23 November 2021

Russia Successfully Test Fires Zircon Hypersonic Missile.

Russia had carried out another successful test of its Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, one the latest additions to the country's arsenal of weapons called "invincible" by President Vladimir Putin.

Moscow has in recent years touted the development of weapons that it hopes will give it the edge in any arms race with the United States at a time of growing tensions with the West.

Hypersonics can travel more than five times the speed of sound and manoeuvre in mid-flight, making them much harder to track and intercept than traditional projectiles.

The military said it had fired the Zircon missile from the Admiral Gorshkov warship and hit a test target in Russia's Arctic waters.

Source: www.ndtv.com

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US, Australia, UK Sign Key Deal In Nuclear Sub Alliance.

Australia formally embarked on a hotly-contested programme to equip its navy with nuclear-powered submarines in a new defence alliance with Britain and the United States.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton joined US and Australian diplomats in signing an agreement allowing the exchange of sensitive "naval nuclear propulsion information" between their nations.

It is the first agreement on the technology to be publicly signed since the three countries announced in September the formation of a defence alliance, AUKUS, to confront strategic tensions in the Pacific where China-US rivalry is growing.

Source: www.ndtv.com

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The ICC appoints Geoff Allardice as CEO.

Australian Geoff Allardice has been appointed as permanent CEO of the International Cricket Council after serving the role on an interim basis for more than eight months, the game's governing body said.

Allardice thus replaced Manu Sawhney, who had resigned from his position in July.

Allardice, a former Australian first-class cricketer and administrator, was the ICC General Manager, Cricket for eight years. He had previously held a similar role at Cricket Australia.

Source: www.icc-cricket.com

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Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev wins second term.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev won a second term in a runoff vote, earning two thirds of the vote.

The Socialist-aligned Radev, who has campaigned on an anti-corruption message, won about 66.7 percent support, trailed by Anastas Gerdzhikov backed by former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s GERB party, at 31.9 percent, according to official figures with 99.8 percent of ballots counted.

Radev was a major supporter of anti-corruption protests launched last year against Borissov, who was ultimately forced out of power this past spring amid a rule-of-law crisis after dominating the country’s politics for more than a decade.

Source: www.politico.eu

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AB de Villiers: South African cricketer announces retirement.

Former South Africa international AB de Villiers says he has decided to retire from all forms of cricket, having lost his hunger for the game, ending a 17-year career where he established himself as one of his country’s greats.

De Villiers had retired from all international formats in 2018 but was in talks about a return to the limited-overs side for the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup before deciding against playing for the Proteas again.

He was still involved in franchise cricket, last playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Often referred to as “Mr 360” for his wide range of shots which found all corners of the boundary, de Villiers played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20 internationals for South Africa, scoring more than 20,000 runs across the three formats.

The South African also holds the record for the fastest ODI century, reaching triple figures in just 31 deliveries in a knock of 149 against the West Indies in Johannesburg in 2015, smashing 16 sixes and nine boundaries.

Source: www.aljazeera.com

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Kento Momota and An Seyoung wins 2021 Indonesia Masters Tournament.

Japanese badminton star Kento Momota beats Anders Antonsen of Denmark 21-17, 21-11 to win the men’s singles title at the 2021 Indonesia Masters Super 750 badminton tournament. The US$600,000 tournament was held at Bali in Indonesia from November 16 to 21, 2021. In women’s single, An Seyoung of South Korea defeated top-seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-17, 21-19 to win the title.

List of winners of 2021 Indonesia Masters

  • Men’s Single: Kento Momota (Japan)
  • Women’s Single: An Seyoung (South Korea)
  • Men’s Double: Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi (both of Japan)
  • Women’s Double: Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida (both of Japan)
  • Mixed Double:  Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai (both of Thailand)

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Venezuelan musicians set world's largest orchestra record.

Venezuela's National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras has set the Guinness record for the world's largest orchestra, the country's government announced.

The performers were brought together by the country's publicly funded "El Sistema" program.

The announcement came during a broadcast that showed Guinness World Records expert Susana Reyes announcing that the musicians successfully set a new record by playing Tchaikovsky's "Slavonic March" for more than five minutes.

President Nicolas Maduro showed a certificate from Guinness World Records recognizing the feat. 

About 12,000 musicians, including both children and adults, from the orchestra played for the record on November 13. The performers, aged between 12 and 77, wore black pants, white shirts and mandatory face masks.

In the end, Guinness World Records recognized only 8,573 of them as having set the record, according to the certificate issued by the organization.  

Around 250 observers from the Venezuelan arm of the accounting company KPMG were present at the event to audit the effort. Each performer had to play an instrument for at least five minutes of the piece and not share instruments for the effort to succeed.

Source: www.dw.com

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El Salvador plans to build the world's first "Bitcoin City".

