The 10 most important things in the world right now

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Wednesday.

1. The world’s financial system has become dangerously unstable and faces an avalanche of bankruptcies that will test social and political stability, according to a leading global banker.

2. Chinese stocks fell heavily on Wednesday, dragging commodities and higher-yielding currencies lower across the region. At the mid-session break the Shanghai Composite was down 1.37% at 2,966, giving back around half of the gains achieved on Tuesday.

3. Islamic State has released 270 of an estimated 400 civilians, most of them women and children, kidnapped at the weekend when its fighters attacked Syrian government-held areas in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, a monitoring group said.

4. Apple could be testing a technology called Li-Fi which is capable of operating at about 100 times the speed of Wi-Fi. It is not yet clear how Apple might use the technology or whether it will make it into the rumoured iPhone 7.

5. Technology companies in the UK could soon be forced to pay £1,000-a-year for every skilled worker they hire from outside the European Union if immigration recommendations from a government committee are embraced by the Home Office.

6. Four men accused of insider trading split profits of almost £1 million ($1.4 million) from a series of trades on Legal and General stock as the financial crisis took hold in 2009, prosecutors told a London court on Tuesday.

7. North Korea claims it has invented hangover-free alcohol.The reclusive dictatorship says it has perfected a liquor that doesn’t cause nasty after-effects.

8. Deeply concerned that the world’s most notorious drug kingpin, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, could escape for a third time, Mexico has beefed up security at his prison, reinforcing the floor of his cell and placing a guard on his door 24/7.

9. Islamic State has confirmed the death of the masked militant known as “Jihadi John,” who appeared in several videos depicting the beheadings of Western hostages, in an article in its online English-language magazine Dabiq.

10. London taxi drivers have launched a massive crowdfunding campaign to fight Uber.

And finally … Here’s what is inside the swag bags that are handed out to guests attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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