21 October 2021

World Iodine Deficiency Day - 21 October.

On October 21st, World Iodine Deficiency Day spreads awareness for the role that iodine has in the health of the human body. The day is also called Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day.

Iodine is a mineral that the body needs to make thyroid hormones. These hormones play a role in several bodily functions, including heart rate, metabolism, body temperature, and muscle contractions. Thyroid hormones also control the rate at which dying cells get replaced. When the body doesn’t get enough iodine, all of these bodily functions are affected.

Low iodine levels also result in:

  • Swelling in the neck
  • Unexpected weight gain
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Trouble learning
  • Irregular periods

When pregnant mothers are deficient in iodine, it could result in stillbirth. It could also lead to m
ental retardation, speech impairments, and deafness in children.

According to the latest statistics, one-third of the world’s population has an iodine deficiency. Eating certain foods can increase the body’s iodine levels, though. Fish, such as cod and tuna and shrimp and seaweed, are all high in iodine. Dairy products, such as yogurt, milk, and cheese, are also good sources of iodine. One of the best sources of iodine is iodized salt.

Adults should get 150 mcg of iodine each day, and pregnant women should get 220 mcg. While most people in the United States and Canada get enough iodine, 2 billion people worldwide still have iodine deficiencies. Regions with the highest cases of iodine deficiency include Western Pacific, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

 At the World Summit for Children in 1990, world leaders set a goal to eliminate iodine deficiencies by the year 2000. In the years following, countries such as India and China launched their own National Day for the Prevention of Iodine Deficiency Disorders. In addition, countries around the world have joined the cause and begun calling it World Iodine Deficiency Day.

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International Credit Union Day - 21 October.

On the third Thursday in October, International Credit Union Day raises awareness about the work that credit unions and other financial cooperatives do around the world. It’s also a day to celebrate the global credit union movement.

Credit unions are similar to banks. You can have a checking or savings account at a credit union. You can also take out a loan at a credit union. These institutions also provide other kinds of financial services. The main difference, however, is that credit unions are not-for-profit organizations. A credit union is owned and run by its members.

Friedrich Raiffeisen established the first credit union in rural southern Germany. He wanted everyone in the community to pool their resources so that individuals could take out a loan or access funds. This occurred in 1864. In 1901, A Canadian journalist named Alphonse Desjardins opened a credit union in Quebec. This was the first credit union in North America. Desjardins also helped establish the first credit union in the United States. St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association opened in 1909 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Today, there are over 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries around the world. Credit unions are known by other names in some of these countries. For example, in Afghanistan, they are called Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperatives (IIFC). In Africa, credit unions are known as saving and credit cooperative societies (SACCO)

In 1927, the Credit Union League of Massachusetts held the first official holiday for credit union members and workers. Due to a lack of participation, Credit Union Day became nonexistent. The U.S. Credit Union National Association came up with a new Credit Union Day celebration in 1948. They set aside the third Thursday in October and called it International Credit Union Day. This time, the day did not disappear and credit unions in countries around the world have been taking part ever since.

This year's theme is "Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow."

Source: www.woccu.org.

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20 October 2021

WHO Global TB report for 2021.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released the ‘Global TB report for 2021, where it highlighted the effects of COVID-19 which led to a huge reversal in the progress of Tuberculosis (TB) elimination. The report also mentioned India as the worst-hit country in TB elimination, where the detection of new TB cases saw a huge impact in 2020.

A dramatic reduction of 20% TB cases were witnessed in 2020 as compared to 2019, ie; a gap of 4.1 million cases. The progress in TB detection has gone back to the levels of 2012, with India accounting for 41% of the total case drops in 2020.

Please note that direct comparisons between estimates of TB disease burden in the latest report and previous reports are not appropriate. The most recent time-series of estimates are published in this global TB report.

Source: www.who.int.

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China launched 1st Solar Exploration Satellite.

China has successfully launched its 1st solar exploration satellite into space from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province aboard a Long March-2D rocket. 

The satellite was named as ‘Xihe’ (Xihe is the goddess of the sun who created the calendar in ancient Chinese mythology), also known as the Chinese Hα Solar Explorer (CHASE). The satellite has been developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

The 550kg (121-pound) Xihe satellite was sent by a Long March 2D rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in northern Shanxi province into a 571km-altitude orbit, where it is expected to monitor the sun for three years.

Source: www.scmp.com

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James Pattinson retires from international cricket.

Australia fast bowler James Pattinson has retired from international cricket after deciding he would not be in a position to push for an Ashes berth.

Pattinson, 31, had begun the pre-season hoping to be part of the England series but his start to the domestic summer had been delayed by the Covid-19 lockdowns with both Victoria and New South Wales unable to play in the early part of the summer.

