10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)Andy Murray during day one of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

Good morning!

1. It’s the most critical time in US stock markets as earnings season gets underway — and this year could be the most crucial of all. Recent poor sales forecasting from multiple companies is making the outlook for this quarter seem dire.

2. A second Brexit referendum is in the works. British MPs from the Conservatives, Labour party and other minor parties have drafted legislation to hold another referendum. The draft offers people the vote between May’s Brexit deal and staying in the EU. During the last referendum in 2016, the pound’s volatility it hit a 30-year low.

3. The Aussie dollar has backed down amidst an influx of global concerns. The main theme of the session was a weak Chinese trade report for December. David Scutt has more.

4. Russian scientists made direct threats to Europe and the US with the so-called Russian “Poseidon” torpedo. A provocative Moscow-based news outlet has released threatening statements from leading scientists about a nuclear torpedo that could create 500 metre high tsunamis and wash away all living 1,500 kilometres inland.

5. This chart shows the start of Europe’s trajectory into recession.

Capital EconomicsIndustry is the traditional driver of European economies.

Germany and Italy are facing down imminent recessions, and the rest of Europe is trying to keep heads above water.

6. Andy Murray has been knocked out of the Australian Open just days after announcing his retirement due to a chronic hip injury. The former number one was visibly limping on court but gave a heroic performance in the match against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.

7. Will the RBA cut rates this year? Bank of America Merrill Lynch experts don’t seem to think so stating that rising global uncertainty requires a balanced “source of stability and confidence”. In December last year, predictions were geared towards rate hikes in 2019. Read their latest predictions here.

8. An ongoing feud between Canada and China may have lead to the retrial and sentencing to death of Canadian national Robert Schellenberg. China has been demanding the release of Huawei CFO Meng Wengzhou who is currently under house arrest and awaiting extradition.

9. Electric cars just keep getting better with Cadillac releasing its new electric SUV that will rival Tesla’s Model X SUV. The previews show a sleek exterior in keeping with the luxury brand with a unique electric platform that will set the bar. Check it out.

CadillacCaddy goes electric.

10. Twitch streamer and early bitcoin investor known by the name “KingMascot” has donated $100,000 to a fellow streamer “ExoticChaos” in one of the largest donations on the service. ExoticChaos’ genuine freakout while streaming live is worth a watch.

BONUS ITEM: The culmination of generations of scheming politics, bloody battles and illicit love affairs is coming to a close and each trailer release is a tantalising step closer to the final season of Game of Thrones. ICYMI, the latest trailer was dropped yesterday:

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