The 10 most important things in the world right now

Indian Sikhs light candles as they mark Bandi Chhor Divas, or Diwali, at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, to mark the return of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, who was freed from imprisonment and also managed to release 52 political prisoners at the same time from Gwalior fort by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619. Photo: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

Hello! Here’s what’s happening on Friday.

1. Spain will start suspending Catalonia’s autonomy on Saturday in response to independence claims from the region’s leaders. This “nuclear option” has never been invoked in Spain and will allow Madrid to take control of Catalonia’s political affairs.

2. The UK’s Brexit minister told colleagues the exit date could be pushed back. The UK is due to leave the UK on March 29, 2019, but Steve Baker said that deadline could be pushed back under “mutual agreement with the EU”.

3. North Korea sent a scathing letter to the Australian government asking it to cut ties with the US. The “very unusual” letter was addressed to “parliaments of different countries” and shows that sanctions are working, said Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

4. Roughly 100,000 Kurds have fled Kirkuk after Iraqi forces took control of the city earlier this week. Iraqi Kurds held an independence referendum in September and Iraqi forces responded this week by seizing control of the oil-rich city that had been held by Kurds.

5. Iran has vowed to expand and speed up its ballistic program. The announcement is a “reaction to Trump’s hostile approach”, after the US President failed to certify a 2015 nuclear deal that avoids sanctions on Iran.

6. Trump met with the Governor Puerto Rico and given recovery efforts a score of “10”. However, the country has a death toll of 48 that is expected to rise, and much of the US territory has yet to regain power and running water.

7. Israel has ramped up settlement building which could severely hamper peace talks. Israel has approved nearly three times as many homes in contested territory in 2017 compared to 2016, likely making it more difficult for Palestine to enter peace talks.

8. New Zealand has a surprise new Prime Minister in Jacinda Arden, the nation’s third woman leader. Arden was once a policy adviser to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and came to power by way of a coalition agreement nearly a month after a national election.

9. Don’t forget this Sunday Japan is heading to the polls. The party of incumbent Prime Minister Shinz┼Ź Abe is expected to hold its two-third majority in the lower house.

10. India’s national holiday of Diwali has begun. The festival of lights celebrates the triumph of good over evil and lasts for five days.

And finally…

The 20 most isolated places on Earth.

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