On the day it was announced the two sides would play in back-to-back Sheffield Shield fixtures starting next week in Sydney, Pattinson made the decision to retire from international cricket after an injury ruled him out of the opening Shield fixture. He will, however, continue to play domestic cricket in Australia and hinted at a return to the county game.

He has played 21 Tests and 15 ODIs and will continue to play domestic crickert. He claimed 81 Test wickets in his career after making his Test debut in December 2011. 

His last Test was against New Zealand in Sydney in January 2020.

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Russian team back on Earth after filming first movie in space.

A Russian film crew are back on Earth after wrapping up scenes for the first movie shot in space. Klim Shipenko and actor Yulia Peresild left the International Space Station and landed in Kazakhstan – to be met by a crew filming touchdown scenes. The movie has been in its own kind of space race – with Tom Cruise. He is apparently part of a Hollywood filming-in-space project involving Nasa and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The filmmakers had blasted off from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan earlier this month, travelling to the ISS with veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov to film scenes for “The Challenge”.

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International Day of the Air Traffic Controller - 20 October.

Every year on October 20th, International Day of the Air Traffic Controller celebrates those who work hard to keep air travel safe. It’s also a day to learn more about the profession of air traffic controller.

The job of air traffic controllers is extremely difficult. Their job requires intense concentration. Sometimes the plane is only a blip in a sea of darkness. No wonder it’s one of the 5 most stressful professions. There is never a time when the skies are not monitored by air traffic controllers. They work day and night, including weekends and holidays, to keep pilots and their passengers safe. They must also direct planes during inclement weather and a variety of emergency situations.

Air traffic controllers that work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must be at least 30 years old. They must also retire by the age of 56. However, if they have exceptional skills, they may work until the age of 61. 

In 1956, Jacob Wachtel proposed his idea of an international federation for air traffic controllers. Wachtel was the founder and first chairman of the Israel Air Traffic Controller’s Association. On October 20th, he along with representatives from 12 different countries, formed the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (IFATCA) on October 20th, 1961. The IFATCA is registered in Switzerland but has its headquarters in Montreal, Canada. To mark the IFATCA’s anniversary, the International Day of the Air Traffic Controller is held every year on October 20th.

Source: anydayguide.com


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International Chef's Day - 20 October.

International Chef's Day is celebrated each year on October 20th. The day focuses on educating kids around the world about eating healthy. It’s also a day for chefs to pass on their knowledge and skills to the next generation of chefs.

Along with overseeing the daily food service operation of restaurants, chefs also direct other cooks in the kitchen. Chefs use their creativity and knowledge to create and prepare recipes. Additionally, chefs must deal with a multitude of food-related concerns.

Esteemed Chef Dr. Bill Gallagher created International Chefs Day in 2004. Gallagher was also the president of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WorldChefs). Since 2004, WorldChefs has used International Chefs Day to celebrate the nobility of this culinary profession.

The theme of the International Chefs Day 2021 campaign is "Healthy Food for the Future"

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World Statistics Day - 20 October.

World Statistics Day is held every five years on October 20th. The day celebrates the achievements of the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics.

Statistics involves the collection, analyzing, and interpreting large amounts of numerical data. Statistics are vital. This field of mathematics allows scientists to make new discoveries. It helps industries make safer products. Pharmacists develop more effective medications when using statistics. When predicting the weather, meteorologists rely on statistics to be accurate. Even investors make better financial decisions thanks to statistics.

Virtually every industry in the world benefits from statistical research and data. Individuals also use statistics for a variety of reasons. Statistics help to prove facts and make important decisions. Statistics also play an essential role in tracking trends and finding patterns.

The United Nations Statistical Commission was established in 1947. This commission brings together the Chief Statisticians from member states around the world. The primary function of the Statistical Commission is to set statistical standards. Additionally, the commission develops statistical concepts and methods at the national and international levels. In 1994 the Statistical Commission adopted the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics.

On October 20, 2010, the Statistical Commission proposed to celebrate the first World Statistics Day. In 2012, it was decided the celebration would be observed every five years.

Source: www.un.org.

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Global Pension Index 2021.

The Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index 2021 benchmarks 43 retirement income systems around the world, highlighting strengths and weaknesses.  In 2021, new entrant Iceland is named as having the world’s best pension system overall. 

However, as the world continues to grapple with the  economic implications of the pandemic and its ongoing health crisis, the study also reveals factors causing the gender pension gap around the world. It’s critical that policymakers and governments reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their systems to deliver better long-term outcomes for future retirees.

