10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Let them eat potatoes! Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. Happy birthday, Dear Leader, maybe. Kim Jong Un turned 34 or 33 yesterday, or will some time between then and July 5. But we’ll go with Dennis Rodman’s version. He sang “Happy Birthday” to Kim in 2014, even though state media denied it was the big day, and there will be no celebration this year either. Nobody is quite sure why, when Kim is obviously fond of a morale-booster, and the country makes a huge fuss of his father’s birthday on February 16. Here are the theories, and here is a birthday present from the US – an aircraft carrier for South Korea jammed with F-35s. And thank you, Kim, for all the bats..t crazy things you’ve said so far in your short reign.

2. On markets, the greenback is climbing, fending off the highest Eurozone economic sentiment since 2000, and sending the Aussie down across the board. Morgan Stanley analysts reckon US stocks are in the “euphoria stage” of the current bull market, which usually signals the beginning of the end. The AFR reports the Amazon nightmare for Australia retail turned out to be anything but. And iron ore made it five straight gains.

3. All the big cryptos fell, led by a 38% plunge in Ripple’s XRP. (Although both Seagate and Western Union got bumps after reports they were linked to XRP). But there is, for once, some rare logic behind the falls. CoinMarketCap simply removed South Korean exchanges from its site, which have been known to trade much higher than the rest of the world. And if you still don’t know the difference between bitcoin and Ethereums, here’s the simple explainer.

4. The US presidential race is set to get even more hilarious. In 2020, it could come down to Donald Trump, The Rock, Mark Cuban and Oprah Winfrey. How’s the diversity? (Except they’re all filthy rich.) Winfrey reportedly told friends she was “actively thinking” about a run after her celebrated acceptance speech at the Golden Globes yesterday. Result:


Here’s Josh Barro saying yes, she can.

5. Once celebrated tech stock GoPro is in the mire, laying off staff and making noises about being open to sale. And when it’s stock came under proper pressure yesterday, traders betting against it made a whopping $US45 million in a single day. But if you think you’re really brave, dare you to short Facebook. It looks like its user numbers have hit a wall.

6. Ugh:


As far as crass celebrations go, Cricket Australia’s Big Blue Hand is right up there with the Crownie skol for the Allan Border Medal winner. For leadership, let’s instead look to these 18 under-the-radar athletes set to go big in 2018.

7. Holly Butcher from Grafton, Australia, suffered from Ewing’s sarcoma. She died last Thursday, but left a special gift for everyone – some elegant life advice which has hit a resounding note on Facebook. And here are three lessons Richard Feloni learnt personally from the “happiest man alive” who works with the Dalai Lama.

8. The little Tesla SUV that could:

There’s little detail about the tyres or specs of the Model X, but it’s impressive nonetheless. As is the new version of the original Tesla rival, the Fisker Karma. Benjamin Zhang got some quality time with the all-new, gorgeous Karma Revero, and it was a long way from awful.

9. CES is usually full of boring announcements about tech products that fail to catch on with the public after the show ends. Products like Sony’s new Xperia phones with 120-degree wide-angle selfie cameras. (We’ll make an exception for Nvidia’s 65-inch gaming monitor, which will break your desk.) But this year, it’s all about the movements, from AR to 5G to transport, and this is what we’ll be watching out for.

10. Australia has another unicorn. Congratulations, Canva founders Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams, on becoming the first Australian start-up since Atlassian to hit a valuation in excess of $US1 billion ($1.28 billion).

BONUS ITEM: Never work with kids, and lemurs:

Have a great day.

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