the Context

2018-12-151 PM utc

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2018 Sri Lankan constitutional crisis

Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns as prime minister.

Mahinda Rajapaksa's resignation could bring to an end weeks of political crisis.

Australia–Israel relations

Australia formally recognizes West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel but will not move its embassy from Tel Aviv until a peace settlement is reached with the Palestinians.

Australia's prime minister follows US President Donald Trump's lead and recognises the contested city as Israel's capital.


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.


Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo

The Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo votes to create a proper army out of the lightly-armed Kosovo Security Force, with eleven minority Serb deputies boycotting the vote. While the United States lauds the decision, criticism has come from both NATO and the neighbouring country of Serbia.

Kosovo's parliament voted on Friday to create a 5,000-strong standing army,...

Sandy Hook shooting

On the sixth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, the school is evacuated due to a bomb threat. It is not believed to be connected with the 2018 Bitcoin bomb threats.

Sandy Hook Elementary School was evacuated Friday due to a phoned-in bomb threat on the sixth anniversary of the massacre at the school that left 26 children and staff members dead.


American neoconservative weekly opinion magazine "The Weekly Standard" announces that it will shut down this month after 23 years in print.

The Weekly Standard, the magazine that espouses traditional conservatism and which has remained deeply critical of President Donald Trump, will shutter after 23 years, its owner Clarity Media Group announced Friday morning. The magazine will publish its final issue on December 17.


Six government officials are killed and 14 others are wounded in an attack in Balochistan, Pakistan. The BLA claims responsibility.

Pakistan's restive Balochistan province has been hit by a number of attacks on security personnel.

2018 Strasbourg attack

An Italian journalist to the European Parliament who was wounded during a terrorist attack in Strasbourg, France, dies of his injuries, raising the death toll to four.

The Paris prosecutor's office said on Friday that a fourth person had died ...

Syrian Civil War

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces seize control of Hajin, the last major town held by ISIL in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Syrian Democratic Forces capture Hajin in Deir ez-Zor province after heavy fighting


Chinese Lunar Exploration Program

Chang'e 4 successfully enters orbit around the Moon ahead of a historic landing on the far side of the Moon in early 2019.

Chang’e-4 is second spacecraft in Chinese mission to land on far side of the moon

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo successfully completes its fourth powered test flight with VSS Unity and reaches space at an altitude of 82.7 km but does not breach the 100 km Karman Line.

The latest test flight by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic makes it to the edge of space and back.

2018 Bitcoin bomb threats

Fake bomb threats are sent to businesses around Canada and the U.S., demanding ransoms in bitcoin.

Officials believe the bomb threats are a hoax after major institutions targeted with spam emails

Hunger strike

Iranian political activist Vahid Sayadi Nasiri صیادی نصیری, who was jailed for his messages on social media, dies after spending 60 days on hunger strike. He was accused of insulting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Jailed for his posts on social media, Vahid Sayadi Nasiri protested against his conditions in prison.

Operation Car Wash

A tribunal in Colombia disqualifies the Brazilian multinational corporation Odebrecht from operating in the country for 10 years amid ongoing investigations against the company for inciting corruption.


Chinese state media reports a second Canadian national, Michael Spavor, has been detained on suspicion of endangering state security, while the PRC foreign ministry say two Canadian nationals are detained in the country. The Spavor investigation follows the detention of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig on December 10 and Canada's December 1 arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Canadian Michael Spavor has jet skied with Kim Jong Un, felt the ground shake fr...

Environment Canada

Environment Canada issues rainfall and wind warnings in Metro Vancouver after severe flash flooding caused minor damage in the area.

Video shows water pooling in Dick's Lumber parking lot located at Gilmore Street in Burnaby. A car can be seen almost half-way submerged in water.

Ankara train collision

A high-speed train crashes at Marşandiz railway station in Ankara, Turkey, killing at least nine people and leaving dozens injured.

At least nine people have been killed and dozens hurt in the crash in Ankara, officials say.

Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)

A UN-brokered ceasefire is agreed upon between the two warring factions in Al Hudaydah, Yemen. Troops from both sides will withdraw from the port city within three weeks to allow humanitarian aid coming into the country, which has been plagued by war and famine.

2018 Strasbourg attack

Chérif Chekatt, the perpetrator of the terror attack two days ago that killed three and wounded 12 in Strasbourg, is found and killed by French police.

The man suspected of carrying out Tuesday's deadly attack has been killed by police, reports say.

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

A knife-wielding Palestinian assailant is shot dead in Jerusalem's Old City, after lightly injuring two police officers by stabbing them.

Israeli army locks down Ramallah and kills fourth Palestinian 'suspect' after drive-by shooting of two Israeli soldiers.

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Two Israeli soldiers are killed and two others seriously wounded after a shooting at a bus stop in the Jewish settlement of Giv'at Asaf, West Bank.

Two Israeli soldiers were shot dead Thursday at a bus stop on a main road in the Israeli-controlled part of the West Bank, the Israeli military said.

Northern Mali conflict

Jihadists on motorcycles kill around 42 people in a series of attacks targeting Tuareg camps in Mali.

Suspected jihadists on motorcycles have killed at least 42 people during a series of attacks on Tuareg nomadic camps in Mali, local leaders said Thursday. This week's violence risks setting off a new cycle of intercommunal clashes in the Menaka region, where 100 civilians have already been killed this year.