13 August 2022

Arjuna Ranatunga appointed chairman of National Sports Council.

Former Sri Lanka cricket captain and former MP Arjuna Ranatunga has been appointed as the chairperson of the 15-member National Sports Council to advise the sports minister on subject-related policy matters.

The letters of appointment of the council members were handed over by Minister of Sports Roshan Ranasinghe today (Aug 10).

The members of the council are as follows:

1. Former MP Arjuna Ranatunga (Chairman)

2. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Vikum Liyanage 

3. Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana

4. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenna

5. Sports Director-General Amal Edirisooriya

6. Dr. Maiya Gunasekera

7. Major General Rajitha Ampemohotti

8. Former Sri Lankan hurdler Sriyani Kulawansa

9. Attorney-at-Law Ajith Pathirana

10. Sunil Jayaweera

11. Chrysantha Mendis

12. Lasitha Gunaratne

13. Nalinda Ilangakoon

14. Sudath Chandrasekara

15. Sujani Bogollagama (Secretary)

The council was previously headed by former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardena, however, its members resigned after former Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa stepped down from his ministerial portfolio amidst the country’s political and economic crisis.

The council previously consisted of 14 members.

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Olivia Newton-John, singer and actress died.

Olivia Newton-John, the Australian singer whose breathy voice and wholesome beauty made her one of the biggest pop stars of the '70s and charmed generations of viewers in the blockbuster movie "Grease," died on Monday 08th, according to a statement from her husband. She was 73.

The singer revealed in September 2018 that she was treating cancer at the base of her spine. It was her third cancer diagnosis, following bouts with breast cancer in the early '90s and in 2017.

 Although she had little acting experience (and turned 29 during filming), Newton-John gave an indelible performance as Sandy, a sweet-natured Australian transfer student who romances Travolta's alpha greaser Danny at a Southern California high school in the 1950s.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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James Marape returned as prime minister in Papua New Guinea after fraught election.

James Marape has been returned as Papua New Guinea’s prime minister for its 11th parliament after a fraught and violent election period that has run for roughly six weeks.

Marape – who became prime minister in 2019 after toppling his predecessor and former party leader, Peter O’Neill – was invited to form government by the governor general, after his Pangu Pati secured 36 seats and was able to strike deals with coalition partners to bring its numbers to more than 80.

O’Neill had hoped to reclaim the top job, but was left disappointed after only 14 members were declared for his rival People’s National Congress (PNC) party.

Source: www.theguardian.com

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Jagdeep Dhankhar sworn in as 14th Vice-President of India.

Former West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was on Thursday 11th sworn in as the 14th Vice-President of India.

President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath to Dhankhar (71) in a brief ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Mr. Dhankhar took the oath in Hindi in the name of God.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Dhankhar's predecessor M. Venkaiah Naidu were among the dignitaries present at the ceremony.

Source: www.thehindu.com

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North Korea's Kim Jong Un declares victory against Covid.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared victory in the battle against the novel coronavirus, ordering a lifting of maximum anti-epidemic measures imposed in May, state media said recently.

North Korea has not revealed how many confirmed infections of the virus it has found, but since July 29 it has reported no new suspected cases with what international aid organizations say are limited testing capabilities.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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"Games Wide Open" unveiled as Paris 2024 official slogan.

With two years to go from the opening ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, organizers recently revealed "Ouvrons Grand Les Jeux", meaning "Games Wide Open", as the shared slogan for the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Paris will host the Summer Olympics for the third time in 2024, which also marks the centenary of the last Paris Games in 1924. The French capital was also the host city of the second edition of the modern Olympic Games, in 1900.

The Games is scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11 and athletes will compete in a total of 32 sports encompassing 329 events, and among these sports, breaking will make its Olympic debut.

Source: https://english.news.cn

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10 August 2022

The U.S. Declares Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency.

On August 4, the U.S. federal government declared monkeypox—with more than 6,600 cases in the country—a public health emergency. Monkeypox is now the second simultaneous public health emergency in the U.S.; the other is COVID-19.

The emergency status allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, more discretion in accessing additional funds and resources for the outbreak, including personnel to combat it. That could lead to increased testing as well as more vaccine doses. Several states—including New York, which currently has about a quarter of U.S. cases—have already declared states of emergency to release state funds to help control the outbreak.

Source: https://time.com

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NASA releases first pieces of multispectral maps of Mars.

Scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released the first portions of the multispectral maps of the surface of Mars on June 29, 2022. The multicoloured 5.6 GB map covers 86 percent of the Red Planet’s surface. The map in its entirety will be released by the American space agency over the next six months in batches.

