09 October 2021

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021 to Benjamin List (Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany) and David W.C. MacMillan (Princeton University, USA) “for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis”

Building molecules is a difficult art. They recived the prize for their development of a precise new tool for molecular construction: organocatalysis. This has had a great impact on pharmaceutical research, and has made chemistry greener.

Benjamin List, born 1968 in Frankfurt, Germany. Ph.D. 1997 from Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. Director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.

David W.C. MacMillan, born 1968 in Bellshill, UK. Ph.D. 1996 from University of California, Irvine, USA. Professor at Princeton University, USA.

Source: www.nobelprize.org

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08 October 2021

World Egg Day - 08 October.

Every year on the 2nd Friday in October, World Egg Day celebrates one of the world’s most popular foods. It’s also a day to recognize the health benefits of eggs.

There is a good reason that the egg is sometimes referred to as “nature’s perfect package.” Eggs are considered one of the most nutrient-dense food sources in the world. This delicacy is packed with protein, iron, calcium, potassium, folate, zinc, Vitamin D, and carotenoids. The egg also contains disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin.

Nutrients aren’t the only reason many people consume eggs. Another reason to eat eggs is the many ways they can be prepared. This versatile food can be scrambled, poached, hardboiled, sunny side up, or over easy. 

World Egg Day was established at the International Egg Commissions conference in Vienna. It has been an annual global event since 1996. In recent years, countries that have participated include Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, India, Latvia, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, and the United States.

The theme for 2021 World Egg Day is “Eggs for all: Nature’s perfect package”.

Source: www.internationalegg.com

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First Malaria Vaccine Approved by W.H.O.

World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission. The recommendation is based on results from an ongoing pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya & Malawi that has reached more than 800 000 children since 2019.

The vaccine is developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Many vaccines exist against viruses and bacteria but this was the first time that the WHO recommended broad use of a vaccine against a human parasite. The vaccine acts against Plasmodium falciparum, one of five parasite species and the most deadly. The symptoms of malaria are fever, headaches, and muscle pain, then cycles of chills, fever, and sweating.

Source: www.who.int.

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World Octopus Day - 08 October.

On October 8th, World Octopus Day celebrates one of the earth’s oldest creatures. The animal is best known for its eight legs and ink-squirting abilities. However, there is so much more to know about this fantastic creature.

Octopus fossils date back over 300 million years. This means that the octopus is older than the dinosaur.

The first World Octopus Day was celebrated in conjunction with Cephalopod Awareness Day.  The Octopus News Magazine Online (TONMO) founded World Octopus Day. World Octopus Day celebrates its diversity, conservation, and biology. They chose the eighth day of the month to show appreciation for animals with eight appendages.

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The Henley Passport Index: Q4 2021 Global Ranking.

The Henley Passport Index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. Updated quarterly, the Henley Passport Index is considered the standard reference tool for global citizens and sovereign states when assessing where a passport ranks on the global mobility spectrum.

The index comes at a time when countries are easing travel restrictions for international visitors after almost two years since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rankings are based on the survey of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) data.

Sri Lanka rank has slipped by eight places compared to last year and stands at number 107 on the list.

Japan and Singapore hold the first rank on the passport index.

Top 5 countries in the Index:

  • Rank 1: Japan, Singapore
  • Rank 2: Germany, South Korea
  • Rank 3: Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain
  • Rank 4: Austria, Denmark
  • Rank 5: France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden

World’s 5 least powerful passports:

  • Yemen
  • Pakistan 
  • Syria 
  • Iraq 
  • Afghanistan



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International Podiatry Day - 08 October.

October 8th is International Podiatry Day. On this day, podiatrists around the world seek to advance the field of podiatry to better serve those with foot and ankle ailments. They do this through education, advocacy, and strategic alliances.

The International Federation of Podiatrists was founded in 1947 to advance the field of podiatry around the world. The Federation enhances the podiatric profession by sharing knowledge and research among its members. Currently, 26 countries are members of the IFP.

The IFP is credited for organizing International Podiatry Day. Until 2016, the IFP organized the World Foot Health Awareness Month. This was their way of increasing awareness about the importance of foot health. In 2018, this observance was changed to International Podiatry Day.

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World Investor Week 2021: October 04-10.

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is preparing to launch its fifth annual World Investor Week (WIW) from 4 to 10 October 2021. The World Investor Week (WIW) is an initiative promoted by the IOSCO to raise awareness about the importance of investor education and protection and highlight the various initiatives of securities regulators in these two critical areas.

The key messages of the IOSCO WIW campaign in 2021 will be based on two themes: 1) sustainable finance and 2) frauds and scams prevention. The IOSCO WIW campaign continues to gain support among a growing number of jurisdictions, stakeholders and major international organizations.

