The 10 most important things in the world right now

The shelves a Walmart store is almost empty as people prepare for the possible arrival of Hurricane Harvey on August 24, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images.

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

1. US president Donald Trump is facing the “first serious” crisis of his presidency. Hurricane Harvey is a Category 3 storm that could slam the Texas coast and no one knows if he’s ready to handle it. The presidency of George W Bush never really recovered from his administration’s slow response in 2005.

2. The storm is expected to make landfall Friday night local time, bringing with it wind speeds as high as 85 mph (137 kmh) and 15 to 25 inches of rainfall. The last major hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast was Ike — a Category 4 storm that caused $38 billion in damage in 2008.

3. North Korea will be surrounded by nuclear-capable F-35s by the early 2020s. The US and its allies are putting the finishing touches on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that will soon be patrolling the Pacific.

4. Ukraine tricked North Korean spies into trying to steal fake nuke plans on camera. Back in 2011, two North Korean spies were caught photographing fake missile designs to take home to Pyongyang. The pair eventually landed in jail as a consequence.

5. US fighter jets are taking over a policing mission on Russia’s borders in Europe in an effort to guard airspace over Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The US last was part of the Baltic Air Policing mission in 2014, the same time Russia annexed Crimea.

6. Noisy Chinese tourists may be drowning out interstellar signals at the world’s biggest telescope. In six months, nearly four million tourists visited the site in Guizhou. With the number of visitors expected to increase, scientists are worried that it may impact the efficiency of the dish which needs a quiet, isolated area in order to operate.

7. At least eight people are missing after a landslide in Switzerland. German, Austrian and Swiss citizens are among those unaccounted for in the Val Bondasca region. A rescue operation is under way.

8. The Brexit campaign has led to the demonisation of immigrants, according to the head of a group of UK MPs. As a result the group is calling for government action to encourage “meaningful social mixing”.

9. At least 12 people are dead after militants staged coordinated attacks on 24 police posts in northwest Myanmar. The attacks mark a dramatic escalation in a conflict simmering in Rakhine since last October.

10. Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra failed to show up for the verdict in her trial over a rice subsidy scheme that cost Thailand billions of dollars. If found guilty, she could be jailed for up to 10 years and permanently banned from politics.

And finally…

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