Friday, December 28, 2018

Daily Current Affairs International. 22 December to 27 December

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Daily current affairs

Daily Current Affairs

U.S. Senate approved the First Step Act

(daily current affairs)

In December 2018, U.S. Senate passed the First Step Act to reform the criminal justice system. America’s national war on drugs had led to the imprisonment of too many Americans for non-violent crimes without preparing them enough for their rehabilitation in society. The act would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for a number of drug-related crimes, allowing judges to bypass federal mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenders when they see fit, expanding rehabilitative opportunities for federal prisoners, and banning some correctional practices criticized as inhumane, such as the shackling of pregnant women.

US Watchdog FAA’s IASA rating

(current affair)

In December 2018, US Watchdog, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating after carrying out an audit of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in July 2018. Placed in 'Category 1', India was conferred Highest Aviation Safety Ranking. It implies that carriers from the assessed state may initiate or continue service to the US in a normal manner and take part in reciprocal code-share arrangements with American carriers. An IASA assessment determines if the foreign Civil Aviation Authority provides oversight to its carriers that operate to the US as per the international standards.

China’s First Satellite for Space-based Broadband Services

(banking current affairs)

On 22nd December 2018, China launched its first communication satellite via Long March 11 carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in north-western China to offer broadband internet services to users across the globe. It is a state-owned company, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) ’s first satellite launch under China’s Hongyun project which is presently the main contractor for Chinese space programs. The satellite is on purpose of competing with Google, SpaceX, OneWeb and Telesat which have similar plans for providing Internet services worldwide.

InSight placed its first instrument on Mars

(online current affairs)

In December 2018, NASA’s new Mars lander, InSight has stationed its first instrument on planet Mars. It is a quake monitor (seismometer) that will detect quakes and wobbles. It has become the first scientific instrument that has been placed on another planet’s surface. The InSight will facilitate understanding of the evolution of the Solar System’s terrestrial planets and Earth’s Moon. InSight will also provide accurate 3D models of the interior of Mars and will establish a heat probe called HP3 on Mars that will measure internal heat flow.

Gitega: The new political capital of Burundi

(daily current affairs)

On 22nd December 2018, the Republic of Burundi in Africa declared the small central city of ‘Gitega’ as the country’s new political capital. Burundi is a landlocked country in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa, bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Burundi's previous capital Bujumbura, on the north-eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, has now become country‘s economic capital. Frank-Walter Steinmeier is the President and Euro is the currency of this country.

The Google News Initiative Funding Drive

(daily current affairs)

In December 2018, Google has chosen 87 news organizations from 23 nations for funding under its Global News Initiative (GNI). Among them, 10 are from India viz. Factly, Asianet News Media and Entertainment, NDTV, India Today, Bharatiya Digital Party, Nyooz, Video Volunteers etc. The funding is on the purpose of helping the organizations in building video capabilities and experiment with new formats for video journalism that includes reaching younger audiences online to exploring live and fact-checking formats.

Indonesia hit by Volcanic Tsunami

(daily current affairs)

On 22nd December 2018, giant tsunami waves crashed into coastal towns on the islands of Sumatra and Java of Indonesia killing 281 people and injuring 1,016. This Tsunami was attributed to the collapse in the west-southwest flank of the Anak Krakatau volcano. Tsunami refers to a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water triggered by an abrupt movement on the ocean floor due to the triggering points like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, underwater explosions, landslides, glacier calving or meteorite impacts.

Patrick Shanahan is now the new US Defence Secretary

(daily current affairs)

US President Donald Trump announced the appointment of Patrick Shanahan as the new US Defence Secretary on December 23, 2018. He will succeed James Mattis from January 1, 2019.  He is a native of Aberdeen, Washington and a  mechanical engineer who joined Boeing in 1986 and played a key role in the recovery of Boeing's 787 programmes. He has also worked in the capacity of Vice President of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and General Manager of the Boeing 757 program, where he saw the design, production, and profitability of the 757 families of planes.

Lewis Hamilton: Driver of the Year

On December 22, 2018, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has been honored with the “Driver of the Year” award 2018 after claiming the 5th World Drivers’ Championship. He was followed by Max Verstappen in the second place, Fernando Alonso in the third, Sebastian Vettel in fourth and Daniel Ricciardo in the fifth place. With this, he has become the third man in history to secure the 5th world title.

Shiffrin scripted history in ski races

In December 2018, American Mikaela Shiffrin became the first woman to secure a half-century of World Cup ski race victories after winning a giant slalom by overcoming a 0.08sec deficit and blizzard-like conditions in the French Alps. This was her fourth consecutive victory in the French resort. She finished this race in 0.29 sec ahead of Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova and 0.37sec ahead of Sweden’s  Frida Hansdotter in third place to win in Courchevel victory. Shiffrin leads the overall standings on 889 points after 13 out of the 38 events.

World’s smallest tic-tac-toe game board with DNA

(daily current affairs)

In December 2018, researchers from California Institute of Technology, United States of America (USA) announced the development of world’s smallest tic-tac-toe game board using dynamic DNA microscopic organic structures that can be programmed to transform into predesigned patterns. They fashioned microscopic game of tic-tac-toe in which players place their X’s and O’s by adding special DNA tiles to the board. They had chosen to make the world’s smallest version of the Italian polymath Leonardo Da Vinci’s iconic painting Mona Lisa.

Thailand permitted medical use of marijuana

(daily current affairs)

On 25th December 2018, Thailand has become the first Southeast Asian country to approve medical use of marijuana. This has legalized the production, import, export, possession, and use of marijuana products for medical purposes like stimulant and painkiller. However, the recreational use of the drugs still remains illegal and subject to prison terms and fines commensurate with the quantities involved. The approval has come as new year gift to Thai people. The National Legislative Assembly's 166 members voted in favor of the change and there were no votes against the motion.

Arjun Bhati wins US Kids Jr Golf World Championship

(daily current affairs)

In December 2018, Indian junior golfer Arjun Bhati has won the  U.S. Kids Junior Golf World Championship 2018 held in Malaysia. In the final, he defeated Aksel Moe of America. To win the first position in the championship, Arjun scored a total of 222 points followed by America and Vietnam at second and third position with 225 and 226 points respectively. Indian Junior Golfers won 11 medals, including 4 gold, scripting history by hallmarking India’s name at the US Kids Golf World Championship.

BizBarde App: First messaging app launched by isolated Turkmenistan

(daily current affairs)

On 24th December 2018, the isolated central Asian country, Turkmenistan has launched the first Turkmen messaging app BizBarde that will allow the exchange of messages, files, photos, and videos. The app can be installed via the Google Android platform in addition to Apple’s iOS and Microsoft home windows. Turkmenistan is one of the world’s most isolated regimes that has blocked many western services including Facebook, Twitter, and Viber.

Ricky Ponting inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

(daily current affairs)

On 26th December 2018, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has become the 25th Australian cricketer to be officially inducted into the International Cricket Council’s Hall of Fame at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). In February 2018, he was also inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. He is the highest run scorer for Australia in both Tests and ODIs, with 13,378 runs in the longest format and 13,704 runs in the 50-over format.

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