25 October 2021

Nigeria to launch digital currency "eNaira".

Nigeria will on Monday (25th) launch a digital currency, the eNaira, the central bank said, months after it barred banks and financial institutions from dealing in or facilitating transactions in cryptocurrencies.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele has said the eNaira would operate as a wallet against which customers can hold existing funds in their bank account.

Nigeria has named Barbados-based Bitt Inc as a technical partner in developing the eNaira.

Source: www.reuters.com

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International Artist’s Day 25 October.

International Artist’s Day on October 25th honors artists and all the contributions they make. The day also celebrates one of the most famous artists, Pablo Picasso. The Spanish artist was born on October 25th, 1881.

Artists work hard to create their work. They add beauty to the world around us. Most artists work with many different mediums. Not only that, but the word artist encompasses painters, photographers, sculptors, musicians, dancers, writers, actors, digital artists, and more. When one is born with a creative gift, that creativity flows into many different areas. For example, Picasso was a painter, sculptor, ceramicist, poet, and playwright.

Art came about long before written works. Since the beginning of time, art has communicated ideas and kept records of important events. Art offers a connection to the past. Artists record our history, indelibly. They also unearth truths. Through their work, they tell stories and pass on traditions. Artists have a unique way of connecting to the people around them. In a world full of bad news, one of their most important roles is to offer messages of hope.

Canadian artist, Chris MacClure started International Artist’s Day in 2004. Since then, October 25th has been a day dedicated to celebrating all the contributions artists have given to society.

Source: http://internationalartistday.com

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World Opera Day - 25 October.

Every year on October 25th, World Opera Day shines the light on opera’s contribution to one’s wellbeing. The day also celebrates opera performers and encourages us to learn more about this genre of music.

When one thinks of opera, they might automatically think of opera music. However, opera is about so much more. An opera is a form of theater that includes an extended dramatic composition. The musical parts in an opera are sung along to instruments. Most operas include other elements, such as acting, scenery, costumes, and ballet.

Jacopo Peri composed the first opera. He named the opera Dafne and wrote it in 1597 in Florence, Italy. Because of this, Italy is considered the birthplace of opera. Two types of operas were eventually formed. These included the opera seria and the opera buffa. The former is a dramatic and serious opera while opera buffa, on the other hand, is comedic.

Opera became popular throughout Europe during the Baroque era, which extended from 1600 to 1750. The first opera in the United States wasn’t performed until 1796 at the French Opera House in New Orleans. Because of this, New Orleans is known as America’s First City of Opera.

Today, operas are performed all over the world. Some of the most famous operas include:

  • Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi
  • Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky
  • Tristan and Isolde by Richard Wagner
  • Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Tosca by Giacomo Puccini
  • Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss
  • Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten

These operas and many others are performed in Milan, Sydney, Vienna, Paris, Moscow, Buenos Aires, New York, and London. These cities are home to the most famous opera houses in the world, such as Palais Garnier, San Carlo Theatre, and Metropolitan Opera House.

Three opera organizations launched the first World Opera Day on October 25th, 2019. These organizations included Opera America, Opera Europa, and Opera Latinoamerica.

Source: www.worldoperaday.com

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24 October 2021

Russian, Chinese hold first joint patrols in the Pacific.

Russian and Chinese warships held their first joint patrols in the western Pacific Ocean over the past week, Russia's defence ministry said on Saturday 23 October 2021, a move Japan said it was monitoring.

Moscow and Beijing, which staged naval cooperation drills in the Sea of Japan earlier in October, have cultivated closer military and diplomatic ties in recent years at a time when their relations with the West have soured.

The naval manoeuvres, which Russia said ran from Sunday through Saturday, have been closely watched by Japan, which said earlier in the week that a group of 10 vessels from China and Russia sailed through the Tsugaru Strait separating Japan's main island and its northern island of Hokkaido.

Source: www.reuters.com

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New Zealand swears in first indigenous woman as Governor-general.

