10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

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Good morning.

1. There are only two questions hanging over Bitcoin as it blows past the $17,000 mark – how high can it go, and when will it go bust? Goldman Sachs put the first question to its clients, and received no clear answer. But a senior economist at a bitcoin futures exchange thinks he’s spotted a crash coming, if BTC’s price history is anything to go by. Meanwhile, customers at one exchange haven’t been able to access as much as $US1 billion of the coin and don’t know why, and on reddit, there’s now a thing called the “21 million club”:

Bitcoin redditReddit

Are you one of the 0.3%?

2. Unfortunately, a grand total of none of them accept Bitcoin, but Skytrax has put out its annual list of airlines with the best business-class offerings anyway. For real cash, you can’t beat Qatar Airways’ fully lie-flat beds, on-demand dining, Giorgio Armani amenity kits, and a personal entertainment system with more than 3,000 movies, TV shows, and songs. Here’s what luxury in the sky looks like.

3. Things aren’t looking so good in the physical world. Commodities are getting hammered, with iron ore and oil on a downward spiral, and gold at the low end of its recent trading range. Yesterday’s disappointing GDP report in Australia has the AUD under pressure, but ASX200 futures traders are betting on a rebound at the open today. But all up, Dr Ken Rogoff, former chief economist for the IMF, reckons the global economy is tracking as it should be.

4. TIME magazine named its Person of the Year and they include a strawberry picker, an Uber engineer, an actress, a singer and a lobbyist:


You might have noticed they are all women. And they have all experienced some form of sexual harrassment, and led the #MeToo movement. TIME calls them the “Silence Breakers”.

5. Christmas holidays are so close you can smell the day-long arguments with your kids, trying to get them off their Xboxes and outside playing with a hoop and stick like you never did as a kid either. That means you can finally jump on and play all those games you read about in 2017, in reviews written by people like Ben Gilbert who got paid to do it all year. Don’t waste that valuable screen-time – here are Ben’s top 10 games of 2017, in a standout year for games.

6. For a lot of millennials, Christmas will be much sadder than mucking around with a topless Mario. A new survey shows nearly 70% of next gens would prefer a payment on their student loans over a present. But don’t give in, baby boomers – another study found you could end up $US227,000 richer if you stopped bankrolling your adult children.

7. It’s winter in Southern California:

Vanity Fair’s Hollywood correspondent said she could feel the car windows getting hot. More than 24,000ha have burned some 100km out of LA, forcing 200,000 from their homes. Also in the evacuation zone is Rupert Murdoch’s $US29.5 million Bel Air home and winery.

8. Also in fires, a new study in the journal Nature predicts that global warming by the year 2100 could be up to 15% higher than the highest projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That’s about a full 0.5C.

9. Chinese government newspaper the Jilin Daily ran a full-page guide on how to cope with a nuclear attack, but China denied it had anything to do with the country Jilin shares a 200km border with, North Korea. And the US responded to Kim Jong Un’s latest missile test by carrying out another simulated bomb run with a B-1B bomber in South Korean airspace, but this time it took an F-22 along for the ride.

10. Donald Trump delivered on another election promise this morning, signing up the US as the only country besides Israel to recognise Jerusalem as the country’s capital. The US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to the holy city in a significant change to decades of US policy in the Middle East. The region is now bracing for violence.

BONUS ITEM: Proof that print news still has a viral future:

Have a great day.

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