The 10 most important things in the world right now

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

1. The UK cannot negotiate trade deals with other countries until after Brexit, according to senior EU figures. Their warning comes as British prime minister Theresa May is set to visit US president Donald Trump in Washington to discuss the early stages of a new trade deal between the two countries later in the week.

2. Trump has signed an executive order regarding his intent to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The deal would lowered tariffs for 12 countries around the Pacific Rim, including Australia, but excluding China.

3. The UK Supreme Court is about to hand down its ruling on Brexit. The landmark judgement, to be announced at 9.30 local time (8.30pm AEDT), will decide how the EU’s Article 50 exit clause is triggered.

4. A bill to remove the US from the United Nations has been introduced in Congress. Introduced earlier this month it calls to “terminate” America’s membership with the UN and effectively sever all ties with the organisation.

5. Former US president Barack Obama quietly sent US$221 million (AU$292 million) to the Palestinian Authority hours before leaving office. The move defied at least two holds Republicans in Congress had placed on fund transfers to Palestinians.

6. Trump’s first job-approval rating is in, and they are the lowest an incoming president has ever received. Only 45% of Americans approve of Trump’s job performance over the first three days of his presidency.

7. London is on an unprecedented air pollution alert. Mayor Sadiq Khan issued a “very high” air pollution alert for the first time on Monday as the air quality index reached 10 out of 10.

8. Iran was caught importing potentially banned missile technology. Ukrainian authorities have confirmed they seized a shipment of missile system components bound for Iran, potentially putting the Islamic Republic in violation of international bans on such behavior.

9. Trump’s administration has promised to stop China from taking disputed land in the South China Sea. It comes after secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson said the US should “send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops, and second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”

10. The global manufacturing sector is looking good. The first reading on the health of the sector — the Nikkei-Markit flash manufacturing purchasing managers index for Japan — for the new year has shown that activity levels improved steadily at the start of 2017.

And finally…

Believe it or not, it’s cheaper to buy a house in New York than it is in Sydney

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