01 December 2021

World AIDS Day - 01 December.

Every year, World AIDS Day is held on December 1st to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic and to mourn those who have died from the disease.

According to the most recent statistics, nearly 38 million people around the world are living with HIV. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981. Since that time, 75 million people have become infected with HIV. Tens of millions of people have died of AIDS-related causes.

Much has been done, especially in the last few decades, to address the AIDS epidemic. While there is still no cure, significant progress has been made. The number of newly infected people has declined. The number of AIDS-related deaths has gone down. Additionally, the number of people receiving effective treatment has increased.

The first HIV treatment was introduced in 1987. Since then, numerous drugs have been developed to treat HIV. There are also drugs available that reduce the risk of contracting HIV through needles or sexual activity. Available treatment and early detection have helped to increase the life expectancy of those infected with HIV/AIDS. In 1996, the life-expectancy of a 20-year old with HIV was 39 years. Today, life expectancy is 78 years.

Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day. The day was conceived by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter. The two of them were public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS. Dr. Jonathan Mann, director of the organization approved the concept. Bunn proposed the date of December 1st. He felt this date would receive maximum news coverage by the western news media. The date follows U.S. elections but precedes the Christmas holiday. The White House marks World AIDS day by displaying a 28-foot red ribbon on the building’s North Portico. The ribbon symbolizes the commitment of the United States to combat the world AIDS epidemic through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Without bold action against inequalities, the world risks missing the targets to end AIDS by 2030, as well as a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and a spiralling social and economic crisis.

Forty years since the first AIDS cases were reported, HIV still threatens the world. Today, the world is off track from delivering on the shared commitment to end AIDS by 2030 not because of a lack of knowledge or tools to beat AIDS, but because of structural inequalities that obstruct proven solutions to HIV prevention and treatment.

Economic, social, cultural and legal inequalities must be ended as a matter of urgency if we are to end AIDS by 2030.

Although there is a perception that a time of crisis is not the right time to prioritize tackling the underlying social injustices, it is clear that without doing so the crisis cannot be overcome.

Tackling inequalities is a long-standing global promise, the urgency of which has only increased. In 2015, all countries pledged to reduce inequalities within and between countries as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Global AIDS Strategy 2021–2026: End Inequalities, End AIDS and the Political Declaration on AIDS adopted at the 2021 United Nations High-Level Meeting on AIDS have ending inequalities at their core.

Source: www.un.org

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Antarctica Day - 01 December.

On December 1st, Antarctica Day recognizes the anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty. It’s also a day to learn more about this cold and barren continent.

Humans didn’t discover Antarctica until 1820. Once discovered, several nations sought to claim the continent as their own. As tension increased, some countries began working on a peaceful solution. On December 1st, 1959 in Washington, D.C. delegates from 12 countries came together to sign the Antarctic Treaty. These countries included:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Chile
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • South Africa
  • Soviet Union
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Each of these countries had scientists working on the continent during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-1958. This Treaty became the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. It symbolized global understanding during a period of intense division and secrecy.

The Antarctic Treaty ensured that all exploration and research on the continent would be for peaceful purposes only. The Treaty also promoted the idea of cooperation between countries and that all scientific observations would be made freely available. Additionally, the continent could never be used for military purposes or radioactive waste disposal.

The Foundation for the Good Governance of International Spaces established Antarctica Day. Their goal was to highlight the international cooperation that makes governance of Antarctica possible. The day was created following the Antarctic Treaty Summit in 2009. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed in 1959.

Source: https://theconversation.com

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30 November 2021

Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare - 30 November 2021.

On November 30th each year, the Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare pays tribute to victims of chemical warfare. The day also reaffirms the commitment to eliminate the threat of chemical war.

During WWI, chemical weapons killed more than 100,000 people. Chemical weapons also resulted in a million casualties. Chemical weapons contain toxic chemicals that cause death, injury, and sensory irritation. These weapons are usually deployed through a rocket or ballistic missile. Chemical weapons can cause mass destruction. This is one reason it is against the law to use them during armed conflict. Despite this law, many nations have active chemical weapons programs.

