the Context

Chinese Lunar Exploration Program

The China National Space Administration successfully launches Chang'e 4 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center which will attempt the first ever robotic landing on the far side of the Moon in 2019.

It is the first attempt to land robotic craft on the side of the Moon which never faces Earth.

Discoveries of exoplanets

Scientists from the University of Geneva announce that a previously-known Neptune-sized exoplanet, HAT-P-11b, has a slowly-escaping helium atmosphere.

A team of international scientists has, for the first time in 18 years, tracked how helium escapes from exoplanets’ atmosphere.

Christian Democratic Union of Germany leadership election, 2018

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer succeeds Angela Merkel as the new chairperson of the Christian Democratic Union, one of the major political parties in Germany.

Winner of party vote tipped to become Germany’s next chancellor and Europe’s most powerful politician

Political appointments by Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump nominates William Barr to be the new United States Attorney General, a position he held under George H. W. Bush from 1991 to 1993. Heather Nauert, a former journalist and the incumbent Spokesperson for the United States Department of State, is proposed as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

The US president nominates William Barr to run the Justice Department and supervise the Russia investigation.


Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou attends a bail hearing in Vancouver while she awaits extradition to the United States. She is charged by Canadian and American prosecutors with conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions in order to commit evasion of United States sanctions against Iran so as to conduct business with Iran.

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer faces U.S. accusations...

Charlottesville car attack

A jury finds James Alex Fields guilty of the murder, in the first degree, of Heather Heyer at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Fields slammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally, killing Heather Heyer in 2017.

Buju Banton

Jamaican reggae artist Buju Banton (Mark Anthony Myrie) is released from a U.S. prison and deported back to Jamaica, after serving 7 years of a 10-year drug charge conviction.

The dancehall and Reggae star was convicted in a Tampa courtroom in 2011 on federal drug charges. Reports say he will soon return to Jamaica.

Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

American attorney Robert Mueller is set to reveal more details about the Special Counsel investigation as he faces court deadlines in the cases of two men who worked closely with Donald Trump.

Mueller faces court deadlines in the cases of two men who worked closely with Trump.


Eleven people die, including five hostages, as armed police battle robbers who had tried to raid two banks in Milagres, Ceará, Brazil.

At least five hostages, including a child, were killed as armed police battled a gang in Milagres.

European migrant crisis

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) rescue vessel "Aquarius" 2 ends migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, citing sustained attacks on search and rescue by European governments, particularly Italy.

The charity blames its decision on "sustained attacks" on rescue efforts by European nations.