1.January 3: China accomplishes first landing on the far side of moon
China became the first nation in the world to safely and successfully land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon. The side of the moon never faces Earth, so any mission would require a relay satellite.
China’s Queqiao relay satellite helped the Chang’e-4 probe land at the Von Kármán crater. The mission aims to study the age and composition of the region and getting more information about the early solar system and Earth.
2.January 28: US charges Huawei with fraud
Adding to the trade tension between the two countries, the U.S. filed 23 charges against Chinese telecom company Huawei and its Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou.
The charges included theft of technology, obstruction of justice and bank fraud. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (pictured) said, “For years, Chinese firms have broken our export laws and undermined sanctions, often using US financial systems to facilitate their illegal activities.
This will end.” Huawei rejected the charges in a statement, saying it didn’t commit “any of the asserted violations” and that it “is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng.”
3. February 12: Macedonia is renamed
Bringing an end to a decades-long dispute with Greece and taking a step forward for integration into NATO and the European Union, the Republic of Macedonia officially changed its name to Republic of North Macedonia. According to state spokesman Mile Boshnjakovski, the national language would still be called “Macedonian.”
4. February 19: Karl Lagerfeld dies
The iconic fashion designer, who was the creative director for Chanel, died at the age of 85 in Paris, France. Lagerfeld, who is credited for reinventing the Chanel and Fendi brands, had been keeping unwell for several weeks.
5. March 5: Stem cell transplant makes patient’s HIV ‘undetectable’
In only the second case of its kind, a stem cell transplant made a London patient’s HIV “undetectable.” Doctors reported that he was in remission for 18 months and had stopped taking HIV drugs. Although experts suggest that it’s too early to say that he was completely cured of HIV, but this marks a step closer to finding a cure.
At least 50 people were killed and 50 more wounded after a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch. The assailant, later identified as Australian citizen Brenton Harrison Tarrant, was arrested and charged with murder. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attacks as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” and the country passed a sweeping ban on semi-automatics and assault rifles six days later.
Captured by the Event Horizon Telescope, the first ever image of a black hole was released on this day. Located in the Messier 87 galaxy, the black hole is 500 million trillion km away from Earth and nearly three million times the size of our planet.
8. April 30: First abdication by a Japanese monarch in two centuries
The first Japanese monarch to abdicate in 200 years, Emperor Akihito stepped down from the Chrysanthemum Throne, marking the end of the Heisei era. A day later, his son Naruhito ascended the throne, ushering in the Reiwa era.
9. May 6: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is born
Seventh in line of succession to the British throne, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor was born to Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
In July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was shot down while flying over Ukraine, killing 283 passengers and 15 crew members. Nearly five years later, a Dutch-led joint investigation team (JIT) charged three Russians and a Ukrainian with bringing a missile into the area and with murder. Global arrest warrants have been issued for the four suspects, and the court hearing will begin in the Netherlands on March 9, 2020.