18 May 2022

International Museum Day - 18 May.

Every year on May 18th, International Museum Day provides an opportunity for museum professionals to alert the general public about the importance of museums and the challenges they face.

The objective of International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness about the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” Organised on 18 May each year or around this date, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or an entire week. IMD was celebrated for the first time 40 years ago. All around the world, more and more museums participate in International Museum Day. Last year, more than 37,000 museums participated in the event in about 158 countries and territories.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) has organized an International Museum Day since 1977. During the most recent event, 37,000 museums in 158 countries and territories participated. Each year ICOM comes up with a theme for this special day.

International Museum Day 2022 “The Power of Museums”

Source: https://icom.museum

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Vesak, or Buddha Day - 18 May.

Vesak, or Buddha Day, is celebrated worldwide every year on the day of the full moon in May. The festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada or southern tradition

Buddhists request governments everywhere that Buddhists live, to take steps to make the day of the May full-moon a Public Holiday in honor of the Buddha.

To celebrate, devout Buddhists and followers assemble in temples before dawn for the ceremonial and honorable hoisting of the Buddhist flag. They sing hymns in praise of the holy triple gem: The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings), and The Sangha (his disciples).

Devotees may bring simple offerings of flowers, candles to lay at the feet of their teacher and to make a concerted effort to refrain from killing of any kind.

Another way they mark the day is by taking special efforts to bring happiness to the unfortunate like the aged, the handicapped and the sick. So, on this day, Buddhists will distribute gifts in cash and kind to various charitable homes.

The birth of Buddha has been celebrated for centuries. In 1950, the World Fellowship of Buddhists agreed to formalized and unify the day.

In 1999, the United Nations resolved to internationally observe the day of Vesak.

The name of the observance is derived from the Pali term vesākha or Sanskrit vaiśākha, which is the name of the lunar month used in ancient India falling in April–May.

Source: www.officeholidays.com


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17 May 2022

International Day of Light - 16 May.

Every year on May 16th, the International Day of Light promotes awareness for the appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, art, education, and sustainable development. The day also recognizes the natural benefits of light, as well as its many technological applications.

Even though everyone knows what light is, it can be hard to define. Light is not just the opposite of darkness. It is electromagnetic radiation within the electromagnetic spectrum that is perceived by the human eye. Visible light has wavelengths between 400 and 700 nanometers. Another way to define light is a stream of photons that travel with wavelike properties at the speed of light.

While we perceive the world in many ways, light is one of the most significant ways we comprehend the world around us. Additionally, light energy comes in many forms including visible light, infrared waves, ultraviolet light, gamma rays, and radio waves. According to Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of UNESCO, the understanding of light allows us to achieve the greatest of scientific and technological progress.

Due to the success of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015, UNESCO decided to organize a day dedicated to light. The first official International Day of Light was held on May 16th, 2018. The date May 16th marks the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser. American physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman is credited for inventing the laser. He fired the first laser in 1960.

Source: https://en.unesco.org

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International Day of Living Together in Peace - 16 May.

Every year on May 16th, the International Day of Living Together in Peace urges people to live in a united and peaceful way by listening to, respecting, and appreciating others.

They say that variety is the spice of life. Unfortunately, many people feel threatened by those who are different than them. While it seems like our nation and our world are more polarized than ever, the universe has a long history of racism, prejudice, and war.

Following WWII, the United Nations (UN) began doing its part to build a sustainable world of peace instead of division. To do this, the UN has encouraged countries around the world to promote reconciliation and unity. Countries can achieve this goal by working with communities and faith leaders to foster forgiveness and compassion toward one another.

Since the end of WWII, the UN has been working toward world peace. In their endeavors, the UN recognized the year 2000 as the “International Year for a Culture of Peace.” The years 2001 through 2010 were called the “International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for Children of the World.” Both of these events led to a new resolution which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 8, 2017. The resolution declared May 16th as the International Day of Living Together in Peace.

Source: www.un.org

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The International Day of Families - 15 May

The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year. The International Day of Families provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting them. It has inspired a series of awareness-raising events, including national family days. In many countries, this day is an opportunity to highlight different areas of interest and importance to families.

