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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

30 Dec 2018

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Yemen Rebels Begin Withdrawal

  •  As per a UN official, Yemeni rebels have begun to withdraw from the port of Hodeidah, the country's key aid lifeline, under an agreement reached in Sweden earlier this month.
  •  The Houthi rebels began to withdraw from the Red Sea Port.
  • The rebel withdrawal from the port, which is the point of entry for food aid to some 14 million Yemenis UN agencies say are on the brink of famine, is a key part of a ceasefire that went into effect on December 18.

ENVIRONMENT

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Single-use Plastic Free Flight

  •  The amount of single-use plastic on a passenger airline is enough to contribute significantly to global pollution. Portuguese airline Hi Fly decided to bring about a change by introducing single-use plastic free flight.
  • The flight took off on Wednesday from Lisbon to Natale, Brazil, without a single piece of single-use plastic on board. There were no plastic cups, plastic silverware, plastic cocktail stirrer, and plastic food containers.
  • This was only a test run for the company hoping to completely ban single-use plastic from all its flights in 2019.
  • Other airlines such as Air New Zealand and Alaska Airlines are also following similar approaches to reduce their plastic usage onboard.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

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Algorithm to Detect Rare Cells Developed

  •  A new algorithm developed by Delhi-based researchers has made it very easy to find rare cells from a very large pool of cells in a matter of seconds.
  • The algorithm, Finder of Rare Entities (FiRE), assigns a rareness score to each cell that is computed based on the gene expression profile of about twenty thousand genes.
  • Cells having scores above a certain threshold are reported as rare cells.

Google Introduces Spam Protection

  •  Google has begun rolling out its spam protection feature for Messages after almost over six months of developing it for Android users.
  • This spam protection feature is now going live, though not everyone seems to have it just yet.
  • Once introduced, users can disable this feature in the Settings and then in the Advanced menu.
  • Earlier this week, Google announced it was planning to shift its Messages web app -- which allows users to manage SMS/MMS messages on their phone from another device, from Android.com to Google.com.  

SPORTS

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World Competitions in India in 2021 and 2023

  •  The ICC has given the BCCI one year to get tax exemptions from the Central Government in order to host two high-profile World competitions in India in 2021 and 2023.
  • ICC Chief Executive, Dave Richardson had informed the BCCI that if it does not get the tax exemptions for the ICC events to be held in India (men's and women's T20 World Cup in 2021 and the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023) by December 31, 2019, the two competitions may be moved to another country.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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AAP National Council extended its Term

  •  The Aam Aadmi Party's national council decided to extend its term by a year, giving party national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal one year more than the maximum tenure for office-bearers fixed by the party constitution.

Army Jawans Rescue Tourists in Sikkim

  •  More than 2,800 tourists who got stranded at Nathu La near Indo-China border and other places in the Sikkim region following heavy snowfall were evacuated by the Army through rescue operations.
  • The tourists, who included many elderly people and children, were provided shelter and food in army facilities. Among the tourists who were rescued, 90 people fell ill and were taken to safety in ambulances.
  • As per a senior police officer in Sikkim, this was the biggest rescue operation by the army in Sikkim in recent history. Soldiers were shifted from transit camps to make room for the tourists.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Kadiri Urban To Join Politics

  •  Kadiri Urban Circle Inspector Gorantla Madhav, who had made certain controversial remarks against Anantapur Member of Parliament J.C. Diwakar Reddy submitted his resignation letter to Kadiri Deputy Superintendent of Police Sree Lakshmi.
  • Mr. Madhav decided to join politics to serve the people better. He hails from Kurnool district and belongs to the Backward Class.

America's Oldest Man Dead

  •  Richard Overton, a World War II veteran who was America's oldest man, died at the age of 112.
  • Overton's longevity and his status as the oldest living American veteran of World War II made him a celebrity of sorts over the past few years.
  • Overton was born on May 11, 1906 in Texas. He served in the US Army in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945.
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