29 January 2022

White House welcomes new cat named "Willow".

The family of US President Joe Biden has welcomed the newest resident of the White House: a two-year-old cat named Willow.

A spokesman for First Lady Jill Biden said that the new addition was named after the cat's hometown of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.

The cat is the first to live in the White House since the George W. Bush administration.

Willow will join Commander, Joe Biden's German Shepherd.

Photos of the cat, a short-haired tabby with green eyes, were shared on Twitter by Jill Biden on Friday morning.

Source: www.bbc.com

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Armenian President Armen Sarkissian resigns.

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian announced his resignation on Sunday 23 Jan 2022.

In a written statement on his official website, Sarkissian said that he does not have the “necessary tools to influence the radical processes of domestic and foreign policy in these difficult times for the country and the nation.

Sarkissian also added that he and his relatives has been targets of several political groups.

The term of office of Sarkisyan, who was elected president in 2018, was set to end in 2025.

Source: www.aa.com.tr

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28 January 2022

Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2021


Transparency International has released the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2021 in which Sri Lanka has been ranked at 102nd spot with Score of 37. 

The ranking has been topped jointly by three countries- Denmark, Finland and New Zealand (Score of 88). 

This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) reveals that corruption levels are at a worldwide standstill. The global average remains unchanged for the tenth year in a row, at just 43 out of 100 points.

The 2021 CPI, published in January 2022, currently ranks 180 countries "on a scale from 100 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt)" based on the situation between May 2020 and May 2021. Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore and Sweden are perceived as being the least corrupt nations in the world, ranking consistently high among international financial transparency, while the most perceived corrupt countries in the world are Syria, Somalia and South Sudan, scoring 13 and 11 out of 100 respectively in 2021.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org

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27 January 2022

Holocaust Remembrance Day - 27 January.

Holocaust Remembrance Day – Each year on January 27th, the world remembers one of the most horrific events in modern history. This tragic event is known as the Holocaust. The holocaust occurred during WWII when Nazi Germany killed millions of innocent victims. The day is also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Nazi Germany is one of the evilest regimes that ever existed. They persecuted and killed millions of people in just under four years. One group in particular that suffered were those of the Jewish faith. It is believed that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. The Nazis’ persecution of the Jews became a genocide.

Genocide occurs when those of a particular ethnic group is deliberately killed. However, the Nazis killed more than just Jews. Hundreds of thousands of other groups of people died under the evil regime.

On January 24, 2005, the United Nations General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. Later that year on November 1, the UN General Assembly designated January 27th as the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. It is also referred to as Holocaust Remembrance Day. It was on January 27th in 1945 that Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

2022 Holocaust Remembrance Day theme: "Memory, Dignity & Justice".

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org

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Meta says its building world’s fastest supercomputer.

Facebook’s parent company Meta on Monday said it has created what it believes is among the fastest artificial intelligence supercomputers running today.

The social media giant said it hopes the machine will help lay the groundwork for its building of the metaverse, a virtual reality construct intended to supplant the internet as we know it today.

Facebook said it believes the computer will be the fastest in the world once it is fully built around the middle of the year.

Supercomputers are extremely fast and powerful machines built to do complex calculations not possible with a regular home computer. Meta did not disclose where the computer is located or how much it is costing to build.

The computer, which is already up and running but is still being built, is called AI Research SuperCluster. Meta says it will help its AI researchers build “new and better” artificial intelligence models that can learn from “trillions” of examples and work across hundreds of different languages simultaneously and analyze text, images and video together.

The way Meta is defining the power of its computer is different from how conventional and more technically powerful supercomputers are measured because it relies on the performance of graphics-processing chips, which are useful for running “deep learning” algorithms that can understand what’s in an image, analyze text and translate between languages, said Tuomas Sandholm, a Computer Science Professor and Co-Director of the AI Centre at the Carnegie Mellon University.

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Sri Lanka qualify for women’s T20 tournament in Birmingham.

Sri Lanka have claimed the final spot in the women’s T20 cricket competition at the Commonwealth Games 2022 after beating Bangladesh in the qualifying tournament held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Monday 24 Jan 2022.

