10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Who’s laughing now? Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. Heard the one about the comedian who became prime minister? Incredibly, seven years after Beppe Grillo started the Five Star Movement, the stand-up comic, blogger and activist is now leader of the most popular opposition party in Italy. There’s no guarantee that an election will be needed to replace prime minister Matteo Renzi, but if it is, here’s why “Italy’s Trump” will be a major player.

2. Markets in Europe were largely okay with Renzi’s transition plan, with the only tiny dip in Milan. US stocks were up and locally, futures traders are counting on better things today – the December SPI contract is up 52 points and pointing to a 1% gain on the open. Iron ore is testing $80 again and the Aussie dollar is still grinding higher.

3. Office pals are great, especially that one you share a heap of inside jokes with and are the first you tell when you get a big project. It’s the worst when they can’t make the office Christmas party, but just quietly, you not real comfortable with them meeting your spouse. And here are the 10 other undeniable signs you have a “work spouse”, and what to do about it.

4. Let’s look at that bloke punching a kangaroo once more:

Then read this story about how it happened. It’s not fake, like this “National Geographic Photo of the Year” (yes, Twitter does loads of fake news too), but it is kind of a marketing stunt. But more importantly, is it legal?

5. Westworld is done with its first season. For the first few episodes, the series about a theme park staffed by robots tried way too hard. If you didn’t make it to Ford’s cafe speech with Theresa in episode four, you might have given up. If you did, you were reminded why Anthony Hopkins is beyond compare, needed more Ford, and last night caught the great final episode twist. Here’s everything you need to know about what it means.

6. Donald Trump’s “courtesy call” from Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen was reportedly months in the making. A spokesman for Tsai said “of course both sides agreed ahead of time before making contact”. But Trump’s determined to tackle China head-on, which could also mean relations with his daughter could be a little strained. His promise of a 35% tax on US companies selling products in the US that were manufactured in other countries could cost Ivanka millions on her apparel line.

7. It’s that type of stance that has research house Oxford thinking Donald Trump could be either the best or the worst thing to happen to the global economy in 2017 and 2018. And no one is really sure which way things will swing.

8. Headline:

Which is great beacuse that means director Gareth Edwards can “die happy now”. Best he shuffles off before Lucas changes his mind. 364 days ago, we ran this headline:

Then after The Force Awakens smashed down box office doors, later bagged it out – correctly – as a sell-out “remakequel”.

9. Worried about the rise of the robots? So you should be, because the Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us, and it will be a whole lot different from the other ones, say analysts at global investment manager Bernstein in this brilliant note. If you need any proof, take a look inside Amazon’s grocery store of the future.

10. Got 7 minutes? Then get into shape. Science promises this tiny workout each day really works.

Have a great day.

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