30 April 2021

TIME Chose the 100 Most Influential Companies of 2021.

Which companies are shaping our future? That’s the question at the heart of our first ever TIME100 Most Influential Companies, a new list and an expansion of our iconic TIME100 franchise that highlights businesses making an extraordinary impact around the world. 

To assemble it, TIME solicited nominations across sectors including health care, entertainment, transportation, technology and more from our global network of editors and correspondents, as well as from industry experts. Then, we evaluated each one on key factors, including relevance, impact, innovation, leadership, ambition and success. 

The result is a diverse array of 100 institutions, from the tech startup engineering a smarter way to recycle to the cryptocurrency firm reimagining the future of money to the pharma titans creating the vaccines of tomorrow (and today). Together, these businesses and the leaders who steer them are helping to chart an essential path forward.

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Chad’s new military rulers named, Albert Pahimi Padacke as the new prime minister.

Chad’s new military rulers named a civilian politician, Albert Pahimi Padacke, as prime minister of a transitional government on Monday a week after President Idriss Deby’s battlefield death, but opposition leaders quickly dismissed the appointment.

Padacke served as prime minister from 2016 to 2018 and was seen as an ally of Deby, who ruled Chad for 30 years.

A military council seized power after Deby was killed as he visited troops fighting rebels on April 19. Opposition politicians have called the military takeover a coup, and two said on Monday the army had no right to pick a premier.

The transition and the wrangling around it is being closely watched in a country that is a power in central Africa and a longtime Western ally against Islamist militants across the Sahel.

The military council is headed by Deby's son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, and has said it will oversee an 18-month transition to elections. Mahamat Idriss Deby, a general, has been declared the national president and has dissolved parliament.

But the council is coming under international pressure to hand over power to civilians as soon as possible. The African Union has expressed “grave concern” about the military takeover, while France, the former colonial ruler, and some of Chad’s neighbours are pushing for a civilian-military solution.

The U.S. State Department said the naming of a civilian prime minister is "potentially a positive first step in restoring civilian governance," adding that Washington is continuing to closely monitor the situation.

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UK government approves 'self-driving' cars on motorways.

The UK government became the first country to announce it will regulate the use of self-driving vehicles at slow speeds on motorways, with the first such cars possibly appearing on public roads as soon as this year.

Britain's transport ministry said it was working on specific wording to update the country's highway code for the safe use of self-driving vehicle systems, starting with Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS), which use sensors and software to keep cars within a lane, allowing them to accelerate and brake without driver input.

The government said the use of ALKS would be restricted to motorways, at speeds under 37 mph (60 kph).

The British government wants to be at the forefront of rolling out autonomous driving technology and the transport ministry forecasts by 2035 around 40 percent of new UK cars could have self-driving capabilities, creating up to 38,000 new skilled jobs.

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World’s most powerful supercomputer to be built in UK.

Microsoft and UK's Met Office have teamed up to build the world’s most powerful supercomputer to forecast weather and climate-change.

Likely to be operational in 2022, the supercomputer will provide accurate warnings on severe weather and help protect from impact of increasingly extreme storms, floods and snow in the UK, the Met Office said in a release.

In February 2020, the UK government had announced funding of £1.2 billion to develop this supercomputer, which is expected to be one of the top 25 supercomputers in the world.

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China launches a robot to collect space debris and mine asteroids

A Chinese startup company called Origin Space has launched a prototype robot designed to collect space debris and eventually mine asteroids while in low-Earth orbit.

The Neo-01 robot was launched on the Chinese state-backed rocket Long March recently, and weighs about 30 kg. The system will use a net to catch debris.

Satellites of all kinds – military and civilian – have been launched in their thousands in the past few decades. And when these become obsolete, they just end up floating in space, accounting for a large portion of the debris floating around in space above Earth’s atmosphere.

According to some estimates, approximately 3,000 satellites and millions of small pieces of related debris are currently in space with no feasible way of recovering, recycling or disposing of them in a clean way.

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The World Book Capital for 2021: Tbilisi, Georgia.

In the Republic of Georgia, a small but spirited weekend opens the 2021 UNESCO World Book Capital program.

As is its custom, UNESCO’s World Book Capital program used World Book Day (Friday, April 23) to make its transfer from the 2020 city to the new 2021 designee.

Less than three years after its 2018 Guest of Honor Georgia program at Frankfurter Buchmesse—World Book Capital Tbilisi (2021) has accepted its new designation in a handover ceremony with Kuala Lumpur (2020). Guadalajara has been named the 2022 World Book Capital by UNESCO.

