• SPACE: Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse (Graphic)
  • BREXIT: Second referendum poll (Graphic DUE Jan 17, 12:00GMT)
  • AVIATION: Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant interactive factfile (Interactive DUE Jan 17, 17:00GMT)
  • Further details: See Index - Planning
NEWSSPORT

Bolsonaro loosens gun laws in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO -- President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a decree making it easier for Brazilians to own firearms -- the first of many expected changes to gun laws in the nation that has set a world record for homicides.

Theresa May faces confidence vote

LONDON -- Prime Minister Theresa May’s government faces a no confidence vote after her Brexit divorce deal was rejected by 230 votes – the worst defeat in modern British history – as the clock ticks down to March 29 Brexit date.


Turkey ready to create “safe zone” for Kurds

MIDDLE EAST -- Turkish President Erdogan has said that his troops will create a 32km-wide security zone in northern Syria as suggested by U.S. President Trump, to ease tensions over the fate of Kurdish fighters in the war-torn country.

Populist surge could change EU

LONDON -- Europe’s right-wing populists, which now represent almost one in five EU citizens, hope that European Parliament elections in May will send the bloc in a new political direction.


Hindus converge for largest-ever human gathering

PRAYAGRAJ -- More than 120 million Hindu devotees are to visit the city of Prayagraj for the world’s largest religious festival, at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers.


U.S. government shutdown longest ever

POLITICS -- The partial government shutdown is now the longest in U.S. history, and many of its 800,000 employees working without pay, as the divide between the White House and congressional Democrats remains wider than ever.

The smartwatch that never needs charging

TECH -- Matrix Industries has unveiled a new charge-free smartwatch that uses two methods to power itself – a thermoelectric generator which draws charge from your body heat and a hoop-shaped solar panel.


SB-1 Defiant helicopter gunship set for take-off

STRATFORD -- The Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant prototype, in competition with the Bell V-280 Valor to replace the U.S. Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters, is to make its maiden flight.


Poland wants “Fort Trump” base

WARSAW -- The Pentagon is to report to Congress on the feasibility of permanently deploying U.S. troops on Polish soil as a deterrent against Russian aggression. Poland has already offered at least $2bn to help pay for the project.

U.S. national debt jumps $2 trillion

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. national debt soared from $9.2 trillion at the start of the financial crisis to almost $22 trillion at the beginning of 2019, more than $2 trillion higher than when President Donald Trump took office.


France’s protests -- timeline of turmoil

PARIS -- Two politicians including an ex-minister have left France’s mainstream centre-right Les Republicains party to join far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National ahead of May’s European Parliament elections.

Future iPhone could feature wraparound screen

LOS ANGELES -- Recent U.S. patent filings by Apple show that the tech giant is considering a radical overhaul of the iPhone – one that could see the screen wrap around the device, front to back.


Brazil wins China’s soybean shortfall

WASHINGTON -- U.S. exports of soybeans to China -- the world’s biggest market -- have all but collapsed, leaving farmers with a record 125 million-tonne crop, and boosting soy exports from Brazil to a new, 80 million-tonne, high.


Boeing readies 777X airliner for first flight

AVIATION -- Boeing is looking to build on the success of its popular 777 family of aircraft with the next generation 777X, promising ultra-long range, enhanced fuel efficiency and improved passenger comfort levels.


Electric driverless truck on public road

STOCKHOLM -- Swedish autonomous vehicle start-up Einride and German logistics group DB Schenker are set to gain regulatory approval, allowing an all-electric, driverless truck to carry freight on a public road.

Solar-powered climate research drone

SCIENCE -- Odysseus, a massive solar-powered unmanned aircraft designed to fly continuously for up to three months at high altitudes, will be used to perform climate and atmospheric research.


NEWSSPORT

Jan 24: World Rally Championship 2019

RALLY -- The 47th FIA World Rally Championship takes place over 14 rounds, beginning with the blue riband Monte Carlo Rally and ending in Australia in November. Sebastien Ogier begins the new season as defending drivers’ champion.

Feb 15: Super Rugby Championship 2019

RUGBY -- The southern hemisphere’s top rugby union club tournament gets underway, with New Zealand’s Crusaders aiming for a third successive title after victory over South Africa’s Lions in last season’s final.


Jan 22: Copa Libertadores 2019 kicks off

SOCCER -- The Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier club competition, commences, with 19 teams facing play-off rounds for the final four coveted places in this season’s group stage, which begins on March 5.

Feb 1-Mar 16: Six Nations rugby

RUGBY -- France and Wales open the tournament in Paris, followed by Scotland’s clash with Italy at Murrayfield, while reigning champions Ireland begin the defence of their title against England in Dublin.


Jan 10-27: Men’s Handball World Championships

HANDBALL -- The 26th Men’s World Handball Championship takes place, with 96 matches over three weeks in two venues in Denmark, as well as the German cities of Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Cologne.

Jan 5- Feb 1: Asia Cup 2019

SOCCER -- The AFC Asian Cup takes place in United Arab Emirates, contested for the first time, by 24 teams, with a total of 51 matches played at eight venues over four weeks. The final will be held in Abu Dhabi on February 1.


Jan 19-21: English Premier League season

SOCCER -- Liverpool take on Crystal Palace, Manchester City visit struggling Huddersfield, while in London, its derby weekend as Tottenham travel to Fulham and Arsenal welcome Chelsea to the Emirates.

Feb 12-13: Champions League Last 16

SOCCER -- Defending champions Real Madrid will face Ajax, while ties of the round include last season’s finalists Liverpool against FC Bayern and Atletico Madrid taking on Juventus. The matches begin Feb 12-13.


Sep 20-Nov 2: Rugby World Cup 2019

RUGBY -- The Rugby World Cup takes place in Japan, with 20 teams competing to be crowned World Champions. The 2019 tournament marks the first time it has been held in Asia, outside rugby's traditional heartlands.

May 11-Jun 2: Giro d’Italia 2019 route

CYCLING -- The 2019 Giro d’Italia features three individual time trials and seven summit finishes in a balanced but testing route which ramps up into a brutal second half raced almost entirely uphill.



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