13 August 2022

Arjuna Ranatunga appointed chairman of National Sports Council.

Former Sri Lanka cricket captain and former MP Arjuna Ranatunga has been appointed as the chairperson of the 15-member National Sports Council to advise the sports minister on subject-related policy matters.

The letters of appointment of the council members were handed over by Minister of Sports Roshan Ranasinghe today (Aug 10).

The members of the council are as follows:

1. Former MP Arjuna Ranatunga (Chairman)

2. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Vikum Liyanage 

3. Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana

4. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenna

5. Sports Director-General Amal Edirisooriya

6. Dr. Maiya Gunasekera

7. Major General Rajitha Ampemohotti

8. Former Sri Lankan hurdler Sriyani Kulawansa

9. Attorney-at-Law Ajith Pathirana

10. Sunil Jayaweera

11. Chrysantha Mendis

12. Lasitha Gunaratne

13. Nalinda Ilangakoon

14. Sudath Chandrasekara

15. Sujani Bogollagama (Secretary)

The council was previously headed by former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardena, however, its members resigned after former Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa stepped down from his ministerial portfolio amidst the country’s political and economic crisis.

The council previously consisted of 14 members.

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Olivia Newton-John, singer and actress died.

Olivia Newton-John, the Australian singer whose breathy voice and wholesome beauty made her one of the biggest pop stars of the '70s and charmed generations of viewers in the blockbuster movie "Grease," died on Monday 08th, according to a statement from her husband. She was 73.

The singer revealed in September 2018 that she was treating cancer at the base of her spine. It was her third cancer diagnosis, following bouts with breast cancer in the early '90s and in 2017.

 Although she had little acting experience (and turned 29 during filming), Newton-John gave an indelible performance as Sandy, a sweet-natured Australian transfer student who romances Travolta's alpha greaser Danny at a Southern California high school in the 1950s.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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James Marape returned as prime minister in Papua New Guinea after fraught election.

James Marape has been returned as Papua New Guinea’s prime minister for its 11th parliament after a fraught and violent election period that has run for roughly six weeks.

Marape – who became prime minister in 2019 after toppling his predecessor and former party leader, Peter O’Neill – was invited to form government by the governor general, after his Pangu Pati secured 36 seats and was able to strike deals with coalition partners to bring its numbers to more than 80.

O’Neill had hoped to reclaim the top job, but was left disappointed after only 14 members were declared for his rival People’s National Congress (PNC) party.

Source: www.theguardian.com

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Jagdeep Dhankhar sworn in as 14th Vice-President of India.

Former West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was on Thursday 11th sworn in as the 14th Vice-President of India.

President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath to Dhankhar (71) in a brief ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Mr. Dhankhar took the oath in Hindi in the name of God.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Dhankhar's predecessor M. Venkaiah Naidu were among the dignitaries present at the ceremony.

Source: www.thehindu.com

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North Korea's Kim Jong Un declares victory against Covid.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared victory in the battle against the novel coronavirus, ordering a lifting of maximum anti-epidemic measures imposed in May, state media said recently.

North Korea has not revealed how many confirmed infections of the virus it has found, but since July 29 it has reported no new suspected cases with what international aid organizations say are limited testing capabilities.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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"Games Wide Open" unveiled as Paris 2024 official slogan.

With two years to go from the opening ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, organizers recently revealed "Ouvrons Grand Les Jeux", meaning "Games Wide Open", as the shared slogan for the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Paris will host the Summer Olympics for the third time in 2024, which also marks the centenary of the last Paris Games in 1924. The French capital was also the host city of the second edition of the modern Olympic Games, in 1900.

The Games is scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11 and athletes will compete in a total of 32 sports encompassing 329 events, and among these sports, breaking will make its Olympic debut.

Source: https://english.news.cn

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10 August 2022

The U.S. Declares Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency.

On August 4, the U.S. federal government declared monkeypox—with more than 6,600 cases in the country—a public health emergency. Monkeypox is now the second simultaneous public health emergency in the U.S.; the other is COVID-19.

The emergency status allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, more discretion in accessing additional funds and resources for the outbreak, including personnel to combat it. That could lead to increased testing as well as more vaccine doses. Several states—including New York, which currently has about a quarter of U.S. cases—have already declared states of emergency to release state funds to help control the outbreak.