Mercer Consulting, a leading global management consulting firm, has released the 13th edition of the Mercer Global Pension Index (2021 MCGPI). 

Iceland has topped this ranking with an index value of 84.2 followed by the Netherlands with 83.5  and Norway with 82.0. Thailand had the lowest overall index value at 40.6. The 2021 MCGPI, has added 4 new retirement systems: Iceland, Taiwan, UAE and Uruguay.

About Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index (MCGPI):

  • MCGPI is an annual survey by Mercer Consulting, which aims to benchmark the retirement income system.
  • MCGPI uses three sub-indices, adequacy,
    sustainability and integrity to measure each retirement income system against more than 50 indicators.
  • The Index is published by Mercer, in collaboration with CFA Institute and the Monash Centre for Financial Studies.

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China and Indonesia won Uber Cup and and Thomas Cup Respectively.

China beat Japan 3-1 in a thrilling Uber Cup final in Aarhus, Denmark, to reclaim the Uber Cup title. This is China’s 15th Uber Cup title win in 19 finals. The match pivoted on the longest match in the Uber Cup history when Chen Qing Chan and Jia Yi Fan won their doubles match. 

Indonesia lifted the Thomas Cup trophy for the first time since 2002 after defeating the defending champions China 3-0 in the final match held in Aarhus, Denmark.

Uber and Thomas Cup are the biennial international badminton championship played by the women and men’s national teams of the members of the Badminton World Federation.

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World Osteoporosis Day - 20 October.

World Osteoporosis Day is observed every year on October 20th. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which the density and strength of the bone are reduced. Osteoporosis affects over 200 million people in the world. This is according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation. Because of its prevalence, osteoporosis is considered a significant public health concern. In the United States and Europe, 30% of all menopausal women have osteoporosis.

A vast majority of these women are likely to experience at least one bone fracture during their remaining years. Once a fracture occurs, it increases the likelihood of having another. Common fractures caused by osteoporosis include vertebral fractures, hip fractures, and wrist fractures.

White and Asian women, especially those past menopause, are at the highest risk of getting osteoporosis. Other people are at risk of getting this degenerative bone disease. These people include those with a family history of the disease and men and women with smaller body frames. People who do not get enough calcium, and those who have had gastrointestinal surgery are also more prone to getting osteoporosis.

There is no cure for osteoporosis. Once bone loss occurs, it’s not possible to get it back. This is why prevention is the best medicine. One of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis is to get adequate amounts of calcium. Foods rich in calcium include:

  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Almonds and almond milk
  • Dark leafy green vegetables
  • Canned salmon or sardines with bones
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice

Another way to prevent osteoporosis is to practice weight-bearing activities. Getting enough Vitamin D is also essential.

The United Kingdom’s National Osteoporosis Society launched World Osteoporosis Day on October 20th, 1996. The International Osteoporosis Foundation has supported the day since 1997. The World Health Organization (WHO) acted as co-sponsor of World Osteoporosis Day in 1998 and 1999. Today, national osteoporosis patient societies host events in over 90 countries throughout the world.

The theme for World Osteoporosis Day 2021 is "Serve Up Bone Strength".

Source: www.worldosteoporosisday.org

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World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day - 19 October.

World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day on October 19th of each year spreads awareness about the impact of musculoskeletal conditions in children. Also referred to as World PB&J Day, this day also educates health care providers and the public.

Musculoskeletal disorders are any type of disease that affects the joints, ligaments, nerves, muscles, and bones. Musculoskeletal conditions in children and teenagers are becoming more common. Some examples of this type of condition include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Bone fractures
  • Tendinitis
  • Developmental dysplasia of the hip
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Osteoporosis

All of these disorders affect function and mobility. Some of the most common causes of musculoskeletal disorders in children include car accidents, playground accidents, and sports injuries. Other contributing factors to musculoskeletal disorders are obesity, poor posture, and Vitamin D deficiency.

The Pediatric Specialty Group established the first World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day on October 19th, 2012. The day is held in conjunction with Bone and Joint Action Week. The Pediatric Specialty Group is a program of the United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI). The USBJI seeks to improve the prevention of bone and joint disorders. Their goal is to improve the quality of life for those affected by bone and joint disorders. They do this by finding reliable information, doing research, and spreading awareness.

Source: www.usbji.org.

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Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Office in Haiti.

The Security Council decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) to 15 July 2022 and request the Secretary-General to assess its mandate, including whether and how it could be adjusted to address Haiti’s ongoing challenges.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2600 (2021), presented by Mexico and the United States (to be issued as document S/RES/2600(2021)), the 15-member organ requested that the review to be completed and sent to the Council within the next six months and examine ways to make the Office more effective and how it can support engagement between Haitian national authorities, civil society and other stakeholders, strengthen the rule of law and promote respect for human rights.

