The 10 most important things in the world right now

Lest we forget. Photo: Australian War Memorial/ Supplied.

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

1. WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange may face criminal charges in the US. WikiLeaks published sensitive military files obtained from a former US Army intelligence analyst several years ago — and more recently dumped thousands of documents it said detailed the hacking tools and techniques used by the CIA in what appeared to be the largest leak of CIA documents in history.

2. A police officer and a gunman were killed in a central Paris shooting. Another two were injured. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

3. Russia wants to build the “biggest aircraft carrier in the world” to compete with the US’s 11-strong Nimitz-class fleet. The new carrier concept, called the “Shtorm,” would match the size of the US’s current carriers, displacing about 100,000 tons and carrying a similar number of aircraft.

4. Syria has put its jets under Russian protection. Meanwhile, US officials repeatedly stress that they are “prepared to do more” against Assad’s regime, the recent developments on the battlefield could see the US risk all-out war if there’s another strike.

5. . And North Korea says it will launch a “super-mighty preemptive strike” on US forces after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said his country was looking at ways to bring pressure to bear on the country over its nuclear program.

6. Investors don’t seem to grasp the risks they face this weekend as France goes to the polls. You would think that after Trump and Brexit, Wall Street would learn. But no, ahead of the French election analysts at Bank of America say that money managers still haven’t adequately moved out of the way of history, should it choose to move against the market.

7.French centrist Emmanuel Macron is expected to come out on top in the first round of France’s presidential election on Sunday. However, no candidates are totally assured a spot in the May 7 runoff round just yet.

8. Fresh modelling confirms that Malaysia Airlines flight 370 is most likely located to the north of a main search zone, according to Australian researchers. The plane, flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board, went missing in 2014. Australia, Malaysia and China controversially called off the search in January 2017, declining to check the area now identified as its possible final resting place.

9. Gay men are fleeing Chechnya. Chechen men are now hiding out in Moscow after escaping what they say is a brutal campaign against gays by authorities in the Muslim region of Russia, where homosexuality is taboo and seen by many as punishable by death.

10. A mystery trader called “50 Cent” has already lost $89 million but can’t stop betting on a US stock market shock. The mystery trader’s investment vehicle of choice is the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, a measure of expected price swings in US equities that serves as a barometer for investor nervousness. It generally climbs as stocks fall, so purchases of VIX contracts translate to bearish wagers on the S&P 500.

And finally…

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