New Zealand's first indigenous Māori woman to be named Governor-general, Dame Cindy Kiro, was formally sworn into the largely ceremonial role in parliament in Wellington on Thursday 21 October 2021, pledging to reach out to migrants and marginalised citizens.

Speaking to a small audience at the swearing-in ceremony, Dame Cindy said she was proud of her dual Maori and British heritage. The Governor-general carries out constitutional and ceremonial duties in the former British colony on behalf of the British monarch, who remains the country's official head of state.

Many Maori, who account for about 17% of New Zealand's population, are still disadvantaged socially and economically.

Source: www.reuters.com

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US conducts 'successful' test of hypersonic missile technology.

The United States successfully tested hypersonic missile technology in October 2021.

Hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles, can fly more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5).

This test demonstrated advanced hypersonic technologies, capabilities and prototype systems in a realistic operating environment.

The test was conducted at a NASA facility in Wallops, Virginia.

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International Snow Leopard Day - 23 October.

Every year, October 23 is observed as International Snow Leopard Day since 2014. The day commemorates the anniversary of the Bishkek Declaration and to celebrate this endangered cat and raise awareness for its conservation and protection. It was on October 23, 2013, when political leaders from 12 countries came together to endorse the ‘Bishkek Declaration on the conservation of snow leopards.

Snow Leopard is found in 12 countries such as India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Source: www.wwf.org.uk

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Ecuadorian Olympic sprinter Alex Quinonez has been shot dead.

Ecuadorian Olympic sprinter Alex Quinonez has been shot dead in the port city of Guayaquil.

Quinonez, 32, and another person were found dead close to midnight (05:00 GMT) on Friday, according to police, with the killing sparking an outpouring of grief in a country struggling to contain a surge in violence.

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso promised to bring his killers to justice.

Quinonez held Ecuador’s record for the 200m sprint with a time of 19.87 seconds.

He was a finalist in the 2012 London Olympics, achieving seventh place after competing in the semis in the lane next to Usain Bolt.

Quinonez won bronze in the 200m at the 2019 World Championships in Qatar.

Ecuador’s Olympic Committee said Quinonez’s death  “leaves us with profound pain” and that his “legacy will forever stay in our hearts”.

Quinonez became the first Ecuadorian athlete to win a global medal in a track event.

Source: www.aljazeera.com

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Introduction of On-line Falsehood Bill will be introduced soon.

On-line Falsehood and Manipulation Bill to control publishing of false information on social media will be introduced soon, Minister of Justice Ali Sabri told Parliament.

The Minister said preparing a Cabinet paper to this effect was reaching its final stages.

The Minister also said that a balanced Prevention of Terrorism Act will be introduced in order to ensure country’s security without suppressing the rights of the people.

Source: www.dailymirror.lk

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World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2021.

Sri Lanka has ranked 76 out of 139 countries and jurisdictions in the World Justice Project’s (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2021. 

The WJP Rule of Law Index 2021 ranks the countries based on scores ranging from 0 to 1, with 1 indicating the strongest adherence to the rule of law. 

Denmark, Norway and Finland topped the World Justice Project’s (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2021.

Here is the list of Countries according to their key rankings:

Rank                  Country

  • 1                 Denmark
  • 2                Norway
  • 3                 Finland
  • 76                    Sri Lanka
  • 137                 Congo, Dem. Rep.
  • 138                 Cambodia
  • 139                 Venezuela, RB


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Martin Scorsese, Szabo to get Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award.

Hollywood veteran Martin Scorsese and celebrated Hungarian filmmaker Istevan Szabo will be honoured with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The 52nd edition of the film festival will be held from November 20 to 28 in Goa.

While Szabo is known for his masterpieces like 1966’s “Father” and 1981 movie “Mephisto”, Scorsese is one of the major figures of the New Hollywood era, widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential directors in film history.

The opening film of this edition of IFFI will be “The King of all the World”, directed by Carlos Saura. Around 30 titles have been shortlisted for screening at 52nd IFFI from prominent International Film Festivals in the Festival Kaleidoscope and World Panorama Section. 

