31 March 2022

Dwayne Bravo becomes highest wicket-taker in Indian Premier League history.

Dwayne Bravo created history by becoming the highest wicket-taker in Indian Premier League (IPL) history during the match between Chennai Super Kings and Lucknow Super Giants on Thursday 31 March 2022.

Bravo went past Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga who took 170 wickets in 122 matches. He had earlier equalled the record after taking three wickets against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.

Playing his 153rd IPL encounter, Bravo claimed his 171st wicket in the 19th over of the match when Deepak Hooda was caught in the deep by CSK skipper Ravindra Jadeja after scoring 13 off 8 balls.

Here are the top-5 wicket-takers in IPL history (* denotes currently active players in IPL):

  • Dwayne Bravo* - 171
  • Lasith Malinga - 170
  • Amit Mishra - 166
  • Piyush Chawla - 157
  • Harbhajan Singh – 150

Among active cricketers, Rajasthan Royals off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is the closest to Malinga and Bravo with 145 wickets to his name from 168 appearances in the T20 competition.

Source: www.wionews.com

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The International Day of Drug Checking - 31 March.

The International Day of Drug Checking takes place on March 31 every year since 2017 to ensure people are educated on drugs and aware of their effects. 

The day aims to promote harm reduction initiatives of drugs and reduce drug-related risks. Along with it, it also marks promoting harm reduction actions of drugs and reduces drug-related risks. Their goal on the 31st of March is to raise public awareness of the availability of drug checking services and companies from across the planet.

By raising awareness and sharing the knowledge they hope to improve the accessibility of numerous substance oriented harm reduction methods – not only for users but also for the governmental organizations worldwide who have been searching for a solution to the substance use issues that their citizens face on a daily basis.

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Belgian footballer Miguel Van Damme dies.

Belgian footballer Miguel Van Damme has died from leukemia, He was 28 years old.

Van Damme was diagnosed with leukemia in 2016 and underwent several courses of treatment for the cancer over five years.

Cercle Brugge goalkeeper Van Damme started playing in the Belgian first division in 2014 but made less than 50 appearances as his career was disrupted by the disease.

He was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2016. He recovered but relapsed and announced in September 2020 that his treatment was no longer effective.

Source: www.skysports.com

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World Backup Day - 31 March.

World Backup Day on March 31st reminds us to protect our precious digital documents as we’ve become more reliant on technology.

There’s always that one photo, video or memory that you took the time to save, yet for some reason, it’s not yours anymore. Whether it was a lost or broken phone, a faulty hard drive or some other technological mishap, it can feel impossible to keep all your files in one piece.

Thankfully, the day before April Fools is World Backup Day, which saves us from being the punchline of a joke played by our own devices. It is the day when we finally stop saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” and make sure all our precious files find a safe space.

World Backup Day originally began as World Backup Month, started by a hard drive company by the name of Maxtor which was later acquired by Seagate Technology.

Source: https://worldbackupday.com

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Maltese PM Robert Abela sworn in after landslide election win.

The Prime Minister of Malta, Robert Abela has been sworn in for a second term after his ruling Labour Party won the 2022 general election in a landslide victory. He was administered the oath of office by President George Vella. Abela was first sworn in as prime minister in January 2020 after the former Labour Party leader and prime minister Joseph Muscat resigned.

It was the first electoral test for Abela, a 44-year-old lawyer since he took the helm of the tiny Mediterranean island nation in January 2020 following a Labour party vote. Labour secured a majority of almost 40,000 votes over its Nationalist Party rivals — a huge margin in the tiny EU state which has just 355,000 registered voters.

Source: www.aljazeera.com

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Solomon Islands has signed a policing deal with China.

Solomon Islands has signed a policing deal with China and will send a proposal for a broader security agreement covering the military to its cabinet for consideration.

According to a copy of the draft security agreement circulating on social media, it would allow China to base navy warships in the Pacific.