The Geneva Protocol, signed in 1925, sought to ban the use of chemical weapons. The United States did not join until 1975. Syria, the Islamic State, and North Korea have all been recently accused of using chemical weapons in the midst of conflict. Thousands of people died or were injured as a result.

On April 29, 1997, during the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was formed. The OPCW supports and verifies the destruction of chemical weapons. They also inspect facilities that formerly produced chemical weapons. In 2013, the OPCW received the Nobel Peace Prize. As of 2017, 68,000 metric tons of chemical weapons stockpiles have been destroyed. Additionally, 90 chemical weapons facilities have been destroyed or converted.

On November 11, 2005, the UN Officially recognized the Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare. The day originally commemorated the date the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force on April 29, 1997. However, in 2015, the International Day for the Foundation of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Day was established on April 29th as well. The UN changed the observance for the Day of Remembrance to November 30th.

Source: www.un.org

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Jack Dorsey steps down as CEO of Twitter.

Jack Dorsey, the bitcoin-friendly CEO of Twitter, is stepping down from his position as head of the social media giant, the company reported in a press release. He will remain a member of Twitter’s board of directors until his term expires in the middle of 2022.

Parag Agrawal, who has worked at Twitter for more than a decade and has been Twitter’s chief technology officer since 2017, was unanimously appointed as Dorsey’s replacement by Twitter’s board of directors, effective immediately.

Source: www.coindesk.com

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29 November 2021

"Omicron" coronavirus variant poses very high global risk.

The Omicron coronavirus variant is likely to spread internationally, posing a “very high” global risk of infection surges that could have “severe consequences” some areas, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday 29 November 2021.

The U.N. agency urged its 194 member states to accelerate vaccination of high-priority groups and, in anticipation of increased case numbers, to “ensure mitigation plans are in place” to maintain essential health services.

To date, no deaths linked to Omicron had been reported, though further research was needed to assess Omicron’s potential to escape protection against immunity induced by vaccines and previous infections, it said.

The variant was first reported to WHO on Nov. 24 from South Africa, where infections have risen steeply.

Source: www.reuters.com

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Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year 2021.

In everyday use, words are useful tools that communicate assertions, ideas, aspirations, and uncertainties. But they can also become vehicles for ideological conflict. This is what happened to vaccine in 2021. 

'Vaccine,' plus 'insurrection,' 'cicada,' 'perseverance,' and more words considred in 2021.  Accordingly, Merriam-Webster has declared "vaccine" as its 2021 word of the year.

At Merriam-Webster, lookups for the word "vaccine" increased 601 percent over 2020, when the first U. S. shot was administered in New York in December 2020.

Merriam-Webster's 2020 word of the year was "pandemic".

Source: www.merriam-webster.com

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Sir Frank Williams: Formula 1 team founder dies aged 79.

Sir Frank Williams, founder and former team principal of the Williams Racing Formula 1 team, has died aged 79.

He built the team named after him into one of the most successful in the sport.

During his time with Williams, the team won nine constructors' championships and seven drivers' titles, and dominated much of the 1980s and 1990s.

He and daughter Claire moved away from the sport in September 2020 after selling Williams to US investors.

Source: www.bbc.com

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China launches new communications satellite.

China on Saturday 27 November 2021 successfully launched a new communications satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest Sichuan Province.

The satellite, Zhongxing-1D, was launched at 0:40 am (Beijing Time) by a Long March-3B carrier rocket and entered the planned orbit successfully.

Developed by the China Academy of Space Technology, the satellite is able to provide high-quality voice, data, and radio and television transmission services, the state-owned broadcaster China Global Television Network (CGTN) reported.

The launch marked the 399th mission for the Long March series carrier rockets, according to a report in the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Source: http://news.cgtn.com

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Japanese film 'Ring Wandering' get Golden Peacock at 52nd IFFI.

Masakazu Kaneko’s Ring Wandering, which explores Japan’s wartime past, won the top award at the 52nd International Film Festival of India that concluded on Sunday (28). 

The Golden Peacock winner in the International Competition section was selected for being a “beautifully photographed combination of fantasy and manga-inspired reality, reflecting a fascination with the echoes of the past reverberating in present-day Japanese society”, the jury headed by Iranian director Rakhshan Banietemad said in a press statement.

