Showing posts with label SOCIAL & CULTURAL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SOCIAL & CULTURAL. Show all posts

21 May 2022

World’s longest suspension bridge, been opened in Czech Republic.

The world’s largest suspension bridge has opened to travellers in the Czech Republic. The bridge, which had been under construction for nearly two years, was officially opened. Sky Bridge 721 is the name given to it. The promenade promises both beautiful views of the cloud-shrouded Jesenky mountains and an exhilarating, but slightly dangerous experience.

The cable car can take you to the bridge, which crosses two mountain ranges and hovers 95 metres (312 feet) above a valley. It measures 721 metres (2,365 feet) in length. Tourists will enter at a height of 1,125 metres and depart at a height of 10 metres.

The suspension bridge cost 200 million crowns, or $8.4 million, according to local media sources.

The Czech Republic Sky Bridge is 154 metres longer than Nepal’s Baglung Parbat Footbridge, which is the world’s longest suspension footbridge.

Prague, the Czech capital, is about a 2.5-hour journey from Sky Bridge 721.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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The Global 2000.

Despite challenges brought on by the pandemic, ongoing war and unpredictable markets, the world’s largest public companies managed to boost sales and profits in the last year. Healthy income statements, however, mask a new economic reality which is devoid of government stimulus and features much lower stock values as inflation and a bearish market turn have put a damper on economic recovery.

Forbes Global 2000 ranks the largest companies in the world using four metrics: sales, profits, assets, and market value. Market turbulence has pushed down the minimum market value to be considered for the 2022 list to $7.6 billion compared to $8.26 billion in 2021, but the minimum for all other metrics is up over last year.

Berkshire Hathaway took the No. 1 spot for the first time since Forbes started publishing the Global 2000 in 2003, dethroning the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which dropped to No. 2 after nine consecutive years at the top of the list. ​​Big oil rebounded rapidly from last year’s low ranks, boosted by rising oil prices. ExxonMobil is No. 15 this year, up from No. 317 in 2021 and Shell is No. 16, up from No. 324. Both companies saw profits swing back into positive territory after last year’s losses.

As a group, the companies on the 2022 Global 2000 account for $47.6 trillion in revenues, $5.0 trillion in profits, $233.7 trillion in assets and $76.5 trillion in market cap. There are 58 countries represented on the 2022 list. The United States has the most with 590 companies, followed by China/Hong Kong (351) and Japan (196).

Source: www.forbes.com

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Kenyan nurse Anna Qabale Duba crowned as world’s best nurse.

Anna Qabale Duba, a Kenyan nurse stationed at the Marsabit County Referral Hospital, won the inaugural Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award for endorsing education and campaigning against outdated cultural practices like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in her community. Duba, who took home USD 250,000 (approx. Ksh.29 million) in prize money, was feted by Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum at an award ceremony held in Dubai, which commemorated the International Nurses Day.

While receiving the award, Duba, the only female graduate in her village, revealed that she, through her Qabale Duba Foundation, had built a school in Marsabit which offers classes to young pupils and adults looking to get a decent education during the day and evening respectively.

Source: www.bbc.com

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20 May 2022

Elon Musk Allegedly Exposed His Erect Penis to SpaceX Employee.

Elon Musk exposed his erect penis to a flight attendant employed by SpaceX in 2016 and offered to buy her a horse in exchange for sex, according to allegations in a new report from Insider. The report cites a settlement for $250,000 between SpaceX and the unnamed woman.

The unnamed woman apparently saw her shifts cut back after the incident with Musk and felt that she was being “pushed out” of the company.

The cash settlement between SpaceX and the unnamed woman was entered into in the state of California in 2018, which passed a law that same year making non-disclosure agreements illegal in these types of arrangements.

Source: https://gizmodo.com

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18 May 2022

Vesak, or Buddha Day - 18 May.

Vesak, or Buddha Day, is celebrated worldwide every year on the day of the full moon in May. The festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada or southern tradition

Buddhists request governments everywhere that Buddhists live, to take steps to make the day of the May full-moon a Public Holiday in honor of the Buddha.

To celebrate, devout Buddhists and followers assemble in temples before dawn for the ceremonial and honorable hoisting of the Buddhist flag. They sing hymns in praise of the holy triple gem: The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings), and The Sangha (his disciples).

Devotees may bring simple offerings of flowers, candles to lay at the feet of their teacher and to make a concerted effort to refrain from killing of any kind.