Source: https://time.com

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NASA releases first pieces of multispectral maps of Mars.

Scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released the first portions of the multispectral maps of the surface of Mars on June 29, 2022. The multicoloured 5.6 GB map covers 86 percent of the Red Planet’s surface. The map in its entirety will be released by the American space agency over the next six months in batches.

The first portions were released from NASA’s Planetary Data System, an open archive of all digital data that the agency has collected through planetary flights and other missions. The first batch of the map contains 51,000 images, with each image representing a strip of land 540 km long and 10 km wide.

The data for the maps was captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), the longest orbiting satellite around the planet. The MRO has been capturing the surface of the planet in search of minerals using its Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) tool. While the initial target for the CRISM coverage was only 80 percent of the Martian surface, the three cryocoolers used to keep the spectrometer on the CRISM chilled effectively exceeded its lifecycle.

The cryocoolers reached the end of their lifecycle in 2017, and as such one of the two spectrometers aboard CRISM is now on standby. While CRISM may be able to record data a few more times, the maps are the last full wavelength observations captured by the tool before it is decommissioned.

The maps were crucial for selecting the sites for other missions, especially for the NASA rover Perseverance. Perseverance landed in the Jezero Crater, where it is exploring an ancient river delta, after CRISM identified the crater as having a high likelihood of once being flooded.

Source: www.cnbctv18.com

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Nethmi Ahinsa becomes youngest medallist at Commonwealth Games.

Eighteen-year-old Nethmi Ahinsa from little known Indiminna, Pannala became Sri Lanka’s youngest medallist at the Commonwealth Games as she beat Australia’s Irene Symeonidis in the 57kg weight class to win a bronze medal in wrestling in Birmingham on Friday.  She also became the country’s first medallist in the not so popular sport as she beat her Australian counterpart 10-0 in the freestyle event in the bronze medal fight.

She had to settle for the bronze medal after being eliminated by Indian Anshu Malik in the semi-final bought.   The wrestler from Welpalla Maha Vidyalaya advanced to the semi-final with a 10-0 victory over 34 year-old Cameroon athlete Joseph Emilienne Essombe Tiako. She hails from a family of four children.

Following her victory, she thanked her parents for allowing her to engage in the sport and expressed her gratitude to T.S. Suranga Kumara who not only trained her but also looked after her providing nutrition and other needs.

She said that there had been so many stories and even films on how coaches go out of their way to help their athletes achieve success but her coach was a living example of such a story.

Source: https://island.lk

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Volcanic Irruption in Iceland.

Icelandic volcanos regularly make top news in the global media

On 3 August, a new fissure eruption opened up slightly north of last year's eruption at Fagradalsfjall mountain on Reykjanes Peninsula. Here the earth is spreading apart and new lava has found the easiest path to the surface for one of nature's most spectacular shows. 

Source: www.visiticeland.com

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09 August 2022

Justice UU. Lalit is set to become 49th Chief Justice of India.

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana has recommended the name of the most senior judge of the Supreme Court after him, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, to be the next chief justice of India. CJI Ramana retires on August 26.

Earlier this week, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju had written to the CJI, requesting him to recommend the name of his successor.

Justice Lalit is set to be the second CJI to be elevated to the top court from the bar after Justice SM Sikri, who served as the 13th CJI from January 1971 till April 1973. Justice Lalit will serve as the CJI for 74 days and retire on November 8, 2022.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

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An island in the Galápagos reintroduced iguanas after nearly 200 years of extinction.

A species of iguana that went extinct nearly 200 years ago on one of the Galápagos Islands appears to be making a comeback, with some help from a team of conservationists.

The last person to spot a Galápagos land iguana on Santiago Island in Ecuador was Charles Darwin in 1835. When an expedition team from California arrived in 1906, the iguanas were nowhere to be found.

And though this kind of iguana can still be found on the other Galápagos Islands, it's believed to have been extinct on Santiago for the past 187 years — until now.

As the primary herbivores on the Galápagos Islands, the land iguanas and tortoises spread seeds across the landscape and help model the plant communities. Their movement patterns also create open spaces used by other animals.

The ecosystems found on the Galápagos Islands are home to some of the most fascinating plants and animals in the world. The islands were made famous largely due to Darwin and his 1835 expedition, according to the Conservancy, which led to his theory of evolution by natural selection.

