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Evening News Digest: 20 October 2018

Fourth annual Carnot Prize awarded to Piyush Goyal

  • The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design awarded its fourth annual Carnot Prize to Piyush Goyal.
  • Piyush Goyal is the Union Minister of Railways & Coal and former Union Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines.
  • The Carnot Prize is a recognition of India’s climate conscious and development driven energy governance under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • About the Award
    • The Carnot Prize is the Kleinman Center’s annual recognition of distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice.
    • The most prestigious award in the energy sector, Carnot Prize is named after French physicist Nicolas Sadi Carnot who recognised that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development.

India imposes anti-dumping duty on certain steel products from China

  • The Union Ministry of Finance on October 19, 2018 imposed anti-dumping duties ranging from $44.89 to $185.51 per tonne for five years on certain Chinese steel products.
  • The levies have been introduced to guard domestic players from cheap imports of straight length bars and rods of alloy steel.
  • The Department of Revenue has imposed these duties on the recommendations of the Directorate-General of Trade Remedies (DGTR).
  • The DGTR recommended anti-dumping duty following investigation initiated by it on the complaints filed by JSW Steel, Sunflag Iron & Steel, Usha Martin, Gerdau Steel India, Vardhman Special Steels and Jayaswal Neco Industries.
  • What is Anti-Dumping Duty?
    • An anti-dumping duty is a protectionist tariff that a domestic government imposes on foreign imports that it believes are priced below fair market value. Dumping is a process where a company exports a product at a price lower than the price it normally charges on its own home market.

China and ASEAN to hold joint naval exercises

  • China and ASEAN nations will hold their first joint maritime exercises in last week of October 2018 in a move aimed at easing tensions in the region. ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
  • As part of this, the navies of China and the 10-member ASEAN will hold the exercise in the South China Sea.
  • The decision was made at a gathering of ASEAN defense ministers in Singapore, which also saw the participation of defence minister from the US.
  • The exercise is aimed at reducing the likelihood that a chance encounter could spiral into conflict in the case of a miscalculation.
  • Background
    • Four ASEAN members – Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam – have conflicting claims in the South China Sea with Beijing. China claims sovereignty over almost the entire area, including waters near the shores of smaller countries.

China-built world’s largest amphibious plane completes maiden flight test

  • China’s indigenously designed and built amphibious aircraft AG600, touted as the world’s largest, successfully carried out its first take-off and landing tests on October 20, 2018.
  • The AG600 codenamed Kunlong is powered by four domestically-built turboprop engines and has a range of 12 hours.
  • The aircraft, developed and built by the state-owned aircraft firm Aviation Industry Corporation of China, took off from the Zhanghe Reservoir and later landed on the water in Hubei province’s Jingmen.
  • It will be mainly used for maritime rescue, fighting forest fires and marine monitoring, according to an earlier report by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi admits killing the journalist

  • Saudi Arabia on October 20, 2018 admitted journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
  • King Salman also ordered creation of a commission to review and "modernize" the Kingdom's intelligence operations and report back within a month.
  • Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who wrote critically of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's (MBS) rise to power, went missing on October 2, 2018 after entering the consulate in Istanbul.

Minal Patel Davis receives US ‘Presidential Medal for Combating Human Trafficking’

  • Indian-American woman Minal Patel Davis was on October 17, 2018 honoured with a Presidential award by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for her extraordinary contribution towards combating human trafficking in Houston.
  • Davis, Special Advisor on Human Trafficking to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, received the ‘Presidential Medal for Combating Human Trafficking’ in the White House at a ceremony also attended by President Donald Trump.
  • Appointed in July 2015, Davis has made a local impact on human trafficking in America’s fourth largest city from a policy-level perspective and by helped in advancing systems change.

China to launch ‘man-made moons’ to lower electricity costs

  • China is planning to launch its own ‘artificial moon’ by 2020 to replace streetlamps and lower electricity costs in urban areas, state media reported on October 19, 2018.
  • Chengdu, a city in southwestern Sichuan province, is developing “illumination satellites” which will shine in tandem with the real moon, but are eight times brighter.
  • The first man-made moon will launch from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, with three more to follow in 2022 if the first test goes well.
  • By reflecting light from the sun, the satellites could replace streetlamps in urban areas, saving an estimated 1.2 billion yuan (USD 170 million) a year in electricity costs for Chengdu, if the man-made moons illuminate an area of 50 square kilometers.

 World’s longest sea bridge to open between China and Hong Kong

  • The world’s longest sea bridge Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will be thrown open for traffic on October 24, 2018.
  • The 55-kilometer-long bridge, situated in the Lingdingyang waters of the Pearl River Estuary.
  • The construction of the multibillion-dollar bridge had begun in December 2009. It will slash the travel time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai from three hours to just 30 minutes, further integrating the cities in the Pearl River Delta.

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