2022 Theme: Families and Urbanization.

History

Beginning in the 1980s, the United Nations started to focus attention on the issues related to the family.

1983 – Secretary-General moved to enhance awareness among decision-makers and the public of the problems and needs of the family.

1989 – The General Assembly proclaimed The International Year of the Family.

1993 – The U.N. General Assembly declared May 15 of every year should be observed as the International Day of Families

Source: www.un.org

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World Telecommunication and Information Society Day - 17 May.

May 17 is World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The purpose is to help raise awareness of the possibilities the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies.

May 17 marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.

The long name for this day marks the merger of two nearly-identical official days in 2006 by the United Nations. One of the two days, World Telecommunication Day, was celebrated every May 17 since 1969. It marked the founding of the International Telecommunication Union on May 17, 1865.

The second day merged into this day was World Information Society Day was also celebrated on May 17 since its inception in 2006. Its purpose was to focus on the importance of many issues in the area of information and communication technologies.

Source: www.un.org
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World Hypertension Day - 17 May.

Observed on May 17, World Hypertension Day is marked as a day focused on creating awareness about Hypertension and its symptoms. Hypertension or high blood pressure occurs when the blood pressure rises to an unhealthy level of 140/90. It is considered to have touched a dangerous level when the blood pressure measurement goes over 180/120.

Over a billion people around the globe live with hypertension which is a major cause of cardiovascular disease and premature death worldwide. While hypertension was usually seen as a health condition found in older people, it has now become quite common in the younger population.

High-stress levels, obesity, poor dietary habits, and a sedentary lifestyle are some of the major causes of hypertension in young people. Prolonged hypertension also puts a person at a higher risk of several medical conditions like chronic kidney disease, stroke, heart failure and others.

The theme for World Hypertension Day 2022 is ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control it, Live Longer. The theme focuses to combat low awareness rates worldwide, especially in low to middle-income areas with accurate blood pressure measurement methods.

The first World Hypertension Day was observed on May 14, 2005, by the World Hypertension League, an umbrella organization of 85 national hypertension societies, with an aim to increase awareness about the condition. The following year the day was observed on May 17 and has been an annual practice since then. World Hypertension League aims not only to raise awareness about hypertension but also of its factors and prevention methods since it affects more than a billion people.

Source: https://www.paho.org

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South Korea Wins Uber Cup 2022

After a thrilling final at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, Korea stunned defending champions China to capture their second Uber Cup title. Korea fought back from behind twice to deny China a record-extending 16th title in the famous team tournament in a tie that lasted close to 90 minutes apiece.

In the deciding singles match, Korea’s 46th-ranked Sim Yu-jin faced China’s 15th-ranked Wang Zhiyi, with the final knotted at 2-2. Sim, who turned 23, beat Wang 28-26, 18-21, 21-8 in an hour and 28-minute match.

After a surprising run in Bangkok, Korea won the Uber Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Asian giants beat India 5-0 to win their group, then defeated Denmark and Japan 3-0 in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively.

World No. 3 In the first game, Chen was defeated by fourth-ranked An by 21-17. The Korean had a five-point lead early in the second game, but Chen came back to win that game 21-15 and the decider 22-20, despite an ankle injury concern.

In the second doubles match of the final, Korea’s Km Hye Jeong and Kong Heeyong defeated Ping Huang and Li Wen Mei in straight games, forcing the final to a decider.

Source: https://voi.id

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5000-year-old jewellery factory rooted out in Haryana’s Indus Valley site Rakhi Garhi.

With the excavation of a 5000-year-old jewellery-making factory, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which has been working in Rakhi Garhi, Haryana, for the past 32 years, has produced one of its most significant findings yet. Rakhi Garhi is a village in Haryana’s Hisar district and one of the oldest Indus Valley Civilisation archaeological sites.

Key Points:

The discovery of the structure of some dwellings, a kitchen complex, and a 5000-year-old jewellery-making factory indicates that the site was once a very major commercial centre.

Copper and gold jewellery that had been concealed for thousands of years were also discovered.

