The 10 most important things in the world right now

Pro-Unity rally marches through Barcelona. (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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

1. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has promoted his sister, Kim Yo Jong, to a top leadership position. Kim Yo Jong, who is thought to be responsible for Kim Jong Un’s public image, was made an alternate member of the the politburo, the most powerful body of the ruling Working Party. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has said that only “one thing” will work against North Korea — but has refused to clarify if he was referring to nuclear action or not.

2. Trump is also set to announce a “broad strategy” for dealing with Iran’s actions in the Middle East this week. The plan is in response to a number of Iran’s actions including cyberattacks, testing of ballistic missiles and supporting extremist groups. It’s possible this is the news that Trump was referring to when he told reporters last week of the “calm before the storm”.

3. UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be meeting with major companies and banks on Monday to discuss what they would like out of Brexit talks. May will be meeting with Vodafone, GlaxoSmithKline, Morgan Stanley and HSBC. The meetings come a day after May hinted she could be considering firing foreign secretary Boris Johnson.

4. Meanwhile the EU and the UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn have been having meetings amid fears that May’s government may crumble. The Telegraph has reported Corbyn and shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer have held more than one meeting with EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

5. Tensions between the US and Turkey continue to rise as both countries mutually suspend visa services. After a US consulate employee was arrested in Istanbul last week, all non-immigrant visa services at the US embassy and consulates in Turkey were suspended in order to minimise the number of visitors. Turkey’s embassy in Washington has responded by announcing the same measures.

6. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to cap the number of refugees allowed into the country at 200,000 a year. Despite Merkel long protesting any sort of limit, she agreed to the deal, which also specifies that, even if the cap was reached, people would not be turned away at the border. Details of how this would work are yet to be revealed.

7. To celebrate Russian President Vladimir Putin’s birthday approximately a thousand opposition supporters turned out in protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Russia’s opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, is currently serving a 20-day sentence for breaking the law regarding public meetings, but hopes to run for election next year, likely against Putin.

8. Spain also saw more protests over the weekend, this time from pro-unity campaigners. Tens of thousands turned out on the streets of Barcelona, and 50 more cities across the country, on Saturday and Sunday, many carrying the flags of both Spain and Catalonia. Catalonia is responsible for 20% of the country’s economic output and more than 25% of its exports.

9. Advertising firm Dentsu has been fined in Japan for making employees work excessive overtime. The decision, which involved a fine of 500,000 yen ($AU5,710) for violating labour laws, came just days after a 31-year-old journalist died from working 159 hours of overtime in one month.

10. The US is set to be divided on Monday over the celebration around “Columbus Day”. The day has a controversial history and, unlike predecessors, Trump’s proclamation about Christopher Columbus’ arrival did not mention Native Americans. Many parts of the US now celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on October 9.

And finally…

Vintage photos show what America looked like before pollution was regulated

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