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UNESCO may drop the Mesoamerican Reef, Belize from threatened sites list

The Mesoamerican Reef was marked as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1960. It was placed on endangered status in 2009 because of Belize’s plans to allow oil exploration. To protect the site a number of measures were taken by the Belizean government and the activists. Now, UN body is considering to remove the reef from the UNESCO’s list of threatened World Heritage sites.

Indian Shooter Saurabh wins gold medal with world record score at ISSF Junior World Cup

Sixteen-year-old Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary set a new world record and won a gold in the 10m air pistol event in the ISSF Junior World Cup in Germany. He got 243.7 points in the final. The junior world record before this was 242.5 by Chinese shooter Wang Zhehao at the first ISSF Junior World Cup of the year in Sydney. The other Indian in the final, Anmol Jain, fell short of the podium, finishing fourth with 199.6.

India gifts aircraft, Do-228, to Seychelles

India gifted a Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, Do-228 to Seychelles as an act of India’s firm commitment and cooperation towards Seychelles. The Dornier is equipped with a 360-degree surveillance radar, a forward-looking Infra-red system, satellite communication, a traffic collision, and avoidance system and an enhanced ground proximity warning system, among others. It can be used for EEZ monitoring, Maritime surveillance, Pollution monitoring and control, search and rescue and commuter services. This is the second Dornier aircraft to be gifted by India to Seychelles. The first one was given in January 2013. PM Narendra Modi has also announced a $100 million credit for Seychelles to buy military hardware from India.

USTR delegations meet Indian officials to settle trade issues

Indian Commerce Ministry official at the joint secretary level is meeting with United States Trade Representative (USTR) including Assistant Trade Representative Mark Linscott to discuss ways forward to resolve the escalating trade issues between the U.S. and India. India’s notified tariffs on U.S. imports and duties on medical devices are the key issues discussed in this meeting.

3rd Annual Meeting of AIIB was inaugurated by PM in Mumbai

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the third annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at Mumbai. The theme for this year’s meeting is “Mobilising finance for infrastructure: innovation and collaboration”. PM Narendra Modi urged the AIIB to boost lending tenfold to $40 billion by 2020 and to $100 billion by 2025 in order to speed up infrastructure financing across the region. The AIIB started its operations in January 2016 and has so far approved 25 projects in a dozen countries with a total financing of more than $4 billion. It has approved 7 projects for India.

President presented 4th National Awards for outstanding services in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

President of India Ram Nath Kovind presented the awards to the institutions and individuals on the occasion of ‘International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’ at a function organized by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.Number of AwardName of Category of AwardName of Institution/Individual1. Best Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCA) for providing rehabilitation services to alcoholics and drug users.Tapovan Nashamukti Evam Punarwas Sansthan, Rajasthan.2.Best Panchayati Raj or Municipal Body working for prevention of alcoholism and substance (drug) abuse. Lariapali Gram Panchayat, Odisha.3.Best Educational Institution doing outstanding work in awareness generation and prevention of alcoholism and substance (drug) abuse.Punjab Institute of Medical Science, Jalandhar, Punjab. 4.Best Non Profit Institution, other than S. No.1, 2, and 3, with outstanding contribution in Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse.Nashabandi Mandal, Mumbai, Maharashtra.5.Best Research or Innovation Drug De-addiction and Treatment Centre (DDTC), Chandigarh. 6.Best Awareness CampaignState Literacy Mission Authority (SLMA), Patna.7.Outstanding achievement by an Individual.1.Dr. R.C. Sahni, Rajasthan.2. Dr. Rajesh Tukaram Patil, Goa. 3. Shri L.R. Madhujan, Kerala.

Indian Railways has ordered that blankets for AC travellers will now be washed twice a month

The new blankets will be a mix of woollen and nylon and are expected to cost double of the existing ₹400. The Railways require an estimated 3.90 lakh blankets every day for all AC passengers. While AC 1st class passenger get a changed blanket cover after every use, the facility is not available for the AC IInd and IIIrd class travellers. There are about 50 mechanised laundries operational at the moment and 10 more will be opened shortly.

Russian billionaire declared himself as the leader of the world’s first space nation Asgardia

Russian billionaire and scientist Igor Ashurbeyli officially declared himself as the leader of the world’s first space nation ‘Asgardia’. Ashurbeyli’s brainchild Asgardia aims to be an independent space nation, with its own government, currency, justice system and calendar. Focused towards establishing a permanent settlement on the moon in 25 years, Asgardia already has 2 lakh citizens. About Asgardia:- Asgardia, also known as the Space Kingdom of Asgardia, is a proposed and self-proclaimed nation in outer space. Capital – Asgardia-1 (satellite) Administrative center – Vienna, Austria Purported currency – SOLAR (proposed) Membership – 199,000 (approx.)

China bans HBO after UK comedian criticises President Xi Jinping

China has banned US film and television production company HBO’s website following UK comedian John Oliver’s critique of Chinese President Xi Jinping on his show. Oliver had compared the Chinese President to cartoon character ‘Winnie the Pooh’.

Nine EU member states agreed to establish a joint military force
Nine EU member states agreed to establish a joint military force
Ministers from France, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal signed a letter of intent in Luxembourg, to establish a joint European military intervention force. The campaign to establish an autonomous European defence force was spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron.
India pledges USD 5 million for Palestine Refugees
India pledges USD 5 million for Palestine Refugees
A total of 20 countries, including India, announced contributions to the 2018 budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees. In March, India announced it will increase its annual contribution to the UNRWA from USD 1.5 million to USD 5 million (₹34.09 crore) from 2018-19 for a period of three years. Sweden will contribute USD 250 million over four years, the UK USD 51 million and the UAE USD 50 million among other donors. Commissioner-General of UNRWA – Pierre Krahenbuhl.
India is the Most Dangerous Country For Women, US In 10 Worst
India is the Most Dangerous Country For Women, US In 10 Worst
According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation survey on women’s issues, India is the world’s most dangerous country for women due to the high risk of sexual violence and being forced into slave labour. The list of the 10 countries ranked as the most dangerous for women by the survey, conducted between March 26 and May 4:- 1. India 2. Afghanistan 3. Syria 4. Somalia 5. Saudi Arabia 6. Pakistan 7. Democratic Republic of Congo 8. Yemen 9. Nigeria 10. United States
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched the mPassport Seva mobile application
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched the mPassport Seva mobile application
To help deliver passports to applicants at their residence, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched the “mPassport Seva” mobile application on the occasion of ‘Passport Seva Divas’. She also scrapped the marriage certificate’s compulsion, required for obtaining passports. In total, there are 260 working passport centres, which will be expanded to all Lok Sabha constituencies in the near future.
India to sign 3,400 crore rupees deal with Israel to buy 4500 missiles
India to sign 3,400 crore rupees deal with Israel to buy 4500 missiles
India is set to sign a ₹3,400-crore ($500 million) deal with Israel for the purchase of around 4,500 Spike missiles for the Indian Army. Spike is a fourth-generation man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile designed by Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
OIL India has made its second hydrocarbons discovery in KG basin
OIL India has made its second hydrocarbons discovery in KG basin
Oil India Limited (OIL) discovered second hydrocarbons in the onland KG Basin NELP VI Block KG-ONN-2004/1. The first high pressure-high temperature (HP-HT) well was built at Thanelanka-1 by OIL. On testing, the HP-HT zone in the depth range 4,912 – 5,159m in Golapalli Formation produced gas at 300 scmd through 16/64” bean choke. In 2017-2018, OIL India produced 3.3- metric million tonnes (MMT) of crude oil and 2.93 billion cubic meters (BCM) of gas.



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