04 August 2021

International Clouded Leopard Day - 04 August.

On August 4th, International Clouded Leopard Day raises awareness of the plight of the clouded leopard. Both in the wild and in captivity, the clouded leopard needs our help to maintain its current population levels and to grow.

These beautiful and shy species inhabit central and south East Asia. The Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosi) also known as the mainland Clouded leopard, is native to the Asian mainland. A second species, the Sunda Clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) lives on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.

Howlett’s Wild Animal Park founded International Clouded Leopard Day in 2018 to raise awareness about the Clouded leopard. The organization studies and supports conservation and preservation of endangered species around the world.

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Alexander Zverev wins gold in men's singles tennis at Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Germany’s Alexander Zverev beats Russian Karen Khachanov 6-3 6-1 to win the men’s singles gold at the Tokyo Olympics. He became the first German man to win singles Olympic gold.

The 24-year-old, who has yet to win a Grand Slam title, was in stunning form in the 79 minutes express contest to become the first German man to win a single Olympic gold. Zverev became only the second German to win Olympic singles gold, matching Steffi Graff's achievement at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

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USA beats Mexico in extra-time to clinch 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup in Football.

In football, the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Mexico 1-0 in extra time, to be crowned champion of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup on August 01, 2021. This is the seventh Gold Cup title for the USA.

The CONCACAF Gold Cup is the biennial international men’s football championship organized by CONCACAF, the football ruling body in North America, Central American, and the Caribbean.

The following awards were given at the conclusion of the tournament.

  • Golden Ball Award: Héctor Herrera (Mexico)
  • Golden Boot Award: Almoez Ali (Qatar)
  • Golden Glove Award: Matt Turner (United States)
  • Young Player Award: Tajon Buchanan (Canada)
  • Goal of the Tournament: Bobby Decordova-Reid of Jamaica
  • Fighting Spirit Award: Bryan Tamacas (El Salvador)
  • Fair Play Award: United States

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Indo-Pacific Business Forum - October 28-29, 2021.

In October 2021, the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of India will welcome senior government officials, industry executives and other participants to the fourth Indo-Pacific Business Forum. This premier public-private event will be hosted virtually on October 28-29, 2021.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency is sponsoring the Forum and co-organizing with the Department of State and more than 10 other U.S. government agencies, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. India Business Council, U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum, and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.

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03 August 2021

Space station situation with Russian module misfire more serious than stated.

Last week, a Russian module accidentally pushed the International Space Station out of place. Now, a NASA flight director has revealed that the event was more serious than NASA initially reported. 

On Thursday (July 29) morning, Russia's long-awaited research module Nauka docked with the space station. But a few hours later, the module accidentally fired its thrusters, briefly tilting the space station and causing it to lose what engineers call "attitude control."

However, while NASA said on Twitter and officials repeated during public comments about the incident that the orbiting lab tilted about 45 degrees, that appears not to have been the full story. According to reporting by The New York Times, Zebulon Scoville, the NASA flight director leading mission control in Houston during the event, says the station tilted far more severely than just 45 degrees. 

According to Scoville, the event has "been a little incorrectly reported." He said that after Nauka incorrectly fired up, the station "spun one-and-a-half revolutions — about 540 degrees — before coming to a stop upside down. The space station then did a 180-degree forward flip to get back to its original orientation," according to the report. 

Scoville also shared that this was the first time that he has ever declared a "spacecraft emergency."

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U.S. imposes fresh sanctions on Cuba.

The United States has imposed fresh sanctions on the Cuban police force and two of its leaders in response to the police’s alleged human rights violations during rare protests on the Island.

During a meeting with Cuban-American leaders, U.S. President Joe Biden promised more punitive measures are on the way against Havana. 

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the sanctions also targeted the Cuban interior ministry's national police force.

Biden’s meeting came as Cuban-American community leaders made a call for more support for protests in Cuba. Just last week, Washington announced sanctions on Cuba's defense minister and an interior ministry Special Forces unit.

Among the anticipated upcoming American measures, Biden says he has instructed the Treasury and State departments to report back in a month on how to allow remittance payments from Americans to Cubans without the Cuban authorities profiting.

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Myanmar military leader declares himself prime minister.

Myanmar's military leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing declared himself prime minister of the country on Sunday 01 August 2021, saying he planned on being in charge for two years during an extended state of emergency before holding an election in 2023.

