Current Affairs -August 2020

World & Local

  • A federal appeals court on Friday overturned Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev‘s death sentence for helping carry out the 2013 attack, which killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.
  • Mexican security forces have seized the head of a criminal gang specialising in stealing fuel from pipelines in the central state of Guanajuato.José Antonio Yépez, better-known as El Marro – or The Sledgehammer – was one of the most wanted men in the country.
  • An ex-engineer for Google’s self-driving car unit Anthony Levandowski has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for trade secret theft shortly before he joined Uber.
  • Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong filed a court challenge on Friday against his disqualification from district polls, in a move which may have implications for this year’s removals of opposition candidates for the city’s legislature.
  • The Hong Kong business tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested along with other pro-democracy and media figures, raising fears of a broad crackdown by China.Mr Lai’s Apple Daily newspaper offices were raided on Monday over allegations of collusion with foreign forces.
  • Lt Gen Brent Scowcroft,a statesman who steered US national security policy for decades, has died of natural causes at the age of 95 in his Virginia home.Scowcroft was National Security Adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George HW Bush – the only person to serve two administrations in the role.
  • The island nation of Mauritius has declared a “state of environmental emergency” after a vessel offshore began leaking oil into the ocean.MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on 25 July and its crew was evacuated.
  • Lebanon’s prime minister Hassan Diab announced his government’s resignation on Monday, saying a huge explosion that devastated Beirut and triggered public outrage was the result of endemic corruption.
  • Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday picked Senator Kamala Harris as his choice for vice president, making her the first Black woman on a major-party U.S. presidential ticket and giving him a partner well prepared to go on the attack against Republican President Donald Trump.
  • Benoît Maria,French human rights activist who helped indigenous people in Guatemala, is shot dead while driving near San Antonio Ilotenango in Quiché.
  • Lebanon’s Militants linked to the Islamic State group have seized a heavily-defended port in Mozambique after days of fighting, according to reports. Local media say government forces that were in the far northern town of Mocimboa da Praia fled, many by boat, after Islamists stormed the port. The town is near the site of natural gas projects worth $60bn (£46bn).
  • A UK boat has just provided an impressive demonstration of the future of robotic maritime operations.The 12m Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) Maxlimer has completed a 22-day-long mission to map an area of seafloor in the Atlantic.
  • Two men given the death penalty for killing two British backpackers in Thailand have had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.The bodies of David Miller, 24, from Jersey, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, from Norfolk, were found on a beach on the Thai island of Koh Tao in 2014.
  • A Japanese bulk carrier that ran aground on a reef in Mauritius last month threatening a marine ecological disaster around the Indian Ocean island has broken apart, authorities said on Saturday. MV Wakashio ,Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, a 58-year-old Indian man, was charged with endangering safe navigation, police said. He has not yet commented.
  • What could be the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth – 130F (54.4C) – may have been reached in Death Valley National Park, California.
  • President Donald Trump has said he will issue a posthumous pardon for women’s voting rights pioneer Susan B Anthony. Anthony was arrested in 1872 after illegally casting her vote.
  • A UN-backed court has found a member of the militant group Hezbollah guilty of involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri. Judges at the Netherlands-based Special Tribunal for Lebanon said Salim Ayyash had a central role in the bomb attack in Beirut in 2005 that killed Hariri.
  • Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta has resigned, after being detained by soldiers on Tuesday. In a televised address he said he was also dissolving the government and parliament,
  • Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who is under investigation for alleged witness tampering, resigned his Senate seat on Tuesday after being placed under house arrest earlier this month.
  • Flames are ravaging Brazil’s Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland, approaching the region’s main highway and threatening endangered species amid a near-record number of fires.
  • Democrats formally nominated Joe Biden for president during an emotional second night of their party’s virtual convention, warning that Donald Trump was an “existential threat” to America who had failed to get a grip on the coronavirus pandemic.
  • UAE-Israel agreed for peace agreement namely “Abraham Accord”
  • Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was fighting for his life in a Siberian hospital on Thursday after drinking tea that allies said they believe was laced with poison.
  • A former California police officer Joseph James DeAngelo dubbed the “Golden State Killer” who confessed to 13 murders and dozens of rapes during the 1970s and ‘80s faces a life prison term when he is sentenced in Sacramento on Friday.
  • Former Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon pleaded not guilty on Thursday hours after being arrested on a luxury yacht for allegedly skimming donations from an online fundraising campaign for the president’s controversial border wall with Mexico.
  • former President of Republic of Congo, which is also known as Congo-Brazzaville passed away at the age of 88 in Southern France due to illness. Pascal Lissouba
  • India’s former president Pranab Mukherjee has died 21 days after it was confirmed that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
  • India’s top court on Monday ordered a prominent lawyer Prashant Bhushan to pay a fine of 1 rupee (less than 2 cents) after his conviction in a highly watched criminal contempt case that sparked a debate on freedom of speech and the independence of the judiciary in the world’s largest democracy.