BINUH is a special political mission established by the security council in 2019.

Source: www.un.org

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07-year-old girl wins Global Peace Photo Award.

A 7-year-old girl from Karnataka capital Bengaluru has won Global Peace Photo Award (Children's Peace Image of the year). The child will also visit the Austrian Parliament apart from getting a medal and RS 1,000 euros.

The girl Aadhyaa Aravind is a student of Class 2 at Vidyanikatan in Hebbal. She is the only Indian to have won this award. 

A photography aficionado, the girl's camera is the cellphone of her mother Roshini. The girl's father, who is a software professional, has sent many pictures clicked by her to various photography contests, according to a report in Times of India. 

The photograph that won Aadhyaa the award is the one she captured Roshni resting in the lap of her mother at the latter's Kodichikkanahalli home. 

The photo has won her award in the children's category. The photo is themed as the "lap of peace". 

The Global Peace Photo Award recognizes and promotes photographers from all over the world whose pictures capture human efforts towards a peaceful world. The award is give in collaboration with Austrian Parliament and UNESCO. 

Source: www.timesnownews.com

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India to be part of 4-country forum on economic cooperation.

India, United States, Israel and the UAE have decided to form a forum for future economic cooperation and to explore possibilities of joint infrastructure projects in the fields of transportation, technology, maritime security, and economics and trade.

“The ministers decided to establish an international forum for economic cooperation,” said a statement issued by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

At the end of the meeting, it was decided that each minister will appoint senior-level professionals to a joint working group that will formulate options for cooperation in the areas identified by the ministers, it said.

The intention is to hold an in-person meeting of the ministers in the coming months at ‘Expo 2020’ in Dubai, the statement said.

Source: indianexpress.com

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India’s Kushinagar Airport declared open.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kushinagar International Airport on Wednesday 20 October 2021 at the Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana in Uttar Pradesh.

The airport is aimed at boosting tourism on the Buddhist circuit, as the ancient city of Kushinagar is the final resting place of Gautama Buddha, where he attained Mahaparinirvana after his death.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted that the Kushinagar International Airport won’t just be a mode of air connectivity, rather it will create an ecosystem of business and generate employment opportunities for the local youth.

The inauguration of the Kushinagar International Airport was marked by the landing of the inaugural flight at the airport from Colombo, Sri Lanka, carrying a Sri Lankan delegation of over 100 Buddhist monks and dignitaries, including the 12-member holy relic entourage bringing the holy Buddha relics for exposition.

The delegation also comprises anunayakas (deputy heads) of all four nikayas (orders) of Buddhism in Sri Lanka; Asgiriya, Amarapura, Ramanna and Malwatta.

Five ministers of the Lankan government led by cabinet minister Namal Rajapaksa, who is also the son of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, will accompany the delegation.

Source: www.indiatoday.in


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Sri Lankan Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sri Lankan Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Parinirvana Stupa on Wednesday (20th) after the inauguration of the Kushinagar International Airport in the city.

Following the inauguration ceremony, Sri Lanka’s Cabinet Minister gifted a Sinhala version of the Bhagavad Gita to PM Modi, which also carried a message from Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Speaking at an event organised to mark Abhidhamma Day, Mr Rajapaksa thanked Prime Minister Modi for extending a grant of USD 15 million to Sri Lanka to strengthen the Buddhist ties between the two nations.

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19 October 2021

2021 Global Hunger Index.

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels. GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger. The GHI is designed to raise awareness and understanding of the struggle against hunger, provide a way to compare levels of hunger between countries and regions, and call attention to those areas of the world where hunger levels are highest and where the need for additional efforts to eliminate hunger is greatest.

Measuring hunger is complicated. To use the GHI information most effectively, it helps to understand how the GHI scores are calculated and what they can and cannot tell us.

Assembling the GHI

How are the GHI scores calculated?

GHI scores are calculated using a three-step process that draws on available data from various sources to capture the multidimensional nature of hunger (Figure A.1).

For each country, values are determined for four indicators:

  • UNDERNOURISHMENT: the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient);

  • CHILD WASTING: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition);

  • CHILD STUNTING: the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and

  • CHILD MORTALITY: the mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).
In the 2021 Global Hunger Index, Sri Lanka ranks 65th out of the 116 countries with sufficient data to calculate 2021 GHI scores. With a score of 16.0, Sri Lanka has a level of hunger that is moderate.