Source: www.npr.org

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08 August 2022

Fuel is being issued only under QR code system from 01 August 2022.

The issuing of fuel under the National Fuel Pass or QR Code system commenced from midnight yesterday (31) at filling stations across the island.

Accordingly, from today (August 01) onwards, fuel will be issued from all fuel stations across the island only under the QR code system and quota system.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Power and Energy points out that the system based on the last digit of the number plate, the token system and other systems that had been in place so far will not be valid from today 01 August 2022.

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An orbiter named "Danuri", SpaceX launches South Korea’s first moon mission.

South Korea launched its first moon mission on Thursday 04 as its homegrown lunar orbiter took off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station aboard a SpaceX rocket.

A live broadcast of the launch on Friday morning in South Korea showed the orbiter "Danuri" -- which means "enjoy the moon" -- successfully separating from the Falcon 9 rocket.

Developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), the 678-kilogram (about 1,500 pounds) craft has six payloads, including Korean-made equipment.

If it succeeds, South Korea will become the world's seventh lunar explorer, and the fourth in Asia, behind China, Japan and India.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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05 August 2022

Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon wins 100m bronze at CWG 2022.

Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon won the bronze medal in the final of the men’s 100 meters event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala claimed the gold in 10.02 seconds, defending champ Akani Simbine from South Africa was second in 10.13 and Yupun Abeykoon took the bronze in 10.14 seconds.

He becomes the first Sri Lankan athlete to win bronze medal in the 100 meters event at the Commonwealth Games and wins Sri Lanka’s first major athletic medal in 24 years.  

The men’s 100m race at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was held on the new spick and span athletics track at the Alexander Stadium in front of a packed-out crowd who roared on the finalists in the penultimate event on Wednesday (3 August) with Omanyala winning in a time of 10.02s.

Second was Gold Coast 2018 champion Akani Simbine of South Africa and rounding out the podium, a sensational bronze for Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon.

Omanyala, the eighth-fastest man of all time over the distance clocked 10.02 to win relatively comfortably ahead of continental rival Akani Simbine of South Africa.

Abeykoon finished a hundredth of a second behind Simbine to take bronze in a hotly contested finish.

The 27-year-old sprinter had qualified for the final of the men’s 100 meters after clocking a time of 10.20 seconds in the third semi-final held at 11.40pm Sri Lankan time on Wednesday (03), in which he placed fourth.The final was held at 2.00 am Sri Lankan time on 04 August.

On Tuesday (02), Abeykoon had placed first in the Heat No. 06 of the first round of the 100 meters men’s event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

The Sri Lankan sprinter ran a time of 10.06 seconds to qualify for the semi-finals of the men’s 100 meters race.

In the process he managed to finish with an all-time fastest timing in the Commonwealth Games history for 100m Heats. The previous fastest time in heats was by Glenroy Gilbert of Canada who did it in 10.10 seconds in the 1994 Victoria Games.

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England’s Leicester Cricket Ground named after Sunil Gavaskar.

Leicester cricket ground to be named after Sunil Gavaskar. On July 23 Saturday, Leicester will honor legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar. The legendary Indian Batsman Sunil Gavaskar is one of the greatest players of all time. He is one of the greatest in test format, he broke and made many records during his career. The batsman is set to add another feather to his hat with England ground to be named after him. He is set to become the first Indian player to have a cricket ground with his name. England’s Leicester Cricket Ground is all set to be named after Sunil Gavaskar. Leicester Cricket will honor the former Indian skipper for his contribution to test cricket. 

Sunil Gavaskar was the highest red ball cricket run scorer at his time. He is also the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in test cricket.

There has been a ground already named after Sunil Gavaskar in the Kentucky area of the United States of America (USA) and there is another ground going through its finishing touches in the Zanzibar area of the African nation Tanzania which is also named after the former Indian opener.

Source: www.sportsunfold.com

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Wasifa Nazreen becomes first Bangladeshi Woman to scale K2.

Bangladeshi mountaineer Wasfia Nazreen became the first person from Bangladesh to scale Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain.

Wasfia was part of a team of mountaineers called Elite Exped, who announced the news in a Facebook post on Friday. The team consisted of 21 mountaineers, including some of the most renowned climbers in the world like Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Mingma David Sherpa, and Nirmal Purja.