The festival will also pay homage to legendary actor Dilip Kumar, celebrated filmmaker Sumitra Bhave, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Sanchari Vijay, Surekha Sikri, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Bertrand Tavenier, Christopher Plummer and Jean-Claude Carriere.

The Retrospective section at the festival will feature renowned Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr, Russian film-maker and stage director Andrei Konchalovsky and Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner Rajinikanth.

The festival will also pay a special tribute to Sean Connery, the first actor to portray fictional British spy James Bond on the big screen.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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World Development Information Day - 24 Ocober.

World Development Information Day is celebrated annually on October 24th. The day focuses on improving the dissemination of information and mobilizing public opinion, especially among young people.

The primary goal for improving the dissemination of information and mobilizing public opinion is to create awareness for problems of development. Once the world brings its attention to the issues of development, countries around the world are better equipped to solve such problems.

The General Assembly believes information and communication technologies are vital to solving development problems. This is especially true in the context of globalization. New solutions to development challenges have the potential to foster economic growth, increase access to information and knowledge, improve social inclusion, and eradicate poverty.

The United Nations established World Development Information Day in 1972. The Assembly decided to make the day coincide with United Nations Day. Both days are observed on October 24th. This is the same date that in 1970, the UN adopted the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.

Source: www.un.org.

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United Nations Day - 24 October.

United Nations Day recognizes the founding of the United Nations (UN) in 1945. The celebration is observed annually on October 24th. 

U.N. Day has traditionally been marked throughout the world by meetings, discussions, and exhibits about the achievements and goals of the organization. The United Nations works for the entire human family of seven billion people and cares for the Earth, our one and only home. ~ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Today the United Nations consists of 193 member states and 2 observer states. The mission of the United Nation is to maintain international peace and security.

The UN also sets terms for protecting human rights around the world. In 1948, they created international law with a Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The member nations deliver humanitarian aid to populations in crisis. The first aid delivered was an immediate response to the devastation following World War II.

Another aim of the international organization is to promote sustainable development.

Franklin D. Roosevelt coined the name “United Nations” during World War II. Twenty-six nations united to pledge their governments to continue fighting against the Axis Powers. In 1945, delegates from 51 countries drew up the United Nations Charter in San Francisco, California. They signed the Charter on June 26th, 1945 and it was ratified on October 24th, 1945. United Nations Day originated in 1948.

2021 UN Day theme “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”.

Source: www.un.org.

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World Polio Day - 24 October.

On October 24th, World Polio Day highlights the global efforts to make the world polio-free. The day also honors the contributions of those who work tirelessly to eradicate polio.

Poliomyelitis is a life-threatening disease caused by the poliovirus. The condition is more commonly known as polio. 

In 1988, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution to eradicate polio around the world. Under this resolution, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched. The World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the CDC spearheaded the initiative. Another organization that became involved in the initiative was Rotary International. Years later, Rotary International founded World Polio Day. The first event was held in the early 2000s. They chose October 24th to commemorate the birthdate of Jonas Salk. He led the first team to develop a vaccination against polio and began testing it in 1953.

World Polio Day 2021 Theme: “One Day. One Focus: Ending Polio – delivering on our promise of a polio-free world!”

Source: www.endpolio.org.

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23 October 2021

Senior al-Qaeda leader killed in U.S. military drone strike in Syria.

The US military has killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar in a drone strike in Syria, a US Central Command spokesman said.

The removal of this al-Qaeda senior leader was conducted using an MQ-9 aircraft. The strike comes two days after a US outpost in southern Syria was attacked.

The ongoing war in Syria has created a complex battlefield involving foreign armies, militias and other armed groups linked to al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and other affiliated groups.

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Saudi Arabia commits to net zero emissions by 2060.

The world's biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, has pledged to cut its carbon emissions to net zero by 2060.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the Gulf state would invest more than $180bn (£130bn) to reach the goal.

But he said the kingdom would continue to produce oil for decades to come.

The announcement comes days before the COP26 climate change summit, at which world leaders will be pressed on their plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions and thereby reduce global warming.

