The 10 most important things in the world right now

Boats rescue traffic on the flooded Jimmy Johnson Road in Port Arthur, Texas, on Aug. 30, 2017. Photo: Marcus Yam/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images.

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

1. Hurricane Harvey could be the costliest natural disaster in US history. The death toll from the storm now stands at 41, and officials expect that figure to rise. Some 33,000 people in Texas have sought refuge. In its wake, more than two million pounds of hazardous chemicals have been released into the air after it hit the heart of the Texas refinery industry.

2. More than half of US voters think Trump is “tearing the country apart”, according to a Fox News poll. The poll offers a dismal view of Trump’s performance in the wake of his response to racially-charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month.

3. South Korea and the US have wrapped up annual war games on the Korean peninsula. Tens of thousands of US and South Korean troops were involved in drills that focused on computer simulations. It comes amid high tension over North Korea’s weapons programs.

4. Following the North’s launch of a missile over Japan on Tuesday, Britain and Japan have agreed to tighten security ties between the two countries. The agreement is expected to ensure closer cooperation on defence, cyber security and counter-terrorism issues.

5. British and EU negotiators have had a heated exchanged over a lack of progress in the latest round of Brexit talks. There is a little more than a year left to agree on the withdrawal terms and transitional arrangements in order to avoid disruption to lives and businesses across the continent when Britain leaves in March 2019. Meanwhile, more British businesses are more worried about the economy than at any point since the referendum.

6. British prime minister Theresa May says she wants to lead the Conservatives into the next general election, and intends to remain in power “for the long term”. May has been under pressure after losing her Commons majority in a snap election earlier this year.

7. The Manchester bomber’s brother is facing trial in Libya over his suspected role in the attack. Hashem Abedi, the younger brother Salman Abedi, was arrested in Libya shortly after the suicide attack in May that killed 22 people.

8. First minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon is expected to lay out a new economic strategy for the country, arguing that Scotland must accelerate the pace of economic innovation, backed up by investment.

9. French president Emmanuel Macron is set to reveal reforms to France’s rigid labour laws. The package of dozens of measures, including making it easier for employers to hire and fire staff, and negotiate working conditions, will be detailed in a 200-page document due for public release on Thursday.

10. At least 30 people are missing after a building in India’s financial capital collapsed on Thursday. A 43-member team is conducting rescue operations, according to India’s National Disaster Response Force. Earlier in week the city was hit with heavy rain and flooding.

And finally…

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