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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Jack Derwin

Halfway there, folks. Keep going.

1. Trump’s impeachment trial is picking up steam with a very slight majority of Americans wanting his removal from office. Legal experts meanwhile aren’t buying his defence that presidents can’t be, while his own team is getting very nervous about the testimony of former advisor and all-round war hawk John Bolton. If Trump is charged by the Senate — a still unlikely proposition — this is what happens.

2. If that's not enough to keep the commander-in-chief occupied, an Iranian lawmaker is offering $US3 million to anyone who kills the US president. It's all part of increasing tensions between the US and Iran, and while not very diplomatic, but neither was the US assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani I suppose. Such is love and war.

3. A Russian plot to spy on the World Economic Forum (WEF) has reportedly been foiled after two men posing as plumbers were arrested in Davos. We took a look by the numbers and took a look at how it’s two most notorious participants and bitter rivals — Greta Thunberg and D. Trump — are going to interact. No matter how you cut it up though, it’s still immensely unpopular with those who didn’t make the invite list. This less-than-elite journalist included.

4. Wuhan, a city no one outside China was even vaguely aware of, continues to be at the epicentre of what could become an epidemic. Here’s what you need to know about it and how the virus it’s given rise to has spread. It’s already picked up a few overseas patients, with men in Brisbane and Washington both hospitalised.

5. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) could be pressured into buying up the country’s coal mines and dirty power stations. The scenario, likened to the bailout of banks during the GFC, has been suggested by the Bank of International Settlements, another monetary heavyweight becoming increasingly concerned by climate change.

6. Turns out Trivago isn’t helping you find a cheaper room, despite what the booking company’s annoyingly persistent ad campaign claims. Instead, Australia's Federal Court found it misled customers by promoting hotel rooms that paid it a higher commission.

7. The journalist who dared bring the world the story of Edward Snowden has found himself in hot water again, this time exposing a different government. Glenn Greenwald has been charged with cybercrimes in Brazil after he exposed some of the country’s highest politicians, including the national justice minister. Greenwald published leaked text messages raising legal and ethical questions of the country's officials.

8. Netflix is about to report its first earnings since the launch of competitor Disney Plus. The market is divided about what impact it's having on the streaming giant, if any.

9. Australian tennis prodigy Nick Kyrgios is already making waves in the Australian Open, after hitting another ridiculous trick shot against opponent Lorenzo Sonego. Kyrgios, who has made similar shots before against the likes of Roger Federer in competition, went on Twitter to mock rival Alexander Zverev who both criticised Kyrgios and missed his own trick shot. Now Nick just has to win the Grand Slam.

9. Despite being home to some of the world's largest oil reserves in the world, it's been revealed the entire country of Venezuela has less than $US1 billion in cash -- less than the net worth of many US celebrities including Jay-Z. The revelation comes as embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro struggles maintains a grip on power, despite civil unrest, a failing economic program and opponent Juan Guaido claiming to be the legitimate leader of the country.

10. As this year’s presidential election gets underway, you’re going to hear a whole lot about the last one. That’s because a new documentary based on its loser, Hillary Clinton, has just been released. In it she gives her former opponent Bernie Sanders a right tongue lashing, saying no one even likes him that much anyway. 2020 presidential Sanders shot back in equally ferocious fashion, claiming on a good day his wife doesn’t mind him. What else can you say?


Looking for a new hobby? Why don't you try axe-throwing, the cool new trend taking off in the US? I give it six-months before Australians give up their bouldering gyms and hatchets be flying instead.