10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

What a proper international incident looks like. Picture: Darren Rovell/Twitter

Good morning.

1. Well, hello iron ore. After a pretty glum couple of months, benchmark fines enjoyed a 4% surge overnight. In fact, it was a good session for all the base metals. Oil also picked up 1%, but global stocks – including those in the US – remained flat. Leveraged stock investments by US hedge funds are now at their highest level since 2009, but it’s all about to go quiet as Thanksgiving approaches. And the Aussie dollar is pushing higher as doubts about US rate hikes resurface.

2. Australia’s top book seller says Amazon threatens jobs and culture. The online retail giant is possibly just hours away from opening in Australia but Mark Rubbo of Melbourne institution Readings isn’t celebrating because he reckons Amazon “doesn’t care who the next Tim Winton, Hannah Kent or Jane Harper is”. But he’s right about its arrival changing retail culture – JB HiFi is now offering same-day delivery.

3. Trump is currently in the middle of a Twitter feud with the Ball family after he didn’t get enough thanks for helping their son LiAngelo come home from China after he was arrested for shoplifting:


LiAngelo is one of three boys who are the sons of former athlete LaVar Ball, who also happens to be the most hated man in the NBA. That’s because rather than let his sons’ skills speak for themselves, LaVar seems set on turning the whole family into basketball’s Kardashians. This is the whole annoying story of the limelight-hogging Balls so far.

4. Father-in-laws can be difficult to negotiate. Especially when they’re the president of the United States, and your bad advice could cost them a job. Vanity Fair is reporting that Jared Kushner, married to Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and getting closer to centre stage of an investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the election in his favour, recently asked a friend, “Do you think they will get the president?”

5. Trump, meanwhile, had “a full schedule of meetings and phone calls” yesterday. At least that’s what White House press aide Lindsay Walters told reporters. An hour later, Trump was out on the golf course. He’s played more than 70 rounds in his first years as US president.

6. Apple’s $US5 billion “spaceship” is finally open, apart from a bit of landscaping to be done near the gym. It is undeniably impressive, especially the solar roof which will produce about 17 megawatts of power:

Here’s the ultimate drone flyover from spaceship enthusiast Matthew Roberts.

7. The Australian government is officially into a cryptocurrency. It has awarded its second largest grant in its Smart Cities and Suburbs program to the first Australian company to list itself on digital currency exchanges. Perth-based company Power Ledger, which recently raised $34 million in an ICO, scooped up another $8.6 million to help neighbours trade excess energy or power shortages with each other automatically.

8. When you were a kid and loved cars, the first thing you looked at was the speedo, to see how fast it could go. But then you bought your first Hyundai, and learnt the harsh truth about speedos when it started shaking itself apart a good 120km/h short of its “top speed”. Here’s why you get that constant reminder all your life of how fast a select few other people get to go.

9. Looking for a $US57.5 million discount? Snap up billionaire hedge funder Steve Cohen’s Manhattan duplex penthouse. He first tried to sell it in 2013 for $US115 million, and it’s now sitting on the market for half that price. Michael Jordan’s Illinois pad is also a 50% off bargain at $US14.9 million. These are the celebrity homes no one wants to buy.

10. Stuck in traffic? So were a mindnumbing amount of Americans beginning their Thanksgiving commute:


That was LA last night. We made a ropey link to Uber’s flying cars just to bring you that crazy footage.

BONUS ITEM: “A declaration of war” indeed:

Have a great day.

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