The Golden Peacock has a cash prize of Rs 20 lakh for Kaneko and Rs 10 lakh for producer Takashi Shiotsuki. Also on the jury were Ciro Guerra, Stephen Woolley, Vimukthi Jayasundara and Nila Madhab Panda.

Source: https://scroll.in

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Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan sign gas swap deal.

Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have signed a gas swap deal for up to 2 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year, Iranian state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday (28th).

Under the swap deal, Iran will receive gas from Turkmenistan and deliver an equivalent amount to Azerbaijan at the Astara border, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji told state TV.

Owji also said Iran was moving to resolve a lingering gas debt dispute with Central Asia's Turkmenistan, which said in late 2017 that it was owed $1.8 billion in payments for gas delivered to Tehran.

Iran has major natural gas fields in the south, but has imported gas from Turkmenistan since 1997 for distribution in its northern provinces, especially during the winter.

Source: www.reuters.com

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Colombo Security Conclave concludes.

Maiden ‘Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) Focused Operation’ is being conducted between the lead Maritime Security Agencies of India, Maldives and Sri Lanka on November 27 and 28.

Ships and aircraft of the Indian Navy (IN), Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), and Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) are participating and operating over a vast area in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of the three countries in the Southern Arabian Sea.

It may be recalled that a trilateral Table Top Exercise (TTX) between IN, MNDF, and SLN was conducted on July 14 and 15. The three countries had participated in the 5th Deputy National Security Advisors (NSA) – level meeting of Colombo Security Conclave on 04 August 2021, wherein ways of enhancing maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region were deliberated upon.

The ‘CSC Focused Operation’ is being conducted to keep this vital part of the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping, international trade, and the conduct of legitimate maritime activities.

The Focused Operation will help build understanding and interoperability between the lead maritime security agencies, and facilitate the institution of measures to prevent and suppress transnational crimes in the region.

It will further enhance the operational synergy by exchange of information and conduct of coordinated operations to handle maritime incidents/accidents.

The conduct of ‘CSC Focused Operation’ exemplifies the deep trilateral engagement between India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, and emphasises their commitment to promote peace, and security in the region.

Source: www.dailynews.lk

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Petr Fiala appointed as new Prime Minister of Czech Republic.

 

Petr Fiala has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of the Czech Republic by President Milos Zeman. 

Fiala heads the three-party coalition Together (Civic Democratic Party, Christian Democrats, TOP 09 party), which garnered 27.8% of the vote in early October. Fiala succeeds Andrej Babis. The alliance narrowly defeated the ANO movement led by billionaire Babis. The centrist group of the Mayors and Independents and the left-wing Pirate Party joined with Fiala’s coalition to remove Babis, who had served as prime minister since 2017.

Fiala, 57, a political science professor and leader of the centre-right Civic Democrats since 2014, said his team would reveal its own proposals to fight the pandemic.

A spokesman for Zeman, who has been in hospital since Oct. 10, said the president expected to be discharged soon and confirmed the Nov. 26 date.

Fiala told reporters he expected the full cabinet to be appointed within three weeks.

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International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People - 29 November.

Every year, November 29th marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. It’s a day to remember that the Palestinian people have not yet attained certain inalienable rights, including national independence and sovereignty.

More than 8 million Palestinian people live in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel. This territory has been occupied since the six-day war in 1967, when Israel defeated Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. The occupied territory consists of East Jerusalem in Israel, neighboring Arab states, and refugee camps. More familiar terms for these areas include the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. This occupation is the longest in modern history.

On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 (II). This resolution became known as the Partition Resolution. It called for the establishment of a Jewish State and an Arab State in Palestine. The partition plan was never fully implemented and civil war broke out shortly after the adoption of the resolution. Following that, Israel became a country in 1948. An Arab state was never formed.

In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly called for an annual observance of the resolution on the partition of Palestine. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People serves as a reminder that the question regarding the Palestinian people and Palestine has yet to be resolved.

Source: www.un.org

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28 November 2021

"Oldest person in the world", Francisca Susano, dead at 124.