Min Aung Hlaing's announcement comes six months after Myanmar's democratically elected government was overthrown in a military coup, sparking waves of protests throughout the country in which nearly 1,000 protesters were killed by the country's security forces.

Myanmar's military overthrew its democratically elected government in February, claiming the election had been marred by fraud. Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party had won the election, was arrested. She has since been charged with multiple crimes including illegally possessing walkie-talkie radios and violating COVID-19 rules. 

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Esteban Ocon wins Hungarian GP 2021.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine-Renault/ France, has won the Hungarian Grand Prix 2021, held on August 01, 2021, at the Hungaroring in Mogyoród, Hungary. This is the maiden F1 race win for Esteban Ocon. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin-Mercedes/Germany) came second. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) finished third.

With this win, he took the Formula One championship lead from Max Verstappen. Hungarian Grand Prix was the eleventh round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.

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World Breastfeeding Week 2021: 01 – 07 August.

The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is marked every year in the first week of August, between 1 to 7 August, to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and infants. 

The theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2021 is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility​”. The annual week is organized by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), WHO and UNICEF since 1991.

About Breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both children and mothers. And it forms part of a sustainable food system. But while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding.

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02 August 2021

World Lung Cancer Day - 01 August.

World Lung Cancer Day occurs each year on August 1. The day takes the opportunity to bring awareness about lung cancer causes and prevention.

According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is the leading cause of death among cancer patients.  Luckily, when diagnosed early enough, lung cancer survival rates increase five or more years by almost 56 percent. However, prevention is necessary in order to detect and treat lung cancer before it spreads.

Betsy Thompson receives credit as the founder of World Lung Cancer Day. Using her foundation, the Lung Cancer Survivors Foundation, Betsy began promoting the day as a time to spread awareness of lung cancer and its causes. Her vision continues through education and screening around the globe, respectively.

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Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah breaks Flo-Jo's Olympic record.

Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah broke Florence Griffith Joyner's 33-year-old Olympic record in the women's 100 meters.

Thompson-Herah set the new record of 10.61 seconds on Saturday as she took home gold in Tokyo. Griffith Joyner, also known as Flo-Jo, had held the record of 10.62 since the 1988 Seoul Games.

Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Thompson-Herah's rival, won the silver medal after finishing the event in 10.74 seconds. Shericka Jackson, also from Jamaica, took the bronze medal with a time of 10.76.

Thompson-Herah now has two Olympic titles in the women's 100 meters after winning gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

However, Griffith Joyner's 100 meters world record of 10.49 seconds, set at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials, still stands.

Griffith Joyner's world record of 21.34 seconds in the women's 200 meters also stands.

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Italy's Marcell Jacobs wins men's 100m gold at Tokyo Olympics.

Marcell Jacobs claimed a stunning upset victory in the Olympic 100 metres final on Sunday (Aug. 01), becoming the first Italian to take the most coveted title in athletics and doing it with a huge European record of 9.80 seconds.

American Fred Kerley took silver in a personal best 9.84 with Canada's Andre de Grasse repeating his bronze of 2016 in 9.89.

Jacobs had fired a warning with a European record of 9.84 in the semi-finals to become the first Italian ever to make the final but in the most wide-open showdown for decades, he still seemed an outsider.

After Briton Zharnel Hughes had been disqualified for a false start, racheting up the tension, Jacobs got an explosive start and maintained his form for an incredible win.

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CCPI based Inflation increased to 5.7 per cent in July 2021.

Headline inflation, as measured by the year-onyear (Y-o-Y) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2013=100)1 , increased to 5.7 per cent in July 2021 from 5.2 per cent in June 2021. This was driven by monthly increases of prices of items in the Non-food category. Subsequently, Food inflation (Y-o-Y) decreased to 11.0 per cent in July 2021 from 11.3 per cent in June 2021, while Non-food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased to 3.2 per cent in July 2021 from 2.5 per cent in June 2021.

The CCPI, measured on an annual average basis, increased marginally to 4.2 per cent in July 2021 from 4.1 per cent in June 2021.

Monthly change of CCPI recorded at 0.50 per cent in July 2021 due to price increases observed in items of the Non-food category. Moreover, monthly changes of Food and Non-food categories recorded at -0.05 per cent and 0.55 per cent, respectively. Accordingly, within the Food category, prices of coconut, fresh fish and coconut oil decreased. Meanwhile, prices of items in the Non-Food category recorded an increase during the month due to price increases observed in the Transport (Petrol) and Restaurant and Hotels subcategories.