The Indian women’s cricket team, along with Australia, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Barbados had booked their spots for CWG 2022 earlier. Sri Lanka completes the eight-team line-up.

India, Australia, Pakistan and Barbados form one group while England, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka will make up the second group. The top two in each group will advance to the semi-finals.

The Commonwealth Games cricket qualifying tournament was held in a round-robin league format with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Scotland, Malaysia and Kenya all playing each other once. The table-toppers earned a spot for Birmingham 2022.

All the matches were played at the Kinrara Oval and were accorded T20 International status.

Sri Lanka beat Scotland, Kenya and Malaysia in their first three matches while Bangladesh defeated Malaysia, Kenya and Scotland.

Monday’s clash between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh was thus a virtual final. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, placed at eighth and ninth, respectively, were the top two teams in the tournament as per the ICC T20I rankings.

Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapathtu was the star player against Bangladesh. The veteran opener first top-scored with 48 to carry Sri Lanka to 136/6 and then returned figures of 3/17 in her four overs to restrict Bangladesh to 114/5. Sri Lanka won by 22 runs.

Birmingham 2022 will mark cricket’s second appearance at the Commonwealth Games after the 1998 edition in Kuala Lumpur.

Cricket at the Commonwealth Games 2022 is scheduled to begin on July 29 and conclude on August 7.

Source: https://olympics.com

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SDIG Ajith Rohana appointed as Senior Police Spokesperson.

Senior DIG Ajith Rohana has been appointed as the Senior Police Spokesperson, the Police Headquarters says.

He previously served as the Police Media Spokesman on several occasions and was replaced by SSP Nihal Thalduwa in August 2021.

Subsequently, SDIG Rohana was appointed as the Senior DIG in charge of the Crimes and Traffic Range.

He also serves as a member of the National Authority on Tobacco & Alcohol (NATA).

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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Rumesh Ratnayake appointed interim coach for upcoming Sri Lanka Tour of Australia.

Rumesh Ratnayake has been selected as the interim coach of the National Team for ‘Sri Lanka Tour of Australia 2022’.

He was appointed by the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket in consultation with the Technical Advisory Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Ratnayake will not travel to Australia with the team but will join before the 1st T20I game, as he is currently in self-isolation having tested positive for Covid-19.

He was also the interim coach of the Sri Lankan team for the home series against Zimbabwe played this month.

The squad taking part in the upcoming Sri Lanka Tour of Australia was announced by the Selection Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) earlier today.

Minister of Youth and Sports Namal Rajapaksa had approved the squad named by the national cricket board.

Sri Lanka will play five T20Is during the tour.

The matches will be played across three venues, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Manuka Oval, and Melbourne Cricket Ground, starting from the 11th of February, 2022.

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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26 January 2022

International Customs Day - 26 January.

Every year on January 26th, International Customs Day recognizes the role of custom officials and agencies in maintaining the flow of goods across the world’s borders. On this day, members of the World Customs Organization (WCO) also showcase their efforts and activities.

Customs is the agency in a country responsible for collecting tariffs. Customs also controls the flow of goods into and out of the country. These goods can be anything from animals to hazardous materials to personal items. The WCO helps make customs administrations around the world more efficient. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, the organization consists of 182 members from all over the world. Three-quarters of the members are from developing countries. They are responsible for managing more than 98% of world trade.

The WCO believes that while borders divide, customs connect. Their mission is to provide leadership, guidance, and support to customs administrations. They also believe that customs helps to meet the economic, social, and environmental needs of our planet. In turn, customs contributes to a sustainable future.

The Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) held its inaugural session on January 26th, 1953. Members from seventeen European countries attended the event in Brussels. In 1983, the CCC created International Customs Day. The day celebrated the 30th anniversary of the first CCC session. In 1994, the CCC was renamed the WCO. Today, the WCO is the only international body dedicated exclusively to international customs and border control matters.

The WCO is dedicating 2022 to "Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem".

Source: www.wcoomd.org

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NASA’s Webb telescope reaches final destination after one million mile journey.