El Salvador plans to build the world's first "Bitcoin City" at the base of a volcano, with the cryptocurrency used to fund the project, its president has announced.

The city will be circular to represent the shape of a large coin and will be built in the south-eastern region of La Unión, President Nayib Bukele said.

The site would take advantage of the Conchagua volcano's geothermal energy to power Bitcoin mining and not levy any taxes except for value added tax (VAT).

El Salvador recently became the first country to use Bitcoin as legal tender.


Source: www.bbc.com
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Alexander Zverev wins Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

Alexander Zverev, a German professional tennis player, won the fifth ATP title of the season (2021) and 18th overall at the Vienna Open 2021 or Erste Bank Open 2021 defeating Frances Tiafoe of the United States of America (USA). At present, Alexander Zverev is ranked 3rd in the ATP World Ranking.

Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia have won the doubles competition at Erste Bank Open 2021 defeating Joe Salisbury of the United Kingdom (UK) and Rajeev Ram of the USA.

Source: www.skysports.com

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World’s Largest Recipients of Remittances.

According to new World Bank data, global remittances are expected to total $702 billion in 2020, down from $719 billion in 2019 (-2.4 percent). Of that total, $540 billion are expected to have flown into low and middle-income countries, down from $548 billion (-1.6 percent).

The latest report by the World Bank titled ‘World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide Database’, India became the world’s largest recipient of remittances by receiving USD 87 billion in 2021. The United States (US) was its biggest source, accounting for over 20% of these funds. India is followed by China, Mexico, the Philippines, and Egypt.


Source: www.weforum.org

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22 November 2021

Tennis star Garbiñe Muguruza becomes first Spaniard to win WTA Finals.

Tennis star Garbiñe Muguruza has become the first Spaniard to win the WTA Finals. The 28-year-old defeated Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in straight sets (6-3, 7-5), winning the game in 99 minutes.

The WTA Finals took place in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, which is 1,566 meters above sea level. The event was meant to be hosted in Shenzhen, China in 2020, but was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a record three months, the Panamerican Tennis Center in Zapopan was renovated in order to hold the WTA Finals, which is a tournament of the Women’s Tennis Association.

The 28-year-old already has an impressive list of accomplishments to her name: two grand slam tournament titles (2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon Championships), runner-up in another two grand slams (2015 Wimbledon Championships and 2020 Australian Open), and being ranked number one.

Source: https://english.elpais.com

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Martin Scorsese & Istvan Szabo honoured with Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

The Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred upon two living legends of modern cinema — Hollywood director Martin Scorsese and Hungarian auteur Istvan Szabo — at the inaugural event of the 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on Saturday 20 November 2021.

Both were not present to receive the award personally, but they marked their presence with thoughtful video messages.

Source: www.koimoi.com

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21 November 2021

World Fisheries Day - 21 November.

World Fisheries day is celebrated every year on 21 November throughout the world by fishing communities. 2021 is the fifth World Fisheries Day. The first World Fisheries Day was celebrated on November 21, 2015. On the same day, it was the grand opening of the International Fisherman’s organization was held in New Delhi.

A recent United Nations study reported that more than two-thirds of the world's fisheries have been overfished or are fully harvested and more than one third are in a state of decline because of factors such as the loss of essential fish habitats, pollution, and global warming.

The World Fisheries Day helps in highlighting the critical importance to human lives, of water and the lives it sustains, both in and out of water. Water forms a continuum, whether contained in rivers, lakes, and ocean.

Fish forms an important part of the diets of people around the world, particularly those that live near rivers, coasts and other water bodies. A number of traditional societies and communities are rallied around the occupation of fishing.

A forum for the World Fisheries consortium was established around 1997 and was famously called WFF (World Fisheries Forum). Under this forum, several participants across the world actively took part in it. Around 18 countries signed a global consensus document that marked the standardization of practices. The memories of WFF in 1997 lay etched in the pages of history because it wrote a new form of working pattern of the fisherfolk community.

The day is awaiting a creative theme that incorporates the fishing industry, nature and the environment, as well as a greater emphasis on biodiversity. The theme for 2020 was 'Social Responsibility in the Fishing Value Chain.'

Source: www.news9live.com


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World Philosophy Day - 21 November.

Every third Thursday in November, World Philosophy Day promotes the intellectual culture of philosophical debate that respects dignity and diversity. The day also encourages academic exchange, highlighting the role philosophy plays in addressing global issues.

The word philosophy comes from the Greek word, phílosophía. This word means the love of wisdom. Philosophy is a field of human thought that gets at the meaning of life. Everyone is encouraged to be a student of philosophy. Studying philosophy helps students academically and throughout their lives. They will write more clearly and be better equipped to answer questions asked by potential employers. But they will also be able to spot faulty reasoning.

