December 7, 2019
NHRC to probe Hyderabad encounter killings
While large sections of Indians across India have rejoiced over the encounter killing of the four rape accused in the wee hours of December 6, human rights groups and civil society members all over the country have expressed considerable unease and consternation as it becomes increasingly clear that the police shot down the suspects in cold blood circumventing the judicial process.
Good words used .. Consternation, Circumvent, In cold blood
Ex-Maoist contests poll in Jharkand
A candidate, who had taken to arms to further his political convictions, has decided to give up arms and prove his popularity through the ballot box. Kundan Tohar, now incarcerated in Ranchi jail, carried a bounty of Rs.15 lakh on his head. He has nearly 100 criminal cases against him. He will, however, fight the poll from the jail.
India’s Forex reserves cross 450 billion USD
For the first time in history India’s foreign exchange reserves have touched 450 billion USD. The other Forex-rich countries are 1. China 2. Japan 3. Switzerland 4. Saudi Arabia, 5. Russia, 6. Taiwan, 7. Hong Kong, 8. India, 9. South Korea, 10. Brazil
*Why rich countries like the United Sates, and Germany etc. do not figure in this list? The answer is simple. These countries do not hord their Forex, because they don’t need to. The USD, and the Euro are the international currencies of choice. Other countries come and park their Forex reserves in either one or both these currencies. Thus the dollar reserve available with America, and the Euro available with rich European countries get boosted.
Bengaluru airport to have a second runway
The Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) has now a second runway to handle increasing numbers of flights. Now flights can take off and touch down simultaneously from both runways.
Lunch in the graveyard
In a novel way of protest to dispel the stigma and superstition associated with grave yards and the people who work there as part of their profession, a group of people belonging to the untouchable class arranged a community lunch in the ‘impure’ grave yard site. The event arranged on the occasion of Mahaparivartan Divas of Dr. Ambedkar attracted a lot of action from onlookers who watched the feast in utter disbelief as nothing untoward happened either during or after the event.
Good words used .. Dispel, Disbelief, Untoward
Coffee growers seek relief after the torrential rains
Damage to their plantations, band extensive landslips have caused widespread loss to the coffee growers. They have sought an increase in the Minimum Support Price(MSP) of coffee, besides crop loans, so that they could get back to their feet again.
Anti-venom venom therapy losing its efficacy
A group of researchers from IISc, Bengaluru, have found that the anti-venom injections presently in use may fail to act in cases of bites by snakes that do not fall under the usual four category: the spectacled cobra, common krait, Russel’s viper, and the saw-scaled viper.
Controversy continues to rage about import of Vande Bharat Express (Train 18)
Rebutting to the recent reports in the press that the government has unjustifiably opted to import the trains neglecting the locally designed and built trains by Integral Coach Factory (ICF), a Railway Board note states that the coaches of the Train 18 are very heavy as a result of which the train consumes much more power than other similar trains. To save expenditure on power, import of lighter imported coaches was mooted. However, Mr. Subhransu, the brain behind the development of Train 18, maintains that the axle load of Train 18 is 17 tons, same as that of the imported models. He says that the increased power consumption is due to the fact that the train needs to accelerate very fast. Given a chance, the Indian engineers can further improve the train and make it a word-class product which can have an export market.
China imposes tit-for-tat sanctions on U.S. diplomats
In October, the U.S. State Department had asked the Chinese diplomats to inform them before meeting any local official. China had taken umbrage at this restriction calling it as totally uncalled for. Since, the U.S. didn’t revoke the restrictions, Chinese Foreign ministry has imposed reciprocal restrictions o the U.S. diplomats working in China. This has taken the bilateral relations to a new low.
Good words and phrases used .. Take umbrage at, Rebut, Revoke
Four killed in a U.S Naval base in Florida
A Saudi man on training mission to the U.S. opened fire and killed three service men before being shot dead. The incident embarrassed the Saudis.
Merkel visit Auschwitz
Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, visited the infamous Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz in Poland. She paid homage to the hundreds of Jews who perished there due to starvation and disease. It was her first visit to the place.
Syrian Kurds rail against the Turkey-backed murder squads
The beleaguered Syrian Kurds facing the wrath of the Turkish army have narrated how murderous hit-men recruited by Turkish army have shot them in cold blood. The chilling details f these encounters have caused world wide revulsion.
Good words used .. Chilling, Tail against, Revulsion, Wrath, Infamous
Macron refuses to relent on the welfare issue
French government has stood firm in its decision to carry out the reforms to the country’s generous welfare programmes. In the face of such stubbornness, the stand-off between the striking workers and the authorities is likely to drag on for days.
Good words used .. Relent, Stubbornness, Stand-off
WTO’s trade dispute settlement mechanism might stop working
WTO has a Appeal Court where countries can take their trade-related grievances against other countries for adjudication and award of a verdict that is binding on both. This Appeal Court has to have three judges, but has just one right now. The other two judges are retiring on December 10. Although all other member countries have come forward to select two more judges through a consultative process, the United States has stood on the way saying that it will not permit the judge selection process to proceed, because the U.S. doesn’t recognize the authority of WTO on trade-related matters. Such obscurantism on the part of the United States started after Trump came to power. Despite worldwide condemnation of such stance, the U.S. has refused to mend its ways.
Vodafone Idea may shut down
Vodafone, the embattled Telco, facing demands to clear humongous arrears, has starkly warned that it would shut its operations if the required reliefs are not made to it by the government.
E-COM companies will face audit on FDI intake by them
Responding to the clamor of the mom-n-pop retailers from across the country against huge discounts offered by e-com companies like Amazon, Flipkart etc. that makes their survival difficult, the government has directed that books of accounts of e-com companies will be audited to ascertain if they have abided by FDI norms. Retailers have long complained that they face an existential crisis due to the predatory pricing of certain items offered by the e-com companies.
Saudi Arabia and Russia lead OPEC effort for drastic production cut
To prevent international oil prices falling further to unsustainable levels, Russia and Saudi Arabia joined hands to persuade OPEC members to reduce their production drastically so that over-supply of crude doesn’t led to sharp fall in oil price.
India and Uganda join hands to do research on Cotton cultivation
The Cotton Development and Research association(CDRA) and the National Agricultural Research Association of Uganda will collaborate to learn the best practices from one another. The Ugandans grow organic cotton that has better ginning capacity than Indian cotton. The CDRA process doesn’t have this advantage, but the yield is higher than the Ugandan method. Now, scientists from both sides will collaborate to find cotton varieties that have both higher yield and better ginning quality.