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Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) awards Honorary Life Membership for 18 Cricketers.

MCC awards Honorary Life Membership (HLM) of the Club to some of the world’s finest cricketers and announce the names of the latest men and women to have been bestowed with this privilege.

Former Sri Lanka cricketer Rangana Herath is also among 18 players who were given honorary life membership by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The left-hand spin wizard is the sole Sri Lankan on the list. The left hander took 433 Test wickets in a career spanning almost two decades, and features in the top ten of all time Test wicket-takers. 

All 18 players awarded life membership of the MCC are;

  1. Hashim Amla (South Africa)
  2. Ian Bell (England)
  3. Ian Bishop (West Indies)
  4. Alex Blackwell (Australia)
  5. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies)
  6. Alastair Cook (England)
  7. Grant Flower (Zimbabwe)
  8. Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa)
  9. Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)
  10. Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
  11. Damien Martyn (Australia)
  12. Sara McGlashan (New Zealand)
  13. Morne Morkel (South Africa)
  14. Ramnaresh Sarwan (West Indies)
  15. Harbhajan Singh (India)
  16. Javagal Srinath (India)
  17. Sarah Taylor (England)
  18. Marcus Trescothick (England)

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Pakistan to remain in 'Grey List' of Financial Action Task Force.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced that Pakistan will remain on its increased monitoring list, also called the grey list.

Pakistan has been on the grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018.

Announcing the decision, FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer said that Pakistan had to complete two concurrent action plans with a total of 34 items.

Its most recent action plan from June this year, which largely focused on money laundering deficiencies, was issued after the FATF's regional partner — the Asia Pacific Group — identified a number of serious issues.

Commenting on the various other decisions taken during the plenary meeting, the FATF president said that Botswana and Mauritius had been taken out of the financial watchdog's grey list.

He said that Zimbabwe had completed its action plan and was awaiting on-site inspection, which would be carried out once the Covid-19 situation allowed.

Dr Pleyer also announced that Jordan, Mali and Turkey had been added to the list and had all agreed to action plans.

Source: www.dawn.com

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South Korea launches first homegrown space rocket "Nuri".

South Korea has launched its first homegrown rocket, stepping up the country's ambitions in space.

The Korean Satellite Launch Vehicle II, known as Nuri, took off from Goheung, about 500km (310 miles) south of Seoul.

President Moon Jae-in said the vehicle completed its full flight sequence but failed in its goal of putting a dummy satellite in orbit.

Such launches are essential for a space programme but could potentially also have military applications.

South Korea is locked in an arms race with North Korea, with both recently test-firing new weapons. The North put a satellite in orbit in 2012.

Nuri cost South Korea an estimated 2 trillion won (£1.23bn or $1.6bn) to develop. Weighing 200 tonnes and measuring 47.2 metres long, it is fitted with six liquid-fuelled engines.

In his comments, President Moon admitted the launch fell short of their goals, but added: "It's not long before we'll be able to launch it exactly into the target trajectory," Reuters news agency reported.

South Korea plans to carry out four more launches of the Nuri until 2027 to increase reliability, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) that is overseeing the launch.

While South Korea is seen as a technological powerhouse, it has lagged behind other countries in its development for space exploration.

Previous attempts by Seoul to launch a rocket in 2009 and 2010 failed, with the second exploding minutes after take-off.

South Korea is aiming to send a probe to the moon by 2030.

Source: www.bbc.com

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Four Sri Lankan artists make promotional song for Rajinikanth’s upcoming movie.

Four Sri Lankan artists have created a promotional song for the upcoming Tamil movie ‘Annaatthe’ starring South Indian cinema’s megastar Rajinikanth and Nayanathara.

The song titled ‘Vararu Vararu Annaatha’ is written by award-winning Tamil poet and lyricist Pottuvil Asmin. He has also written songs for several Tamil films.

Kandappu Jeyanthan composed the music and the song is sung by Krisan Mahesan, and Roja Sivankar.

Upon its release, the song was well received by the fans.