The arrangements are also likely to worry the United States, which said in February it would open an embassy in Solomon Islands after senior US administration officials expressed concern China wanted to create military relationships in the Pacific islands.

Source: www.reuters.com

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Country music singer Jeff Carson dies.

Country music singer and songwriter Jeff Carson, who scored hits with “Not On Your Love” and “The Car” , has died at age 58.

He has died of a heart attack at a hospital in Franklin.

Carson was born Jeffrey Lee Herndon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1963, Westby said in a news release. Carson sang in church and formed a band in Rogers, Arkansas, before moving to Branson, Missouri, where he wrote songs and played locally.

Carson moved to Nashville and recorded demos for Tracy Lawrence, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and other country stars.

Carson received a recording contract at Curb Records in 1995 and released a single, “Yeah Buddy.” He then recorded the singles “Not On Your Love” and “The Car,” which won Carson his first Academy of Country Music award for video of the year.

Carson’s career had 14 singles on the Billboard chart in his career, Westby said.

Carson retired from music to become a police officer in Franklin, where he remained on the police force.

Carson returned to music in 2019 and released a previously recorded song, “God Save The World.”

Source: www.nbcnews.com

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Transgender Day of Visibility 2022 - 31 March 2022.

Thursday 31 March is International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV), a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements and contributions of transgender and gender diverse people around the world, whilst also raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to eliminate discrimination and other barriers to inclusion within all aspects of society.

Source: https://tdov.org.au.

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New Director-General of the International Labour Organization.

The ILO Governing Body has elected Gilbert F. Houngbo as the Organization’s 11th Director-General, who will take office in October 2022.

Houngbo is currently President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and former Prime Minister of Togo.

He was elected by the ILO’s Governing Body, comprising representatives of governments, workers and employers, during their meeting in Geneva. He will be the 11th Director-General of the ILO, and the first African to hold the post.

Source: www.ilo.org



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Iga Świątek seals world No. 1 spot, becoming first Pole to top tennis rankings.

Iga Świątek will become the new world number one women’s tennis player after her victory over Viktorija Golubic at the Miami Open last night. The 20-year-old is the first ever Polish singles player, male or female, to hold top spot.

After the current top-ranked player, Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, dramatically retired this week at the age of 25, the number one spot was up for grabs. Świątek – who has been on an impressive run of form this year and was second in the rankings – was the clear frontrunner.

If she won in her opening match at Miami, it would guarantee that, when the next update of the rankings takes place on 4 April, she would be in top spot. Świątek then cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 over Golubic of Switzerland.

Source: https://notesfrompoland.com

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First wildlife bond issued by World Bank to save Africa’s Black Rhino.

The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD) has issued the Wildlife Conservation Bond (WCB) to support of South Africa’s efforts to conserve endangered species of Black Rhino. Wildlife Conservation Bond (WCB) is also known as “Rhino Bond”. It is a five-year $150 million Sustainable Development Bond. It includes a potential performance payment from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The bond will contribute to protecting and increasing black rhino populations in two protected areas in South Africa namely the Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) and the Great Fish River Nature Reserve (GFRNR).

Source: www.worldbank.org

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NASA finds over 5,000 worlds beyond our solar system.

The count of confirmed new worlds outside of our solar system just ticked beyond 5,000 with the discovery of 65 new exoplanets, confirmed National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The latest contribution to the NASA Exoplanet Archive, which records exoplanet discoveries that appear in peer-reviewed, scientific papers, comes as NASA's $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope readies for planet-gazing operations in deep space.

NASA Exoplanet Archive is the main database of exoplanet discoveries from peer- reviewed scientific papers that are confirmed using various methods of planet detection

Source: https://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu

 


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Mohamad Reza Masoumi from Iran bags 13th Greenstorm photography award.

Mohamad Reza Masoumi from Iran has won the 13th edition of the prestigious Greenstorm Global Photography Award, which is organised in association with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Greenstorm Global Photography Award is organised by Greenstorm Foundation every year and the theme for the year 2022 was 'Restore Green Lineage'.

