Year end package 2018

New service to replace SMS messages

TECH -- A new form of mobile phone messaging is being slowly rolled out by network providers. Called RCS (Rich Communication Services), is intended to replace the SMS system which has been in use since 1992.

2019 – New movie releases

YEAR END -- 2019 is looking like an excellent year for films with a box office bonanza of movies from directors including James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino, M. Night Shyamalan, Tim Burton, Jordan Peele, F. Gary Gray, and J. J. Abrams.

Virgin Galactic test flight reaches space

MOJAVE -- Virgin Galactic made its first trip to the edge of space with two pilots taking Virgin Space Ship Unity high above California’s Mojave Desert, reaching an altitude of 82.7km (51 miles).

Review of world events in 2018 -- web version

YEAR END -- Major news stories in 2018 include the Russian spy poisoning in Britain, the Facebook privacy scandal, the extraordinary cave rescue in Thailand and the ongoing fallout from the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Preview of world events in 2019

YEAR END -- Graphic gives a preview of events expected in 2019, as more populists take power around the world, Britain exits the EU, and a trade war between Washington and Beijing continues as China marks the Year of the Pig.

Scientific achievements of 2018

YEAR END -- Astronomers discovered the brightest object in our universe, the oceans revealed the first warm-blooded fish and fossilised steroid molecules showed that the earliest animal lived on Earth 558m years ago.

Holiday season shopping favourites

YEAR END -- Technology-driven toys continue to propel festive sales at the end of 2018, with Harry Potter and Star Wars also back in fashion and likely to be among the top picks for shoppers this year.

Turkey-Syria operation east of Euphrates

ANKARA -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening to launch a new offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria, a move likely to further strain ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States.

Declining Arctic reindeer population

ENVIRONMENT -- The population of wild reindeer in the Arctic has crashed by more than half, according to a new report released at the American Geophysical Research Union meeting in Washington D.C.

Strasbourg terror suspect on the run

STRASBOURG -- A massive manhunt is under way for a gunman who killed three people and wounded a dozen others at a Christmas market in Strasbourg. The suspect was known to the police.

Dec 18: Hyperloop test tunnel to open

LOS ANGELES -- A 3km test tunnel for Elon Musk’s Hyperloop, an electric travel system running under a Los Angeles freeway, is set to open to the public on December 18. Elevators will take riders underground to the system.

Increase in measles infections in Europe

HEALTH -- Measles is on the rise in Europe, with 30 countries together reporting more than 13,400 cases in the year to September 2018 – a fourfold rise over the same period two years ago.

Canada frees CFO of China’s Huawei on bail

VANCOUVER -- Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou has been granted bail of C$10 million ahead of a decision by Canada’s justice minister whether to extradite her to the U. S. to face charges of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

France “yellow vest” protests timeline

PARIS -- President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation on Monday evening in response to massive, often violent rallies staged by “yellow-vest” protesters across the country for the past four weekends.

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.

Streaming games era draws near

GAMING -- Video gamers are on the verge of a seismic transformation that could see once-dominant consoles rendered obsolete by streaming services, using cloud technology to play games in real-time, just as they might watch Netflix.

Jan 1-3: Mission to dark side of the Moon

XICHANG -- China’s Chang’e-4 is due to land on the far side of the Moon sometime between January 1 and 3. The mission will test plant growth and listen for radio emissions normally blocked by Earth’s atmosphere.

Corruption allegations facing Israel’s Netanyahu

TEL AVIV -- Israeli police have recommended indicting Benjamin Netanyahu on bribery charges, adding to a catalogue of legal troubles that have clouded the Israeli Prime Minister’s prospects for re-election in 2019.

CO2 emissions set to hit record high

KATOWICE -- Carbon emissions rose 2.7 per cent to a record high in 2018 mainly due to emissions growth in China, India and the U.S., according , according to three studies released from the Global Carbon Project.

Germany could cut Russian gas flows

BERLIN -- Germany’s Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has responded to Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships and crew off Crimea by calling for Berlin to cut gas flows through the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Most loved Christmas carol turns 200

YEAR-END -- Silent Night, one of the best loved Christmas carols, was first performed in Austria two centuries ago. Now sung in 300 languages around the world, it is a key part of Yuletide festivities.

Ion plane flies with no moving parts

U.S. -- A team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have successfully flown the first aircraft with no moving parts. The model plane uses “ionic wind” propulsion that creates no emissions.

Dubai Police to train on flying motorbikes

TECH -- A flying motorcycle developed by California-based startup Hoversurf is being used to train police officers in Dubai, with the aim of helping first responder units to access hard-to-reach areas.


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.

Dec 13-22: FIFA Club World Cup 2018

SOCCER -- Champions from the six continents compete in the United Arab Emirates to become the Champion of Champions, with Real Madrid representing Europe and River Plate from South America.

May 11, 2019: 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.

Jul 6-28, 2019: Tour de France route

CYCLING -- The 2019 Tour features 30 categorised climbs andf ive mountain finishes in what organisers promise will be “the highest Tour in history”, designed to encourage breakaways and attacks.

Dec 15-17: English Premier League season

SOCCER -- Table-topping Liverpool face bitter rivals Manchester Utd on Monday, after cross-town rivals Everton visit Manchester City, while Tottenham hope to keep up with the leaders when they host Burnley.

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