The 10 most important things in the world right now

Researchers have for the first time filmed rare True’s beaked whales underwater. The deep-diving mammal is so rarely seen that researchers devoting their life to study the whales have never seen one. Image: Roland Edler

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

1. The White House denies speculation that Donald Trump met with a Russian billionaire during last year’s campaign. Oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, who has ties to Trump, flew into cities where the then-presidential candidate was campaigning at least twice.

2. There won’t be another Brexit vote. The House of Lords last night killed off an amendment by Liberal Democrat peers calling for Britain’s final Brexit deal to be put to a second national referendum.

3. Air passenger traffic worldwide grew at the fastest pace in six years in January. As an indicator on the health of the global economy, not to mention the health of airlines themselves, that’s good news.

4. China posted a shock trade deficit. China’s February trade report stunned financial markets with a deficit of CNY 60.36 billion when a CNY 172.5 billion surplus was expected. Blame the Lunar New year’s timing as a factor.

5. North Korea says its latest missile launches were practice for hitting US military bases in Japan. A Korean Central News Agency statement was blunt in saying if the US or South fires anything inside North Korean territory, they “will demolish the origin of the invasion and provocation with a nuclear tipped missile”.

6. Trump’s alternative to Obamacare is being panned by Conservative media. Some of the US president’s most prominent media backers think the Affordable Care Act replacement plan falls short, adding to opposition from the Democrats and even many conservative Republicans.

7. WikiLeaks claims the CIA built special tools for hacking iPhones and Apple products. The latest WikiLeaks files claims the CIA has teams specifically dedicated to breaking into Apple products. But one security expert said there’s “nothing interesting or new” in the details.

8. Snap co-founder Evan Spiegel is $US800 million richer. The 26-year-old CEO scored an extra 37 million additional company shares for Snapchat’s IPO, which makes the bonus around $US800 million at the current share price.

9. Britain’s ‘Great Repeal Bill’ for Brexit could instead be ‘the biggest political power grab of modern times’. The bill from PM Theresa May is meant to transfer EU law to the UK, but the House of Lords is warning it could take power away from parliament and hand it to the government instead.

10. April’s fight between Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates is off. Turns out unnamed investment group behind the $US38 million offer for the bout was fake.

And finally…

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