The first runner-up for the award is Jophel Botero Ybiosa from the Philippines.

This year's award saw a whopping 3,519 entries submitted by photographers from 42 countries, including the US, England, Canada, Algeria, Brazil, Iran, Malaysia, South Korea, Morocco and Vietnam.

Greenstorm Foundation is a not-for-profit public trust formed to impact appropriate behavioural changes among people through the power of creativity.

Source: www.devdiscourse.com


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World Air Quality Report - 2021

This 2021 World Air Quality Report presents an overview of the state of global air quality in 2021. The report is based on PM2.5 air quality data from 6,475 cities in 117 countries, regions and territories around the world. The data used to create this report was generated by tens of thousands of regulatory and low-cost air quality monitoring stations operated by governments, non-profit organizations, research institutions, educational facilities, companies, and citizen scientists around the world.

Sixty three of the world's 100 most polluted cities are in India according to the World Air Quality Report 2021, prepared by Swiss Organisation IQAir, released on 22 March 2022.

Delhi in India remains the most polluted city in the world for the 4th conscecutive year followed by Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

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30 March 2022

UNEP Annual Frontier Report - 2022.

Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, has been ranked as the most noise polluted city globally, according to the recent ‘Annual Frontier Report, 2022’ published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). As per the report, the city recorded noise pollution of 119 decibels at its highest (dB) in 2021.

The WHO guidelines state that sounds with a frequency of over 70 dB are considered harmful to health. For residential areas, the sound limit of 55-dB are standard, while for traffic and business sectors, this limit is 70 dB.

Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad came second in the list with noise pollution of 114 decibels. Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan is third, with maximum noise pollution of 105 dB.

The quietest cities in the world as per the report are Irbrid at 60 dB, Lyon at 69 dB, Madrid at 69 dB, Stockholm at 70 dB, and Belgrade at 70 dB.

A total of 61 cities from around the world have been ranked in the report, out of which 13 cities are from South Asia, while 5 among them are from India.

Source: https://bdnews24.com

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29 March 2022

International Day of Unborn Child - 25 March.

Thee International Day of the Unborn Child is an annual commemoration of unborn fetuses, observed as a day of opposition to abortion on March 25.

It was established by Pope John Paul II to coincide with the Feast of the Annunciation. John Paul II viewed the day as “a positive option in favour of life and the spread of a culture for life to guarantee respect for human dignity in every situation

In 1993, El Salvador became the first nation to officially celebrate what was called a Day of the Right to Be Born.

Subsequently other countries have initiated official celebrations for the unborn, such as Argentina with the Day of the Unborn in 1998, and Chile with Day of the Conceived and Unborn, Guatemala with the National Day of the Unborn, and Costa Rica with the National Day of Life Before Birth, all in 1999.

Nicaragua began observing the Day of the Unborn Child in 2000, the Dominican Republic in 2001, Peru in 2002,Paraguay in 2003, the Philippines in 2004, Honduras in 2005, Ecuador in 2006, and Puerto Rico in 2018.Chile began observing the Day of the Unborn Child and Adoption in 2013.

The promotion of the International Day of the Unborn Child was endorsed by the Knights of Columbus.

Source: https://pragativadi.com

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Malaysia to host 4 nations for Bersama Shield 2022.

Malaysia will host armed forces from 4 nations namely, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom in the annual Bersama Shield 2022 training exercise.

Malaysia will host armed forces from 4 nations namely, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom in the annual Bersama Shield 2022 training exercise. The exercise, referred to as BS22, is conducted within the framework of the Five Power Defense Arrangements (FPDA) – a series of bilateral and multilateral defence agreements established in 1971. Bersama means together in Malay.

