10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

George Rose/Getty ImagesA SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base lights up the early morning sky on January 22 in California.

Good morning.

1. China has returned from its week-long holiday and that means iron ore markets are coming back to life. The initial moves have been to the downside, driven by a weakness in steel prices, but it’s the first move of any significance since February 14.

2. All the internet. SpaceX has launched the first two of nearly 12,000 satellites to blanket Earth in high-speed internet. In the coming years, the company hopes to launch 4,425 interlinked broadband-internet satellites into orbit some 1100 to 1300 kilometres above Earth, plus another 7,500 spacecraft into lower orbits. The total is more than twice the number of all satellites launched in history. See photos of the mission shared by Elon Musk here.

3. Woolies vs Coles. Woolworths posted a 37.6% rise in net profit after tax to $969 million for the half-year ended December 2017. The increases in headline food and liquor sales outpaced the gains reported by Wesfamers-owned Coles earlier this week, which showed sales growth of 1.9%.

4. Bitcoin fell below $10,000 for the fourth time in 2018 on Thursday morning. After its price climbed last year, the cryptocurrency has seen regular swings as much as 20% in either direction in the last two months.

Meanwhile, top cryptocurrency traders are asking for a big shake-up to bitcoin futures which have only been up and running for more than two months.

5. Kylie Jenner is out. The US celebrity with a cult following among millennials has said she no longer uses Snapchat. The announcement saw Snap’s stock drop 1.5% on Thursday.

6. Bill’s grocery bills. He might be the second richest person in the world, but Bill Gates has no clue what groceries cost. The Microsoft cofounder failed miserably at guessing the price of common grocery items in a quiz game on “Ellen”. As one of his guesses he thought a $US20 container of Tide Pods cost $US4. Watch the segment below.

7. Guns for guns. US president Donald Trump has advocated providing teachers and other school staff with licenses to carry concealed weapons in a listening session on Wednesday. He then doubled down on his support for concealed carry in schools and said those who do should receive bonuses. It comes after Trump laid out 3 big changes to gun laws that he will “strongly” push the US Congress to enact.

8. Trouble lies ahead for Britain in the next round of Brexit negotiations based on new guidelines published by the EU Commission on Thursday. It comes as UK Prime Minister Theresa May gathered senior ministers for a “crunch” Brexit meeting at her country retreat.

9. Seventy-nine percent. That’s how much smaller on average the bonuses are for female investment bankers at Barclays, compared to male bankers. To make matters worse, they are also paid 48% less than their male counterparts. Barclays is the first major UK bank to make a gender pay gap disclosure under new rules that require any organisation with 250 or more employees to publish the data. So we don’t expect this to be the last shocking discrepancy.

10. A song a day keeps Day Zero away. Cape Town is fighting its “Day Zero” water crisis with an album of 2-minute songs to help people take quicker showers. The South African capital city has been going through three years of persistent drought and the government has warned that there will be a date in 2018, known as “Day Zero,” on which the city will run out of water. You can listen to it here:

BONUS ITEM: Saudi Arabia is building the world’s tallest skyscraper. The Jeddah Tower will stretch 3,280 feet into the sky and serve as the centrepiece for a larger redevelopment called the Jeddah Economic City. When it’s finished in 2020 it will eclipse the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which currently reigns as the tallest tower in the world at 2,717 feet.

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill ArchitectureA rendering of the Jeddah Tower, a skyscraper under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Have a great day.

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