Graveyards have been discovered in the excavation sites at Sinauli in Uttar Pradesh, which gained attention for its Bronze Age solid-disk wheel carts discovered in 2018, which were interpreted by some as horse-pulled “chariots.”

Archaeologists say the graveyards show that the civilisation believed in life after death.

In the previous two months, ASI has made many findings in Rakhi Garhi, indicating that the civilisation is slowly heading toward maturity.

There were also thousands of earthen jars, royal seals, and children’s toys discovered.

Source: www.dnaindia.com

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"The Rock", the largest white diamond ever auctioned.

The largest white diamond to ever come up for auction has been sold for 21,681,000 CHF ($21.9 million) at Christie's in Geneva.

The 228.31-carat, pear-shaped gemstone -- dubbed "The Rock" -- originated from South Africa, where some of the largest diamonds in the world have been found, including the pear-shaped "Star of Africa" and rose cushion cut "Golden Jubilee."

"The Rock" is about the size of a golf ball and was previously worn as a lavish Cartier necklace by its former owner. Along with the pear-shaped stone, the new owner will also receive a round diamond and platinum pendant mounting from the French luxury brand.

Ahead of the sale, the head of Christie's jewelry department in Geneva, Max Fawcett, explained why "The Rock" is a particularly unique stone.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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World’s oldest chess grandmaster Yuri Averbakh passes away.

Russian chess grandmaster, Yuri Averbakh who was among the world’s best players for a decade, trained world champions and was the last surviving participant in one of the greatest competitions in history, has died in Moscow at 100. 

He won the Moscow Championship in 1949 and earned the Grandmaster title in 1952. 

In 1954, he became the champion of the USSR. He also chaired the Chess Federation of the USSR from 1972 to 1977.

Source: www.chess.com

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UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan dies.

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has died, Emirati state news agency WAM reported. He was 73.

Sheikh Khalifa had rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2014, with his brother, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (known as MBZ) seen as the de facto ruler and the decision-maker of major foreign policy decisions, such as joining a Saudi-led war in Yemen and spearheading an embargo on neighbouring Qatar in recent years.

Under the constitution, Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, would act as president until the federal council which groups the rulers of the seven emirates meets within 30 days to elect a new president.

Sheikh Khalifa came to power in 2004 in the richest emirate Abu Dhabi and became the head of state. He is expected to be succeeded as ruler of Abu Dhabi by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed.

Abu Dhabi, which holds most of the Gulf state’s oil wealth, has held the presidency since the founding of the UAE federation by Sheikh Khalifa’s father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in 1971.

Source: www.aljazeera.com

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Saudi Aramco overtakes Apple as world’s most valuable company.

Apple has lost its crown as the world’s most valuable company to the oil giant Saudi Aramco, as soaring commodity prices swell profits at energy companies and technology stocks continue to slide.

In a sign that the old economy is reasserting itself over the new this year, Aramco eclipsed Apple on Wednesday night amid the ongoing rout on Wall Street.

Share in Apple, which had become the world’s first $3tn company in early January, sank another 5% on Wednesday 11 May 2022, knocking its value down to $2.37tn (£1.94tn) – an 18% drop this year.

This pulled the iPhone maker’s valuation below Aramco, whose market capitalisation has climbed by a quarter this year to hit $2.43tn, stoked by the surge in oil prices since the Ukraine war began.

Source: www.theguardian.com

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Dr. Frank Wilczek receives the 2022 Templeton Prize.

Frank Wilczek, a Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist and author, and professor at four universities among them Stockholm University, is awarded the 2022 Templeton Prize. 

He was awarded to  honour his extraordinary depth and breadth of knowledge which is contributing to the Physics research community.

The Templeton Prize, valued at more than $1.3 million, is one of the world's largest annual individual awards. Established by the late global investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, it is given to honor those who harness the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.

Source: www.su.se

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16 May 2022

Inter Milan clinch Italian Cup with 4-2 victory over Juventus in final.

Inter Milan were crowned the 2022 Italian Cup champions after beating Juventus 4-2 in the final late Wednesday 11th. 

