Daily Current Affairs - 15th Apr 2019

121 killed in Libya clashes: WHO

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) said that fighting near Tripoli has killed 121 people since Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive earlier this month to take the Libyan capital. With more than 560 people wounded since the fighting started on April 4.
  • In clashes between Field Marshal Haftar’s forces and those of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), both sides have proclaimed advances but neither appears to have taken a substantial lead on the ground in recent days.
  • Libya
  • Prime Minister: Fayez al-Sarraj
  • Capital: Tripoli
  • Currency: Libyan dinar

ICC World Cup: Indian squad to be announced today

  • Team India's 15-member squad for the forthcoming Cricket World Cup will be announced at a press conference in Mumbai today. The Committee of Administrators along with office bearers had decided on the date during a meeting last week.
  • The press conference will precede a meeting between the five-man National Selection Committee led by MSK Prasad, skipper Virat Kohli and Chief Coach Ravi Shastri.
  • The 12th edition of the World Cup, to be hosted by England and Wales, begins on the 30th of next month.

India short of 6 lakh doctors, 2 million nurses: U.S. study

  • According to the report by the U.S.-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP), India has a shortage of an estimated 600,000 doctors and 2 million nurses. The lack of staff is preventing patients from accessing live-saving drugs.
  • In India, there is one government doctor for every 10,189 people (the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a ratio of 1:1,000), or there is a deficit of 600,000 doctors, and the nurse:patient ratio is 1:483, implying a shortage of two million nurses.
  • In India, 65% of health expenditure is out-of-pocket, and such expenditures push some 57 million people into poverty each year.

Iraq begins trial of IS suspects

  • Iraq has begun trial proceedings for nearly 900 Iraqi suspected members of the Islamic State (IS) group caught fleeing jihadist territory in Syria.
  • These prisoners were handed over to Iraqi authorities by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which ousted IS from swathes of eastern Syria.
  • Iraq
  • President: Barham Salih
  • Prime Minister: Adil Abdul-Mahdi
  • Capital: Baghdad
  • Currency: Iraqi dinar

Maheshwari Chauhan misses final

  • Two-time National champion Maheshwari Chauhan shot 114 (22, 24, 23, 22 and 23) but missed the final in women’s skeet by four points in the shotgun World Cup in Al Ain, UAE. While Maheshwari placed 21st among 71 shooters.
  • In men’s skeet, Asian and National champion Angad Vir Singh Bajwa shot rounds of 24 and 23, to be in the 61st place with a score of 47, in a strong field of 125 shooters.

Momota and Tzu-ying are champions

  • Japan's Kento Momota withstood a barrage of smashes from Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting to rally for a thrilling 10-21, 21-19, 21-13 victory in the Singapore Open final.
  • In the women's final, Tai Tzu-ying claimed her second Singapore Open title with a 21-19, 21-15 victory over Japan's Nozomi Okuhara.

More veterans oppose ‘politicisation’ of Army

  • After a letter by over 150 veterans expressing concern at the politicisation of the armed forces came to light last week, several more veterans have endorsed the sentiment and asked to be part of the appeal.
  • In the letter dated April 11, 156 veterans, including eight former Chiefs appealed, to the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, the President of India Ram Nath Kovind, to ensure the secular and apolitical character of our armed forces is preserved and direct all political parties to desist from using the military in any manner for political purposes or to further their political agendas.

Motor racing: Lewis Hamilton wins Formula One's 1,000th race

  • Lewis Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix for a record sixth time. He seized the overall lead from his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in Formula One’s 1,000th world championship race.
  • This race was the 75th of Hamilton’s career, and second in a row after his lucky triumph in Bahrain two weeks ago.
  • Valtteri Bottas was second for his team’s third one-two finish in as many races this season. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took third place

Odisha-Born BK Nayak Nominated As Chair Of FIH Health & Safety Committee

  • Bibhu Kalyan Nayak has became the first Indian to be appointed Chair of International Hockey Federation (FIH) Health and Safety Committee by the world governing body. He will serve a two-year term lasting till the first executive board meeting after Congress 2020.
  • Nayak has extensively trained in Sports Traumatology and Sports and Exercise Physiology from National Institute of Sports Medicine at Havana, Cuba & National Sports Centre at Madrid, Spain.

