the Context

2018-12-125 AM utc

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Politics of the United Kingdom

By a vote of 200 to 117, British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a motion of no confidence within the Conservative Party.

The prime minister says she has a "renewed mission" after 200 out of 317 Tory MPs support her to stay on as leader.

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen, the former lawyer of U.S. President Donald Trump, is sentenced to three years in prison for making illegal hush money payments to two women Trump allegedly had affairs with, and a concurrent sentence of two months for making false statements to Congress about a possible Trump Tower deal in Russia.

North Korea–South Korea relations

Soldiers from North Korea and South Korea peacefully cross the Korean Demilitarized Zone for the first time since it was created in 1953.

U.S. efforts to denuclearize North Korea are on hold, but diplomacy between the rival neighbors is continuing apace

Pope Francis

Pope Francis removes Australian prelate George Pell and Chilean prelate Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa from the Council of Cardinal Advisers. Both are accused of covering up child sexual abuse scandals. Former Archbishop of Kinshasa Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya also leaves the Council for unrelated reasons.

Cardinals George Pell and Francisco Javier Errazuriz are removed from Pope Francis's inner circle.


Two police officers are injured after a man throws a grenade at them at a shopping centre in Nazran, Ingushetia, Russia. The attacker and his accomplice are later shot dead.

War in Afghanistan (2001–present)

The Taliban claims responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 12 people, including 8 civilians in Kabul.

Security officials confirmed that a suicide bomber targeted security forces convoy in Paghman district in Kabul.

War in Afghanistan (2001–present)

The Afghan National Army abandons the western Shib Koh District after the government failed to resupply troops stationed there. The district, which borders Iran, is now effectively under Taliban control.

Afghan forces abandoned a remote district in the west of the country, leaving th...


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.


University of Tirana

Thousands of students at the University of Tirana in Albania protest against tuition fees. The government appeals for calm.

Bill Cosby sexual assault cases

The lawyers of Bill Cosby files a list of nearly a dozen alleged trial errors as they appeal his sexual assault conviction and three-to-10-year prison term.

The disgraced comedian was convicted of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, a man is tasered by police at the gates of the Palace of Westminster. The area is placed on lockdown.

A man who was Tasered at the gates of Parliament on Tuesday has been arrested under the Mental Health Act.

Cannabis in New Zealand

New Zealand's government passes an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 to allow chronic and terminally ill patients to use medical cannabis without facing the possibility of prosecution.

Legislation comes ahead of a referendum on recreational marijuana use in next two years

Campinas Cathedral shooting

A gunman kills four people and injures four others at a Catholic cathedral in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. The gunman committed suicide after the attack.

A Mass was being held in the cathedral in Campinas when the attack happened.

U.S. Marines

Five U.S. Marines who were missing after two aircraft collided mid-air off the coast of Japan on December 6 are declared dead.

Search operations, which included vessels from the Self-Defense Forces, had been underway since a KC-130 tanker plane collided with an F/A-18 fighter jet during training Thursday.

2018 Strasbourg attack

A gunman kills three people and injures 12 others in a mass shooting in Strasbourg, France, during the annual Christmas market. The shooter flees the scene but is identified by police as a known extremist. The incident is being treated as an act of terrorism.

French police say a gunman is still at large following a shooting near a Christmas market in the city.



NASA announces that "Voyager 2" entered into the interstellar medium after exiting the heliosphere on November 5.

For the second time in history, a human-made object has reached the space between the stars. NASA’s Voyager 2 probe now has exited the heliosphere – the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun.

2018 Armenian parliamentary election

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's My Step Alliance bloc wins 70.4% of the vote.

Armenia's acting prime minister Nikol Pashinyan bolstered his authority in ...

Yellow vests movement

French President Emmanuel Macron addresses the country following the yellow vests protests. While refusing to reinstate a wealth tax or back down on the current reform agenda, he promises an increase to the minimum wage and to remove some taxes on low income earners.

France's President Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced wage rises for the p...


Nissan, the company's former chairman Carlos Ghosn, and an aide are indicted on charges that Ghosn underreported about ¥5 billion ($44.5 million) of his income. Ghosn's arrest warrant is renewed.

Tokyo prosecutors indict former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn on a charge of breaching the financial instruments law by making misstatements in the automaker's securities reports.

Russell Bishop

Russell Bishop is convicted of the murder of Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows. He had been tried and found not guilty of the crimes in 1987, but the acquittal was quashed as new evidence in the form of DNA was now available. Bishop had been convicted in December 1990 of the abduction, indecent assault and attempted murder of a seven-year-old girl in February of that year.

Scientific advances help convict Russell Bishop of killing nine-year-olds Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway


Russian serial killer and former policeman Mikhail Popkov is convicted of an additional 56 murders between 1992 and 2007. All of his victims were women.

Mikhail Popkov, one of Russia's worst ever serial killers, is already in jail after being convicted in 2015 of murdering 22 women.


Thirty-three people are hospitalized in Pavia, Lombardy, Italy, after pepper spray was fired inside the gym of a school. This is the second pepper spray-related incident in the country in three days. On 8 December, six people died when someone fired the spray inside a nightclub, causing a stampede.

Death of Grace Millane

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern makes a public apology to the family of Grace Millane, who was murdered in Auckland on 1 or 2 December 2018, saying that "your daughter should have been safe here".

Jacinda Ardern describes collective feeling of shame, as man accused of killing British backpacker appears in court

Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

164 countries adopt the non-binding Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Marrakech, Morocco.

Leaders from 164 countries adopted a global pact Monday to improve the world's response to migration flows, but the United States walked away.


Prime Minister Theresa May announces the deferral of the meaningful vote on the UK's negotiated withdrawal agreement from the European Union that was scheduled for tomorrow.

The prime minister says the plan "would be rejected by a significant margin" if MPs voted on it.


The Court of Justice of the European Union rules that an EU member state's invocation of Article 50 TEU is unilaterally revokable.

The European Court of Justice rules that the UK can cancel Brexit without the consent of the other EU states.

Governor of the Reserve Bank of India

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Urjit Patel, resigns abruptly.

The Governor of India's central bank, Urjit Patel, resigned abruptly on Mon...