10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

It will only hurt for 15 minutes. Picture: 20th Century Fox

Good morning.

1. It was a good year for the Commonwealth Bank, money-laundering scandals aside. The CBA just announced it reeled in a mammoth $9.9 billion annual profit for the financial year. It had better put aside a billion though, because that’s theoretically the size of the fine it could face for more than 50,000 alleged instances of late transaction lodgements. Including 117 from an “unemployed” man who deposited $798,105 in 89 cash deposits, then transferred $806,312 to other Australian accounts.

2. Also unemployed is this bunch of kids hackers who spent six months jacking their way into HBO’s cybermatrixes so they could blackmail the network with upcoming episode summaries, footage and Tyrion’s phone number. Because they usually make up to $US15 million a year from this kind of blackmail, they want around $US7 million. Or, as they put it, their “6-month salary”.

3. Let’s hope this one wasn’t off the cuff:


It looked like Trump was reading from a statement, so we can probably expect more details to follow soon. And as alarming as it is, it comes after the Washington Post cited a leaked US intelligence memo that acknowledges North Korea can make nuclear warheads small enough to fit on missiles, and that it may have 60 such devices.

4. If the war does happen, it will be a quick one. Retired US Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney told Fox News Pyongyang will have about 15 minutes to bask in its glory before the US flattens the entire country. But here’s why North Korea would be insane to nuke the US.

5. To markets, and the US dollar climbed again against the pound and euro. But it looks like yesterday’s NAB business survey results were strong enough to keep the Aussie up above US79 cents this morning. Trump’s “fire and fury” statement gave US markets some late wobbles and the Dow finally dipped, but ASX futures traders are still marking the local index up. Today, we get housing finance data for June, the Westpac/Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index and Chinese inflation data.

6. Pharma bro Martin Shkreli will probably go to jail for securities fraud and conspiracy, but at least he’s not the world’s most hated man anymore. That title goes to this jogging jerk:


At least the bus driver stopped, and the woman was lucky to be not seriously injured. Or killed.

7. Australia is about to spend $122 million on voting for a basic human right. Here’s the only way Malcolm Turnbull will ever commit to marriage equality in this country:

  • The government will test its original proposal in the Senate this week, proposing a full plebiscite that would be held on November 25. This is expected to be rejected by the Senate.
  • If that happens a postal vote will then be scheduled for November 7, with ballots mailed out in September.
  • The question will be: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to be married?”
  • A “yes” vote in the postal ballot would clear the way for a private members’ bill amending the Marriage Act to be introduced and be tested in a free vote in Parliament — where it would likely pass.

8. The Google engineer who got fired yesterday for circulating an “anti-diversity” manifesto is considering suing Google. James Damore is suddenly the darling child of the alt-right internet wailing about how it’s always one rule for the left and condemnation for the right. But Jim Edwards says this isn’t about the US First Amendment, because being protected from government restriction is a whole other ball game to filling your internal workplace bulletin boards with KKK and Hillary Clinton propaganda. Still, Julian Assange would be cool with that:

9. New York is about to get a Cheetos fine-dining restaurant. Yes, that Cheetos. It will be called “The Spotted Cheetah”, feature ghastly dishes such as Flamin’ Hot and White Cheddar Mac n’ Cheetos, Cheetos Sweetos Sweet and Salty Cookies and Cheetos Crusted Fried Pickles + Creamy Ranch. Here are some tacos with Cheetohs on top:

Cheetos 2The Spotted Cheetah will serve dishes such as Flamin’ Hot Limón Chicken Tacos.

And because it’s ‘Murica, it’s already sold out for the three days it’s open.

10. The best fireworks show of the year is under way. The Perseid meteor shower has been gaining strength since July 13 and will peak this Saturday and Sunday night. Best times for viewing are late evening and early morning but don’t believe those Facebook posts about it being the “brightest in a century”, a) because the waning full moon will dim things a little bit and b) because you read it on Facebook.

BONUS ITEM: Did you celebrate International Cat Day by licking your cat?


The case against evolution stands.

Have a great day.

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