OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu

SPACE -- The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will touch down in 2020 to collect a sample from the surface of Bennu -- a carbon-rich asteroid which may contain the molecular precursors to the origin of life on Earth.

Starting in February, the OSIRIS-REx team will perform a series of close flybys of Bennu, taking high-resolution images of the asteroid to select a sampling site.

May’s Brexit “plan B” – what happens next?

LONDON -- Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government is headed for a showdown with parliament over her rejected EU withdrawal agreement as British lawmakers put forward alternatives which could change the outcome of Brexit.

EU citizens at risk of poverty

BRUSSELS -- More than one in five EU citizens are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, with the highest rates in Greece, Romania and Bulgaria. Eurostat data estimates that 23.5% of the EU population are at risk.

Netflix film “Roma” scores Oscar noms

LOS ANGELES -- The critically acclaimed Netflix film “Roma” landed a best picture Academy Award nomination and several other nods Tuesday morning as the streaming service continued breaking through old Hollywood barriers.

Top Democratic presidential candidates for 2020

WASHINGTON -- The 2020 presidential race is right around the corner, with analysts predicting as many as 40 Democrat candidates may launch campaign bids against President Donald Trump for the White House.

1980s video game inspires fossil shark find

WASHINGTON -- A newly discovered fossil shark has been named after the 1980s arcade game, Galaga. The Galagadon lived in the rivers of South Dakota around 67 million years ago, at the same time as Tyrannosaurus rex.

Secret North Korean missile site uncovered

NORTH KOREA -- Researchers have uncovered an undeclared ballistic missile operating base in North Korea - one of approximately 20 secret missile sites - according to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Leaders stay home from Davos

DAVOS -- Domestic crises will keep several world leaders away from the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, with only three Group of Seven leaders -- Shinzo Abe, Angela Merkel and Giuseppe Conte -- due to attend.

EU looks for consensus over Iran terror plots

IRAN -- Germany, France and the UK are working to agree a common EU position over alleged Iranian assassination plots on European soil ahead of an international Middle East conference to be held in Poland.

2019 Razzie Award nominations

ENTERTAINMENT -- The nominations are out for the 39th Golden Raspberry Awards, which celebrate the very worst Hollywood has to offer.

Vietnam could host Trump-Kim summit

WORLD -- Talks aimed at clearing the way for a second U.S.-North Korea summit are raising hopes that the two sides can break their stalemate over denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Trump calls for new missile defence plan

MILITARY -- President Donald Trump is calling for a new defence strategy to better protect the United States against potential adversaries who are developing and fielding a much more expansive range of advanced offensive missiles.

Pope heads to Panama for World Youth Day

PANAMA -- Pope Francis is attending World Youth Day in Panama, from Jan 23-27 – an international gathering of young people which was begun by Pope St. John Paul II in 1985

Views on second Brexit referendum

LONDON -- Less than four in 10 British voters support holding a second referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU, according to a YouGov surveys, with 79% of Tory voters saying it would be undemocratic.

SB-1 Defiant helicopter gunship set for take-off

AVIATION -- 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Feb 1-Mar 16: Six Nations rugby 2019

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 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.

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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