‘Annaatthe’ movie release, which was postponed several times due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled to be released on November 04, coinciding with the Diwali festival.

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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Egypt breakthrough as three stunning statues uncovered on ‘Avenue of Sphinxes’.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has introduced that three big ram heads – at the least one in all which had a cobra on high – have been discovered south of Karnak Temple in Luxor. It’s thought that 1000’s of years in the past they have been a part of three bigger statues that had the our bodies of creatures that regarded like sphinxes. They featured in a big avenue of ram-headed statues that run virtually two miles between Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple.

The passage is called the “Avenue of the Sphinxes” and consisted of round 700 statues.

Scholar Elizabeth Blyth beforehand famous: “An estimated 700 sphinxes lined the route between Karnak and Luxor temples and its magnificence can scarcely be imagined.”

Karnak Temple was constructed between roughly 4,000 and a couple of,000 years in the past, and far of it’s devoted to Amun-Ra, a god related to the Solar and Thebes, the capital of historic Egypt.

Source: digitpatrox.com

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Donald Trump’s social media app ‘Truth Social’ hijacked.

Former President Donald Trump’s new social media platform “TRUTH Social” was accessed by Twitter users within hours of its announcement and well before officially opening up for new users to sign up.

Accounts were created under the usernames “donaldtrump” and “mikepence” and the handle “donaldjtrump” appeared to have been hacked or nabbed by someone out to mock the former president.

Mr Trump announced that he was launching a media network – the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) – including a social media platform called “TRUTH Social”, which he said was an effort to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech”

Just a few hours after the announcement, Twitter users had managed to hijack the beta-version of the platform with apparently fake accounts for Mr Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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22 October 2021

Barbados elects first-ever president, replacing British monarchy.

Barbados has elected its first-ever president as it prepares to become a republic, removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. Dame Sandra Mason, 72, is set to be sworn in on 30 November, which will mark the country’s 55th anniversary of independence from Britain. The first woman to serve on the Barbados Court of Appeals, Dame Sandra has been governor-general since 2018. The historic election came after a joint session of the House of Assembly and the Senate.  described the vote as a “seminal moment” for the nation.

With a population of about 285,000, Barbados is one of the more populous and prosperous Caribbean islands. Once heavily dependent on sugar exports, its economy has diversified into tourism and finance.

Barbados will not be the first former British colony in the Caribbean to become a republic. Guyana took that step in 1970, less than four years after gaining independence from Britain. Trinidad and Tobago followed suit in 1976 and Dominica in 1978.

Source: www.bbc.com

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Zendaya to become the Youngest CFDA Fashion Icon Award Recipient.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced that Zendaya will be the 2021 recipient of the CFDA Fashion Icon Award, making her the youngest honoree in history when she is presented with the prize at the CFDA Fashion Awards ceremony on Nov. 10. 

Zendaya joins a standout list of previous Fashion Icon Award recipients, including Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Pharrell Williams and Naomi Campbell.

Most recently, the actress has been putting her shapeshifting style on display throughout her press tour for Dune, where she's rocked everything from a metal breastplate to a bubble hem Valentino mini.

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German central bank head Jens Weidmann to resign at end of year.

Germany's central bank chief Jens Weidmann on Wednesday submitted his resignation to President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Weidmann, who has been the president of the Bundesbank since May 2011, is set to leave office on December 31.

His resignation comes as the ECB faces difficult questions over tackling rising inflation and winding down its massive COVID pandemic stimulus program.

Weidmann, now 53, was the youngest Bundesbank president when he took over the role from Axel Weber in 2011. Weber had quit in a dispute over the ECB's policy to control the crisis at the time.

Before his role as the Bundesbank chief, Weidmann served as Chancellor Anegla Merkel's economic adviser for five years.

Weidmann studied in Paris and Bonn. In 1997, he started a two-year stint at the International Monetary Fund.

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New Zealand cricket's leading umpire has died.

Fred Goodall, who was New Zealand cricket’s leading umpire for two decades, has died aged 83.

