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Current Affairs May 24, 2019

1. US, Japan, South Korea, Australia Hold 1st Naval Drills In Western Pacific

  • U.S. Navy ships conducted joint drills with warships from allies Japan, Australia and South Korea in their first combined exercise in the Western Pacific, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday
  • The six-day exercise involves two Japanese destroyers, two Australian frigates and a destroyer from South Korea, with as many as 3,000 sailors participating.
  • US State Department approved to sell air-defense missiles for worth of more than USD 600 million to Japan and South Korea.This approval was result of rising tension with North Korea when a pair of missile was tested by North Korea last week.
  • The US government has approved sale of 94 SM-2 missiles used by ships against air threats along with 12 guidance systems for a total cost of USD 313.9 million.

Foot Notes:

About South Korea
♦ Capital: Seoul
♦ Currency: South Korean Won
♦ President: Moon Jae-in

About Japan
♦ Capital: Tokyo
♦ Currency: Japanese Yen
♦ Prime Minister. Shinzo Abe

About USA
♦ Capital: Washington D.C.
♦ Currency: United States Dollar
♦ President: Donald Trump

2. Microsoft stopped online sale of Huawei laptops after US ban on Chinese tech companies

  • Huawei is set to face yet another major setback after President Trump’s executive order called for a clampdown on Chinese technology companies. Less than a week after Google announced that it would revoke Huawei’s Android licence; two leading tech giants are about to follow suit.
  • Currently searching for any Huawei hardware on Microsoft’s online store in the US won’t yield any results. On the other hand, Microsoft has remained silent on whether it would allow Huawei to obtain Windows licenses for its laptops. Revoking Huawei’s Windows OS license would have more adverse effects in Huawei’s server solutions.
  • For now, Huawei has been granted a 90-day extension to provide software updates to Android-powered handsets and maintain continued operation of existing networks and equipment. However, this narrow extension does not seem to apply to Windows licenses for laptops.

Foot Notes:

About Google
♦ Founded: 04 Sep 1998
♦ Headquarters: Mountain View
♦ CEO: Sundar Pichai (Since 2015)
♦ Founders: Sergey Brin ,Larry Page ,Dred Hoang ,Ralia Shop

About Microsoft
♦ Founded: 04 Apr 1975
♦ Headquarters: Redmond
♦ CEO: Satya Nadella (Since 2014)

About Huawei
♦ Founded: 1987
♦ Headquarters: Shenzhen, China
♦ CEO: Ren Zhengfei
♦ Founder: Ren Zhengfei

3. International Day to End Obstetric Fistula 23 May

  • Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth. It is a hole between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without treatment.
  • The condition typically leaves women incontinent, and as a result they are often shunned by their communities. Sufferers often endure depression, social isolation and deepening poverty. Many women live with the condition for years – or even decades – because they cannot afford to obtain treatment.
  • The theme for 2019 is “Fistula is a human rights violation, end it now”. In 2012, United Nations announced to celebrate May 23 as International Day to End Obstetric Fistula every year starting from 2013.

Foot Notes:

About United Nations
♦ The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security,
♦ Founded: 24 Oct 1945
♦ Headquarters: New York
♦ Founders: Denmark • Turkey • Norway • Panama • Saudi Arabia • United Kingdom • Poland • Netherlands • Dominican Republic • Argentina

About Obstetric fistula
♦ An obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that is caused by prolonged obstructed labor, leaving a woman incontinent of urine or feces or both. Obstructed labor means, labor that goes unattended, the labor can last up to six or seven days

4. MoU signed between DBT and DAE on Cancer Research

  • The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under Ministry of Science and Technology and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), under Prime Minister of India has signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) for supporting a joint collaborative research programmes in area of Cancer.
  • The MoU for Joint Collaboration on Cancer Research was signed between DBT and DAE. The DAE was represented by its Tata Memorial Centre, which also functions as coordinating centre on behalf of The National Cancer Grid of India.

MoU shall help strengthen various initiatives mandatorily for cancer by:

  1. Strategizing and prioritizing cancer research.
  2. Developing new and affordable technologies.
  3. Jointly designing and funding clinical trials.
  4. Coordinating and collaborating for translational research, interventions, training of manpower and infrastructure development.

Foot Notes:

About Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
♦ Formed on: 1986
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Secretary: Dr. Renu Swarup
♦ Affiliated with: Ministry of Science and Technology
♦ The Ministry is responsible for administrating development and commercialization in the field of modern biology and biotechnology in India.

About Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
♦ Formed on: 3 August 1954
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
♦ Minister responsible: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
♦ Deputy Minister responsible: Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for PM's Office
♦ Secretary and Chairman: Dr. K.N.Vyas
♦ Parent Department: Prime Minister's Office
♦ DAE is engaged in the development of nuclear power technology, applications of radiation technologies in the fields of agriculture, medicine, industry and basic research.

5. WHO declares Algeria and Argentina as malaria-free countries

  • World Health Organization officially declared Algeria and Argentina as malaria-free countries after recording no new cases for more than three years. Now, the numbers of malaria free countries increased to 38 from 36.
  • Argentina reported the last indigenous case in 2010 while in Algeria it was reported in 2013. Algeria is the second African nation to have eliminated the disease after Mauritius which achieved the goal in 1973.

Foot Notes:

About WHO
♦ Founded: 7 April 1948
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Head: Tedros Adhanom

6. Volodymyr Zelensky sworn in as the 6th President of Ukraine

  • Ukrainian TV star Volodymyr Zelensky won the presidential election in April 2019 and sworn in as 6th President of Ukraine recently. He succeeded Petro Poroshenko.
  • According to the Central Election Commission, Zelensky won the second round with 73.22% of the votes.
  • In his speech, he announced the dissolution of the parliament. It is a strategic move to bring the October 27 parliamentary elections forward to boost his party's chances of securing a majority at the height of his popularity.

Foot Notes:

About  Volodymyr Zelenski
♦ He hails from the south-eastern city of Krywyi Rih.
♦ His election campaign slogan was 'unify Ukraine'.
♦ During his first address as president, he pledged to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

About Ukraine
♦ President: Volodymyr Zelensky
♦ Prime Minister: Volodymyr Groysman
♦ Capital: Kyiv
♦ Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia

7. Researchers suspects gas insulation could be protecting an ocean inside Pluto

  • Researchers said that computer simulations provide compelling evidence that an insulating layer of gas hydrates could keep a subsurface ocean from freezing beneath Pluto’s icy exterior. The researchers conducted computer simulations covering a timescale of 4.6 billion years when the solar system began to form.
  • The simulations showed the thermal and structural evolution of Pluto’s interior and the time required for a subsurface ocean to freeze and for the icy shell covering it to become uniformly thick.
  • They simulated two scenarios: one where an insulating layer of gas hydrates existed between the ocean and the icy shell, and one where it did not.

Foot Notes:

About Sputnik Planitia
♦ In July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew through Pluto’s system, providing the first-ever close-up images of this distant dwarf planet and its moons. The images showed Pluto’s unexpected topography, including a white-colored ellipsoidal basin named Sputnik Planitia, located near the equator and roughly the size of Texas.


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