Wasfia, who is known for being the first and only Bangladeshi to climb the Seven Summits —the highest mountains of every continent, was sponsored by Renata Limited.

Her ascent began on July 17 and the 39-year-old reached the top of the mountain at an 8,611m (28,251ft) peak on early Friday (22 July).

The K2, located at 8,611 metres above sea level, is the second-highest mountain on Earth. It is not only more technically difficult to climb than Mount Everest, but it is also home to terribly volatile temperatures, and has only been scaled by 20 women since 1954.

Earlier on Friday, Samina Baig had become the first Pakistani woman to climb K2, arriving the summit at around 7 AM. Three hours later, Dubai-based Pakistani Naila Kiani became the second Pakistani woman to scale the mountain, reaching there at around 10 AM.

Source: www.thefridaytimes.com

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30 July 2022

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons - 30 June.

Every year on July 30th, the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons spreads the alarm about the horrible crime of human trafficking. The day also provides an opportunity for governments to reaffirm their commitment to stop criminals from exploiting people for profit.

Human trafficking is considered a modern form of slavery. This illegal act involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain labor or sex. Traffickers use violence, manipulation, or false promises to lure their victims into trafficking situations. Trafficking victims usually experience physical and/or psychological abuse. They might also endure sexual abuse, food and sleep deprivation, threats to family members, and isolation from the outside world. Family members of the victim may also get threatened.

According to the International Labor Organization, there are over 40 million victims of human trafficking around the world. Nearly every country in the world is affected by human trafficking. There are some countries that are worse than others.

Some of the worst countries for human trafficking include:

  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • The Central African Republic
  • Syria
  • Algeria
  • Russia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Libya
  • Venezuela

The United States is not exempt from being affected by human trafficking. Every year in the U.S., up to 17,500 people become victims of human trafficking. Victims in the United States are almost exclusively immigrants. Victims in this country and elsewhere usually consist of women and children. Other factors that contribute to the supply of trafficking victims include poverty, lack of employment opportunities, organized crime, discrimination, and government corruption.

In 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking In Persons. The goal of this Global Plan was to urge governments around the world to take coordinated measures to defeat human trafficking. The Plan helped to create a voluntary Trust Fund for victims of trafficking. In 2013, during a high-level meeting to appraise the Global Plan, the UN adopted a resolution to designate July 30th as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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Internationational Day of Friendship - 30 July.

Internationational Day of Friendship on July 30th encourages forging friends near and far. Core to developing strong friendships worldwide is the hope of a growing spirit of human solidarity.

The day encourages making friends and building relationships with people outside of your own culture, country, or background. Through these relationships, a culture of peaceful and mutual understanding develops.

Aristotle classified the kinds of friends we develop into three categories:

  • Utility friendship – co-worker, a business partner in which the purpose of the friendship is a mutual objective.
  • Pleasure friendship – a person whom others enjoy being with because they have a quick wit or an uplifting attitude. A person with whom the purpose of the friendship is to explore a mutual pleasure such as fishing, bowling, or other hobbies.
  • Good friend – mutual respect, and admiration for each other’s qualities, though there may be differences.

Since the day explores friendships across cultures, set aside preconceived notions. Be patient, as language barriers may slow down the conversations, but it won’t stop it.

In 1919, Friendship Day began as a greeting card promotion. By 1940, it had disappeared. The United Nations proposed a worldwide initiative in 1997 to establish an International Friendship Day. In 2011, the United Nations official proclaimed the day to inspire peace efforts and build bridges between peoples, countries, and cultures.

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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29 July 2022

International Tiger Day - 29 July.

International Tiger Day on July 29th raises awareness about the dwindling numbers of the biggest of the big cats. Global leaders focus on the tiger during meetings designed to promote a system for protecting and enhancing their natural habitat.

A hundred years ago,100,000 tigers roamed Asia. Today, the estimated number brings the tiger population to fewer than 4,000 tigers in the wild. One of the goals of the day is to double that number by 2022. It’s called the Tx2 Initiative.

The Tx2 Initiative collects about $350 million every year to help save tigers. The money is spent on investigators and rangers who patrol for poachers. The fund also pays for protection of tiger habitat, studies of their populations and movements, and even sets up thousands of wildlife trail cameras.