Science & Business

  • The co-creator of the computer mouse, , has died aged 91.The engineer and inventor was born in 1929 in Kentucky and studied electrical engineering at university before joining the US Navy. William English
  • The European Commission will carry out a full-scale probe into Google’s takeover of Fitbit.
  • Virgin Atlantic  has filed for bankrupt protection from creditors in the US, according to a court filing in New York on Tuesday.
  • Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V‘ for foreign markets, a reference to the world’s first satellite and what Moscow sees as its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine, a top official said on Tuesday.
  • Apple became the first US $2tn company on Wednesday, only two years after becoming the first to be valued at $1tn by Wall Street.
  • Russel A. Kirsch,the computer scientist credited with inventing pixel passed away at the age of 91 at his home in Portland, Oregon, United States. Pixels, the digital dots used to display photos; video and computer screens were invented by Russell Kirsch in 1957.He scanned the world’s first digital photograph.
  • Beloved U.S.-Swiss climate scientist and glaciologist Konrad “Koni” Steffen died while doing research in Greenland.
  • Airbnb has banned house parties as part of its efforts to comply with limits on gatherings in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Singapore’s Wuthelam Group will take majority control of Nippon Paint Holdings , spending 1.28 trillion yen ($12.12 billion) to raise its stake to just under 60% from 39% now, the Japanese company said in a statement.
  • China launched its fifth Gaofen-9 Earth observation satellite and two smaller payloads from the Jiuquan launch center in the Gobi Desert.
  • TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer has quit after just two months in the job ahead of an impending ban by US President Donald Trump.The Chinese-owned firm has been accused of being a threat to US national security by the Trump administration.
  • Apple Inc said on Friday it had terminated “Fortnite” creator Epic Games’ account on its App Store amid a legal battle over the iPhone maker’s in-app payment guidelines and accusations they constitute a monopoly.
  • American neurotechnology company Neuralink unveils a pig, named “Gertrude”, that has been living with a brain-implanted chip for two months at an event in San Francisco.
  • Mitsubishi Motors Corp’s former chairman Osamu Masuko has died from heart failure, the Japanese automaker said in a statement on Monday. He was 71

