The 10 most important things in the world right now

South Australian premier Jay Weatherill let rip at the federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg standing next to him on live TV in a verbal barrage Muhammad Ali would have admired. Picture: ABC

Hello and welcome to Thursday.

1. The Fed did as everyone expected, lifted rates, and now its members appear comfortable in hiking interest rates 3 times this year. But it didn’t take long for Janet Yellen to rid investors of that rare feeling of predictability from the Fed. “The data have not notably strengthened,” she said, after just the third increase in rates since the financial crisis.

2. The Dutch election has halted the rise of the far right. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy is set to win for the third time in a row, dealing a blow to populist leader Geert Wilders. The PM looks set to hold 33 seats, well ahead of 20 projected for Wilders’ Party for Freedom.

3. Brexit secretary David Davis has admitted they have not calculated the economic impact of a no-deal Brexit.. While UK PM Theresa May has repeatedly insisted leaving the EU with no trade deal “is better than a bad deal,” the man in charge of Brexit negotiations told MPs on the Brexit Committee that the government could “not quantify the outcome” of doing so. He also told the committee Britain may also lose its financial passports, the EU Open Skies agreement, and be forced to impose new border checks between Northern and Southern Ireland.

4. For the second time in six weeks, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) lifted short-term interest rates. The PBoC said that the increase did not signal a change in monetary policy, noting that flexibility in rates was favourable for deleveraging and risk prevention. For MLF (medium-term lending facility) loans, the rate on 6-month now stands at 3.05%, with the one-year rate at 3.20%.

5. The US House intel committee says it’s seen ‘no evidence’ that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. Committee chairman Devin Nunes said they had not found any evidence to support Trump’s claim that Trump Tower phones “tapped” before the 2016 election.

“I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” Nunes, a Republican, said. “Are you going to take the tweets literally? If you are, clearly the president is wrong.”

Oh, and the Brietbart editor who inspired the allegation revealed he had the idea while washing dishes.

6. Trump’s new Muslim ban got knocked back by the courts. Again. A Hawaiian District Judge issued an emergency halt on the revised travel ban, placing temporary entry restrictions on refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries, just hours before it was due to come into effect. And for those who live by the tweet, there’s senator Elizabeth Warren to put you to the sword.

7. Tesla wants to raise more than $US1.15 billion ahead of the Model 3 launch. The electric car maker will offer roughly $250 million in common stock and $750 million in convertible senior notes that are due in 2022, according to an SEC filing.

8. The clock is ticking on killing off fake news on Facebook and a failure to deal with the problem could get very expensive for Mark Zuckerberg’s company. Germany announced plans to fine social networks up to €50 million (£44 million/$AU70 million) for failing to remove slanderous or threatening online postings, but a Facebook executive has admitted the company doesn’t yet have all the answers when it comes to removing fake and illegal content from the platform.

9. Two members of a Russian intelligence agency “protected, directed, facilitated, and paid” hackers to break into Yahoo’s systems in 2014. That attack compromised 500 million user accounts, the Department of Justice said in an indictment Wednesday. Two other people, one Russian and one Canadian, were also charged in connection with the hacks.

10. Here are the 23 most powerful nations on earth. If you picked Australia would be on there, well done and take the rest of the day off.

And finally…

You could watch the first six Star Wars movies in less time than it takes to read the 73,000 word terms and conditions for Amazon’s Kindle. The 73,000 word document is roughly the same length as the Harry Potter book The Philosopher’s Stone. Even better, Australian consumer lobby group got an actor to read the whole thing and filmed it.

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