It typically takes a coalition of cultural organizations and governmental agencies to produce a successful World Book Capital program, and in Georgia, that collective includes:

  • The Writers’ House of Georgia
  • The Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association
  • The Museum of Literature
  • The National Library of the Parliament of Georgia
  • The Tbilisi  Museums Union
  • The Georgian National Film Center
  • The United Nations Population Fund
  • The State  Language Department of Georgia

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Russian firm launches production of world's 1st combined HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis test.

On Tuesday  27 April 2021 in St. Petersburg, Russian biotechnological company BioPalette launched the mass production of "MultiSCREEN," the world's first test system designed to simultaneously screen for the presence of such diseases as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis.

According to BioPalette head Vladimir Okrul, the company needed to invest 80 million rubles ($1 million) to begin mass production of the screening kit, and Russia's Industrial Development Fund has provided a preferential loan of 50.7 million rubles.

According to BioPalette development director Andrey Berezin, the firm has decided to create a combined test, as it now occupies about 7% of the market for diagnostics in the field of HIV tests, while the market for the "hospital four" -- that is, the most common tests: hepatitis B & C, syphilis, and HIV - is estimated at 6.7 billion rubles.

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Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins dies at age 90.

Michael Collins - one of the three crew members of the first manned mission to land on the Moon, Apollo 11 in 1969 - has died aged 90, his family say.

He died on Wednesday 28 April 2021 after a valiant battle with cancer. 

Collins stayed in lunar orbit as his colleagues Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon.

Aldrin, 91, was the only surviving member of the mission.

On 16 July 2019, Collins visited Florida's Kennedy Space Center - the site where the mission had set off exactly 50 years earlier. Speaking at launchpad 39A - where the crew's rocket began the historic mission - he described how he felt during take-off.

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Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI) 2021.

About the Index:

The Chandler Good Government Index is an annual Index, built by government practitioners, for government practitioners, measuring the capabilities and effectiveness of 104 governments around the world.

The Chandler Institute of Governance (CIG) is an international non-profit organisation, headquartered in Singapore.

The index focuses on seven pillars:

leadership and foresight; robust laws and policies; strong institutions; financial stewardship; attractive marketplace; global influence and reputation; and helping people rise.

Good government is a deciding factor in whether nations succeed. The Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI) shows why investing in strong government capabilities is vital to securing positive outcomes for citizens and businesses.

Highlights of the 2021 index:

Sri Lanka has been placed at 74th position among 104 nations in the Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI) 2021.

Seven of the top ten countries are in Europe, but there are four continents represented in the top ten, with Singapore first in Asia, New Zealand leading Oceania, and Canada foremost in the Americas.

All of the top ten countries are high-income, as defined by the World Bank.



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China adopts new anti-espionage regulation.

China rolled out a new anti-espionage regulation, which allows the national security authority to draw up lists of companies and organizations that are susceptible to foreign infiltration and require listed institutes to adopt security measures to prevent foreign infiltration.

Since foreign spies and intelligence agencies and other hostile forces have intensified their infiltration and intelligence theft against China through more diverse methods and in broader fields, the regulation clarifies "what, who and how" to guard against foreign espionage, officials from the national security authority explained on last Monday.

According to the regulation, companies, organizations or social groups on the list shoulder the responsibility to roll out detailed measures against foreign espionage, including arranging their working staff to sign letters of commitment before taking up posts, reporting their activities related to national security, giving education to personnel ahead of their departures abroad, and interviewing personnel after their return to China.

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India third highest military spender in 2020.

India has retained its position as the third biggest military spender in the world in 2020, according to new data titled ‘SIPRI Military Expenditure Database’ published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on April 26, 2021.

Top 5 nations are;

As per the new report, the top five biggest spenders in 2020 were the United States ($778 billion), China ($252 billion), India ($72.9 billion), Russia ($61.7 billion) and the United Kingdom ($59.2 billion) respectively.

These five nations together accounted for 62 per cent of global military expenditure.

Globally, the military spending in 2020 rose to $1981 billion. This value is an increase of 2.6 per cent in real terms as compared to 2019.

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Saudi Arabia joins US in creating Net-Zero Producers Forum.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy announced that the Kingdom will join Canada, Norway, Qatar and the United States to form a forum to develop strategies including methane abatement, circular carbon systems, carbon capture and storage and economic diversification.

The five countries collectively represent 40 percent of global oil and gas production.

