Current Affairs- July 2020

World & Local

  • David Clark resigns as New Zealand‘s Minister of Health after security mistakes at quarantine facilities just days after the country had been declared free of COVID-19.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron appointed a public Servant Jean Castex as the new Prime Minister of government reshuffle, replacing Edouard  Philippe.
  •  Yuriko Koike wins her second term as Governor of Tokyo.
  • American rapper and entrepreneur  Kanye West formally announces his campaign in the U.S. presidential election on Twitter, running as an independent.
  •  Ivory Coast’s prime minister and the ruling party’s candidate for an October presidential election Amadou Gon Coulibalyhas passed away.
  • World Health Organisation’s (WHO) South East Asian Region (SEAR) office, Maldives and Sri Lanka were verified to eliminate  both measles and rubella, making them the first two countries in the WHO South-East Asia region to achieve beyond their 2023 target.
  • Multilateralists Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Helen Clark will lead a World Health Organization (WHO) panel scrutinising the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic just as international institutions are under fire.
  • Denmark  has launched what is thought to be the first so-called coronavirus passport in Europe for use when travelling abroad and domestically.
  • Turkey turns iconic Istanbul museum Hagia Sophia  into mosque.
  • Ghislaine Maxwell has applied for release from jail on the grounds she might be infected with coronavirus while awaiting trial for allegedly grooming young girls for convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
  • Relatives of the Bosnian Muslims killed in the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II are getting ready to mark 25 years since the Srebrenica massacre onSaturday, but for many Serbs the episode remains a myth.
  • Environmentalist a founder of Brazil’s Green Party and a tireless campaigner for policies to curb climate change, died in a car crash. Alfredo Sirkis,
  • Donald Trump has commuted the sentence of Roger Stone, a longtime friend and former campaign adviser who was to spend three years and four months in jail for crimes related to the Russia investigation.
  • Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has announced the dissolution of the constitutional court in an attempt to calm unrest that saw four people killed in street protests .
  • The American dentist who killed Cecil the lion , Walter Palmer is reported to have hunted another endangered wild animal.
  • Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Lawsays he is in the United Kingdom after fleeing persecution from a controversial security law implemented by the Hong Kong government.
  • Buckingham Palace has issued a rare statement following the release of the ‘Palace letters’ which reveal secret correspondence over the sacking of Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.
  • The head of Cecil Rhodes has been chopped away from a bust of the 19th century colonialist at a monument on the slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town.
  • The Belarusian election commission declined on Tuesday to register President Alexander Lukashenko’s two most prominent opponents as candidates for a presidential election next month, all but ensuring victory for the leader in power for 26 years.
  • Milos Jakes,the Czechoslovak Communist Party chief swept from power in the “Velvet Revolution” of 1989, has died aged 97. The 2021 Tournament of Roses Parade, an annual spectacle held each New Year’s Day since 1891 in Pasadena, California, has been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, its first cancellation in 76 years.
  • The government has vowed to fight the decision to allow Shamima Begum, who left London as a schoolgirl to join Islamic State in 2015, back into the UK.
  • New Zealand’s main opposition party has named Judith Collins as new leader as it regroups for the daunting task of trying to oust Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a general election.
  • Gabon President Ali Bongo on promoted his defence minister, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, to prime minister, the first time a woman has held the role in the country.
  • Rep John Lewis  a leader in the civil rights movement and later US congressman, has died at the age of 80.Lewis was one of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders, which included Martin Luther King Jr, and helped organise the historic 1963 March on Washington.
  • UN announced the Laureates of 2020 Nelson Mandela Prize : Marianna Vardinoyannis & Morissana Kouyaté.
  • Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have agreed to resume talks to break a deadlock on the Grand Renaissance Dam reservoir on the Blue Nile, the leaders of the three countries
  • A Russian court sentenced Yuri Dmitriev, a historian of Stalin-era crimes who was charged with sexually abusing his adopted daughter, to three and a half years in prison, the Interfax news agency cited his lawyer as saying.
  • South African anti-apartheid campaigner Andrew Mlangeni, who was jailed alongside Nelson Mandela in 1964 after a treason trial, has died at the age of 95.
  • A 93-year-old former Nazi SS concentration camp guard has been found guilty of complicity in the murder of more than 5,000 prisoners. Bruno Dey was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence by a court in the German city of Hamburg.
  • Behrouz Boochani  the Kurdish Iranian exile and journalist who became the voice of those incarcerated on Manus Island, has had his refugee status formally recognised by New Zealand, and granted a visa to live there.
  • Somalia’s parliament ousted Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire in a no-confidence vote, as a simmering power struggle between him and the president came to the fore.
  • A leading Hong Kong university has fired its law professor, Benny Tai, due to a criminal conviction over his role in the 2014 pro-democracy protests.Mr Tai, 56, accused the University of Hong Kong (HKU) of bowing to pressure from Beijing and said the ruling was “the end of academic freedom”.
  • Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister Perrance Shiri, a retired general who helped plot the ouster of Robert Mugabe in a 2017 coup, has died, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
  • Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui, considered the “father of Taiwan’s democracy”, has died at the age of 97.

