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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

06 Jan 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Pakistan Seeking Extradition of Haqqani

  •  As per reports, Pakistan has initiated a process of seeking the extradition of its former envoy Hussain Haqqani on embezzlement charges.
  • The Interior Ministry has transferred a 355-page extradition dossier to the Foreign Office, to be sent to the U.S. State Department. 

China Preparing for War

  •  According to President Xi Jinping, China's armed forces must strengthen their sense of urgency and do everything they can to prepare for battle.
  • China is keen to beef up its armed forces amid territorial disputes in the South China Sea and escalating tension with the U.S. over issues ranging from trade to the status of Taiwan.
  • Mr. Xi said that China faced increasing risks and challenges, and the armed forces must work to secure its security and development needs.
  • He also said that the armed forces must devise strategies for the new era and take on responsibilities for preparing and waging war.

ENVIRONMENT

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Asia's First Fossil Dioscorea Yam Leaf

  •  A quaint fossilised leaf is one of the most recent finds throwing light on India's past.
  • The leaf fossil is the first of Dioscorea yams from Asia and hints at a Gondwanan origin to these plants, claim scientists.
  • The fossil was found in the Gurha lignite mine in Bikaner in western Rajasthan.
  • The new find has been named Dioscorea eocenicus: the first ever Dioscorea fossil recorded from Asia.
  • Currently, species of Dioscorea in India are found in the humid, tropical forests of the country.
  • Based on this, the team infers that such tropical forests must have flourished in this part of Rajasthan during early Eocene.
  • Other fossil plants observed in the mine also suggest this historical climate in the area, which is now dry and consists of desert vegetation.

SPORTS

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Third Hopman Title for Federer

  •  Roger Federer became the most successful player in Hopman Cup history after leading Switzerland to a 2-1 win in an enthralling final of the mixed teams' tournament.
  • Federer became the first player to win three Hopman Cups, teaming with Belinda Bencic for the duo's second consecutive title.
  • Federer had first won the Hopman Cup back in 2001 when he teamed with Martina Hingis.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Northeast Protests Citizenship Bill

  •  At least 30 indigenous groups, including the North East Students' Organisation, have called for an 11-hour shutdown in protest against the Narendra Modi government's move to have the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, passed in Parliament.
  • The Bill seeks to legalise the stay of minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who migrated to India till December 31, 2014 allegedly due to religious persecution.
  • Most indigenous groups in the northeast fear this Bill, if passed, would make the region, particularly Assam, a dumping ground for migrants.

BJP's Lok Sabha Election In-chargeĀ for UP

  •  The BJP appointed Union Minister J. P. Nadda as Lok Sabha election in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, days after it made similar appointments for 17 states.
  • Govardhan Zadaphia, a Gujarat leader who was a critic of the PM Modi, would be one of the six co-in-charges for the state.

PERSONS IN NEWS

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Gaurav Bhatia Resigned as Sotheby's India MD

  •  Gaurav Bhatia has resigned as Sotheby's India MD, nearly a month after he went on leave following allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • Mr. Bhatia, who was the South Asia operations head and the driving force behind "Boundless: India", Sotheby's maiden auction in the country, had put in his papers in December 2018.
  • Mr. Bhatia is among the prominent names in the Indian art world that were called out in the #MeToo movement.

Vijay Mallya Declared Fugitive Economic Offender

  •  Beleaguered business tycoon Vijay Mallya was declared a fugitive economic offender by a special PMLA court in Mumbai.
  • All his properties can now be confiscated by the government. While giving the order, the court refused his application to stay the order to give him some time to appeal.
  • With this verdict, Mallya has become the first tycoon to have been charged under the new anti-fraud law Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 which was enacted in August last year.
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