Neighboring countries like India (89), Nepal (76), Bangladesh (76), Myanmar (71) and Pakistan (92) are also in the ‘alarming’ hunger category but have fared better at feeding its citizens than India, according to the report.

Top countries in the Index

A total of 18 countries, including China, Kuwait and Brazil, shares the top rank. The GHI score of these 18 nations is less than 5. This means that these countries suffer very less from hunger and malnutrition.

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the first player to captain 300 T20 games.

Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday became the first player history to captain 300 T20 games when he walked out for the toss in the IPL 2021 final against Kolkata Kight Riders in Dubai.

Dhoni, who led CSK since the inaugural 2008 edition, guided them to their 10th IPL final. In total, Dhoni had captained CSK in 213 matches, Rising Pune Supergiant in 14 games and India in 73 T20Is during his career. 

As a captain, Dhoni has a win percentage of 59.8 with 206 wins and 137 losses.

Second in the list is Darren Sammy, who has led in 208 T20s.

Source: www.cricket.com

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18 October 2021

Covid-19 treatment Sri Lanka explores possibility of using Merck’s oral antiviral pill.

Sri Lanka is exploring the possibility of using the oral antiviral pill developed by the pharmaceutical giant ‘Merck’ for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, Daily Mirror learns.  Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) which developed the pill has already applied for U.S. emergency use authorisation to treat mild-to-moderate patients of COVID-19. It is the first oral antiviral medication for Covid-19 patients.   

State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulations of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana requested Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardane in writing on October 11 to submit to him the opinion of the experts’ panel on the use of this pill in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.   

The treatment which is called Molnupiravir reduces the risk of hospitalisation and death by half.  Already, several countries such as Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore scramble to strike a supply deal with Merck.  

Prof. Jayasumana also mentioned in his letter that the pill is prescribed in several countries at the moment. According to foreign media, Merck plans to double manufacturing capacity since there is a surging demand for its product. 

Source: www.dailymirror.lk

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Pluto's atmosphere is starting to disappear, scientists find.

Pluto's atmosphere is going through a strange transformation, scientists are finding. 

The icy dwarf planet, which lies over 3 billion miles (4.8 billion kilometers) away from Earth in the Kuiper Belt, caught astronomers' attention as it passed in front of a star back in 2018. 

With the star backlighting Pluto, the team of researchers was able to make observations of the dwarf planet and its atmosphere. With this unique view, they came to a surprising conclusion, which they describe in a new study. 

The astronomers found evidence that Pluto's atmosphere is starting to disappear. 

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UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15).

The Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15), the biggest biodiversity conference in a decade, was kikked off on 11 October 2021. 

Hosted by China, the first phase takes place virtually from 11 to 15 October 2021 in the Chinese city of Kunming, followed by the second phase from 25 April to 8 May 2022. This is when world leaders will meet in person to conclude negotiations on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework – a new accord to halt and reverse the loss of the planet's plants, animals and ecosystems.

The first virtual segment brings ministers around the world together to demonstrate their commitment to achieving the 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature, achieving transformative change across our societies and putting nature on a path to recovery by 2030. The EU, represented at the virtual conference by Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius, is leading efforts and working with like-minded partners to achieve an ambitious global agreement to halt biodiversity loss, as set out in the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu.

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Colin Powell, first Black US secretary of state dies.

Colin Powell, the former United States secretary of state and the first Black person in the country’s history to fill the position, has died due to complications from COVID-19, his family has said.

Powell, a four-star general who last held public office in 2005, died on Monday (18th), the family said in a statement on Facebook. He was 84.

Known as a moderate and pragmatist, Powell was instrumental in shaping the foreign policy of Republican presidential administrations for decades. He was in top posts during the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 1989 US invasion of Panama, the 1991 Gulf War, the September 11 attacks, and the resulting US invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.

He served as national security adviser to former President Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989 and was the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former Republican President George HW Bush and former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, from 1989 to 1993.

When he was confirmed as former President George W Bush’s secretary of state in 2001, he became the first Black person in US history to fill that role.

At the time, he also became the highest-ranking Black official in US history, later equalled by former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and surpassed by former President Barack Obama.

Powell, a Republican, had previously considered a bid to become the first Black president in 1996, but his wife Alma’s worries about his safety were among the reasons he ultimately decided not to run.

In 2008, he broke with his party to endorse then-candidate Obama, a Democrat.

Powell was the son of Jamaican immigrants and grew up in the South Bronx neighborhood of New York City. He attended City College of New York and earned an officer’s commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in 1958.

Source: www.aljazeera.com

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Sri Lanka’s first Test captain Bandula Warnapura passes away.

Sri Lanka’s first Test cricket captain Bandula Warnapura has passed away at the age of 68.

