Here are the answers to our January quiz on key news topics, plus some additional background information.

1. How many Nobel prizes were awarded in 2018?

Answer: c

Additional notes: The prize in physiology or medicine was awarded to James Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation

The Nobel Peace prize was awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

The Nobel Physics prize was awarded to Gerard Mourou and Canadian Donna Strickland for their invented technique of chirped pulse amplification of high intensity lasers.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Francis Arnold, George Smith and Gregory Winter for directed evolution of enzymes and for phage display of peptides and antibodies

The Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to William Nordhaus and Paul Romer for integrating climate change into long run macroeconomic analysis.

The Nobel Prize for Literature was not awarded this year.

2. The average life expectancy in British Columbia has declined for the first time in decades. Why?

Answer: b

Additional notes: The opioid epidemic has increased the number of deaths and reduced average life expectancy by one month.

3. What is the impact of federal tax changes on Canada Pension Plan Contributions?

Answer: c

Additional notes: Contributions will increase 4.95% to 5.1% on earnings between $3,500-$57,400. It is the first of five years of increases.

4. What is Ultima Thule?

Answer: b

Additional notes: It is an icy world that lies one billion miles beyond Pluto and four billion miles from earth. NASA said the fly-by of the New Horizons spacecraft sent photos home showing Ultima Thule is 20 miles long and shaped like a peanut.

5. Which country won the World Junior hockey championship?

Answer: a

Additional notes: Finland beat the USA in the gold medal game.

6. Why did President Trump shut down part of the US government?

Answer: b

Additional notes: Trump is asking Congress to approve more than $5 billion to build a border wall.  He remains firm in his request and will consider calling a state of emergency to get the wall built if the funds are not forthcoming.

7. Which film won best picture at the Golden Globe awards?

Answer: d

Additional notes: Rami Malek also won best performance by an actor for his portrayal of Freddy Mercury in the film.

8. Who is Bianca Andreescu?

Answer: b

Additional notes: She is from Mississauga, Ontario. She is the first tennis pro born in the 21st century to beat a player in the top 20.

9. Who won Miss Universe 2018?

Answer: a

Additional notes: Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe. She has more than one million followers on Instagram.

10. Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, has been named patron to four organizations. She has taken over two of them from the Queen. Which two?

Answer: a

Additional notes: She has taken on the role of patron for all four organizations, but only the first two come from the Queen.

11. The United Nations made a request to Canada. What is the request for?

Answer: b

Additional notes: Prime Minister Trudeau accepted her as a refugee from family persecution in Saudi Arabia and she arrived in Canada on Jan 15, 2019.  She is working with COSTI, a settlement agency. Unfortunately, she has already been subjected to threats and the government is implementing the Urgent Protection Program, which is used for a small number of individuals who qualify for resettlement, and are in need of urgent protection because of immediate threats to life, liberty or physical well-being.

12. The government of Canada is spending $25 million on a geothermal plant. Where?

Answer: d

Additional notes: The announcement was made on January 11, 2019.

13. Which two automakers have announced a worldwide partnership?

Answer: b

Additional notes: Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen announced a worldwide partnership designed to save the two companies millions on development of pickup trucks, vans and transit vehicles. Under the partnership, each company will design and produce cars for the other. In Europe, Volkswagen will begin to sell Ford-produced medium pickups and commercial vans by 2022, and Volkswagen will develop a city-oriented van for Ford that will arrive by 2023. Each company will be able to brand and market the new vehicles according to its own strategies.

14. What is a blood moon?

Answer: d

Additional notes: Syzygy occurs when the Earth, Sun and Moon are in alignment, causing a lunar eclipse that turns the moon red, hence nicknamed the Blood Moon. This occurred January 21, 2019 and the next one will be May 2021.

Click here to view the questions.