UNESCO hopes that emphasizing philosophy will encourage world leaders to work together. Global collaboration is crucial for overcoming major global challenges. For example, philosophy can address migration, environmental change, and artificial intelligence.

Source: https://en.unesco.org

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World Television Day - 21 November.

Every year on November 21st, World Television Day recognizes how TV plays a vital role in presenting different issues that affect people.

The first television set was invented in 1927. The 21-year-old inventor was Philo Taylor Farnsworth. His idea was to capture moving images, transfer them into code, and then move the images along radio waves to different devices. In 1928, a television aired its first broadcast. It wasn’t until 1938 that television sets became commercially available.

In 1996, the UN General Assembly proclaimed November 21st as World Television Day. This date commemorates the first World Television Forum held that same year. During the Forum, leading media figures discussed the growing significance of television in our ever-changing world.

Source: www.un.org

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China downgrades diplomatic ties with Lithuania over Taiwan.

China downgraded its diplomatic ties with Lithuania, expressing strong dissatisfaction with the Baltic State after Taiwan opened a de facto embassy there, escalating a row that has sucked in Washington.

China views self-ruled and democratically governed Taiwan as its territory with no right to the trappings of a state and has stepped up pressure on countries to downgrade or sever their relations with the island, even non-official ones.

Lithuania expressed regret over China's move but defended its right to expand cooperation with Taiwan, while respecting Beijing's "One China" policy, and said its foreign minister would go to Washington to discuss trade and investment projects.

Taiwan, meanwhile, reported that two Chinese nuclear-capable H-6 bombers had flown to the south of the island on Sunday, part of a pattern of what Taipei views as military harassment designed to pressure the government.

Source: www.reuters.com

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IQAir Air Quality Index

According to the data from air quality and pollution city tracking service from IQAir, a Switzerland-based climate group and also a technology partner of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)., Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai are among the top ten most polluted cities of the world. 

Delhi topped the list with AQI at 556, Kolkata and Mumbai recorded an AQI of 177 and 169, respectively, at 4th and 6th position. The cities with the worst AQI indices also include Lahore, in Pakistan, and Chengdu, in China.

Here are the ten cities with the worst air quality indicators and pollution rankings, according to IQAir:

  • Delhi, India (AQI: 556)
  • Lahore, Pakistan (AQI: 354)
  • Sofia, Bulgaria (AQI: 178)
  • Kolkata, India (AQI: 177)
  • Zagreb, Croatia (AQI: 173)
  • Mumbai, India (AQI: 169)
  • Belgrade, Serbia (AQI: 165)
  • Chengdu, China (AQI: 165)
  • Skopje, North Macedonia (AQI: 164)
  • Krakow, Poland (AQI: 160)

Source: www.iqair.com

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Amazon to stop accepting Visa Credit Cards in UK.

Online retail giant Amazon is to stop accepting Visa credit cards issued in the U.K. from 19 January in an extraordinary face-off over transaction fees.

In announcing the move, Amazon said that the decision had been prompted by high credit card transaction fees but said that Visa debit cards would still be accepted.

Visa’s share price slumped nearly 7% yesterday, though they have recovered a little of their lost ground in trading so far today.

In the meantime, Amazon is offering gift card sweeteners to affected customers to apologize for the inconvenience, offering $27 for Prime customers to switch from using Visa to an alternative payment method, and $13.50 for other customers, if they have a Visa card as their only or default payment method on their account.

Source: www.forbes.com

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The US city run by Muslim Americans.

A walk down the main street in Hamtramck, Michigan, feels like a tour around the world.

A Polish sausage store and an Eastern European bakery sit alongside a Yemeni department store and a Bengali clothing shop. Church bells ring out along with the Islamic call to prayer.

"The world in two square miles" - Hamtramck lives up to its slogan, with around 30 languages spoken within its 5 sq km area.

This month, the Midwestern city of 28,000 has reached a milestone. Hamtramck has elected an all-Muslim City Council and a Muslim mayor, becoming the first in the US to have a Muslim-American government.

Once faced with discrimination, Muslim residents have become integral to this multicultural city, and now make up more than half its population.

And despite economic challenges and intense cultural debates, residents in Hamtramck from different religious and cultural backgrounds coexist in harmony, making the city a meaningful case study for America's future of rising diversity.

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Frida Kahlo art fetches record $34.9m at auction.

A painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo has sold at Sotheby's auction house in New York for a record $34.9m (£25m).

It is the highest price paid at auction for a Latin American artwork. The record had previously been set by a work by Diego Rivera, with whom Kahlo had a decades-long tumultuous relationship. His piece sold for $9.76m in 2018.

Kahlo's painting "Diego y Yo" was one of her final self-portraits. The work depicts a tearful Kahlo with her husband Rivera painted above her eyes.

It was described by Sotheby's at the auction on Tuesday as "one of the most important works by Kahlo ever to come to auction".

Source: www.bbc.com

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