Sports

  • India’s Nitin Menon   became the youngest ever to be included in the International Cricket Council’s Elite Panel of Umpires for the upcoming 2020-21 season, replacing England’s Nigel Llong.
  • West Indian cricket is mourning one of its favourite sons after the death of the great Sir Everton Weekes  at 95.
  •  Wilson Kipsang, Former marathon world record holder of Kenya has been handed a four-year ban for anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) that included using a fake photo of a traffic accident to justify one of four missed whereabouts appointments,
  • Badminton player and 2 time Olympic Champion,  Lin Dan  announced hisretirement due to his physical capabilities and injuries.
  • Fernando Alonso confirms return to F1 with Renault for 2021
  • Chris Froome to leave Team Ineos for Israel Start-Up Nation at end of 2020
  • signs 4-year deal to stream UEFA Champions League matches- ViacomCBS
  • Jack Charlton, a World Cup winner with England and former Republic of Ireland boss, has died aged 85.
  • The president of Russia’s suspended athletics federation Yevgeny Yurchenko resigned from his post on Monday as the federation grapples with new doping setbacks that could keep its athletes further sidelined from international competitions.
  • Four matches will be played each day during the group stage of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Fifa has announced. The tournament’s opening match will be played at the 60,000-seater Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor on Monday, 21 November in a game which will feature hosts Qatar.The final venue is the 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium in Doha on Sunday, 18 December 
  • Jon Rahm won the Memorial to join Seve Ballesteros as the only spanish Golfer to reach No. 1 in the world.
  • Team INEOS will be known as the INEOS Grenadiers from the start of this year’s Tour de France in a move designed to promote the sponsor’s new 4×4 vehicle, the British outfit said on Wednesday.
  • Liverpool‘s Premier League title winning captain Jordan Henderson was named England’s Footballer of the Year  in the annual vote of the Football Writers’ Association (FWA).
  • More than 70 journalists and staff at Hungary’s top news site Index have resigned, accusing the government of launching a bid to destroy or tame their website.
  • Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy won the Premier League’s Golden Boot award for the top scorer after finishing the season with 23 goals.
  • Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp has been named the League Managers’ Association manager of the year. Klopp’s team won the Premier League – the Reds’ first English top-flight title for 30 years.
  • Japan and Fiji will join the Six Nations in an autumn tournament which has been hastily arranged to compensate for the European tour schedule being scratched.
  • Stuart Broad grabbed his 500th test wicket to became the seventh player to reach milestone by dismissing Kraigg Brathwaite  and set England on their way to a resounding 269 run win over West Indies in the third and final test at Old Trafford .
  • Former Cameroon captain Stephen Tataw died on Friday at his home in Yaounde at the age of 57.The right-back was most famous for playing every minute as he led the Indomitable Lions to the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