NASA’s James Webb space telescope has reached its final destination after a one million mile journey that took a month after its launch.

The telescope, which took off from French Guiana on Christmas Day, entered its final parking spot called “L2” beyond the moon on Monday 24th Jan 2022.

Now it is finally in place the space observatory will be able to look at exoplanets, which are worlds outside of our solar system, as well as observing objects within it.

The telescope is an international project led by Nasa in collaboration with the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency, and is named after James E Webb, the Nasa administrator from 1961 to 1968, who was a key figure in the Apollo missions.

Some targets of Webb include ocean worlds in our solar system, such as Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Titan, John Mather, Webb senior project scientist at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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25 January 2022

International Cricket Council announced ICC Awards 2021.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the winners of the 17th edition of ICC Awards for the year 2021 to recognise and honour the best international cricket players of the previous 12 months, between January 01, 2021, and December 31, 2021. 

Winners are listed below:

CategoryWinners
Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the YearSmriti Mandhana (India)
Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the YearShaheen Afridi (Pakistan)
ICC Umpire of the YearMarais Erasmus
ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the YearMohammad Rizwan (Pakistan)
ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the YearTammy Beaumont (England)
ICC Emerging Men’s Cricketer of the YearJanneman Malan (South Africa)
ICC Emerging Women’s Cricketer of the YearFatima Sana (Pakistan)
ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the YearZeeshan Maqsood (Oman)
ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the YearAndrea-Mae Zepeda (Austria)
ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the YearBabar Azam (Pakistan)
ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the YearLizelle Lee (South Africa)
ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the YearJoe Root (England)
Source: www.icc-cricket.com
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World’s largest star sapphire cluster found in Sri Lanka registered in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The star sapphire cluster weighing over 500 kilograms which was found in the Ratnapura area last year got approval and was registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest star sapphire cluster.

The cluster got registered in the Guinness Book after it was certified as a star sapphire cluster by the Gübelin Gem Lab in Switzerland.

The star sapphire cluster was found by workmen digging a well at a home in Ratnapura last year.

The cluster weighing around 510 kilograms or 2.5 million carats has been named the “Serendipity Sapphire”. 

Sri Lanka is still negotiating with the Dubai-based company which has offered US$ 100 million for the ‘Queen of Asia’, the world’s largest natural corundum blue sapphire found in Sri Lanka.

The blue sapphire weighing 310 Kg (1,550,000 carats) was found in Batugedara in the Ratnapura District in Sri Lanka, and it was revealed in December 2021. 

Source: www.dailymirror.lk

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ICC announces new playing conditions for T20Is.

In-match penalty for slow over-rates introduced for all men’s and women’s Twenty20 Internationals; optional drinks interval part of updated playing conditions.

An in-match penalty for slow over rates in men’s and women’s Twenty20 Internationals comes into effect this month, with the updated playing conditions also providing for an optional drinks interval midway through the innings in bilateral T20 international cricket.

The over rate regulations are captured in clause 13.8 of the playing conditions (here), which stipulate that a fielding side must be in position to bowl the first ball of the final over of the innings by the scheduled or rescheduled time for the end of the innings. If they are not in such a position, one fewer fielder will be permitted outside of the 30-yard circle for the remaining overs of the innings.

The change was recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee, which regularly discusses ways to improve the pace of play in all formats, after considering reports on the effectiveness of a similar regulation that was included in the playing conditions for the Hundred competition conducted by the ECB.

The in-match penalties are in addition to the sanctions for slow over rate outlined in Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel.

In another change, an optional drinks break of two minutes and thirty seconds may be taken at the mid-point of each innings subject to agreement between Members at the start of each series. 

The first match to be played under the new playing conditions will be the men’s one-off T20I tie between the West Indies and Ireland at the Sabina Park in Jamaica on 16 January.

Source: www.icc-cricket.com

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Fossilised remains of a herd of Rhinoceros unearthed in Lunugala, Sri Lanka.

The fossilised skeletal remains of a herd of Rhinoceros that died in a meteoric shower more than 80,000 years ago have been unearthed from an 80ft deep gem mine at the foot of Rilaulu hill range in Lunugala in Madolsima.  

