The 10 most important things in the world right now

Hello! Here’s what’s happening on Thursday.

1. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by Congress for a second day. Zuckerberg revealed that malicious actors had harvested his data and said Facebook was considering suing Cambridge Analytica for misusing the personal data of 87 million users.

2. The UK is sending strong signs a military strike on Syria could come as soon as Thursday. The US and France have called for a “strong, joint response” to a suspected gas attack in Douma that killed dozens of people.

3. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against airstrikes in Syria.Russia accused Israel of leading a recent aerial attack in Syria, an allegation Israel has neither confirmed nor denied.

4. CIA Director Mike Pompeo failed to disclose links to a company owned by the Chinese government.During confirmation a questionnaire explicitly asked Pompeo if he was previously “involved in any financial or business transactions with a foreign government” to which he answered “No.”

5. The daughter of ex-spy Sergei Skripal declined help from the Russian embassy. Her father remains in hospital after an assassination attempt that has caused global outcry and a diplomatic row.

6. Israel intensified airstrikes over the Gaza Strip as tensions continue to rise. Tensions along the Gaza Strip may be at their most critical level since Israel entered into a ground war in the coastal enclave in 2014.

7. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said ties with China were strained. Relations between Australia and China have been tense over Australia’s crackdown on China’s growing influence in the region.

8.Saudi Arabia said it intercepted missiles over Riyadh. Yemen’s Houthi group claimed the attack, which was trying to target the Saudi defence ministry.

9. A Chinese surveillance company may have just become the most valuable AI startup in the world. SenseTime, which specialises in surveillance and image recognition, just received a huge investment round from Alibaba potentially taking its value to $US4.5 billion.

10. SpaceX’s president says Mars is a “fixer-upper planet” and just a first step toward exploring other galaxies. She also said SpaceX will put humans on Mars “within a decade for sure” – a longer timeline than Elon Musk has promised.

And finally …

Trump appears on the verge of striking Syria – here’s a look at US firepower in the region.

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