A joint statement from the five countries noted that the cooperative forum will develop pragmatic net-zero emission strategies, including methane abatement, advancing the circular carbon economy approach, development and deployment of clean energy and carbon capture and storage technologies, diversification from reliance on hydrocarbon revenues, and other measures in line with each country's national circumstances.

The International Energy Forum (IEF) commended five of its member countries for forming the Net Zero Producers' Forum to develop pragmatic net-zero emission strategies.

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International Jazz Day - 30 April.

International Jazz Day is observed every year on 30 April.

In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.

Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth for social change.

UNESCO and United Nations missions, U.S. embassies and government outposts around the world hosted special events for the first annual International Jazz Day on April 30, 2012 to honor this revered musical art form. 

The 10th edition in 2021 will focus on peace building and will be structured around several activities: round table and concerts highlighting cultural heritage and traditions.

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29 April 2021

The 93rd Academy Awards - 2021.

The 93rd Academy Awards was chock full of historic firsts for women and people of color tonight.

"Minari" star Yuh-jung Youn became first Korean actress to win for best supporting role while Chloé Zhao took home best director for her critically-acclaimed "Nomadland," which depicts a woman in her 60s traveling through the American West as a van-dwelling nomad.

It took 93 years for the Academy to name an Asian woman as best director. And until this year, only five women, all White, had ever been nominated and only one had won — Kathryn Bigelow, in 2010, for "The Hurt Locker."

Here are all the Oscar winners this year:

  • Best Picture: "Nomadland"
  • Best Director: Chloe Zhao, "Nomadland"
  • Best Actress: Frances McDormand, "Nomadland"
  • Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins, "The Father"
  • Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya, "Judas and the Black Messiah"
  • Best Supporting Actress: Yuh-jung Youn, "Minari"
  • Animated Feature Film: "Soul"
  • Best Documentary Feature: "My Octopus Teacher"
  • Best Original Screenplay: Emerald Fennell for "Promising Young Woman"
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton for "The Father"
  • Best International Feature Film: "Another Round," Denmark
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling: "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson, and Sergio Lopez-Rivera
  • Best Costume Design: Ann Roth, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
  • Achievement in Sound: "Sound of Metal," Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortes, Phillip Bladh
  • Live Action Short Film: "Two Distant Strangers," Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe
  • Animated Short Film: "If Anything Happens I Love You"
  • Best Documentary Short: "Colette"
  • Special Effects: "Tenet"
  • Production Design: "Mank"
  • Cinematography: "Mank"
  • Film Editing: "Sound of Metal"
  • Original Score: "Soul"
  • Best Song: "Fight For You" from "Judas and the Black Messiah"

Source: https://edition.cnn.com


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Cabinet approves to ban burqa & Niqab.

The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposed ban on all face coverings, including the Burqa and the Niqab, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.

Speaking at the media conference held on 26 April 2021 at the Government Information Department to inform the decisions taken at this week’s Cabinet meeting held yesterday he said the Cabinet of Ministers has decided to ban all face coverings particularly in public areas as it could be a security threat.

Public Security Minister Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara had proposed a ban on the ‘Burqa’ and the ‘Niqab’ on March 13 based on concerns over national security.

Source: www.dailynews.lk

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International Dance Day - 29 April.

International Dance Day on April 29th is an annual celebration of how dancing positively impacts our lives. The human body’s ability to move, groove, pop, and lock has captivated the way we interact with music and express ourselves artistically.

This day was created to allow the world to recognize dance as a professional art form. Dancing gives us the ability to communicate emotions frequently deeper than our own language. International Dance Day is a tribute to millions of people across generations who have dedicated their lives to this craft of enchantment.

The Dance Committee of the International Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute chose April 29th as International Dance Day to honor Jean-Georges Noverre’s birthday. He is renowned as the creator of modern ballet. The day was officially recognized in 1982.

Each year, a guest speaker is chosen to deliver the message of the International Dance Council to the world. The speaker is involved with the world of dancing in some way, shape or form. Prior speakers have included names like Sasha Waltz, William Forsythe, Maguy Marin, Robin Howard, and Yuri Grigorovitch.

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28 April 2021

WHO unveils global immunization strategy.

A UN-led global immunization strategy was unveiled to reach more than 50 million children who have missed lifesaving jabs against measles and other diseases because of current global pandemic disruption.

The new global strategy has the potential to save 50 million lives within less than a decade.

A WHO survey showed more than one third of countries were still seeing disruptions to their routine immunisation services. The joint statement said, around 60 mass vaccination campaigns were currently postponed in 50 countries, putting 228 million people, mostly children, at risk of diseases such as measles and polio.

