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Evening News Digest : 19 March 2018

Vladimir Putin wins fourth term as president of Russia

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin stormed to victory in presidential election, giving him another six years in power. Putin, who has ruled Russia for almost two decades, won more than 75 per cent of the vote this time.
  • He is well ahead of his nearest rival Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin at 13.2 per cent. But opposition cried foul alleging ballot stuffing and other cases of fraud.
  • The Russian strongman ran against seven other candidates, but his most vocal critic Alexei Navalny was barred from the ballot for legal reasons. In his next six years, Putin is likely to assert Russia's power abroad even more strongly.

India wins Nidahas trophy of cricket

  • India beat Bangladesh by four wickets to win the Nidahas Cricket Trophy final in Colombo. In a nail biting final, the visitors clinched the T20 Tri-series title with Dinesh Karthik's last-ball six.
  • Needing five runs off the last ball, Karthik hit a flat-bat six over extra cover to keep India's T20I record against Bangladesh intact. This is the eighth victory of India against Bangladesh in a T-20 format.
  • Chahal picked up 3 wickets in his 4 overs while Washington Sundar, who was named the man-of-the-series, took one wicket. Unadkat too picked up 2 wickets, giving away 33 runs.

Irani Cup: Ranji Champions Vidarbha Clinch Maiden title

  • Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha lifted their maiden Irani Trophy, on the final day of the match in Nagpur.
  • Vidarbha took a huge first innings lead as their bowlers managed to dismiss Rest of India for 390 in their first innings. Vidarbha came out of bat again on the final day of the clash and scored 79/0 in 26 overs as the match ended in a draw.
  • The match was called off at the start of the mandatory overs with Vidarbha scoring 79 for no loss in their second innings. The final scores:- Vidarbha - 800 for 7 declared & 79- for no loss. Rest of India - 390 all out.

Purva Barve wins Women’s Singles U-19 title at Israel Junior 2018

  • India's Purva Barve has won the Women’s Singles (Under-19) title at the Israel Junior 2018 held in Rishon LeZion, Israel. Seeded No. 4 in the event, the defending champion won the long drawn battle against third seeded and top-ranked Russian Anastasiia Pustinskaia in three sets 21-19, 19-21, 21-13.
  • The title is her first in 2018 and third overall. Earlier she won the Israel Junior 2017, Italian Junior International 2017 apart from a bronze at the Russian Junior White Nights 2017.

Bilateral Exercise Gulfstar 1 begins between India and UAE

  • The maiden UAE-India bilateral exercise named ‘Gulf Star 1’, which is taking place off the coast of Abu Dhabi from 17 March 2018, to 22 March 2018 (Saturday to Thursday).
  • INS Gomati (Guided Missile Frigate) and INS Kolkata (Guided Missile Destroyer) are participating in the exercise, which is part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and will further strengthen defence cooperation between India and the UAE.
  • The ships arrived at Port Zayed, Abu Dhabi on 17 March, 2018 for the Harbour phase of the Exercise and will participate with UAEN ships for the Sea phase from 20 March, 2018.
  • India and the UAE also have an agreement on defence cooperation renewed in 2014, which provides a general framework for strengthening bilateral defence ties.

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Del Potro outlasts Roger Federer to claim Indian Wells title                            

  • Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro stunned top-ranked Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/2) to win his first Indian Wells title and second consecutive ATP crown.
  • The 29-year-old from Argentina handed Federer his first match defeat of 2018 and extended his own win streak to 11 matches, including a title run earlier this month at Acapulco.
  • Del Potro was competing in his first Indian Wells final since 2013, when he lost to Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese player to win the Indian Wells final

  • Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese player to win the Indian Wells final, routing Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2 on 18 March 2018 for her first WTA Tour title.
  • World No 44 Osaka rolled over Kasatkina, breaking her serve four times and winning the battle of the 20-year-old rising stars in just 70 minutes.
  • She was only the fourth unseeded player to reach the Indian Wells final, with the most recent before her being Kim Clijsters in 2005. Kasatkina is now 1-3 in WTA singles finals, winning in Charleston last year and finishing runner-up last year in Moscow and this year at Dubai.

Water may exist in Earth's lower mantle: study

  • Water may be more common than expected at extreme depths within Earth’s lower mantle - approaching 640 kilometres and possibly beyond. The oceans have been measured to a maximum depth of 11 kilometres, though water is known to exist well below the oceans.
  • The study, published in the journal Science, explored microscopic pockets of a trapped form of crystallized water molecules in diamond samples from locations in Africa and China.
  • The tiny traces of crystallised water, trapped in spaces called inclusions that measure just a few microns in length, contain the molecular signature of ice.
  • Researchers concluded that some of the inclusions likely were formed from fluid existing at depths of 400 to 540 kilometres beneath Earth’s surface.
  • The pressures that formed these deeper diamonds are estimated at about 24 to 25 gigapascals, which is about 224 times more pressure than exists at the bottom the ocean’s deepest point in its Mariana Trench.

Nine in 10 bottles of packaged drinking water contain microplastics

  • A study by scientists from the State University of New York has found that more than 90% of bottled water worldwide, including India, contains tiny pieces of plastic.
  • The researchers tested 259 individual bottles across 11 brands sold in nine countries, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and the US. Samples in India were drawn from 19 locations in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
  • Top global brands including Aquafina, Evian as well as the Indian brand Bisleri were tested. A Bisleri sample from Chennai showed over 5,000 microplastic particles per litre, according to data published by the research team.
  • After accounting for possible laboratory contamination, 93% of bottled water showed some presence of microplastics. Researchers found an average of 10.4 microplastic particles per litre of bottled water using spectroscopic analysis. 

3D-printed stethoscopes called 'Glia Model’ developed by scientists

  • Scientist have designed a device template that could save lives during wartime when medical supplies are scarce as physicians in remote parts of the world can now 3D print a clinically validated stethoscope with recycled plastic.
  • The clinically-validated 3D-printed stethoscope will aid in reducing a major cost for medical professionals around the world.
  • Known as the Glia Model- The stethoscope consists of just a few parts printed out of ABS plastic, along with inexpensive rubber tubing that is widely used in Coca Cola machines. It can be printed in three hours, and costs just three dollars to make – of course, access to a 3D printer is required.

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