Nicolo Barella scored an early opener for Inter Milan before Juventus took a 2-1 lead with goals scored by Alex Sandro and Dusan Vlahovic.

With 10 minutes to go before the end of the match, Hakan Calhanoglu scored from the penalty spot, sending the game into extra time at the Stadio Olimpico.

During extra time, Ivan Perisic was impressive by scoring twice and giving his team a 4-2 win.

Inter lifted their first Coppa Italia since 2011.

Source: www.aa.com.tr

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The World's 10 Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes 2022.

Lionel Messi has topped the list of Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes 2022 with a reported income of $130 million, followed by Basketball player, Lebron James with $121.2 million while Cristiano Ronaldo was third with $115 million. 

Messi had moved from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in August 2021 and Cristiano Ronaldo rejoined Manchester United from Juventus in the same month. Forbes calculates the estimates based on prize money, salaries and bonuses, and sponsorship deals.

The top 05 highest earners are given below.



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The Super Flower Blood Moon lunar eclipse of 2022 occurs tonight.

The event, known as a lunar eclipse, will see the full Flower Moon temporarily turn red overnight on Sunday (May 15) and Monday (May 16), depending on where you are standing. You can watch the Flower Blood Moon eclipse in webcasts, starting at 9:30 p.m. EDT (0130 GMT).

While timing depends on your location, here's when to look for the total eclipse. TimeandDate.com says the partial eclipse phase of the moon begins May 15 at 10:28 p.m. EDT (0228 GMT on May 16). The Blood Moon peak starts May 16 at 12:11 a.m. EDT (0411 GMT). Then the event ends at 1:55 a.m. EDT (0555 GMT). 

Source: www.space.com

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14 May 2022

Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of Ukraine dies.

Ukraine’s first president Leonid Kravchuk, who agreed to give up his country’s Soviet nuclear arsenal, the third-largest in the world, has died at the age of 88.

Kravchuk led Ukraine as its Communist party boss in the waning years of the Soviet Union, and played a pivotal role in the demise of the USSR before holding the Ukrainian presidency from 1991 through 1994.

He was a driving force in Ukraine’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and later that year joined leaders of Russia and Belarus to sign an agreement on 8 December 1991, which formally declared that the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

As president, Kravchuk agreed to transfer remaining Soviet nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory to Russian control, in a deal backed by the US.

Source: www.theguardian.com

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South Korea becomes 1st Asian country join NATO Cyber Defence Group.

South Korea became the first Asian country join in North Atlantic Treaty Organization Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) is joined as a contributing participant in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

Now, the total NATO CCDCOE has 32 countries as its official members which include 27 NATO member countries and 5 five non-NATO states as contributing participants. South Korea has participated in the Locked Shields 2022, the largest and most complex annual international live-fire cyber defence exercise in the world. It has been participating two years in a row since 2020. South Korea joining the CCDCOE would help it counter the cybersecurity threat perception due to North Korea.

About the NATO:

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European states. Founded in 1949. Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.

Source: https://ccdcoe.org

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UN approves Czech Republic to replace Russia on the Human Rights Council.

The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for the Czech Republic to replace Russia on the world organization’s leading human rights body following its suspension over allegations of horrific rights violations by Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

The Czech Republic was the only candidate for the seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council. Seats on the Geneva-based council are divided among regional groups and a replacement for Russia had to come from an East European country.

In recent secret ballot vote, 180 of the General Assembly’s 193 members deposited ballots. The result was 157 countries in favor of the Czech Republic and 23 abstentions.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

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New Commissioner General of Essential Services appointed.

Senior Administrative Officer – K.D.S. Ruwachandra has been appointed as Commissioner General of Essential Services by the President.

Meanwhile a former secretary of the Agriculture minister – Rohana Pushpakumara and Postmaster General – Ranjith Ariyaratne have been appointed as additional commissioners.

According to the President’s Media Division (PMD), secretaries from 25 districts were appointed as its coordinating officers.

Source: https://thesinhalanews.lk

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North Korea's 'First Ever' Covid cases prompt strict national lockdown.

North Korea has ordered a strict national lockdown after confirming its first official Covid infections.

