The 10 most important things in the world right now

NASA via Getty ImagesA NASA image taken from the International Space Station shows Hurricane Florence.

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

1.Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm as it hit the coast of the Carolinas with winds topping 90 mph. More than 150,000 homes in North Carolina are without electricity.

2. Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign, has reportedly tentatively reached a plea deal with the special counsel Robert Mueller.The ABC News report follows Manafort’s conviction on eight out of 18 counts related to tax and bank fraud.

3. Bank of England governor Mark Carney has extended his term to steer Britain through Brexit. Carney was previously set to leave his role in June 2019 but has been persuaded to stay on.

4. North and South Korea opened their first liaison office near their joint border to facilitate better communication ahead of their leaders’ summit in Pyongyang next week. The office at the North Korean border town of Kaesong is the latest in a series of reconciliatory steps this year.

5. President Donald Trump says the US Washington is under “no pressure” to achieve a trade deal with China. The comments come amid reports the two sides could resume talks to head off a third round of US tariffs.

6. Towns near Boston were shaken by dozens of explosions, apparently triggered by a natural gas pipeline rupture. At least one person was dead and two injured. Hundred were evacuated. A local fire chief described it as an “Armageddon”.

7. Millions of Americans are still stuck in homes now worth less than the mortgage they took out ten years ago just before the global financial crisis. About 5.1 million US homeowners are still living with the fallout from the real estate bust that triggered the downturn.

8. Google cofounder Larry Page has lately faded from public view. He is taking less and less interest in Google’s day-to-day and is spending more time secluded on his private Caribbean island.

9. Farewell to the Volkswagen Beetle, perhaps best known its role as a racing car named “Herbie” in the 1968 Disney film The Love Bug, after almost 80 years. The company announced it will stop worldwide production in 2019.

10. The FBI has shut a space observatory near Roswell, New Mexico. All the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, which runs the observatory, would say was that there was “a security incident”.

And finally …

Inside the lounge where people pay to nap in dark, private pods at any time of day.

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