27 September 2021

World Tourism Day - 27 September.

World Tourism Day on September 27th shines a spotlight on the benefits of tourism. Besides adding economic value to communities, tourism adds social, political, and cultural value. In essence, tourism helps all countries to build a better future.

Tourism is big business. In 2018, tourism contributed $8.8 trillion dollars to the global economy. Over recent years, travel and tourism have been the second-fasting growing sector in the world. The tourism industry also added 319 million jobs. Despite the amount of jobs tourism creates, there is still work to do. Industry experts believe there is potential for tourism to create even more jobs, especially for women, youth, and individuals in rural areas.

By the year 2030, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), an agency of the United Nations, hopes to implement policies that will further advance sustainable tourism. In turn, tourism will create jobs and promote local cultures and products.

In 1979 during a session in Spain, the UNWTO decided to establish World Tourism Day. The first official observance was held on September 27th, 1980. The date reflected the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes, an event that happened in 1970.

World Tourism Day occurs each year during a time when tourism is on the minds of millions of people. While the tourism season is wrapping up in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s just beginning in the Southern Hemisphere.

World Tourism Day 2021 highlights the power of ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’.

Source: www.unwto.org

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26 September 2021

Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted.

Guatemala's Fuego volcano began a strong eruptive phase on Thursday (23rd), spewing lava and ash in a series of explosions that have not yet forced any evacuations.

The eruptions produced a long river of lava flowing down to the base of the volcano, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) southwest of the capital Guatemala City.

Fuego, 3.7 kilometers high (12,240 feet), is one of three active volcanoes in Guatemala.

The recently recorded activity is the strongest since June 2018, when Fuego unleashed a torrent of mud and ash that wiped the village of San Miguel Los Lotes from the map and more than 200 people were killed.

On Thursday, several communities at the foot of the mountain reported nothing more serious than a downpour of ash, said the national Conred disaster coordination center.

Source: https://phys.org

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2021 Digital Quality of Life Index.

The Digital Quality of Life (DQL) Index is a global research on the quality of a digital wellbeing in 110 countries (90% of the global population). 

The Digital Quality of Life (DQL) Index reveals insights into what factors impact a country’s digital wellbeing the most and which areas should be prioritized to improve it.

The 2021 edition of the index is a third issue of an annual research that offers a unique understanding of the overall digital quality of life based on five core pillars. These five pillars are internet affordability, internet quality, electronic infrastructure, electronic security, and electronic government.

Denmark topped the index for the second year in a row, followed by South Korea and Finland.

Sri Lanka has ranked 88th in globally (Ranking Index 0.42) and 25th as an Asian Country out of 110 and 32 countries respectively.

Also recorded below given Ranks / Indexes  against each of five pillars.

  • Internet Affordability                    3rd / 0.45   
  • Internet Quality                           101st / 0.37
  • Electronic Infrastructure             101st / 0.43
  • Electronic Security                     105th / 35.40
  • Electronic Government               80th / 0.52

Source: https://surfshark.com

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World Rivers Day - 27 September.

Every year on the fourth Sunday in September, World Rivers Day highlights the many values of rivers and streams. It’s also a day to encourage the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.

It’s difficult to determine the exact number of rivers in the world. According to experts, there are 165 major rivers. These waterways are long and wide and contain large volumes of flowing water. Seventy-six rivers are over 1,000 miles long. Some of the world’s longest rivers include:

  • Nile (4,135 miles long)
  • Amazon (3,980 miles long)
  • Yangtze (3,917 miles long)
  • Mississippi and Missouri (3,902 miles and the longest river system in North America)
  • Yenisei (3,445 miles long)
  • Yellow (3,398 miles long)

In December of 2003, the United Nations proclaimed 2005 to 2015 as “Water for Life Decade.” Their goal was to create awareness for better care of our planet’s water resources. The decade officially began on March 22, 2005. Soon after, Mark Angelo founded World Rivers Day. Angelo is from British Columbia, Canada and is also the founder of BC Rivers Day. The first World Rivers Day took place in 2005. Dozens of countries celebrated the day. Since then, the day has been celebrated by millions of people in up to 100 countries.

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European Day of Languages - 26 September.

Every year on September 26th, the European Day of Languages alerts the general public about the importance of learning different languages. The Day also promotes the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe.

According to the most recent data, there are 51 independent states in Europe. There are over 200 languages spoken here, on the second smallest continent. Of these languages, 24 of them are considered official languages. Russia is the largest and most populous country in Europe, which makes Russian the most commonly spoken language.

