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Badminton: PV Sindhu crashes out of Indonesia Masters
P.V. Sindhu had suffered a quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in a closely fought women’s singles contest in the Indonesia Masters at Jakarta. Sindhu frittered away a one-game lead to lose 21-16, 16-21, 19-21 in a thrilling quarterfinal match that lasted one hour and six minutes.
With the defeat of Sindhu, India’s campaign in the tournament came to an end.

Carlsen sets a world record
Magnus Carlsen has completed another record-breaking achievement when he stretched his unbeaten record to 111 successive games. He drew against Jorden van Foreest in the fourth round of the Wijk aan Zee tournament to edge past the 110 classical games unbeaten, set by the Russian Sergei Tiviakov in 2005.
Carlsen’s record was achieved against a higher calibre of opponent than Tiviakov, with an average Fide rating of greater than 2700 compared with the 2476 faced by the Russian.

Climate Change will displace 40 mn people in Bangladesh: PM Hasina
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that climate change will displace 40 million people in the country. Replying to a query in the parliament, she said that in recent times the average temperatures in Bangladesh have risen between 0.5 to 1.0 degree Celsius.
Pointing to other changes in the climate, Sheikh Hasina said that the country has been witnessing excessive rainfall in a short time span and cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. She said that climate change has affected the biodiversity leading to negative impact on agriculture and livelihood of farmers. She said saline water of the sea is now entering 100 kms into rivers during the summer.
Bangladesh is considered as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, exposed to a variety of natural disasters. It ranks first in the world in terms of vulnerability.
Scientific studies have pointed out that long-term impacts from a rise in sea level and global temperature could displace millions of people in Bangladesh.

Fiji braces for second cyclone in three weeks
In Fiji, disaster response teams were on standby as the Pacific island nation faced a second cyclone threat in less than three weeks. Gale and heavy rain warnings were in place on northern Rotuma island and the Fiji Meteorological Service said the storm was expected to be fully fledged Tropical Cyclone Tino by the evening.

Harish Salve appointed Queen’s Counsel for courts of England & Wales
Senior Advocate Harish Salve has been appointed the Queen’s Counsel for the courts of England and Wales. The title of Queen’s Counsel is usually awarded to lawyers possessing demonstrated skill and expertise in the conduct of advocacy. The appointment is done by the Queen, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor. He is advised by an independent Selection Panel which makes recommendations.
Advocate Salve served as a Solicitor General for India until 2002. He is known for representing India before the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav extradition case.

Hong Kong Chief Executive says ‘one country, two systems’ can continue beyond 2047
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that the ‘one country, two systems’ framework under which the city enjoys could continue after a 2047 deadline if loyalty to Chinas is upheld.
Ms Lam’s comments at the Legislative Council appeared to be an appeal to those in Hong Kong who see China as tightening its control over the semi-autonomous territory’s civic, economic and political life.
Hong Kong was handed over from British to Chinese rule in 1997 with a promise that it would maintain its own capitalist economy and Western-style institutions for 50 years.

India successfully launches high power communication satellite GSAT-30
India’s high-power communication satellite GSAT-30 was successfully launched onboard Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana.
The 3,357-kg GSAT-30 derives its heritage from ISRO’s earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series and is equipped with 12 C and 12 Ku band transponders. GSAT-30 will serve as replacement to the aging INSAT-4A spacecraft services with enhanced coverage.
With a mission life of 15 years, GSAT-30 is an operational communication satellite for DTH, television uplink and VSAT services. The spacecraft will be extensively used for supporting VSAT network, television up linking and teleport services, digital satellite news gathering (DSNG), DTH television services, cellular backhaul connectivity and many such applications.

India to invite Imran Khan for Shanghai Council meet
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will be invited to participate in the Heads of Government Council meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that will be hosted in India this year, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
India is hosting the meeting of the council of heads of government of the SCO for the first time.
The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

India’s exports fall for fifth straight month in December
As per figures released by the Commerce & Industry Ministry, India’s goods exports declined for the fifth straight month in December 2019 by 1.8 per cent (year-on-year) to $ 27.36 bn as key items such as petroleum, engineering goods and gems and jewellery continued to suffer due to low global demand.
Imports were down 8.83 per cent in December at $38.61 billion as all major items, including gold, witnessed a decline.
The sharper decline in imports helped bridge the trade deficit to $11.25 billion, compared to $14.49 billion in December 2018.
Total exports for the period April-December 2019-20 were at $239.29 billion, a fall of 1.96 per cent over the same period last year.
Total imports for the period April-December 2019-20 at $357.39 billion, was 8.97 per cent lower than imports in the comparable period.