About the exercise:

The exercise will involve sea and air drills, mostly in international waters but also in part of Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea. The exercise, referred to as BS22, is conducted within the framework of the Five Power Defense Arrangements (FPDA). The FPDA is the oldest defense arrangement in the region and includes counter-piracy operations as well as disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

Source: www.eurasiareview.com

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Oscars Awards 2022: 94th Academy Awards 2022.

The 94th Academy Awards returned to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood as the top films from the last year were honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The show was hosted by Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes, the first time the award ceremony has had multiple hosts since Anne Hathaway and James Franco co-hosted the 83rd installment in 2011.

Key points:

The 94th Academy Awards are honoring the films released between January 1 and December 31, 2021. The nominations were announced on February 8, by actors Tracee Ellis Ross and Leslie Jordan.

Netflix’s The Power of the Dog leads the race with 12 nominations followed by sci-fi epic Dune, with 10 nods. Indian documentary Writing With Fire is also nominated for Best Documentary (Feature).

Awards will be presented across 23 categories, which are determined based on voting by members of the Academy.

This time, there are two new categories- Oscars Fan Favorite Award and Oscars Cheer Moment, which will be decided by fan voting, which was done online between February 14 and March 3, 2022.

Full list of winners;

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role: Will Smith, “King Richard”
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role: Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye)
  • Best Picture: CODA
  • Best International Feature Film: Drive My Car
  • Documentary Short Subject: The Queen of Basketball
  • Best Directing: Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog)
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Ariana DeBose (West Side Story)’
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Troy Kotsur (CODA)
  • Best Makeup & Hairstyling: The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  • Best Cinematography: Dune
  • Best Original Score: Hans Zimmer (Dune)
  • Best Visual Effects: Dune
  • Best Animated Feature Film: Encanto
  • Best Animated Short Film: The Windshield Wiper
  • Best Costume Design: Cruella
  • Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Sian Heder (Coda)
  • Best Live Action Short Film: The Long Goodbye
  • Best Sound: Dune
  • Best Documentary Feature: “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”
  • Best Original Song: “No Time To Die” from “No Time to Die,” music and lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
  • Best Production Design: Dune
  • Best Film Editing: Dune

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Elon Musk, is on a track to become the world’s first trillionaire.

Elon Musk, the richest human in the known universe, is on track to become the world’s first trillionaire. 

As of March 28, 2022, Musk has a net worth of $256 billion, according to Bloomberg. A recent analysis by Tipalti Approve found that the SpaceX founder’s fortunes are currently undergoing an annual increase of up to 129 percent, which could potentially see him own a net worth of $1.38 trillion ($1,380 billion) by 2024 at age 52.

Source: www.iflscience.com

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28 March 2022

Elon Musk says he's seriously considering creating a new social media platform.

Elon Musk said he is giving "serious thought" to creating a new social media platform in a tweet Saturday.

Musk's tweet follows criticism of Twitter, where he claimed the platform doesn't allow for free speech.

He then asked if a new platform is needed.

A 2018 agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission requires that Musk gain pre-approval from other Tesla executives prior to posting tweets about the company.

After Musk asked his Twitter followers in November if he should sell a 10% of his stake in Tesla, the electric vehicle company received a subpoena from the SEC because the poll question triggered a stock selloff — which the CEO has called "harassment.".

Earlier this week, in response to Musk challenging the subpoena, an SEC regulator urged a federal judge to allow his tweets to continue to be scrutinized.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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California groundbreaking set for world's largest wildlife crossing.

Groundbreaking is set for next month on what's billed as the world's largest wildlife crossing — a bridge over a major Southern California highway that will provide more room to roam for mountain lions and other animals hemmed in by urban sprawl.

A ceremony marking the start of construction for the span over U.S. 101 near Los Angeles will take place on Earth Day, April 22, the National Wildlife Federation announced Thursday 24 March.

The bridge will give big cats, coyotes, deer, lizards, snakes and other creatures a safe route to open space in the Santa Monica Mountains and better access to food and potential mates, said the wildlife federation.

