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Renaissance master Raphael died 500 years ago

  • April 6, 2020 - ITALY

    Raffaello Sanzio, better known as Raphael, is one of the undisputed masters of the Italian High Renaissance. Given that the artist died on his 37th birthday, the range and quantity of his artistic achievements are nothing short of astonishing.

Soyuz blasts off for ISS with its last confirmed NASA passenger?

  • April 9, 2020 - KAZAKHSTAN

    Russia launches its Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) from Baikonur, and astronaut Christopher Cassidy is occupying the last confirmed NASA seat on the Russian spacecraft. The coronavirus pandemic does not appear to be impacting the Roscosmos launch schedule or NASA’s. The American agency stresses that protocols are in place to ensure astronauts do not carry pathogens into Space.

Deutsche Bank looking at long rap sheet and ailing finances 150 years since opening

  • April 9, 2020 - GERMANY

    Deutsche Bank opened for business 150 years ago at 21 Französische Strasse in Berlin, and the landmark anniversary sees the banking colossus fighting to recover financially after years of mismanagement and one expensive scandal too many.

UPDATED – Legislative elections will go ahead despite virus outbreak

  • April 15, 2020 - SOUTH KOREA

    The elections for the 300-seat unicameral National Assembly will go ahead, even as the country grapples with the second highest number of coronavirus cases in Asia after China. It sees President Moon Jae-in and the ruling Democratic Party (DP) in a precarious position because of the flagging economy.

Notre Dame burned one year ago and restoration project faces setbacks

  • April 15, 2020 - FRANCE

    Fire devoured the roof and weakened the structure of Notre Dame Cathedral one year ago, and at the time of the blaze President Emmanuel Macron vowed that it would reopen within five years. He faces increasing setbacks to honoring his promise. The latest is the coronavirus pandemic, which is certain to slow – or halt – progress on the repairs to the 850-year-old Paris landmark.

Zimbabwe marks 40th anniversary with gloom?

  • April 18, 2020 - ZIMBABWE

    Zimbabwe turns 40 with a new leader but with Zimbabweans in no mood to celebrate. They are suffering shortages of nearly everything except hardship. The people are looking to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who replaced President Robert Mugabe after a coup in Nov 2017, to rescue the country.

UPDATED – Prince Akishino designated the Imperial heir

  • April 19, 2020 - JAPAN

    A modified Rikkoshi no Rei ceremony will proclaim Prince Akishino as koshi – the Imperial heir who is first in line to the throne – following Emperor Naruhito. The modifications acknowledge the danger from the raging coronavirus to everyone present at the ceremonies. The accession highlights another worry for Japan: its royal family has precious few heirs left.

10th anniversary of Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster sees rollback of safety rules

  • April 20, 2020 - UNITED STATES

    A blast on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico 10 years ago killed 11 workers and caused the largest marine oil spill in history. The landmark anniversary will bring the horrifying images of the disaster back onto TV screens, leaving the U.S. Administration scrambling to defend rolling back the safety mandates introduced after the spill.

50th Earth Day to spike rage about state of the environment

  • April 22, 2020 - WORLD

    The 50th Earth Day falls on the April date, and warnings from experts about now-overwhelming environmental threats will sound out around the globe. Young activists are injecting new energy into the protest movement. The day arrives with a new grievance, the limited progress on emissions targets at the 25th UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid in Dec 2019.

Russians vote on constitutional changes that would keep Putin in power

  • April 22, 2020 - RUSSIA

    Russians will have a say in a referendum on constitutional changes that create a path for President Vladimir Putin to keep his hands on the controls beyond his third and last term as president in 2024. The date for the vote is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin, the Soviet Union’s first leader.