Biologist of the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology Kelum Nalinda Manamendra Arachchi said scientists who examined the fossils confirmed that they were the skulls of Rhinoceros that lived in the Pleistocene age. He said it was sad that the relevant authorities had not taken any interest in these finds to conduct further research, although nearly 16 years had elapsed since the first of the fossils were found.  

The first of the fossils had been unearthed from the 80ft deep gem mine in 1996. Director General of Archaeology Dr. Shiran Deraniyagala has visited the scene those days and collected the remains of two skulls. The Faculty of Bio-Science of the Peradeniya University and Dr. Mohan Abeyratne examined the fossils and confirmed that they were those of Rhinoceros that lived 80,000 years ago.

Source: www.dailymirror.lk



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Sushmita Sen conferred International Association of Working Women Award for ‘Aarya 2’.

Bollywood actress and former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen is elated on being conferred the International Association of Working Women Award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a TV series for her show ‘Aarya 2’.

The award is presented by the DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF), which is currently underway virtually starting from January 16 to January 30.

Source: www.koimoi.com

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NATO to holds major naval drills in the Mediterranean Sea.

The United States and NATO partners will conduct a 12-day maritime exercise in the Mediterranean Sea, beginning Monday, US Department of Defense spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday.

The maritime exercise, called "Neptune Strike '22" will run through February 4 and is meant to demonstrate and test NATO's maritime capabilities, according to Kirby.

The US announced the decision to hold NATO naval drills, which will involve the participation of the USS Harry Truman aircraft carrier, a day after Russia said it would demonstrate its own naval capabilities for two months, January and February, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Sea.

Source: www.dw.com

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24 January 2022

The Biden administration has decided to build on significant actions to expand testing capacity and increase access by distributing at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests to Americans for free.

To help ensure Americans have tests on hand if a need arises, the Biden Administration is purchasing one billion at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests to give to Americans for free. A half-billion tests will be available for order on January 19 and will be mailed directly to American households, read a White House release.

This programme will ensure that Americans have at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests available in the weeks and months ahead--in addition to the number of other ways they can get tested.

Millions of free, at-home COVID-19 tests have been delivered to thousands of community health centres and rural health clinics to distribute to their patients, with more delivered each week.

In addition, the Administration provided schools USD 10 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to get tests to K-12 school districts, said White House release.

Source: www.whitehouse.gov

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A new Rainfrog Species found in Panama.

Somewhere in the tropical rainforests of Panama's Mount Chucantí lies a tiny rainfrog that was completely new to science until recently. The mountain's high elevation (1000 m), and the resulting geographical isolation, makes it a unique landscape suitable to host several endemic species.

In 2012, after horseback riding and hiking up steep slopes for a herpetology expedition, an international team led by Dr Abel Batista and Dr Konrad Mebert came across a unique species. Scientists saw this hitherto unknown frog species lurking from the leaf of a bromeliad plant at night hours.

In 2018, after the team confirmed the new species’ novelty through DNA analysis, the research study sponsor Rainforest Trust held an auction. No, not to sell the discovery, but to allow the winner to name the species. Finally, the tiny frog was named after the climate activist Greta Thunberg, acknowledging her efforts to curb climate change.

Source: https://weather.com

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Oxford University Press declares ‘Anxiety’ as Children’s Word of the Year 2021.

The Oxford University Press (OUP) has picked up ‘Anxiety’ as the Children’s Word of the Year 2021, based on their recent research. Apart from “anxiety” (21%), “Challenging” (19%), “isolate” (14%), “Wellbeing” (13%) and “resilience” (12%) were the children’s top five words. In 2020, Coronavirus was the Children’s Word of the Year by OUP.

Over 8,000 children from across 85 schools in the UK, spanning Year 3 to Year 9, were surveyed and asked to choose the top words they would use when talking about health and wellbeing. The research highlights the widespread impact lockdown and school closures had on children, with almost a quarter of all surveyed choosing anxiety (21 per cent) as their number one word, closely followed by challenging (19 per cent) and isolate (14 per cent). However, wellbeing (13 per cent) and resilience (12 per cent) closely followed as their top words, signalling children’s positive attitude in the face of recent challenges.

