The 10 Most Important Things In The World Right Now

Merkel distressedREUTERS/Fabrizio BenschGerman chancellor Angela Merkel.

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know for Friday.

1. The Philippines is bracing for super typhoon Hagupit, which is expected to make landfall in the central Philippines on Saturday, bringing 3- to 4-metre high storm surges.

2. The German central bank downgraded the country’s growth forecasts for 2014, 2015, and 2016 on Friday.

3. Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong are deciding whether to switch tactics, with one student leader suggesting to block government by refusing to pay taxes and delaying rent payments.

4. NASA will make its second attempt on Friday to launch its Orion space capsule, after wind gusts and a rogue boat delayed Thursday’s effort.

5. US President Barack Obama will announce on Friday his choice to replace Chuck Hagel as Defence Secretary.

6. Russian president Vladamir Putin warned Russians of hard times ahead in his annual national address on Thursday.

Australia said it will not contribute to a UN climate fund established to help vulnerable countries prepare for rising seas and other extreme weather events.

8. Malaysia Airlines, which suffered from two plane disasters this year, said its shares will be suspended from the country’s stock exchange on Dec. 15.

9. The shale revolution has boosted proven reserves of US oil to its highest point — 36 billion barrels — since 1975.

10. Thailand’s king Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose health has deteriorated over recent months, cancelled a public appearance at an event to mark his 87th birthday.

And finally …

Japan is dealing with a French fry shortage.

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