The 10 most important things in the world right now

Queensland police officers stand watch over submerged cars at the flooded Beenleigh train station carpark on March 31, 2017. The Gold Coast and Lismore were the latest towns to be hit by ex-tropical Cyclone Debbie. Photo: Patrick Hamilton/ AFP/ Getty Images.

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

1. France and Germany dealt a major blow to the UK’s Brexit plan. British prime minister Theresa May had hoped the terms of Brexit would be dealt with at the same time as negotiations over a possible long-term free-trade arrangement. However the leaders of Britain’s two biggest European allies have rejected the request, dealing a blow to May’s negotiation strategy less than 24 hours after she triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

2. May’s Great Repeal Bill is the biggest political power grab by a British government in modern times. The bill will act to “remove from the statute book – once and for all – the European Communities Act”… and “the authority of EU law in Britain will end.” It’s not as brilliantly simple as it sounds.

3. Former US national security adviser Michael Flynn has agreed to be interviewed by the FBI in exchange for immunity. The FBI is looking into US president Donald Trump’s alleged campaign ties to Russia. The offer was made in order to avoid what his attorney called “unfair prosecution”, however, so far, officials have not accepted Flynn’s terms.

4. Three White House officials helped provide intelligence documents to the House Intelligence Committee chairman, Devin Nunes. It comes after Nunes last week bypassed his committee to brief Trump on classified executive-branch reports that he said showed members of Trump’s transition team had been swept up in government surveillance.

5. SpaceX just pulled off a revolutionary rocket launch. Elon Musk’s rocket company, successfully launched one of its 229-foot-tall Falcon 9 rockets yesterday, delivering a telecommunications satellite into orbit. But the biggest moment came just minutes after launch, when the first-stage booster, one of the most expensive components, landed on back to Earth on a launch pad in the sea. The event marks the first time in history that any part of a commercial, liquid-fueled orbital rocket has been successfully recovered, reused, and recovered again.

6. North Korea reportedly has a fleet of 1,000 drones it can use for chemical attacks. The Korea Institute for National Unification claims that the drones could be used for airborne terror attacks with chemical or biological weapons.

7. Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye has been arrested and jailed. Park was jailed over high-profile corruption allegations that already ended her tumultuous four-year rule and prompted an election to find her successor.

8. President Vladimir Putin has emphatically denied allegations of Russian meddling in the US presidential election. He said Moscow would maintain hopes of improving relations while waiting for political infighting in Washington to stop, and that he is ready to meet with Trump in Finland if that country hosts an Arctic leaders’ summit.

9. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the first new West Bank settlement in nearly 20 years. The new settlement will be built near Emek Shiloh, close to the Palestinian city of Ramallah, and comes as Netanyahu negotiates with the US about a possible curb on settlement activity.

10. Bashar al-Assad could remain in power after ISIS falls, according to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Under Barack Obama’s administration, the US made Assad’s departure a key policy goal, but now Trump has put the emphasis on defeating IS in Syria and Iraq.

BONUS: China’s plan to reduce troop numbers to save money for high-tech weapons is on track. In 2015 president Xi Jinping announced that the People’s Liberation Army would cut 300,000 troops by the end of 2017. Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said, “This year it will achieve its set aims on schedule.”

And finally…

Villagers in India let a King Cobra drink from a bottle of water in drought-hit region

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