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Evening News Digest: 16 June 2018 (Including PDF)

 India to host European Union Film Festival

  • India will host the European Union Film Festival (EUFF) from June 18 to June 24, 2018 at the Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi. Award-winning Slovakian Movie ‘Little Harbour’ will the opening film for the festival.
  • During the festival 24 latest European movies from 23 European countries will be screened across 11 cities of India.
  • The Festival will be inaugurated by the Hon'ble Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

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US boy contracts the bubonic plague

  • A boy in Idaho is recovering after contracting bubonic plague – the first human case in the state in more than two decades. The most recent cases were reported back in 1991 and 1992.
  • Bubonic plague is the most common form and known for causing swollen lymph nodes or "buboes," according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • Pneumonic plague, which is based in the lungs, "is the most virulent form of plague" and "can be fatal" when not diagnosed and treated early on, according to the WHO.
  • Symptoms of bubonic and pneumonic plague are similar and include headache, fever and chills, and extreme weakness, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

NASA's record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson retires

  • Astronaut Peggy Whitson, who has spent more time in space than any other American, retired from NASA on June 15, 2018.
  • Whitson flew three missions aboard the International Space Station (ISS): Expedition 5 in 2002; Expedition 16 in 2008, during which she became the first female commander of the orbiting lab.
  • Whitson also commanded Expedition 51, becoming the first woman to lead an ISS mission twice.
  • During her career, Whitson racked up a total of 665 days in space — more than any other NASA astronaut, and a record for women worldwide.
  • A handful of male Soviet/Russian cosmonauts have spent more time in space, including Gennady Padalkin, who holds the world mark of 878 days.

Japan adopts economic plan that allows more foreign workers

  • Japan’s Cabinet adopted an economic plan that would allow more foreign workers as the rapidly aging country seeks to make up for its declining workforce.
  • Under the plan, Japan would relax visa requirements in sectors facing severe labour shortages such as nursing care, agriculture, construction and transport — new categories it would start accepting in addition to highly skilled professionals.
  • The workers would be allowed to stay in the country for only up to five years as visitors, not as immigrants. They would not be allowed to be accompanied by family members — a measure that would encourage them to leave Japan when their visas expire and not become part of Japanese society.
  • The number of foreign workers in Japan has nearly doubled over the past five years to 1.28 million last year. The fastest growing group is Vietnamese, whose population grew by 40 percent from a year earlier.

All departments and state governments to implement reservation for SC/ST in promotions: Centre

  • Centre has asked all its departments and the state governments to implement reservation in promotion for employees belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories.
  • The move comes following the Supreme Court’s nod on June 5, 2018 to the Centre to resume quotas in promotions for employees belonging to the SC and ST category in "accordance with law".
  • The top court took into account the Centre's submissions that entire process of promotion has come to a "standstill" due to the orders passed by various high courts and the apex court had also ordered for "status quo" in a similar matter in 2015.

Donald Trump slaps 25% tariff on USD 50 billion worth of Chinese goods

  • US President Donald Trump has slapped a stiff 25 per cent tariff on US $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.
  • The president accused Beijing of intellectual property theft and unfair trade practices, triggering a full-fledged trade war between the world's two largest economies.
  • Trump warned China of more tariffs if Beijing retaliated on the announcement. Reacting to Trump's latest announcement, China said it has imposed equal tariffs on US products.

SILF chairperson Tarun Das gets Japan Imperial Decoration

  • Chairperson of Sasakawa India Leprosy Foundation (SILF) Tarun Das was conferred upon the Japan Imperial Decoration for his contribution to strengthening of bilateral ties.
  • Das spearheaded initiatives like the Parliamentarian Visitation Programme and the India-Japan Strategic Dialogue and also collaborated with The Nippon Foundation in its efforts to end stigma and discrimination against leprosy.
  • Yōhei Sasakawa is chairman of The Nippon Foundation, the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, and Japan's Ambassador for the Human Rights of People Affected by leprosy.

Majority of Indians in lowest wealth group: BCG

  • A new report shows that 55% of the total wealth in the country is with those having less than $1,00,000 net worth. In contrast, only 18% of the global wealth is with those in this category.
  • The Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG’s) Global Wealth Report 2018 also shows that those with more than $1 billion in personal wealth, have cornered 16% of total wealth in India. This is the second largest category under the wealth distribution head.
  • The report goes on to estimate that personal wealth grew at 12% from 2017 to 2018 in India, compared with 15% in the previous year.
  • Further, the report estimates a 13% CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) between 2017 and 2022.
  • The character of personal wealth in India is also slowly changing, with investable wealth accounting for 64% of total personal wealth in 2012. This proportion is expected to increase to 70% by 2022.

UAE declares changes to policies on visas, workers

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced sweeping changes in its labour and visa rules that will ensure the better protection of workers’ rights and do away with bank guarantees for recruitment in the private sector.
  • Indian workers are expected to be among the major beneficiaries of the measures, which were approved by the UAE cabinet. The measures will also stimulate and diversify the UAE’s oil-dependent economies.
  • Businesses will now pay an annual fee of 60 dirhams ($16.34) per worker for a low-cost insurance policy instead of a bank guarantee of 3,000 dirhams, state-run WAM news agency reported.
  • The oil-rich emirates are also loosening visa rules for job-seekers, tourists and students to encourage people to come, stay longer and spend more.
  • Maids can now complain to the ministry of human resources and emiratisation in the event of non-payment of minimum entitlements and then the ministry can draw on the insurance to provide a pay out.
  • The insurance policy will cover end of service benefits, holiday and overtime allowances, unpaid wages, return air ticket and cases of work injury, with the maximum pay out capped at 20,000 dirhams per person.
  • The current system of bank guarantees doesn’t cover entitlements such as gratuity and holiday allowances.

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Tyeb Mehta's 'Kali' fetches whopping Rs. 26.4 crore

  • The monumental 1989 untitled work of Tyeb Mehta ‘Kali’ sets a new world record for the artist by fetching a whopping ₹26.4 crores at Saffronart’s recent ‘Milestone 200th Auction’.
  • It surpassed the previous international record when his 1994 Untitled (Woman on rickshaw) painting sold for ₹22.99 crores at a 2017 Christie’s auction.

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