He had passed away while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo, sources said. 

He had been hospitalized earlier this month after he was diagnosed with high sugar levels and according to reports was recovering after having had his right leg amputated.

Warnapura, who was the first Sri Lankan Test cricket captain, later functioned as the coach of the Sri Lankan team as well as an administrator at Sri Lanka Cricket.

He had the honour of leading Sri Lanka when the country finally became a fully-fledged Test-playing nation in 1981.

An opening batsman who also bowled medium pace, he failed to make an impression with the bat in his four Tests, achieving his highest score of 38 in Sri Lanka’s inaugural Test.

Charged with the difficult task of leading Sri Lanka in their formative years Warnapura did a commendable job. 

The finest moment of his chequered career came in the 1979 World Cup when he led Sri Lanka in the place of the injured Anura Tennekoon, and took them to a famous win against India at Old Trafford.

Warnapura captained Sri Lanka on their tours of India and Pakistan. However, when he decided to tour South Africa with rebel team in 1982-83, he was handed a life ban from Sri Lankan cricket.

He captained Sri Lanka in the inaugural Test against England at the P Sara Oval in Colombo in 1982 and went on to play in three more Tests and 12 ODIs before his career was cut short.

He returned to cricket as an administrator in 1991 with the Bloomfield Club.

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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China’s Shenzhou-13 spacecraft docks for 6-month mission.

China's Shenzhou-13 spacecraft carrying three Chinese astronauts docked Saturday (16th) at its space station, kicking off a record-setting six-month stay as the country moves toward completing the new orbiting outpost.

The spacecraft was launched by a Long March-2F rocket at 12:23 a.m. Saturday and docked with the Tianhe core module of the Tiangong space station at 6:56 a.m., approximately six and a half hours later. 

The three astronauts entered the Tianhe space station core module at about 10 a.m., the China Manned Space Agency said.

The two men and one woman are the second crew to move into the space station, which was launched last April. The first crew stayed three months. 

The new crew includes two veterans of space travel. Zhai Zhigang, 55, and Wang Yaping, 41, and Ye Guangfu, 41, who is making his first trip to space.

Source: www.newsobserver.com


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Sri Lankan Trade Minister appoints Export Advisory Committees for 24 sectors.

The Hon. Trade Minister, Dr. Bandula Gunawardane has appointed Export Advisory Committees covering 24 sectors for a period of 5 years (from 2021 to 2026). In terms of the Section 10 of The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) Act no 40 of 1979, the minister in charge of the EDB, on the advice of the Board, is empowered to establish advisory committees that are oriented towards the development and promotion of specific products, product groups, commodities, as well as the functional aspects of the export trade.

These Advisory Committees are expected to identify key market challenges and opportunities facing the industry, set goals to strengthen sector competitiveness, identify market requirements, as well as propose key policy changes that need to be initiated to develop the export sector while playing a significant role in reviewing the export sector which is currently facing numerous challenges due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. These committees are led by private sector industry representatives with participation of industry sector leaders and relevant public sector officers representing Government line agencies. The multi stakeholder representation provides appropriate scrutiny of policy frameworks to catalyse export growth. They also succeed in providing a coordination to optimise institutional support and quality of service in the export process. Furthermore, the appointed committees are an integral part of EDB’s formulation of Annual Action Plans, Strategies and Policy.

The sectors covered are: Apparel, Ayurveda & Herbal Products and Cosmetics, Boat and Ship Building, Coconut & Coconut-based products, Construction Services, Education Services, Electrical & Electronic components, Export Processing Villages, Gems, Diamonds & Jewellery, ICT/BPM, Light Engineering, Logistics, Marine & Offshore Engineering, Mineral-based products, National Quality Infrastructure, Organic Products, Ornamental Fish, Pharmaceuticals, Processed Food & Beverages, Regional Development, Rubber & Rubber-based products and Plastics, Seafood & Aquaculture Sector, Spices & Concentrates, and Trade Promotion & Trade Information.

Source: bizenglish.adaderana.lk

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World Menopause Day - 18 October.

On October 18th, World Menopause Day raises awareness of menopause and for menopausal women to realize the support options available to improve their health and well being.

If you are a woman, there is no escaping menopause. Every woman will reach a point in their life in which they no longer have their period. A woman reaches menopause after it’s been one year since their last period. For many women, reaching menopause stirs up various emotions. Women are happy to no longer have their menstrual cycle. However, this can be devastating as well as it means their childbearing years are over. This can be especially difficult for women who reach menopause early. Most women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. The average age is 51 years old. About 1 in 100 women reach menopause before the age of 40.