Goodall umpired 24 tests and 15 one-day internationals between 1965 and 1988 but was best known as being the victim of an elbow in the back from West Indies fast bowler Colin Croft during their tumultuous tour of New Zealand in 1979-80.

Apparently angered at being called for bowling no-balls and a denied caught-behind appeal, Croft collided with Goodall as he neared the crease after changing his approach to the wicket on day four of the second test between New Zealand and the West Indies at Lancaster Park in Christchurch in February 1980.

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Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny wins 2021 Sakharov Prize.

The European Parliament has awarded the European Union’s top human rights prize, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for 2021, to the imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. 

The 45-year-old activist has been awarded for his immense personal bravery to fight tirelessly against the corruption of Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, commonly known as Sakharov Prize, is European Parliament’s top human rights prize. The prize honours individuals and groups of people who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought.

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Kung Fu Nuns wins UNESCO’s Martial Arts Education Prize 2021.

The well known Kung Fu Nuns of the Drukpa order of Buddhism has won the inaugural UNESCO’s Martial Arts Education Prize 2021, for their brave and heroic acts of service and championing of gender equality across the Himalayas. 

The Nuns empower young girls through martial arts, to defend themselves, build confidence, and take on leadership roles in their communities.

The award has been launched by UNESCO ICM (International Centre of Martial Arts for Youth Development and Engagement), to collect and promote good practices of martial arts education (MA Edu.)

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A woman won a million-euro Spanish Literary Prize.

Renowned female Spanish crime author, Cameron Mola, won the one million euros worth 2021 Premio Planeta literary prize. 

Three middle-aged men rose to the podium to collect the coveted award on Friday (15th) for the currently unreleased novel “The Beast”.

Jorge Díaz, Agustín Martínez, and Antonio Mercero were the writers who penned numerous best-selling crime thriller books under the pseudonym ‘Cameron Mola’.

They decided to write under the pseudonym for no “particular reason” and without “consideration of the name’s gender”.

The prize is being awarded since 1952 by the Spanish Publisher Grupo Planeta. 

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100th anniversary of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board celebrated.

The 100th anniversary of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) was celebrated on Sunday 18 October 2021. 

With the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, in attendance, the IOC EB assembled for a ceremony at the Coubertin Grove, the place where the heart of the IOC’s founder, Pierre de Coubertin, is buried in Ancient Olympia.

Following the the IOC President's speech, the IOC President and the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, each planted an olive tree next to the Coubertin Grove.

To close the ceremony, the IOC President and the IOC Vice-Presidents laid a wreath in memory of Pierre de Coubertin.

Source: olympics.com

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The Global Food Security Index - 2021.

The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) considers the issues of food affordability, availability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience across a set of 113 countries. The index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model constructed from 58 unique indicators that measure the drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries.

This edition of the GFSI incorporates the "Natural Resources and Resilience" category into the main index. This category assesses a country’s exposure to the impacts of a changing climate; its susceptibility to natural resource risks; and how the country is adapting to these risks, all of which impact the incidence of food insecurity in a country. The category was first introduced into the GFSI in 2017 as an adjustment factor and, given its increasing importance, has been mainstreamed for the first time this year.

The 2021 GFSI is the tenth edition of the index. Economist Impact updates the model annually to capture year-on-year changes in structural factors impacting food security.

According to the report, Sri Lanka held 77th position with an overall score of 54.1 points on the GFS Index 2021 of 113 countries. Other South Asian countries hold below given indexes.

  • Pakistan (75th position)
  • India (71st Position), 
  • Nepal (79th position) 
  • Bangladesh (84th position). 
According to the report, World's Top 10 countries are;

Source: https://impact.economist.com


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Ecuador declares state of emergency.

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso has declared a 60-day state of emergency in the South American country, due to the rise in violent drug crimes. 

President Lasso has pointed to drug trafficking and consumption as the main drivers behind an increase in murders, home burglary, thefts of vehicles and goods, and muggings.

Under the emergency measures, the armed forces and police would work together to carry out “arms checks, inspections, 24-hour patrols, and drug searches, among other actions. Ecuador is a transit country for cocaine smuggled from neighbouring Peru and Colombia and much of the crime wave is thought to be drug-related.