Source: www.kvue.com

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Exercise Cold Response 2022.

Exercise Cold Response 2022 – NATO and partner forces face the freeze in Norway.

Cold Response 2022 (CR 22) is a Norwegian military exercise with invited allies and partner nations. The exercise started on 14 March and will continue to 1 April 2022.

The first allied troops arrived in Norway last autumn and earlier this winter to train and prepare for the exercise. There will also be some minor allied training in April, after the field exercise.

Over 30,000 soldiers from 27 countries, as well as a number of civilian agencies participate in the exercise.

Source: www.forsvaret.no

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Chinese Boeing jet crashes in mountains with 132 on board.

A China Eastern Airlines (600115.SS) Boeing 737-800 with 132 people on board crashed in mountains in southern China on Monday after a sudden plunge from cruising altitude at about the time when it would normally start to descend ahead of its landing.

Media said there were no signs of survivors on the domestic flight.

The airline said it deeply mourned the passengers and crew, without specifying how many people had been killed on the jet, an earlier model to the 737 MAX with a strong safety record.

Source: www.reuters.com

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Russia to restrict Facebook access for 'censoring' its media.

Moscow said on Friday 25 March 2022 it was partially limiting access to Meta Platforms Inc's (FB.O) Facebook, accusing it of "censoring" Russian media, announcing the measure a day after Russia invaded Ukraine and the latest in a series of steps against U.S. social media giants.

Moscow has also increased pressure on domestic media, threatening to block reports that contain what it describes as "false information" regarding its military operation in Ukraine, where Russian missiles were pounding Kyiv and families cowered in shelters.

The state communications regulator said Facebook had ignored its demands to lift restrictions on four Russian media outlets on its platform - RIA news agency, the Defence Ministry's Zvezda TV, and websites gazeta.ru and lenta.ru.

Source: www.reuters.com

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US formally declares Russian military has committed war crimes in Ukraine.

The US government has formally declared that members of the Russian armed forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Wednesday 23 March 2022.

The official US declaration that Moscow's troops had violated the laws of conflict comes after Blinken, President Joe Biden and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman all said it was their personal opinion that war crimes have taken place.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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Value Added Tax Amendment Bill passed in Parliament.

The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, to increase the tax on financial services from 15% to 18%, was passed in Parliament on March 24.

The Bill to amend the Value Added Tax Act No. 14 of 2002 was recently passed in the Committee on Public Finance (COPF). 

The approval was given at the meeting of the Committee on Public Finance chaired by Member of Parliament Anura Priyadarshana Yapa at the Parliament complex on March 22.

This Bill was prepared to implement the tax policy proposals mentioned in the Cabinet Paper No. MF / FP / 32 / CM / 2021/212 dated 14th December 2021.

Accordingly, the Value Added Tax on the provision of financial services will be increased from 15% to 18% with effect from 1 January 2022. 

In addition, this amendment will provide for the exemption of VAT only on medical equipment, machinery and pharmaceutical donations made to Government Hospitals and the Ministry of Health in the event of any epidemic or public emergency.

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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North Korea fires new ICBM in largest test since 2017.

North Korea fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday 24, Tokyo and Seoul said as they voiced outrage at Pyongyang's most powerful launch since 2017.

South Korea's military said it had fired missiles from ground, sea and air in response.

Pyongyang has launched nearly a dozen weapon tests this year in an unprecedented spree in defiance of UN sanctions.

But long-range and nuclear tests such as the one conducted on Thursday have been paused since leader Kim Jong Un met then-US president Donald Trump for a bout of doomed diplomacy, which collapsed in 2019.

Thursday's launch was a "breach of the suspension of intercontinental ballistic missile launches promised by Chairman Kim Jong Un to the international community," South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said in a statement.

Source: www.france24.com

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"Sobadanavi" adds 350 MW to the national grid.

