Before-and-after photos from space reveal some of the biggest moments that changed our world in the last decade

In 2006, Steve Jobs was envisioning a bright future for Apple — the first iPhone was about to debut, and plans were in the works for an Apple Campus 2. Though Jobs never lived to see the site’s construction, he presented its design to the Cupertino city council in June 2011. The council approved the construction in 2013, and by mid-2014 the project was fully underway. The final building, sometimes called The Spaceship, opened to employees in 2017. It’s more than a quarter-mile long, larger in footprint than the Pentagon…

China’s Long March 5 rocket poised for crucial return-to-flight launch – Spaceflight Now

China’s third Long March 5 rocket rolled out to its launch pad Dec. 21 at the Wenchang space center on Hainan Island. Credit: Xinhua China’s Long March 5 rocket — the country’s most powerful launcher — is set for its third flight Friday on a critical validation mission after a core stage engine failure doomed a launch in 2017 and forced a two-and-a-half-year investigation and redesign effort. A successful return-to-flight by the Long March 5 Friday would allow China to move forward with plans to launch a pair of ambitious…

As Trump alienates, China invests in diplomacy, global outreach

Over the summer, Donald Trump boasted to supporters, “We are so respected, you have no idea. How our nation has gone so far up in the eyes and the minds of the rest of the world.” As recently as two weeks ago, after leaders of U.S. allies mocked the American president in an unguarded moment, Trump added, “This country is so respected. And we were not respected four years ago. We were laughed at.” This was, of course, the opposite of the truth. Since Trump took office, international support and…

NASA satellite tracks tropical storm Phanfone into the South China Sea

On Dec. 26, 2019, the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Storm Phanfone re-strengthening in the South China Sea. Credit: NASA Worldview Tropical Storm Phanfone brought typhoon-force winds and heavy rains across sections of the Philippines on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Phanfone is known as Ursula in the Philippines. Now the storm has moved into the South China Sea and NASA’s Terra satellite captured an image of the tropical cyclone. Phanfone’s maximum sustained winds peaked near 95 knots on Dec. 25…

Survey sees US unfavorable – Global Times

Latest survey showed Chinese public sees the US government unfavorable . Photo: VCG Ups and downs in China-US relations continued to grip Chinese public opinion through 2019. While people were visibly more divided in their stance on whether China’s surrounding environment is conducive to the nation’s peaceful rise, the overall mind-set of Chinese people has become rational and diversified.  The latest poll conducted by the Global Times showed a large percentage of Chinese people attached significance to China-US relations in 2019, and more than half of the responders said they…

China’s influence on Europe’s ports keeps growing

Thursday, 26 December 2019 China strengthened its hold on European ports, including Zeebrugge and Antwerp, last year, according to the latest Dutch-language report of the Clingendael China Centre. The report warns against increased Chinese investments in container sea ports, which threaten to make European Union members more politically dependent on Beijing, De Morgen wrote on Thursday. Belgium and the Netherlands, in particular, have become more vulnerable to the influence of China’s Communist Party, the PCC. The Asian giant owns a sizeable chunk of Belgian container terminals. In Zeebrugge, about 90%…

Best of 2019: Defense One Radio

Review the year that was — and consider what’s next — with episodes from our award-winning podcast. Ep. 58: Wargames: All about one of the safer, cheaper ways to figure out who’s going to win a war. Ep. 52: Ali Wyne on the US, China, and Great Power Competition: The RAND analyst has been giving America’s great power competition a great deal of thought lately — especially when it comes to China. Ep. 55: Doomsday Machines, Nuclear Hurricanes and Russian Spies: An interview with Vince Houghton, author of Nuking the Moon: And Other Intelligence…

China Sails Carrier Group Through Taiwan Strait as Election Nears

TAIPEI/BEIJING — China has sailed its new aircraft carrier into the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Thursday, as a presidential election campaigning was in full swing on the island amid heighten tension with Beijing. Democratic Taiwan is claimed by China as a wayward province and is the Communist Party’s most sensitive and important territorial issue. China has threatened to attack if Taiwan moves toward formal independence. Taiwan holds a presidential vote on Jan. 11 with President Tsai Ing-wen hoping to win re-election. She has repeatedly mentioned what she…

A divided country hardens its stances – The Buffalo News

A divided country grew more divided in 2019, as political warfare escalated, first over the release of a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and then over impeachment hearings into whether President Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. Rancor spread beyond Washington to the nation’s southern border, where the immigration debate intensified as migrants fleeing Central America were caught up in the president’s crackdown on illegal immigration and demands for a border wall. The political struggle over the wall led to the longest government shutdown in…

Japan’s year that could have been

Japan has navigated 2019 with adroitness despite geopolitical challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, a United States as partner that has become more volatile at the leadership level and lingering social challenges that will take a generation to resolve. On the security front, North Korea and China have been at the forefront of Japan’s challenges in the region. Underlying those long-standing concerns, though, is how the U.S. is behaving and assailing the post-World War II international order in which Japan has prospered. Denuclearization negotiations have stalled following the Hanoi summit between…