It's Friday, Friday, you gotta get down on Friday.
1. Boris Johnson has secured a Brexit deal with the European Union. Sounds weird, doesn't it? Well before we get ahead of ourselves, BoJo will need to pass it through his own Parliament. Easier said than done. There is still a good chance Britain is heading for another extension and election before Brexit maybe succeeds. Maybe. As one commentator astutely notes, "nothing in Brexit is ever simple."
2. US Vice-President Mike Pence has brokered a five-day ceasefire agreement with Turkey in Syria . While Trump has praised it as "great news", the Turkish government has downplayed its significance, saying it's just a chance to clear Kurdish forces -- who Turkey has been attacking -- out of the area before fighting resume. Trump, however, was jubilant.
3. Australian design platform Canva has been valued at an extraordinary $4.7 billion, after its latest funding round. That both cements its position as one of the country's most successful start-ups, as well as its co-founders Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht as tech billionaires -- valued together at around $1.38 billion. Begs the question: Who needs Silicon Valley when you have the Perkins family living room?
4. Contrast it with financial company Latitude, which wants to play in the buy now, pay later sector. It has tried to go public for the second time and was meant to be the biggest ASX IPO of the year. Instead, it flopped big time, costing former Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour more than $22 million. We dove into the reasons why it may have doomed from the start.
5. Earlier this year, we reported on Qantas' plans to go between Sydney and New York in a single 20-hour flight. Exciting stuff no doubt, but what's the impact on passengers and pilots? We dove into the real challenges Qantas is going to need to overcome to make it a commercial reality by 2022. Also, as an FYI, on Friday we'll actually be amongst the first people to fly it and report on what it's really like. Stay tuned.
6. Mark Zuckerberg used his much-anticipated talk on freedom of speech to launch a scathing attack on rival TikTok. Singling out the example of the Hong Kong protests, he said Whatsapp's encryption helped organise them, whereas "on TikTok, the China-based app growing quickly around the world, mentions of these same protests are censored, even in the US. Is that the internet we want?” The speech suggests Zuck is focusing on building a legacy amid the many scandals plaguing him and his organisations.
7. Speaking of Zuckerberg, he might go to prison if one US lawmaker has his way. A proposed new law would see a maximum penalty of 20-years imprisonment for tech execs that lie about privacy violations. “Mark Zuckerberg won’t take Americans’ privacy seriously unless he feels personal consequences,” the senator behind the bill told Gizmodo. Things really just kicked up a gear.
8. Despite their government legalising weed, the vast majority of Canadians appear to be still buying it through the black market. The legal market is expected to rake in $US1 billion this year -- the black market is estimated to be worth up to seven times that, with almost half of all residents admitting they go through dealers because it's cheaper or more readily available. The free market reigns.
9. No one could accuse Elon Musk of being unambitious. It's been revealed that SpaceX may want to launch 42,000 internet satellites into space -- about 20 times the number of working satellites today. When does this guy sleep?
10. The world is changing and Volvo knows it. The car company has revealed its plans to stop making petrol-powered cars within five years, launching its first fully electric vehicle, the Volvo XC40 Recharge. What's more, it reckons it'll be carbon neutral by 2040. The times they are a-changin'.
Lionel Messi might go down as one of football's greatest players, but one man may have noticed his talent before anyone else -- when the future superstar was just 12 years old. He was so impressed he made the pre-teen sign a contract on a napkin, for fear of losing him. The agent unsurprisingly still has the napkin today.