The 10 most important things in the world right now

Australian supermaxi yacht Wild Oats XI (C) takes part in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge at Sydney Harbour on December 13, 2016. The race is a prelude to the Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race held annually on December 26. Photo: Peter Parks/ AFP/ Getty Images.

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

1. Syrian rebel officials have reached a ceasefire deal with Russia to evacuate civilians of Aleppo, which has mostly fallen to regime forces. Aid workers have described horrific conditions as the one functioning hospital still operating, which ran out of supplies last month, receives more than 350 injuries per day.

2. A military plane circling low over Manhattan caused widespread confusion among New Yorkers. Col. Nicholas Broccoli of the 160th Rescue Wing said the C-130 plane was simply carrying out “standard military training”.

3. A British man has been sentenced to 366 days in prison over his attempted assassination of Donald Trump. Michael Sandford, 20, was charged over grabbing a policeman’s gun at a rally in Las Vegas in order to shoot at the now president-elect. He pleaded guilty and could be eligible for release in four months’ time, at which point he will be deported to the UK.

4. A US judge wants to see the search warrant application that led to the review of Hillary Clinton’s emails. District Judge Kevin Castel has ordered federal prosecutors to show him the warrant used to enable the FBI to access emails related to Clinton’s private server, discovered shortly before the Nov. 8 presidential election.

5. The governor of Ohio has signed off on a law banning abortions 20 weeks into pregnancy. John Kasich also vetoed the heartbeat bill because it bans abortion after the heartbeat of a fetus can be detected, saying it was “clearly contrary to the Supreme Court of the United States’ current rulings on abortion”.

6. The US will limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia after president Barack Obama’s administration said it was concerned over “flaws” in the way air strikes are targeted in Yemen. In October, more than 140 people were killed in a strike on a funeral in the country.

7. Gambia’s security forces have taken over the country’s electoral commission offices, instructed its chairman to leave and barred other employees from entering. It comes as West African heads of state began arriving in the country to convince long-term president Yahya Jammeh to relinquish power after losing an election this month.

8. Astronomers have found evidence for a “dark” gravitational force that might fix Einstein’s most famous theory. A contentious theory by Erik Verlinde at the University of Amsterdam suggests dark matter may not be matter at all.

9. Tomorrow the US Federal Reserve’s FOMC will almost certainly hike interest rates by 25bps at the conclusion of its December policy meeting. It will be the second time in 12 months. The rate decision will arrive at 6am AEDT Thursday (7pm GMT).

10. The world’s biggest cruise ships sails into Sydney, Australia tomorrow. Royal Caribbean’s brand new $US1 billion supercruiser, Ovation of the Seas, weighs 168,66 tonnes, is 347-metres in length, and has capacity for up to 4,905 guests.

And finally…

Photos show Aleppo before and after war

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