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NASA's Mars helicopter makes it's third successful flight.

The US space agency's Ingenuity Mars helicopter has now made its third successful flight on the Red Planet.

On Sunday (25), the little chopper rose to a height of 5m before speeding off laterally for 50m - half the length of a football field.

Ingenuity then came back to its take-off spot, for a total flight time of 80 seconds.

Sunday's sortie was the most ambitious yet, but engineers say they plan to push the technology harder still.

They want to find the chopper's limits, even if that means crashing it in the process.

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Sri Lanka, World Bank Sign Project to Improve Management of Watersheds and Water Resources.

The Government of Sri Lanka and the World Bank signed a $69.53 million credit agreement to improve dams and irrigation schemes covering 165,000 hectares of agricultural land and improve the management of watersheds and water resources, benefitting 356,000 farming families.

Mr. Sajith Attygalle, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance signed on behalf of the Government and Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka, signed on behalf of the World Bank.

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Sri Lankan Cricketer Nuwan Zoysa banned for six years under ICC Anti-Corruption Code.

Sri Lanka's Nuwan Zoysa has been handed a six-year ban from all cricket after he was found guilty of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.

Former Sri Lanka player and coach Nuwan Zoysa has been banned from all cricket for six years after an ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal found him guilty of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.

The ban for Mr Zoysa is backdated to 31 October 2018, when he was provisionally suspended.

As previously advised, following full hearings and presentations of written and oral argument, the Tribunal found Mr Zoysa guilty of:

  • Article 2.1.1 – for being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspect(s) of an International Match.
  • Article 2.1.4 – Directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any Participant to breach Code Article 2.1. 
  • Article 2.4.4 - Failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code.

Mr Zoysa has also been charged by the ICC on behalf of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) with breaching four counts of the ECB Anti-Corruption Code for Participants for the T10 League and these proceedings are ongoing.

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Chinese Defence Minister holds bilateral talks with Prime Minister Rajapaksa.

Chinese State Councillor and Defence Minister, General Wei Fenghe who is on a two-day official visit in Sri Lanka called on Prime Minister  Mahinda Rajapaksa has held bilateral discussions, says the Premier’s Media Division.

During the meeting, PM Rajapaksa has appreciated China for donating 600,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Sri Lanka to help the fight against the pandemic situation. 

The Chinese defence minister arrived in Sri Lanka last night (April 27) on a two-day official visit.

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Chinese Defence Minister and President Rajapaksa hold talks.

Chinese State Councillor and Defence Minister, General Wei Fenghe who is on a two-day official visit called on Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for a bilateral discussion at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo today (28) morning.

The Chinese Defence Minister was received by the Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera and Foreign Secretary Admiral (Retd.) Prof. Jayanath Colombage, upon arriving at the Presidential Secretariat.

General Wei Fenghe said the bilateral discussions held with the President were extremely fruitful and also said the relations between the two nations were further strengthened by this visit.

Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe placed a note on the Book for Special Guests to mark the meeting with the President.

Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong, Deputy Chief of staff of Joint Staff Department under the China’s Central Military Commission Lieutenant General Shao Yuanming, Major General Ci Guowei and Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera participated in the discussion.

The Chinese defence minister had arrived in Sri Lanka last night on a two-day official visit.

The high-ranking Chinese official is also expected to meet Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today (28) for a discussion before leaving the country tomorrow morning (29).

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Internet security saviour Daniel Kaminsky dies at 42.

Daniel Kaminsky, a security researcher known for his discovery of a fundamental flaw in the fabric of the internet, died Friday at his home in San Francisco. He was 42.

In 2008, Kaminsky was widely hailed as a latter-day, digital Paul Revere after he found a serious flaw in the internet’s basic plumbing that could allow skilled coders to take over websites, siphon off bank credentials or even shut down the internet. 

Kaminsky alerted the Department of Homeland Security, executives at Microsoft and Cisco, and other internet security experts to the problem and helped spearhead a patch.

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J.K. Rowling children's story 'The Christmas Pig' to be released on October 12.

One of the world's most successful authors is coming back with a new book just in time for the holiday season.

Author J.K. Rowling announced Tuesday on her website that her latest children's book is titled "The Christmas Pig."

Rowling said the story is about a boy named Jack and his toy Dur Pig, who goes missing on Christmas Eve.

The book is set to be released worldwide on Oct. 12. "The Christmas Pig" is Rowling’s first children’s novel since Harry Potter.

Rowling returned to writing with the release of "The Ickabog" last year during the pandemic. Jim Field will illustrate her new book, The Associated Press reported.