The nine other most spoken languages in Europe include:

  • German
  • French
  • Turkish
  • Italian
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Polish
  • Ukrainian
  • Dutch

In 1997, the Council of Europe came up with the idea to have a European Year of Languages. Two years later in 1999, the Committee of Ministers in Europe declared 2001 to be the European Year of Languages. Due to the success of the event, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recommended a European Day of Languages be held on an annual basis. They chose the date of September 26th.

Source: https://cesie.org

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World Contraception Day - 26 September.

Every year on September 26th, World Contraception Day spreads awareness about contraception and safe sex. The day also teaches younger generations to make informed decisions about sexual health.

Many believe birth control is a fairly modern invention. However, men and women as far back as 3000 BC used various ways to prevent pregnancy. In 3000 BC, ancient Egyptian men had invented the first condom. IN 1850 BC, women were using a pessary as a way to prevent pregnancy. This contraceptive device was placed inside the vagina to kill sperm. The pessary contained a concoction of crocodile dung, honey, and sodium carbonate.

In 2007, 10 international family planning organizations came together to form World Contraception Day. They set a goal to promote safe, effective, and preferred family planning options and contraceptive methods. Additionally, 15 NGOs throughout the world, along with several scientific and medical societies, support this day.

Source: www.ohchr.org

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International Daughters Day - 26 September 2021.

International Daughters Day on the fourth Sunday in September celebrates the girl child.

The observance originated in India where, even today, some cultures see girl children as burdens. Families with daughters carry a stigma. The celebration helps eliminate traditions which help to maintain the view of a girl child as a burden. Some underdeveloped countries still practice these traditions.

However, the rest of the world may view the day as a classic celebration. While families may approach the day as an opportunity to be thankful for the life of a girl child, daughters may approach the day differently.  They may take the time to celebrate being a daughter and the family she has. Many spend the day with family and look forward to making memories with loved ones.

As varied as the celebrations, our daughters come with a variety of personalities, too. While one is spunky and adventurous, another will outwit us in a second. They win our hearts immediately. Our instincts may tell us to protect them. However, they’re more likely to protect us just as fiercely. Daughters simply deserve to grow and learn and explore like any other person in the world.

The observance began in India as a way to eliminate the stigma associated with giving birth to a daughter. In some parts of the world, male children have more value than female children. This day promotes equal value for both boy and girl children. Girls can be and should be educated and provided equal opportunities.

Source: https://indianexpress.com

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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak launches space start-up Privateer.

Apple’s co-creator Steve Wozniak has launched a new space start-up called Privateer Space, bringing potential competition to a field dominated by billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. Privateer will be represented at the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference, scheduled to run from September 14-17 in Hawaii.

The global space economy, which has attracted many top companies such as Tesla and Amazon, involves various activities such as research and development, space tourism and the utilisation of space. Bank of America predicts the space economy will have more than tripled in size by 2030, with a $1.4 trillion market value.

Mr Wozniak co-founded Apple Computers in 1976 with fellow college dropout Steve Jobs and businessman Ronald Wayne.

Jobs and Mr Wozniak left Apple in 1985 though they remained shareholders and Jobs later returned to the company.

In 2002, Mr Wozniak co-founded another company called Wheels of Zeus (WoZ) with Mr Fielding. WoZ worked on global positioning system smart tags and was disbanded in 2006.

Source: www.thenationalnews.com

 

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Heavy rains as Cyclone Gulab makes landfall in India.

A cyclone packing strong winds and rains has barrelled into India’s east coast, as tens of thousands of people in three states were evacuated to shelters.

Heavy rains and strong winds were reported along the coast on Sunday evening as the tropical storm over the Bay of Bengal began making landfall, barely four months after another cyclone hit the region, leaving destruction in its wake.

Cloud bands had touched the coastal regions of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh indicating Cyclone Gulab had begun to make landfall, the India Meteorological Department tweeted.

The storm with wind speeds up to 95km/h (59mph) was expected to cross the coasts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh states by midnight (19:30 GMT).

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WHO revises air quality norms for first time since 2005.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a tight revision in its air quality guidelines (AQG). This is the first revision in the global air quality by WHO since 2005. In the new guidelines, WHO has lowered the acceptable exposure levels to key pollutants, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter (PM).

Under the new guidelines:

  • WHO has lowered acceptable thresholds for several pollutants, including PM 2.5. Now, PM 2.5 concentrations must remain below 15µg/m³.
  • According to the new limits, average annual PM2.5 concentrations should not be higher than 5 micrograms per cubic meter.
  • Air pollution kills at least 7 million people prematurely each year. The revised guidelines encourage countries to slash fossil fuel emissions.
  • These guidelines are not legally binding on countries. The reduced level of air pollution will improve the health of people.
Source: www.who.int


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China's top regulators ban crypto trading and mining.

