The 10 most important things in the world right now

Scientists Dr Elspeth Hayes (left) with Mark Djandjomerr (centre) and May Nango (right) at the dig site where Australian history was rewritten on news that Aboriginal people inhabited a rock shelter in the Northern Territory 65,000 year ago. Photo: Dominic O Brien/Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, Author provided

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

1. Republicans have turned on US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions. They’re up in arms over a new Justice Department directive allowing the federal government to take assets that were lawfully seized by local or state law enforcement officials. Some argue the plan is unconstitutional, while others fear it could violate due process. It comes as President Trump told The New York Times he regrets choosing Sessions for the job.

2. Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer. McCain, 80, a former presidential candidate and six-term Republican senator, is also a decorated Navy pilot who was shot down over Vietnam and held as a prisoner for 5 1/2 years.

3. UK Prime Minister Theresa May fired a warning shot over warring Cabinet Ministers. After a series of embarrassing leaks from Cabinet meetings, May said she wouldn’t hesitate to sack people if the leaks continued, declaring “there is no such thing as an ‘unsackable’ Minister”.

4. Credit Suisse thinks the UK is “flirting with recession”. In short, the bank thinks the Brexit vote contraction chickens are now coming home to roost and the economy start to contract within six months and the key drivers are like to worsen “as political uncertainty continues post the election and at the onset of Brexit negotiations”.

5. Officials haven’t found steps to reduce the US trade deficit with China. The two sides met for their annual economic dialogue session in Washington, then left without saying a word, although a senior US official reportedly told Reuters they failed to agree on most of America’s major bilateral trade and economic issues. The failure casts a pall over President Donald Trump’s economic and security relations with Beijing.

6. France’s military chief has quit over budget cuts imposed by President Emmanuel Macron. General Pierre de Villiers has been having a public spat with Macron, over €850m in cuts, saying he was “no longer able to guarantee the robust defence force I believe is necessary for the protection of France”.

7. The Bank of Japan upgraded its forecasts for growth. Japan’s central bank held monetary policy steady at the conclusion of its July monetary policy meeting, upped its economic assessment and forecasts for GDP growth while downgrading its view on the outlook for inflation. The outcomes were widely expected by financial markets and economists.

8. The S&P 500 information technology index has finally recovered from the dot-com bubble’s implosion. It’s taken 17 years, but on Wednesday the index of 60 of the USA’s largest tech companies posted its ninth straight day of gains to post a record high of 992.29, beat the previous peak of 988.49, in March 2000.

9. Australia’s first inhabitants were living here 65,000 years ago. The dating of artefacts and sediment at rock shelter on a mining lease within the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park suggests humans the for more than 65,000 years, at least 15,000 years longer than to earlier estimates and 20,000 before modern humans made it to Europe.

10. It looks like the Australian economy is taking off again. The good data keeps coming, with the latest employment data adding 65,000 jobs as part of the best job creation streak in six years.

And finally…

Top Gear was a nice little earner for one BBC star. The British broadcast released a list of his best paid presenters and Radio 2 breakfast show Chris Evans, the ill-fated Top Gear host, pocketed an astonishing £2.25 million ($AU3.6m).