the Context


2019 Zaoyang car attack

A man is shot dead in the city of Zaoyang, China, after ramming his vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians, killing at least six and injuring seven others.


In the town of Dangdala, Chad, 23 Chadian soldiers are killed in an overnight attack by Boko Haram militants.


The EU is not a cigar club

No matter how you look at it, Brexit is a spectacular failure of the grand project called the European Union.


2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis

Venezuela's intelligence unit, the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), detains attorney Roberto Marrero, Juan Guaidó's chief of staff. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio says this is "a significant escalation of repression and could signal the beginning of efforts to arrest Guaidó himself".

Gun laws in New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces a ban of all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines following the Christchurch mosque shootings. An amnesty is in effect for people who return their guns.

All military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines will be banned in New Zealand following the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques that killed 50 people, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced.

Brexit negotiations

The European Union confirms that UK Prime Minister Theresa May's requested short extension date of 30 June is too late due to pending EU elections. After lengthy discussions, EU leaders agree that if the Prime Minister's deal is passed next week a short extension until 22 May is available to pass the necessary legislation. If that deal is not passed, the UK is given until 12 April to define whether it will participate in EU elections.

Theresa May has requested extension to 30 June but EU wants earlier deadline

October 2018 United States mail bombing attempts

Cesar Sayoc pleads guilty to 65 felony counts, including using weapons of mass destruction in an attempted domestic terrorist attack in regards to last year's attempting mail bombings.

The Florida man accused of sending mail bombs to CNN offices and prominent Democrats pleaded guilty on Thursday in Manhattan federal court to 65 felony counts, including using weapons of mass destruction in an attempted domestic terrorist attack.

Operation Car Wash

Former President of Brazil Michel Temer is arrested as part of an investigation into corruption. Former Governor of Rio de Janeiro Moreira Franco is also arrested.

Michel Temer, who served from 2016 to 2018, denies accusations of corruption.

Israel–United States relations

Syria has not publicly responded to President Trump's decision. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, declares this action irrelevant and illegal.

Turkey says it supports Syria's territorial integrity and warns move will only lead to more violence and pain in the region; EU, UN and Russia mum

Israel–United States relations

U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intentions to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a move welcomed by Israel.

President Donald Trump on Thursday overturned longstanding US policy regarding the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, announcing "it is time" for the US to "fully recognize Israel's sovereignty" over the region.

Fire and explosion

A fire and explosion at a chemical plant that makes fertilizer in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, China, kills 47 people and injures 640 others.

The death toll in a huge blast at a chemical plant in eastern China jumps to 44, with 90 injured, state media say.

Tigris River

At least 94 people are killed when a Tigris River ferry, carrying families celebrating the Nowruz new year holiday, sinks near the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Most of those on board the vessel in a tourist area in Mosul could not swim, reports say.

War in Afghanistan (2001–present)

Six people are killed and twenty three other wounded in three bomb explosions during Nowruz celebration in Kabul, Afghanistan.

At least six people die in bomb explosions in the Afghan capital during Persian New Year celebrations.


Brexit negotiations

UK Prime Minister Theresa May formally writes a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk requesting for a delay of Brexit until June 30.

Politics of Kazakhstan

Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, is renamed Nursultan, after the former President.

Astana becomes Nursultan just one day after Nursultan Nazarbayev's surprise resignation.

Politics of Kazakhstan

The second President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, is sworn into office, after the resignation of Nursultan Nazarbayev.

European People's Party

The European People's Party votes to suspend Hungary's ruling Fidesz party citing its anti-immigration stance, and personal attacks on Jean-Claude Juncker and George Soros. Hungarian Prime Minister and Fidesz leader Viktor Orbán had threatened to pull out of the EPP if it was suspended.

Hungary's right-wing Fidesz party has been in a long-running row with European Parliament colleagues.

European Union competition law

European Union regulators fine Google €1.49 billion for bundling Google Custom Search with its AdSense program which the regulators find as illegal under EU antitrust rules.

Showing Google Ads above Custom Search results lands the company in hot water.

Acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney

The Walt Disney Company completes its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

Wall Street and other experts have lauded the strategic benefits for Disney, but also highlighted the cost of launching a streaming service later this year, which will be a drag on earnings.