State media have reported an Omicron outbreak in the capital, Pyongyang, but did not state the number of cases.

North Korea has rejected any kind of vaccine programme, even when offered a supply by other countries.

Instead, it controlled Covid by sealing its borders - and had never recorded a case, despite experts believing the virus has long been present.

Outsiders say the nation's 25 million population is vulnerable due to the lack of a Covid-19 vaccine programme, even rejecting offers from the international community to supply millions of AstraZeneca and Chinese-made Sinovac jabs last year.

There have also been concerns about North Korea's impoverished healthcare system.

Source: www.bbc.com

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The world's longest glass-bottomed bridge opens to the public.

World’s Largest Glass Bottom Bridge was opened in Vietnam. It is called Vietnam’s Bach Long pedestrian bridge, which is 632m (2,073ft) long and located 150m (492ft) above a huge jungle. As per the reports, the Asian country has opened a glass-bottomed bridge suspended above a lush jungle. It surpasses a 526m Glass Bottom Bridge in Guangdong, China.

The Bach Long pedestrian bridge means ‘white dragon’ in Vietnamese. The bridge suspends above the rainforest The bridge can support up to 450 people at a time and the floor of the bridge is made from tempered glass.

Important Facts about the world’s largest glass-bottom bridge.

  • The bridge was inaugurated coincidentally on the 47th anniversary of the end of the Vietnamese war.
  • The structure of the bridge is said to be about three-fourths the height of Burj Khalifa Tower and it is said to be the longest bridge in the world.
  • Bach Long means “white dragon” in Vietnamese.
  • At a time 450-500 people can walk on the glass-bottom bridge.
  • The bridge is under the surveillance of guards who ensure that the traffic only flows in one direction.
  • The bridge was shut for two years for the tourist due to the global pandemic Covid-19.
  • The Guinness World Records are yet to confirm the claim of the company which says the glass-bottom bridge is the tallest and longest bridge in the world.
  • The bridge is 632m long and 150m above the ground. It surpasses the 526m Glass Bottom bridge in Guangdong in China
  • It has a unique architectural structure and design which is one of the main attractions for the tourist.
  • The Bach Long Bridge is Located in the Moc Chau district of the Son La province in Vietnam.

The terrifying bridge curves around mountainsides and finally spans a valley between two peaks. Made from French tempered glass, the bridge can support 450 daring visitors at once. The Bach Long Bridge is the country’s third glass bridge although it is arguably the most impressive.

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

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World Lupus Day - 10 May.

May 10th is a dedicated World Lupus Day. Lupus is a serious life-altering and fatal disease that requires in-depth understanding and support for the affected persons. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the unaffected and those affected to join hands and get involved in doing whatever it takes to fight this unpredictable and commonly misunderstood disease.

To begin, Lupus is an inflammatory disease/autoimmune disease that occurs when the body system attacks its own tissues and organs. Inflammation resulting from this may affect various body organs including the skin, kidneys, brain, blood cells, lungs, heart and the joints.

Diagnosing lupus is often difficult as its symptoms mimic those of other common ailments. However, a major proviso of this condition is facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent chest pain
  • Joint pain, swelling and stiffness
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Fingers and toes turns blue when exposed to cold
  • Headaches, confusion and some memory loss

It is due to this that the World Lupus Federation is inviting everyone around the world to participate in this coming 15th annual observance of the World Lupus Day. This condition affects citizens of all nationalities, ethnicities, races, ages and genders. While this condition has no boundaries, understanding lupus can help control its impact. Join the organisation’s effort in ensuring that people with Lupus are diagnosed and treated effectively.

Source: https://worldlupusday.org

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Philippine dictator's son wins landslide presidential victory.

The son of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos cemented a landslide presidential election victory Tuesday 11 May, as Filipinos bet on a familiar dynasty to ease rampant poverty -- dismissing warnings the tarnished clan will deepen corruption and weaken democracy.

With an initial count almost complete, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Junior had secured over 56 percent of the vote and more than double the tally of his nearest rival, liberal Leni Robredo.

