loses out in a popular speed test against the iPhone 8 Plus. Also in speed, you’ll have to be quick to get an iPhone X. Production issues with the screen will see only half of anticipated demand ready for supply on the November 3 launch day. Apple’s answer is “line up early”, but here’s a trick you might want to try to increase your chances of an early iPhone X.

6. When their AirAsia plane out of Perth plunged 8000m in 9 minutes, this guy proposed to his girlfriend rather than risk waiting to see if they’d ever make it to their holiday alive. She said yes, and they did. This man proposed at a zoo and got bombed by a baby hippo:

Engagement photo bomb hippoInstagram @hayley_rollFiona — a ‘little hippo with a big personality’ — managed to photobomb an engagement.

And there are seven couples in the US now married because they are friends with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. “It’s our hidden skill,” Trump told Fox News. “We’re matchmakers.”

7. Here’s something else that happens on planes sometimes – 100-person VIP raves complete with decks, DJs and champagne. We have pictures to prove it.

8. And here’s a selfie worth $1 billion:

FIFA Ellen selfie Idris Elba Ronaldo Neymar MessiGetty ImagesFrom left to right: Sergio Ramos, Dani Alves, Cristiano Ronaldo, Idris Elba, Luka Modric (hidden), Andres Iniesta (partially hidden), Lionel Messi, Toni Kroos, Neymar, Leonardo Bonucci, Marcelo, and Gianluigi Buffon.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar are all impressive talent to have in one pic. But the coolest guy in shot is the owner of what could be the most iconic football photo of the year – selfie-taker Idris Elba.

9. In bubble news, a mid-century modern home in San Francisco has sold for nearly $US1 million over asking price. Bitcoin slid for a while after Bitcoin Gold went live. And because it seems unfair to sledge Bitcoin and say it’s OK to hold gold – because you can’t really buy anything with gold either – we decided to take them both out onto the street and see which one was easier to spend. Meanwhile, in Brixton, South London, locals simply printed their own currency, the Brixton Pound. With David Bowie on it and all.

10. In just his fourth game, Ben Simmons became the first Australian to notch a triple-double (21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists) in the NBA. He did it a year and three months faster than LeBron James did. And he’s the first player since Shaquille O’Neal in 1992 to record double-doubles in his first four games. But all the talk today is about this Jordan Bell circus dunk:


Badly beaten Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle wasn’t accepting apologies.

BONUS ITEM: Here’s a warning about celebrating too early:

https://youtu.be/4HVBvRQgWfg

Have a great day.

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