China's most powerful regulators on Friday (24th) intensified a crackdown on cryptocurrencies with a blanket ban on all crypto transactions and mining, hitting bitcoin and other major coins and pressuring crypto and blockchain-related stocks.

Ten agencies, including the central bank, financial, securities and foreign exchange regulators, vowed to work together to root out "illegal" cryptocurrency activity, the first time the Beijing-based regulators have joined forces to explicitly ban all cryptocurrency-related activity.

China in May banned financial institutions and payment companies from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions, and issued similar bans in 2013 and 2017.

The repeated prohibitions highlight the challenge of closing loopholes and identifying bitcoin-related transactions, though banks and payment firms say they support the effort.

Friday's statement is the most detailed and expansive yet from the country's main regulators, underscoring Beijing's commitment to suffocating the Chinese crypto market.

Source: www.reuters.com

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SpaceX's Starlink broadband satellites could be used for GPS navigation.

SpaceX's Starlink satellites may be used for navigation and global positioning in addition to their core function of broadband Internet, a new research study suggests.

Engineering researchers external to SpaceX found a way to use the Starlink constellation signals for navigation similar to the capabilities provided by global positioning satellites (GPS), which are used in the United States and several other countries. The study represents the first time Starlink was used for navigation by researchers outside of SpaceX, the team members stated.

Researchers triangulated the signals from six Starlink satellites to fix upon a location on Earth with less than 27 feet (eight meters) of accuracy, the team reported in a statement. That's pretty comparable to the typical GPS capabilities of a smartphone, which typically pinpoints your spot on Earth to within 16 feet (4.9 m), depending on the conditions.

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SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch internet satellite to serve Alaska in 2022.

The powerful Falcon Heavy is now scheduled to loft Astranis' first commercial communications satellite to orbit next spring, Astranis representatives announced Thursday (Sept. 23). 

The satellite, which will beam internet service down to Alaskans from geostationary orbit, about 22,200 miles (35,730 kilometers) up had previously been slated to ride atop a SpaceX Falcon 9.

The Alaska-serving satellite will be just the beginning for Astranis, if all goes according to plan. 

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International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons - 26 September.

September 26th marks the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. On this day, countries around the world are encouraged to reaffirm their commitment to nuclear disarmament.

The nine countries that possess nuclear weapons include:

  • Russia
  • United States
  • France
  • China
  • United Kingdom
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • Israel
  • North Korea
  • Russia has the most nuclear warheads with 6,850. The United States is close behind with 6,550.

Nuclear weapons are considered the most dangerous weapon on earth. Nuclear weapons have such an intense explosive power that they can cause damage in faraway places. Besides wiping out entire cities, nuclear weapons have the potential to kill millions of people. The long-term effects of nuclear weapons are catastrophic. They jeopardize the environment and the lives of future generations.

Nuclear weapons have only been used twice. In 1945, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought WWII to an end. Nuclear weapons have not been used since. The United Nations hopes it stays that way.

Through the years, the United Nations has made many resolutions to eliminate nuclear weapons. In 1946, the UN created the Atomic Energy Commission to eliminate atomic weapons and all other weapons capable of mass destruction. In 1996, the UN created the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Although signed, these treaties have yet to be enforced.

In 2009, the UN declared August 29th as the International Day against Nuclear Energy Tests. In 2013, during a meeting on nuclear disarmament, the UN marked September 26th as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. To help make this a reality the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was signed in 2017. The treaty has yet to be enforced.

Source: www.un.org

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Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed WHO Ambassador for Global Health Financing.

The WHO announced the appointment of The Rt Hon Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, as WHO Ambassador for Global Health Financing. He is widely credited with preventing a second Great Depression through his stewardship of the 2009 London G20 summit. He mobilized world leaders to commit an additional $1.1 trillion to restore credit, growth and jobs.

Mr Brown has tirelessly called on wealthy nations as well as the private sector to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, advocating for a concerted global effort — rooted in science and sound economics – to save lives, end the pandemic and restore livelihoods the world over.

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25 September 2021

World Dream Day - 25 September.

Each year on September 25th World Dream Day encourages individuals, families, and communities around the world to make their dreams a reality. It’s also a day to activate ideas and declare new possibilities.