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World Day for Safety and Health at Work - 28 April.

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is April 28. It is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work conditions. It is estimated that work days lost to Occupational Safety and Health-related causes represent almost 4 percent of global GDP, in some countries as much as 6 percent.

By far the greatest proportion of current work-related deaths, 86 percent, come from disease. An estimated 6,500 people a day die from occupational diseases, compared to 1,000 a day from fatal occupational accidents.

Organizers stress that an occupational safety and health culture is one in which every worker has the right to a safe and healthy working environment. A healthy and safety culture is respected at all levels, where governments, employers, and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment.

Growing challenges include psychosocial risks, work-related stress and non-communicable diseases, notably circulatory and respiratory diseases, and cancers.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work was organized by the International Labor Organization in 2003. It coincides with the April 28 International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers.

The theme for 2021 is “Anticipate, prepare and respond to crises – Invest Now in Resilient Occupational Safety and Health Systems”.

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Workers’ Memorial Day - 28 April

The Workers’ Memorial Day, also known as International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers occurs every year on 28 April. The day has been organized worldwide by the International Trade Union Confederation since 1996.

Its purpose is to remember workers killed in incidents at work or by diseases caused by work and honour the victims of occupational accidents and diseases by organizing worldwide mobilizations and awareness campaigns on this date.

Theme 2021: ‘Health and Safety is a fundamental workers‘ right.’

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27 April 2021

China names its first-ever Mars rover “Zhurong”.

China has named its first-ever Mars rover “Zhurong” after an ancient fire god ahead of a landing attempt on the Red Planet in May. The China National Space Administration (CNSA) revealed the name at the sixth China Space Day held in Nanjing. The Chinese name for Mars, “Huoxing,” literally means “fire star.”

Zhurong was the most popular of 10 shortlisted names for a public vote that opened in January, and that choice was backed by an expert panel and the CNSA itself. The rover carries panoramic and multispectral cameras and instruments to analyze the composition of rocks. Zhurong will also investigate subsurface characteristics with ground-penetrating radar if all goes according to plan.

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India Joins Rescue Ops For Missing Indonesian Submarine “KRI Nanggala-402”

The Indian Navy has joined the rescue operation for an Indonesian submarine and its 53-person crew that went missing more than 4 days ago. Indonesia had sought assistance from India after its 44-year-old submarine, KRI Nanggala-402, went missing while conducting a torpedo drill north of the island of Bali. The Navy’s Deep-Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSVR) left from Visakhapatnam.

Inducted in 2018-19, the DSRVs are capable of undertaking rescue from a disabled Submarine up to 650-metre depth. The DSRV system has a Side Scan Sonar for locating the position of the submarine in distress at sea and can provide immediate relief by way of posting Emergency Life Support Containers with the help of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and thereafter rescuing the crew of the submarine using the DSRV itself.

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Manchester City won League Cup Football Tournament.

Manchester City won the League Cup for a record-equalling fourth time in succession with a deserved victory over a disappointing Tottenham Hotspur side at Wembley.

City defender Aymeric Laporte, arguably fortunate to be on the pitch after escaping a yellow card in the first half before being cautioned after the break, rose above Spurs substitute Moussa Sissoko to head home Kevin de Bruyne's free-kick eight minutes from time.

It was appropriate reward for City creating a host of chances and dominating Spurs, who did not enjoy any sort of positive reaction from sacking manager Jose Mourinho on Monday and replacing him with caretaker Ryan Mason.

The final was played in front of 8,000 supporters, including 2,000 from each club - and it was a delight to hear noise inside Wembley's vast arena once more.

City's victory equalled Liverpool's achievement in the early 1980s of winning the competition four years in a row, as well as matching the Reds' overall tally of eight triumphs, and manager Pep Guardiola said his players are motivated by such milestones.

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Rafael Nadal battles past Stefanos Tsitsipas for 12th Barcelona Open title.

Rafael Nadal won his 12th Barcelona Open title, saving a match point in a thrilling three-set victory over Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nadal trailed 4-2 in the opener but recovered, breaking twice to take it.

World number five Tsitsipas showed great grit in the second set, saving two match points in game 10 game before levelling the match on a tie-break.

In a tight third set, Nadal faced a match point before piling on the pressure to win 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-5.

The victory, which took three hours 38 minutes, gave the 34-year-old his 61st clay court title and came against an in-form opponent who had won his maiden Masters crown in Monte Carlo last week.

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Chloe Zhao becomes second woman to win best director at Academy Awards.