His now unassailable lead of 16 million-plus votes spells another astonishing reversal in the fortunes of the Marcos family, who have gone from the presidential palace to pariahs and back again in the space of a few decades.

Source: www.france24.com

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World Migratory Bird Day - 14 May.

World Migratory Bird Day is marked twice a year since its inauguration in 2006. International Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated on 14 May and 8 October 2022. The day is celebrated with an aim to safeguard migratory birds’ breeding, non-breeding as well as stopover habitats while preserving a healthy bird population. This is important because birds have an important role to play in the environment. They are needed to maintain the ecological balance. Birds are nature’s ambassadors, which is why it is necessary to restore ecological connection and integrity in order to boost migratory bird migration.

The theme of the World Migratory Bird Day 2022:

The theme for World Migratory Bird Day 2022 is light pollution. As artificial lighting has been increasing globally by at least 2 per cent per annum, this has had an adverse impact on many birds. Light pollution is a major threat to migratory birds as it leads to disorientation when they fly at night, this, in turn, leads to collisions and also interferes with their long-distance migrations.

History of International Migratory Bird Day:

International Migratory Bird Day was marked in 2006 when the United Nations decided that the world’s population needs to be made aware of the worldwide migratory linkages.

Since then, 118 countries participated in and organised the event. The United Nations (UN) Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds had envisioned the World Migratory Bird Day.

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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World Fair Trade Day - 14 May.

The World Fair Trade Day is a global celebration on the second Saturday of May. It is organised annually by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) to raise awareness on alternative solutions to the planet’s economic and ecological challenges. Fair Trade Enterprises lead the celebration together with the sister movements, allies, government leaders and consumers. The 2022 celebration focuses on Climate Justice and the solutions presented by the Fair Trade, cooperative and organic movements. The ecological and social justice crisis we are currently facing must be address with fresh solutions. Together we can make a difference.

Producers, shoppers, advocates, and companies from around the world make up the fair trade movement. All of the people involved in this movement work together to build a more equitable form of trade. The movement began in the United States following WWII. The goal of the fair trade movement was to connect small-scale producers to global markets. In 1989, the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) was born. Today, over a million small-scale producers in 76 countries are a part of the WFTO.

During the beginning years of fair trading, handmade crafts were some of the most popular items produced and sold. Coffee also became an item that was popular in the fair trading world. Other fair trade items include spices, sugar, wine, flowers, furniture, gold, cotton, and tea.

In 1996, the Network of European Shops (NEWS!) established the European World Shops Day. The WFTO, which at the time was called the International Federation of Alternative Trade (IFAT), expanded the initiative to other continents. The first World Fair Trade Day was held on May 4, 2002. The day is now observed on the second Saturday in May.

World Fair Trade Day 2022 theme: Climate Justice.

Source: https://wfto.com

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13 May 2022

John Lee Ka-Chiu elected as Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive.

John Lee Ka-Chiu has been confirmed as Hong Kong’s next chief executive. He will replace Carrie Lam. He will be the first security official to hold the Chief Executive position of Hong Kong which witnessed years of political unrest and recent debilitating pandemic controls. Lee resigned from his position as the city’s No 2 official last month to run and was the only contender to secure Beijing’s backing.

The 64-year-old was sanctioned by the United States in 2020 for his role in implementing a Beijing-imposed national security law that has crushed the city’s democracy movement. His election places a security official in Hong Kong’s top job for the first time. The former secretary for security in Hong Kong ran under the slogan “Starting a new chapter for Hong Kong together” and was the sole candidate in the polls.

Source: www.dw.com


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Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as new Prime Minister.

The Leader of the United National Party (UNP), Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

Wickremesinghe took oath before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House this evening (May 12).

Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath and Prof. Maithree Wickramasinghe were also present on the occasion. 

Wickremesinghe has served as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on five previous occasions.


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In Bolivia, Prisoners can reduce Jail Time by Reading Books.

Prisoners in Bolivia have been given a new way to reduce their jail time. They can gain freedom earlier by reading books.

The government program is called “books behind bars.” It offers detainees a chance to get out of jail days or weeks ahead of their release date. The program is modeled after a similar effort in Brazil. The aim is to improve reading ability. It is also meant to give hope to inmates who face Bolivia’s slow judicial process.