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Trump announces new social media network called 'Truth Social'.

Former President Trump on Wednesday 20 October 2021 announced the upcoming launch of his own social media network called "Truth Social."

Trump was largely banned from major social media networks, including Facebook and his favored Twitter, at the beginning of the year after the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot. After leaving office, he operated a blog similar in style to Twitter before shutting it down about a month after it was started.

Earlier in October, Trump asked a federal judge to force Twitter into reinstating his account.

A beta launch of the site for "invited guests" is expected in November, with a full launch in the first quarter of 2022.

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International Stuttering Awareness Day - 22 October.

October 22nd marks International Stuttering Awareness Day as a way to bring awareness for this speech fluency disorder.

The primary purpose of International Stuttering Awareness Day is to:


  • Change public attitudes and eliminate societal discrimination toward people who stutter
  • Promote the self-esteem and opportunities of people who stutter to reach goals and aspirations
  • Build a community and provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and strengthen the relationship among researchers, people who stutter, clinicians and parents of children who stutter

More than 70 million people around the world stutter. This means that while talking, they repeat syllables, sounds or words. People who stutter also prolong sounds or experience unwanted interruptions in their speech. They know what they want to say, but are unable to produce a normal flow of speech. This disorder usually affects children between the ages of 2 and 6. This is when they are producing their language skills.

Primary causes of stuttering include genetics, child development, neurophysiology, and family dynamics. Many people think that emotional trauma or psychological problems causes stuttering. There is no evidence to support this idea. The good news is that when caught early, stuttering is highly treatable. One of the best ways to treat stuttering is through speech therapy.

Those who stutter might be glad to know they are not alone. In fact, there are even famous people who have been known to stutter. Some of them include James Earl Jones, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, and King George VI. It is also believed that Moses, the man in the Bible responsible for communicating the 10 Commandments, had a stutter. Despite their speech fluency disorder, they all went on to lead successful lives.

International Stuttering Awareness Day got its beginnings in 1995 during an International Stuttering Association (ISA) conference in Sweden. The ISA had placed an International Stuttering Awareness Day on its wish list. In 1997, a day was set aside during an International Fluency Conference in California for professionals to learn from those who stutter. During the closing ceremony, Michael Sugarman, co-founder of the National Stuttering Project, stated there should be an international day set aside for stuttering awareness. In 1998, the European League of Stuttering Associations, International Fluency Association, and International Stuttering Association designated October 22nd as International Stuttering Awareness Day.

International Stuttering Awareness Day Theme 2021: "Speak the change you wish to see".

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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21 October 2021

Russia and China hold joint naval drills.

Russia and China held joint naval drills in the Sea of Japan on Friday (15th) and practised how to operate together and destroy floating enemy mines with artillery fire, the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

The war games are part of naval cooperation drills between the two countries which run from Oct. 14-17 and involve warships and support vessels from Russia's Pacific Fleet, including mine-sweepers and a submarine.

Moscow and Beijing have cultivated closer military and diplomatic ties in recent years at a time when their relations with the West have soured.

Two Chinese destroyers, a submarine and two corvettes were among the vessels Beijing had sent to take part in the drills, the Russian defence ministry said, saying they had dropped anchor in the Russian far east the previous day.

The combined force would practice shooting at targets designed to imitate enemy surface ships and hold air-defence drills involving Russian SU-30SM multi-functional fighter jets and helicopters, the ministry said.

Source: www.reuters.com

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North Korea fires suspected submarine-launched missile.

North Korea has fired a suspected submarine-launched ballistic missile into waters off the coast of Japan, South Korea's military has said.

Pyongyang unveiled the missile in January, describing it as "the world's most powerful weapon".

It comes weeks after South Korea unveiled a similar weapon of its own.

North Korea has carried out a flurry of missile tests in recent weeks, including of what it said were hypersonic and long-range weapons.

Some of these tests violate strict international sanctions.