Many things in our world start out as a dream. This is the way many inventions come into being. It’s also how songs and books are written and goals achieved. Sometimes it’s a literal dream that makes something come to life. This happened when the world-famous filmmaker, James Cameron, became ill and laid down to rest. A fever dream led him to the idea for the movie, The Terminator.

World Dream Day was founded in 2012 by educator and transformational strategist, Ozioma Egwuonwu. Her goal was to create a day that would help to inspire and heal humanity. Through the years, a variety of organizations and businesses have become strategic partners with World Dream Day. In 2013, World Dream Day partnered with the United Nations My World 2013 initiative.

2021 Theme: "Dream Forward"

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International Rabbit Day - 25 September 2021

Every year on the fourth Saturday of September, International Rabbit Day promotes the protection and care of domestic and wild rabbits.

Who doesn’t love a cute bunny rabbit? These soft, furry animals are enjoyed by many around the world. Often used as a symbol of fertility and or rebirth, many associate these adorable animals with spring and Easter.

The first International Rabbit Day was held on the fourth Saturday of September in 1998. It’s believed that International Rabbit Day was first established in the UK. From there it spread to Australia, and then the rest of the world.

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International Ataxia Awareness Day - 25 September.

Every year on September 25th, International Ataxia Awareness Day sheds light on this rare disease. The day also inspires Ataxia organizations and individuals around the world to support action towards a cure.

Ataxia is defined as the loss of full control of bodily movements. In the medical world, ataxia is a degenerative disease of the nervous system. Symptoms include poor coordination, a tendency to stumble, difficulty with fine motor tasks, and changes in speech. Damage to the cerebellum causes the condition. A fist-sized portion of the brain located near the brain stem, the cerebellum controls muscle coordination.

In 1999, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cosponsored the International Friedreich’s Ataxia Conference. The other participating organizations at the conference included the Office of Rare Diseases and the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA). The conference was the springboard for the first International Ataxia Awareness Day on September 25, 2000. The National Ataxia Foundation (NAF) organizes and promotes the event each year. The NAF was established in 1957 and is based in Minneapolis, MN.

Source: www.ataxia.org

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World Pharmacist Day - 25 September.

Every year on September 25th, pharmacists around the globe celebrate World Pharmacist Day. This day focuses on the role pharmacists play in improving health on a global scale.

When it comes to pharmacists, you probably think of the person behind the counter that fills your prescription. These pharmacists work long hours, usually standing the entire time. Along with dispensing pills and providing advice on medications, pharmacists also administer immunizations. Pharmacists who conduct research discover and test new medications.

No matter what capacity pharmacists work in, they are considered medicine experts. These experts have considerable responsibility in health care. It’s up to them to ensure that medicine is effective and safe. Besides knowing about each type of medication, they must know about the different forms it comes in. There are liquids, tablets, capsules, topical medicines, drops, inhalers, and injections. They must also know how different medications react with one another. 

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) established World Pharmacist Day in 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey. They chose September 25th because on this day in 1912 the FIP was founded. Each year there is a theme announced for World Pharmacist Day. Those in the industry promote the themes world wide. These themes help pharmacists put together national campaigns that showcase their work.

Theme of World Pharmacists Day on 25 September 2021: “Pharmacy: Always trusted for your health”.

Source: www.fip.org

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24 September 2021

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka bags Global Goalkeeper Award 2021

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced its annual Goalkeepers ‘Global Goals Awards’ 2021, as part of its annual Goalkeepers campaign. Goalkeepers is the foundation's campaign to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals). By sharing stories and data behind the Global Goals through an annual report, we hope to inspire a new generation of leaders—Goalkeepers who raise awareness of progress, hold their leaders accountable, and drive action to achieve the Global Goals.

The award were given in following categories:


The 2021 Global Goalkeeper Award:

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former United Nations under-secretary-general and executive director of UN Women. She has been honoured for fighting for gender equality and her continued advocacy to address the Covid-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on women and girls. This award recognises a leader who has driven progress on a global scale toward achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs).


The 2021 Progress Award :

Jenifer Colpas from Colombia, for her work which centres around improving access to clean water and sanitation. Colpas is the co-founder and executive director of Tierra Grata, a social enterprise that develops low-cost, easy-to-install solutions providing access to clean energy, safe water, and sanitation services to rural communities in Colombia. This award celebrates an individual who supports progress using science, technology, or business.


The 2021 Campaign Award :

Satta Sheriff of Liberia, for her work promoting gender equality. Sheriff is the founder and executive director of Action for Justice and Human Rights (AJHR), a youth-led NGO which ensure access to justice and respect for human rights in Liberia, with a focus on women and girls. This award celebrates a campaign that has raised awareness or built a community by inspiring action and creating change.