Beloved “Lola” Francisca Susano, who is believed to be the “oldest person in the world” and the last woman alive to be born in the 1800s, died at the age of 124.

The Filipino supercentenarian’s passing was confirmed by state officials in her home province of Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.

Local health officials have yet to determine Susano’s cause of the death, but the super senior will reportedly be tested for COVID-19, CNN reported. Fortunately, city information officers reported that she didn’t exhibit any symptoms of the coronavirus before her death.

Born in September 1897 — a year before Spain ceded control of the Philippines to the US — Susano was reportedly the world’s last surviving person to be born in the 19th century.

Source: https://nypost.com


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Red Planet Day - 28 November.

Every year on November 28th, Red Planet Day commemorates the launch of Spacecraft Mariner 4. It’s also a day to learn more about Mars, which is referred to as the red planet.

After 3 previous attempts, Spacecraft Mariner 4 became the first successful flyby of Mars. The spacecraft was launched on November 28, 1964, and reached Mars on July 14, 1965. The successful mission produced 22 pictures of the Martian surface. These pictures were the first-ever close-up photos to come from deep space. This mission, along with several others that occurred afterward, has helped us learn much about the red planet.

It’s unknown when Red Planet Day began. It is observed every year on November 28th, to commemorate the launch date of Spacecraft Mariner 4.

Source: www.librarypoint.org

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World's tallest railway bridge pier to come up in Manipur.

The Indian Railways is constructing the world's tallest bridge pier in Manipur which is a part of 111 km long Jiribam-Imphal railway project.

The ambitious project in Manipur is part of the 111 km long Jiribam-Imphal railway line to connect the capital of Manipur with the broad gauge network of the country.

The bridge, which is being built at a pier height of 141 metres, will surpass the existing record of 139 meter of Mala - Rijeka viaduct, Montenegro in Europe.

Source: www.hindustantimes.com

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Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim dies.

Legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, widely credited with transforning musical theatre, died on Friday at the age of 91, his publicist said.

Sondheim – renowned for musicals including West Side Story and Sweeney Todd – died at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, spokesperson Kathryn Zuckerman told Reuters news agency by email, saying she had little additional information. The news was reported earlier by the New York Times which said he had celebrated Thanksgiving with friends the day before.

Born on March 22, 1930, to an affluent family in New York City, Sondheim was involved in musical theater from an early age.

In 2015, then-US president Barack Obama presented Sondheim with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour, for his life’s work.



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Indian Constitution Day 2021: 26 November.

Indian Constitution Day is observed every year on November 26 to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the country. In India, 26 November is celebrated as Constitution Day or Samvidhan Diwas. On this day in 1949, the constitution was adopted which came into force on January 26, 1950, marking the beginning of a new era in the history of India. The day aims to spread the importance of the constitution and to spread the thoughts and ideas of BR Ambedkar, the father of the Indian constitution.

On 19th November 2015, during the year-long celebration of the 125th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar, the Government of India declared November 26th as the Constitution Day. Previously this day was celebrated as Law Day. 26 November was chosen to spread the importance of the constitution and to spread thoughts and ideas of Ambedkar.

Source: www.outlookindia.com

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The World Health Organization has declared a new Covid Variant and named it "Omricon".

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a new coronavirus variant to be "of concern" and named it "Omicron".

It had a large number of mutations, and early evidence suggested an increased reinfection risk, the WHO said.

It was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on 24 November, and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.

A number of countries around the world have now decided to ban or restrict travel to and from southern Africa.

Source: www.bbc.com

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Former South Korea President Chun Doo-hwan dies.

The former president of South Korea Chun Doo-hwan passed away at the age of 90 years due to heart failure in Seoul, South Korea. He belonged to the ‘Democratic Justice’ party. He became the 5th President of South Korea. He served as the President of the Democratic Justice Party from 1981 to 1987.

A former military commander, Chun — known as the “Butcher of Gwangju” — presided over the 1980 army massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in the city, a crime for which he was later convicted and received a commuted death sentence.

Chun was born on March 6, 1931, in Yulgok-myeon, a poor farming town in the southeastern county of Hapcheon, during Japanese rule over Korea.

