10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

At least we’ll have cars that are the duck’s guts. Picture: Warner Bros

Good morning.

1. The history of civilisation is filled with stories of people swarming to start new lives in fledgling towns, only to have to drop everything and move on when the well runs dry. But these days, ghost towns are generally confined to history lessons, and hopefully will stay there. Except in about three months, four million people in Cape Town, South Africa, may have to rely on bucket brigades as a crippling drought drains city dams. Yes, we could be about to see the first modern global hub turn off its taps.

2. Meanwhile, the US President just told Piers Morgan that the world’s ice caps are “setting records” for not melting, and reinforced his stance alongside every bogan in the world who claims that the globe isn’t warming because winter seemed colder than usual this year. Right now, he’s prepping for his first State of the Union address, which begins at 1pm AEDT. Here’s why we can probably expect a more polished performance.

3. On markets, the bond selloff picked up some more steam. US 10-year yields peaked at their highest level since April 2014. Stocks wobbled in the US as Goldman Sachs warned of the high probability of a market correction in the months ahead, and Macquarie claimed markets were “grotesquely swollen”. And the US dollar found some buyers as the pound dropped. The Aussie is hanging tough. Today in data we’ll get NAB’s popular monthly business survey.

4. Bill Gates has a new favourite book, and that kind of a big deal, because his previous favourite book had been his favourite for more than a decade. But while he’s ditched the history of violence in “The Better Angels of Our Nature”, Gates has stuck by the same author, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker. Here’s why he thinks everyone should read “Enlightenment Now”.

5. Spotted – and barely heard – in the wild:

And here’s a Model 3 seen in a showroom, by hundreds of people who lined up to catch a glimpse of Elon Musk’s make-or-break baby.

6. Cryptos! It was a sea of red last night for the big ones. Although “red” doesn’t really apply to 4-6% down when it comes to cryptos. There was one green afloat in the sea, however. A senior figure at Deutsche Bank bravely warned that there was a “realistic risk of total loss” in bitcoin, but every millennial’s favourite trading app, Robinhood, pulled more than a million new users in less than five days to an early sign-up for its venture into crypto trading.

7. In Kenya, up to 16,000 people in one village will get free money for the next 12 years. Charity GiveDirectly will pay them $US22 a month after a trial group reported major life changes due to the handout. Here are some stories of how much difference the cost of two small flat whites a week can make in some parts of the world.

8. Living the dream:

That there is an excellent effort from a fan of NBA team the New Orleans Pelicans who snuck on for some warm-ups and even got a shot in with his heroes before the big game.

9. Officials are still trying to work out who killed Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, and why. Today’s theory from the courts is that Kim Jong Nam reportedly met with a US agent just days before he was killed and it could be part of a US-China plot to overthrow Kim Jong Un. A police official said Kim Jong Nam met with a US intelligence official on a Malaysian island, and a thumb drive was inserted into his computer.

10. Apple’s stock slid. It told suppliers to cut production as the iPhone X looks like it’s about half as popular as Apple expected it to be. Reports of a “supercycle” year are now officially premature, but one analyst reckons Apple might try to save 2018 by launching a new cheap iPhone, like it did – disastrously – in 2013 with the iPhone 5C.

BONUS ITEM: New York has so much water rats can have showers:

Of course they don’t.

Have a great day.

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