June 24: Three (3) Expedition 59 crew members returned to Earth after spending more than 6 months at the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko from the orbiting laboratory in the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft touched down in Kazakhstan.
April 21: Sri Lanka (near Katuwapitiya): On Easter Sunday, ISIS/ISIL – the Islamic State – at least 8 men who pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ’emir’ of ISIS, claimed responsibility for SIX (6) bombings on three (3) Christian Churches in Sri Lanka. It was stated to be in retaliation for the killing of 50 Muslims in a two mosques shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand.
National Thowheeth Jama\ath and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim (Islamist radical groups) were involved in the this terrorist attack, where nine (9) suicide bombers detonated their bombs in 3 Churches and 2 Hotels, which killed 359 people and wounded about 450. Al Jazeera reported that at least 60 suspects have been arrested. Sri Lanka is about 70% Buddhist and 13% Hindu; but does have about 10% Muslims and 8% Christians. Camera footage showed a bomber with a backpack entering St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo. At least 45 children were among the death toll. Four Americas and 8 Brits were among the dead. President Trump pledged U.S. support; and Sri Lanka’s President Sirisena welcomed an Interpol Incident Response Team and gave special powers under a state of emergency to Security Forces.
April 15: Israel: According to Professor Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University’s School of Molecular Cell Biology… within the Center for Nanoscience…, “This is the first time anyone anyway has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers… human cells and patient-specific biological materials… serve as the bio-inks, substances made of sugars and proteins that can be used for 3-D printing of complex tissue models.” The heart was about the size of a ‘rabbit’ heart. Dvir said that the goal is that within “10 years, there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world, and these procedures will be conducted routinely.” Advanced Science featured the article and research: “3D Printing of Personalized Thick and Perfusable Cardiac Patches and Hearts.”
April 15: The Notre-Dame de Paris (‘Our Lady of Paris’) Catholic Cathedral initially began in 1163 by King Louis VII and Pope Alexander III. The Cathedral took about a century to complete the main structure, vaults of the nave and western façade, upper gallery of the nave and two towers. Buttresses where then added by the 14th century to help support the weight of the roof. The Notre Dame, which claims one of the world’s oldest pipe organs (1403; replaced c.1735), survived centuries of wars and politics. Then April 15, after 5 PM, calls were reported of a fire in the attic of the cathedral, but no fire was found. Then about 6 PM a second alarm sounded and there was a fire under the roof. By 7PM the great 19th century Spire and oak roof collapsed. The towers remained with the stone walls holding. French President Macron has already committed to restore the Cathedral and stated that it was only minutes from complete destruction, but their fire fighters saved it. Several billionaires, as well as UBISOFT of France, have already pledged a combined total of about € 400 million. Firefighters saved the façade, towers, walls, buttresses, stained glass windows and the pipe organ. As with all French Cathedrals, the Notre-Dame is owned by the French government (though the Catholic Church is the beneficiary). Among its myriad of events; the Cathedral hosted the coronation of Napoleon (1804) and was used for the married of Mary, Queen of Scots and Francis II, son of Henry II (1558). The Cathedral was being partially restored by Le Bras Frères, but no cause or blame has been yet assigned. Most of the artworks were salvaged or had been moved for construction, including the supposed ‘Crown of Thorns’ of Jesus, which is now in the Louvre Museum.
March 21: USA: Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill No. 2116, titled in part ‘An Act to …prohibit an Abortion of an Unborn Human Individual with a Detectable Fetal Heartbeat except to prevent the Death of the pregnant woman or to prevent a serious risk of …irreversible impairment…of the woman…’ “’Fetal heartbeat’ means cardiac activity or the steady… contraction of the fetal heart within the gestational sac.” “Any person… who… performs or induces an abortion, except in the case of …preservation of the mother’s life or …rape” could be subject to losing license and 10 years in prison.
March 21: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “Now, six days after this attack (where a terrorist shot and killed 49 people at two Mosques in Christchurch), we are announcing a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand.” The ban is expected to start April 11.
March 10: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after leaving the capital’s airport. All 157 people (from 35+ countries) on board were died in the accident.
February 17-21: Abu Dhabi (UAE) hosted the 14th International Defense Exhibition and Conference in which about 1,500 Defense Companies from almost 70 countries are offering their attack, defense and strategic systems and weapons. It is the largest in the MENA region (Middle East and Africa).
The IDEX website shows exhibitors and comes with emails and phone numbers included for those that have millions/billions to spend and hundreds/thousands to kill (through they prefer to say millions to protect).
February 9: Democratic Republic of Congo: the Death toll/count from the Ebola virus passed 500 in eastern Congo where over 800 cases have been reported. During the last 6 months over 78,000 people have been vaccinated against the virus which is an infectious disease that spreads through bodily fluids. Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan all face potential outbreaks. From 2014 to early 2016 there where 4 cases and 1 death in the U.S.; during that time there where over 28,500 cases in Liberia, Sierra Leonne and Guinea that produced a more than 11,300 deaths.
