10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Meanwhile, somewhere in New Zealand. Picture: Getty Images

Hello, world.

1. It’s going to be a very Amazon Christmas for Australians. Staff started filling the eretail giant’s Melbourne warehouse recently and Citi analyst reports suggest first orders have been placed. But when will it actually open? Here are four reasons why that could be any day now. And the guy who started it all, Jeff Bezos, now the richest man in the world, just told reporters at the Summit Series ideas conference the secrets to how he did that. Including searching for a wife “who could get me out of a third-world prison” if required.

2. That wife was MacKenzie, and Bezos also said she told him she’d “rather have a kid with nine fingers than a resourceless kid”. It wasn’t a metaphor – the couple have been letting their children play with knives and power tools since they were four years old. Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, while they are busy getting your kid addicted to their devices, tech moguls are sending their own kids to anti-tech schools.

3. If you’ve seen just about all the “Sydney housing crisis” headlines you need to see for one lifetime, CoreLogic’s head research nerd Tim Lawless is here to tell you why, in one chart:

Image: CoreLogic

That’s a third of Australian housing value, just in the Metro area.

4. To markets, where metals and commodities were sold off overnight, taking the Aussie dollar with them. The euro also fell after German industrial production missed, and all up, that made for a good night for the greenback. Stocks were flat in the US, down in Europe, so futures traders are optimistic about the ASX open today, despite it finally overhauling the 6,000 mark yesterday.

5. The ABS says an estimated 12.6 million Australians – 78.5% – have returned their votes. That is a spectacular turnout for a voluntary vote. Numeric logic, according to Paul Colgan, now makes the Yes vote a practical certainty to win. The only question remaining is whether the Yes vote can then win over Parliament, which will have to vote by December 7 if SSM advocates want to have a very marriage equality Christmas.

6. German news magazine Der Spiegel somehow got its hands on a secret 102-page future planning paper written for the German government by its armed forces. Of the six possible future scenarios it sees itself forced to consider by 2040, the worst is the sixth – a crumbling EU and the USA trying in vain to stem an erosion of the world order. Here’s what it thinks a fractured EU will look like. And a senior ECB official reckons 20 banks have so far applied for new EU banking licences as they prepare for Brexit.

7. World, meet China’s giant new “magic island-maker”:


The Tiankun “is able to dredge an area the size of a soccer field with a depth of one meter within one hour“. Time to make some more Spratly Islands!

8. Elsewhere in the Pacific, US president Donald Trump headed to South Korea shadowed by three US aircraft carriers. Having just asked Congress for an additional $US4 billion for missile defence, Trump’s speech at a joint press conference with South Korea’s president Moon Jae In surprisingly lacked his signature threats. His call for a Korea where everyone just gets along matches perfectly with this excellent Photoshop job doing the rounds:

9. We just got a glimpse of how bitcoin futures will work.

10. Steve Kovach said it – Apple has just made the best smartphone ever. But Apple also makes the best profit ever. More than $US128 billion, in fact, and that’s just its offshore earnings which are channelled through, uh, Jersey:

Apple’s tax affairs are a giant pisstake talking point out of the Paradise Papers reveal. It settled on Jersey in 2014 and here are some of the questions Appleā€™s law firm, Baker MacKenzie, had for offshore law firm Appleby to lead it there. Europe’s tech watchdog has asked Apple for an “update”.

BONUS ITEM: Thor: Ragnarok is even better in 4D:

Have a great day.

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