18 July 2022

Nelson Mandela International Day - 18 July.

Every year on July 18th, Nelson Mandela International Day pays tribute to this anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and activist. The day also encourages people to do their part to make the world a better place.

Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black head of state. He served as President of the country from 1994 to 1999. During his leadership, Mandela focused on dismantling apartheid. He did so by tackling institutionalized racism and fostering racial recognition.

Earlier in life, Mandela was a member of the African National Congress (ANC). In 1943, Mandela co-founded the ANC’s youth league. He and the ANC committed themselves to overthrowing apartheid. The National Party’s white-only government established the policy of segregation and discrimination based on race known as apartheid.

Throughout the 1950s, the government arrested Mandela multiple times, and unsuccessfully tried him for treason. In 1962, the court gave him a life sentence for conspiring to overthrow the state. Mandela served 27 years in prison before being released in 1990 by President F.W. de Klerk.

Following his presidency, Mandela remained active in politics and humanitarian efforts. Through his charity, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, he focused primarily on fighting poverty and HIV/AIDS. Many people considered Mandela a controversial figure. Despite this fact, Mandela has received over 250 honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize. His home country honors Nelson Mandela with the name “Father of the Nation.”

In 2009, the UN General Assembly declared July 18th as Nelson Mandela International Day. The date celebrates Nelson Mandela’s birthday. He was born on July 18th, 1918. He died on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95. In 2015, the UN extended the scope of this day to promote humane conditions of imprisonment. They did this by adopting a resolution that called for the formation of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, also known as the Nelson Mandela Rules.

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World Listening Day - 18 July.

Every year on July 18th, World Listening Day encourages people to take time to listen to the sounds of nature. It’s also a day to learn more about field recording.

Listening plays an important role in understanding one another. Listening is also important when trying to understand the world around us. Learning about the relationship between humans and their environment through sound is called acoustic ecology.

The World Listening Project (WLP) was founded in 2008. The charitable organization is devoted to foster understanding of the world and its natural environment through listening and field recording. In 2010, the WLP created World Listening Day. They chose July 18th to commemorate R. Murray Schafer’s birthday. Schafer is a renowned Canadian composer, author, and environmentalist. He is best known for his studies on acoustic ecology. 

Source: https://worldlisteningday.org

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17 July 2022

New COVID-19 Omicron sub-variant BA.2.75 detected

New COVID-19 Omicron sub-variant BA.2.75 detected in countries like India.

A new sub-lineage BA.2.75 of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in countries like India and the World Health Organisation is following this, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“On COVID-19, globally reported cases have increased nearly 30 per cent over the past two weeks. Four out of six of the WHO sub-regions saw cases increase in the last week,” Ghebreyesus said.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

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Astronomers have detected a Rotating Galaxy from the early eays of the Universe.

A team of astronomers have used the ALMA telescope to find a slowly-rotating galaxy in the early Universe. That galaxy is the youngest ever found with a measured rotation, and it's much slower than present-day galaxies.

All galaxies rotate, usually at incredible speeds. For example, the Milky Way galaxy has a rotation speed of over 200 kilometers per second. But astronomers do not yet understand how galaxies build up to these speeds. The only way to tell is through measurements of galaxies throughout cosmic time, building up a map of galactic evolution.

Recently a team of astronomers based at Waseda University in Tokyo used ALMA (the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) in Chile to observe an extremely distant galaxy. This galaxy, MACS1149-JD1, is so far away that it's normally far too dim to be observed.

But the light from that galaxy passes through a giant galaxy cluster, and the gravitational lensing from that cluster magnifies MACS1149-JD1. Astronomers can use this magnification to see the galaxy.

Source: www.sciencealert.com

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James Webb telescope is so powerful, it detected water on a distant exoplanet

NASA unveiled the first full-color images for its James Webb space telescope this week, and the results were absolutely astounding. While it’s easy to get caught up in the quality of the images that James Webb is capable of capturing, the newly activated telescope is more powerful than most might realize. In fact, the telescope is so powerful it detected water on a distant exoplanet.