The core inflation (Y-o-Y), which reflects the underlying inflation in the economy, increased to 3.7 per cent in July 2021 from 3.2 per cent in June 2021. Moreover, annual average core inflation increased marginally to 3.1 per cent in July 2021 from 3.0 per cent in June 2021. 

Source: www.cbsl.gov.lk

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01 August 2021

Isuru Udana announces retirement from international cricket.

Isuru Udana, the Sri Lanka paceman, announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday, 31 July.

The 33-year-old has played 56 matches for Sri Lanka, picking 45 wickets, and was part of the home series against India, in which Sri Lanka secured the T20I series 2-1, while losing the ODIs by the same margin.

Udana said he was stepping aside and making way for the young players coming through.

Udana debuted for Sri Lanka in 2009, but only became a mainstay of the side in the latter half of the last decade. He was also a handy batsman, scoring a half-century in both ODIs and T20Is. The latter was a particularly fiery knock – a 48-ball 84* against South Africa in 2019.

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Sri Lanka’s ban on all types of non-degradable lunch sheets from today (August 01) onwards.

Sri Lanka’s ban on all types of non-degradable lunch sheets will be implemented from today (August 01) onwards.

The Government of Sri Lanka imposed a ban on the manufacturing, distribution, sale, or use of non-degradable lunch sheets.

Previously, a grace period of a month was granted to sell the lunch sheets that had already been manufactured. However, the manufacturing and distribution of polythene lunch sheets were completely forbidden during that period.

The Ministry of Environment stated that the Central Environmental Authority and the Consumer Affairs Authority have launched special operations to find out whether non-degradable lunch sheets are still in production.

The ministry further stated that the law will be strictly enforced against anyone who manufactures and distributes them in defiance of these orders.

It has been estimated that Sri Lanka releases over 10 million lunch sheets into the environment per day.

While lunch sheets decompose in the soil within 2 to 3 years, scientists have confirmed that the micro-plastic particles that accumulate in the soil due to lunch sheets last for over 200 years.

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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Global Education Summit in London raises US$4 billion.

The Global Education Summit, co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in London, has raised a record US$4 billion from donors for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

This fundraising total puts GPE firmly on the path to achieving its target of raising at least $5 billion over the next five years to transform education for millions of the world’s most vulnerable children. A fully funded GPE would enable up to 175 million children to learn and help get 88 million more girls and boys in school by 2025.

The two-day hybrid event brought together leaders from governments, businesses, private foundations and development banks to commit funding and support to children’s education in the world’s lowest-income countries.

Donor pledges secured at the Summit build on the commitment to girls’ education announced last month at the G7, where leaders pledged at least $2.7 billion to GPE and called on other donors to step up and fully fund GPE’s ambitious new five-year plan.

This includes the UK’s pledge of £430 million (US$600 million). This is the UK’s largest ever pledge to GPE and maintains the UK as GPE’s top bilateral donor.


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India takes over UN Security Council presidency for August.

India on Sunday 01 August 202 assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the month of August, taking over from France.

According to officials, India will organize three high-level meetings focusing on priority areas such as maritime security, peacekeeping, and counterterrorism initiatives.

India began its 8th term as a non-permanent member of the UNSC on Jan. 1 this year, which will run for two years.

The country’s last term as non-permanent UNSC member was in 2011-12, which was preceded by stints in 1991-92, 1984-85, 1977-78, 1972-73, 1967-68, and 1950-51.

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First Muslim Religious Freedom Ambassador USA.

US President Joe Biden has nominated Indian-American attorney Rashad Hussain as the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, the first Muslim to be nominated to the key position, according to the White House.

Hussain, 41, is currently Director for Partnerships and Global Engagement at the National Security Council.Hussain holds a law degree from Yale Law School and has a master's degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Harvard University.

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World Ranger Day - 31 July.

World Ranger Day is observed every year on 31 July to commemorate the Rangers killed or injured while on duty and to celebrate the work that Rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage. World Ranger Day offers a chance to support their vital work, which ranges from environmental campaigning to education. The day is also an opportunity to pay tribute to rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

A Ranger is a person tasked with preserving and protecting parklands and natural protected areas. A Ranger typically refers to a forest ranger or a park ranger. It was on this day in 1992 that International Ranger Federation (IRF) was founded. World Ranger Day was created by the International Ranger Federation and was first held in 2007.

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Colosseum and Palazzo Barberini hosted Rome G20 summit.

The first G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting was held in Rome on 29 and 30 July, in a major two-day event held under the Italian G20 presidency.