Did you know:

  • Currently, tigers populate 13 countries where they roam naturally: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Tigers are the largest cat species in the world, and the third-largest carnivore on land; only polar and brown bears are larger. Siberian tigers (the largest subspecies) weigh up to 660 pounds.
  • At top speed, tigers clock nearly 40 mph.
  • The name of a large wild cat with large black strips comes from the ancient Persian word “taig” meaning fast and sharp.
  • Tigers are always on the move. Their turf can be as large as 386 sq miles or 1000 sq km.
  • Like other cats, tigers are carnivores, and they are essential to keep their range in an ecological balance. They prey on smaller animals that are herbivores, and so maintain a balance between the plant-eating animals and the vegetation on which they feed.
  • An adult tiger consumes up to 88 pounds of meat in one meal.
  • The average lifespan of a wild tiger is 10-15 years.
  • Unlike most big cats, tigers are powerful swimmers. Not only do they swim, but they also swim great distances to hunt or cross rivers. Young tigers often play in water and adults lounge in streams or lakes to stay cool during the heat of the day.
  • Tigers are the only cat species that are entirely striped. When shaved, their skin has the identical stripe as their fur.
  • While other cats meow, tigers do not meow. Tiger vocalizations include roaring, growling, hissing, moaning.

International Tiger Day was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit.

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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28 July 2022

World Hepatitis Day - 28 July.

World Hepatitis Day on July 28 raises global awareness every year concerning hepatitis. The day encourages prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Hepatitis infects more than 350 million people worldwide. While it is one name, it’s a group of infectious diseases. Five types of hepatitis infections are possible: A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A is always an acute, short-term disease, while hepatitis B, C, and D are most likely to become ongoing and chronic. Hepatitis E is usually acute but can be particularly dangerous in pregnant women.

Depending on the type of hepatitis, many people don’t develop symptoms in the early stages. As a result, an estimated additional 3 million people in the world are infected but don’t know it. Routine testing lowers these numbers. However, those who need the screenings most may not know how to access them.

Other risk factors associated with hepatitis include cirrhosis and liver cancer. Moreover, the disease contributes to 399,000 deaths worldwide each year.

On July 28, health care organizations in 100 countries will offer free screenings. There may also be other public vaccination drives or public awareness campaigns. At the end of the year, the World Health Organization and the World Hepatitis Alliance organize a report detailing all the events across the world.

2004 – First International Hepatitis C Awareness Day set as October 1.

2008 – First World Hepatitis Day set as May 19

2010 – The idea of World Hepatitis Day originated in Cuttack, Odisha. July 28 was proposed as the day to in honor of Nobel Laureate Baruch Samuel Blumberg, discoverer of the hepatitis B virus, whose birthday on that date.

‘I can’t wait’ is the new campaign theme to launch World Hepatitis Day 2022. It will highlight the need to accelerate the fight against viral hepatitis and the importance of testing and treatment for the real people who need it. The campaign will amplify the voices of people affected by viral hepatitis calling for immediate action and the end of stigma and discrimination.

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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World Nature Conservation Day - 28 July.

Every year on July 28th, World Nature Conservation Day acknowledges that the foundation for a healthy society is a healthy environment. It’s also a day to increase awareness about the importance of protecting our natural resources.

Our planet’s natural resources consist of air, sunlight, soil, minerals, fuels and water. All of these things are found in nature and used by people. Currently, there are nearly 8 billion people that populate the Earth. This number is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2037. All of these people use the earth’s natural resources every day. Because these resources are getting used up so rapidly, many people are concerned they will become depleted. For this reason, many individuals and organizations stress the importance of conserving our natural resources.

The good news is, there are some simple ways to conserve our natural resources. Take water, for instance. Some scientists say our planet’s water supply will be gone by 2050. One of the easiest ways to conserve water is to use less of it. Taking shorter showers, shutting off the faucet during teeth brushing, and using rainwater for irrigation are all ways to do this.

Here are some other ways to conserve our natural resources:

  • Plant trees to reduce soil erosion
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle
  • Carpool with co-workers
  • Shut off lights when leaving a room
  • Go digital instead of printing things on paper
  • Volunteer for community cleanups
  • Use non-toxic cleaning supplies
  • Make your own compost
  • If everyone does their part, our planet’s natural resources will be available for years to come.

World Nature Conservation Day began in India by those who were concerned about protecting the Earth’s natural resources. The Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Center in New Delhi promotes the day. The Department of Environment, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, and the Government of India sponsor ENVIS. Many countries have joined India in observing this important day for our planet.

