10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Bill Paxton in Aliens. Credit: 1986 Twentieth Century Fox via IMDb.

Good morning.

1. First, to markets, where Wall Street is on an 11-day winning streak, but Australian stocks are feeling none of the love. Maybe GDP week can fix that – we’ll get business indicators today, along with QBE and Lend Lease earnings reports. Iron ore slid for its third straight day on Friday, but Chinese futures point to a rebound today. And the Australian dollar has failed to hold above 77 cents – again.

2. US President Trump’s war on the media is escalating. On Friday, reporters from the New York Times, CNN and Politico were simply barred from hearing what White House press secretary Sean Spicer had to say. And Trump followed up on Saturday by wishing everyone at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner all the best, but he won’t be attending.

3. Meanwhile, in the small city of South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg withdrew from running for the Democratic National Committee chair. But not before leaving quite the impression on DNC member John Verdejo, who, when asked what the future held for Buttigieg, a gay, Harvard-educated Navy veteran, replied:

“Senator. Or even president, why not?”

4. Success. You’ll get there eventually, if you plug away. There’s definitely no shortage of advice, most of written down, and this week, Amazon’s edited picked out their 100 favourite books on leadership and success. And from that, we picked out our top 25.

5. This is the best book Warren Buffett read last year. The Berkshire Hathaway boss shared it in his annual letter to shareholders. He also shared this, his best investment advice, and said the “elite” have wasted $100 billion ignoring it.

6. Welcome back, Your Highness. 10 years after her maiden voyage to Australia , the Queen Mary 2 is back in Sydney Harbour:

Photo: James Morgan

This year, she has 50 new staterooms, a wine cellar and a new lounge. We have more pictures here. And details on the dog walking deck, which features a lamp post for English dogs and a fire hydrant for Americans.

7. One of the greatest all-American-for-every-role actors died from surgery complications overnight. Bill Paxton, 61, built an extraordinary CV by anchoring a billion-dollar list of Hollywood blockbusters such as Titanic, Apollo 13, True Lies and Twister. But he will always be remembered by trivia nerds the world over as the only actor to have been killed by an Alien, a Terminator and a Predator.

8. Facebook’s other website. If the social network already provides too much information and you just want to message, call or video call a friend from your desktop, try Messenger.com. Barely anyone does, but here’s why they should. And if you’re a rusted-on WhatsApp fan, here are 12 features you probably didn’t know exist on WhatsApp.

9. In 1959, Manhattan Project scientist Alvin Weinberg calculated that if we could somehow harvest all the thorium in the Earth’s crust, we could power civilisation for tens of billions of years. All you need is a thing called a Molten Salt Reactor. And people like Kirk Sorensen, who, along with governments desperately seeking to manage energy needs for billions of people – namely, India and China – is keen to usher in a new “Thorium Age”.

10. In 1976, Peter Piot convinced terrified pilots, drivers and trackers to take him deep into the Congo to track down the source of an illness that had devastated a small village called Yambuku. He knew he’d found it when he was stopped by a sign on a fence that read: “Anybody who passes this fence will die.” Here are 22 amazing photos from that journey Piot took which saw him become on of the first doctors to examine the Ebola virus.

BONUS ITEM: Yes, it’s the new Nokia 3310. And it plays Snake:


Enjoy your week.

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