Source: www.japantimes.co.jp

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Pakistan successfully test fires surface-to-surface ballistic missile.

Pakistan on Thursday (25th) conducted a successful flight test of the Shaheen-1A surface-to-surface ballistic missile.

However, the army did not share any technical detail of the missile.

President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and senior army leadership also congratulated the scientists and engineers on this achievement.

In March, the armed forces had conducted the successful test launch of the nuclear-capable Shaheen 1-A medium-range ballistic missile. It had a range of 900 kilometres.

Source: www.business-standard.com

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Oman to host Legends League Cricket in January.

Legends Cricket League (LLC), a professional T20 cricket league of former star players, announced that the inaugural season of the League will take place at Al Amerat Cricket Stadium in Oman in January 2022.

Al Amerat Cricket Stadium in Oman was the co-host of recently concluded ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 along with Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi as the other three venues.

The first season of LLC will have former cricketers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England, Australia among others. They wll be divided into 03 teams.

Source: https://timesofoman.com

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Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Sabah becomes new Prime Minister of Kuwait.

Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah has been appointed the new Prime Minister of Kuwait. Sheikh Sabah also served as Kuwait’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Envoy at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from 1995 to 1998. He has also been awarded with the Order of King Abdulaziz of First Class in 1998 by Saudi Arabia.

Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah issued an order on behalf of the emir, appointing Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to form a new government and provide a list of names for approval.

Source: https://gulfnews.com

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27 November 2021

South Africa detects new COVID-19 variant.

Scientists in South Africa said they had detected a new COVID-19 variant with multiple mutations. The variant – called B.1.1.529. 

Initially it looked like some cluster outbreaks, but from yesterday, the indication came from our scientist colleagues from the Network of Genomic Surveillance that indeed they were observing what looked like a new variant,” Health Minister Joe Phaahla said on Thursday 26 November 2021.

Source: https://theglobalherald.com

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President orders to import "Molnupiravir" antiviral pill.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana to take steps to import Molnupiravir tablet (antiviral medication for COVID-19) through the State Pharmaceutical Corporation in the same manner the Covid vaccines were brought down.

The instruction was given at the meeting of the Special Committee on COVID-19 Control today (26),the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.  

The President has instructed the health authorities to take necessary steps to launch a mobile vaccination service to administer a booster dose for people over the age of 60 who had their second dose three months prior.

It was decided to administer the booster dose to all those over the age of 60 who come to the hospital medical clinics.

It was also decided to give the third dose to all those over the age of 20 who have received the second dose of the covid vaccine and suffering from non-communicable diseases. Accordingly, the third dose of the vaccine will be given to cancer patients, persons who are undergoing cancer treatment, transplant patients, hemorrhagic patients, and all those patients with weakened immune systems due to a non-communicable disease.

Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena said the personnel in these categories could obtain the third dose at the respective clinic or at the Office of the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) in the area every Saturday.

Source: www.dailymirror.lk

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Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad has announced his retirement from test cricket.

Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad has announced his retirement from test cricket at the age of 35 but will continue to play One-day Internationals and Twenty20s, the country’s cricket board (BCB) said in a statement on Wednesday 24 November 2021.

Mahmudullah’s last Test was against Zimbabwe in Harare in July, where he scored an unbeaten 150 — his fifth Test hundred — in his final innings and led the side to a 220-run victory.

The right-hander scored 2,914 runs at an average of 33.49 and took 43 wickets in Tests, captaining the side six times.

Local media reported that Mahmudullah told his teammates during the Zimbabwe Test but waited to make a formal announcement.

His announcement came two days before Bangladesh take on Pakistan in the first game of a two-Test series in Chittagong.

Mahmudullah, the Twenty20 captain of Bangladesh who was not selected for Pakistan Tests, promised to continue playing the other two formats.

Source: www.dawn.com

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NASA, SpaceX Launch DART: First Test Mission to Defend Planet Earth.

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards, launched Wednesday at 1:21 a.m. EST on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The mission aims to test asteroid-deflecting technology. The purpose of the mission is to crash a space probe into the asteroid so as to alter its speed and course so prevent it from hitting the Earth. NASA is poised to investigate just that with a first-of-its-kind mission to deflect an asteroid by intentionally crashing a spacecraft into it. The mission offers a rare, real-world chance to test a planetary defence strategy that could protect Earth from a potentially catastrophic collision in the future.

