The 10 most important things in the world right now

Opposition supporters rally for presidential candidate Raila Odinga in Nairobi, Kenya.
Photo: Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

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

1. Diplomacy with North Korea is on its “last legs” says a top US diplomat. Meanwhile, North Korea has repeated the country’s threat to conduct the “strongest hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean”.

2. Stricter rules will affect passengers flying to the US from Thursday. Some passengers may be subject to short interviews at check-in or at the gate, a change which supersedes rules earlier this year limiting electronic carry-on devices.

3. The UK’s Brexit Secretary David Davis has suggested politicians may not get to vote on a Brexit deal until after leaving the EU. However, his office contradicted this claim saying they “expect and intend” for parliament to hold a vote before the exit day in March 2019.

4. Catalonia’s vice president said the region has “no other option” but to secede. The recent conflict has hurt Spain — tourism and investment have declined since Catalonia’s independence referendum earlier this month.

5. Kenya will be heading to the polls for the second time since August on Thursday. Presidential election results were nullified after illegalities and irregularities were found. It joins Austria and Maldives as the only countries to have cancelled presidential results.

6. Kurds are facing threats from Iraqi military despite abandoning their push for independence. Kurdish authorities offered to pause their independence push to resolve a growing crisis, but a military spokesperson has said an offensive would continue anyway.

7. Madagascar’s plague death toll has risen to 124 people, infecting more than 1,000. The outbreak is spreading faster than normal and the form of the disease that’s spreading, pneumonic plague, is the deadliest.

8. The five-day funeral for Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej has begun. After ruling for 70 years, the King’s death a year ago plunged the nation into a year of mourning that ends with a spectacular multi-day affair in Bangkok.

9. Qatar has introduced a minimum wage for all workers. The rights of Qatar’s migrant workers were previously limited and a trade union leader welcomed the change saying it “will bring to an end the use of modern slavery”.

10. A cyber attack on an offshore law firm could lead to a new Panama Papers situation. At the same time, more law firms are preemptively opening Bitcoin wallets to pay potential hackers.

And finally…

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