The 10 most important things in the world right now

RTX1IM1PREUTERS/Arnd WiegmannPeople swim en masse at the start of the annual public Lake Zurich crossing swimming event in Zurich July 1, 2015.

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

1. Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Sunday’s referendum on bailout proposals would still take place after a letter sent to creditors on Tuesday night sparked confusion by indicating that Greece would be willing to accept many of the terms of a bailout package.

2.Moody’s downgraded Greece’s credit rating on Wednesday over concern that the country will default on its debt without bailout support from official creditors.

3. Liberia confirmed two new cases of Ebola less than two months after the country was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation.

4.Russia halted all gas supplies to Ukraine, effective July 1, one day after Ukraine said it was suspending Russian gas purchases amid collapsed price talks.

5. The United States formally opened diplomatic ties with Cuba on Wednesday and will raise its flag over a US Embassy in Havana this summer.

6. New satellite imagery shows that an airstrip China is building in the disputed South China Sea is almost finished.

7. UNESCO will not put Australia’s Great Barrier Reef on its endangered list based on ambitious recovery plans, which was hailed as a “tremendous” decision by the government.

8. Toyota’s chief communications officer and first female managing officer, Julie Hamp, resigned Wednesday after she was arrested in June on suspicion of illegally importing the painkiller oxycodone into Japan.

9.Saudi Arabian billionaire and chairman of Kingdom Holding, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, will donate $US32 billion to charities that “promote health, disease eradication, disaster relief and women’s rights” over the next few years.

10.A heat wave has gripped much of Northern Europe as temperatures on Wednesday soared above 40 degrees C (104 degrees F) in many countries, while the UK had its hottest day in nine years.

And finally …

Japan beat England in the women’s World Cup semifinal and will play the US in the final.

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