Source: www.nasa.gov

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Biden invites around 110 countries to virtual summit on democracy.

President Joe Biden has invited around 110 countries to a virtual summit on democracy in December, including most of Western allies but not Hungary and Turkey, according to a list posted on the State Department website on Tuesday (23 November).

China, the United States’ principal rival, is not invited, while Taiwan is — a move that risks angering Beijing. Turkey, which like the US is a member of NATO, is also missing from the list of participants.

Among the countries of the Middle East, only Israel and Iraq will take place in the online conference, scheduled for 9-10 December.

Iraq, India and Pakistan are invited, while traditional Arab allies of the US — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, are not.

Biden invited Brazil even though its far right president, Jair Bolsonaro has been criticized as having an authoritarian bent and was a firm supporter of Donald Trump.

In Europe, Poland was invited to the summit despite persistent tension with the European Union over its human rights record. Hungary, led by hardline nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, was not invited.

In Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria and Niger are among the countries on the list.

Despite initial information that Serbia would not be invited, the name of the country appears on the list.

Source: www.euractiv.com

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26 November 2021

Special gazette introduces new guidelines for appointing President’s Counsels.

A Gazette Extraordinary was published on Wednesday (Nov. 24) introducing new guidelines for the appointment of President’s Counsels.

Dated November 22, the communiqué was issued by Secretary to the President, P.B. Jayasundera under the directives of the Head of State.

The previous gazette notification issued on October 29, 2019 has been rescinded through the new communiqué.

As per the new guidelines, no individual can be appointed as a President’s Counsel unless he or she is an attorney-of-law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.

They are also required to reach eminence in the legal profession and maintain a high standard of conduct and professional rectitude.

Among other requirements, the guidelines note that they should actively contribute by advocacy in any court or make an active contribution to the development of the law or make a significant and outstanding contribution as a subject specialist in law at senior level either in the public sector or in an internationally recognized institution based in Sri Lanka or overseas and bring reputation or honour to the country.

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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International Systems Engineer Day - 26 November 2021.

On the last Friday in November, International Systems Engineer Day highlights the importance of systems engineers. It’s also a day to learn more about systems engineers.

The term systems engineering has been around since the 1940s. It was first used in Bell Telephone Laboratories. Systems engineers work in two combined fields which include engineering and technology. Their technical expertise and passion for technology fuel them to design and build innovative systems in various industries. Some of these industries include energy, finance, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, production, telecommunication, and transportation.

Nicholas Fourie founded International Systems Engineer Day in 2012. He wanted to create a day to say thank you to those who sit behind computers for hours in order to make our lives better.

Source: www.systemsengineerday.com

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Sweden had its 01st Female Prime Minister for only a few hours.

Sweden's first ever female prime minister has resigned just hours after she was appointed.

Magdalena Andersson, was announced as leader but resigned after her coalition partner quit the government and her budget failed to pass.

Instead, parliament voted for a budget drawn up by the opposition which includes the anti-immigrant far right.

Her coalition partner, the Green Party said it could not accept a budget "drafted for the first time with the far-right".

Ms Andersson said that she hoped to try to become prime minister again as a single party government leader.

A former junior swimming champion from the university city of Uppsala, she began her political career in 1996 as political adviser to then-Prime Minister Goran Persson. She has spent the past seven years as finance minister.

Source: www.bbc.com

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25 November 2021

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - 25 November.

On November 25th International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women raises awareness regarding an ongoing human rights issue. Today, many women around the world are still subject to rape and other types of violence.

Through the years, government officials and international leaders have lead the charge to curb violence against women and girls. Unfortunately, however, it is still all too common. Violence against women continues to be a widespread and persistent human rights violation.

Since 1981, women right’s activists have observed a day against gender-based violence. They chose November 25th in honor of three Mirabal sisters. The sisters were political activists in the Dominican Republic who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. They were brutally murdered on November 25th, 1960. On December 20, 1993, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women. Their goal was to eradicate violence against women and girls on a global scale. On February 7, 2000, the UN officially designated November 25th as the International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This day kicks off 16 days of activism, which ends on December 10th, Human Rights Day.