Source: https://www.yahoo.com

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Robert Lewandowski wins Best FIFA Men's Player 2021.

Robert Lewandowski has been named the Best FIFA Men's Player for 2021, meaning the 33-year-old attacker has defended his title from last year. Lewandowski beat Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool to top spot.

It is the crowning award and the logical result after an outstanding year for Lewandowski. In 2021, the Polish international broke two seemingly unsurpassable records set by Bayern legend Müller: In the 2020/21 Bundesliga season, Lewy scored an incredible 41 goals (Müller's previous record was 40 goals in the 1971/72 season). In addition, FCB's number 9 also set a new record with an incredible 43 Bundesliga goals in the 2021 calendar year (Müller's record was previously 42 goals, in 1972). With a staggering 58 goals in all competitions for FCB in 2021, Lewandowski was by far the most successful goal scorer in Europe's top 5 leagues.

Source: https://fcbayern.com

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Mrs World 2022: Mrs America Shaylyn Ford Takes The Crown.

37 Years old Shaylyn Ford was crowned as the winner of Mrs World 2022. She was crowned by the outgoing queen Kate Schneider from Ireland. Mrs Jordan Jaclyn Stapp & Mrs UAE Debanjali Kamstra were the runner up. Shaylyn Ford represented America in the pageant and battled out 57 other contestants from across the globe to claim the title. This is the 8th time an American representative won the title of Mrs. World.

About Shaylyn Ford:

Shaylyn Ford hails from Granville, Ohio, USA. She won the annual Mrs American pageant on November 19, 2021. She is a professional makeup artist, who has worked in every setting, from movie sets to make-a-wish projects. She has been married to her pastor husband for the past seven years and has three children. She also serves as a charitable director and does a lot of volunteer work to bring services to special needs families.

Source: https://english.theleader.lk

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Russia’s Aslan Karatsev wins Sydney Tennis Classic.

In tennis, Aslan Karatsev defeated Andy Murray by 6-3, 6-3, to win men’s single title at the Sydney Tennis Classic final, to claim his third ATP Tour title. The women’s single title was claimed by Spanish world number nine Paula Badosa, who defeated Barbora Krejcikova 6-3 4-6 7-6(4), to capture her third career title.

The winner’s list of Sydney Tennis Classic 2022

  • Men’s Single: Aslan Karatsev (Russia)
  • Women’s Single: Paula Badosa (Spain)
  • Men’s Double: John Peers (Australia and Filip Polášek (Slovakia)
  • Women’s Double: Anna Danilina (Kazakhstan) and Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil)


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International Day of Education - 24 January.

Every year on January 24th, the International Day of Education celebrates the role of education in global peace and sustainable development.

Education is essential for many reasons. Education provides knowledge. It helps people better themselves and understand the world around them. Additionally, education paves the way for employment. Sadly, however, over 72 million children around the world do not have access to education. Many more millions of children and adolescents don’t have the opportunity to complete their education.

The United States General Assembly adopted January 24th as International Day of Education and proclaimed on December 3, 2018. Nigeria and 58 other Member States co-authored the resolution. The first official International Day of Education was observed on January 24th, 2019.

This year celebrating the fourth International Day of Education under the theme “Changing Course, Transforming Education”.

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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23 January 2022

Asteroid bigger than Burj Khalifa passes by Earth.

The giant asteroid crossed the Earth on 18 January 2022 at a distance of roughly 1.98 million kilometres. It was being classified as ‘potentially hazardous’ and ‘Near-Earth Object’ because of its closeness to the planet Earth.

As per the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the asteroid called 7482 (1994 PC1) was larger than any building on our planet. Speaking about its measurements, it was more than a kilometre in width (approximately 3,450 feet). The giant rock crossed the Earth at a distance of roughly 1.98 million kilometres. It was being classified as ‘potentially hazardous’ and ‘Near-Earth Object’ because of its closeness to the planet Earth. The PC1 was being studied by astronomers for over decades and there was no threat because of the fact that it was still five lunar distances away.