Menopause can be difficult for other reasons as well. The fluctuations in hormones cause symptoms that can be hard to manage. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse
  • Insomnia and other kinds of sleep disturbances
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Moodiness and irritability

Some women’s symptoms are so severe that they interfere with daily activities. To help manage their symptoms, women should stay active, drink enough water, and eat a healthy diet. Some women also choose hormone therapy. After a woman has reached menopause, they go through postmenopause. During this time, women are more vulnerable to certain health issues. These health issues include osteoporosis, heart disease, urinary tract infections, weight gain, and urinary incontinence.

Menopause can be a challenging time for women. For this reason, it’s important they reach out to their doctor for help. Finding a support system is also extremely beneficial.

The International Menopause Society (IMS) has held a World Menopause Day since 2009. The day has always been observed on October 18th. Every year, the IMS chooses a specific theme on which they focus. 

2021 The International Menopause Day theme: "Bone Health".

Source: www.imsociety.org


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17 October 2021

World Trauma Day - 17 October.

World Trauma Day occurs every year on October 17th. The day focuses on the importance of saving and protecting lives during emergencies. It’s also a day to provide education on how to avoid traumatic injuries and deaths.

What is Trauma?

In the medical world, trauma is considered a physical injury. Traumatic events cause these physical injuries. These events include domestic violence, natural disasters, and severe car accidents. Traumatic injuries usually happen suddenly. They also require immediate medical care. It’s not uncommon for those who suffer a traumatic injury to go into shock. Some may even require resuscitation or interventions to save the limbs. Many people develop a disability after suffering a traumatic injury. For others, their traumatic injury is fatal.

World Trauma Day began in New Delhi, India, in 2011. More than 400 people die each day as a result of road accidents in India. World Trauma Day was created as a way to decrease this number in their country and other countries around the world.

Source: www.nhp.gov.in

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Rahul Dravid all set to take over as full-time coach of Indian cricket team.

India's batting stalwart Rahul Dravid is all set to take over as the national cricket team's head coach following the T20 World Cup in the UAE, having agreed to the BCCI's offer after initial reluctance. 

The 48-year-old Dravid, one of the greatest ever to have played for India, has been in charge of the India A and U-19 set-up for the past six years and a lot of players such as Rishabh Pant, Avesh Khan, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, and Shubman Gill have come through the system prepared by him.

He currently heads the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

Dravid's trusted lieutenant Paras Mhambrey is expected to be the bowling coach while Vikram Rathour is likely to continue as batting coach.

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The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - 17 October.

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed every year on October 17th. On this day, people of all backgrounds and societies show solidarity with the poor by renewing their commitment to help them.

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has become a day to acknowledge the struggle of people living in poverty. On this day, those living in poverty have a chance to be heard. The poor are among the first to fight against poverty. That’s because they understand the challenges first-hand. Those who live in poverty often don’t have adequate shelter or enough food to eat. They either make minimal income or none at all. Persons living in poverty also face unequal access to justice and limited health care. Most people living in poverty also struggle with shame, rejection, and humiliation.

The struggles with poverty affect nearly half of the world’s population. More than 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day. This is considered extreme poverty. These statistics include 1 billion children who live in poverty. About 22,000 children a day die as a direct result of living in poverty.

On October 17, 1987, over a hundred thousand people gathered in Paris where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948. They gathered to honor the victims of extreme poverty, violence, and hunger. They stated that poverty was a violation of human rights. During the gathering, they unveiled a commemorative stone on which their convictions were inscribed. The tradition of gathering together on October 17th to raise awareness for the poor continued every year. In 1992, the UN officially declared October 17th as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

This year’s theme is “Building forward together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting all People and our Planet".

Source: www.un.org

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16 October 2021

IPL 2021: Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders in final to win fourth title.

Chennai Super Kings have been crowned Indian Premier League champions for the fourth time after beating Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs in the final.

Faf du Plessis hit a terrific 86 off 59 balls and Moeen Ali scored a 20-ball 37 as Chennai posted 192-3 from 20 overs.

Shubman Gill (51 off 43) and Venkatesh Iyer (50 off 32) hit half-centuries before Kolkata collapsed, losing eight wickets for 34 runs in Dubai.

Captain Eoin Morgan managed just four as Kolkata reached 165-9.

Chennai, led by captain MS Dhoni, add another trophy to the cabinet, having won the IPL in 2010, 2011 and 2018.

Dhoni refused to say after whether he was going to retire or play another season, but added that “I haven’t left it behind yet” when told he could be proud of his legacy.

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EU launches first green bond in October 2021.

