Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 7 Sep 2017

1. Hurricane Irma devastates Caribbean

Hurricane Irma, the biggest Atlantic storm ever recorded, has brought devastation to the Caribbean, with the UN warning as many as 49 million people could be affected. At least seven have died, but the death toll is likely to rise. The storm has flattened buildings in Antigua and Barbuda and is now heading towards the US mainland.

2. EU wants special Brexit deal for NI

Northern Ireland should have a special version of Brexit, an EU document leaked to the BBC says. The paper, to be published by Michel Barnier later, says the UK should be responsible for finding a "unique solution" so there will be no hard border between Eire and Northern Ireland. MPs are debating the EU Withdrawal Bill today.

3. Indian army chief: We may go to war

The head of the Indian army, General Bipin Rawat, has warned that a border squabble with China in the Himalayas could turn into war on two fronts – with China in the north and Pakistan in the west. He said: "Warfare lies within the realm of reality." India went to war with China in 1962 and has had three wars with Pakistan since 1947.

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4. US seeks oil embargo on North Korea

The US is pushing the UN for an oil embargo on North Korea, a move which will be opposed by the country's biggest oil supplier, China. Other tougher sanctions will include a travel ban and frozen assets for dictator Kim Jong-un. US President Donald Trump has toned down his rhetoric, however, saying war is "not our first choice".

5. Israeli rockets 'hit chemical weapon factory'

Unconfirmed reports in Arab media say Israeli jets have carried out an air strike on a chemical weapons plant in Syria. A statement from the Syrian army, however, describes the site as a military base and says two soldiers were killed by the rockets, fired from Lebanese air space. Israel is not commenting on the strikes, as usual.

6. Russia spent $100,000 on Facebook ads

Facebook says an operation probably based in Russia spent more than $100,000 (£77,000) on divisive ads on its social network during the US election campaign last year. The ads did not express support for a particular candidate but instead spread social and political messages on topics including immigration, race and gay rights.

7. Surrey overtakes London for pricey pints

The average cost of a pint of beer in Surrey is now £4.40, according to the latest Good Pub Guide. That's the first time since 1982 that the most expensive beer has not been found in London. The average cost of a pint in Britain is now £3.60, and Londoners pay an average £4.20. The guide does tend to list the UK's more expensive pubs, however.

8. Stretching clothes win design award

A line of clothing for children that stretches as they grow, so that the same garments fit babies through to three-year-olds, has won the UK heat of the Dyson design award. The pleated Petit Pli clothes are designed by 24-year-old Ryan Yasin, who used principles he studied for his aeronautical engineering degree to develop them.

9. Solar flares cause radio blackouts

Two large solar flares – one of which was the biggest recorded since 2006 – caused blackouts of high- and low-frequency radio yesterday, US meteorologists say. Low-frequency radio is used for navigation and was degraded for around an hour. The flares of radiation do not physically affect humans on the ground in Earth, Nasa says.

10. Briefing: The Korean pop drama taking over Twitter

UK tweeters browsing Twitter yesterday afternoon might have been surprised to notice a Korean hashtag among the hottest trending topics, nestled between Westminster news and John Motson’s retirement.

The hashtag #엑스포츠_전원기자_사과해 translates as “#Xports_apologize_to_BTS” - a reference to a feud between a South Korean news website and K-pop boyband BTS.

Those unfamiliar with the K-pop scene may be surprised by how quickly the group's legion of fans were able to propel their collective fury to the top of Twitter's global trends, but they shouldn't be...

How BTS took over the world

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