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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Swiss Open 2022

Norway’s Casper Ruud has won the Swiss Open Tennis Tournament 2022 held in Gstaad, Switzerland. He defeated Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the final by 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2. It was Ruud’s 9th Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) title. The Swiss Open is Ruud’s 3rd title in 2022, the other two titles are Buenos Aires and Geneva Open. Ruud had also won the 2021 Swiss Open title.

Ruud snaps the 12-match unbeaten streak of Berrettini, who lifted trophies in Stuttgart and London earlier this year. It was Casper Ruud 9th ATP Title. Earlier this year, Ruud finished as the runner-up at the French Open, losing to Spanish ace Rafael Nadal.

Source: www.timesnownews.com

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Albanian parliament elects Bajram Begaj as the new president.

Bajram Begaj was elected recently as the new leader of Albania in a plenary session in the Assembly.

Begaj was elected in the fourth round by a 78 - 4 vote, with 1 abstention, in the 140-seat Assembly.

The main opposition Democratic Party did not participate.

Begaj was the candidate of the Socialist Party (PS), which is in power under Prime Minister Edi Rama.

He was the only candidate nominated for the five-year term.

Born in Rrogozhina on March 20, 1967, Begaj graduated from the Medical Faculty of the University of Tirana.

He served in senior positions in the Albanian Armed Forces and was last appointed Chief of the Albanian General Staff in July 2020.

Begaj is married and has two children.

Source: www.aa.com.tr

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27 July 2022

Development Bank of Singapore Limited (DBS Bank) has been recognized as the ‘World’s Best SME Bank’.

Development Bank of Singapore Limited (DBS Bank) has been recognized as the ‘World’s Best SME Bank’ by Euromoney for the second time (the first time in 2018). The bank has established its position as a global industry leader in association with Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enhance growth and development. DBS’ latest global best SME bank accolade comes from leading UK-based financial publication Euromoney, which has honoured DBS with the ‘World’s Best SME Bank’ title for the second time since 2018.

The DBS bank also clinched three first-time awards at Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence 2022:

  • World’s Best Financial Innovation of the year 2022
  • Asia’s Best Bank for Wealth Management 2022
  • Asia’s Best Bank for SME award 2022

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Samsung develops industry's first, world's fastest graphics DRAM chip.

Samsung said recently it has developed a new graphics dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chip with a faster speed and improved power efficiency.

The 24-gigabit Graphics Double Data Rate 6 (GDDR6) adopts third-generation, 10-nanometer technology and boasts a data processing speed that is over 30 per cent faster than existing products, the company said in a statement.

The new DRAM chip can process graphic images at a rate of up to 1.1 terabytes per second, which Samsung claims is the fastest in the world and equivalent to processing 275 full HD movies in a second.

Graphics DRAMs are widely used in high-powered 3D games, personal computers, notebooks or devices that play videos with a high resolution.

In the future, it is also expected to be used in high performance computing, electric cars and autonomous vehicles, reports Yonhap news agency.

As the new chip meets the JEDEC industry standards, artificial intelligence and graphics companies will likely adopt it easily, Samsung added.

The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association is a semiconductor organisation in charge of standardisation of chips.

Using the so-called dynamic voltage scaling technology, the GDDR6 DRAM also improves power efficiency more than 20 percent, Samsung said.

Source: www.business-standard.com

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India to host ICC 2025 Women's World Cup.

International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that India will host the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup 2025. BCCI will leave no stone unturned to make it a memorable event for everyone concerned. The infrastructure is in place and will have a very successful edition of the World Cup. The hosts were selected via a competitive bidding process overseen by a Board sub-committee chaired by Martin Snedden along with Clare Connor, Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Skerritt.

The ICC Board accepted the recommendations of the committee who conducted a thorough review of each bid along with ICC management. India, Bangladesh, England and Sri Lanka were named as the four hosts for ICC women’s white-ball events from 2024-27.

Source: www.hindustantimes.com

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Tamim Iqbal announces retirement from T20Is.

Bangladesh ODI captain, Tamim Iqbal has announced his retirement from T20Is and his decision came shortly after his side defeated West Indies 3-0 in the three-match ODI series. He played his last T20 International in March 2020. The 33-year-old has played 78 T20 Internationals, scoring 1758 runs at 24.08. Tamim is one of the best openers to have come out of Bangladesh, having scored 5082 runs in Tests and 7943 runs in ODIs.

