the Context

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2018-01-19


With a cross-border artillery bombardment into the Afrin area, Turkey starts its announced military campaign to "destroy" the Syrian Kurdish YPG group.

Outside the Fleury-Merogis prison, French police clash with prison guards who are striking over the detention conditions in French jails.

Journalists in the Philippines protest the government's decision to cancel the license of Rappler.

A protest for press freedom set to be staged in Quezon City on Friday evening is a testament that freedom and democracy are alive in the country, MalacaƱang said.

Fifteen people are injured and an infant is killed after a car hits a group of pedestrians near Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The police report that the driver had an epileptic seizure.

The bodies of ten Syrian men are found after a snowstorm on the Lebanon-Syria border. The Lebanese Army says they tried to enter Lebanon illegally. Two presumed people smugglers are arrested.

The bodies of nine people were found Friday along a snow-covered smuggling route near the Masnaa border crossing between Lebanon and Syria, a Lebanese Army statement said.

Citing a national "fervor", the Communist Party of China proposes writing the Xi Jinping Thought into the state constitution, after it was already added to the party constitution.

Presenting a new national defense strategy, the United States Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, says terrorism is no longer the focus of the national security of the United States. Now it is competition between great powers.

The defence secretary says competition between great powers is now the primary focus.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May says the government has seen no plans for Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's idea of building a road bridge between France and the United Kingdom.

Boris Johnson reportedly said a crossing to connect the U.K. and France should be built across the English Channel.

Carl Higbie, Corporation for National and Community Service Chief of External Affairs, apologizes and resigns from his position with the agency that runs AmeriCorps after racist and anti-Muslim remarks he made in 2013 are reported by CNN.

Carl Higbie, appointed by President Trump to serve in the agency that runs AmericCorps, has apologized for remarks that derided black people, Muslims and other groups.


2018-01-18

The Emirates airline announces an order for up to 36 Airbus A380s. Emirates is already the aircraft's largest operator, with a fleet of over 100.

A big order from Emirates airline saves the A380 after Airbus threatened to stop making the plane.

A bus carrying Uzbek migrant workers catches fire in Kazakhstan's Aktobe Region, killing 52 people. Five people escape and are treated by rescue workers.

Five people survived the accident on the bus, thought to have been carrying many Uzbek nationals.

French President Emmanuel Macron meets with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Police in Serbia arrest three Australians, one of them Rohan Arnold, a known businessman, for allegedly smuggling 1,280 kg of cocaine into Sydney in 2016.

Three men linked to the ACT arrested in Serbia suspected of ties to an international drug ring.

In a world's first, a drone rescues two people off the coast of Lennox Head, New South Wales in Australia by dropping a safety device to them. John Barilaro, the Deputy Premier of New South Wales, praises the rescue as historic.

A pair of Australian swimmers on Thursday became the first people to be rescued in the ocean by a drone when the aerial lifesaver dropped an safety device to distressed teens caught in rough seas.


2018-01-17

Zimbabwean politician Roy Bennett is killed in a helicopter crash near Raton, New Mexico, United States.

Two Americans and two Canadians are abducted by unknown gunmen in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Two police officers are killed after engaging in a firefight with the abductors.

Kidnappers have abducted two Americans and two Canadians in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, killing two police officers, a police spokesman said on Wednesday.

Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 12 people and injure 48 others, in Maiduguri, Nigeria.

Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers killed 12 people and injured 48 others in an attack on Wednesday on the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, officials from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) for Borno said.

In Nazran, Ingushetia, arsonists set fire to the office of Memorial, a Russian human rights organization.

The Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the Norman conquest of England, is to be displayed in the United Kingdom for the first time after French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to loan it out for the first time in 950 years. Subject to the outcome of tests, the loan is expected to happen somewhere after 2020.

President Macron is understood to have agreed to let it leave France for the first time in 950 years.

The South Korean Ministry of Unification announces that both North Korea and South Korea will march together under the Korean Unification Flag during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Following the Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines' revocation of Rappler's license, the National Bureau of Investigation of the Philippines launches a probe into Rappler.

The Parliament of Catalonia opens the new legislature. Roger Torrent (ERC) is named Speaker. Three parliamentarians in jail vote through proxies, the five parlementarians in exile in Belgium do not. Carles Puigdemont (PDeCAT, JuntsxCat), through his spokesman, considers it "perfectly plausible" for him to be president remotely. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says that he will not restore Catalonia's autonomous powers if the regional parliament permits Puigdemont to lead the government from exile.

The choice of Roger Torrent is the first step to reinstating local government.

Donald Trump tweets a link to the Republican National Committee's "Fake News Awards", won by ten stories and tweets that he considers misreported. The link also honors ten ways the President "has been getting results" thus far.

The president highlighted negative coverage he said showed bias.