There were many who feared the catastrophic destruction that could happen if the asteroid of this size collided with our planet. Luckily, nothing of this sort happened!

Source: www.thenationalnews.com

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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla wins $1 million Genesis Prize for COVID-19 vaccine.

The global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Albert Bourla, has been awarded with the prestigious Genesis Prize 2022 on January 19, 2022. He has been awarded for his efforts in leading the development of a COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine). The award comes with a cash prize of $1 million.

The annual prize is awarded to Jewish people who have achieved significant professional success, in recognition of their accomplishments, contributions to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values and/or to the State of Israel. It is widely referred to as the “Jewish Nobel Prize”.

Source: www.aljazeera.com

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Teen pilot Zara Rutherford becomes youngest woman to fly the world solo.

Teenage aviator Zara Rutherford has become the youngest woman to fly around the world solo.

The 19-year-old, who has dual British-Belgian nationality, landed at Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport in western Belgium on Thursday, completing an epic 41-country journey spanning over 52,000 kilometers (32,300 miles), and broke two Guinness World Records in the process.

Not only has she beaten the record held by American Shaesta Waiz, who was 30 when she circumnavigated the globe unaccompanied in 2017, Rutherford also now holds the title for the first woman to circumnavigate the world in a microlight aircraft.

She is also the first Belgian to fly around the world alone.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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West Indies Cricket Legend Clive Lloyd received knighthood.

West Indies Cricket Legend Clive Lloyd received his knighthood on 12 January 2021 from the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.

Sir Lloyd was due to receive the honour in 2020 but the ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He received his Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) along with five other prominent British sportsmen and women.

The 77-year-old Guyana born batsman joins 12 other former West Indies cricketers, including as Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Viv Richards, in being knighted by the UK Royal Family.  

Fans of Sir Lloyd took to social media to congratulate him on receiving the long-overdue accolade.

Source: https://caribbean.loopnews.com

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Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley gets re-elected.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Thursday 20th January 2021 celebrated a landslide victory in the Caribbean nation's first general election since it became a republic last year by removing Britain's queen as sovereign head of state.

Mottley called the snap election in December, saying it would help promote unity as the government battled the coronavirus pandemic, which has heavily affected the tourism-focused economy.

Mottley told cheering supporters at the headquarters of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) won all 30 seats in the national legislature, according to reports and electoral maps published by local media. The party had previously held 29 seats following its landslide win in 2018.

On 30 November 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm with Elizabeth II as Queen of Barbados. In October 2021, Sandra Mason was elected by Parliament to become the first President of Barbados. On 30 November 2021, Mason replaced Queen Elizabeth as head of state, with Barbados transitioning to a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations.

Source: www.reuters.com

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World's oldest man, Saturnino de la Fuente García, dies aged 112.

Guinness World Records are saddened to hear that Saturnino de la Fuente García (Spain) has passed away at his house at the age of 112 years and 341 days. 

The news has been confirmed by Senior Gerontology Consultant Robert Young, who also helped confirm Saturnino’s record as the oldest person living (male) in September 2021.

The record holder was announced as the oldest man living at exactly 112 years and 211 days.  

Born in the neighbourhood of Puente Castro, León, on the 11th of February 1909, Saturnino – also known as “El pepino” – married Antonina Barrio Gutiérrez in 1933. 

Kane Tanaka is the oldest living woman in the world, who is 119 years old.

Source: www.guinnessworldrecords.com

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Indonesia names new capital Nusantara, replacing sinking Jakarta.

Indonesia plans to name its new capital Nusantara, which translates as “archipelago”, when government offices are relocated to the province of East Kalimantan from Jakarta, on the island of Java.

President Joko Widodo first announced the plan to move Indonesia’s capital in 2019, in an effort to relieve the huge environmental challenges facing Jakarta, and to redistribute wealth. The move has been delayed due to the pandemic, but could go ahead in 2024.

The government hopes it will reduce the burden on Jakarta, a city of 10 million, which is notoriously congested, suffers regular flooding, and is one of the fastest sinking cities in the world due to the over extraction of groundwater. Parts of north Jakarta are falling at an estimated 25cm a year, due to subsidence – including even the seawall designed as a buffer for communities.

