10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

Air bikes are real and Google CEO Larry Page wants you on them.

Good morning, and welcome to Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. By now you’ll be aware authorities have announced the missing Malaysian Airlines jet went down in the Southern Indian Ocean. One talking point is sure to be how the airline told relatives of the passengers by text message, which you can read here. The conclusion was based on work by UK satellite company Inmarsat, which originally helped come up with the “corridors” – large areas extending north and south from the place where contact was lost with the planes – that formed the search zones over the past week. Inmarsat has been working on more detailed Doppler modelling of the pings from MH370, matching the signals up closely with other aircraft on the southern route, leading to the conclusion that the Southern Indian Ocean track was its final direction. The search continues today.
  2. The Australian dollar is trading at a 2014 high this morning – almost reaching US91.5c – amid growing speculation China might move to stimulate its economy. It follows another weak China flash PMI number yesterday and continuing concern about a potential wave of corporate defaults in the country. RBA deputy governor Philip Lowe speaks at an ASIC event today and the market will be watching closely for any comments on the dollar’s current strength.
  3. The sudden pause of the Future of Financial Advice reforms is extremely awkward for the federal government and a clear win for those who have been campaigning against it. Matthias Cormann took carriage of the legislation for the government after Arthur Sinodinos stood aside to face ICAC, but has decided to put everything on hold amid mounting howls of opposition to the changes, most significantly from its critical stakeholders in the Financial Planning Association. But it’s now a mess, with Cormann saying on Twitter yesterday that the FPA had backed what the Coalition took to the last election but they were putting things on hold so they can regroup. The FPA’s position on this, particularly its concern about the effect of a return of commissions, will not be easy to shift.
  4. Commonwealth Bank boss Ian Narev has been to Silicon Valley and returns with four key takeouts: the speed of new apps emerging, increased access to mobile fast broadband; device innovation, and the cheaper costs of data storage.
  5. The White House has been spooked by Russia’s sudden apparent ability to “hide” its electronic communications from NSA monitoring, a capability used for the first time in the invasion of Crimea.
  6. The comment from Attorney-General George Brandis that “people do have a right to be bigots” in response to a question about the repeal of the so-called “Andrew Bolt laws” has prompted outrage from some quarters. The clumsy insistence on people’s right to prejudice came in response to the Attorney-General also revealed the laws around incitement to racial hatred will be strengthened in legislative changes when they appear.
  7. A shocking story in London’s Telegraph tells how up to 10 British hospitals have admitted burning bodies alongside other rubbish in their own incinerators. Two of the hospitals in Cambridge and Ipswich claim the process was part of their “waste to energy” program, filed under “cl inical waste”. By “clinical waste”, they actually mean “nearly 2000 foetal remains”.
  8. Google CEO Larry Page is fascinated with the idea of people riding bikes on aerial pathways.
  9. Former Labor MP Craig Thomson will be sentenced today, on 65 counts of dishonesty.
  10. The lives of celebrity siblings always make for interesting news sidelines. Today’s it’s Harry Craig’s turn – the half-brother of James Bond, aka Daniel Craig. Harry told UK’s The Mirror that he until very recently worked as an “alternative model”, making $25.50 an hour. He also works in a raceourse bar. You have to see the very unBondlike pics here.

Have a cracking day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo

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