Another way they mark the day is by taking special efforts to bring happiness to the unfortunate like the aged, the handicapped and the sick. So, on this day, Buddhists will distribute gifts in cash and kind to various charitable homes.

The birth of Buddha has been celebrated for centuries. In 1950, the World Fellowship of Buddhists agreed to formalized and unify the day.

In 1999, the United Nations resolved to internationally observe the day of Vesak.

The name of the observance is derived from the Pali term vesākha or Sanskrit vaiśākha, which is the name of the lunar month used in ancient India falling in April–May.

Source: www.officeholidays.com


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17 May 2022

5000-year-old jewellery factory rooted out in Haryana’s Indus Valley site Rakhi Garhi.

With the excavation of a 5000-year-old jewellery-making factory, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which has been working in Rakhi Garhi, Haryana, for the past 32 years, has produced one of its most significant findings yet. Rakhi Garhi is a village in Haryana’s Hisar district and one of the oldest Indus Valley Civilisation archaeological sites.

Key Points:

The discovery of the structure of some dwellings, a kitchen complex, and a 5000-year-old jewellery-making factory indicates that the site was once a very major commercial centre.

Copper and gold jewellery that had been concealed for thousands of years were also discovered.

Graveyards have been discovered in the excavation sites at Sinauli in Uttar Pradesh, which gained attention for its Bronze Age solid-disk wheel carts discovered in 2018, which were interpreted by some as horse-pulled “chariots.”

Archaeologists say the graveyards show that the civilisation believed in life after death.

In the previous two months, ASI has made many findings in Rakhi Garhi, indicating that the civilisation is slowly heading toward maturity.

There were also thousands of earthen jars, royal seals, and children’s toys discovered.

Source: www.dnaindia.com

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14 May 2022

South Korea becomes 1st Asian country join NATO Cyber Defence Group.

South Korea became the first Asian country join in North Atlantic Treaty Organization Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) is joined as a contributing participant in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

Now, the total NATO CCDCOE has 32 countries as its official members which include 27 NATO member countries and 5 five non-NATO states as contributing participants. South Korea has participated in the Locked Shields 2022, the largest and most complex annual international live-fire cyber defence exercise in the world. It has been participating two years in a row since 2020. South Korea joining the CCDCOE would help it counter the cybersecurity threat perception due to North Korea.

About the NATO:

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European states. Founded in 1949. Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.

Source: https://ccdcoe.org

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UN approves Czech Republic to replace Russia on the Human Rights Council.

The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for the Czech Republic to replace Russia on the world organization’s leading human rights body following its suspension over allegations of horrific rights violations by Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

The Czech Republic was the only candidate for the seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council. Seats on the Geneva-based council are divided among regional groups and a replacement for Russia had to come from an East European country.

In recent secret ballot vote, 180 of the General Assembly’s 193 members deposited ballots. The result was 157 countries in favor of the Czech Republic and 23 abstentions.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

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North Korea's 'First Ever' Covid cases prompt strict national lockdown.

North Korea has ordered a strict national lockdown after confirming its first official Covid infections.

State media have reported an Omicron outbreak in the capital, Pyongyang, but did not state the number of cases.

North Korea has rejected any kind of vaccine programme, even when offered a supply by other countries.

Instead, it controlled Covid by sealing its borders - and had never recorded a case, despite experts believing the virus has long been present.

Outsiders say the nation's 25 million population is vulnerable due to the lack of a Covid-19 vaccine programme, even rejecting offers from the international community to supply millions of AstraZeneca and Chinese-made Sinovac jabs last year.

There have also been concerns about North Korea's impoverished healthcare system.

Source: www.bbc.com

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The world's longest glass-bottomed bridge opens to the public.

World’s Largest Glass Bottom Bridge was opened in Vietnam. It is called Vietnam’s Bach Long pedestrian bridge, which is 632m (2,073ft) long and located 150m (492ft) above a huge jungle. As per the reports, the Asian country has opened a glass-bottomed bridge suspended above a lush jungle. It surpasses a 526m Glass Bottom Bridge in Guangdong, China.

The Bach Long pedestrian bridge means ‘white dragon’ in Vietnamese. The bridge suspends above the rainforest The bridge can support up to 450 people at a time and the floor of the bridge is made from tempered glass.

Important Facts about the world’s largest glass-bottom bridge.