Source: www.theguardian.com

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Louie Anderson, comedian and Baskets actor dies.

Louie Anderson, whose more than four-decade career as a comedian and actor included his unlikely, Emmy-winning performance as mom to twin adult sons in the TV series Baskets, died on Friday. He was 68.

Anderson died at a hospital in Las Vegas of complications from cancer, said Glenn Schwartz, his longtime publicist. Anderson had a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Schwartz said previously.

Anderson won a 2016 Emmy for best supporting actor for his portrayal of Christine Baskets, mother to twins played by Zach Galifianakis. Anderson received three consecutive Emmy nods for his performance.

He was a familiar face elsewhere on TV, including as host of a revival of the game show Family Feud from 1999 to 2002, and on comedy specials and in frequent late-night talk show appearances.

Source: www.theguardian.com

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22 January 2022

Global unemployment to reach 207 million in 2022.

Global unemployment is expected to remain above pre-COVID-19 levels until at least 2023 and is estimated at 207 million this year, almost 21 million more than in 2019, according to a report from the International Labour Organisation that gives assessments on how labour market recovery has unfolded worldwide.

The Geneva-based United Nations agency has downgraded its forecast for labour market recovery in 2022, projecting a deficit in hours worked globally equivalent to 52 million full-time jobs, relative to the fourth quarter of 2019. The previous full-year estimate in May 2021 projected a deficit of 26 million full-time equivalent jobs.

While this latest projection is an improvement on the situation in 2021, it remains almost two per cent below the number of global hours worked pre-pandemic, according to the ILO World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2022 report.

The report warns of slow and uncertain recovery as the pandemic continues to have a significant impact on global labour markets.

Source: www.ilo.org

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Israel successfully tests Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system.

Israel conducted a successful test of its Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system on Tuesday 18 January 2022 morning outside the Earth’s atmosphere, the Defense Ministry said.

The trial tested a number of “breakthrough” capabilities for the missile defense system, which can be used immediately by the Israeli Air Force, the Defense Ministry’s Missile Defense Organization head Moshe Patel told reporters.

Boaz Levy, the president and CEO of the Israel Aerospace Industries, which manufactures the Arrow 3, said the breakthroughs were principally in the area of “algorithms,” the ways in which the systems detect incoming threats and calculate launch trajectories for interceptors.

Source: www.timesofisrael.com

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Former Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita passes away.

The former President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was ousted in a military coup, has passed away. Mr Keita had ruled Mali for seven years, since September 2013, till he was overthrown in a military coup in August 2020. 

He had also served as prime minister of the country from 1994 to 2000. He had promised to restore Mali’s honour as a model for democracy in West Africa as he campaigned as a unifying figure in his fractured country, pledging “zero tolerance” for corruption.

Source: www.africanews.com

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Amazing Native Medicines - Flowering Papaya.

  • For medicine, a man looking for a flowering papaya root in the west said that poisoning was linked to the sun, and that the poisons were reduced according to the direction of the rising and setting of the sun, and that doctors were continuing with traditional knowledge.
  • It is said that even the bark used for treatment is sourced from the West.
  • Flowering papaya plant, which is especially used for snake medicine, is also known as flowering papaya and male papaya due to its fruitlessness. Although it is referred to as poison ivy in medicine, there are differences of opinion about it.
  • In addition to detoxification, it is said to be used to treat diseases such as fractures, cancer, kidney disease, diseases of the digestive system, including constipation, nuts, worms, and dengue, which reduces platelet count.
  • For  medicinal purposes, the leaves and bark of the leaves are used and it is said that one-fifth of the venom of snakes is taken.
  • To get rid of toxins, lime is ground into a paste and then applied to the bite.
  • It is said that the seeds of a plant with two small pods hanging between the flower buds are mixed with turmeric  and applied to kill the toxins.
  • Flowering papaya Milk is used to cure worms in the mouth.
  • When the thorns are stuck deep in the base, the roots of the plant are crushed with the yolk and boiled in coconut milk.
  • Flowering papaya leaves are also used to prepare medicines for kidney disease
  • It acts as a softener and is used to soften bones in fractures. The leaves are used to soften meat during cooking because of its softening properties.
  • Flowering papaya Leaf juice is said to respond to low platelets. The use of herbicides in dengue is said to be at the research level and has been shown to be successful in practice.
  • The fifth leaf should be used from the stem of the papaya plant, the split leaf should be washed well, put in a wooden mortar and the juice should be squeezed and given two teaspoons of fresh juice. mentioned in.
  • Flowering papaya is also good for the heart. Peel a squash, grate it and squeeze the juice. Add the garlic and red onion and mix well.
  • Similarly, flowering papaya flower curry also helps in the proper functioning of the digestive system by relieving constipation.
  • When you see flowering papaya at night, it can be said that it helps to achieve a healthy recovery by not cutting it down and getting the right fruit.


