the Context

University of Hawaii

The University of Hawaii reports that Lonely George, the last known member of the "Achatinella apexfulva" species of land snail in Oahu, Hawaii, died aged 14 on New Year's Day. Despite being listed as critically endangered the species is now considered extinct.

One famous snail’s death highlights the plight faced by diverse Hawaiian snails, of which there were once hundreds of species.

United States federal government shutdown of 2018–2019

U.S. President Donald Trump gives the first prime time address of his tenure in office to talk about the partial government shutdown and its key issue, proposed increased funding for the Mexico–United States barrier.

President Trump sought to go over the heads of Congress to enlist support for his border wall, raising the stakes of a conflict that has closed many federal agencies.

Qatar diplomatic crisis

Retired USMC General Anthony Zinni resigns as U.S. envoy for the Qatar diplomatic dispute because regional leaders couldn't agree on a "viable mediation effort" to resolve the stalemate.

Retired General Anthony Zinni, the Trump administration's envoy working to resolve the Gulf region's diplomatic dispute, has resigned from his role at the State Department.

Politics of Malaysia

Following Muhammad V of Kelantan's abdication as King of Malaysia on Sunday, the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal explains that the Conference of Rulers will elect a new King on 24 January, who will assume duties immediately after taking the oath of office on 31 January.

PETALING JAYA - The new King will take his oath of office on Jan 31, allowing him to carry out the duties of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong soon after, says the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal. Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad said on Tuesday (Jan 8) taking the oath of office would mean that the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong would be able to take on his responsibilities im...

List of UAV-related incidents

Flights from London's Heathrow Airport are temporarily suspended after a report of a drone sighting in the area.

Humboldt Broncos bus crash

Jaskirat Sidhu, the driver involved in a fatal crash involving the Humboldt Broncos, pleads guilty to 29 charges against him, including 16 counts of dangerous operation of motorized vehicle causing death and 13 counts of dangerous operation of motor vehicle causing bodily injury.

Jaskirat Sidhu was charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.


German politician Frank Magnitz, a member of the AfD party, was beaten unconscious by three masked assailants in the city of Bremen on Monday. AfD party leader Alice Weidel calls the attack an "assassination attempt" and politicians from other German parties condemn the attack.

Frank Magnitz was targeted by masked men in an attack police believe was politically motivated.


An attack on a primary school in Beijing leaves 20 children injured, with three children receiving serious but non-life-threatening injuries. All injured children are receiving hospital treatment. The suspect was apprehended at the scene and an investigation has been launched.

Chinese authorities say a hammer-wielding 49-year-old male has injured 20 children inside a Beijing primary school.


A Polish woman, Elżbieta Piotrowska, is attacked with an axe and dies from her injuries in Ardee, County Louth, Ireland. A man known to her was later arrested.

A post-mortem examination is to be carried out on the body of a 57-year-old woman found dead in her home in Co Louth yesterday. A man being questioned about her death has had his period of detention extended.


Brazil formally withdraws from the UN's Global Compact for Migration pact; however, Brazil's Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo says that the country will continue to accept Venezuelan refugees.

Brazil has pulled out of a United Nations pact on dealing with rising migration,...

China–North Korea relations

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives in Beijing for his fourth summit meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was spending his birthday in Beijing after arriving in the Chinese capital Tuesday — which was believed to be his 35t

Hong Kong

A Vietnam-registered oil tanker explodes off Hong Kong's southern coast, killing at least one person and leaving three others missing.

Mountain View train collision

Two passenger trains collide in Pretoria, South Africa, killing at least four people and injuring at least 620 others.

Four people are dead and hundreds more were injured when two trains collided during the early morning rush hour commute in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday. Hundreds of commuters remain trapped inside the carriages and emergency response officials say the number of fatalities might rise as the...

Eddie Lampert

A bankruptcy judge grants Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert another chance to buy Sears and save it from liquidation.

Eddie Lampert's $4.4 billion offer was Sears' only shot at staying alive and preserving 55,000 jobs. ESL plans to contest Sears' decision.

Syrian Civil War

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces say that they captured five foreign nationals who fought for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Two are reportedly from the United States, two from Pakistan and one from Ireland.

Two men, including a Texan who asked to teach English to IS militants, were caught by US-backed fighters.

Syrian Civil War

The military police of Russia says that it has started patrolling the area surrounding Manbij.

The route of military police patrols will change regularly