The 10 most important things in the world right now

Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays, Australia has been crowned as one of the best beaches in the world, according to TripAdvisor’s 2017 Travellers’ Choice Awards. Photo: TripAdvisor.

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

1. The Tories beat the Labour party in one of the most important by-elections in recent British political history. The Conservative party made history by winning the seat of Copeland — a usually “safe” Labour seat.

2. British Labour MPs think the UK government is hiding info about Russia interfering with Brexit. Former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw told Business Insider that the “public has a right to know” if the Kremlin attempted to influence the outcome of the Brexit vote in June last year.

3. US Homeland Security chief has told Mexico there will be “no mass deportations”. It comes after the US government said it was seeking to deport many illegal immigrants to Mexico if they entered the US from there, regardless of their nationality.

4. Donald Trump says China is a “grand champion” at manipulating its currency. He also said China could easily resolve tensions with North Korea if it wanted to.

5. Beijing cemented its South China Sea land grab with missile defences. New satellite photography from the South China Sea confirms Beijing has placed reinforced surface-to-air missiles in the Spratly Islands.

6. Police say a highly toxic nerve agent was used to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother. The specific chemical used is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

7. CLASH OF THE TITANS. Google’s self-driving-car company is suing Uber, alleging that it stole its technology.

8. Opposing sides in the Syrian war came face-to-face in UN peace talks for the first time in three years. The mediator has implored them to cooperate to find a way out of almost six years of armed conflict.

9. Protests erupted in Paris after police were accused of raping a black man. Hundreds of students blocked school entrances and marched after police said that there was “insufficient elements” to show it had occurred.

10. Earth’s newest continent “Zealandia” was found thanks to a giant underwater land grab. In case you’re wondering what Zealandia is, it’s a new and mostly submerged continent off the coast of New Zealand.

And finally…

Here’s who’s most likely to win at the 2017 Oscars

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