The meeting began on Thursday (29) evening in the arena of the Colosseum, attended by the culture ministers of 20 of the world's largest economies together with 40 high-level cultural delegations.

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Central Province governor approves feasibility study for proposed Kandy cable car project.

Central Province (CP) Governor Lalith U Gamage today granted permission to conduct a feasibility study for the proposed cable car project as a suitable solution to reduce traffic congestion and pollution in Kandy city.

The decision was taken following a discussion held at the Governor's office on 30th July 2021 with the Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka, Eric Lavertu.

The Governor of the Central Province stated that the province has received support for a number of projects, such as the Matale Water Project, under French provisions, and thanked the French country for that.

Source: www.dailymirror.lk

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Ecuadorian Court Revokes Citizenship for the founder of Wikileaks.

Ecuador has revoked the citizenship of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks who is currently in a British prison.

Ecuador’s justice system formally notified the Australian of the nullity of his naturalization in a letter that came in response to a claim filed by the South American country’s Foreign Ministry.

A naturalization is considered damaging when it is granted based on the concealment of relevant facts, false documents or fraud. Ecuadorian authorities say Assange’s naturalization letter had multiple inconsistencies, different signatures, the possible alteration of documents and unpaid fees, among other issues.

Carlos Poveda, Assange’s lawyer, told The Associated Press the decision was made without due process and Assange
was not allowed to appear in the case.

Source: www.military.com

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31 July 2021

Marlboro maker Philip Morris could stop selling cigarettes in UK.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris has said it could stop selling cigarettes in the UK in 10 years' time as it focuses on alternatives, such as heated tobacco.

The move would mean that the firm's flagship Marlboro brand would disappear from British shops.

The firm also indicated it would welcome a government ban on cigarettes.

Health charity Ash said it was hard to take such claims seriously from the firm responsible for selling over a tenth of cigarettes globally.

Philip Morris eventually expects the government to ban smoking altogether and said that "strong regulation" was needed to "help solve the problem of cigarette smoking once and for all".

The government has already pledged to end smoking in England by 2030 as part of a range of measures to tackle the causes of preventable ill health.

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US combat forces to leave Iraq by end of year.

President Joe Biden says US forces will end their combat mission in Iraq by the end of this year, but will continue to train and advise the Iraqi military.

The announcement came after Mr Biden held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at the White House.

There are currently 2,500 US troops in Iraq helping local forces counter what remains of the Islamic State group.

Numbers of US troops are likely to stay the same but the move is being seen as an attempt to help the Iraqi PM.

The US presence in Iraq has become a major issue since top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and the leader of an Iran-backed Shia Muslim militia were killed in a US drone strike in the capital Baghdad last year.

Political parties aligned to Iran have demanded the withdrawal of all forces from the US-led global coalition against IS, despite the continuing threat posed by the Sunni jihadist group.

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Elon Musk reportedly demanded to become Apple CEO as Part of potential Tesla acquisition.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. 

The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.

According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of Apple purchasing Tesla, Musk told Cook that a purchase of Telsa by Apple could only go forward if he became CEO of the combined company.

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Greenland’s vast ice enough ice melted on single day to cover Florida in two inches of water.

Greenland’s vast ice sheet is undergoing a surge in melting, with the amount of ice vanishing in a single day this week enough to cover the whole of Florida in two inches of water, researchers have found.

The deluge of melting has reached deep into Greenland’s enormous icy interior, with data from the Danish government showing that the ice sheet lost 8.5bn tons of surface mass on Tuesday (27) alone. A further 8.4bn tons was lost on Thursday (29), the Polar Portal monitoring website reported.

The scale of disappearing ice is so large that the losses on Tuesday (27) alone created enough meltwater to drown the entire US state of Florida in two inches, or 5cm, of water. Ice that melts away in Greenland flows as water into the ocean, where it adds to the ongoing increase in global sea level caused by human-induced climate change.

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Bezos' $2bn offer to get back in race to the Moon.

Jeff Bezos has offered to cover $2bn (£1.4bn) of Nasa costs in order to be reconsidered for a key contract to build a Moon landing vehicle.

In April, the space agency awarded the $2.9bn contract to Elon Musk, rejecting a bid from Bezos' company Blue Origin.

The award is for building the landing system that will carry astronauts down to the lunar surface as early as 2024.

NASA could only award the contract to one company, not two as expected because of a funding shortfall.