Source: www.worldinvestorweek.org

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The Nobel Peace Prize 2021

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace”. 

Maria Ressa uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines. Dmitry Muratov has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is convinced that freedom of expression and freedom of information are crucial prerequisites for democracy and protection against war and conflict. The 2021 peace prize laureates are representative of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.

Source: www.nobelprize.org

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Indian Air Force Day - 08 October.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on October 8 celebrated its 89th Foundation Day. The celebrations has started at the Hindon Air Force Station in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad in the presence of the Chief of Air Staff and senior officials of the three armed forces.

On October 8, 1932, the Indian Air Force was established as a supporting force of the UK's Royal Air Force. Initially, the IAF was known as the Royal Indian Air Force, but in 1950, the prefix Royal was dropped. The Indian Air Force is the fourth-largest air force in the world. The IAF is headed by an Air Chief Marshal (ACM) while the President of India is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

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07 October 2021

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021: October 01 to 31.

Every year the Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) is observed in the month of October, from 01 to 31. The annual international health campaign aims to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness.

Breast Cancer:

Breast Cancer is a type of cancer that arises in the epithelium (lining cells) of the ducts or lobules in the glandular tissues of the breast. In 2020 more than 2.3 million women across the globe were diagnosed with breast cancer. Around 50% of breast cancers develop in women, who do not have identifiable breast cancer risk factors other than gender and age (above 40 years).

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The State of Climate Services 2021: Water

This latest World Metrological Organisation (WMO) report explores the progress made by WMO Members in using climate services to address water-related challenges and highlights the gaps in user engagement, forecasting, observing networks, and data collection that still exist. 

More than 2 billion people are living in countries under water stress and 3.6 billion people face inadequate access to water at least one month per year. Meanwhile, water-related hazards have increased in frequency for the past 20 years. Since 2000, flood-related disasters have increased by 134%, and the number and duration of droughts also increased by 29%. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is vital to achieving long-term social, economic and environmental well-being. But, although most countries have advanced their level of IWRM implementation, 107 countries remain off track to hit the goal of sustainably managing their water resources by 2030.

Based on its findings, the report makes six strategic recommendations to improve the implementation and effectiveness of climate services for water worldwide:

  • Invest in Integrated Resources Water Management as a solution to better manage water stress, especially in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs);
  • Invest in end-to-end drought and flood early warning systems in at-risk LDCs, including for drought warning in Africa and flood warning in Asia;
  • Fill the capacity gap in collecting data for basic hydrological variables which underpin climate services and early warning systems;
  • Improve the interaction among national level stakeholders to co-develop and operationalize climate services with information users to better support adaptation in the water sector. There is also a pressing need for better monitoring and evaluation of socio-economic benefits, which will help to showcase best practices;
  • Fill the gaps in data on country capacities for climate services in the water sector, especially for SIDS;
  • Join the Water and Climate Coalition11 to promote policy development for integrated water and climate assessments, solutions and services, and benefit from a network of partners that develop and implement tangible, practical projects, programs and systems to improve hydroclimate services for resilience and adaptation.

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Turkey becomes last G20 country to ratifies Paris Climate Agreement.

Turkey's parliament ratified the Paris climate agreement on Wednesday (06th), making it the last G20 country to do so, after holding off for years due to what it saw as injustices in its responsibilities as part of the agreement.

Announcing that Turkey would ratify the deal at the United Nations General Assembly last month, President Tayyip Erdogan said countries that have a "historical responsibility" for climate change should make the most effort.

On Wednesday, 353 members of Turkey's parliament ratified the agreement unanimously.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) currently lists Turkey in the Annex I group, described as industrialised countries.

Turkey has also sent
a proposal to UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn, Germany, to have its name removed from the Annex I list.

The proposal is on the provisional agenda for the COP26 Climate Change Conference to be held in Glasgow from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.

The Paris Climate Agreement aims to substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

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Germany unveils Euro 2024 Championship Logo.

Germany has unveiled the logo for soccer’s 2024 European Championship during a ceremony with a light show in the stadium that will hold the final. The logo features an outline of the Henri Delaunay Cup — the bulbous tournament trophy — set on a coloured oval outline that resembles the Olympiastadion’s roof. It features colours from the flags of UEFA’s 55 member nations, set in 24 slices around the trophy to represent the 24 teams that will ultimately qualify for the tournament in Germany.

Logos for each of the 10 host cities; Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart were also presented. The tournament is due to be played in June and July 2024 with the match schedule to be confirmed next year.

Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006, with the final held in the refurbished Olympiastadion. The stadium was originally built for the 1936 Olympic Games hosted by Nazi Germany. West Germany also hosted the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championship in 1988.

