The 10 most important things in the world right now

Police man a security cordon as a huge fire engulfs the Grenfell Tower early June 14, 2017 in west London. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/ AFP/ Getty Images.

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

1. A massive fire broke out in a 27-storey London residential tower overnight. At least 40 fire engines and 200 firefighters have responded to the scene. The residential block holds 120 homes. A death toll has not been confirmed. Watch a live feed of the incident here.

2. UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn received hero’s welcome from MPs after his performance in the general election cost prime minister Theresa May her majority. Corbyn told his party to remain in “permanent campaign mode” in anticipation of a second general election.

3. Germany has offered Britain an “open door” to cancel Brexit. The finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said while it was “up to the British government to take their own decisions”, Germany would not stand in the way of the UK returning to the union.

4. The French followed Germany’s lead agreeing that the “door is always open” for the UK to stay in the EU. “Of course the door is always open as long as the negotiations on Brexit have not finished,” president Emmanuel Macron said. “Once it (the Brexit process) has started we need to be collectively clear that it’s more difficult to reverse course.”

5. US president Donald Trump approved possible future increases in troop levels in Afghanistan. While no immediate decision had been made about the troop levels themselves, now set at about 8,400, it means Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will be free to increase the number of troops deployed.

6. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions opened his appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee by denying any wrongdoing over Russian interference in the 2016 US election. Asked by the Committee if he met privately with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during an event at the Mayflower Hotel last year he appeared to waver, then said he couldn’t recall ever raising concerns about Russia’s interference with Kislyak.

7. Russia’s had one of the biggest anti-Putin protests in years. The demonstrations, which took place in more than 100 cities across the country, were organised by Alexei Navalny, a long-time critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin and himself a presidential hopeful.

8. Australia will pay $70 million in compensation to asylum seekers it detained offshore. A class action, led by a 35-year-old Iranian asylum seeker and involving nearly 2000 people detained at the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea between 2012 and 2016, was due to get under way in a six-month trial in the Supreme Court, but reached a settlement just as it began.

9. The Taiwanese president has sent a defiant message to China after Panama severed diplomatic ties. President Tsai Ing-wen called Panama’s decision “deeply regrettable” and issued a defiant message to Beijing that the island would not back down from its engagement with the international community.

10. An Uber board member made a sexist joke in the middle of the presentation on how to fix Uber’s sexist culture. And then resigned. His resignation will take effect Wednesday morning.

And finally…

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