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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Sarah Kimmorley

Good morning.

1. The Australian dollar is trading almost unchanged from where it began Friday’s session. It is currently at .7832, losing some ground following reports of a large explosion at a convenience store in the English city of Leicester.

2. Michael McCormack is Australia's new Deputy Prime Minister. The 21 Nationals in Federal Parliament chose Australia's next Deputy PM after Barnaby Joyce stepped down this morning before the party room meeting in Canberra. The Wagga Wagga-based MP and Veterans Affairs Minister was the favourite but controversial Queensland MP George Christensen broke with party convention to also throw his Akubra in the ring at the last minute. Joyce's resignation follows the revelation that he had an affair with a former staffer who is now pregnant with their baby. More here.

3. The price gap between lower and higher iron ore grades continues to widen. According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines rose by 0.8% to $78.82 a tonne, leaving it at the highest level since January 11.

4. North Korea is reportedly willing to conduct talks with the US. The country’s vice chairman of the ruling Worker’s Party Central Committee, and the country’s former intelligence chief, made the comment during a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae In during his visit to the 2018 Winter Olympics.

5. No more wishy-washy. The EU is set to force UK Prime Minister Theresa May to give British MPs a "meaningful vote" on a "detailed" Brexit deal with -- a welcomed measure as they are concerned the PM may present a vague plan to Parliament in order to deter potential opponents from voting it down.

6. Warren Buffett released his annual shareholder letter. Among the jewels of wisdom, Buffett shared the one "terrible mistake" long-term investors are making, the most important lessons he learned from his $US1 million bet against hedge funds, and his advice for surviving a market downturn. See the letter in full here.

7. Each day an average of 129 people leave Sydney for elsewhere in Australia. Only 85 move the other way. These stats from a report in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning, reveal the city's increasing problem of affordability. Social researcher Mark McCrindle says, “Sydneysiders have some issues. Obviously it’s a great city and there’s a lot to like, but there’s a lot that’s a bit of a pain for locals.” He adds: “Sydneysiders... haven’t given up on city living, they’ve just given up on this city.”

8. "Revenue management." They are the two words that will get you an upgrade to first class, according to British author and expat Tilly Bagshawe told Bloomberg she flies around 100,000 miles a year and says she's never paid for an upper class seat. She claims to have "pretty much 100% success rate".

9. Here comes the Samsung Galaxy S9. The company announced the new phone, as well as the Galaxy S9+ on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona. While little about Samsung’s new smartphone is new, Samsung listened to criticisms about the placement of fingerprint sensor and adjusted its location. It seems the biggest advancement is the camera. Here are the Australian prices, plans and release dates for both the new phones.

10. The Winter Olympics are now over. It officially ended on Sunday with the closing ceremony held in the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium. Among the sights there was incredible light displays, a K-Pop performance, and of course, Pita, Tonga's shirtless flag bearer.

BONUS ITEM: The Simpsons predicted not only would the US curling team would win gold at the Olympics but it would beat Sweden to do it.

Have a great day.

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