The 10 most important things in the world right now

Benjamin Netanyahu is in Sydney for a four-day visit. He is Israeli prime minister to visit Australia. Here is his security detail outside the Intercontinental hotel in Sydney. Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.

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

1. The White House says controversy over the Russia-Ukraine “peace plan” is an “absurd, misleading attempt to distract”. It comes after the New York Times reported that Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, hand-delivered the plan to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn before he was asked to resign.

2. Immigrants are rushing to apply for citizenship amid Trump’s immigration moves. Nearly one million people applied to be naturalised during the 2016 fiscal year — the largest number in nine years.

3. Under Trump’s administration almost all illegal immigrants will be subject to deportation, except for immigrants known as “dreamers”. They entered the country illegally as children.

4. The European Commission president has warned the UK it faces a “very hefty” bill for Brexit. Reports suggest the UK could have to pay the EU up to 60 billion euros ($AU82 billion) after Brexit talks start.

5. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Australia. He’s the first Israeli leader to visit the country and is expected to sign bilateral agreements on technological research and air services.

6. A senior official in the North Korean embassy has been identified as a suspect in the murder of Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Jong Nam was assassinated at Kuala Lumpur airport last week.

7. Narco violence in Mexico could intensify if cartel kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is jailed. Guzmán, who faces life in prison, pleaded not guilty to the array of charges when he arrived in a US court in January. His next hearing is on May 5.

8. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will visit Indonesia in March. As part of his tour of Asia the king will visit Jakarta and Bali. But he won’t be alone – he’s bringing an entourage of 1,500 people.

9. China is close to completing two dozen structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea. They appear to be designed to house long-range surface-to-air missiles.

10. Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for misconduct. Tsang, who led Hong Kong from 2005 to 2012, was found guilty of misconduct in public office, in a case related to a luxury flat in China.

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