The "350 MW" Natural Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LNG) Power Plant is expected to add 200 MW to the national grid by next year. 

The 350 MW Sobadanavi Dual Cycle Power Plant in Kerawalapitiya is currently under construction. The power plant, which was proposed to be built many years ago, has so far been delayed due to various reasons. 

With the coming to power of the new government, the construction work of this power plant was able to commence and it is planned to add 200 MW to the national grid by the year 2023 after completing the first phase of construction The second phase is scheduled to be completed by 2024 and add 350 MW to the national grid. All designs and constructions of this power plant are carried out by Sri Lankan Engineers.

Source: www.dailynews.lk


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Mario Marcel wins the Governor of the year award 2022.

Mario Marcel, the Governor of the Central Bank of Chile, has won the Governor of the year award at the Central Banking Awards 2022. Banco Central de Chile is the name of the central bank of Chile.

When Mario Marcel was named governor of the Central Bank of Chile (BCCh) in October 2016, he took over the leadership of an institution that had secured a reputation as one of the most independent and well-run central banks in Latin America. Marcel took steps to further improve the institution. He changed its internal management structure, reducing the number of monetary policy meetings from 12 to eight. The BCCh also improved the quality of its communications in both English and Spanish. But the BCCh’s reputation, as well as Marcel’s own, would be put to a severe test from 2019.

Source: www.centralbanking.com

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Yemen’s Houthi rebels strike Saudi energy facilities.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group fired missiles and drones at Saudi energy and water desalination facilities, causing a temporary drop in output at a refinery but no casualties, the Saudi energy ministry and state media said on Sunday.

Drone strikes hit a petroleum products distribution terminal in the southern Jizan region, a natural gas plant and the Yasref refinery in the Red Sea port of Yanbu, the ministry said in a statement.

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told a call about the firm's earnings there was no impact from the attacks on its supply to customers.

Source: www.reuters.com

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China to gift 2,000 MT of rice to Sri Lanka.

China will be providing 2,000 tonnes of rice valued at around USD 2.5 million as emergency food aid to Sri Lanka, the Chinese Embassy in Colombo said in a statement.

The donation will mark the 65th anniversary of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations and the 70th anniversary of the Rubber-Rice Pact.

Source: www.adaderana.lk

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Stoltenberg’s NATO term extended by a year.

NATO leaders have agreed to extend by one year Jens Stoltenberg’s term as secretary-general of the alliance to avoid a lengthy leadership debate at a time when Russia’s war on Ukraine poses the biggest security threat in decades.

His term was set to expire on 1 October, with a successor expected to be introduced at a NATO leaders’ summit in Madrid in June.

The Norwegian, meanwhile, was slated to take over a post as his country’s central bank governor by the end of 2022.

Stoltenberg, an economist by training and former leader of the country’s Labour Party, was Norwegian prime minister from 2000-01 and 2005-13 before becoming NATO chief the following year. He has also been finance minister and energy minister.

Source: www.euractiv.com

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Earth Hour - 26th March 2022

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The event is held annually, encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights, for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the last Saturday of March, as a symbol of commitment to the planet. It was started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007.

Earth Hour 2022 took place on Saturday, 26 March from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time.

All together across the globe to celebrate Earth Hour, do an one iconic action. "switch off the lights".

But it is so much more than that. It is a symbol of unity. It is a symbol of hope. It is a demonstration of the power of collective action for our future and the planet's.

It all began on Saturday, 31 March 2007. The world’s first Earth Hour in Sydney, Australia, saw more than 2.2 million people turn off their lights for one hour to show a climate-sceptic government that people were concerned about climate change.

The 2022 Theme: "Shap Our Future".

Source: www.earthhour.org

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27 March 2022

World Theatre Day - 27 March.

World Theater Day celebrated annually on 27 March around the world.

The International Theater Institute created the day in 1961, and each year their message is spread across stages around the world through dramatic performances. 