The space agency had received only $850m of the $3.3bn it requested from Congress to build the Moon lander.

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Maldives’ Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid won the Presidency of the 76th UNGA.

Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid won the Presidency of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This is for the first time in the history of the United Nations (UN), Maldives will hold the office of President at the UNGA. Abdulla Shahid’s victory at the UNGA Presidential election is a “proud accomplishment” and “a step forward in elevating the country’s stature on the global stage”.

On 30 April this year, Abdulla Shahid declared his vision statement titled “A Presidency of Hope: Delivering for People, Planet and Prosperity” where he outlined his priorities for the UNGA during 2021-22. Minister Shahid talked about five “rays of hope” in his vision statement: Recovering from COVID19, Rebuilding Sustainably, Responding to the Needs of the Planet, Respecting the Rights of All, and Reforming the UN. Abdulla Shahid is committed to delivering the “Presidency of Hope”. In this endeavour, he looked for the support of all the members of the UNGA.

Maldives’ decision to join the UN in 1965, immediately after its independence, sparked a debate on how a “microstate”, could possibly contribute to the organisation. Over the years, Maldives has cleared all the doubts by raising its voice on issues of concern and playing a prominent role in the UN as well as in the other multilateral organisations including the Commonwealth.

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Former England bowler Mike Hendrick passes away.

Former England and Derbyshire bowler, Mike Hendrick has passed away. 

He played a major role in two of England’s Ashes-series victories and took 87 wickets in 30 Tests for his country between 1974 and 1981. Hendrick, who took 770 wickets in 267 first-class matches and 35 wickets in 22 ODIs, was also the first professional coach of Ireland.

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30 July 2021

Delayed Russian Nauka module joins space station.

Russia's troubled Nauka laboratory has docked with the International Space Station (ISS) after an eight-day flight.

The 13m-long, 20-tonne module was driven into the rear of the orbiting platform, linking up with the other major Russian segments on the ISS.

Nauka should have launched in 2007, but the vessel suffered repeated slips in schedule, in part because of budget difficulties but also because engineers encountered a raft of technical problems during development.

Even after it launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan a week ago, it experienced propulsion issues that required workarounds from controllers in Moscow.

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World's first re programmable commercial satellite set to launch.

The European Space Agency (ESA) will on Friday (July 30) launch the world's first commercial fully re-programmable satellite, paving the way for a new era of more flexible communications.

Unlike conventional models that are designed and "hard-wired" on Earth and cannot be repurposed once in orbit, the Eutelsat Quantum is based on so-called software-defined technology that allows users to tailor the communications to their needs - almost in real time.

The Quantum will be part of the payload for an Ariane 5 rocket due to launch from the Guiana Space Centre in Latin America between 2100 and 2230 GMT on Friday (between 5am and 6.30am Singapore time).

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Affordable hepatitis drug offers new hope to millions.

Malaysia has registered the world’s first affordable – and effective – new drug for hepatitis C, offering the hope of accessible treatment to millions of people around the world at risk from a disease that has few early symptoms, is hard to diagnose and is often seen as a “silent killer”.

The drug, ravidasvir, was approved for use with an existing drug, sofosbuvir, in June, five years after the Malaysian government, partnered with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a collaborative, non-profit drug research organisation to develop the drug.

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Six new sports will be at the Tokyo Olympics, the most since 1920.

An amazing six new sports will be contested at the Tokyo Olympics. That’s the most new additions to an Olympics since 1920, when 11 sports entered the mix.

Two of the sports added to the Tokyo Games are the closely related baseball and softball that were featured at the Olympics as recently as 2008, before being dropped in 2012 and 2016. 

But the other four are complete newcomers to the game and they are; karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. All six will join Olympic favorites like track and field, swimming, and gymnastics.

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International Space Station briefly loses control after new Russian module misfires.

An unusual and potentially dangerous situation unfolded Thursday at the International Space Station, as the newly-docked Russian Nauka module inadvertently fired its thrusters causing a "tug of war" with the space station and briefly pushing it out of position, according to NASA flight controllers.

Nauka — a long-delayed laboratory module that Russian space agency Roscosmos' launched to the International Space Station last week — inadvertently fired its thrusters after docking with the International Space Station Thursday morning.

NASA officials declared it a "spacecraft emergency" as the space station experienced a loss of attitude (the angle at which the ISS is supposed to remain oriented) control for nearly one hour, and ground controllers lost communications with the seven astronauts currently aboard the ISS for 11 minutes during the ordeal. A joint investigation between NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos is now ongoing.

