the Context

2018-12-185 AM utc

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Charles Michel

Charles Michel announces that he will offer his resignation as Prime Minister of Belgium to King Philippe amid protests and a political crisis over the Global Compact for Migration.

Space policy of the Donald Trump administration

U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive memorandum to re-establish the United States Space Command.

President Donald Trump ordered the creation of "Space Command" on Tuesday, a move the administration is labeling a precursor to creating a US Space Force.

U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice issues a final regulation banning in the U.S. bump stocks, which fire semi-automatic rifles at a rate similar to that of automatic weapons and became infamous following the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. It is scheduled to go into effect on March 21, 2019.

Under the new regulation, which had been expected, Americans who own bump stocks would have 90 days to destroy their devices or to turn them over to the A.T.F.

Donald J. Trump Foundation

The Donald J. Trump Foundation agrees to dissolve under judicial supervision while a lawsuit in the state of New York is ongoing.

New York Attorney General announced on Tuesday that the foundation will cease to exist after an alleged pattern of using its ‘charity’ for campaign purposes.

Tornado

A powerful tornado touches down near Port Orchard, Washington. Several structures are severely damaged or destroyed.

Homes were damaged and trees uprooted in Kitsap County, west of Seattle, when the tornado touched down just before 2 p.m.

Russia

Russian cargo vessel MV "Kuzma Minin" runs aground and then is refloated off Gyllyngvase, Cornwall, and taken to anchor in Falmouth Bay for inspection, according to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The 16,000-tonne vessel with 18 crew on board runs aground off the Cornish coast.

Opinion

The post-truth and the context

Most of the daily information we see on the mainstream media today is the news equivalent of fast-food.


2018-12-17

Trans-Neptunian object

Astronomers announce the discovery of trans-Neptunian object 2018 VG, the most distant object in the Solar System ever observed at a distance of ~120 ul=AU.

Researchers have identified a new solar system body, designated 2018 VG18 and nicknamed Farout, that is the farthest solar system object ever observed.

Fossil

160 million-year-old fossil anurognathid pterosaurs are discovered that show feathery coverings, suggesting either deep common ancestry with theropod dinosaurs or independent coevolution.

The flying reptiles had feathers, and looked like brown bats with fuzzy wings, say scientists.

Andrzej Duda

Polish President Andrzej Duda signs into law the bill, passed by the Parliament of Poland three weeks ago, reinstating the Supreme Court judges who had been forced out of their jobs when legislation to lower the judges's mandatory retirement age was enacted in July. This addresses one of the issues that has been in dispute with the European Union.

It was the first major setback for the ruling party’s bid to control the courts, which Brussels said undermines judicial independence and the rule of law.

Tolls

Tolls are scrapped for the Severn crossing bridges connecting England and South Wales, making travel across the River Severn free for all commuters for the first time in 800 years.

The first written reference of a toll to cross the Severn Estuary was in a 12th Century document.

Miss Universe 2018

Filipina-Australian model Catriona Gray is crowned Miss Universe at the IMPACT Arena in Thailand.

Catriona Gray from the Philippines claimed the Miss Universe crown for 2018 on Monday, beating contestants from 93 other countries.

Somali Civil War (2009–present)

Six U.S. air strikes over the weekend kill at least 62 Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia, according to The Pentagon.

The US military says six air strikes targeted militants in Somalia linked to al-Qaeda.


2018-12-16

Georgian presidential election, 2018

Salome Zurabishvili takes office as President of Georgia. Zurabishvili is the first woman in office and the last president to be elected by popular vote.

The inauguration of Georgia's first female president marks the start of the country's new constitution. Salome Zurabishvili has committed to making the former Soviet state's path towards Europe "irreversible."

2018 Sri Lankan constitutional crisis

Ranil Wickremesinghe is sworn in as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

Zurich

A bus crash in Zurich, Switzerland, kills one person and injures 44 others.

Sapporo

A gas blast in a restaurant in Sapporo, Japan, injures 42 people.

More than 40 people are injured in the explosion and fire in the city of Sapporo.

2018 Strasbourg attack

A Polish national who was wounded during a terrorist attack in Strasbourg, France, dies of his injuries, raising the death toll to five.

The 36-year-old Polish-born man had been in a coma for five days after Tuesday's attack.