Tamim is the only Bangladesh batter to score a century in T20Is. He achieved the remarkable feat against Oman in the T20 World Cup 2016 in India. He ended his T20I career as the third-highest run-scorer for his country in the format after current skipper Mahmudullah Riyad and Test captain Shakib Al Hasan.

Source: www.espncricinfo.com

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Kuwait appoints new prime minister.

Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah has been appointed the new Prime Minister of Kuwait, three months after the ex-Kuwaiti government resigned.

According to Al Qabas newspaper, an Emiri decree was issued today, appointing Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al Salem as the new Prime Minister.

Sheikh Mohammed has also been asked to nominate members of the new government.

Sheikh Mohammed was born in 1955 and is the fourth son of the 12th Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah, who ruled Kuwait from 1965 until 1977.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Claremont College in California, and a PhD in Economics and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.

Al Sabah served as deputy prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs of Kuwait. In 1993, he was appointed ambassador of Kuwait to the US. He remained in this position until 14 February 2001 when he was appointed state minister for foreign affairs. He was the minister of Finance from January 2003 to July 2003. On 11 February 2006, Mohammad was appointed deputy prime minister while retaining the position of minister of foreign affairs.

He resigned from office on October 18, 2011 in protest against alleged corruption in Kuwait’s government. After leaving office, Al Sabah began to work as a visiting fellow at Oxford University.

Source: https://gulfnews.com

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The World Bank appoints Former Director Indermit Gill as Chief Economist.

Indermit Gill, former director of the Duke Center for International Development, has been appointed as Chief Economist of the World Bank Group and Senior Vice President for Development Economics at multilateral development bank.

Gill served as director of DCID from 2016 to 2018 and served as professor of the practice of public policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy and senior research scholar at the Duke Center for International and Global Studies. 

His appointment will be effective September 1, 2022.

Source: www.worldbank.org

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WHO chief declares expanding monkeypox outbreak a global emergency.

The chief of the World Health Organization says the expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries is an "extraordinary" situation that now qualifies as a global emergency, a declaration on Saturday 23 July 2022 that could spur further investment in treating the once-rare disease and worsen the scramble for scarce vaccines.

WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the decision to issue the declaration despite a lack of consensus among members of WHO's emergency committee. It was the first time the chief of the United Nations health agency has taken such an action.

Source: www.cbc.ca
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26 July 2022

Thailand PM Prayuth survives fourth confidence vote.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has survived a no-confidence vote in parliament, in his last major test ahead of a general election that is due in less than a year.

After four days of grilling, which was broadcast live on television, the 68-year-old former army chief secured enough votes on Saturday to guarantee his place as prime minister until his term ends in March.

Former army chief survives four days of questioning to guarantee his place as prime minister until his term ends in March.

Source: www.aljazeera.com


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Pope Francis' Pastoral Visit to Canada.

The Vatican has released the itinerary for Pope Francis’ visit to Canada, during which he will meet with representatives of indigenous peoples, and with indigenous Catholics. 

The visit to Canada will take place July 24-29, with a return flight to Rome landing on the 30th, the Vatican said recently.

While in Canada, Francis is expected to issue an apology on behalf of the Catholic Church for abuses committed against indigenous students in Catholic-run residential schools.

In addition to a visit to Edmonton, Alberta, the pope will meet with dignitaries in Quebec City before visiting Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, to meet with residential school survivors, among others. Despite the ambitious nature of the trip, the pope is expected to participate in events in Canada for about an hour at a time, owing to the health problems the 85-year-old has experienced of late.

Source: www.aciafrica.org


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Gen. Kamal Gunaratne re-appointed Defence Secretary.

General Kamal Gunaratne has been re-appointed as the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence by President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Gunaratne, a decorated veteran of the Sri Lanka Army, was first appointed to the post by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in November 2019.

He is the former Commander Security Forces Headquarters - Wanni, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 53 Division, Colonel of the Regiment, Mechanized Infantry Regiment (MIR) and Master General Ordnance (MGO) of the Army Headquarters.

He has also served as a Deputy Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Brazil.

Following his retirement from the army in September 2016, Gunaratne authored a book ‘Road to Nandikadal’ on the war against the LTTE.


