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May 09, 2016

9th May 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The United Nations has launched UN Zika Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) to finance critical unfunded priorities in the response to the Zika outbreak. 
    • The fund was launched by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States. 
  • France's government has announced that it would set up 12 deradicalisation centres to combat home-grown terrorism. 
    • The "reinsertion and citizenship" centres are part of an 80-point plan to fight terrorism. 
  • Greek Parliament today passed austerity reforms amid protests in the Greek capital Athens. 
    • The reforms increase taxes on high earning individuals, fixes a $437 monthly pension to move towards a 'sustainable' system. 
    • Note : The austerity measures were proposed to meet the agreed $95 billion bailout targets.
  • Bangladesh asked Pakistan to stop interfering in its internal affairs, after the Pakistani Foreign Ministry had recently issued a statement expressing concern on Bangladesh's verdict on war criminal Motiur Rahman Nizami. 
  • China is set to be associated with Kolkata's Durga Puja this year. 
    • The country is planning to bring 100-200 people to Kolkata during Durga Puja. 
    • A delegation of government officials will hold discussions with the West Bengal's tourism department and puja organisers once the new government takes charge after elections.

National Affairs
  • Nation Pays Tributes to the great social reformer and freedom fighter Gopal Krishna Gokhale on his 150th Birth Anniversary
  • The Lok Sabha today passed the Anti-Hijacking Bill, dealing with offences related to hijacking of aircrafts. 
    • The Bill, which provides for the death penalty even if ground handling staff and airport personnel are killed during the act, was already passed by the Rajya Sabha. 
    • Note : Previously, the death penalty was given only on the death of a hostage during hijacking.
  • The Minister for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) Kalraj Mishra today inaugurated  Harmukh Khadi Gram Udyog Sansthan, a spinning and weaving centre and marketing plaza for khadi goods in Srinagar.
  • The Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti has launched the first trash skimmer for River Yamuna for skimming of solid waste material and a sum of 850 crore rupees have been approved for the third phase of Yamuna action planyamuna.
  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today banned activities like paragliding and snow scooters at the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh, saying the "extremely eco-sensitive area" cannot be degraded further. 
    • Note : From now onwards, only 800 petrol and 400 diesel vehicles will be allowed at the Pass daily.
  • The Central government is working on a programme named Bal Sansad (Children's Parliament) to help children develop skills like leadership, and decision making.
Business & Economy
  • India was ranked 9th out of 22 countries in the Crony Capitalism Index in a recent study by The Economist. 
    • According to the study, India's crony sector wealth amounted to 3.4% of its GDP. 
    • Note : Germany was declared the cleanest while Russia performed the worst in the study that was based upon Forbes' list of billionaires and their source of wealth.
  • Markets regulator SEBI is working on a training module for police and other law enforcement and investigative agencies to help them better understand financial crime. 
    • These measures are aimed at ensuring faster prosecution in cases involving capital market crimes and better dealing with complaints of investors duped by market manipulative activities.
  • India’s largest urban co-operative bank Saraswat has donated of Rs one crore towards relief work drought conditions in various parts of Maharashtra.

Books & Authors
  • In his upcoming book titled "India vs. Pakistan", Former Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, claimed that former ISI chief Shuja Pasha said "Log hamarey thhe, operation hamara nahin tha", referring to the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. 
    • This book is going to be published next week by Juggernaut. 

New Appointments
  • iPhone maker Apple, which recently touched $1 billion in revenue from India, has named company executive Sanjay Kaul as its new country manager.
  • Deepak Kabu has joined Ziox Mobiles as its Chief Executive Officer, becoming the second top-level executive to leave the No 3 Smartphone player in India in past weeks.

Deaths
  • Pioneering Australian TV producer Reg Grundy (92), who helped create successful programs such as Neighbours, Prisoner, and Wheel of Fortune, passed away.

Science & Technology
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has unveiled the first global digital elevation (topographic model) of Mercury
    • The model was unveiled by NASA’s MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) mission.
  • 'Prospector-X', an experimental resource-mining spacecraft, designed as a collaboration between the government of Luxembourg and California-based Deep Space Industries, will soon be launched into the Earth's orbit to test the conglomerate's asteroid-mining technologies.
    • If the spacecraft's mission proves successful, its successors will be sent to mine near-Earth asteroids for gold and platinum.

Awards & Honors
  • The BAFTA (The British Academy Television Awards) 2016 took place yesterday at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
    • Here are some important names to remember : 
      • Leading actor - Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall)
      • Leading actress - Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster)
      • Drama series - Wolf Hall
      • Entertainment program - Strictly Come Dancing 
      • International - Transparent (Amazon Prime) 
      • Single drama - Don’t Take My Baby 
      • Reality and constructed factual - First Dates

Sports
  • World number one Novak Djokovic beat defending champion Andy Murray in the Madrid Open final today to win a record 29th Masters crown. 
    • This is Djokovic's fifth title in 2016 after he won the Qatar Open, Indian Wells, Miami Open and Australian Open
    • Djokovic now equals Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg with 64 career titles.
    • 2016 Madrid Open Winners List
      • Men's Singles : Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
      • Women's Singles : Simona Halep (Romania)
      • Men's Doubles : Jean-Julien Rojer (Netherlands) / Horia Tec─âu (Romania)
      • Women's Doubles : Caroline Garcia (France) / Kristina Mladenovic (France)
  • Italy's Giorgio Calcaterra touched the 88 km mark to win Red Bull's Wings for Life World Run 2016 racing event
    • Note : The charity race, which was held in 34 countries simultaneously, uses a catcher car running behind the participants to eliminate runners who are left behind the vehicle. 
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