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Tesla releases big, new software update with Disney+, Car Wash Mode, hotspot, and more

Tesla has started to push a new software update to its fleet, and it’s one of the bigger ones with several new features, including Disney+, Car Wash Mode, hotspot capability, and more.

For years now, Tesla has been leading the auto industry when it comes to over-the-air software update capability.

Much like the smartphone industry, the automaker regularly releases software updates with new features and UI improvements to the in-car and ownership experience.

Often, those software updates are quite small and only add a few barely noticeable improvements, but now and again, Tesla does push some bigger updates with many new features, and today we have one of those.

Tesla started pushing a new 2021.24 software update, and it includes:

  • Disney+ - With this Disney+, Tesla has now integrated all of the main streaming services.
  • Car Wash Mode - A new Car Wash Mode to help with the experience at a car wash:
  • Mirror Auto Dim - Tesla is now enabling to activate and deactivate the auto dimming feature.
  • Dashcam improvements - Tesla has an integrated dashcam system that utilize the onboard Autopilot cameras around its vehicles to record events.
  • Range display - Small update to the ways you can display your battery capacity:
  • Remain connected to Wi-Fi in drive - Tesla is enabling the use of Wi-Fi hotspots when driving
  • Languages - Tesla has also added three new language options in this new update: Hungarian, Romanian, and Russian.

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World Day Against Trafficking in Persons - 30 July.

Every year on July 30th, the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons spreads the alarm about the horrible crime of human trafficking. The day also provides an opportunity for governments to reaffirm their commitment to stop criminals from exploiting people for profit.

Human trafficking is considered a modern form of slavery. This illegal act involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain labor or sex. Traffickers use violence, manipulation, or false promises to lure their victims into trafficking situations. Trafficking victims usually experience physical and/or psychological abuse. They might also endure sexual abuse, food and sleep deprivation, threats to family members, and isolation from the outside world. Family members of the victim may also get threatened.

According to the International Labor Organization, there are over 40 million victims of human trafficking around the world. Nearly every country in the world is affected by human trafficking. There are some countries that are worse than others.

In 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking In Persons. The goal of this Global Plan was to urge governments around the world to take coordinated measures to defeat human trafficking. 

Accordingly the World Day against Trafficking in Persons was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/68/192. The Plan helped to create a voluntary Trust Fund for victims of trafficking. In 2013, during a high-level meeting to appraise the Global Plan, the UN adopted a resolution to designate July 30th as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. 

2021 Theme of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons:  Victims’ Voices Lead the Way.

This year’s theme puts victims of human trafficking at the centre of the campaign and will highlight the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking. 

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International Day of Friendship - 30 July.

International Day of Friendship on July 30th encourages forging friends near and far. Core to developing strong friendships worldwide is the hope of a growing spirit of human solidarity.

The day encourages making friends and building relationships with people outside of your own culture, country, or background. Through these relationships, a culture of peaceful and mutual understanding develops.

In 1919, Friendship Day began as a greeting card promotion. By 1940, it had disappeared. The United Nations proposed a worldwide initiative in 1997 to establish an International Friendship Day. The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

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29 July 2021

Chankillo awarded Unesco world heritage status.

The oldest solar observatory in the Americas has been awarded Unesco world heritage status and dubbed “a masterpiece of human creative genius”.

The 2,300-year-old archaeological ruin Chankillo which lies in a desert valley in northern Peru was one of 13 new global sites added to the list of cultural monuments.

Thirteen towers that align on a ridge are the best-known feature of the ancient site which dates between 250 and 200 BCE. The towers functioned as a calendar using the rising and setting arcs of the sun to mark not only equinoxes and solstices but even to define the precise time of year to within one or two days. The site also includes an imposing triple-walled hilltop complex, known as the Fortified Temple set in the barren landscape of the Casma river valley.

Iván Ghezzi, the Chankillo programme director, told the Guardian that while he was “truly overwhelmed” by the recognition he was not surprised that the UN agency found Chankillo worthy of inclusion in the list.

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Turkmenistan takes home the nation's first ever Olympic Medal.

Turkmenistan is the newest nation to join the all-time Olympic medal count, following a standout performance in the women's 59kg weightlifting competition at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Polina Guryeva, 28, lifted 96 in the snatch, combined with a 121 in clean and jerk for a total score of 217.

That score was enough to pull ahead of all but one of her 14 opponents, earning Guryeva the silver medal and Turkmenistan's first podium finish in the nation's history.