Mohun Bagan enters ISL after merger with ATK
The much-awaited merger between Indian Super League (ISL) club ATK and I-League giants Mohun Bagan finally took place.
The merger will see RP-Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG) group owned ATK hold 80% of the newly formed entity while Mohun Bagan will own the rest of the 20% shares. The newly formed club will be a part of the Indian Super League (ISL) from the 2020-21 season.
The new club will have brand names of both ATK and Mohun Bagan and it is widely expected that the new name will be ‘ATK Mohun Bagan Football Club’.

MS Dhoni dropped from BCCI’s central contracts list
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was dropped from the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s list of centrally-contracted players. The BCCI announced the central contracts for the period of October 2019 to September 2020.
Dhoni was in the ‘A’ category, which fetches a player five crore rupees as annual retainership, until last year.
Skipper Virat Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma and top pacer Jasprit Bumrah were retained in the highest A bracket of seven crore rupees.
Veteran Cricketer Mithali Raj was demoted to Grade ‘B’ from ‘A’ while Radha Yadav and Taniya Bhatia were elevated to the middle bracket. T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur retained her ‘A’ category contract alongside Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav.

No relief from Supreme Court, telcos have to pay dues of Rs. 1.47 lakh crore
The Supreme Court rejected pleas by Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices to review the October 24 verdict that widened the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR), leaving the three telcos collectively facing more than Rs 1.02 lakh crore in additional licence fees, spectrum usage charges (SUC), penalties and interest.
Debt-laden Vodafone Idea, with over 300 million users, does not have the financial muscle to pay AGR-related dues of more than Rs 53,000 crore to the government.
However, Bharti Airtel, with over 280 million users, could withstand the AGR shock on the strength of its recently concluded $3 billion fundraising exercise and 30%-plus tariff hikes in December.

PM Modi welcomes agreement to permanently settle Bru-Reang refugees in Tripura
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has welcomed the agreement to permanently settle the Bru-Reang refugees in Tripura saying it will greatly help them.
The Union Government has signed an agreement with stakeholders from the State of Tripura, Mizoram and members of the Bru community bringing an end to the 22-year old Bru refugee crisis.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga and others in New Delhi. As per the agreement, over 30 thousand Bru refugees will be settled in Tripura
The Centre has sanctioned 600-crore rupee package for the rehabilitation of the people from this community. He said, Bru refugees will get a 40 x 30 feet plot along with a fixed deposit of four lakh rupees, cash assistance of five thousand rupees per month for two years and free ration.

SEBI exonerates Ravi Narain, 8 others in NSE dark-fibre case
Market regulator SEBI has exonerated former National Stock Exchange MD and CEO Ravi Narain and a few other senior officials in a matter involving dark-fibre connectivity at the stock exchange.
SEBI had asked NSE to deposit Rs.62 crore of estimated ‘ill-gotten wealth’ but the regulator said the nine officials, including Narain, cannot be held responsible for any misconduct or non-compliance in the so-called ‘dark-fibre issue’ .
SEBIsaid that none of the officials was a director and/or in a key managerial position at NSE between April-July 2015. It had launched a probe into NSE’s co-location facility on allegations that certain brokers got preferential access. The regulator issued two orders in the matter in 2019.

Sindhi writer Vasdev Mohi to be conferred with 29th Saraswati Samman
Eminent Sindhi writer Vasdev Mohi will be conferred with 29th Saraswati Samman. He has been selected for this prestigious literary award for his short stories collection- Chequebook. His short stories collection talks about the agonies and sufferings of marginalized sections of the society.
Saraswati Samman carries a cash award of 15 lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque. Mr Mohi has authored 25 books of poetry, stories and translations. He has also received Sahitya Akademi Award.

Tennis: Sania Mirza enters women’s doubles semifinals of Hobart International
Indian Tennis ace Sania Mirza has entered the women’s doubles semifinals of the Hobart International with Ukrainian partner Nadia Kichenok at Hobart. Sania and Kichenok defeated the American duo of Vania King and Christina McHale 6-2, 4-6, 10-4 in a contest that lasted one hour and 24 minutes.

US, China sign phase 1 of trade deal; tariffs remain in place
The US has signed the first phase of a trade deal with China, which President Donald Trump described as historic, concluding more than a year of tough negotiations including several months of suspension of talks between the two largest economies of the world.
The first phase of the trade deal includes Intellection Property (IP) Protection and Enforcement, ending forced technology transfer, dramatic expansion of American agriculture, removing barriers to American financial services, ending currency manipulation, rebalancing the US-China trade relationship and effective dispute resolution.
At the same time, Trump said, punitive tariffs on China would remain in place till the time the second phase of the trade deal is agreed.

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