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Statue of Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto unveiled in Hungary.

Hungary has unveiled the statue of Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto. The imposing bronze statue was unveiled in Hungary’s capital, Budapest. This is the first such statue across the world to pay homage to the creator of Bitcoin digital currency. It has been constructed in a business park near the Danube River in Budapest. The bust sits atop a stone plinth and is also engraved with the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, who is the pseudonym of the mysterious developer of Bitcoin whose true identity is still unknown.

Creators of the statue:

Statue has been created by Reka Gergely and Tamas Gilly. They have portrayed a human form and have stayed true to the anonymity of Nakamoto, the person nobody knows how do they look like.

About the Bitcoin:

Bitcoin was created in 2008 in the backdrop of global financial crisis. Its aim was to circumvent traditional financial institutions by means of developing secure technology for peer-to-peer online transactions. It does not involve intermediaries like banks. The founding white paper published in 2008 and was authored by Nakamoto.

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Gorillas shock onlookers with oral sex show at Bronx Zoo in hilarious video.

A video of two gorillas performing oral sex in front of Bronx Zoo onlookers has gone viral. 

The encounter took place on Wednesday (22nd), and their interaction started off quite innocent. It even drew an “aww” from the crowd. That is, until it was clear what was going down, no pun intended. 

Parents quickly averted the eyes of their children, while laughter filled the room of visitors looking at these gorillas simply trying to live as normal of a life as they can in an enclosure. Meanwhile, as others stepped away in the midst of what was happening, the person recording not only got closer, but also zoomed in at one point. 

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Lunar Crater named after Arctic explorer Matthew Henson.

The International Astronomical Union has named a crater at the Moon’s south pole after the Arctic explorer Matthew Henson, a Black man who in 1909 was one of the first people to stand at the very top of the world. The proposal to name the crater after Henson was put forward by Jordan Bretzfelder who is an Exploration Science summer intern with Lunar & Planetary Institute, in Houston.

About the Artemis Programme:

Artemis Programme was launched by NASA which aims to land the next slate of lunar explorers on the Henson Crater. They will be selected from NASA’s increasingly diverse astronaut pool. Henson Crater is located between Sverdrup and de Gerlache craters at the south pole of the Moon. This program provides a cornerstone to study planetary processes as well as to create the infrastructure to advance human exploration at the Moon and on Mars.

Who was Matthew Henson?

Henson was an experienced explorer and skilled carpenter & craftsman. He stood at the front lines of almost a dozen Arctic expeditions that were organized by Robert Peary over the period of 18 years, including the one that reached the North Pole. The final push of that expedition was made by Henson. He was born in Maryland in 1866.

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Fossil footprints show humans in North America more than 21,000 years ago.

The footprints, the earliest firm evidence for humans in the Americas, show that people must have arrived here before the last Ice Age.

A new discovery offers definitive evidence that humans were in North America far earlier than archaeologists previously thought — a whopping 7,000 years earlier.

Fossil footprints found on the shore of an ancient lake bed in New Mexico's White Sands National Park date as far back as 23,000 years ago, making them the oldest ever found in North America. That timing means humans occupied southern parts of the continent during the peak of the final ice age, which upends our previous understanding of when and how they moved south.

The previous idea was that the first people to occupy North America crossed a land bridge that existed between modern-day Siberia and Alaska during the last ice age, between 26,500 and 19,000 ago. According to that theory, they would have had to settle near the Arctic because ice sheets covering Canada made it impossible for them to go south. Then later, once these glaciers melted between 16,000 and 13,500 years ago, the migration toward South America began.  

This new finding, however, "definitively places humans in North America at time when the ice sheet curtains were very firmly closed," Sally Reynolds, a paleoecologist at Bournemouth University in England and co-author of the new study.

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New Fortress Energy finalises Sri Lanka LNG terminal contract.

US-based New Fortress Energy has finalised a contract with the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to build an offshore liquified natural gas (LNG) receiving, storage and regasification terminal.

To be located off the coast of Colombo, the new terminal is expected to be commissioned in 2023.

The agreement will provide the US-based firm with the rights to supply gas to the Kerawalapitya Power Complex, where a 310MW power plant is operational and an additional 700MW of power plants are scheduled to be built.

It will initially supply the equivalent of an estimated 1.2 million gallons of LNG a day to the GOSL. The volume is anticipated to grow as new power plants enter their operational phases.

The firm will also invest to purchase a 40% stake in West Coast Power (WCP), which owns the 310MW Yugadanavi Power Plant in Colombo.

