10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Ewok-proof. Picture: Disney

Good morning.

1. US stocks keep testing record highs, so here’s one of those interesting marks which show the kind of behaviour not seen since the tech bubble. But it was a rough night for the US dollar, with the the euro rebounding after any plans for a Spanish secession were suspended. The Aussie also climbed off the mat and iron ore has now lost 23.7% since August 21. SPI Futures for December are pointing to s solid opening for the ASX after local stocks went nowhere yesterday.

2. If you’re thinking the Harvey Weinstein thing is just another Hollywood powerplay tale, you need to listen to this NYPD recording of one of the most powerful men in the business trying to lure an obviously upset model into his bathroom, because it’s horrible. As are these accounts of alleged rape. And Gwyneth Paltrow’s recount of her invite to Weinstein’s bathroom, and her then boyfriend Brad Pitt fronting him about it. Oh, and how Weinstein bankrolled the Clinton and Obama campaigns. Even Gollum reckons he’s creepy.

3. Good sports, bad sports. The Socceroos dragged themselves closer to a World Cup berth with another agonising no-loss, calling on Tim Cahill to play a full 120 minutes and score the late header for a 2-1 win over Syria.

Sadly, the Syrian coach refused to shake his counterpart’s hand after the match, blaming the referees for the loss. Also blaming the refs – again – was Nick Kyrgios, who hated the chair ump so much he actually quit his first-round match at the Shanghai Masters after one set.

4. Finally, the rumble about the next proper Star Wars movie is starting. The new trailer for The Last Jedi is out and the big news is AT-ATs can’t be tripped over with rope any more:

Also, that’s not Yoda on the rock, and Kylo Ren offers Rey the same hand his grandfather offered his uncle once. Here’s the breakdown you’ve been looking for.

5. So:

That’s an all-time high, hit almost a month to the day after JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin “a fraud”, and the same day an ad for crypto traders appeared in the Wall Street Journal:


Famed financial analyst Gary Shilling says it’s all “too complicated” for him to get into. Let’s see if Russian president Vladimir Putin can rock it with signals of a looming crackdown.

6. Disruption is overrated. For starters, comparatively no one has the vision to act on a crazy idea, including you. But I Will Teach You To Be Rich CEO Ramit Sethi has four questions and if you spend 20 minutes writing down five answers for each of them, you’ll have 20 business ideas which should make great side-hustles.

7. An expert on US-China relations and North Korea says Trump’s fiery, furious threats to “totally destroy” North Korea might just work. If they don’t, US defence secretary Jim Mattis has warned the military to “be ready” with options. But one secret plan that won’t work is killing Kim Jong Un – North Korean hackers may have stolen it. Gah!

8. Here’s your daily reminder that the fate of the Free World is in the hands of a guy who reportedly refused to give Bob Corker the secretary of state job because he was too short. And just challenged the current secretary of state Rex Tillerson to an IQ smackdown to prove he isn’t actually the moron Tillerson said he was.

9. Here’s a sight to send shivers up the spine of anyone not called Tony Abbott:

Aerial view of farm land with plastic soil cover in central China. Picture: Getty Images

That’s plastic, covering 20 million hectares of Chinese farmland. It doesn’t break down and leaches potentially cancer-causing chemicals into the ground. But former JP Morgan executive David McGrath has an Australian startup called OneCrop which he hopes can solve the problem and claim a chunk of a $4.5 billion global market in the process.

10. We’re now just two months away from seeing Richard Branson knee a fellow airline CEO in the groin. In his new autobiography, Branson reminds IAG CEO Willie Walsh of the bet they made in December 2012 about whether Virgin Atlantic would still be around in five years. “If Willie is planning to have any more kids, he had better get a move on!” Branson wrote.

BONUS ITEM: Jedi-level trucking:

Have a great day.

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