The 10 most important things in the world right now

A fan watches a cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images

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

1. The leader of Catalonia has not clarified whether he is declaring independence, thereby missing Spain’s Monday deadline. Instead Carles Puigdemont repeated his calls for dialogue. In a separate move, Spain’s high court has jailed two Catalan separatist leaders.

2. Iraq has captured the Kurdish-held oil city of Kirkuk, a day after beginning the operation. The military move was made in response to the Kurds’ recent independence referendum and President Donald Trump has said the US won’t be taking sides.

3. North Korea has told the UN “nuclear war may break out any moment”. The country’s UN deputy ambassador also said that if the US invades their territory “even an inch, it will not escape our severe punishment”.

4. China has offered to buy 5% of Saudi Aramco, ahead of its National Congress beginning on Wednesday.. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has previously said he would like to sell 5% of the company for $US100 million ($AU127 million) and it appears Chinese state-owned oil companies PetroChina and Sinopec would be happy to take that slice.

5. Brexit is being considered an “existential threat” to Northern Ireland and is throwing the nation’s peace process into doubt. UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s determination to leave the EU, as well as the trade deals setting customs union, is raising the prospect of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

6. Ireland has also been battered by Hurricane Ophelia, which killed 3 people. Sea defenses were breached, causing flooding, while powerful winds ripped off roofs. Approximately 360,000 people were without power on Monday.

7. A journalist leading the Panama Papers investigation has been killed by a car bomb. Daphne Caruana Galizia, whose blog posts sometimes got 400,000 readers a day, was killed as she left her home in Malta on Monday afternoon.

8. US army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has pleaded guilty, eight years after walking away from his post in Afghanistan. Berdahl was captured and held by the Taliban for six years before being traded for five Taliban detainees in May 2014.

9. The US has condemned Venezuala’s weekend elections as being neither free nor fair. A spokesperson for the State Department said the US will use the “full weight” of US “economic and diplomatic power” in an effort to restore democracy in the troubled nation.

10. Tesla’s Powerpack batteries have started to arrive in Puerto Rico, where 84% of the island is still without power. Hurricane Maria hit the US territory three weeks ago and these batteries could help to create microgrids to deliver electricity to small regions.

And finally…

Check out these amazing images of Tokyo before it was a city.

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