This plant has a long-term power purchase agreement to provide electricity to the national grid, extending until 2035. Configured to operate on natural gas in the combined cycle, this plant features General Electric turbines.

New Fortress Energy chairman and CEO Wes Edens said: “This is a significant milestone for Sri Lanka’s transition to cleaner fuels and more reliable, affordable power.

New Fortress Energy earlier said that the new offshore terminal will for the first time introduce natural gas to the country.

The terminal, which represents the company’s first of its kind in Asia, is expected to contribute to the country’s efforts to transition to lower-carbon energy sources.

New Fortress Energy signed a framework agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka to build the LNG terminal earlier this year.

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China applies to join Asian trade deal abandoned by Trump.

Beijing has applied to join an Asia-Pacific trade pact once pushed by the U.S. as a way to isolate China and solidify American dominance in the region.

China submitted the formal application letter to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership to New Zealand, according to a statement late Thursday  (23th) in Beijing. Commerce Minister Wang Wentao had a follow-up call with his counterpart Damien O’Connor, as New Zealand is the depositary nation for the agreement.

The application is certain to spark a reaction from Washington, where a number of lawmakers had already expressed concern about China’s efforts to join. However, there’s no sign the administration of President Joe Biden is interested in rejoining the deal.

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Mahela appointed consultant for Sri Lanka National and U19 teams.

Former Sri Lanka Captain Mahela Jayawardena has been appointed as a ‘consultant’ to the National team during the First Round of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced today (24th).

Jayawardena, who is currently the head coach of the Mumbai Indians, will join the Sri Lanka team in UAE (Bio Bubble to Bio Bubble) immediately after the completion of the ongoing Indian Premier League, the island’s cricket governing body said in a statement.

According to the SLC, Jayawardena has also accepted an invitation to be a consultant and mentor for the Sri Lanka Under 19 as it prepares for next year’s ICC Under 19 World Cup in the West Indies.

His five-month role with the U19 Team will be performed in an ‘honorary’ capacity, the statement read further.

Jayawardena was appointed to the dual roles by Sri Lanka Cricket’s Executive Committee following recommendations made by the Technical Advisory Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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President Rajapaksa visits 9/11 memorial in New York.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has attended the special commemorative event organized in front of the Manhattan Memorial in the United States to mark the 20th anniversary of terrorist attacks in Washington and New York.

The terrorist attacks took place on September 11, 2001, targeting the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defence.

Coinciding with the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and the 9/11 Memorial Museum jointly organized the event, the PMD said.

Other Heads of State and government representatives, who were in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, were also present at the event to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in attacks.

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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Sri Lanka begins COVID vaccinations for children with co-morbidities today. (24 September 2021).

COVID-19 inoculation program for children aged between 12 - 19 years who suffer from disabilities or chronic illnesses kicked off at three hospitals today (Sep. 24).

Accordingly, Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are rolled out for such children at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children in Colombo, Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital and Kurunegala Teaching Hospital.

The parents are required to produce all the medical records of children when bringing them for vaccinations.

A Consultant Paediatrician will assess the relevant medical records before deciding whether the vaccine would be administered.

The parents are also required to sign a letter giving consent to administer the Pfizer vaccine to their children.

As per the guidelines, children who recovered from COVID-19 should be vaccinated irrespective of the previous infection disease condition. They can be vaccinated after two weeks since recovery.

In the initial phase of this program, vaccinations will continue in Colombo, Kalutara, Gampaha, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura districts. It is expected to be expanded to other areas in due course.

The underlying health conditions eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations are as follows:

1. Primary immune deficiency disorders

2. Acquired immune suppression due to disease or treatment:

  • • Haematological malignancies, including leukaemia and lymphoma
  • • Any other malignancy on radiotherapy or chemotherapy
  • • On biological therapy
  • • On high or moderate doses of corticosteroids
  • • On any other immune modulating or suppressant drug like methotrexate, azathioprine, MMF, tacrolimus, cyclophosphamide
  • • Any transplant recipient
  • • Any condition which requires a long-term immunosuppressive treatments

3. Haematological conditions or other causes leading to asplenia or splenic dysfunction:

  • • Thalassemia major and intermedius, 
  • • Hereditary spherocytosis
  • • Sickle cell disease

4. Endocrine disorders:

  • • Diabetes mellitus
  • • Addison’s disease
  • • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia                
  • • Hypopituitary syndrome
  • • Other significant hormonal dysfunction

