the Context

16-day mission

105 launches on mission STS-127 to the International Space Station.

Common Travel Area

The British government opts not to end the Common Travel Area between the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The British government has climbed down over plans to require travellers from Ireland to show passports.

Chansa Kabwela

Chansa Kabwela, editor of Zambia's biggest-selling newspaper "The Post", is charged with distributing obscene materials relating to a health sector crisis.


Two people are killed and five are injured in the explosion at a Total petrochemicals plant in Carling, France.

An explosion at a Total petrochemicals plant in France has killed two people, injured five and left others buried under rubble.

Israel's assault in Gaza

A group of soldiers who took part in Israel's assault in Gaza say widespread abuses were committed against civilians under "permissive" rules of engagement.

Suicide bombing

Six people, including two traffic police, are killed and sixteen people are injured in a suicide attack in Anbar, Iraq.

A suicide car bomb has killed six people and wounded 16 others in Iraq's western Anbar province.

Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara

Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara, the world's oldest new mother, is announced to have died of cancer aged 69, three years after giving birth.


China urges its citizens in Algeria to "take extra care" after reports circulate of a militant group's plans to avenge recent deaths of Muslim Uyghurs.


China's foreign exchange reserves have reached a record of US$ 2.13 trillion, which is more than twice the size of Japan's—the second-biggest holder.

Magnitude 7.0

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake strikes off South Island, New Zealand, generating brief fears of a small tsunami.

Officials are today checking for damage after a huge earthquake rocked parts of the South Island last night. - New Zealand Herald

Caspian Airlines

Caspian Airlines Flight 7908, flying from Tehran to Yerevan, Armenia with 153 passengers and 15 crew members on board, crashes in Iran shortly after takeoff.

Catholic Church

The Catholic Church praises "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" after previously accusing the books of promoting witchcraft and the occult.

Episcopal Church of the United States

The Episcopal Church of the United States votes to overturn a three-year ban on the appointment of gay bishops.