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Evening News Digest: 21 May 2018


South Korea wins 5th Asian Champions Trophy

  • South Korea defeated Indian women’s hockey team in the final of 5t Asian Champions Trophy.
  • The 5th edition of trophy was held in Donghae city, South Korea.
  • Asian Hockey Champions Trophy is an event held annually by the Asian Hockey Federation since 2011. It features top 6 filed hockey teams competing in a round robin format.

Rafael Nadal wins Rome Open tennis title for eighth time

  • Rafael Nadal defeated Alexander Zverev in the finals to win a record 8th time of Italian open.
  • He will regain the top ranking again.
  • The Italian Open is an annual tennis tournament held in Rome, Italy. It is one of the most prestigious red clay tennis tournaments in the world after the French Open.


Nipah Virus (NIV) leads to three deaths in Kozhikode

  • Recently, three people died due to Nipah virus in Kerala’s district of Kozikode.
  • Nipah Virus is an emerging infectious disease that broke out in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999.
  • It first appeared in domestic pigs and has been found among several species of domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep. The infection is also known to affect human beings.
  • The organism which causes Nipah Virus encephalitis is an RNA or Ribonucleic acid virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus, and is closely related to Hendra virus.
  • Nipah virus infection gets its name from the village in Malaysia where the person from whom the virus was first isolated succumbed to the disease. 

Maharashtra commissions automatic weather stations in over 2,000 revenue circles

  • Maharashtra government has commissioned 2,060 automatic weather stations (AWS) in as many revenue circles, to provide real-time weather-related information to farmers up to the village level.
  • Farmers, will now get detailed information about the climatic conditions in their area, thus allowing them better crop management and damage prevention.
  • As the current weather systems provide a consolidated information on the weather of a whole region, one cannot exactly predict the climate change at a local level.
  • The AWS have been set up in association with weather forecast firm Skymet, under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.


India working on application of AI to boost capabilities of armed forces

  • Indian government has started work on incorporating artificial intelligence to enhance operational preparedness of the armed forces in a significant way, which would include equipping them with unmanned tanks, vessels, aerial vehicles and robotic weaponry.
  • Indian army, navy and air force will be equipped with next generation warfare logistics and as well trained in this area.
  • AI in border surveillance could significantly ease the pressure on armed forces personnel guarding the sensitive frontiers with China and Pakistan.
  • China has recently invested billions of dollars in AI. The USA is successfully using these technologies and it is expected that in coming times the technological war will intensify.
  • Centre for artificial intelligence and robotics (CAIR), is the primary laboratory of DRDO for research and development in different areas of defense, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and is located in Bangalore.
  • It is involved in the Research & Development of high-quality Secure Communication, Command, and Control, and Intelligent Systems.

Person in News

Venezuela's President Maduro wins re-election

  • Venezuela’s president Maduro has won the elections for another 6 years. However, the opposition called it a rigged elections.
  • Amid food shortages stemming from a severe economic crisis, just 46% of the electorate turned out to vote.
  • Plummeting oil prices crashed the country's economy in 2016. It has since completely collapsed, and the country now finds itself in the middle of a financial crisis.
  • The International Monetary Fund expects that inflation in Venezuela will reach 13,000% in 2018.

Science & Tech

China launches relay satellite to explore Moon's far side

  • China launched a relay satellite on May 21 to set up a communication link between Earth and the planned Chang'e-4 lunar probe that will explore the Moon's mysterious far side.
  • The satellite was carried by a Long March-4C rocket that blasted off at 5:28 a.m. from southwest China's Xichang Satellite Launch Center, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
  • China aims to catch up with Russia and the United States to become a major space power by 2030. It is planning to launch construction of its own manned space station next year.

MIT scientists develop Robot glider that can fly like an albatross

  • MIT USA scientists have designed a robotic glider that can skim along the water's surface, riding the wind like an albatross while also surfing the waves like a sailboat.
  • In regions of high wind, the robot is designed to stay aloft, much like its avian counterpart. Where there are calmer winds, the robot can dip a keel into the water to ride like a highly efficient sailboat instead.
  • The robotic system, which borrows from both nautical and biological designs, can cover a given distance using one-third as much wind as an albatross and travelling 10 times faster than a typical sailboat.

 Economy & Banking

India raises tariff on US products

  • India has told the WTO that it proposes to raise duties by up to 100% on 20 products such as almonds, apple and specific motorcycles imported from the U.S. from next month.
  • On March 9, U.S. President Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items, a move that had sparked fears of a global trade war.
  • US president signed two proclamations that levied a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.
  • In a retaliatory mode, India also has proposed a list of items which will be put under the increase tariff.

India 6th wealthiest country with total wealth of 8,230 billion US dollars

  • India has been ranked sixth in the list of wealthiest countries with total wealth of $8,230 billion, while the United States topped the chart, according to New World Wealth report.
  • The US is the wealthiest country with total wealth of $64,584 billion, followed by China ($24,803 billion) and Japan ($19,522 billion).
  • Total wealth refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each country/city. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities, business interests) less any liabilities. The report, however, excludes government funds from its figures. 

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