28 November 2021

Former South Korea President Chun Doo-hwan dies.

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

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

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

Source: www.japantimes.co.jp

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.business-standard.com

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Oman to host Legends League Cricket in January.

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

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

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

Source: https://timesofoman.com

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

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

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

Source: https://gulfnews.com

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27 November 2021

South Africa detects new COVID-19 variant.

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

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

Source: https://theglobalherald.com

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President orders to import "Molnupiravir" antiviral pill.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.dailymirror.lk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.dawn.com

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

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

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

Source: www.nasa.gov

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Biden invites around 110 countries to virtual summit on democracy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.euractiv.com

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26 November 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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International Systems Engineer Day - 26 November 2021.

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

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

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

Source: www.systemsengineerday.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.bbc.com

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25 November 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.coe.int

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Olaf Scholz replaces outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel.

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

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

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

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

Source: www.cnbc.com

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Israel, Morocco ink Defense Deal after normalizing ties.

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

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

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

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

Source: www.military.com

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

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

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

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

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

Source: https://pib.gov.in

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

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

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

Source: www.dailynews.lk

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JP Morgan named world’s most systemic bank.

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

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

Source: https://www.fsb.org

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24 November 2021

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

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

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

Source: https://indianexpress.com

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

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

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

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

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

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Abdalla Hamdok reappointed as Sudan’s Prime Minister.

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

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

Source: www.news.cn

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International Emmy Awards 2021.

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

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

List of Winners of 2021 International Emmy Awards:

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

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23 November 2021

Lewis Hamilton wins 2021 F1 Qatar Grand Prix.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.bbc.com

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Jason Mott Wins National Book Award for ‘Hell of a Book’.

Jason Mott won the National Book Award for fiction for his novel “Hell of a Book,” an account of a Black author’s book tour intertwined with one focused on a Black boy in the rural South and a third character, The Kid, who may be imaginary.

Mr. Mott, who said that his agent had picked his work out of the unsolicited “slush” pile 10 years ago, is a poet and the author of three novels in addition to “Hell of a Book.”

Winners of 2021 National Book Awards:

FICTION

Jason Mott, Hell of a Book
Dutton / Penguin Random House

*

NONFICTION

Tiya Miles, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake
Random House / Penguin Random House

*

POETRY

Martín Espada, Floaters
W. W. Norton & Company

*

TRANSLATED LITERATURE

Elisa Shua Dusapin, Winter in Sokcho
Translated from the French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
(Open Letter)

*

YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE

Malinda Lo, Last Night at the Telegraph Club
(Dutton Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House)

Read Full News

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Russia Successfully Test Fires Zircon Hypersonic Missile.

Russia had carried out another successful test of its Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, one the latest additions to the country's arsenal of weapons called "invincible" by President Vladimir Putin.

Moscow has in recent years touted the development of weapons that it hopes will give it the edge in any arms race with the United States at a time of growing tensions with the West.

Hypersonics can travel more than five times the speed of sound and manoeuvre in mid-flight, making them much harder to track and intercept than traditional projectiles.

The military said it had fired the Zircon missile from the Admiral Gorshkov warship and hit a test target in Russia's Arctic waters.

Source: www.ndtv.com

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US, Australia, UK Sign Key Deal In Nuclear Sub Alliance.

Australia formally embarked on a hotly-contested programme to equip its navy with nuclear-powered submarines in a new defence alliance with Britain and the United States.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton joined US and Australian diplomats in signing an agreement allowing the exchange of sensitive "naval nuclear propulsion information" between their nations.

It is the first agreement on the technology to be publicly signed since the three countries announced in September the formation of a defence alliance, AUKUS, to confront strategic tensions in the Pacific where China-US rivalry is growing.

Source: www.ndtv.com

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The ICC appoints Geoff Allardice as CEO.

Australian Geoff Allardice has been appointed as permanent CEO of the International Cricket Council after serving the role on an interim basis for more than eight months, the game's governing body said.

Allardice thus replaced Manu Sawhney, who had resigned from his position in July.

Allardice, a former Australian first-class cricketer and administrator, was the ICC General Manager, Cricket for eight years. He had previously held a similar role at Cricket Australia.

Source: www.icc-cricket.com

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Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev wins second term.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev won a second term in a runoff vote, earning two thirds of the vote.

The Socialist-aligned Radev, who has campaigned on an anti-corruption message, won about 66.7 percent support, trailed by Anastas Gerdzhikov backed by former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s GERB party, at 31.9 percent, according to official figures with 99.8 percent of ballots counted.

Radev was a major supporter of anti-corruption protests launched last year against Borissov, who was ultimately forced out of power this past spring amid a rule-of-law crisis after dominating the country’s politics for more than a decade.

Source: www.politico.eu

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AB de Villiers: South African cricketer announces retirement.

Former South Africa international AB de Villiers says he has decided to retire from all forms of cricket, having lost his hunger for the game, ending a 17-year career where he established himself as one of his country’s greats.