The first portions were released from NASA’s Planetary Data System, an open archive of all digital data that the agency has collected through planetary flights and other missions. The first batch of the map contains 51,000 images, with each image representing a strip of land 540 km long and 10 km wide.

The data for the maps was captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), the longest orbiting satellite around the planet. The MRO has been capturing the surface of the planet in search of minerals using its Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) tool. While the initial target for the CRISM coverage was only 80 percent of the Martian surface, the three cryocoolers used to keep the spectrometer on the CRISM chilled effectively exceeded its lifecycle.

The cryocoolers reached the end of their lifecycle in 2017, and as such one of the two spectrometers aboard CRISM is now on standby. While CRISM may be able to record data a few more times, the maps are the last full wavelength observations captured by the tool before it is decommissioned.

The maps were crucial for selecting the sites for other missions, especially for the NASA rover Perseverance. Perseverance landed in the Jezero Crater, where it is exploring an ancient river delta, after CRISM identified the crater as having a high likelihood of once being flooded.

Source: www.cnbctv18.com

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Nethmi Ahinsa becomes youngest medallist at Commonwealth Games.

Eighteen-year-old Nethmi Ahinsa from little known Indiminna, Pannala became Sri Lanka’s youngest medallist at the Commonwealth Games as she beat Australia’s Irene Symeonidis in the 57kg weight class to win a bronze medal in wrestling in Birmingham on Friday.  She also became the country’s first medallist in the not so popular sport as she beat her Australian counterpart 10-0 in the freestyle event in the bronze medal fight.

She had to settle for the bronze medal after being eliminated by Indian Anshu Malik in the semi-final bought.   The wrestler from Welpalla Maha Vidyalaya advanced to the semi-final with a 10-0 victory over 34 year-old Cameroon athlete Joseph Emilienne Essombe Tiako. She hails from a family of four children.

Following her victory, she thanked her parents for allowing her to engage in the sport and expressed her gratitude to T.S. Suranga Kumara who not only trained her but also looked after her providing nutrition and other needs.

She said that there had been so many stories and even films on how coaches go out of their way to help their athletes achieve success but her coach was a living example of such a story.

Source: https://island.lk

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Volcanic Irruption in Iceland.

Icelandic volcanos regularly make top news in the global media

On 3 August, a new fissure eruption opened up slightly north of last year's eruption at Fagradalsfjall mountain on Reykjanes Peninsula. Here the earth is spreading apart and new lava has found the easiest path to the surface for one of nature's most spectacular shows. 

Source: www.visiticeland.com

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09 August 2022

Justice UU. Lalit is set to become 49th Chief Justice of India.

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana has recommended the name of the most senior judge of the Supreme Court after him, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, to be the next chief justice of India. CJI Ramana retires on August 26.

Earlier this week, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju had written to the CJI, requesting him to recommend the name of his successor.

Justice Lalit is set to be the second CJI to be elevated to the top court from the bar after Justice SM Sikri, who served as the 13th CJI from January 1971 till April 1973. Justice Lalit will serve as the CJI for 74 days and retire on November 8, 2022.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

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An island in the Galápagos reintroduced iguanas after nearly 200 years of extinction.

A species of iguana that went extinct nearly 200 years ago on one of the Galápagos Islands appears to be making a comeback, with some help from a team of conservationists.

The last person to spot a Galápagos land iguana on Santiago Island in Ecuador was Charles Darwin in 1835. When an expedition team from California arrived in 1906, the iguanas were nowhere to be found.

And though this kind of iguana can still be found on the other Galápagos Islands, it's believed to have been extinct on Santiago for the past 187 years — until now.

As the primary herbivores on the Galápagos Islands, the land iguanas and tortoises spread seeds across the landscape and help model the plant communities. Their movement patterns also create open spaces used by other animals.

The ecosystems found on the Galápagos Islands are home to some of the most fascinating plants and animals in the world. The islands were made famous largely due to Darwin and his 1835 expedition, according to the Conservancy, which led to his theory of evolution by natural selection.

Source: www.npr.org

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08 August 2022

Fuel is being issued only under QR code system from 01 August 2022.

The issuing of fuel under the National Fuel Pass or QR Code system commenced from midnight yesterday (31) at filling stations across the island.

Accordingly, from today (August 01) onwards, fuel will be issued from all fuel stations across the island only under the QR code system and quota system.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Power and Energy points out that the system based on the last digit of the number plate, the token system and other systems that had been in place so far will not be valid from today 01 August 2022.