The country is specifically prohibited by the United Nations from testing ballistic missiles as well as nuclear weapons.

The UN considers ballistic missiles to be more threatening than cruise missiles because they can carry more powerful payloads, have a longer range and can fly faster.

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UK plans to create persistent military presence in Indo-Pacific region.

The UK has planned to maintain a ‘persistent’ security presence in the Indo-pacific region, UK Chief of the Defence Staff General Nicholas Carter informed.

Carter also explained that the visit of the warships would be an intermittent one.

Carter noted the United Kingdom had a long-term association with many countries in the region going back to the days of the British Empire. He said London continued to operate an advanced jungle warfare school in Brunei on the island of Borneo, Sputnik reported.

In other recent developments, India and UK held their inaugural maritime dialogue and discussed cooperation in the maritime domain, Indo-Pacific, regional and multilateral cooperation.

An MEA release stated that the consultations, which were led by Foreign Ministries of both countries, involved exchanges on cooperation in the maritime domain, Indo-Pacific and regional/ multilateral cooperation.

The maritime dialogue was held in a virtual format as agreed in the India-UK Roadmap 2030 for future relations adopted at the virtual summit between the two Prime Ministers in May 2021, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

Source: www.zee5.com

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Egypt, Sudan hold joint military drills.

Egypt and Sudan started on Wednesday (20th) the joint military drill dubbed 'Guardians of the South,' to the west of northern Alexandria, a military communique announced.

The exercise is held at Mohamed Naguib military base, considered the largest of its kind in the Middle East.

The text states that the war games will continue until October 29 with the participation of border guards from both countries.

The document recalls that the armed forces of Cairo and Khartoum held several joint drills in recent months, among them 'Desert Eagles' and 'Guardians of the Nile.'

Source: www.plenglish.com

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India's first Social Crypto Token, Chingari's "$GARI" launched.

Social Token App, Chingari unveiled its' first-ever crypto token,  "$GARI" in Mumbai on 17 October 2021.

It was launched by the brand ambassador of the tech start-up, Salman Khan. Chingari claims to be the first social network in India to have issued crypto tokens.

With this launch, short-video application Chingari has stepped into the world of cryptocurrency with its crypto token "GARI". A fungible blockchain token, GARI will serve both “as a future in-app currency and a governance token," the company said. The token will be built in partnership with the Solana blockchain.

Source: www.news18.com

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New genes identified for fibromuscular dysplasia.

Three new genetic variants that regulate gene expression in the arteries are connected to fibromuscular dysplasia, an arterial disease that can cause dangerous consequences for the heart and vessels, according to a new study.

The findings, published in Nature Communications by an international team of FMD experts from the United States and Europe, also confirmed the importance of a fourth genetic target that has already been identified as involved with the disease.

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Israel detects 1st case of COVID-19 Delta variant "AY4.2".

The first case of the new COVID-19 Delta variant "AY4.2" was detected in Israel on Tuesday (19th), the country's Ministry of Health said. 

This is the variant that was previously detected in several European countries, the ministry noted. It was diagnosed in an 11-year-old boy, who underwent a coronavirus test at Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv, upon his return from Moldova.

"AY4.2", which some are calling “Delta Plus”, contains mutation that might gives the virus survival advantages.

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NASA Selects Gamma-ray Telescope to Chart Milky Way Evolution.

NASA has selected a new space telescope proposal that will study the recent history of star birth, star death, and the formation of chemical elements in the Milky Way. The gamma-ray telescope, called the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI), is expected to launch in 2025 as NASA’s latest small astrophysics mission.

NASA’s Astrophysics Explorers Program received 18 telescope proposals in 2019 and selected four for mission concept studies. After detailed review of these studies by a panel of scientists and engineers, NASA selected COSI to continue into development.

COSI will study gamma rays from radioactive atoms produced when massive stars exploded to map where chemical elements were formed in the Milky Way. The mission will also probe the mysterious origin of our galaxy’s positrons, also known as antielectrons – subatomic particles that have the same mass as an electron but a positive charge.

Source: www.nasa.gov

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