De Villiers had retired from all international formats in 2018 but was in talks about a return to the limited-overs side for the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup before deciding against playing for the Proteas again.

He was still involved in franchise cricket, last playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Often referred to as “Mr 360” for his wide range of shots which found all corners of the boundary, de Villiers played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20 internationals for South Africa, scoring more than 20,000 runs across the three formats.

The South African also holds the record for the fastest ODI century, reaching triple figures in just 31 deliveries in a knock of 149 against the West Indies in Johannesburg in 2015, smashing 16 sixes and nine boundaries.

Source: www.aljazeera.com

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Kento Momota and An Seyoung wins 2021 Indonesia Masters Tournament.

Japanese badminton star Kento Momota beats Anders Antonsen of Denmark 21-17, 21-11 to win the men’s singles title at the 2021 Indonesia Masters Super 750 badminton tournament. The US$600,000 tournament was held at Bali in Indonesia from November 16 to 21, 2021. In women’s single, An Seyoung of South Korea defeated top-seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-17, 21-19 to win the title.

List of winners of 2021 Indonesia Masters

  • Men’s Single: Kento Momota (Japan)
  • Women’s Single: An Seyoung (South Korea)
  • Men’s Double: Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi (both of Japan)
  • Women’s Double: Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida (both of Japan)
  • Mixed Double:  Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai (both of Thailand)

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Venezuelan musicians set world's largest orchestra record.

Venezuela's National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras has set the Guinness record for the world's largest orchestra, the country's government announced.

The performers were brought together by the country's publicly funded "El Sistema" program.

The announcement came during a broadcast that showed Guinness World Records expert Susana Reyes announcing that the musicians successfully set a new record by playing Tchaikovsky's "Slavonic March" for more than five minutes.

President Nicolas Maduro showed a certificate from Guinness World Records recognizing the feat. 

About 12,000 musicians, including both children and adults, from the orchestra played for the record on November 13. The performers, aged between 12 and 77, wore black pants, white shirts and mandatory face masks.

In the end, Guinness World Records recognized only 8,573 of them as having set the record, according to the certificate issued by the organization.  

Around 250 observers from the Venezuelan arm of the accounting company KPMG were present at the event to audit the effort. Each performer had to play an instrument for at least five minutes of the piece and not share instruments for the effort to succeed.

Source: www.dw.com

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El Salvador plans to build the world's first "Bitcoin City".

El Salvador plans to build the world's first "Bitcoin City" at the base of a volcano, with the cryptocurrency used to fund the project, its president has announced.

The city will be circular to represent the shape of a large coin and will be built in the south-eastern region of La Unión, President Nayib Bukele said.

The site would take advantage of the Conchagua volcano's geothermal energy to power Bitcoin mining and not levy any taxes except for value added tax (VAT).

El Salvador recently became the first country to use Bitcoin as legal tender.


Source: www.bbc.com
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Alexander Zverev wins Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

Alexander Zverev, a German professional tennis player, won the fifth ATP title of the season (2021) and 18th overall at the Vienna Open 2021 or Erste Bank Open 2021 defeating Frances Tiafoe of the United States of America (USA). At present, Alexander Zverev is ranked 3rd in the ATP World Ranking.

Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia have won the doubles competition at Erste Bank Open 2021 defeating Joe Salisbury of the United Kingdom (UK) and Rajeev Ram of the USA.

Source: www.skysports.com

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World’s Largest Recipients of Remittances.

According to new World Bank data, global remittances are expected to total $702 billion in 2020, down from $719 billion in 2019 (-2.4 percent). Of that total, $540 billion are expected to have flown into low and middle-income countries, down from $548 billion (-1.6 percent).

The latest report by the World Bank titled ‘World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide Database’, India became the world’s largest recipient of remittances by receiving USD 87 billion in 2021. The United States (US) was its biggest source, accounting for over 20% of these funds. India is followed by China, Mexico, the Philippines, and Egypt.


Source: www.weforum.org

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22 November 2021

Tennis star Garbiñe Muguruza becomes first Spaniard to win WTA Finals.

Tennis star Garbiñe Muguruza has become the first Spaniard to win the WTA Finals. The 28-year-old defeated Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in straight sets (6-3, 7-5), winning the game in 99 minutes.

The WTA Finals took place in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, which is 1,566 meters above sea level. The event was meant to be hosted in Shenzhen, China in 2020, but was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a record three months, the Panamerican Tennis Center in Zapopan was renovated in order to hold the WTA Finals, which is a tournament of the Women’s Tennis Association.

The 28-year-old already has an impressive list of accomplishments to her name: two grand slam tournament titles (2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon Championships), runner-up in another two grand slams (2015 Wimbledon Championships and 2020 Australian Open), and being ranked number one.

Source: https://english.elpais.com

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Martin Scorsese & Istvan Szabo honoured with Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

The Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred upon two living legends of modern cinema — Hollywood director Martin Scorsese and Hungarian auteur Istvan Szabo — at the inaugural event of the 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on Saturday 20 November 2021.

