10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Check. Picture: HBO

Good morning.

1. Here’s another sign that house price growth in Australia is set to cool:

Source: Citi

That’s from the economics team at Citi, but they’re quick to note that there’s more to the coming slowdown than a lift in housing stocks. Analysts say they don’t see the current round of tightening in financial standards as temporary.

2. But if you want to get into a hot housing market like Sydney or Melbourne, you can just buy 100 bricks in a house. Yes, we’re talking about BrickX, the startup that lets you buy and sell shares in housing. But is it a better way to invest than shares and super? Sam Jacobs yesterday ran a very definitive ruler over the lot of them.

3. In markets, it was a good night for the euro, which jumped on ECB president Mario Draghi’s latest upbeat assessment of the eurozone economy. The Aussie dollar also rose above US76 cents in Asian trade, but fell again after Draghi’s speech. But global stocks generally were down for the night, which will weigh on the ASX today, despite some positive news for iron ore. ASX September Futures are down 12 points.

4. There’s been a new ransomware attack, and this time it’s even made it to Chernobyl. It’s currently spreading through Europe using the same exploit, EternalBlue, that was used by WannaCry recently. You can thank the NSA for it. Once again, hilariously, you have to pay your fine in Bitcoin to get your files back. It came on the same day that UK defence secretary Michael Fallon suggested military force might soon be an appropriate response to cyberattacks.

5. They should have demanded payment in Ethereum. Even John McAfee is mining the Bitcoin alternative, which has shot up in value by 3000% this year. Here’s your beginner’s guide to what Ethereum is all about.

6. CNN lost three respected journalists for running fake news stories about Congress “investigating” a Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials. The US president smelled blood:


But Trump loves fake news so much he even has fake Time magazine covers hanging in four of his resorts and clubs:

Time magazineWashington PostFake Time magazine cover.

The Washington Post’s Dave Farenthold confirmed it, and noted that even the barcode is for software that lets you becomes a karaoke DJ. Sad!

7. North Korea’s nuke fetish has people in Japan so worried there’s now a waiting list for bomb shelters. Maybe they should be concerned – here’s a video from the Union of Concerned Scientists showing why billion-dollar missile defence systems can be rendered useless with balloons.

8. Netflix is about to get more expensive in Australia. The “Netflix tax” kicks in on July 1 and will double up with a regular price hike from the streaming giant itself, adding up to a 20% increase in the monthly fee. And by the end of July, Pandora will have shut its doors in Australia after a failed five-year experiment to compete with Spotify.

9. Google has been ordered to change its ways. At least in Europe, where it was just hit with a record €2.4 billion ($3.6 billion) fine by the European Commission for giving its own shopping service an unfair advantage over competitors. And if it doesn’t change within 90 days, the EU will fine it 5% of its worldwide daily turnover.

10. In 2012, Barack Obama drew a figurative “red line” claiming that if Syrian president Bashar Assad used chemical weapons, the US would intervene. Assad did, and the US didn’t intervene. Now, faced with intel that Assad plans another chemical attack on citizens, Donald Trump has warned the Syrian leader he will “pay a heavy price” if it happens. Can you guess what the difference is between the two presidential red lines?

BONUS ITEM: Remember this kid in Iron Man 2 who was ready to take on the drone soldier:


Tom Holland has just confirmed it was him, aka, Peter Parker.

Have a great day.

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