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The Nobel Prize in Literature 2021.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 was awarded to Abdulrazak Gurnah born in Zanzibar and active in England, “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.” The Nobel Prize in literature is awarded by the Swedish Academy, Stockholm, Sweden.

The Profile of Abdulrazak Gurnah

The Tanzanian novelist was born in Zanzibar in 1948 and has since lived in the UK and Nigeria. He writes in English, and his most famous novel is Paradise, which was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 1994. Gurnah currently lives in the UK and taught English Literature at the University of Kent. Until recently, he was Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent, Canterbury and has published ten novels and a number of short stories.

Source: www.nobelprize.org

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Ghana pledges to host first-ever African Paralympic Games in 2023.

Ghana is set to host the African Games in 2023, and will now combine the event with the African Paralympic Games in the same year, the first time a continental Paralympic competition has been held in Africa.

Inaugural African Para Games had been scheduled in Morocco in 2019, coinciding with he Rabat 2019 African Games, but the country pulled out at late notice.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo previously insisted the country will be ready to host the African Games, with the construction of a $145 million (£105 million/€122 million) sports complex already underway.

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

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NASA will shoot rocket at asteroid to test ‘planetary defense’ strategy.

NASA will launch a spacecraft next month to hit an asteroid — on purpose — to change its path, testing for the first time a method of “planetary defense,” the agency announced.

The launch of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission will occur at 1:20 a.m. Eastern time on Nov. 24, NASA said. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will be launched from the Vandenberg Space Force Base, about 50 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, Calif.

NASA is targeting a pair of asteroids that orbit the sun and occasionally come close to Earth. The asteroids don’t come close enough to pose a threat, NASA says, but their proximity makes them a prime candidate for the test of a technique that could someday prevent a “hazardous asteroid from striking Earth.”

The larger of the two asteroids, Didymos, is about a half-mile across in size, with a smaller “moonlet,” called Dimorphos, orbiting it. Dimorphos, about 500 feet in size, is “more typical of the size of asteroids that could pose the most likely significant threat to Earth,” according to NASA.

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India hosted youngest populations of ‘Acheulean’ human ancestors.

Populations of ancient humans using Acheulean stone toolkits persisted in India until about 177,000 years ago, shortly before the earliest expansions of our own species, Homo sapiens, across Asia, according to a study published on Wednesday (06th).

The longest lasting tool-making tradition in prehistory, known as the Acheulean, was characterised by distinctive oval and pear-shaped stone handaxes and cleavers associated with Homo erectus and derived species such as Homo heidelbergensis.

Latest research led by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany re-examined a key Acheulean site at the margins of the monsoon zone in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan.

The study, published in the journal "Scientific Reports", shows the presence of Acheulean populations until about 177,000 years ago, shortly before the earliest expansions of Homo sapiens across Asia.

Source: https://indianexpress.com

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World Cotton Day: 07 October.

World Cotton Day (WCD) is observed globally on 7th October. The international day aims to celebrate the advantages of cotton, ranging from its qualities as a natural fibre to the benefits people obtain from its production, transformation, trade and consumption. WCD Day was initiated by the Group of Cotton-4 countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali to reflect the importance of cotton as a global commodity.

History of the day:

The initiative of World Cotton Day was born in 2019, when four cotton producers in sub-Saharan Africa– Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali, known as the Cotton Four -proposed the World Trade Organization a World Cotton Day celebration on October 7.

The theme for 2021 is "Cotton for Good".

Source: www.un.org.

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06 October 2021

Ian Watmore steps down as chairman of England Cricket Board.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday (07) that chairman Ian Watmore was stepping down with immediate effect, following criticism of the decision to cancel a tour of Pakistan.

Watmore, 63, has reached a “mutual agreement” with the board to leave his role following the end of the domestic season after a little more than a year in the role. The ECB position is normally held for a five-year term.

Watmore, formerly the chief executive of the Football Association, started his role as ECB chairman in September 2020 after the retirement of Colin Graves.

Barry O’Brien, the deputy chair of the ECB, will take over in the interim as the board said it would soon begin the process to appoint a new head.

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Global warming kills 14 percent of world’s corals in 10 years.

Global warming helped wipe out 14 percent of the world’s coral reefs between 2009 and 2018, the largest-ever survey of coral health has found, warning that more of the vibrant underwater ecosystems were likely to die if oceans warm further.

Corals in South Asia and the Pacific, around the Arabian Peninsula, and off the coast of Australia, were the hardest hit, according to the report, compiled by more than 300 scientists in the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.

The report spanned data for 40 years, 73 countries and 12,000 sites and found the total area destroyed equal to about 11,700 square kilometres (4,517 square miles).

The report titled "Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2020" was released by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) on 05 October 2021.

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