This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now !”.

Source: www.coe.int

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Olaf Scholz replaces outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel.

A coalition deal has been announced in Germany after almost two months of talks following the country’s inconclusive federal election in September.

Olaf Scholz, the center-left Social Democratic Party’s candidate, will be Germany’s next chancellor, replacing Angela Merkel who has led Germany for 16 years.

The agreement between the SPD, the Greens and the Free Democratic Party, will see them govern together in a three-way coalition for the first time. The alliance has been described as a “traffic light” coalition in reference to the parties’ traditional colors.

Christian Lindner, the head of the pro-business FDP, is set to be the next finance minister, according to the deal which was announced Wednesday afternoon and will now be voted on by the different parties. The Green Party’s co-leaders, Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck, are poised to take on the roles of foreign minister and economy and climate minister, respectively.

Source: www.cnbc.com

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Israel, Morocco ink Defense Deal after normalizing ties.

Israel and Morocco signed a landmark agreement Wednesday that lays the foundation for security cooperation, intelligence sharing and future arms sales.

The memorandum of understanding is the centerpiece of a visit this week by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz to Morocco, which established formal relations with Israel last year as part of the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords.

Gantz's trip is the first official visit by an Israeli defense minister to one of the Arab states that normalized ties under the accords.

In a statement, Gantz said that the agreement was "very significant and will allow us to exchange ideas, enter joint projects and enable Israeli military exports here."

Source: www.military.com

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New State of Monster black hole detected 5 Billioight years away.

Indian Astronomers have found an active galaxy in a very bright state with 10 times more X-ray emission than normal, equivalent to more than 10 trillion Sun, and located 5 billion light-years away that could help probe how particles behave under intense gravity and acceleration to the speed of light. 

It could help study the role of strong gravity and acceleration of matter in the formation, interaction, and evolution of galaxies in the early universe.

Every galaxy in the Universe is believed to host a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at its center. In some galaxies, the black hole is actively devouring a large amount of material and shooting a jet of plasma almost at the speed of light towards us. These are called blazars. OJ 287 belongs to a class of blazars known as BL Lacerate objects which show very rapid and large amplitude flux variations but barely discernible emission line features. 

This class of sources emit in the whole electromagnetic spectrum, a rather uncommon phenomenon which requires extreme physical conditions. Hence a study of such sources tells us about the behavior of matter in an extreme gravitational field where it is difficult for light also to escape from the vicinity of the black hole.

Source: https://pib.gov.in

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India, Maldives & Sri Lanka conducted biennial trilateral exercise ‘Dosti’.

The 5-day long, 15th edition of the Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka biennial Trilateral Exercise ‘Dosti’ was conducted in the Maldives from 20-24 November 2021 as part of regional security formation for a peaceful and stable Indian Ocean Region. The Exercise is conducted biennially among the Coast Guards of the 3 countries. This year marks the 30th year since the initiation of the exercise.

Indian Coast Guard vessels, Integrated Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Vajra and Apoorva along with Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship (SLCGS) Suraksha Participated in the exercise. The aim of the India-Maldives-Sri Lanka tri-lateral exercise ‘Dosti’ is to further fortify the friendship, enhance the mutual operational capability, and exercise interoperability and to build cooperation between the Coast Guards of Maldives, India and Sri Lanka.

Source: www.dailynews.lk

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JP Morgan named world’s most systemic bank.

JPMorgan Chase has once again been named the world’s most important bank to the health of the wider financial system, according to the latest annual ranking of top lenders by global regulators. The Financial Stability Board (FSB), made up of regulators from G20 countries, published its latest table of the world’s 30 most systemic banks.

The 30 lenders are divided between four “buckets” in order of how systemic, international, interconnected and complex they are, with JPMorgan now in a higher bucket than its nearest peers. Being included in the table means having to hold additional capital and undergo more intense supervision to avoid a repeat of taxpayer bailouts in the banking crisis over a decade ago. In practice, the lenders typically hold capital buffers that are already above FSB requirements.

