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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

20 Oct 2021


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Brazil President to be Charged with 'Intentional' Crimes Over Covid-19 response

  • A Brazilian senate committee will ask that President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with "intentional" crimes over his management of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left 600,000 of his compatriots dead.
  • Following six months of eventful hearings, with emotional witness statements and chilling revelations about the use of ineffective medication on "human guinea pigs," the committee of inquiry will deliver its eagerly awaited report.
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China's Transition to Clean Energy Faster than Expected: Study

  • The costs of solar and coal power in China could become comparable countrywide by 2023, a new US-China study has found, indicating that the country, the largest carbon emitter globally, could be at a tipping point towards transitioning to clean energy faster than expected.
  • In two years, China will have the capacity to install solar power across the country at the same price as coal, and currently has that ability to do so in three-quarters of the country, the joint study found. "About 78.6% (79.7 PWh or petawatt-hour) of China's technical potential will realise price parity to coal-fired power in 2021, with price parity achieved nationwide by 2023."

Japan's Mount Aso Erupts; Alert Raised to Level 3

  • Mount Aso, a volcano on Japan's main southern island of Kyushu, erupted, Japan's Meteorological Agency said, spewing volcanic ash 3,500 metres (2.17 miles) into the sky.
  • The eruption took place at around 11:43 a.m. Tokyo time (0243 GMT), the agency said.
  • There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage at the popular tourist destination.
  • But, the meteorological agency raised the alert level for the volcano to level 3 on a scale of 5, telling people not to approach the mountain. It also warned of large volcanic blocks and pyroclastic flows scatterering within a range of approximately 1 kilometre from the mountain's Nakadake crater.
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Fencer Bhavani Devi wins French title

  • Fencer Bhavani Devi, who made history at the Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to compete in the sport at the Olympics, won the women's individual sabre title at the Charlellville National Competition in France.
  • "Won the Charlellville National Competition, France in the Women's Sabre individual," the 28-year-old posted on social media after winning the title, adding: "Many thanks to coach Christian Bauer, Arnaud Schneider, and all teammates. Congratulations to all for a great start of the season.
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India Ranks 40th out of 43 Global Pension Systems

  • India has ranked 40th out of 43 pension systems across the world in the 2021 Mercer CFS Global Pension Index survey, suggesting the need for strategic reforms in India to revamp the pension system to ensure adequate retirement income. India had stood at 34th position out of 39 pension systems rated in 2020.
  • According to the survey, India had an overall index value of 43.3 among the countries analysed, lower than the index value of 45.7 for 2020. Globally, Iceland was ranked highest with an overall index value of 84.2 while Thailand had the lowest overall index value at 40.6.

Amarinder Singh Says Will Launch his own Party

  • Ahead of the 2022 Assembly election, former Punjab Chief Minister and Congress leader Amarinder Singh announced the launch of his political party, saying that an alliance with the BJP was possible, if the ongoing farmers' protest against agriculture laws was resolved.
  • Capt.(retd.) Amarinder, who resigned last month, citing humiliation in the Congress, said his party will work towards forming alliances with like-minded parties including breakaway Akali Dal groups.

YS Sharmila to Begin Record-breaking 4000-km Foot March

  • YS Sharmila, the younger sister of Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, is set to undertake a padayatra (foot march) to "understand people's problems and find solutions" in context with her allegation that 7,000 farmers had committed suicide in the past seven years in Telangana during the rule of chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR).
  • Sharmila, the founder of the YSR Telangana Party, had made her allegations in an official press statement released last month and laid out details about the foot march that she said will begin from October 20. In the padayatra to be launched today, Sharmila, aims to cover 4,000 km in 400 days.
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China's 'Hypersonic Missile' Raises Concerns Over Weakness in US Defences

  • China's reported launch of a hypersonic missile into orbit has raised concerns that US rivals are quickly neutralising the Pentagon's missile defenses even as it invests tens of billions of dollars in upgrades.
  • In a test two months ago, the Chinese military sent a nuclear-capable missile into low-orbit space and around the globe before cruising down to its target, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • Although the weapon missed its mark by about two dozen miles, the paper said, the technology, once perfected, could be used to send nuclear warheads over the South Pole and around American anti-missile systems in the northern hemisphere. 