Sports

  • Former Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas has retired from football at the age of 39.Casillas made 725 appearances for Real during a 16-year career at the Bernabeu, winning three Champions League titles and five La Liga crowns.
  • Serie A champions Juventus stunned Italian football on Saturday by naming World Cup-winning midfielder Andrea Pirlo as manager on a two-year contract even though their former player has no previous experience in the role.
  • The 2021 Tour de France will start in Brittany after Copenhagen’s staging of the ‘Grand Depart’ was pushed back by a year due to a potential clash with soccer’s postponed European Championship, race organisers said on Monday.
  • Manchester City midfielder has been named the Premier League player of the season.The 29-year-old scored 13 goals as City finished second in the top flight behind champions Liverpool. Kevin de Bruyne
  • A swimmer has broken the men’s record for the number of cross-Channel crossings – and been assured her fears of falling foul of the UK-France quarantine rules are unfounded. Australian Chloe McCardel took 10 hours and 40 minutes to complete her 35th Channel crossing, after setting off from Kent on Saturday evening.
  • Berlin Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has awarded the title sponsorship rights of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 to fantasy cricket league platform Dream11
  • the former British tennis player and two-time Grand Slam Doubles champion and Equal Rights Pioneer, died at the age of 85. Angela Buxton.
  • Australia’s World Cup-winning all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on Sunday, along with South African Jacques Kallis and Pakistan batting great Zaheer Abbas.
  • Bayern Munich were crowned European champions for the sixth time after beating Paris St Germain 1-0 thanks to a second-half header from former PSG youth academy graduate Kingsley Coman in an absorbing Champions League final .
  • Japan’s Takuma Sato won the Indianapolis 500 for the second time in four years on Sunday after a late crash saw the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” end under caution.
  • Europa League kings Sevilla won the tournament for a record sixth time thanks to victory over Inter Milan in a thrilling final in Cologne.
  • England’s James Anderson became the first seam bowler to reach 600 test wickets, reaching the milestone by dismissing Azar Ali.
  • 42-year-old identical twins Robert Charles “Bob” Bryan and Michael Carl “Mike” Bryan, the most successful American doubles tennis players announced their retirement from the professional circuit with immediate effect. The Bryan Brothers,
  • Japan’s Olympic badminton champion Ayaka Takahashi will not defend her doubles crown with Misaki Matsutomo at next year’s Tokyo Games after announcing she will retire at the end of the month.
  • Alexander Kristoff  won the opening stage of the Tour de France, the annual multiple stage bicycle race.

Arts & Entertainment

  • Neil Young is suing Donald Trump’s campaign for alleged illegal usage of his music at a rally. The musician claims that Rockin’ in the Free World and Devil’s Sidewalk were played at the president’s recent rally in Tulsa without a license.
  • Martin Birch, the producer whose bright but heavy sound was applied to classic albums by Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and more, has died aged 71.
  • The Cavern Club,best known for launching The Beatles, faces ruin as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.It opened in Liverpool in 1957 and hosts about 800,000 visitors per year.
  • Actor Ben Cross,who was best known for playing athlete Harold Abrahams in the film Chariots of Fire, has died at the age of 72.His other roles included the leads in HBO’s first ever mini-series, The Far Pavilions, in 1984, and the 1991 horror series Dark Shadows.
  • Michael Cohen’s memoir about President Donald Trump titled “Disloyal: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump” published by Skyhorse Publishing is set to release on 8th September 2020.
  • Jack Sherman the guitarist who appeared on the debut album of American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, has died at the age of 64.”He was a unique dude and we thank him for all times good, bad and in between. Peace on the boogie platform,” a tweet on the group’s official account reads.
  • Marieke Lucas Rijneveld of the Netherlands is awarded the 2020 International Booker Prize for her novel The Discomfort of Evening.
  • Black Panther” film star Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose work celebrated African-American pioneers and culture, has died at age 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer, according to an announcement posted on Friday to his social media accounts.
  • the co-creator of the cartoon series Scooby-Doo, has passed away due to natural causes. Joe Ruby,
  • Japan’s Toshimaen amusement park closes after 94 years, A popular Tokyo amusement park on Monday closed its doors for the last time after being in business for more than nine decades, with part of the site set to make way for a “Harry Potter” theme park.
  • A man who inspired a Hollywood film about the 1994 Rwandan genocide has been arrested for leading “terrorist movements”, officials say. Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu, became well known after Hotel Rwanda depicted his efforts to save hundreds of Tutsis at his hotel during the 1994 genocide.
  • Superhero French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is republishing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad which unleashed a wave of anger in the Muslim world to mark the start of the trial of alleged accomplices in the militant attack against it 2015.
  • Sir Terence Conran, the British designer who revolutionised retail and decor, has died at the age of 88.

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