Chloe Zhao made history at the Academy Awards in Los Angelese. The 93rd Academy Awards started in Los Angelese on 26 April 2021. The director of “Nomadland” is the second woman to win the best directing award in nearly 100 years.

She is also the first woman of color to win the award.

Zhao was the front-runner heading into the Oscar ceremony, having won directing awards from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Directors Guild of America.

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26 April 2021

Richter Scale Day - 26 April

Richter Scale Day celebrates the birth of the inventor of the Richter Scale. Born on April 26, 1900, American seismologist Charles F. Richter (1900–1985) invented the Richter Scale in 1935.

The Richter Scale measures the amount of energy released by an earthquake by measuring the magnitude or seismic waves produced by an earthquake. The Richter Scale measures from 0 to 9. On the scale, each increase in number represents an earthquake 10 times more powerful. At 4.5 an earthquake can damage buildings and structures. At 7 on the Richter scale, severe and catastrophic damage can occur.

Source: https://nationaltoday.com

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World Intellectual Property Day - 26 April.

Every April 26, we mark World Intellectual Property Day to learn more about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity. It’s the day the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) sponsors a celebration of World Intellectual Property Day on Capitol Hill.

Laws protecting creative intangible creative products give people and businesses property rights to the information and intellectual goods they create.

You know what it is to steal someone’s tangible property such as a car or money. Did you know it’s against the law to take someone’s intangible property such as a song, story, image, or artwork? Imagine you write the song that you performed to a group of friends. One of them records the song and publishes it without giving you credit. They could be guilty of stealing your intellectual property.

Protecting intellectual property rights is difficult. Unlike traditional property, intellectual property is indivisible – an unlimited number of people can “consume” an intellectual good without it being depleted. While a landowner can surround their land with a robust fence and hire armed guards to protect it, a producer of information or an intellectual good can usually do very little to stop their first buyer from replicating it and selling it at a lower price.

One of the most famous intellectual property disputes was in 2000 between the rock band Metallica and the music-sharing website called Napster.

World Intellectual Property Day 2021 shines a light on the critical role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the economy and how they can use intellectual property (IP) rights to build stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses.

Theme 2021: Intellectual Property & Small Business: Taking big ideas to market.

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International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day - 26 April.

Every year on April 26th, International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of this historic nuclear accident. The day also focuses on the prevention of future nuclear disasters.

On April 26th, 1986, the worst nuclear accident in history took place. The horrific event occurred in Chernobyl, Ukraine. This disaster occurred during a safety test on one of the nuclear reactors at the power plant. A combination of human error and poor design caused the explosion, which resulted in a fire that burned for nine days. The radiation released into the air contaminated 150,000 square miles in three countries: Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. The radioactive cloud also contaminated food sources throughout Europe.

Two workers died from the explosion. Twenty-eight firefighters and emergency responders died within the next three months from radiation exposure. A UN study points to the disaster as a possible cause of thyroid cancer in 20,000 children. Over 300,000 people that lived near the nuclear power plant had to relocate. An increase in suicide rates, depression, and post-traumatic stress is also correlated to the accident.

Throughout the years, the total cost for the disaster has reached $700 billion.

Unfortunately, the Soviet government took four years to realize the need for international assistance. In 1990, the UN made a resolution to help with the recovery process. In 1991, the UN created the Chernobyl Trust Fund. The fund’s primary purpose was to expedite financial contributions toward Chernobyl activities, which included financial relief for victims.

On December 8, 2016, the UN adopted a resolution to designate April 26th as International Chernobyl Remembrance Day.

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25 April 2021

Justice N. V. Ramana appointed as next Chief Justice of India.

President Ram Nath Kovind named Justice N V Ramana as the next Chief Justice of India. He will take charge on April 24, a day after Sharad Arvind Bobde retires as chief justice.

Justice Ramana, who was born on August 27, 1957, will have a tenure as India's chief justice for a year and four months, till August 26, 2022.

Ramana, who will take over as India's 48th Chief Justice, hails from the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh and has been in the legal circles since the early 1980s. Before becoming part of the apex court, Justice Ramana practised Civil, Criminal, Constitutional law at the Andhra Pradesh High Court, Central Administrative Tribunal, AP state administrative tribunal.

According to his profile on the Supreme Court website, the justice also functioned as Additional Standing Counsel for Central Government and Standing Counsel for Railways in the Central Administrative Tribunal at Hyderabad. He has also functioned as Additional Advocate General of Andhra Pradesh.