Source: https://bgr.com

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World Day for International Criminal Justice - 17 July.

Every year on July 17th, the World Day for International Criminal Justice promotes the rights of crime victims and the importance of upholding justice. It’s also a day to discuss the prevention of crimes that threaten peace and security throughout the world.

Society expects that when someone commits a crime, they will be punished by law. A crime is anything that harms people or damages property. Common crimes include burglary, drug abuse violations, driving under the influence, disorderly conduct, fraud, and domestic abuse. Violence against others is another type of crime. Examples of violent crimes include homicide, murder, sexual assault, negligence, kidnapping, and harassment. There are also crimes against humanity. These types of crimes include genocide, enslavement, forced deportation, apartheid, and torture.

Countries that have high poverty levels and higher unemployment tend to have the highest crime rates. Countries with the highest crime rates include El Salvador, Jamaica, Honduras, Belize, South Africa, and Lesotho. Alternatively, countries with favorable living conditions and adequate police enforcement tend to have lower crime rates. Tough sentences also help lower the number of crimes committed. Countries with the lowest crime rates include Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, and Canada.

Unfortunately, some countries are better than others at punishing criminals for the crimes they commit. The top five countries for the best criminal justice systems include Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Germany and Singapore also rank high on the list. Countries with the worst criminal justice systems include Venezuela, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Cameroon.

On June 1, 2010, at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute, the Assembly of State Parties agreed that July 17th would be known as the World Day for International Criminal Justice. The Review Conference of the Rome Statute was held in Uganda to consider amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This international governmental organization and international tribunal sits in The Hague, Netherlands. It is the only international court that can prosecute criminals for certain types of crimes, which include crimes against humanity. The Rome Statute adopted the treaty for the ICC on July 17th, 1998.

Source: https://asp.icc-cpi.int

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16 July 2022

World Snake Day - 16 July.

World Snake Day on July 16th urges increased awareness of the wide variety of species around the world. With around 3,500 species, finding a snake that fascinates you or that was unknown to you previously won’t be difficult.

Among the 3,500 species, only about 600 are venomous. However, according to the World Health Organization, only about 200 of those pose a significant risk to human life.

The world’s smallest snake is the Barbados thread snake. This serpent is smaller than a nightcrawler at about 4 inches. In comparison, the longest snake is the reticulated python, and the heaviest is the green anaconda. One distinctive viper, the atheris hispida – a bush viper – jumps out of fantasy books with its scaled head. Did the viper inspire fire breathing dragons?

Other snakes are brilliantly colored. Vibrant reds, yellows, blues, and oranges populate the snake world. From the green tree python whose color ranges from green to red and brown and the banded sea krait that looks like it came out of the Beetlejuice movie, it’s a rainbow-colored world.

Snake Facts

  • Only 1/8 of the known species are venomous.
  • Their upper and lower jaw separate to allow snakes to consume prey up to three times larger than the diameter of their head.
  • Snakes eat their prey whole.
  • Most snakes are nocturnal.
  • Their tongue is used to smell their air.
  • Snakes are cold-blooded, or ectotherms, and must sun themselves to regulate their body temperatures.
  • While most snakes lay eggs, some give live birth.
  • From anti-tumor treatments to antibacterial properties, snake venom has been studied for medical purposes for many years.

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15 July 2022

World Youth Skills Day - 15 July.

Every year on July 15th, World Youth Skills Day encourages youth to acquire certain skills that will help them achieve personal success and fulfillment. The day also raises awareness about the lack of skills that prevent young people from working.

There is a growing concern that youth throughout the world are not able to find employment. There is also concern that youth are not able to receive the proper education or training for their future careers. The number of youth not in employment, education, or training is known as NEET. In recent years, nearly 267 million were classified as NEET. This number is also expected to increase to 273 million in the near future.

