Daily Current Affairs - 23rd Apr 2019

Arab League pledges $100m to Palestinians, rejects Trump's 'deal'

  • The Arab League has pledged $100 million per month to the Palestinian Authority to make up for funds withheld by Israel because of payments made to the families of Palestinian attackers and prisoners.
  • Earlier Israel collects taxes on behalf of the PA but withheld $138 million in transfers in February over Palestinian payments to political prisoners jailed for attacks against Israelis.
  • Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians seek those territories for a future state.

Asia Badminton Championships to begin at Wuhan in China today

  • The Asia Badminton Championships will begin at Wuhan in China today and will continue till the 28th of this month. India will be represented by Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma in men's singles and P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal in women's singles.

Asian Athletics C’Ships: Gomathi Marimuthu, Tajinder Toor clinch gold medals on day two for India

  • Gomathi Marimuthu opened India’s gold medal tally at the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar with a superb finish in the women’s 800m final, recording a personal best timing of 2:02.70 seconds.
  • Meanwhile, Tajinder Pal Toor then added the second gold medal to India’s tally later, clinching the top spot in the podium in men’s shot put with a season’s best throw of 20.22 metres.

Bajrang, Sakshi to lead India's challenge at Asian Wrestling Championships

  • Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik and World No. 1 Bajrang Punia will spearhead India's campaign at the Asian Wrestling Championships starting in Xi'an, China. Besides Sakshi and Bajrang, Vinesh Phogat would also be vying for top honours during the mega-event.

Bisht stuns World champion

  • Kavinder Singh Bisht (56kg) upstaged reigning World champion Kairat Yeraliyev, while Amit Panghal (52kg) edged past familiar foe and Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov, assuring themselves of medals at the Asian Boxing Championships. In the women’s draw, World silver-medallist Sonia Chahal (57kg) advanced to the last-four stage.

Blackstone Group to acquire majority stake in Essel Propack at Rs.134/share

  • Blackstone Group Lp, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, has agreed to buy a majority stake in speciality packaging company Essel Propack Ltd for about $310 million. It has signed a definitive agreement with Essel Propack’s promoter, Ashok Goel, to buy a 51% stake at Rs.134 a share.
  • Essel Propack is the world’s largest producer of laminated plastic tubes used by FMCG and pharmaceutical companies

Earth Day observed on April 22nd

  • Earth Day is a global event that is celebrated every year on April 22nd. The Earth Day Network, this year, has chosen 'Protect our Species’ as the theme. This organisation aims to educate millions about how deforestation, pollution, poaching and climate change can each play a role in wiping out several plant and animal species on our planet.

Emergency imposed in Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lankan Government imposed emergency in the country last night following bomb attacks on churches and hotels. The decision to impose an emergency was taken at a meeting of the National Security Council to ensure public security.
  • Meanwhile, 8 Indians are among 31 foreigners killed in the terror attacks. The serial blasts have claimed about 300 lives and injured more than 500 people across the island nation.
  • International police organization (INTERPOL) is deploying a team to Sri Lanka to assist investigations as the focus shifts on probing the foreign connections into the attacks.

Fognini Beats Lajovic To Win Monte-Carlo Title

  • Fabio Fognini made history by winning the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters to become the first Italian to lift an ATP Masters 1000 singles trophy. Fognini is the eighth player to win his first Masters 1000 title over the past 17 events at the elite level.

Innovative child malaria vaccine to be tested in Malawi

  • A large-scale trial of what has been called the world's first malaria vaccine to give partial protection to children is due to start in Malawi. The RTS,S vaccine trains the immune system to attack the malaria parasite, which is spread by mosquito bites.
  • Earlier, smaller trials showed that nearly 40% of the 5-to-17-month-olds who received it were protected. The vaccine has been more than three decades in the making, with scientists from drugs company GSK creating it in 1987.
  • Malawi saw nearly five million confirmed cases in 2017 and it has been chosen, along with Kenya and Ghana, to be used in the large-scale pilot of the RTS,S vaccine.

IPL final shifted to Hyderabad

  • The IPL final, originally allotted to Chennai, will now be played in Hyderabad on May 12. The change of venue was necessitated because the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) failed to get the State government’s permission to use three stands closed since 2012.
  • Chennai Super Kings can host Qualifier 1 at home if it finds a place among the top two teams. Visakhapatnam will get to host the Eliminator (May 8) and Qualifier 2 (May 10).

Lok Sabha polls: seizures cross Rs. 3,000-cr. mark

  • Seizures by the enforcement agencies under the supervision of the Election Commission have crossed the Rs. 3,000-crore mark, with Tamil Nadu registering the highest of Rs. 935 crore. The agencies have so far seized more than Rs. 730 crore in cash, liquor worth Rs. 234.85 crore, Rs. 1,169 crore in the form of narcotics and about Rs. 937 crore in precious metals, totalling Rs.3,119 crore.

MOU signed between Ministry of AYUSH and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi for cooperation in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science.

Nasim Zaidi quits Jet Airways board

  • Grounded carrier Jet Airways said its non-executive and non-independent director Nasim Zaidi has quit the board, citing personal reasons and time constraints. Zaidi, the former Chief Election Commissioner and ex- civil aviation secretary, joined the Jet Airways board in August last year.
  • The airline, which ceased all its operations temporarily last week, is under the management control of State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders following a debt-recast plan approved by its board last month.

Prajnesh is World No. 75

  • India's No. 1 tennis player, Prajnesh Gunneswaran has been able to reach a career-best rank of No. 75. Though he failed to defend the title in the $162,480 Challenger in Anning, China.
  • It puts him as the sixth-best-ranked Indian in the Open era. Ramanathan Krishnan, who twice reached the Wimbledon semifinals, was unofficially ranked No. 3 in the world, before the rankings came into existence.
  • Leander Paes (73) and Anand Amritraj (74) are at striking distance. Vijay Amritraj (18), Ramesh Krishnan (23)and Somdev Devvarman (62) are the top three ranked Indians in the Open era.

RBI may have Rs.3 lakh cr. excess capital : BofAML

  • According to a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) the excess reserves that the central bank RBI holds could be up to Rs.3 lakh crore or 1.5% of the GDP.
  • BofAML further said capping the overall reserves at 20% from the present 25.5% will release Rs.1.96 lakh crore which is higher than the 2004 Usha Thorat Committee’s recommendation of 18% and 16% that the Economic Survey 2018 had pegged.
  • The report further noted that using the excess capital for bank recapitalisation would be liquidity neutral and could also aid in making rate cuts.
  • The Bimal Jalan Committee, which was set up in end-December prepares to submit its report on RBI’s economic capital framework.

US will not reissue waivers for Iran oil imports

  • The Trump administration has told five countries - Japan, South Korea, Turkey, China and India - that they will no longer be exempt from US sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran after their waivers end on May 2.
  • The US administration granted eight oil sanctions waivers when it re-imposed sanctions on Iran after Trump pulled the US out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. These waivers were granted in part to give those countries more time to find alternate energy sources but also to prevent a shock to global oil markets from the sudden removal of Iranian crude.