The 10 most important things in the world right now

St Patrick’s Day fans enjoy a Guinness for breakfast in Australia’s longest running Irish pub in Sydney. Photo: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Happy St Patrick’s Day! The weekend starts here.

1. UK PM Theresa May says she’ll block any attempt at a second Scottish independence referendum before Britain has left the EU. May declared “now is not the time” to hold a referendum as it would “not be fair” to expect the Scottish people to vote again when things are still up in the air.

2. The big question about the far right was just asked in Europe. And the answer was a resounding no from the Dutch. The hightest turnout of voters in decades halted a momentum many thought was growing after Brexit and Trump’s election. But voters left far-right politician Geert Wilders and his popularist policies with a disappointing result as Netherlands PM Mark Rutte’s ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy won the majority of the vote for a third time.

3. The fallout from Trump’s unproven wiretap claims continue. Anderson Cooper simply said “The president has no facts” and White House press secretary Sean Spicer went several rounds with reporters in a wild briefing over the false claims, including long rants and a shouting match.

4. The biggest winner in Trump’s first budget is defence. It scores a 10% spending increase, amounting to about $US54 billion. The biggest loser is the Environmental Protection Agency, cut by 31%, followed by the State Department with a 29% proposed reduction.

5. Meanwhile Trump’s response when told the biggest losers under his plan to replace ‘Obamacare’ would be his own voters was “Oh, I know. I know.”

6. Saudi Arabia, China sign deals worth up to $US65 billion. King Salman of the world’s largest oil exporter , is in Beijing, overseeing the signing of deals spanning infrastructure, refining, chemicals, training, technology and other sectors, worth as much as $US65 billion (£53 billion).

7. The Queen signed the Brexit Bill.

8. If you hear “London Bridge is down”, it’s the saddest news. The Guardian reports that 65 years after “Hyde Park Corner” conveyed in a code George VI’s demise, Elizabeth II’s code is “London Bridge is down”. Probably no longer now.

9. Subway is suing Canada’s national broadcaster for $US210 million for saying ‘defamatory’ things about its chicken. A CBC report alleged a DNA test of Subway’s chicken product allegedly contained plenty of filler. The company claims the tests were faulty and its product is “100% white meat”, so they’re suing.

10. Banks owed $AU680 million (£423 million) by Slater and Gordon, the Australian lawfirm with a large presence in the UK, managed to offload the debt. The world’s first listed law business, which has fallen in value from $AU2.8 billion in 2015 to a market capitalisation today is about $50 million today, now has to deal with secondary debt buyers who look set to swap the debt for equity.

And finally….

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