He was raised as the permanent judge of Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2000 and was Acting Chief Justice of AP HC from March 10, 2013, to May 20, 2013. Following his stint with Andhra Pradesh HC, he moved to the Delhi High Court where he served as Chief Justice from September 2, 2013, before being elevated as the judge of Supreme Court on February 17, 2014.

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Italy's Liberation Day - Festa della Liberazione - 25 April.

Italy's Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione), also known as the Anniversary of the Liberation (Anniversario della liberazione d'Italia), Anniversary of the Resistance (anniversario della Resistenza), or simply April 25 is a national Italian holiday commemorating the end of the second world war and the end of Nazi occupation of the country.

Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione) remembers Italians who fought against the Nazis and Mussolini’s troops during World War II. (Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party from 1922 to 1943. He then led the Italian Social Republic in parts of Italy that were not occupied by Allied forces from 1943 to 1945.) The day honors those who served in the Italian Resistance. Marching bands, music concerts, food festivals, political rallies, and other public gatherings take place in many places in Italy.

The date was chosen by convention, as it corresponds to the day Milan and Turin were liberated, on April 25, 1945. This was also the day when the National Liberation Committee of Upper Italy (CLNAI) officially proclaimed the insurgency in a radio announcement, announcing the seizure of power by the CLNAI and the death sentence for all fascists (including Benito Mussolini, who was shot three days later).

Source: en.wikipedia.org

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World Penguin Day - 25 April.

Observed the world over on April 25th, World Penguin Day recognizes one of the unique birds on the planet.  There are 17 species of penguins, and all their natural habitats are in the Southern hemisphere.

National Penguin Day began in 1972 when Gerry Wallace wrote the event on his wife’s (Aleta’s) calendar in Alamogordo, California. They later brought the celebration to the Naval Weapons Center in Ridgecrest, California where the Penguin Patrol made the news. April 25th is also the date that the Adelie penguins begin their migration northward toward Antartica.

We celebrate penguins around the world twice a year. January 20th is Penguin Awareness Day. April 25th is World Penguin Day.

Penguins are found in Antarctica, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, the Falkland Islands, and the Galapagos Islands. Penguins are probably the world’s most popular bird – think of Happy Feet, March of the Penguins, Pingu and penguin books to name a few uses in popular culture. These charismatic flightless birds are funny to watch on land but are graceful and rapid in water. They occur only in the seas of the Southern hemisphere; there are seventeen species of penguin ranging from the Galapagos to Antarctica.

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International Delegate’s Day - 25 April.

International Delegate’s Day observed globally on 25 April every year. This day is observed to raise awareness of the role of the representatives and delegates of the Member States to the United Nations. International Delegate’s Day marks the anniversary of the first day of the San Francisco Conference which is also known as the United Nations Conference on International Organization.

On 25 April 1945, delegates from 50 countries came together for the first time in San Francisco. The conference happened after the devastation of the second world war. The delegates aimed to set up an organization that would restore world peace and imposes rules on the post-war world order. On 2 April 2019, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 25 April as International Delegate’s Day.

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World Malaria Day - 25 April.

World Malaria Day was established in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Organization.

World Malaria Day (WMD) is an international observance every year on 25 April to recognize global efforts to control malaria. The goal of the day is to provide “education and understanding of malaria.”

Malaria exists in more than 100 countries worldwide, and some 900,000 people die from the disease each year. According to the World Health Organization, after more than a decade of steady advances in fighting malaria, progress has leveled off. World Malaria Day is part of a call for urgent action to get the global response to malaria back on track.

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. It is preventable and curable.

Malaria was the most severe health hazard encountered by U.S. troops in the South Pacific during World War II, where about 500,000 men were infected.

At the close of the 20th century, malaria remained endemic in more than 100 countries throughout the tropical and subtropical zones, including large areas of Central and South America. Resistance to anti-malaria drugs, as well as the resistance of mosquitos to insecticides and the discovery of other species of the parasite have complicated control measures.

This year's theme is 'Reaching the zero malaria target'. 

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24 April 2021

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day - 24 April.

Genocide Remembrance Day or Genocide Memorial day, is a national holiday in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and is observed by Armenians in dispersed communities around the world on April 24. It is held annually to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide from 1915 to 1923. In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, hundreds of thousands of people walk to the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial to lay flowers at the eternal flame.

On April 24, 1915 hundreds Armenian Intellectuals: poets, musicians, publicists, editors, lawyers, doctors, deputies, were arrested in Constantinople under warrants issued by the Turkish authorities. They were all sent into exile and were horrifically slaughtered. The annihilation of the Armenian Intellectuals was the part of a systematic, fiendish plan to exterminate the Armenian people in their homeland. It was the first state-planned Genocide of the 20th century.