North Korea Claims Test of New Submarine-launched Missile

  • North Korea has confirmed it successfully tested a new submarine-launched ballistic missile.
  • North Korea has carried out a flurry of weapons tests in recent weeks, launching what it said were hypersonic and long-range weapons.
  • The UN prohibits it from testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.
  • Ballistic missiles are considered more threatening than cruise missiles because they can carry more powerful payloads, have a longer range and can fly faster.
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US Court Rejects Plea filed by Nirav Modi

  • In a major blow to Nirav Modi, a bankruptcy court in the US has rejected a petition of the fugitive diamond merchant and two of his associates, seeking dismissal of fraud allegations against them by the trustee of three companies they previously owned indirectly.
  • The allegations were made in a New York court by Richard Levin, the court appointed trustee of three US corporations--Firestar Diamond, Fantasy Inc and A Jaffe--indirectly owned by 50-year-old Modi previously.
  • Levin had also sought a minimum compensation of USD 15 million for "harm" suffered by the debtors of Nirav Modi and his associates Mihir Bhansali and Ajay Gandhi.

Indo-Canadian Amarjeet Sohi, Ex-cabinet Minister, Elected Mayor of Edmonton

  • Former Indo-Canadian cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi has been elected mayor of the city of Edmonton in Canada's Alberta. The 57-year-old had opted out of contesting general elections to focus on winning the mayoral polls.
  • A former city bus driver, Sohi served in the City Council before he ran for the Liberal Party from the riding of Edmonton Mill Woods in the 2015 national elections.
  • After narrowly defeating then minister of state Tim Uppal of the Conservative Party, Sohi was appointed a cabinet minister by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Over the next four years, he handled the portfolios of natural resources, and then infrastructure and communities.

IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath to leave job and return to Harvard University

  • IMF's Chief Economist Gita Gopinath will leave her job in January next year and return to the prestigious Harvard University, according to the global financial institution.
  • The 49-year-old prominent Indian-American economist had joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the Chief Economist in January 2019.
  • She was the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University when she joined the Washington-based global lender.
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World Osteoporosis Day

  • World Osteoporosis Day is celebrated on October 20 across the globe to raise awareness about the disease. The day was first celebrated by the United Kingdom's National Osteoporosis Society in the year 1996. The theme for 2021 is Serve Up Bone Strength.
  • Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bones become weak and brittle because of the loss of mineral density. Even sneezing, or a minor fall could lead to fracture when one is suffering from the condition. 

International Chefs Day 2021

  • Every year the International Chefs' Day is celebrated across the globe on 20 October to create awareness about the profession and celebrate it. It was instituted to remind chefs that it was their duty to pass on their knowledge and culinary skills to the next generation of chefs with a sense of pride and commitment to the future.
  • Moreover, besides promoting the importance of a chef, the day also focuses on educating children around the world on eating healthy.
  • Like last year, the theme for International Chefs Day this year too is 'Healthy Food for the Future'. Through this theme, chefs across the world are spreading the message about the impact that the production and consumption of food has on the environment.

PM Modi Addresses CVC-CBI Joint Meet

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addressed a joint conference of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Gujarat, in which he hailed a New India which is increasingly using digital tools to push back against age-old corrupt practices.
  • Declaring that India of the 21st-century "innovates, initiates, and implements", Prime Minister Modi said that people here are seeking a transparent system, efficient processes, and smooth governance. This, he said, will be made possible through the implementation of new-age digital tools.
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Queen Elizabeth II rejects 'Oldie of the Year' award

  • Queen Elizabeth II is Britain's longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch. But don't call her an oldie.
  • The 95-year-old queen has politely declined the honor of being named "Oldie of the Year" by a British magazine, saying she does not meet "the relevant criteria."
  • The Oldie magazine published the queen's response to its suggestion that she follow in the footsteps of former recipients, including former Prime Minister John Major, actor Olivia de Havilland and artist David Hockney.
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M.P: Mukhyamantri Ration Aapke Dwar Yojana

  • State cabinet of Madhya Pradesh in its meeting on October 19, 2021, decided to implement Mukhya Mantri Ration Aapke Dwar scheme.
  • Mukhya Mantri Ration Aapke Dwar Scheme will be implemented to benefit the poor tribal families.
  • It will be implemented in tribal development blocks of state excluding those blocks which fall under districts which are undergoing bypolls.
  • The scheme is going to benefit tribal families of around 7511 villages in 74 development blocks of 16 districts.
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PM Modi Pays Tribute to Maharishi Valmiki

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Maharishi Valmiki on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti and recalled his seminal contributions towards chronicling our rich past and glorious culture.
  • The prime minister also shared an audio clip from Mann Ki Baat, broadcasted a few days ahead of Valmiki Jayanti last year, in which he talked about Maharishi Valmiki.
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