The 10 most important things in the world right now

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who, carries out his final official engagement today. Photo: Getty.

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

1. The Trump administration is sending mixed signals on US sanctions against Russia. A US diplomat said the President “grudgingly accepted” new congressional sanctions, while Vice President Mike Pence said the bill showed Trump and Congress speaking “with a unified voice.”

2. US Republicans have made their first move to work with Democrats on healthcare. Meanwhile, a US federal court has opened the door for Democratic states to fight Trump’s efforts to stop Obamacare subsidy payments.

3. Rio Tinto is giving a $US4 billion pile of cash back to shareholders. Earnings were up 152% as surging commodity prices flushed cash through the big miner, almost doubling the net cash it generated in the six months to $US6.306 bn. The return to shareholders is made up of the 2017 interim dividend of 110 US cents per share, a jump of 144%, plus a $US1 bn share buyback.

4. Uber is trying to hose down rumours Travis Kalanick is coming back. Kalanick has been angling to return, a plan he has referred to as “Steve Jobs-ing it” – a reference to Apple’s founder reinstatement after his firing.

5. Apple stock surged to all-time high as Q3 earnings beat forecasts. The stock was up over 5% after-hours. And Apple issued strong revenue guidance for Q4, suggesting strong sales growth year-over-year, as well as the launch of a redesigned iPhone in September.

6. UBS COO Axel Lehmann says fintech ‘will completely change’ banking jobs. Fintech’s impact is hard to predict and quantify for banks, and no lender wants to become the next Nokia or Kodak. The Swiss bank exec spoke to Business Insider about coming to terms with a fast-changing world.

7. No, Facebook didn’t shut down an AI program in a panic that it was turning into Skynet – this is what really happened. But meanwhile, Zuckerberg’s company has developed a low-energy Bluetooth module for a mystery hardware device.

8. Bitcoin split. Bitcoin power brokers were unable to come behind a single solution that would have preserved a unified cryptocurrency by the Tuesday deadline, so the digital currency officially forked and split in two: bitcoin cash and bitcoin.

9. Pakistan’s former oil minister is the country’s new prime minister The ruling party elected Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to replace Nawaz Sharif, ousted last week over corruption allegations, until the former PM’s brother, Shahbaz Sharif, can take over.

10. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, retires today. He meets Royal Marines in his final public engagement before he retires from royal duties, aged 96, after 22,219 solo engagements since 1952. Well played, Your Royal Highness.

And finally…

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