The date was chosen by Lebanese Armenians to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Genocide in 1965. The same day witnessed illegal demonstrations staged by Armenians in Yerevan the capital of Soviet Armenia. The Armenian protests got out of control and calm was restored with difficulty.

On 9 April 1975, the US House of Representatives passed Joint Resolution 148 designating 24 April as a National Day of Remembrance of Man’s Inhumanity to Man. The Resolution commemorated the victims of genocide, especially those of Armenian ancestry who succumbed to the genocide perpetrated in 1915, The resolution however failed to pass in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee due to President Gerald R. Ford’s strong opposition to what he saw as a threat to the country's strategic alliance with Turkey.

Popularity of the day rose in diaspora as a result of anti-Turkish operations by Armenian groups such as the ASALA, and attendance of Genocide Day demonstrations rose in France from several hundreds to over 10,000 in 1981.

Soviet Armenia formally adopted 24 April as a public day of commemoration in 1988. In 1997 the California State Assembly declared 24 April as a Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915–1923, and for the victims of the Sumgait Pogroms of 1988 and Baku Riots of 1990.

The day is also chosen by Assyrian/Syriacs to commemorate the Assyrian Genocide especially in diaspora.

Source: keepincalendar.com

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U.S. launches “Clean Cities, Blue Ocean Program” in Sri Lanka.

U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz announced the first grants awarded through the U.S. government’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program yesterday, totaling $345,000. These grants to Sri Lankan organizations will fund projects that help protect Sri Lanka’s cities and marine resources from plastic pollution. Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, joined Ambassador Teplitz at the event.

In line with Sri Lankan government and grassroots efforts, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program will fund pilot projects to minimize the flow of plastic pollution to the ocean. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Public Interest Law Foundation received funding to develop, test, and implement new models to enhance solid waste management and promote reducing, reusing, and recycling practices. Grantees will also build awareness of the negative impact of plastic pollution on the ocean.

Working in Colombo, Galle, and Jaffna districts, grantees will collaborate with local and national government entities to manage solid waste more effectively. 

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U.S. to Double Public Climate Finance to Developing Countries by 2024.

The United States said it will boost public climate finance to help poor countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate, doubling funding by 2024 from average levels hit during the Obama administration.

As part of the goal, the White House said that by 2024 it would triple financing of climate adaptation, which focuses on adjustments to current or expected climate change. It said it will work with Congress to enact needed legislation.

Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, a top aide to Biden's climate envoy John Kerry, said total U.S. international public climate finance averaged around $2.8 billion a year during the baseline period from fiscal year 2013 to 2017, with around $500 million going toward adaptation. That was the most recent period where U.S. climate finance was at an all-time high.

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Rumana Sinha Sehgal won the Nelson Mandela World Humanitarian Award 2021.

Software-engineer turned social entrepreneur, Rumana Sinha Sehgal has been awarded the prestigious ‘Nelson Mandela World Humanitarian Award 2021’ by the Diplomatic Mission Global Peace. She is also the recipient of the Nationwide Award -under 50- Business Leader 2021 for social entrepreneurship by Business Mint. At the Influencer Summit in January this year, she also received the ‘International Influencer of the year 2021’. The ceremonies were held virtually due to the current pandemic. 

The mother of two young boys, Rumana is an engineer and was a corporate professional before she turned into an entrepreneur when she started Serendipity in 2012. The company creates recycled art and installations. Over the years, she has built a highly motivated team, providing them with enhanced skills and livelihood. 

Among her many accomplishments, she has won the ReX Karmaveer Chakra (silver) and Global Fellowship award 2019 for her work in the zone of women and child empowerment. The multi-faceted personality was also crowned the ‘Mrs Universe Successful 2018’. 

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U.S. Senate passes bill to fight anti-Asian hate crimes.

The Senate passed a bill designed to curb a spike in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans during the current global pandemic.

The chamber approved the measure in a 94-1 vote, with Republican Josh Hawley of Missouri the only senator to oppose it. The legislation will head to the Democratic-held House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has backed the bill, and President Joe Biden has signaled he would sign it into law.

The proposal would instruct the Justice Department to expedite the review of hate crimes related to current global pandemic. It also would give state and local law enforcement more resources to track the incidents and send guidance on how to root out discriminatory language used to describe the pandemic.

The bill passed with nearly unanimous support in the Democratic-held Senate after approval of bipartisan amendments.

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