The Solar Orbiter has blasted off from Florida on its way to unlock the mysteries of the Sun. Nearly 1,000 scientists and engineers from Europe joined their US colleagues to watch the United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket set off on its £1.3bn mission. The Solar Orbiter will take two years to reach the Sun before circling it 22 times, sending back high-resolution photos and measuring solar wind.
A Thai soldier armed with military firearms rampaged through a bustling shopping mall and an army camp, killing 29 people before he himself was killed after a 17-hour standoff with security forces, Thai officials said, in a rare mass shooting that has shaken the country. After live-streaming part of the shooting on Facebook, the gunman holed up in the mall with several hostages, as police secured the area in the early-morning darkness.
Sinn Féin will try to form a government in Ireland after apparently winning more votes than any other party in Saturday’s general election – a historic result that upended the political system. Sinn Féin, once a pariah for its IRA links, won almost a quarter of first-preference votes, possibly pipping Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, two centrist rivals that have taken turns ruling Ireland for a century.
China raised the death toll from its coronavirus outbreak to 811 on Sunday, passing the number killed globally by the SARS epidemic, as authorities made plans for millions of people returning to work after an extended Lunar New Year break. Many of China’s usually teeming cities have almost become ghost towns during the past two weeks as Communist Party rulers ordered virtual lockdowns, canceled flights, closed factories and shut schools.
South Korean film Parasite has been named best picture at this year’s Oscars, becoming the first non-English language film to take the top prize. Renee Zellweger won best actress for playing Judy Garland in Judy. Joaquin Phoenix was named best actor for Joker. Brad Pitt and Laura Dern scooped the supporting acting awards for their roles in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and Marriage Story respectively.