10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

You need this. Picture: Bluestone Lane/Instagram

Good morning.

1. Donald Trump may have finally gone too far. Trump last night told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that if abortions were made illegal in the US, “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have the procedures done in “illegal places”. But can he, or does he want to, ban abortions? Maybe. He’s “pro-life” but also “pro-choice”. And the next US president may have the chance to appoint several justices to the Supreme Court.

So now’s a good time to find out which of your friends secretly like Trump on Facebook. Here’s the simple trick you’ve been looking for.

2. Markets! Thank Yellen for being such a dove and sending European and US stocks up and the US dollar down. Both Aussie and Kiwi dollars are flying at the moment, with the battler hitting a nine-month high above 77 cents overnight, forcing the CBA to upgrade its forecast to 80 cents by the middle of next year. The positive tone offshore has kicked the ASX SPI 200 futures 42 points higher and heading for a solid open. Iron ore’s looking shakey again after it sixth loss on the trot, but even $54.18 a tonne is still 24.4% higher on the year to date. (Although one reason why it’s soaring is “deeply concerning”.)

3. Tesla is the new, wildly expensive iPhone. If you don’t believe that, here are people lining up this morning to pre-order the Model 3, a $60,000 car they’re not likely to actually start up for another two years:

The Melbourne lineup has now extended to over 60.

Here’s some more detail on the car they all want to be seen buying.

4. It’s spring break season in the US, and even multimillionaire celebs need to wind down from their busy schedule of being famous. And thanks to modern technology, we don’t need creepy paparazzi shots to follow them. So here’s Taylor Swift, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba and a bunch of other celebrities showing off their lavish vacations on Instagram.

5. Here’s an interesting chart:

For the first time since anyone really cared, developing countries invested more billions in renewable energy than developing countries did. Mainly because they have to, but it could put countries like India in a box seat towards the middle of the century. Currently, solar power only makes up 0.39% of the total energy used in the US. India’s government is aiming for 40% within 15 years. And Costa Rica’s already at 98%.

6. Sometimes, it’s hard to be NASA. You spend all that time telling intergalactic planetary conspiracy theorists that Nibiru, or “Planet X”, doesn’t exist, can’t possibly exist in our solar system. It doesn’t come close to Earth every 3600 years. Its inhabitants, the Anunnaki, didn’t create humans to mine gold. And no, it won’t crash into the Earth this September. And then, damn – astronomers discover their most compelling evidence yet that there’s a mysterious 9th planet in our solar system.

7. Oculus Rift’s world-changing VR headset is everywhere now, and by all reports, it’s a doddle to set up and lose yourself in. But Ben Gilbert has discovered one huge problem with it – especially if you’ve never held an Xbox controller before.

8. It’s a big week for Microsoft, which is holding its annual Build conference in San Francisco. That’s where all the developers get to show off how far they’ve pushed Microsoft’s tech in the past year. For starters, here’s how Microsoft-powered smart glasses help a blind man “see”:

But the big story is CEO Satya Nadella proclaiming chatbots are the next big thing, even after Microsoft’s own AI poster child, Tay, recently turned into a genocidal racist on Twitter. Here’s why he’s not too worried about that, and here are all the other big announcements so far:

9. Millions of people are paying for Jay-Z’s music streaming app. Soon after its launch, everyone was laying into the hi-def service “Tidal”. Now, with 3 million subscribers, it’s still well behind Spotify and Apple’s 30 million and 11 million strong bases, but at $20 a month, it’ll do Jay-Z nicely, thanks very much. $60 million a month.

10. An Australian-style café in NYC has perfected avocado toast. You can too, but first you’ll need to watch this to find out their secret ingredient.

BONUS ITEM: They’re calling Robert Santoli the greatest contestant in ‘Wheel of Fortune’ history. They may be right.

Have a great day.

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