· Saudi Arabia allows women to attend men football match for 1st time
- Saudi Arabia allowed women to attend a men’s football match for the first time from a sports stadium.
- This comes after Saudi women were allowed in a stadium for National Day celebrations in a one-off event in September last year.
- A hashtag, translated as “the people welcome the entry of women into stadiums”, was used tens of thousands of times in two hours as the match took place.
· Saudi Arabia allows women to visit the country without a male companion
- Women aged 25 and abovewill now be allowed to visit Saudi Arabia alone, without being accompanied by a male companion.
- The move is a part of Saudi Arabia’s broader plans to issue tourist visas.
· India grants Rs. 288 crore to develop Sri Lankan Kankesanthurai Harbour into a commercial port
- India has granted a financial assistance worth over ₹288 crore ($45.27 million) to develop Sri Lanka’s Kankesanthurai (KKS) Harbour into a commercial port.
- Sri Lanka’s ministry of finance and Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) signed an agreement in this regard.
- The KKS Harbour was destroyed by the LTTE during Sri Lanka’s civil war.
· Rabada, 22-yr-old, is the youngest No. 1 Test bowler since the 19th century
- South African pacer Kagiso Rabada, who recently became the top-ranked bowler in Test cricket, is the youngest bowler ever to top the ICC Test rankings for bowlers.
- Rabada achieved the feat at the age of 8,261 days, surpassing the record of former England bowler George Lohmann, who became the highest-ranked Test bowler aged 8,288 days in February 1888.
· China became second internet service provider for Nepal, breaking Indias monopoly in Nepal
- The Hong Kong and Beijing based China Telecom Global (CTG)– a company formed in 2012 – has teamed up with Nepal Telecom to provide alternate cyber-connectivity to Nepal.
- So far, Nepal had been linked to the global internet network through Indian telecom operators, using optical fiber connections in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Birgunj, among others.
- But a new terrestrial fiber cable launched in 2016 by CTG will now connect Nepal and China through the Jilong (Rasuwagadhi) border gateway.
· South and North Korea discuss joint women ice hockey team for Olympics
- South Korea has proposed fielding a joint women’s ice hockey team with North Korea at next month’s Winter Olympics going to be held at Pyongyang.
- South Korea’s unification ministry invited the North to further talks about the Olympics in the truce village of Panmunjom on 15 January.
· Gallup International Survey ranked Indian PM Narendra Modi as the No. 3 world leader
- Gallup International Association (GIA) has ranked Indian PM Narendra Modi as the 3world leader in its annual survey.
- This is the highest ever rank bagged by any Indian PM in the GIA global polls.
- The first rank went to French President Emmanuel Macron(net score 21), followed by German chancellor Angela Merkel (net score of 20).
- US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin were ranked at the eleventh and sixth position respectively in the survey.
· Bhopal Becomes 1st Railway Station in India to Have Happy Nari Pad Vending Machine
- Considering the needs of its women commuters, Bhopal Junction has become the first railway station in India to install a sanitary napkin vending machine, which is christened as ‘Happy Nari’.
- At a meagre price of Rs 5, any railway passenger can procure two sanitary napkins from the vending machine.
- India accounts for 60% of new leprosy cases in world
- Dermatologists on Sunday stressed on the need to create awareness about leprosy and disintegrate it from other public health programmes.
In 2005, India had officially declared to have eliminated leprosy when new cases fell to less than one per 10,000 population. But as per WHO’s Global Health Observatory data repository, India registered 1,35,485 confirmed cases of leprosy in 2016.
- The countries that registered its prevalence were India, Brazil, Central Africa, Nepal, and Angola. India accounts for nearly 60% of the new cases in the world. Most of these cases are found in Bihar and Jharkhand.
- Dermatologists in the country have recently observed an abnormality in the disease as compared to its earlier version.
- Patients are more prone to develop deformities. The spread of the airborne infection is also heightened. Children are being easily affected.
- HIV infection declines, but new hotspots emerge in eight states
- HIV infection has declined in India, but new hotspots have emerged in the highly populated states of Gujarat, Bihar, Delhi, Chhattisgarh Rajasthan, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, shows data from National AIDS Control Organisation’s (NACO) biennial HIV Sentinel Surveillance 2016-17 that monitors HIV levels and trends across 650 districts.
- The national prevalence fell from 0.29% in 2015 to 0.28% in 2017, which will reflect in lowered HIV/AIDS estimates for India in 2018. In 2016, 2.1 million people with HIV in India, with 79,000 new infections, estimated NACO.
- HIV in India continues to be concentrated in specific geographical areas, groups and populations, and focusing treatment and prevention efforts on those most affected can contain infection.
Gk bit – HIV & AIDS
- HIV is a virus spread through certain body fluids that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells, often called T cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease.
- HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,or AIDS, if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment.
- The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of infecting others.
- The three stages of HIV infection are: (1) acute HIV infection, (2) clinical latency, and (3) AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
- HIV is found in semen, blood, vaginal and anal fluids, and breast milk.
- HIV cannot be transmitted through sweat, saliva or urine.
- In this,the person’s immune system is severely damaged, as indicated by a CD4 count of less than 200 cells/mm3. A CD4 count measures the number of CD4 cells in a sample of blood. The CD4 count of a healthy person ranges from 500 to 1,600 cells/mm3.
- Raj may launch its own crop insurance firm
- The Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government is examining the feasibility of launching a ‘Rajasthan Agriculture Crop Insurance Company’ within this year, which may be a first among Indian states.
- Since a government works in public interest, a state-run company would take decisions that benefit farmers, and loss and profit of the company would be of the government. “The chief minister is serious over the issue and the department is working on it. The licence authority is Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).
- A senior agriculture department official said on the condition of anonymity that the state is examining all aspects of setting up such a company, including the feasibility of a tie-up with an existing company at a lower profit margin. The process of getting the licence from IRDA is long, and requires the company to have paid up capital to the tune of 1.5 times of the total sum insured
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