The program has been launched in 47 prisons that do not have money to pay for education or social assistance programs for prisoners.

Source: www.wionews.com

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The First Image of Our Galaxy's Central Black Hole.

The Event Horizon Collaboration, the group behind the first-ever image of a black hole, just achieved another huge accomplishment: an image of Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. This is a breakthrough in our understanding of our home galaxy and the astrophysics of its center.

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a consortium of radio telescopes around the world. By combining the observations of these telescopes, the team is able to see black holes, regions of spacetime with such intense gravity that not even light can escape them. The image released today shows the shadow of Sagittarius A* (pronounced “A star”) as well as the high-energy region around it.

Source: https://gizmodo.com

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12 May 2022

International Day of Plant Health - 12 May.

The United Nations designated 12 May the International Day of Plant Health (IDPH) to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect biodiversity and the environment, and boost economic development. The United Nations declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH).

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.

Both our health and the health of our planet depend on plants. Plants make up 80% of the food we eat and 98% of the oxygen we breathe and yet they are under threat.  Up to 40% of food crops are lost due to plant pests and diseases every year. This is affecting both food security and agriculture, the main source of income for vulnerable rural communities. 

Climate change and human activities are altering ecosystems and damaging biodiversity while creating new niches for pests to thrive. International travel and trade, which has tripled in volume in the last decade, is also spreading pests and diseases. We need to protect plants both for people and the planet, and all of us have a role to play. 

The United Nations designated 12 May the International Day of Plant Health (IDPH) to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect biodiversity and the environment, and boost economic development. The Day is a key legacy of the International Year of Plant Health 2020. 

Source: www.fao.org

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International Nurses Day (IND) - 12 May.

International Nurses Day (IND) is observed around the world May 12 (the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth in 1820). The day is set aside to honor and note the many contributions nurses make to society. Nurses care for our loved ones at some of the most challenging times of their lives. They may run short of time, but not compassion.

In Australia, Canada, the United States, and other countries, International Nurses Day often is part of a week-long celebration, usually referred to as National Nurses Week.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated this day since 1965.

Florence Nightingale became an essential figure in nursing in the 1850s during the Crimean War. She was stationed at a hospital where she headed a group of nurses who cared for injured British soldiers. When she first arrived at the hospital, she was struck by the desperate condition of the facilities. So, she imposed strict standards of care and ensured that the wards were kept clean and well stocked with food and medical supplies. Nightingale’s experiences led her to campaign for reform in health care and nursing. In 1860 she opened the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London.

Themes for International Nurses Day 2022 "Investing in nursing and respecting nurses".

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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09 May 2022

World Press Freedom Index 2022

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has released the 20th World Press Freedom Index 2022, which assesses the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories. The Index highlights the disastrous effects of news and information chaos – the effects of a globalised and unregulated online information space that encourages fake news and propaganda.

Key points of the Index:

Sri Lanka’s ranking in the Index has fallen down to 146th position from last year’s 127th rank.

The ranking of India’s neighbours, except that of Nepal, has also slid down, with the index placing. Nepal has climbed up by 30 points in the global ranking at 76th position.

Pakistan at 157th position, India 150th, Bangladesh 162nd and Maynmar at 176th position.

Norway (1st) Denmark (2nd), Sweden (3rd) Estonia (4th) and Finland (5th) grabbed the top positions, while North Korea remained at the bottom of the list of the 180 countries and territories.

Russia was placed at 155th position, down from 150th last year, while China climbed up by two positions with the Reporters Without Borders placing it at 175th position. Last year, China was placed at 177th position.

The invasion of Ukraine (106th) by Russia (155th) at the end of February reflects this process, as the physical conflict was preceded by a propaganda war.

Source: https://rsf.org

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Prof. G. H. Peiris appointed as the Chancellor of Peradeniya University.

Professor G.H. Peiris has been appointed as the Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya.

He received his letter of appointment from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House today (06), the PMD reported.