The gold medal went to Chinese Taipei's Kuo Hsing-chun, who set Olympic records in all three categories; snatch (103), clean and jerk (133) and total (236).

This is the seventh Olympic Games that Turkmenistan has competed in as its own independent nation. Prior to 1996, Turkmen athletes competed on teams with the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the 1992 Unified Team.

Prior to Guryeva's trailblazing accomplishment, the last country to win its first Olympic medal was Jordan, following Ahmad Abughaush's taekwondo tournament victory in 2016.

Source: www.kadn.com

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Judo legend Clarisse Agbegnenou wins gold for France in women’s -63kg.

France’s Clarisse Agbegnenou is one of the greatest champions in the history of judo and she proved that again when she beat the reigning Olympic title holder in the women’s -63kg class at Tokyo 2020. It was arguably her sweetest victory.

In a re-run of the Rio 2016 final, the five-time world champion and three-time European champion took sweet revenge on Slovenia’s Tina Trstenjak, who beat her five years earlier into silver.

The 28-year-old came out fighting from the start and did not relent until the judo -63kg crown was hers at the Nippon Budokan in Japan’s capital on 27 July.

But Trstenjak did not give up without a fight. The bout went to a golden score and it took a waza-ari for Agbegnenou to take down the 30-year-old, who is also reigning European champion.

The French judoka screamed and wept with delight at the end of the bout and even lifted her opponent in the air as her monumental achievement sunk in: she had now won every major title in her class.

In the bronze medal matches Italy’s Maria Centracchio, 26, beat the Nederland’s Juul Franssen. It was a tough battle which went to a golden score before Centracchio overpowered the 31-year-old with an ippon.

The second bronze was awarded to 2020 Pan-American champion Canada’s Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, 27, who beat silver medallist in that Games, Venezuela’s Anriquelis Barrios, 27. It was another golden score, but this time it ended in a waza-ari.

Source: https://olympics.com

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Brazil landscape garden Sitio Burle Marx receives UNESCO World Heritage status.

The Sitio Burle Marx site, a landscape garden in Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro has been added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. The garden features more than 3,500 species of plants native to Rio and is considered a laboratory for botanical and landscape experimentation.

The site has been named after Burle Marx, a Brazilian landscape architect whose designs of parks and gardens made him world-famous. The Sitio Burle Marx site was his home until 1985.

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Hubble Finds First Evidence of Water Vapor at Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede.

For the first time, astronomers have uncovered evidence of water vapour in the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Ganymede. This water vapour forms when ice from the moon's surface sublimates that turns from solid to gas. Scientists used new and archival datasets from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to make the discovery, published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

In 1998, Hubble's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph took the first ultraviolet (UV) images of Ganymede, which revealed colourful ribbons of electrified gas called auroral bands, and provided further evidence that Ganymede has a weak magnetic field. The similarities in these UV observations were explained by the presence of molecular oxygen (O2). But some observed features did not match the expected emissions from a pure O2 atmosphere. At the same time, scientists concluded this discrepancy was likely related to higher concentrations of atomic oxygen (O).

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Najib Mikati picked as new Lebanon’s prime minister.

Billionaire businessman Najib Mikati was appointed as Lebanon’s new prime minister-designate on Monday following binding parliamentary consultations with President Michel Aoun.

Mikati ran virtually unopposed, receiving 72 votes, with former ambassador Nawaf Salam receiving just one vote. Forty-two MPs voted blank, and three MPs did not vote at all.

His appointment comes just 11 days after Saad Hariri resigned as prime minister-designate, following nine months of political deadlock and dispute with President Aoun and his son-in-law MP Gebran Bassil.

Lebanon’s economy continues to crumble with half the population living below the poverty line and a spiralling local currency that lost more than 90 per cent of its value. The country has been without a full-fledged government for almost one year and is struggling to reform its economy to unlock international aid.

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International Tiger Day - 29 July.

International Tiger Day on July 29th raises awareness about the dwindling numbers of the biggest of the big cats. Global leaders focus on the tiger during meetings designed to promote a system for protecting and enhancing their natural habitat.

A hundred years ago,100,000 tigers roamed Asia. Today, the estimated number brings the tiger population to fewer than 4,000 tigers in the wild. One of the goals of the day is to double that number by 2022. It’s called the Tx2 Initiative.