To help combat these numbers, the UN and other organizations are placing emphasis on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). This type of education prepares people to work as a technician. It also allows employees to take up a skilled craft or trade. TVET takes place at a higher education level and can interact with an apprenticeship program.

Workers around the world have realized some of the many short and long-term benefits that TVET has to offer.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Better chance of employment
  • Higher earning levels
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Improved flexibility and mobility
  • Lifelong learning

One more proven benefit of TVET is the positive impact it has on a person’s motivation, attitude, and self-esteem. There are also many social benefits of TVET.

In 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that proclaimed July 15th World Youth Skills Day. The first World Youth Skills Day was held on July 15, 2015.

Source: https://unevoc.unesco.org

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12 July 2022

Malala Day - 12 July

Every year on July 12th, the world celebrates the birthday of Malala Yousafzai. At age 17, Malala was the youngest recipient ever of the Nobel Peace Prize. The day also honors the rights of children and women.

Malala Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Pakistan, on July 12th, 1997. Malala’s father was an educator, and as a result, she developed a thirst for knowledge. In 2007 the Taliban took over the city in which she lived and banned girls from attending school. As young as she was, Malala demonstrated fierce bravery by standing up to the Taliban. In 2009, Malala started a blog and wrote about life under Taliban rule. She also wrote about her desire to go to school. For three years, she and her father advocated for the right for girls to attend school.

On the morning of October 9th, 2012, gunmen from the Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai in the head. She was just 15 years old at the time. After four days in a military hospital, doctors transferred her to an ICU in Birmingham, England. Multiple surgeries and weeks of rehabilitative therapy later, Malala began attending school in Birmingham.

On her 16th birthday, the young lady traveled to New York and spoke at the United Nations. In 2013, TIME Magazine declared Malala one of the world’s most influential people. A year later, Malala was named a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Along with this prestigious honor, Malala has received the United Nations Human Rights Prize and The Liberty Medal. In 2017, Malala began her studies at Oxford. She currently resides in Birmingham and continues to fight for women’s empowerment and education.

July 12th holds special significance for Malala Yousafzai. It’s not only her birthday, but it’s also this date in 2013 that she spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education. Since that day, the UN has dubbed July 12th, Malala Day. During her UN address, she stated, “Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy, and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.”

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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Former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe passes away after being shot.

Shinzo Abe, Former Japan’s Prime Minister, who was shot at during an election campaign in western Japan’s Nara city, has passed away. The Nara fire department had earlier said that the 67-year-old Abe was in cardiopulmonary arrest before he was taken to the hospital. They said that he had been wounded on the right side of the neck and the left clavicle.

Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister until he resigned in 2020, was flown to hospital by helicopter after the attack. It was the first assassination of a sitting or former Japanese premier since the days of prewar militarism in the 1930s.

Police said a 41-year-old man suspected of carrying out the shooting had been arrested. Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai (NHK) Japanese public broadcaster quoted the suspect, identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, as telling police he was dissatisfied with Abe and wanted to kill him.

Source: www.aljazeera.com

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11 July 2022

Scientists discover large, year-round ozone hole over the tropics.

Scientists revealed a large, all-season ozone hole in the lower stratosphere over the tropics comparable in depth to that of the well-known springtime Antarctic hole, but roughly seven times greater in area. 

The observed data agree well with the cosmic-ray-driven electron reaction (CRE) model and strongly indicate the identical physical mechanism working for both Antarctic and tropical ozone holes.

In AIP Advances, by AIP Publishing, Qing-Bin Lu, a scientist from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, reveals a large, all-season ozone hole -- defined as an area of ozone loss larger than 25% compared with the undisturbed atmosphere -- in the lower stratosphere over the tropics comparable in depth to that of the well-known springtime Antarctic hole, but its area is roughly seven times greater.

Source: www.business-standard.com

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Biggest 'supermoon' of the year on July 13.

