10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

You’d almost feel sorry for him. Almost. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. The Bannon-Trump war is fully engaged. One one side is Trump and his family and all the Republicans, including those who owe their seat to Bannon. And on the other side is… Bannon. Who decided last night, perhaps after cease-and-desist letters were sent out, to say “the president of the United States is a great man”.

2. Iron ore! It’s back, after a bit of a layoff, to hit the highest level seen in months. The Australian dollar is on a winning streak never seen before. ASX200 futures for March are looking healthy and in the US, the scorching-hot stock market is just two weeks away from doing something that’s never been seen before.

3. There are two kinds of security flaws in computers. Those that affect other people’s computers, and those that affect your computer. “Meltdown” and “Spectre” affect just about every PC, tablet and smartphone on the planet. That’s because they exploit a flaw in almost every Intel, and many AMD and ARM, processors, and the only way to fix it properly is for those companies to create a new kind of processor, and everyone to buy a new device. Linux inventor Linus Torvald is even more furious than usual about it all.

4. Here’s an interesting stat – England captain Joe Root has scored more 50+ innings than any other batsman since his debut. Yes, that includes Steve Smith. Unfortunately for Root and England, he also has a shocking case of the Watsons:

Mitchell Marsh’s brilliant catch to send Root packing with less than two overs to go on the first day of the Fifth Test suddenly has England scrambling at 5-233.

5. South Korea has been calling North Korea every day for the past two years. And yesterday, someone finally answered. Officials from both sides spoke to each for 20 minutes, but no details of what was said have been disclosed. That leaves the US threatening nuclear action, while its ally is enjoying an open dialogue with the Hermit Kingdom. So is Trump falling into a crafty Kim Jong Un trap?

6. Rebels off the coast of Yemen posted a video of four of members in dive gear holding what looks a lot like a US Navy unmanned underwater vehicle. One expert says it “might be the most advance UUV deployed”, worth about $US1 million, and local news say it was a “spying device”. All US defence would say was it was “part of a meteorological study”.

7. Leonard Yankelovich is the owner of one of the most expensive, famous bottles of vodka in the world. Or was the owner, after he lent the $US1.3 million, diamond encrusted bottle of Russo-Baltique – which starred in “House of Cards” – to Cafe 33 in Copenhagen, and this happened:

It’s not insured, and Yankelovich reckons the thief has probably drunk the vodka by now.

8. Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year’s resolution is out, and it’s probably his biggest personal challenge yet – fix Facebook. “We currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools,” he wrote, adding that he wanted to ensure “that time spent on Facebook is time well spent”. Facebook’s share price hit a high of $US186 around that time, maybe because Zuckerberg has an awesome track record of meeting his resolutions, ever since wearing a tie every day to “fix Facebook” in 2009.

9. You’ve probably done that high school experiment when you mix two parts cornstarch to one part water. Here’s what kind of fun you can have when you fill a pool with it. Just don’t stop moving.

10. An expert on parenting, who sounds suspiciously like one of those experts on parenting who has never been a parent, reckons she knows why Princess Kate carries Charlotte, while Prince William holds George’s hand. It’s all part of preparing George to become king. Here’s how that works, if you’re wondering.

Have a great day.

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