The European Union sold its first ever green bond to record demand, taking its first step to potentially become the biggest issuer of environmentally-friendly debt with a record-sized deal.

The 15-year green bond raised 12 billion euros ($13.9 billion) and received more than 135 billion euros of demand, the European Commission said, making it the largest green bond launch and the highest level of demand for a green bond sale to date.

The bond, which will finance member states' environmentally beneficial projects as part of the bloc's COVID-19 recovery fund, is the first step for the EU - which aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050 - towards becoming a leading force in the fast-growing green debt market.

Thirty percent of the EU's up-to 800 billion euro COVID-19 recovery scheme, which gives grants and loans to member states until end-2026, will fund environmentally beneficial projects.

Up to 250 billion euros of green bond issuance to back that could transform the EU into the world's biggest green bond issuer.

Source: www.reuters.com

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World Spine Day - 16 October.

World Spine Day celebrates spine health annually on October 16th. The day also aims to increase awareness for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of back pain and other spine issues.

An estimated one billion people around the world suffer from back pain. These people include all age groups, from children to the elderly. One in four adults will suffer from back pain at one point in their life. Additionally, back pain is the single leading cause of disability.

Many developed countries provide viable treatment options for back pain. These include over-the-counter pain relievers, chiropractic care, and physical therapy. However, in underdeveloped countries, treatment is not always available. Oftentimes, the only option for individuals with back pain is to seek the help of traditional healers. Some are fortunate enough to go to a hospital where they receive anti-inflammatory medications.

The year 2000 saw the launch of the Bone and Joint Decade (BJD) in Cornwall, England. The global organization is comprised of National Action Networks in over 60 countries. Their goal was to improve the quality of life of those with musculoskeletal disorders. In 2010, the BJD rebranded as Bone and Joint Decade – Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health. Its tagline became “keep people moving.” Two years later, in October of 2012, the organization launched the first official World Spine Day.

World Spine Day is held in conjunction with BJD Action Week, which occurs every year from October 12-20. The World Federation of Chiropractic currently organizes World Spine Day. Over 500 organizations around the world support the day.

The World Spine Day Theme for 2021 is "Back 2 Back".

Source: www.worldspineday.org.

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World Food Day - 16 October.

World Food Day is held every year on October 16th. On this day, more than 150 countries unite to raise awareness of the issues surrounding poverty and hunger.

According to World Hunger Statistics, 785 million people across the globe do not have enough food to sustain a healthy lifestyle. The number equals about one in nine people in the world. Surprisingly, the majority of hungry people live in developing countries. Poor nutrition causes 45% of deaths in children under the age of 5. That means just over 3 million children a year die because they don’t have access to enough nutritious food.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) established World Food Day at their 20th General Conference in 1979. The date of October 16th commemorates the anniversary of FAO founding.

Since 1981 the FAO has selected a specific theme for World Food Day. The theme for the year 2021 is "Safe Food Now For A Healthier Tomorrow".

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World Anesthesia Day - 16 October.

Every year on October 16, World Anesthesia Day celebrates the discovery of anesthesia. This important discovery makes it possible to undergo surgical procedures without feeling any pain.

If you have ever had surgery, you probably can’t imagine going through it without anesthesia. This important medical invention changed hospitals forever. In fact, anesthesia is considered one of the seven most important medical discoveries in history. A dentist named William T.G. Morton is considered the founder of modern anesthesia. Today, 230 million major surgical procedures are performed under anesthesia each year.

A dentist named William T.G. Morton performed the first successful use of an anesthetic while performing surgery on October 16, 1846 in the surgical amphitheater of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists (WFSA) began hosting events on October 16 in 1903, to commemorate the event. Throughout the years, countries around the world have joined in to celebrate World Anesthesia Day. Some countries call it National Anesthesia Day or Ether Day.

Source: https://healthmanagement.org.

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NASA launches first space probe to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids.

NASA launched a first-of-its kind mission called "Lucy Mission" on Saturday (16th) to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, two large clusters of space rocks that scientists believe are remnants of primordial material that formed the solar system's outer planets.

The space probe, dubbed Lucy and packed inside a special cargo capsule, lifted off on schedule from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 5:34 a.m. EDT (0934 GMT), NASA said. It was carried aloft by an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance (UAL), a joint venture of Boeing Co (BA.N) and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N).

Lucy's mission is a 12-year expedition to study a record number of asteroids. It will be the first to explore the Trojans, thousands of rocky objects orbiting the sun in two swarms - one ahead of the path of giant gas planet Jupiter and one behind it.

The largest known Trojan asteroids, named for the warriors of Greek mythology, are believed to measure as much as 225 kilometers (140 miles) in diameter. 

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