  • The bridge was inaugurated coincidentally on the 47th anniversary of the end of the Vietnamese war.
  • The structure of the bridge is said to be about three-fourths the height of Burj Khalifa Tower and it is said to be the longest bridge in the world.
  • Bach Long means “white dragon” in Vietnamese.
  • At a time 450-500 people can walk on the glass-bottom bridge.
  • The bridge is under the surveillance of guards who ensure that the traffic only flows in one direction.
  • The bridge was shut for two years for the tourist due to the global pandemic Covid-19.
  • The Guinness World Records are yet to confirm the claim of the company which says the glass-bottom bridge is the tallest and longest bridge in the world.
  • The bridge is 632m long and 150m above the ground. It surpasses the 526m Glass Bottom bridge in Guangdong in China
  • It has a unique architectural structure and design which is one of the main attractions for the tourist.
  • The Bach Long Bridge is Located in the Moc Chau district of the Son La province in Vietnam.

The terrifying bridge curves around mountainsides and finally spans a valley between two peaks. Made from French tempered glass, the bridge can support 450 daring visitors at once. The Bach Long Bridge is the country’s third glass bridge although it is arguably the most impressive.

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

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13 May 2022

John Lee Ka-Chiu elected as Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive.

John Lee Ka-Chiu has been confirmed as Hong Kong’s next chief executive. He will replace Carrie Lam. He will be the first security official to hold the Chief Executive position of Hong Kong which witnessed years of political unrest and recent debilitating pandemic controls. Lee resigned from his position as the city’s No 2 official last month to run and was the only contender to secure Beijing’s backing.

The 64-year-old was sanctioned by the United States in 2020 for his role in implementing a Beijing-imposed national security law that has crushed the city’s democracy movement. His election places a security official in Hong Kong’s top job for the first time. The former secretary for security in Hong Kong ran under the slogan “Starting a new chapter for Hong Kong together” and was the sole candidate in the polls.

Source: www.dw.com


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In Bolivia, Prisoners can reduce Jail Time by Reading Books.

Prisoners in Bolivia have been given a new way to reduce their jail time. They can gain freedom earlier by reading books.

The government program is called “books behind bars.” It offers detainees a chance to get out of jail days or weeks ahead of their release date. The program is modeled after a similar effort in Brazil. The aim is to improve reading ability. It is also meant to give hope to inmates who face Bolivia’s slow judicial process.

The program has been launched in 47 prisons that do not have money to pay for education or social assistance programs for prisoners.

Source: www.wionews.com

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09 May 2022

World Press Freedom Index 2022

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has released the 20th World Press Freedom Index 2022, which assesses the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories. The Index highlights the disastrous effects of news and information chaos – the effects of a globalised and unregulated online information space that encourages fake news and propaganda.

Key points of the Index:

Sri Lanka’s ranking in the Index has fallen down to 146th position from last year’s 127th rank.

The ranking of India’s neighbours, except that of Nepal, has also slid down, with the index placing. Nepal has climbed up by 30 points in the global ranking at 76th position.

Pakistan at 157th position, India 150th, Bangladesh 162nd and Maynmar at 176th position.

Norway (1st) Denmark (2nd), Sweden (3rd) Estonia (4th) and Finland (5th) grabbed the top positions, while North Korea remained at the bottom of the list of the 180 countries and territories.

Russia was placed at 155th position, down from 150th last year, while China climbed up by two positions with the Reporters Without Borders placing it at 175th position. Last year, China was placed at 177th position.

The invasion of Ukraine (106th) by Russia (155th) at the end of February reflects this process, as the physical conflict was preceded by a propaganda war.

Source: https://rsf.org

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A NASA climate research scientist wins 2022 World Food Prize.

A NASA climate scientist has been named the 2022 World Food Prize Laureate. The honor, which recognizes a person for their achievements in addressing food security, will be presented October in Des Moines.

Cynthia Rosenzweig, the 52nd laureate, is a senior research scientist and head of the Climate Impacts Group at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. A former farmer, she has studied the impacts of climate change on food production and founded a global network of experts in food systems and climate modeling.

World Food Prize Foundation President Barbara Stinson said leaders and politicians in more than 90 countries have used Rosenzweig’s research to help make decisions on adapting to and curbing climate change.

Source: www.tspr.org

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06 May 2022

New Zealand reopens to tourists after two-year pandemic lockout.

