The 10 most important things in the world right now

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (C L), US President Donald Trump (C R) and other participants wait for a meeting on United Nations Reform at the UN headquarters on September 18, 2017 in New York City. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/ AFP/ Getty Images.

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

1. Hurricane Maria has strengthened into a Category 5 storm. The hurricane has ripped the roof off buildings in Dominica and left the prime minister stranded.

2. US president Donald Trump has criticised the UN for bloated bureaucracy and mismanagement during his maiden speech to the annual General Assembly on Tuesday. As part of the speech he has called for “truly bold reforms” so it could be a greater force for world peace.

3. Meanwhile Bangladesh expects no help from Trump on Myanmar refugees crisis after the US president failed to address the issue in his UN speech. More than 410,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since civil violence erupted last month. Although Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has condemned all human rights violations and says the violence has now ceased.

4. The US Senate passed its version of a $700 billion defense policy bill on Monday, backing Trump’s call for a bigger, stronger military. The 1,215-page bill includes $8.5 billion to strengthen missile defense, as North Korea conducts nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests. It comes as the US, South Korea, and Japan completed joint military exercises over and near the Korean Peninsula in a show of force to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

5. North Korea has warned that more sanctions will only accelerate its nuclear programme. Pyongyang called the UN sanctions, approved on 11 September, “the most vicious, unethical and inhumane act of hostility” and said the sanctions aimed to “physically exterminate” the country’s people, system and government.

6. France made a new plea for the UN to preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and suggested its provisions expiring after a decade could be strengthened. The deal is currently under threat as Trump must decide by October 15 whether to certify Iran is keeping its end of the bargain.

7. The Scottish government, along with the Welsh, plan to amend legislation taking the UK out of the EU and call the EU withdrawal bill currently under consideration at Westminster a “power grab” of devolved responsibilities.

8. A top European business lobby group hopes China’s new leadership will show a commitment to market opening, although says companies are “suffering from accumulated ‘promise fatigue’, having witnessed a litany of assurances over recent years that never quite materialised”.

9. Japan is now the world’s largest Bitcoin market. The country has risen above the US in the worldwide rankings and now accounts for roughly 48% of the global market share, reaching a high of 51% over the weekend.

10. Someone in Geneva is cutting up €500 banknotes and flushing them down toilets. Swiss prosecutors opened an investigation after the first 500-euro note was found several months ago in a bathroom close to a bank vault at the Geneva branch of the financial company UBS.

And finally…

The 10 best books of 2017 so far, according to Amazon

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