The 10 most important things in the world right now

Taylor SwiftREUTERS/Toby MelvilleTaylor Swift performs at the BRIT music awards at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London, February 25, 2015.

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

1. A majority of German conservatives backed an extension of the Greek bailout in a test ballot one day before a vote in the lower house of Parliament.

2. Russia signed a deal with Cyprus that gives Russian navy ships access to Cypriot ports.

3. Three Brooklyn men accused of seeking to join Islamic State militants were arrested at a New York airport as they were bound for Syria.

4. Egypt’s military reportedly killed dozens of suspected Islamic militants near the Sinai Peninsula.

5. China’s top court urged officials to reject the “erroneous” Western model of judicial independence as it seeks to tighten control over the media and internet.

6. The Royal Bank of Scotland posted a massive £3.5 billion ($US5.4 billion) loss for 2014 after being hammered by lawsuits and writedowns.

7. South Korean smartphone maker Samsung is freezing salaries for the first time in six years after in recording in January its first annual profit decline since 2011.

8. The White House-Israel rift is growing deeper ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on the threat from Iran.

9. Argentina has voted to dissolve its intelligence agency and replace it with a new federal agency.

10. Spain’s largest electricity company, Iberdrola, has agreed to buy UIL Holdings for $US3 billion (£1.9 billion) to expand in the US.

And finally …

Madonna took a major tumble during a live performance at the Brit Music Awards Wednesday night.

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