According to the World Health Organization, Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever) was first identified in 1976 and has a death rate up to 90%. They report that ‘evidence suggests that fruit bats may be a host.’ People become infected through contact with infected animals (cooking/eating) or through contact with bodily fluids of infected humans (urine, saliva, semen) – entering through broken skin or mucous membranes; and possibly intercourse.
February 8: The Russia-Turkey Truce (signed August 15, 2018) continues to be broken in Syria, where 31 people were killed on the 8th.
February 1: GPIF, the largest Pension Fund in the world, announced a loss over $135 billion for the last quarter of 2018. Government Pension Investment Fund, headquartered and managed by Shinkin Asset Management Corp. in Tokyo, Japan, invests the Reserve Funds of the Government Pension Plans entrusted by the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare. They reported a 9.1 percent lost , or 14.8 trillion yen ($136 billion), last quarter. The decline in value was the worst since about April 2008. Domestic stocks were the fund’s worst performing investment, followed by foreign equities.
January 29-30: United States: Six Midwest states have lows below that in Antarctica. International Falls, Minnesota, hit minus 55 (minus 48C); which was about 31 degrees F less than the South Pole in Antarctica, with a low of minus 24F (minus 31C) with wind chill. In Chicago and over 100 other cities schools and government services close due to the deadly wind chills.
January 23: The United States (Trump administration) stated its support for Juan Guaido of Venezuela and not the current president Nicolas Maduro. The U.S. Department of State reports, “The United States established diplomatic relations with Venezuela in 1835. While the U.S.-Venezuelan bilateral relationship has been strained in recent years, the United States maintains a strong and respectful relationship with the people of Venezuela. As then-Secretary Tillerson said, the United States seeks to see Venezuela “return to its constitution, return to free, open, and democratic elections, and allow the people of Venezuela a voice in their government.”
January 22: On anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, New York state passed a new abortion law that changed from the last 50 years which allowed abortions after first trimester for life of mother. The new Reproductive Health Act allows abortion if: “practitioner (finds)… the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.”
According to the New York State Department of Health, 285,127 induced abortions occurred in the state between 2012 and 2014. The average number of live births for the same three years was 237,499. According the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Abort73.com – in 2015, 28.2% of ‘pregnancies in New York ended in abortion.” 5.1% of the abortions were from out of state residents. In 2016, there were 87,325 abortions in New York state and 232,663 live births (114,400 in N.Y. City); thus over 1 in 4 pregnant New Yorker’s had abortions (over 27%).
January 13: U. S. Government Shutdown, which began December 22, is now the longest in U. S. history at 21 days. The Democrats do not appear to be willing to give Pres. Trump the concession of the border wall and neither is the president yielding.
Jan. 5: U. S. Government SHUTDOWN reached 2 weeks (day 14). Donald Trump is the first president to have a government shutdown during two different Congresses (115th & 116th which started Jan. 3). President Gerald Ford by a veto allowed the government to shut down 10 days from September 30, 1976.
Pres. Jimmy Carter allowed a shutdown for 12 days from September 30, 1977; and allowed 2 more shutdowns in 1977; 1 in 1978 and 1 in 1979 (total 5 shutdowns for 57 days). President Ronald Reagan had and or allowed eight (8) shutdowns during his 8 years; six were from 1981 to 1984 and the other two were in 1986 and 1987. Yet in total they were for 14 days. President George H. W. Bush only had one shutdown in 1990 for 3 days.
President Clinton had 2 shutdowns – 1995 and 1996 for 5 and 21 days; and Obama had one for 16 days in 2013. Trump had 2 other shutdowns for a total of 4 days in January and February of 2018. This shutdown started December 22, 2018 and is the 21st since Congress changed budget procedures in 1976. Some estimate that a shutdown could cost the U. S. over $ 1 billion per day; and affect hundreds of thousands of federal workers. Though requested funding for the BORDER WALL is the chief reason for this one; it should be noted that the government is still about $21 trillion in debt and would shut down every year without raises in the debt ceiling.
January 1: Syrian Civil War has been going on for more than 7 years and 9 months. Bashar al-Assad was elected President of Syria July 17, 2000 and has held the office for the past decade as a dictator which led to the 2011 Arab Spring (protests and uprisings). After bombing his own people with Russian weapons and support, and after pressure from Turkey for the U.S. to pull out in 2019, the Syrian Armed Forces now control about 62% of Syria and about 10% is controlled by Turkey and groups like al-Qaeda in Syria; while the Syrian Democratic Forces (most Kurdish) still hold almost 27% of Syria. ISIS/ISIL has been defeated in Syria and controls less than .5% of the country.
January 1: Russia successfully tested their Avangard (Hypersonic Glide Vehicle; former the Yu-71) December 26, 2018. The following day, Deputy PM Yuri Borisov stated at up to 27 times the speed of sound, the system ‘essentially makes missile defenses useless.’ The missile launched from the Dombarovkiy ICBM Site hit its target about 3,700 miles away in Kamchatka. The first reported successful test was in October 2016; but it was not until March 2018 that President Vladimir Putin announced to their Federal Assembly that the weapon testing was complete and the system (powered by a scramjet engine) was ready for production (by Votkinsk Machine).