Pak. releases another 100 Indian fishermen

  • Pakistan has released another 100 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture amidst tensions between the two countries after the Pulwama terror attack. The fishermen released were part of the second batch of 360 Indian prisoners Pakistan has promised to set free in four phases this month.
  • Pakistan had earlier released the first batch of 100 Indian fishermen on April 7.
  • They had been arrested for fishing illegally in Pakistani waters. Another 100 will be freed on April 22 and the rest on April 29.

Palestinian government sworn in, again after oath foul-up

  • The Palestinian Authority government has been sworn in a second time in as many days after the prime minister and his Cabinet failed to recite part of the oath.
  • Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtayeh and his 22-member cabinet returned to President Mahmoud Abbas’s office to take the oath of office a second time.
  • The ministers neglected to include a clause pledging faithfulness “to the people and its national heritage” during Saturday’s ceremony.

Paris Marathon: Ethiopian runners Gelete Burka and Abrha Milaw win 2019 race

  • Ethiopian athletes Gelete Burka (women’s race) and Abrha Milaw (men’s race) won the 43rd edition of the Paris Marathon. Burka was the fastest woman with 2 hours :22 minutes and :48 seconds.
  • Milaw won the men’s race with a time of 2 hours :07 minutes and :50 seconds.

PE investors turn to office realty

  • As per Anarock Property Consultants data, commercial real estate has become the top preference for PE (Private Equity) investors over the past four years, comprising almost 70% of the overall investment share in 2018 compared with just 33% in 2015.
  • In contrast, residential real estate lost its numero uno position with its share declining from 53% in 2015 to as low as 7% in 2018.
  • Years of stagnation in residential real estate prices and the overall thrust on low-yielding affordable housing by real estate developers have prompted private equity (PE) investors to shift focus to commercial real estate.
  • Thus commercial real estate has become a hot favourite on account of demand for high quality office and retail space in the past few years.

Tiger Woods clinches his fifth Masters

  • Golfer Tiger Woods has clinched his fifth Masters and a 15th major title, ending 11-year wait for a major title after overcoming career-threatening back problems. Woods finished with a two-under-par 70 to win on 13 under, one clear of fellow Americans Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka.
  • This victory puts the former world No.1 just three majors behind the all-time record of Jack Nicklaus.

Unique oil-eating bacteria found in world's deepest ocean trench, Mariana Trench'

  • Scientists from the University of East Anglia have discovered a unique oil eating bacteria in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the Earth’s oceans, a finding that may pave way for sustainable ways to clean up oils spills.
  • The team not only found that the hydrocarbon degrading bacteria was abundant at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, they also found that the proportion of bacteria in the Trench is the highest on Earth.
  • The Mariana Trench is located in the Western Pacific Ocean and reaches a depth of approximately 11,000 metres. By comparison, Mount Everest is 8,848 metres high.

UPI sets searing pace while e-wallets wobble

  • An analysis by The Hindu of data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), payments made on the UPI platform saw a remarkable growth of over 400% in the April to March period, from a little more than Rs. 27,000 crore in April 2018 to Rs. 1.35 lakh crore in March 2019.
  • Not only is the UPI platform outperforming e-wallets in terms of the value of transactions done, but it is also eating away at e-wallets’ market share in specific areas such as person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions.

World's Largest Plane Takes Flight, Can Air-Launch Rockets Into Space

  • Stratolaunch, the massive aircraft dreamed up by the late Paul Allen(one of the founder of Microsoft), flew for the first time thus becoming the largest plane by wingspan ever to take to the skies.
  • The plane with a twin fuselage, 28 wheels, six 747 jet engines and a wingspan longer than a football field, end zones included.
  • Built by Scaled Composites, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, Stratolaunch was designed to carry as many as three rockets tethered to its belly into the skies; the rockets would then drop, ignite and shoot off into space with their payloads.