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An orbiter named "Danuri", SpaceX launches South Korea’s first moon mission.

South Korea launched its first moon mission on Thursday 04 as its homegrown lunar orbiter took off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station aboard a SpaceX rocket.

A live broadcast of the launch on Friday morning in South Korea showed the orbiter "Danuri" -- which means "enjoy the moon" -- successfully separating from the Falcon 9 rocket.

Developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), the 678-kilogram (about 1,500 pounds) craft has six payloads, including Korean-made equipment.

If it succeeds, South Korea will become the world's seventh lunar explorer, and the fourth in Asia, behind China, Japan and India.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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05 August 2022

Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon wins 100m bronze at CWG 2022.

Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon won the bronze medal in the final of the men’s 100 meters event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala claimed the gold in 10.02 seconds, defending champ Akani Simbine from South Africa was second in 10.13 and Yupun Abeykoon took the bronze in 10.14 seconds.

He becomes the first Sri Lankan athlete to win bronze medal in the 100 meters event at the Commonwealth Games and wins Sri Lanka’s first major athletic medal in 24 years.  

The men’s 100m race at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was held on the new spick and span athletics track at the Alexander Stadium in front of a packed-out crowd who roared on the finalists in the penultimate event on Wednesday (3 August) with Omanyala winning in a time of 10.02s.

Second was Gold Coast 2018 champion Akani Simbine of South Africa and rounding out the podium, a sensational bronze for Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon.

Omanyala, the eighth-fastest man of all time over the distance clocked 10.02 to win relatively comfortably ahead of continental rival Akani Simbine of South Africa.

Abeykoon finished a hundredth of a second behind Simbine to take bronze in a hotly contested finish.

The 27-year-old sprinter had qualified for the final of the men’s 100 meters after clocking a time of 10.20 seconds in the third semi-final held at 11.40pm Sri Lankan time on Wednesday (03), in which he placed fourth.The final was held at 2.00 am Sri Lankan time on 04 August.

On Tuesday (02), Abeykoon had placed first in the Heat No. 06 of the first round of the 100 meters men’s event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

The Sri Lankan sprinter ran a time of 10.06 seconds to qualify for the semi-finals of the men’s 100 meters race.

In the process he managed to finish with an all-time fastest timing in the Commonwealth Games history for 100m Heats. The previous fastest time in heats was by Glenroy Gilbert of Canada who did it in 10.10 seconds in the 1994 Victoria Games.

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England’s Leicester Cricket Ground named after Sunil Gavaskar.

Leicester cricket ground to be named after Sunil Gavaskar. On July 23 Saturday, Leicester will honor legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar. The legendary Indian Batsman Sunil Gavaskar is one of the greatest players of all time. He is one of the greatest in test format, he broke and made many records during his career. The batsman is set to add another feather to his hat with England ground to be named after him. He is set to become the first Indian player to have a cricket ground with his name. England’s Leicester Cricket Ground is all set to be named after Sunil Gavaskar. Leicester Cricket will honor the former Indian skipper for his contribution to test cricket. 

Sunil Gavaskar was the highest red ball cricket run scorer at his time. He is also the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in test cricket.

There has been a ground already named after Sunil Gavaskar in the Kentucky area of the United States of America (USA) and there is another ground going through its finishing touches in the Zanzibar area of the African nation Tanzania which is also named after the former Indian opener.

Source: www.sportsunfold.com

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Wasifa Nazreen becomes first Bangladeshi Woman to scale K2.

Bangladeshi mountaineer Wasfia Nazreen became the first person from Bangladesh to scale Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain.

Wasfia was part of a team of mountaineers called Elite Exped, who announced the news in a Facebook post on Friday. The team consisted of 21 mountaineers, including some of the most renowned climbers in the world like Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Mingma David Sherpa, and Nirmal Purja.

Wasfia, who is known for being the first and only Bangladeshi to climb the Seven Summits —the highest mountains of every continent, was sponsored by Renata Limited.

Her ascent began on July 17 and the 39-year-old reached the top of the mountain at an 8,611m (28,251ft) peak on early Friday (22 July).

The K2, located at 8,611 metres above sea level, is the second-highest mountain on Earth. It is not only more technically difficult to climb than Mount Everest, but it is also home to terribly volatile temperatures, and has only been scaled by 20 women since 1954.

Earlier on Friday, Samina Baig had become the first Pakistani woman to climb K2, arriving the summit at around 7 AM. Three hours later, Dubai-based Pakistani Naila Kiani became the second Pakistani woman to scale the mountain, reaching there at around 10 AM.

Source: www.thefridaytimes.com

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