5. Chronic neuro-disability:

  • • Cerebral palsy
  • • Autism
  • • Epilepsy,
  • • Neuro-degenerative diseases
  • • Neuro-muscular disorders

6. Congenital genetic syndromes with any chronic disability or disorder and learning             disabilities

  • • Down syndrome
  • • Severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities due to any aetiology

7. Any other significant genetic and/or metabolic abnormalities that affect a number of systems

8. Chronic heart disorders

  • • Unrepaired congenital heart diseases
  • • Repaired heart diseases with significant residual diseases or shunts
  • • Haemodynamically significant acquired heart diseases

9. Chronic respiratory disorders

  • • Poorly controlled asthma which requires long term oral steroids or a history of severe asthma which required an ICU care 
  • • Cystic fibrosis
  • • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • • Interstitial lung diseases
  • • Significant bronchiectasis due to any aetiology
  • • Pulmonary hypertension

10. Chronic disease involving genito-urinary tract

  • • Chronic kidney diseases due to any cause
  • • Nephrotic syndrome on regular follow up
  • • On treatment for glomerulonephritis
  • • Any other chronic condition involving genito-urinary tract

11. Chronic disease involving gastrointestinal tract

  • • Chronic liver cell diseases due to any cause
  • • Chronic gastrointestinal disorders including inflammatory bowel disease
  • • Malabsorption syndrome

12. Chronic rheumatological diseases

  • • Presence of active connective tissue diseases
  • • Presently being on long-term prophylaxis fever
  • • Any other rheumatological or surgical condition with disability, requiring long-term treatment

13. Being on long-term treatment for chronic psychiatric diseases

14. Any other child with significant co-morbid condition as recommended by the treating consultant in relevant speciality and endorsed by the paediatrician and physician in the vaccination centre.

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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23 September 2021

NASA selects landing site for Moon rover mission.

NASA is sending a robotic rover to look for water-ice near a crater at the Moon's South Pole.

In 2023, the golf cart-sized vehicle will land near the western edge of Nobile Crater, a 73km-wide depression that is almost permanently in shadow.

The Viper mission will support plans for human exploration of the Moon, because the ice could be mined for use as drinking water and rocket fuel.

NASA wants to return astronauts to the lunar surface this decade.

The space agency's Artemis programme will see the first woman and the first person of colour land on the Moon. It could pave the way for a long-term human presence on Earth's sole natural satellite.


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2021 Changemaker Award

Fairooz Faizah Beether of Bangladesh has been chosen for the 2021 Changemaker Award for her work promoting good health and well-being by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Award celebrates an individual who has inspired change using personal experience or from a position of leadership.

Fairooz Faizah is co-founder of Moner School which is an anonymous online platform active in the field of mental health.

The Changemaker Award is part of the Goalkeepers Global Goals award instituted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate progress towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN.

The Goalkeepers is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s campaign to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) announced by the UN in 2015 to achieve the objectives of ending poverty, fighting inequality and injustice and fixing climate change. 

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WHO issues new Global Air Quality Guidelines.

New WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) provide clear evidence of the damage air pollution inflicts on human health, at even lower concentrations than previously understood. The guidelines recommend new air quality levels to protect the health of populations, by reducing levels of key air pollutants, some of which also contribute to climate change.

WHO’s new guidelines recommend air quality levels for 6 pollutants, where evidence has advanced the most on health effects from exposure. When action is taken on these so-called classical pollutants – particulate matter (PM), ozone (O₃), nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) sulfur dioxide (SO₂) and carbon monoxide (CO), it also has an impact on other damaging pollutants.

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Biden Pledges $10 Billion to Fight Global Hunger.

President Joe Biden told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday (21th) that the United States would commit $10 billion toward ending hunger in his country and around the world.

Nearly one in three people did not have access to adequate food last year, Biden said in his speech to the annual gathering of world leaders, and the United States is committing to rally partners to address malnutrition.

On Thursday 23 September 2021 the United Nations hosts a "Food Systems Summit" that it says will "trigger the transformation of food systems" though a series of pledges.

In July, the UN World Food Programme said that acute food insecurity rose by 74% this year because of climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: www.usnews.com

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Ukraine launches Military Drills with NATO.

Ukraine on Monday (20th) launched joint military exercises with the United States and other Nato countries as tensions with Russia remain high over the Kremlin-backed insurgency in the country’s east. 

The annual Rapid Trident military exercises, taking place in western Ukrainian until October 1, involve some 6,000 soldiers from 15 countries, Ukraine’s defence ministry said in a statement. 

The head of the exercises, Brigadier General Vladyslav Klochkov, said the drills were "an important step towards Ukraine’s European integration".