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India to overtake China as the most populous country.

The 2022 version of United Nations World Population Prospects was released during the second week of July. It said the world population will breach the eight billion mark on November 15 this year.

And India will overtake China next year to become the world’s most populous nation with over 1.4 billion people. In 2050, the country is projected to have a population of 1.66 billion - way ahead of China’s 1.31 billion.

This might be not only because the rate of population growth in India is higher than in China, but the neighbour is also expected to experience an absolute decline in its population as early as next year.

Source: www.business-standard.com

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Dinesh Gunawardena sworn in as new Prime Minister.

Member of Parliament Dinesh Gunawardena has taken oaths as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

He took oaths before President Ranil Wickremesinghe on July 22.

Gunawardena embarked on active politics in late 1970s and entered the parliament in 1983 representing the Maharagama electoral district.

He has held cabinet ministerial portfolios under various governments.

Gunawardena has also served as the chairperson of three Parliament Select Committees to identify electoral reforms and as the Leader of the House and the Chief Government Whip in the Sri Lankan parliament.

He was born in 1949 to leftist politician Philip Gunawardena who was fondly known as ‘the Lion of Boralugoda’ and Kusumasiri Gunawardena.

He has been leading the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna since 1973, following the demise of his father, the founder of the party.

Gunawardena, who is a schoolmate of President Wickremesinghe, was educated at Royal College in Colombo.

Upon completing his school education, Gunawardena joined the Netherlands School of Business, where he graduated with a diploma in business administration and management. He later enrolled at the University of Oregon to study international business.

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Nepal’s Parliament passes first Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Nepal’s Parliament on Wednesday 13 passed the country’s first Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was under discussion for more than two years as political parties failed to forge a consensus on it.

The bill has been under discussion in the House of Representatives since 2020, but it failed to be endorsed due to differences among the political parties over certain provisions, namely the seven-year waiting period for obtaining naturalised citizenship for foreign women married to Nepali men.

In the meeting of the lower house of Parliament or the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand presented Nepal’s first Citizenship Amendment Bill 2022 before the lawmakers, and said that the bill has been tabled in parliament to amend the Nepal Citizenship Act 2006 and make provisions for providing citizenship as directed by the Constitution.

Source: www.thehindu.com

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China will launch first comprehensive solar probe.

China will launch its first comprehensive solar probe, the Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory, in October, opening a new chapter in the country's exploration of the sun, according to the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

From Monday to July 24, the research institute is gathering suggestions from the public for names to give the milestone instrument, which weighs 888 kilograms and will operate in a synchronous orbit of the sun at around 720 kilometers.

The satellite is equipped with three payloads, namely the All-Solar Vector Magnetic Imager, the Lyman Alpha Solar Telescope and the Solar Hard X-ray Imager. It is the culmination of over five years of work by Chinese scientists and engineers and is set to operate for more than four years.

Source: https://global.chinadaily.com

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Saudi Arabia opens airspace to Israeli flights.

Saudi Arabia on Friday 15 opened its airspace to all civilian carriers, including all flights to and from Israel, in a step toward normalizing relations between the two nations as US President Joe Biden tours the Middle East.

In a statement shared hours before he was due to fly directly from Israel to Saudi Arabia, Biden hailed the kingdom's decision, saying that it could "help build momentum toward Israel's further integration into the region."

The Biden administration has for months sought to formalize security and economic deals between Saudi Arabia and Israel, in a bid to set the stage for a normalization deal between the two countries.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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"Russia Responsible" For Ongoing Crisis In Sri Lanka.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blamed Russia for causing unrest in Sri Lanka as well as around the world due to the blocking of food products during the invasion of Ukraine.

One of the major tactics Russia has used in their invasion of Ukraine is the creation of an “economic shock,” Zelenskyy said, adding that several countries experiencing food and fuel shortages due to the disruption in the supply chain have benefitted Russia’s agenda.

Highlighting the crisis in Sri Lanka during a recent address at the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul, he further said “The shocking food and fuel price hikes led to a social explosion. No one knows now how it will end.”

War in Ukraine has left an estimated 1.6 billion people in 94 countries exposed to at least one dimension of finance, food, or energy crisis, with around 1.2 billion living in “perfect-storm” countries severely vulnerable.

Source: www.ndtv.com

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