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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

23 Feb 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Saudi and China Cement Ties

  •  China and Saudi Arabia have cemented ties based on a stronger energy relationship as well as Riyadh's decision to distance itself from the controversy surrounding Beijing's approach towards Xinjiang.
  • Saudi Arabia has also pledged support for the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping's signature connectivity enterprise.
  • According to a statement by the Saudi energy giant, Aramco, had agreed to set up a joint venture with China's military equipment heavyweight, Norinco.
  • The two would build a refining and petrochemical complex, worth more than $10 billion in the northeastern Chinese city of Panjin.

 Troops Will Stay in Syria

  •  The White House plans to leave about 200 U.S. troops in Syria, signalling a partial retreat from President Donald Trump's announcement in December that he would withdraw all 2,000 forces after what he described as a victory over the Islamic State.
  • The move was a concession to allies and Pentagon officials who have argued that a complete American withdrawal risks returning key areas in Syria to the IS. 

Move to Block Trump's Emergency

  •  U.S. Democrats rolled out their measure aimed at blocking President Donald Trump from circumventing Congress to seize federal dollars for the construction of a southern border wall.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the chamber would vote very soon on the so-called disapproval resolution aimed at terminating the national emergency.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

RBI Bundles NBFCs

  •  To provide greater operational flexibility to non-banking lenders, the Reserve Bank created a single category for NBFCs by bundling their present three-tier structure.
  • The central bank also decided that exposures to all NBFCs, excluding core investment companies, would be risk weighted as per credit ratings.
  • According to RBI, asset finance, loan, and investment companies have been merged into a new category called NBFC- Investment and Credit Companies.

 Vistara and Japan Air sign Deal

  •  Full-service carrier Vistara and Japan Airlines announced a code share partnership that will allow passengers a seamless transfer from one airline to the other.
  • With this agreement, Vistara has become the only code share partner for Japan Airlines in India.
  • Japan Airlines will now be able add its 'JL' designator code to approximately 32 Vistara-operated flights each day across India covering seven Indian cities, namely Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune. 
  • Vistara already has similar tie-ups with British Airways, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.

FPIs Invest in Markets

  •  Foreign investors pumped in Rs. 6,311 crore into the Indian capital markets, the highest inflow in a single day in February so far.
  • According to the latest data from the BSE, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought securities worth Rs. 10,437.99 crore and sold securities amounting to Rs. 4,126.98 crore, translating into a net inflow of Rs. 6,311 crore.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India to Have Own DNS

  •  The government will soon roll out a public Domain Name Server, or DNS, for India aimed at providing a faster and more secure browsing experience for Internet users in the country, while ensuring that citizens' data is stored locally.
  • A DNS is a like a directory for the Internet.
  • It helps to convert domain names that are easy for people to remember into IP addresses, which are used by computers/machines to communicate.
  • If the DNS is either slow or fails to work, users will not be able to locate web addresses.
  • As per the government, the main aim of bringing our own public DNS is to ensure availability, particularly for smaller Interest Service Providers (ISPs) who don't have credible DNS. Bigger ones usually have their own DNS.
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SPORTS

Shrikrishna Gets Wild Card

  •  S. Shrikrishna, the youngest player (at 18 years) to pick up the men's National billiards crown, recently in Indore, has been given a wild card for the Indian Open snooker to be held in Kochi from February 27.
  • He will be locking horns with some of the world's best, in what will be his second consecutive appearance in the event.

Neeraj and Renne Win

  •  Neeraj Yashpaul and Renne Singla won the men's and women's titles in the Rs. 50,000 AITA ranking tennis tournament.
  • Neeraj outplayed Ritik Rana in the men's final, while Renne outplayed Avika Sagwal in the women's final.

Raninder Singh Thanks IOC

  •  The president of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), Raninder Singh, thanked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), and a host of others for saving 14 of the 16 Olympic quota places in the shooting World Cup which gets underway at the Dr. Karni Singh Range.
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PERSONS IN NEWS

Evan Williams to Step Down

  •  Twitter Inc. co-founder Evan Williams will step down from the company's board at the end of February.
  • Williams, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone started the San Francisco-based social media company in 2006 that is known for its original 140-character limit on messages.
  • He served in various roles, including chief executive officer, chief product officer and chairman before giving up day-to-day responsibilities in late 2010. He started Medium in 2012.
  • Twitter went public in 2013.
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AWARDS AND HONOURS

Seoul Peace Prize

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given the Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth.
  • The Seoul Peace Prize Foundation presented the award.
  • Mr. Modi said that this award does not belong to him personally, but to the people of India. The success that India has achieved in the last five years is due to aspirations, inspiration and efforts of the people of India.
  • The Prime Minister dedicated the $200,000 (Rs. 1.42 crore) prize money to the Namami Gange programme that seeks to stop pollution in the Ganga and rejuvenate the river.
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES

Hundred-day Job Guarantee Scheme

  •  The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh rolled out its flagship 'Mukhyamantri Yuva Swabhiman Yojana' that guarantees 100 days of employment every year to urban youth from economically weaker sections.
  • The scheme, as part of which youth would be imparted skill development training, was launched by Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
  • As per reports, each youth enrolled under the scheme will get total Rs. 13,500 for the 100 days period. 
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