The first message was written by French playwriter Jean Cocteau on World Theater Day. The first  International Theatre Institute conference was held in Finland, Helsinki and the second was held in Vienna.

Source: www.world-theatre-day.org

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Stephen Wilhite, creator of the GIF, has died.

Stephen Wilhite, the inventor of the internet-popular short-video format, the GIF, has died. He was 74.

His wife, Kathaleen, said he died of COVID on March 14.

Wilhite, who lived in Milford, Ohio, won a Webby lifetime achievement award in 2013 for inventing the GIF, which decades after its creation became omnipresent in memes and on social media, often used as a cheeky representation of a cultural moment.

Wilhite was working at CompuServe in 1987 when he invented the GIF. In that interview, he said the ’90s-era dancing baby GIF is a favorite of his.

Source: www.pbs.org

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Russia considers accepting Bitcoin for oil and gas.

Russia is considering accepting Bitcoin as payment for its oil and gas exports.

Pavel Zavalny says "friendly" countries could be allowed to pay in the crypto-currency or in their local currencies.

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he wanted "unfriendly" countries to buy its gas with roubles.

The move is understood to be aimed at boosting the Russian currency, which has lost over 20% in value this year.

Sanctions imposed by the UK, US and the European Union, following the invasion of Ukraine, have put a strain on Russia's rouble and raised its cost of living.

However, Russia is still the world's biggest exporter of natural gas and the second largest supplier of oil.

Source: www.bbc.com

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26 March 2022

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members - 25 March.

Every year on March 25th, the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members commemorates the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Collett. He was kidnapped by armed gunman in 1985. Collett, a former British journalist, was kidnapped at gunpoint while working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Collett’s body wasn’t found until 2009.

More recently, in 2018, 16 UN staff members were kidnapped or abducted. All of them were released. In 2019, 21 UN staff members were arrested or in detention. Five of them were held without any formal charges. Kidnap victims are held on average for 12 days. However, Vincent Cochetel, a worker with a UN refugee agency was held captive for 317 days in 1998.

These attacks on humanitarian workers often take place in unstable environments. Political motivation is believed to be the primary reason for such kidnappings.

The United Nations was founded in 1945. Currently, nearly 100,000 UN staff members are active in different countries. Of those staff members, 3,500 brave men and women have lost their lives while working with the organization. The 1990s were especially difficult. During this decade, more lives were lost than in the previous four decades combined. The UN began to realize that the more active they became, the more their staff would become targeted.

Since 1985, the UN has marked the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Collett. In 1993, the UN established the Convention on the Safety of the United Nations and Associated Personnel. The UN General Assembly adopted this Convention in 1994. At that time, the UN also declared March 25th as International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members.

Source: www.un.org

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International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade - 25 March.

Each year on March 25th, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is set aside to honor and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of slavery. The day also raises awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice.

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, up to 17 million slaves were transported against their will from Africa to the Americas. Up to 2.4 million slaves died during the voyage. Millions more died soon after their arrival in the New World. Most of the people who were enslaved and transported came from Central and West Africa.

The first people to engage in the transatlantic slave trade were the Portuguese. In 1526, the Portuguese made the first slave voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil. Other Europeans followed suit. The British, French, Dutch, and the Danes became major slave-trading nations.

Despite the fact they were human beings, shipowners treated slaves like cargo. They shipped the slaves as quickly and cheaply as possible. Upon their arrival in the Americas, agents sold the slaves to work on plantations, as well as mines, rice fields, and as domestic servants.

In 1807, Britain passed the first legislation banning the slave trade. By 1815, the British pressured the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Portugal to do the same. Five years later in 1820, the United States made slave trading punishable by the death penalty.

The selling, transporting, and owning of slaves is considered one of the worst violations of human rights the world has ever experienced. The United States officially abolished slavery in the United States in 1865. However, racial segregation and prejudice against African Americans continue to this day.