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21 January 2022

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai Volcano Erupts.

A powerful volcanic eruption has obliterated a small, uninhabited South Pacific island known as Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai. Damage assessments are still ongoing, but preliminary reports indicate that some communities in the island nation of Tonga have been severely damaged by volcanic ash and significant tsunami waves.

The volcano had sporadically erupted multiple times since 2009. The most recent activity began in late December 2021 as a series of Surtseyan eruptions built up and reshaped the island, while sending bursts of tephra and volcanic gases spewing from the vent. Relatively powerful blasts shook Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai on January 13, but it was an even more intense series of explosions early on January 15 that generated atmospheric shock waves, sonic booms, and tsunami waves that traveled the world.

Several Earth-observing satellites collected data during and after the eruption. Scientists affiliated with NASA’s Disasters program are now gathering imagery and data, and they are sharing it with colleagues around the world, including disaster response agencies.

The sheer power of the eruption was quickly apparent in satellite imagery. As shown in the animation above, a vast plume of material created what volcanologists call an umbrella cloud with crescent-shaped bow shock waves and a vast number of lightning strikes.

Source: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov

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Dr. Prasantha Jayamanna appointed as new SLPA chairman.

Veteran entrepreneur Dr. Prasantha Jayamanna has been appointed as the new Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

The appointment was made by Ports and Shipping Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena, the lawmaker’s media secretary stated.

Dr. Jayamanna has also served as the Vice-Chairman of SLPA.

He will take over the reins from former SLPA chairman Capt. Nihal Keppetipola.

Source: www.adaderana.lk


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20 January 2022

Poet Maya Angelou becomes the first black woman to appear on US coin.

The US Treasury has minted coins featuring poet Maya Angelou – the first black woman ever featured on the US 25-cent coin known as a quarter. Angelou, a poet and activist, was the first black woman to write and perform a poem at a presidential inauguration. In 2010, she was given a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian award by President Barack Obama.

The new coin still features George Washington’s visage on the “heads” side, while the “tails” side honours Angelou by evoking one of her most famous works, the autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

Source: www.bbc.com

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Former PM of Japan Toshiki Kaifu passes away.

The former Prime Minister of Japan, Toshiki Kaifu has passed away at the age of 91 years in Japan. He served as the PM from 1989 to 1991. He is known for sending the Maritime Self-Defense Force to the Persian Gulf in 1991. After the Gulf War, the Japanese Self-Defense Force were deployed to the Gulf region to conduct mine sweeping operations during Kaifu’s term of office.

Source: www.japantimes.co.jp

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South Africa Launches 1st ‘made In Africa’ Satellites.

South Africa has launched its first satellite constellation developed entirely in the continent of Africa. Three locally produced nano satellites, which made up the country’s first Maritime Domain Awareness Satellite (MDASat) constellation, were launched from Cape Canaveral in the United States, as part of American aerospace company SpaceX’s Transporter-3 mission.

Transporter-3, SpaceX’s third dedicated ride share mission, carried a total of 105 spacecraft for various organisations and governments, including CubeSats, microsats, PocketQubes and orbital transfer vehicles.

Source: www.maritime-executive.com

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