On Wednesday (July 13) at 5 a.m. EDT (09:00 GMT), the moon will arrive at its closest point to the Earth for 2022: a perigee distance of 221,994 miles (357,264 kilometers) away. 

Nine hours and 38 minutes later, the moon will officially turn full. Though full moon theoretically lasts just a moment, that moment is imperceptible to ordinary observation, and for a day or so before and after most will speak of seeing the nearly full moon as "full": The shaded strip is so narrow, and changing in apparent width so slowly, that it is hard for the naked eye to tell whether it's present or which side it is on.  

So, when the moon shines down on your neighborhood on Wednesday night, keep this in mind: What you're looking at is not precisely a full moon, but a waning gibbous moon, already many hours past its stage of full illumination.

Source: www.space.com

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World Population Day - 11 July.

World Population Day on July 11th focuses on balancing a healthy human race and planet.

The pace of population growth places reproductive rights and gender equality at the forefront of sustainability concerns. As the population grows, the demand for resources increases as well. While areas of the world enjoy open spaces and room to move, others are overcrowded.

In 1987, estimates reached 5 billion humans for the world’s population. By 2100, the population is estimated to be 11.5 billion. The growing population places stress on economies as well as infrastructure. Issues that were once minor become climatic, too. Other areas of concern include healthcare, housing, education, logistics, and nutrition.

While local communities address some concerns, nations join forces to address others on a global scale. The day provides a platform for goals and a way to strive to meet those goals.

In 1987, the Day of Five Billion recognized the global population of the world. It caught the attention of the United Nations and in 1989 they established the United Nations Development Programme. In 1994, during the International Conference on Population and Development, governments and UN agencies set forth goals.

  • Providing universal education
  • Reduce infant and child mortality
  • Reduce maternal mortality
  • Provide greater access to health and reproductive services

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com

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10 July 2022

Global Energy Independence Day - 10 July.

Every year on July 10th, Global Energy Independence Day promotes awareness for alternative forms of energy. The day also offers opportunities to learn more about renewable forms of energy, such as solar, wind, and geothermal.

Some of the most common sources of energy that people use include oil, coal, and gas. These types of energy are known as fossil fuels. There are many concerns with fossil fuels. One is that they will eventually run out. Other fossil fuel concerns include air and water pollution, land degradation, and global warming. These problems are motivating scientists to discover newer forms of energy that can be replenished. These types of energy include solar, wind, hydroelectric, nuclear, and geothermal.

Some believe that the only way to achieve energy independence is to embrace renewable energy. Unfortunately, this is difficult to do. Some reasons for this include a lack of knowledge about how these energy sources work and also how much they cost for the consumer. One more major barrier in switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy is the inconvenience of doing so. This is why awareness for renewable energy is so important.

In 2006, Michael D. Antonovich proclaimed July 10th as Global Energy Independence Day. At the time, Antonovich served as a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The date of July 10th coincides with the birthday of Nikola Tesla, who was born in 1856. Tesla is a Serbian-American inventor born in Croatia. Tesla made many breakthroughs in the area of electric power. His inventions helped pave the way to discover other forms of energy.

Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com


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09 July 2022

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo dies.

Mohammad Barkindo, a Nigerian politician and secretary-general of oil producer group OPEC, died at the age of 63, just days before he was set to finish his term at the organization.

The head of Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corp., Mele Kyari, announced the news in a tweet, which was later confirmed by OPEC.

He was born in April 1959 in northeast Nigeria’s Adamawa state, Barkindo assumed the office of the OPEC Secretary-General in 2016. His tenure was scheduled to expire in July.

The cause of death has not been announced.

About the OPEC:

OPEC is a permanent, intergovernmental organization, created at the Baghdad Conference in 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. It aims to manage the supply of oil in an effort to set the price of oil in the world market, in order to avoid fluctuations that might affect the economies of both producing and purchasing countries. It is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. OPEC membership is open to any country that is a substantial exporter of oil and which shares the ideals of the organization.