Source: https://www.fsb.org

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24 November 2021

Ban Ki-moon released his autobiography “Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World”

A book titled ‘Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World’ is an autobiography of the Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It consists of life experiences and challenges that the author faced in his life & elaborates his tenure in the United Nations (UN). He served as the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations for a two 5-year term (2007-2016).

In ‘Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World’, published by HarperCollins India, Ban goes on to describe how he became a “man of peace” from a “child of war”. Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s first diplomatic posting was in India and he developed such a special connection that even 50 years later, he tells the Indian people that half of his “heart belongs in their country”.

Source: https://indianexpress.com

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Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent to stage 2025 Asian Youth Para Games.

The Uzbek capital Tashkent has been confirmed as hosts for the 2025 Asian Youth Para Games by the Asian Paralympic Committee's (APC) Executive Board, meaning the event will be staged in the same city as the Asian Youth Games for the first time.

Tashkent was awarded hosting rights for the Asian Youth Games in the same year by the Olympic Council of Asia in September 2019, and the APC said it had received interest from "a number" of National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) to stage the Asian Youth Para Games.

The Para Games are scheduled for late September and early October in 2025 and will use the same venues as the Asian Youth Games.

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

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Abdalla Hamdok reappointed as Sudan’s Prime Minister.

Sudan’s removed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was reappointed after signing a political declaration to end the current political crisis by Hamdok and Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, general commander of the Sudanese Armed Force. 

Before becoming prime minister, Hamdok worked for the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and as a special adviser at the Trade and Development Bank in Ethiopia.

Source: www.news.cn

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International Emmy Awards 2021.

The 2021 International Emmy Awards was the 49th edition of the annual ceremony held in New York City. The award recognised excellence in television programs produced and aired originally outside the U.S., and non-English language US primetime programs between the dates of January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

From India, Nawazuddin Siddiqui was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Serious Men, Sushmita Sen-led Aarya was nominated for Best Drama and comedian Vir Das was nominated for Best Comedy. However, India could not register a win in any of the above categories. Till date, the only Indian show to bag an Emmy is Delhi Crime which won Best Drama in 2020.

List of Winners of 2021 International Emmy Awards:

  • Best Actor: David Tennant for Des (UK)
  • Best Actress: Hayley Squires for Adult Material (UK)
  • Best Drama Series: Tehran (Israel)
  • Best Comedy Series: Call My Agent Season 4 (France)
  • Best Documentary: Hope Frozen: A Quest To Live Twice (Thailand)
  • Best Telenovela: The Song Of Glory (China)
  • Best TV Movie / Mini-Series: Atlantic Crossing (Norway)
  • Best Arts Programming: Kubrick By Kubrick (France)
  • Best Short-Form Series: INSiDE (New Zealand)
  • Best Non-Scripted Entertainment: The Masked Singer (UK)
  • Best Non-English Language U.S. Primetime Program: 21st Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards (USA)

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23 November 2021

Lewis Hamilton wins 2021 F1 Qatar Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain), has won the 2021 F1 Qatar Grand Prix. Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) came second while Fernando Alonso (Alpine- Spain) came third. With this win, Lewis Hamilton has become the first driver to have won at 30 different circuits in Formula 1.

After the Qatar 2021 F1 Grand Prix, the 2021 Drivers Standings is as follows: Max Verstappen (351.5 Points) is on top followed by Lewis Hamilton (343.5 Points) on second and Valtteri Bottas (203 Points) on third. Two more Grand Prix events are to be held in 2021.


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The Taliban have banned women from appearing in TV dramas in the latest restrictions on women.

The Taliban have banned women from appearing in television dramas in its latest measure curbing individual freedoms in Afghanistan. 

The ban is the lastest in a series of restrictions targeting the country's television and movie industry, the report said.

Also banned in the restrictions are movies that are seemingly against the Taliban's interpretation of Sharia law, which the militant group uses to enforce strict guidelines on dress codes and to prevent women from getting an education.

Since the collapse of Afghanistan's government in mid-August, the Taliban's return to power has seen Afghan women stripped of many of the freedoms they have had since the militant group was first ousted from power 20 years ago.   

Source: www.bbc.com

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