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October 23, 2013

Current Affairs - 18th October 2013

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International Affairs
  • Saudi Arabia said on Friday it was declining its United Nations security council rotating seat, citing "double standards" that made it hard for the world body to end conflict and wars.
  • Reluctant to hear anything against then Pakistan president Gen Yahya Khan and his army ahead of the 1971 war, the then US President Richard Nixon branded his own envoy to India as a "traitor" and an "Indian mouthpiece", says a new book based on declassified documents.
  • The US Senate has confirmed Indian-American woman administrator Nisha Desai Biswal as the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, making her the first person from the community to hold the top diplomatic position.
National Affairs
  • For the first time, India will display at an international event its latest, state-of-the-art weapon systems, platforms, sensors, communication systems and equipment designed and developed by Hyderabad-based DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organization, Ministry of Defence, Govt of India). 
  • The result of examination of the presence of Canine Distemper Virus (CDR) or Pestes Des Petitis Ruminants Virus (PPVR) in Asiatic lion has brought in relief for forest officials. The results have revealed that there is no presence of CDV and PPVR in Asiatic lions.
  • Nagaland home minister G Kaito Aye laid stress on the need to modernize the state police department with the help of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS), a flagship programme of the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA).
  • With the World Heath Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer declaring air pollution as a major cause of cancer, its findings have put the focus on Indian hotspots like Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Jharkhand which showed high concentration of life-threatening air pollutants.
  • A Google study has revealed that Karnataka contributes the most number of searches on the internet for alcoholic beverages followed by Haryana and Maharashtra.

Science and Technology
  • Astronomers using data from Nasa's Kepler space telescope have discovered a distant planetary system with multiple planets orbiting at a severe tilt to their host star.
  • A bunch of skulls of human ancestors dating back to 1.8 million years ago has created a storm among scientists. The discovery suggests that three human ancestor species were actually just one, with variations in features.
  • British scientists have identified a virus which "eats" the bacteria that causes the hospital superbug Clostridium difficile (C.diff), in a breakthrough that could have major implications for the fight against antibiotic resistance. The technique represents a viable alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infection, using naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages — "eaters of bacteria", or phages for short.
  • Nokia realized the significance of smartphones "too early," the Finnish company's former chief executive says in a new book, countering the view that the brand's failure to remain a world leader was due to it being late to spot the market shift.
  • Google Inc shares jumped past $1,000 on Friday as investors bet on the Internet company's continued dominance of the mobile and video advertising businesses despite aggressive competition from Facebook Inc and Yahoo Inc.

  • Renowned Telugu writer and Jnanapith award recipient Ravuri Bharadwaja died here on Friday night. He was 86.

Business and Economy
  • The BSE benchmark sensex rallied over 400 points in pre-noon trade on Friday on speculations that Federal Reserve could maintain monetary stimulus to the US economy next year on fears of the 16-day partial US government shutdown, which ended this week, curbing economic growth there. 
  • Hollywood superstar Hugh Jackman has been chosen over a Bollywood star as the brand ambassador of Indian mobile handset brand Micromax. He says he is a "huge lover" of India.
  • Indian IT major Infosys will recruit more than 8,000 employees in Pune over the next six months as part of its expansion plans for which it getting an additional 150 acres in the city. Infosys already employs over 15,000 IT professionals at its existing facilities in the city.
  • Led by healthy buying in bank, metal, capital goods, oil and gas and automobile sectors, A benchmark index of Indian equities markets BSE Sensex surged over 500 points in Friday's trade.
  • A second Swiss bank has decided to close its doors as the United States cranks up pressure on financial institutions for abetting tax evasion.
  • The benchmark Sensex on Friday surged over 467 points to a nearly three-year high on across-the- board buying in bluechips led by financial sector stocks, including ICICI Bank, on easing concerns over the US tapering and a pick-up in China's economic growth.

  • Indian boxers continued to pack a mighty punch at the World Championships as Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Manpreet Singh (91kg) entered the pre-quarterfinals with contrasting wins in their respective second-round bouts here today.
  • Cheteshwar Pujara was the highest-ranked Indian batsman despite dropping a rung to eighth while R Ashwin held on to his eighth position in the bowlers' chart of the ICC Test rankings issued on Friday

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