The Tx2 Initiative collects about $350 million every year to help save tigers. The money is spent on investigators and rangers who patrol for poachers. The fund also pays for protection of tiger habitat, studies of their populations and movements, and even sets up thousands of wildlife trail cameras.

This year marks the 11th International Tiger Day. The theme for the 2021 International Tiger Day celebration is “Their Survival is in our hands”.

The Global Tiger Day came into being during the signing of the Saint Petersburg declaration by 13 tiger range countries in 2010 in Russia. The governments of these tiger range countries had resolved to encourage the conservation, protecting natural habitats and double the number of tigers by 2022. 

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28 July 2021

World Nature Conservation Day - 28 July.

Every year on July 28th, World Nature Conservation Day acknowledges that the foundation for a healthy society is a healthy environment. It’s also a day to increase awareness about the importance of protecting our natural resources.

Our planet’s natural resources consist of air, sunlight, soil, minerals, fuels and water. All of these things are found in nature and used by people. Currently, there are nearly 8 billion people that populate the Earth. This number is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2037. All of these people use the earth’s natural resources every day. Because these resources are getting used up so rapidly, many people are concerned they will become depleted. For this reason, many individuals and organizations stress the importance of conserving our natural resources.

World Nature Conservation Day began in India by those who were concerned about protecting the Earth’s natural resources. The Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Center in New Delhi promotes the day. The Department of Environment, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, and the Government of India sponsor ENVIS. Many countries have joined India in observing this important day for our planet.

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International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem - 26 July.

The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem (or World Mangrove Day) is celebrated annually on 26 July. The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems as “a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem” and to promote solutions for their sustainable management, conservation and uses.

The day was adopted by the General Conference of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2015. It was on this day in 1998, that a Greenpeace activist Hayhow Daniel Nanoto, died of a heart attack during a massive protest to re-establish the mangrove wetlands in Muisne, Ecuador.

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Dholavira inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List.

A Harappan-era metropolis, Dholavira in Gujarat has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Now Gujarat has three world heritage sites, Champaner near Pavagadh, Rani ki Vav in Patan and the historic city of Ahmedabad. Dholavira is now the 40th treasure in India to be given.

The ongoing 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has already given India a new world heritage site in the form of the Rudreswara/ Ramappa Temple in Telangana, which dates back to the 13th century. This session of the World Heritage Committee is being chaired from Fuzhou in China.

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Uzbekistan hosts 'Central-South Asia conference 2021.

Uzbekistan has hosted a high-level International Conference titled “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities” at Tashkent on 15 - 16 July 2021. The conference was an initiative of the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. It was attended by President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, Ministers from Central Asian, West Asian and South Asian countries.

Delegates from over 40 countries and about 30 international organizations, and heads of think tanks participated in the conference.

President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani underlined the historical proximity of two regions and the importance of strengthening it on the basis of mutual trust and interests.

President Mirziyoyev said the world has entered an era of global geopolitical transformations and that the ‘revival of mutual ties between Central and South Asia, where about two billion people live today, is becoming an ever more demanding and objective process’.

The international conference was also addressed online by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. 

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar said that for Central Asian countries, the Chabahar port in Iran provides a ‘secure, viable and unhindered access to the sea.

The port has been proposed to be included in the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). It may be added that an India-Uzbekistan-Iran-Afghanistan Quadrilateral Working Group has been formed on the joint use of Chabahar port.

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Hidilyn Diaz wins Philippines' first Olympic gold medal for weightlifting.

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz made history Monday 26 July 2021 becoming the first athlete from the Philippines to win gold at the Olympics.

The 30-year-old set an Olympic record, lifting a combined weight of 224 kilograms, to clinch the top spot in the women's 55-kg class in Tokyo.

Prior to Diaz's gold, the South East Asian nation of roughly 108 million had claimed just 10 Olympic medals -- 3 silvers and 7 bronzes.

Diaz, who won silver at the 2016 Games in Rio, achieved a personal best to beat off strong competition from world record holder Liao Qiuyun of China, who took silver with 223 kg, and Kazakhstan's Zulfiya Chinshanlo, who won bronze with 213 kg.

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China launches 6-month campaign to clean up apps

China’s industry ministry has announced a 6-month campaign to clean up what it says are serious problems with internet apps violating consumer rights, cyber security and “disturbing market order.” 

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in an online notice that companies must fix pop-ups on apps that deceive and mislead users or force them to use services they might not want. 

The order is part of a wider effort to crack down on tech industries and police use of personal information. Authorities have ordered fines and other penalties for some of China’s biggest tech companies.

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