Winter Olympics 2018

Trump moves to outlaw “bump stocks”

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an order to ban bump-stock devices which increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic firearms and were used by a gunman who killed 58 Las Vegas concert-goers last year.

Ten years of The Svalbard Global Seed Vault

ECOLOGY -- Norway is celebrating the tenth anniversary of The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, but scientists are keeping a close eye on the facility after a recent thaw threatened 5,000 crop species stored inside.

Central America-South Korea trade deal

SEOUL -- South Korea and five Central American countries have signed a free trade deal to gradually eliminate duties on over 95 percent of goods within the next ten years.

World Agenda for March 2018 interactive

LONDON -- Each month Graphic News moves a World Agenda -- an illustrated diary of upcoming events -- as well as a Sports Diary. Both graphics are available in print and responsive web format.

Putin set to be in power as long as Stalin

MOSCOW -- If Vladimir Putin, Russia’s longest serving leader since Joseph Stalin, wins a fourth term as president on March 18, he could near 25 years in power – almost as long as Stalin’s 29-year rule.

Venezuelan migration crisis escalates

CARACAS -- Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing across borders to escape the growing political and economic crisis in their country, leaving nearby countries straining to cope with the migrant wave.

Syria pounds rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

DAMASCUS -- Syrian government air raids, rocket strikes and shelling of Eastern Ghouta has killed more than 190 people and injured 850 others since Sunday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

XC40 – Volvo’s premium SUV contender

GENEVA -- Everybody loves SUVs now, and the March 6-18 Geneva Car Show will show manufacturers like Volvo, with its new XC40, penetrating into the smaller premium sector.

Doping case launched against Russian athlete

PYEONGCHANG -- Russian Olympic curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky has left the PyeongChang Winter Games on suspicion of testing positive for the banned substance meldonium.

British Academy Film Awards 2018

LONDON -- “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” won five awards at the BAFTA Film Awards, held in London, including best film, best actress for its lead performer Frances McDormand.

U.S. strike killed Russians in Syria – Moscow

MOSCOW -- A shadowy mercenary group known as “Wagner” has come to play a crucial role in Russian operations in Syria. The actions of Wagner coincided with the Kremlin’s intervention in Syria in September 2015.

UAE to open Arab world’s first nuclear power plant

MIDEAST -- The United Arab Emirates is due to bring the Arab world’s first nuclear power station online in 2018. The Barakah plant will have capacity of 5,600 megawatts of electricity, with four 1400 MW reactors.

Fitness app reveals U.S. Middle East bases

MIDDLE EAST -- Strava, the popular exercise tracking app that posts a map of its users’ activity, has unwittingly revealed previously unknown locations of U.S.-led coalition military bases in Iraq, Syria and Jordan.

Candidates running against Vladimir Putin

MOSCOW -- Russia's election officials have registered eight candidates for the presidential election, including President Vladimir Putin. With his approval ratings topping 80%, Putin is set to easily win a fourth term.

New generation plant breeding seeks go-ahead

BRUSSELS -- The European Court of Justice is to rule on whether crops developed using so-called “New Breeding Techniques” like CRISPR/Cas are the same as those achieved through traditional plant breeding.

Italy’s untested electoral system

ROME -- Italy’s general election on March 4 will see the first use of the new “Rosatellum” election law that favours coalitions. Rosatellum mixes a first-past-the-post system and proportional representation.

CubeSats drive commercial space race

LOS ANGELES -- CubeSats are ultra-small spacecraft that piggyback to orbit on big, expensive rockets – but affordable rockets, like Rocket Lab’s Electron, are launching a new generation of space start-ups.

Mar 4: Countdown to new Italian government

ITALY -- The general election will pit a centre-right coalition against populists and a divided left, with polls suggesting a hung parliament and prolonged uncertainty in the eurozone’s third-largest economy.

Bjorgen breaks Winter Olympic record

PYEONGCHANG 2018 -- Cross-country skier Marit Bjorgen has become the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time -- winning her 14th medal by taking bronze in the women’s team sprint with Norway in PyeongChang, overhauling fellow countryman Ole Einar Bjorndalen.

Feb 22: Europa League Last 32, 2nd leg

SOCCER -- Borussia Dortmund travel to Atalanta, and Celtic take on Zenit St. Petersburg, with both teams defending a one-goal advantage. Heavyweights Arsenal, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid all aim to ease into the Last 16.

Feb 25: 36,000 to run in Tokyo Marathon

ATHLETICS -- Wilson Kipsang of Kenya will aim to defend his title against fellow countryman Dickson Chumba, while in the women’s race, Ruti Aga heads the field against Ethiopian teammate Berhane Dibaba.

Feb 21: Champions League Last 16 first leg

SOCCER -- Shakhtar Donetsk host Roma at the Donbass Arena, while Sevilla face Manchester United at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium. The second leg for these matches takes place on March 13.

Feb 8-25: Over 200 Olympic medals to be won

PYEONGCHANG 2018 -- The Winter Olympic Games in South Korea will see 222 medals awarded, with Snowboard Big Air, Mixed Doubles Curling and the dramatic Mass Start Speed Skating among new events.

Mar 18: MotoGP World Championship 2018

MOTOGP -- The 2018 season once again commences in Qatar, ending in Valencia on Nov 18. Thailand’s Chang International Circuit has been added to the calendar, which this year will take in 19 road circuits.

Feb 23-24: Six Nations Championship rugby

RUGBY UNION -- The third round of the northern hemisphere’s premier tournament sees France host Italy, Wales visit Ireland, and the Calcutta Cup match between Scotland and England.

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