Mr. G.H. Peiris received his Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Geography with a First Class Honours from the University of Peradeniya in 1960 and he received his doctoral degree (Economic Geography) from the University of Cambridge, UK in 1965.

He was first appointed to the University of Peradeniya as an Assistant Lecturer and has been a University Lecturer for 44 years.

Prof. G.H. Peiris is an expert who has done much research regarding political changes that took place in various parts of the world.


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A NASA climate research scientist wins 2022 World Food Prize.

A NASA climate scientist has been named the 2022 World Food Prize Laureate. The honor, which recognizes a person for their achievements in addressing food security, will be presented October in Des Moines.

Cynthia Rosenzweig, the 52nd laureate, is a senior research scientist and head of the Climate Impacts Group at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. A former farmer, she has studied the impacts of climate change on food production and founded a global network of experts in food systems and climate modeling.

World Food Prize Foundation President Barbara Stinson said leaders and politicians in more than 90 countries have used Rosenzweig’s research to help make decisions on adapting to and curbing climate change.

Source: www.tspr.org

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08 May 2022

World Snooker Championship Title 2022 won by Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Ronnie O’Sullivan (England) has won the 2022 World Snooker Championship by defeating Judd Trump (England) against 18-13 in the finals, which were held from April 16 to May 2, 2022 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. The tournament was organised by the World Snooker Tour and sponsored by sports betting company Betfred. The Total prize money is 2,395,000 Euros and the Winner gets a share of 500,000 Euros.

O’Sullivan (Aged 46) becomes the oldest world champion in Crucible history, eclipsing Ray Reardon, who won his sixth title aged 45 in 1978. It was Ronnie O’Sullivan’s seventh World Snooker Championship title, previously in 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2020, equalling Stephen Hendry’s modern-day record of seven world titles (Hendry won all of his in the 1990s).

Source: www.bbc.com

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Andy Jassy officially takes over as Amazon CEO from Jeff Bezos.

Jeff Bezos, who has served as the CEO of Amazon since founding the company exactly 27 years ago on July 5th, 1994, has officially stepped down from the role. Andy Jassy is now listed as the company’s CEO on its investor relations website, after previously having run Amazon Web Services since 2003, while Bezos is listed as Executive Chair. The July 5th handover date was previously announced in a shareholder meeting in May.

It’s an important moment for Amazon, which has had the same CEO for the entirety of its existence. Under Bezos’ leadership, the company survived the dot-com bubble bursting in the late 90s to become one of the world’s most prominent technology companies. Amazon currently dominates online commerce in the US and parts of Europe, and serves as a backbone to much of the modern web thanks to Amazon Web Services.

Bezos’ successor, Andy Jassy, joined the company shortly after graduating from Harvard Business School in 1997, and has led AWS since the team was founded in 2003. He was officially named the division’s CEO in 2016. At the end of 2020, AWS controlled around a third of the total cloud computing market, according to Synergy Research, which is about as much as its closest rivals Microsoft and Google, combined. Jassy’s route is similar to that of current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who previously ran the company’s Azure cloud business.

Source: www.theverge.com

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India chosen as first 'country of honour' ever at Cannes Film Market.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Wednesday announced that India will be the official 'Country of Honour' at the upcoming 'Marche' Du Film', organised alongside the Cannes Film Festival, in France.

Noting that France and India are marking 75 years of their diplomatic ties, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Paris and meeting with President Emmanuel Macron takes even more significance in this context.

It is in this significant diplomatic backdrop that India has been chosen as the 'Country of Honour' at Marche Du Film at the Cannes Film Festival.

Source: www.newindianexpress.com

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World Ovarian Cancer Day - 08 May.

Every year on May 8th, World Ovarian Cancer Day increases global awareness for this deadly disease. The day also unites those living with ovarian cancer, as well as survivors and their families.

According to health experts, only women with symptoms of ovarian cancer need to get tested for it. These symptoms include:

  • Suddenly feeling full when eating
  • Pain and discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Abnormal bleeding, especially during or after menopause

Women with these types of symptoms, or who have family history of ovarian cancer, should see their doctor. The earlier ovarian cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat. If it’s not caught early, the cancer could spread to the pelvis and abdomen.

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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