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World Rose Day 2021 - 22 September.

World Rose Day, celebrated on September 22, is a ray of hope for cancer patients all around the world who are facing the big ‘C.’ An arduous and prolonged struggle awaits those who choose to fight cancer. Aside from the physiological implications, cancer causes stress, psychological impact, and anguish. Fighting the disease may be emotionally exhausting, and sufferers require a lot of bravery and positivity to keep going through the difficult times, even from those who support them.

This day is observed all over the world to honour the same bravery and to provide hope to people suffering from the dreadful cancer disease. It is also observed as a day to promote awareness about early identification and prevention, which can not only cure but also save many malignancies.

World Rose Day is marked in remembrance of Melinda Rose, a 12-year-old Canadian girl who was diagnosed with Askin’s Tumour, an unusual type of blood cancer. Many people’s lives were touched by Rose’s short existence. She did not give up hope of survival till her dying breath. In the six months of her life, she fought on and made each day count by positively impacting the lives of people around her.

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Accra named UNESCO World Book Capital for 2023.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has named Accra (Ghana) as UNESCO World Book Capital for 2023, following the evaluation of the World Book Capital Advisory Committee.

After Guadalajara (Mexico) in 2022, the city of Accra was selected for its strong focus on young people and their potential to contribute to the culture and wealth of Ghana. Accra’s proposed programme seeks to use the power of books to engage these young people, as an effective way of skilling up the next generation. 

The year of celebrations will start on 23 April 2023, on World Book and Copyright Day.

Cities designated as UNESCO World Book Capital undertake to promote books and reading for all ages and population groups, within and across national borders, and to organize a programme of activities for the year.

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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina receives "SDG Progress Award".

The UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has conferred Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with "SDG Progress Award" for Bangladesh's steady course in responding to the universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all. Sheikh Hasina introduced as the "jewel in the crown of the day" at the event.

Momen called the event a significant international acknowledgement of the country's success in spearheading the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) after achievements in the fields of Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Led by prominent economist and development strategist Professor Jeffrey D Sachs, SDSN was set up in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary General.

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Second edition of LPL to kick off on December 04.

Sri Lanka Cricket today (23rd) announced the commencement date and team composition for the second edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL), Sri Lanka’s topmost domestic T20 tournament with an international flavor.

The SLC said that 2nd edition of the tournament will be held from 04th to 23rd December 2021 and will consist of 05 teams, with each having a 20-player squad.

A squad will consist of 14 local players and 06 overseas players, the SLC said in a press release.

The ‘Overseas Player Registration Process’ for the 2nd Edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) will be starting from Friday, 24th September 2021.

The SLC said players can register their names via the registration portal established at the www.srilankacricket.lk on or before 12.00 pm of 05th October 2021.

All registered players will be included in the LPL Player Draft, based on their eligibility.

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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Lithuania urges people to throw away Chinese phones.

Consumers should throw away their Chinese phones and avoid buying new ones, Lithuania’s Defence Ministry has warned.

A report by its National Cyber Security Centre tested 5G mobiles from Chinese manufacturers.

It claimed that one Xiaomi phone had built-in censorship tools while another Huawei model had security flaws.

Huawei said no user data is sent externally and Xiaomi said it does not censor communications.

"Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible," said Defence Deputy Minister Margiris Abukevicius.

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International Day of Sign Languages - 23 September.

International Day of Sign Languages on September 23rd recognizes the importance of language through signing.  According to the UN, early access to sign language is vital to the growth and development of deaf individuals. The day takes place during International Deaf Week in the last week of September.

According to the World Health Organization, 466 million people around the world have disabling hearing loss. For some of these people, hearing aids and other assistive devices help improve their hearing. However, in some instances, the type and severity of hearing loss prevent any benefit from hearing aids. Others don’t have access to hearing aids. For these people, sign language is the only way to communicate. Because of this, sign languages is considered just as important as a spoken language.

The UN recognizes that sign language is a human right for the deaf. Every deaf person in every country should have access to learning it.

The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) first requested an international day to recognize the importance of sign languages. On December 19, 2017, the United Nations passed the resolution and declared September 23rd International Day of Sign Languages. This date commemorates the establishment of WFD in 1951. The first International Day of Sign Languages was observed in 2018 under the theme, “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!”

The 2021 theme, declared by the World Federation of the Deaf, is “We Sign For Human Rights,” highlighting how each of us – deaf and hearing people around the world – can work together hand in hand to promote the recognition of our right to use sign languages in all areas of life.

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