Both were not present to receive the award personally, but they marked their presence with thoughtful video messages.

Source: www.koimoi.com

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21 November 2021

World Fisheries Day - 21 November.

World Fisheries day is celebrated every year on 21 November throughout the world by fishing communities. 2021 is the fifth World Fisheries Day. The first World Fisheries Day was celebrated on November 21, 2015. On the same day, it was the grand opening of the International Fisherman’s organization was held in New Delhi.

A recent United Nations study reported that more than two-thirds of the world's fisheries have been overfished or are fully harvested and more than one third are in a state of decline because of factors such as the loss of essential fish habitats, pollution, and global warming.

The World Fisheries Day helps in highlighting the critical importance to human lives, of water and the lives it sustains, both in and out of water. Water forms a continuum, whether contained in rivers, lakes, and ocean.

Fish forms an important part of the diets of people around the world, particularly those that live near rivers, coasts and other water bodies. A number of traditional societies and communities are rallied around the occupation of fishing.

A forum for the World Fisheries consortium was established around 1997 and was famously called WFF (World Fisheries Forum). Under this forum, several participants across the world actively took part in it. Around 18 countries signed a global consensus document that marked the standardization of practices. The memories of WFF in 1997 lay etched in the pages of history because it wrote a new form of working pattern of the fisherfolk community.

The day is awaiting a creative theme that incorporates the fishing industry, nature and the environment, as well as a greater emphasis on biodiversity. The theme for 2020 was 'Social Responsibility in the Fishing Value Chain.'

Source: www.news9live.com


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World Philosophy Day - 21 November.

Every third Thursday in November, World Philosophy Day promotes the intellectual culture of philosophical debate that respects dignity and diversity. The day also encourages academic exchange, highlighting the role philosophy plays in addressing global issues.

The word philosophy comes from the Greek word, phílosophía. This word means the love of wisdom. Philosophy is a field of human thought that gets at the meaning of life. Everyone is encouraged to be a student of philosophy. Studying philosophy helps students academically and throughout their lives. They will write more clearly and be better equipped to answer questions asked by potential employers. But they will also be able to spot faulty reasoning.

UNESCO hopes that emphasizing philosophy will encourage world leaders to work together. Global collaboration is crucial for overcoming major global challenges. For example, philosophy can address migration, environmental change, and artificial intelligence.

Source: https://en.unesco.org

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World Television Day - 21 November.

Every year on November 21st, World Television Day recognizes how TV plays a vital role in presenting different issues that affect people.

The first television set was invented in 1927. The 21-year-old inventor was Philo Taylor Farnsworth. His idea was to capture moving images, transfer them into code, and then move the images along radio waves to different devices. In 1928, a television aired its first broadcast. It wasn’t until 1938 that television sets became commercially available.

In 1996, the UN General Assembly proclaimed November 21st as World Television Day. This date commemorates the first World Television Forum held that same year. During the Forum, leading media figures discussed the growing significance of television in our ever-changing world.

Source: www.un.org

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China downgrades diplomatic ties with Lithuania over Taiwan.

China downgraded its diplomatic ties with Lithuania, expressing strong dissatisfaction with the Baltic State after Taiwan opened a de facto embassy there, escalating a row that has sucked in Washington.

China views self-ruled and democratically governed Taiwan as its territory with no right to the trappings of a state and has stepped up pressure on countries to downgrade or sever their relations with the island, even non-official ones.

Lithuania expressed regret over China's move but defended its right to expand cooperation with Taiwan, while respecting Beijing's "One China" policy, and said its foreign minister would go to Washington to discuss trade and investment projects.

Taiwan, meanwhile, reported that two Chinese nuclear-capable H-6 bombers had flown to the south of the island on Sunday, part of a pattern of what Taipei views as military harassment designed to pressure the government.

Source: www.reuters.com

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IQAir Air Quality Index

According to the data from air quality and pollution city tracking service from IQAir, a Switzerland-based climate group and also a technology partner of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)., Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai are among the top ten most polluted cities of the world. 

Delhi topped the list with AQI at 556, Kolkata and Mumbai recorded an AQI of 177 and 169, respectively, at 4th and 6th position. The cities with the worst AQI indices also include Lahore, in Pakistan, and Chengdu, in China.

Here are the ten cities with the worst air quality indicators and pollution rankings, according to IQAir:

  • Delhi, India (AQI: 556)
  • Lahore, Pakistan (AQI: 354)
  • Sofia, Bulgaria (AQI: 178)
  • Kolkata, India (AQI: 177)
  • Zagreb, Croatia (AQI: 173)
  • Mumbai, India (AQI: 169)
  • Belgrade, Serbia (AQI: 165)
  • Chengdu, China (AQI: 165)
  • Skopje, North Macedonia (AQI: 164)
  • Krakow, Poland (AQI: 160)

Source: www.iqair.com

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