Science & Business

  • British finance minister Rishi Sunak will earmark 3 billion pounds to create green jobs and improve the energy efficiency of public buildings when he announces his broader plans to kickstart the economy.
  • Sony has launched a new pocket air conditioner that connects to your smartphone. The Reon Pocket
  • Mayor of Seoul found dead after going missing- Park Won-soon:
  • Amazon.com Inc plans to create at least $100 million in stock awards to retain the 900-plus employees of Zoox, the self-driving car startup it offered to buy last month.
  • Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe brings a reputation for fiscal caution to his new role as president of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, having won plaudits for delivering Ireland’s first budget surplus in a decade in 2018.
  • the creator of the popular video game “Fortnite”, said it had received a $250 million investment from Japan’s Sony Corp for a minority stake in the company. Epic Games,
  • Google Plus is officially gone after its mobile apps are rebranded as Google Currents.
  • A sealed copy of the 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System game Super Mario Bros. sells for US$114,000, a world record for a video.
  • Comet NEOWISE is visible to the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Diageo plc announces that Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky will soon be sold in paper bottles. The bottles will be made from wood pulp and will be fully recyclable.
  • The Washington Redskins announce they are dropping the team nickname and logo after decades of criticism of them being offensive to Native Americans. The new name will be announced later. 
  • United Arab Emirates will launch its first-ever interplanetary mission called Hope or the Emirates Mars Mission,
  • US infectious disease chief Dr Anthony Fauci  is being targeted by the Trump administration as tensions rise between the health expert and the president.
  • NASA’s most advanced Mars rover, Perseverance  will launch from Cape Canaveral on July 30. It is currently on a mission to seek out signs of ancient microbial life on what was once a river delta 3.5 billion years ago. 
  • Iran has dropped India from a railway project linking the Chabahar port to Zahedan city, citing delays from the Indian side in funding and starting the construction.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland will formally change its name to NatWest Group on July 22, in a move aimed at distancing the state-backed lender from its government bailout during the 2008/9 financial crisis.
  • The combined company resulting from the merger of Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and France’s Peugeot owner PSA will be called Stellantis.
  • New pictures of the Sun taken just 77 million km (48 million miles) from its surface are the closest ever acquired by cameras.They come from the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter (SolO) probe, which was launched earlier this year.
  • The Israeli government approves the subsea EastMed pipeline which will supply Europe with natural gas. The construction of the pipeline is expected to be completed by 2025, and will provide an estimated 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year. 
  • A new Android malware named BlackRock  has been discovered that steals data such as password and credit card details from 337 apps including some of the popular ones like Gmail, Amazon, Netflix, Uber, and more.
  • Norwegian group has won the auction to buy U.S. e-commerce firm eBay Inc’s classified-ads unit for nearly $9 billion (7.1 billion pounds), a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on. Adevinta
  • China successfully launched an unmanned probe named Tianwen-1, to Mars in its first independent mission to another planet, a bid for global leadership in space and a display of its technological prowess and ambition.
  • Germany’s Ritter Sport wins square chocolate court battle. German chocolate bar maker Ritter Sport has today won a decade-long battle against US-owned Milka, with the European country’s highest court ruling that its trademark on the iconic square packaging stands.
  • German universal bank Degussa Bank is put up for sale as parent company M. M. Warburg raises funds to pay off fines and debts incurred from its participation in Germany’s biggest post-war fraud scheme. The Bank is valued between €200-400 million.
  • NASA has announced that the often delayed James Webb space telescope (JWST) is to be delayed once more. Instead of a launch on 30 March 2021, the mission has now slipped to 31 October 2021.
  • Goldman Sachs has reached a $3.9bn (£3bn) settlement with the Malaysian government for its role in the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB corruption scheme.
  • The world’s biggest nuclear fusion project named ITER has entered its five-year assembly phase. After this is finished, the facility will be able to start generating the super-hot “plasma” required for fusion power.The £18.2bn (€20bn; $23.5bn) facility has been under construction in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, southern France.

Arts & Entertainment

  • Three-time National Award winner, veteran Bollywood choreographer, Saroj Khan, passed away due to cardiac arrest.
  • Writer, director, actor and comedy legend Carl Reiner passed away of natural causes at an age of 98. einer was a recipient of nine Emmy awards, five of which were for ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’.
  • A Black woman will star in the television series “Batwoman,” a first for the superhero in live-action television or film- Javicia Leslie
  • the Italian composer whose symphonic scores backed everything from spaghetti westerns to romance, horror and sci-fi films, has died aged 91. Ennio Morricone,
  • Rock legend is to be commemorated on a £1,000 gold coin celebrating his musical legacy. Elton John
  • A cornerstone of rock journalism in the UK, Q Magazine  is to close after 34 years. Founded in 1986 by Smash Hits writers Mark Ellen and David Hepworth, Q arrived at the same time as the CD revolution took off – and its glossy, aspirational format chimed perfectly with the times.
  • Taylor Swift has announced she is to release a “surprise” eighth studio album, called Folklore, at midnight. The 16-track album was written and recorded in isolation during the Covid-19 lockdown, she said on social media.
  • one of the last remaining stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, has died at the age of 104.De Havilland’s career spanned more than 50 years and almost 50 feature films, and she was the last surviving star from Gone with the Wind (1939). Olivia de Havilland,
  • Japanese fashion designer, Kansai Yamamoto known for his flamboyant creations and work on costumes for singer David Bowie – especially “Ziggy Stardust” – has died of leukemia.
  •  Musician Drake breaks the record for the most top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, surpassing Madonna.
  • The Japanese government reacted angrily on Tuesday to a statue in South Korea that appears to depict Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, kneeling and bowing to a seated “comfort woman,” a euphemism for women forced to work in Japan’s wartime brothels.
  • Television journalist and founding president of Cable News Network (CNN), Reese Schonfeld, who started the cable television network with media entrepreneur Ted Turner died.
  • Jazz artist, whose new single “Concorde” is an ode to space exploration, is set to perform on Thursday as part of a ceremony marking the launch of NASA’s next generation rover that will search for signs of habitable conditions on Mars. Gregory Porter

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