10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Nicola Sturgeon is damn glad it’s Wednesday already. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell, Getty Images)

Wednesday — a better day than the two preceding it.

1. Scotland could soon achieve independence from the UK after the country’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon vowed to rejoin Europe if and when Brexit ever actually happens. “Scotland is rich enough, strong enough and big enough to take our place among the proud, independent nations of the world,” Sturgeon told her party at its political conference.

2. Some of President Donald Trump’s closest aides appear to be defying his direct orders , as his own officials begin cooperating with the impeachment process. In fact, the dam appears to be bursting as a flurry of current and former officials, as well as whistleblowers, begin testifying. The overall picture? That political material and money have benefitted the President and influenced US foreign policy. Bizarrely enough, Trump himself has even tweeted in favour of his own impeachment. Watch this space.

3. Speaking of Twitter, the social media giant has published its official policy on moderating the accounts of world leaders for the first time. The guidelines include a ban on the promotion of terrorism, clear and direct threats of violence and encouraging self harm. Now to see how heavily it actually enforces its own rules.

4. After slashing the official interest rate to unchartered territory, the RBA has spectacularly conceded the first two of its interest rates didn’t actually help the Australian economy much at all. Yet despite that, and the suggestion rate cuts are actually scaring Australians, the central bank signalled rates are going to go even lower. Hold onto your hats, ladies and gents.

5. The NBN has been a disaster for longer than we care to remember , but would we really have been better of without it? ‘Absolutely’, was the resounding answer Telstra’s chairman John Mullen gave to that question, in one of the most memorable corporate tongue-lashings given out in recent memory. His rationale? Telcos, including his own, would have competed and built a better network. Impossible to say for certain, but the NBN, for all its faults, has set a damn low bar.

6. Facebook’s Libra could be America’s one big chance at beating China to a digital global currency, analysts have warned. In what could be the biggest carrot yet for US regulators to give Libra the green light, China has “expedited its development” of its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), and could launch it further down the track via Chinese apps like Alipay and WeChat. Our one suggestion? Send the name back to the marketing department, China.

7. If you’ve ever left this sunburnt country, you’re probably painfully aware that when it comes to exchanging your money, Australia ranks as one of the most expensive countries on earth. Perhaps not for much longer. TransferWise has been giving the banks a run for their money, and now it’s begun working with our digital banks to undercut the big four further. As the Aussie dollar flounders, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

8. Hillary Clinton has again become embroiled in the Harvey Weinstein affair . In Ronan Farrow’s new book detailing the Hollywood producer’s behaviour, the reporter alleges Weinstein tried to get Clinton to kill his exposé, with Clinton’s publicist going as far as to directly contact him. It’s not the first name Clinton’s name has popped up in this saga. After Weinstein’s downfall, the almost-president pledged to give to charity all the political donations he had made to her over the years.

9. In more political donation news , presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has revealed she won’t take a cent from big tech companies. Whether or not they’d be opening their chequebooks to Warren remains to be seen however, as she campaigns to break up companies like like Facebook, Google and Amazon, saying they’ve simply gotten too big for their boots.

10. Starting a new job and looking to get ahead? We asked some of Australia’s top execs how to make a good impression from the get-go and what classic pitfalls to avoid in your day job. Here’s the golden advice they had to give.

Bonus item

Google just laid out its vision for the future of the smartphone with its new Pixel 4 and it might be the biggest development of the phone in years. See it revealed below.

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