10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Kids and animals. Picture: BBC

Good morning.

1. It was a wipeout for the Liberal Party in the WA elections on the weekend, with Labor looking like it could secure up to 40 of the 59 seats in the Lower House. Preferential running partners, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, also suffered with a dismal vote, leaving Malcolm Turnbull scratching for a strategy to deal with this “rise of conservative populism” everyone’s been banging on about lately.

2. The US economy added 235,000 jobs, smashing the forecast for 200,000, which means the US Fed has the ammo it needs for a rate rise at its March meeting. But economist Keith Wader told us it’s way too soon to panic about what that will do to markets. The US dollar is expected to hold its ground this week, but the euro is still climbing after ECB president Mario Draghi’s speech last week. It’s a big week ahead for data, too, starting here in Oz tomorrow with the NAB February Business Survey and Labour Force data on Thursday.

3. The words “fastest internet” and “Australia” don’t often come together in the same sentence, but Australia now has the fastest mobile internet speeds in the Asia-Pacific. But it’s not enough to stop Australia falling even further down the table for overall speeds in the latest quarterly survey from Akamai:

Internet speed ranking for countries in the Asia-Pacific. (Source: Akamai)

4. The RBA threw an elbow this month in its statement on interest rates, with a comment that suggested it may not be entirely happy with mortgage lending standards. That’s where we kick off this week’s episode of our markets and economics podcast, Devils and Details. Our guest is Joanne Masters, senior economist at ANZ, who explains how Australia has no one housing market and why it’s hard to see any sources of inflationary pressure and wages growth in the economy. You can find it here on iTunes or listen in below.

5. We’re all floating on a tiny, cosy rock through the seemlingly endless void of space. Think about that, and how stupidly lucky you are. Apollo 8 moonwalker Jim Lovell did, once, when he was hiding us all behind his thumb from 385,000km away. And he just told us we’ve got the heaven thing upside-down. You actually go there when you’re born.

6. China plans to move 250 million people into megacities over the next 10 years. Consider the infrastructure needed to service 10 Australias, then check out these 5 giant projects under way in the world’s most populated country that are already reshaping the world.

7. This animation shows how much damage the world’s most powerful nuclear weapons can do. Russia’s “Tsar Bomba” will make your heart hurt:

8. Robots aren’t destroying middle-class jobs yet. They’re just doing all our boring paperwork, which is great. But you have to feel sorry for Japanese creative director Mitsuru Kuramoto, who was recently pitted against an AI bot to come up with an ad for breath mints. Here are the two ads, and there is a clear winner.

9. You’ll need more than breath mints if you’re into durian fruit, because it stinks like a corpse. But someone at Nintendo likes it, because Swictch gamers the world over are realising it’s the key ingredient they need to conquer the amazing new “Legend of Zelda” game.

10. This executive life. Say hello to the fastest and most powerful Ferrari ever, the 812 Superfast which is allowed to have a dumb name because it does what it says on the box. And at the recent Yachts Miami Beach, we got a rare look inside the $US28 million “Princess”, with her 5 cabins and a jacuzzi.

BONUS ITEM: Because in the future history of the internet, this little girl’s swagger will never get old:

Here’s an excellent guide to making sure it never happens to you.

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