New Zealand has reopened its borders to more international visitors after a pandemic lockout of more than two years.

Travellers touched down at Auckland Airport on Monday 02 May, many to emotional reunions with family and friends.

People from more than 60 countries are now able to enter the country if they're vaccinated and Covid-negative.

Citizens have been able to travel in and out since March, while Australians have been let in since April.

Source: www.bbc.com

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05 May 2022

US Gets 60 Countries to Sign 'Declaration for the Future of the Internet'.

The US and dozens of other governments around the world have signed a declaration that says they will cooperate to keep the internet “open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure.” 

The calls for action in this "Declaration for the Future of the Internet," announced Thursday, might not seem controversial, but the last few years have seen increasing moves by governments to raise regulatory barriers that may splinter the global network, while others have restricted or outright blocked internet access for their citizens.  

The roughly 2,000-word document (PDF) reflected a year or so of consultation by Biden administration officials with other governments, as well as with private-sector, academia, and civil-society representatives. 

Source: www.pcmag.com

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04 May 2022

SIPRI's "Trends in World Military Expenditure Report 2021".

In 2021 world military expenditure surpassed the two trillion US dollar mark for the first time, reaching $2113 billion. Global spending in 2021 was 0.7 per cent higher than in 2020 and 12 per cent higher than in 2012. The economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have not ended the continuous upward trend in world military expenditure seen since 2015. As a result of the strong economic recovery across the globe in 2021, world military spending as a share of world gross domestic product—the global military burden—reached 2.2 per cent, down from 2.3 per cent in 2020. Average military spending as a share of government expenditure in 2021 remained the same as in 2020, at 5.9 per cent.

This Fact Sheet presents regional and national military expenditure data for 2021 and highlights trends over the decade 2012–21. The data comes from the updated SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, which provides military spending data by country for the years 1949–2021.

KEY FACTS

  • World military expenditure surpassed the two trillion US dollar mark for the first time, reaching $2.1 trillion in 2021.
  • The five largest military spenders in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia, which together accounted for 62 per cent of world military spending. The USA and China alone accounted for 52 per cent.
  • In 2021 China’s military spending rose for the 27th consecutive year, to reach $293 billion.
  • Russia’s military expenditure grew for the third consecutive year in 2021. Spending rose by 2.9 per cent, to reach $65.9 billion, or 4.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Military expenditure grew in three of the world’s five regions in 2021. Spending increased in Asia and Oceania (3.5 per cent), Europe (3.0 per cent) and Africa (1.2 per cent). Spending decreased in the Middle East (–3.3 per cent) and the Americas (–1.2 per cent). 
  • World military spending as a share of global GDP reached 2.2 per cent in 2021, 0.1 percentage points lower than in 2020.
  • Countries allocated an average of 5.9 per cent of their total government budgets to their militaries in 2021—the same proportion as in 2020.

The 05 countries with the highest military expenditure in 2021.


Source: www.sipri.org

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03 May 2022

Brazil landscape garden earns UNESCO world heritage status.

The Sitio Burle Marx in western Rio features more than 3,500 species of plants native to Rio and is considered a laboratory for botanical and landscape experimentation.

The recognition was granted during a meeting of UNESCO’s Heritage Committee in China. The site was designated a Cultural Landscape, a category that celebrates places allowing interaction between the environment and people.

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

Source: https://indianexpress.com

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China, Russia, India, four others on US property rights 'Priority Watch List'

India, China, Russia, and four other countries were added to the US’s annual ‘Priority Watch List’ for intellectual property protection and enforcement. Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, and Venezuela are among the other countries on the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s list.

All seven countries on this year’s list were also on the previous year’s list.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai indicated in her Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of US trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights that these nations will be the focus of particularly intense bilateral engagement in the next year.

Algeria, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam are among the countries on the Watch List, which require bilateral attention to address underlying IP issues.

The Special 301 Report is an annual assessment of the state of intellectual property protection and enforcement around the world.

For this year’s Special 301 Report, USTR looked at over a hundred trading partners.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

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02 May 2022

Explosion at Afghan mosque kills dozens of people.

 

An explosion tore through a mosque near the northern Afghan city of Kunduz on Friday 22 April killing at least 33 people and wounding dozens of others.

This bombing is the latest in a series of deadly attacks across Afghanistan. Mujahid called the perpetrator’s of the Kunduz attack “seditionists and evil elements”.

Source: www.aljazeera.com

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