On December 17, 2007, the UN General Assembly designated March 25th as the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The commemorates the day in 1807 when the House of Commons and the House of Lords passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. On March 25th, 2015, the UN unveiled a permanent memorial called the Ark of Return. The memorial was erected at the UN Headquarters in New York City to remember those who suffered and died during the slave trade.

2022 Theme: “Stories of Courage: Resistance to Slavery and Unity against Racism”   

Source: www.un.org

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International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims - 24 March.

Every year on March 24th, the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims pays tribute to the memory of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero. Monsignor Romero was an Archbishop who was actively engaged in denouncing the violation of human rights in El Salvador. His murders were never brought to justice. On February 3rd, 2015, Pope Francis declared Romero a martyr. On October 14th, Pope Francis canonized Romero as a Saint.

The observance also seeks to pay tribute to the many others who have devoted and lost their lives for protecting human rights for all.

On December 21, 2010, the UN General Assembly proclaimed March 24th as the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. It was on March 24th, 1980, that Monsignor Romero was assassinated. The day was first observed on March 24th, 2011.

Source: www.un.org

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World Tuberculosis Day - 24 March.

Every year on March 24th, World Tuberculosis Day seeks to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis. The observance also aims to increase efforts to eliminate the deadly disease.

Tuberculosis (also known as TB or consumption) is an infectious disease that affects the lungs. The disease spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Some people who have TB don’t have any symptoms. The bacteria that causes TB can sometimes lie dormant for many years. A dormant disease is called a latent infection. Up to 10 percent of those with a latent infection become sick. Those who develop symptoms have a cough, sometimes tinged with blood. They might also experience weight loss, fever, and night sweats.

In 1982, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease proposed the observance, World TB Day on March 24th. The date marked the one-hundredth anniversary of Dr. Robert Koch’s discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes the disease. Over a decade later, the WHO’s World Health Assembly and the United Nations recognized World Tuberculosis Day. By 1998, nearly 200 organizations participated in the day.

"The Theme of World TB Day 2022 - ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives.’ conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitments to end TB made by global leaders. This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put End TB progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage," according to WHO (World Health Organization).

Source: www.who.int

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Bangladesh celebrates its 51st Independence Day - 26 March.

Bangladesh celebrates the 51th anniversary of the Independence and National Day on 26 March. 

After centuries of colonial rules, the nation finally achieved its independence in 1971 through a protracted struggle and a 9-month long blood-spattered Liberation War under the great leadership of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Source: www.dhakatribune.com

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24 March 2022

First female US secretary of state dies.

Madeleine Albright, the first female US secretary of state and who helped steer Western foreign policy in the aftermath of the Cold War, has died. She was 84 years old.

The cause was cancer, Albright's family said in a statement.

Albright was a central figure in President Bill Clinton's administration, first serving as US ambassador to the United Nations before becoming the nation's top diplomat in his second term. She championed the expansion of NATO, pushed for the alliance to intervene in the Balkans to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing, sought to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons, and championed human rights and democracy across the globe.

Source: www.bbc.com

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23 March 2022

World Meteorological Day - 23 March.

Every year on March 23rd, World Meteorological Day celebrates the date when the World Meteorological Organization was formed in 1950. This day also educates the public on the importance of meteorology.

Meteorology has been studied for thousands of years. However, it was only since the 18th century that significant progress has been made in meteorology. Thanks to computers and satellites in the 20th century, the accuracy of weather predictions has greatly improved. Before the use of computers, forecasting the weather relied heavily on historical data. We even used astrology at one time to predict the weather.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), an agency of the United Nations, established World Meteorological Day in 1961. The primary function of the WMO is to publish information on the status of the world’s climate and to monitor climate changes. They chose March 23rd as it was on this date in 1950 that the WMO was formed. Every year, the WMO chooses a new theme to celebrate the day.

World Meteorological Day 2022 Theme - "Early Warning and Early Action".

Source: https://public.wmo.int

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