Source: www.cnbc.com

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07 July 2022

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigns.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigns after mutiny in his party.

Boris Johnson's turbulent tenure as Britain's Prime Minister came to an end Thursday 07th July after a historic party revolt over a series of ethics scandals forced him to step down.

It took the resignation of nearly 60 members of his government -- almost half the payroll -- for Johnson to finally abandon his attempts to cling on to power. Even then, the Prime Minister insisted that he would continue as caretaker leader while the Conservative Party launches the process of choosing a successor.

Some senior figures in his party say even that will be unsustainable, given the dwindling number of people willing to work for him.

Others are already lining up to replace him. Party officials say they will announce the timetable for a leadership election by Monday.

Speaking in front of the famous 10 Downing Street door, the same place where many of his predecessors delivered their own resignation address, Johnson announced that he would be stepping down.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com

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Libya protesters storm parliament building in Tobruk.

Protesters have stormed Libya's parliament in the eastern city of Tobruk and set fire to part of the building.

There have been rallies in other Libyan cities against continuing power cuts, rising prices and political deadlock.

In the capital, Tripoli, where a rival administration holds sway, protesters called for elections.

Their demand was backed by the head of the interim unity government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who said all the country's institutions needed to be changed.

United Nations Libya envoy Stephanie Williams told the BBC the violence was unacceptable but described it as a "clarion call for the political class" to put their differences aside and hold the elections that the Libyan people want.

Source: www.bbc.com

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Yair Lapid takes over as Israel’s 14th prime minister.

Yair Lapid officially became prime minister on 30 June 2022, taking office as the 14th premier in Israel’s history.

Lapid’s term leading the country could be a fairly short one, as he takes over a caretaker government ahead of national elections on November 1. But the new prime minister appeared determined to make the most of the potentially brief tenure, and bolster his prospects of winning a full term in four months’ time.

On his first day in office Friday, Lapid’s first agenda item was a meeting with Ronen Bar, the head of the Shin Bet security agency, at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

A statement from Lapid’s office said the meeting included a “broad defense and intelligence briefing on what is happening on the different fronts.”

Source: www.timesofisrael.com

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Zimbabwe to introduce gold coins as local currency tumbles.

Zimbabwe's central bank said it would start selling gold coins this month as a store of value to tame runaway inflation, which has considerably weakened the local currency.

The central bank governor John Mangudya said in a statement on Monday that the coins will be available for sale from July 25 in local currency, U.S. dollars and other foreign currencies at a price based on the prevailing international price of gold and the cost of production.

The "Mosi-oa-tunya" coin, named after Victoria falls, can be converted into cash and be traded locally and internationally, the central bank said.

The gold coin will contain one troy ounce of gold and will be sold by Fidelity Gold Refinery, Aurex and local banks, it added.

Gold coins are used by investors internationally to hedge against inflation and wars.

Last week, Zimbabwe more than doubled its policy rate to 200% from 80% and outlined plans to make the U.S. dollar legal tender for the next five years to boost confidence.

Annual inflation, which hit almost 192% in June, cast a shadow over President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bid to revitalise the economy.

Source: www.reuters.com

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Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in as first black woman on US top court.

Ketanji Brown Jackson has been sworn in as the newest associate Supreme Court justice, becoming the first black woman to serve on the nation's highest court.

The appointment follows one of the most consequential Supreme Court terms in recent memory, with significant rulings on abortion and gun rights.

Ms Jackson, 51, will replace Justice Stephen Breyer, joining the court's three-member liberal minority.

She accepts "the solemn responsibility" of the role, she said in a statement.

US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, announced her nomination in February. In April, three Republicans crossed the aisle to seal her appointment in the US Senate.

Ms Jackson, a Washington DC native, previously sat on the influential US court of Appeals for the DC circuit.

She has two degrees from Harvard University and once served as editor of the Harvard Law Review. She worked as a public defender in Washington before joining a private practice prior to her judicial appointments.

Source: www.bbc.com

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