10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Onya, 2017 Brownlow winner Dustin Martin. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York:

“The whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country.”

It hasn’t. But rather than telling Ri to go home because he was drunk, reporters egged him on to say more ridiculous things like North Korea now has the right to shoot down US bombers, “even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country”.

2. So the safe havens – gold, the Japanese yen, Swiss franc – all had a good night, thanks Ri. As did Bitcoin, trading up over 7%. And another mystery aggressive VIX trader doubled down on a huge October bet on volatility by extending it into December. The greenback strengthened, but the Kiwi and Aussie dollars took hits. Still, ASX200 futures traders are optimistic and have marked the local index up for the open.

3. The AFL’s best and fairest player of 2017 was Richmond’s Dustin Martin. His 36 votes was the most any player has pulled in a season, and put him three clear of Geelong’s ineligible midfielder Patrick Dangerfield. It’s now officially the biggest week of Martin’s life as he prepares for Saturday’s grand final clash against the Adelaide Crows. As is traditional, all the talk this morning is about the Brownlow frocks, and we have a selection of the best here. The critics’ choice this morning seems to be Swans captain Josh Kennedy’s wife Ana Calle:

A post shared by CON ILIO (@conilio.official) on


But the most controversial moment belonged to Collingwood’s Jeremy Howe, who took this screamer in Round 12:

And somehow didn’t win Mark of the Year.

4. The world’s biggest basketball star let loose on Trump. LeBron James, in a powerful speech, referred to the US President as “that guy” repeatedly while making a point about equality, the freedom to speak and kneel through the national anthem, and how “the people run this country. Not one individual. And damn sure not him.”

5. Here’s a strange thing about people. Between 2000 and 2014, there was an 11% decrease to 38% of 18-29 year olds who identified as religious. But there was an increase to 80% of people who believed in an afterlife, and younger generations were the biggest believers. And one scientists has a controversial theory linking the strength of that belief to how privileged – read “white, middle class” – you are.

6. Spotted, in the wild:

Picture: USMC

The only female US Marine to pass its gruelling Infantry Officer Course. Just 88 Marines graduated last year, and more than 30 women have attempted it and failed since it was open to them in 2012. Thanks to the anonymous inspirational officer in the pic above, expect the success rate to start rising.

7. Remember way back in 2011 when iPhones had glass backs and it was a great time to be an iPhone repairer? The good times are back! The team at insurance company SquareTrade has confirmed the iPhone 8 will shatter when you inevitably fumble it out of your hands, and this time it will be “extremely difficult” to repair.

8. Who’d be a marketer right now, as technology starts to lift the lid on just how useless advertising actually has been all along? Here’s one CEO talking about how AI, which will just reorder whatever you’re running out of, is making branding efforts obselete. And as Advertising Week kicks off in New York, the industry is officially stuck in a crisis about how to make everything they do less insulting to your intelligence than this:

I know people in Legana aren’t wild about Marley Spoon, because I live in Legana, and we’d all have to fly to Melbourne to pick up any Marley Spoon orders.

9. If you sell or buy a house worth $250,000, the paperwork is the same – give or take a few characters on the price – as what Lachlan Murdoch paid for this $US29 million mansion in Aspen. So the conveyancing fee – paying someone to do the paperwork – should stay the same. But it doesn’t, because some conveyancers link their fee to the sale price. If you think that’s gouging, you should check out Titlexchange, the Melbourne startup which wants to end that kind of greed.

10. Russia just finished the Zapad military exercises that freaked out NATO after claims that 100,000 Russian troops were headed for Belarus, and it was a one-way ticket. That was ridiculous – but here’s what those 12,700 who did arrive got up to.

BONUS ITEM: The guy who built this ceiling won’t be getting into the afterlife:

Have a great day.

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