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Israel to head permanent UN council for 1st time

The United Nations General Assembly on 13 June 2016 elected Israel to chair its Legal Committee, which is also known as the Sixth Committee.
It is for the first time ever that Israel has been chosen to head one of its six permanent committees.In the secret ballot election, Israel received 109 Yes votes. No votes were cast against Israel. 
•    There were 23 abstentions, 14 invalid ballots and 43 votes for other countries in the Western European.
•    The United Nations General Assembly Sixth Committee (Legal) is one of the main committees of the United Nations General Assembly.
•    The Sixth Committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly.
•    The committee has universal membership, which means all member states of the UN are de jure members of the Sixth committee.
•    It is led by a chairman assisted by three vice-chairmen and a reporter.
•    It meets every year from late September to late November.

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Norway has become the first country in the world to prohibit deforestation

Norway in the first week of June 2016 became the first country to prohibit deforestation.
•    On 26 May 2016, the Norwegian Parliament had pledged to make government’s public procurement policy deforestation-free. 
•    The step was taken after a committee of MPs recommended imposing regulations to ensure the state did not contribute to deforestation of the rainforest.
•    The step taken by the government means that the parliament will no longer award government contracts to any company that cuts down and destroys forests.
•    Norwegian lawmakers also committed to find a way to source essential products such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber so that they leave little to no impact on their ecosystems. 
•    Norway had pledged to do that at the U.N. Climate Summit in 2014, alongside Germany and the United Kingdom.
•    A natural rainforest emits and absorbs vast quantities of carbon dioxide.
•    They are referred to as lungs of Earth.
•    They help to stabilize Earth’s climate. Scientists believe carbon dioxide is a major contributor to climate change. By absorbing carbon dioxide, rainforests help to reduce the effects of worldwide climate change.
•    They are an important home to about half of the species of plants and wildlife on the planet. Many of the species found in rainforests are endangered and can only survive in rainforests.
•    They help maintain the water cycle by producing large amounts of rainfall every year.
•    Tropical and temperate rainforests have been subjected to heavy logging and agricultural clearance throughout the 20th century.
•    Biologists have estimated that large numbers of species are being driven to extinction due to the removal of habitat with destruction of the rainforests.
•    As per a 2007 report from WWF, deforestation could wipe out or severely damage nearly 60% of the Amazon Rainforest by 2030.

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China has successfully launched a 23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite

China has successfully launched a 23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite to support its global navigation and positioning network. 
•    The satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on board of Long March-3C carrier rocket. 
•    It is the 23rd satellite in the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, which is being developed as an alternative to GPS (Global Positioning System) of US.  
•    It was the 229th launch of the Long March carrier rocket. 
•    23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite after entering its designed work orbit and finishing in-orbit testing, will join others satellite of the system already in orbit. 
•    It will help to improve the stability of the BeiDou Navigation system to offer global coverage. 
•    BNS is 2nd generation of the Chinese navigational system seen as rival to the US’s Global Positioning System (GPS). 
•    The system comprises total 35 satellites in two separate satellite constellations (i) Limited test system (operational since 2000) (ii) A full-scale global navigation system which is currently under construction. 
•    The BNS became operational in December 2011 in China with the constellation of 10 satellites of the system. 
•    In December 2012, the system began offering services to customers in the Asia-Pacific region. On its completion in 2020, the system will provide services to global customers. 
•    After completion, the navigation system would become an equivalent of the US Global Positioning System, Europe’s Galileo and Russia’s Glonass. 
•    It will be used for Civilian services, Navigation, messaging, transportation and weather forecasting sectors, Military applications etc 

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Pedro Pablo wins Peru presidential election

The economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski have won the majority of votes in Peru's cliff-hanger presidential election.
•    The electoral commission said he received 50.12% of votes, against 49.88% for his rival, Keiko Fujimori.
•    About 50,000 ballots must first be settled by an electoral court before a winner can be officially declared.
•    This has been the tightest fought election in Peru in five decades.
•    As the last few votes were counted, the candidates remained neck-and-neck, with Mr Kuczynski leading by a tiny margin.
•    The closeness of the result came as a surprise after polls in the run-up to the election had suggested Ms Fujimori had a comfortable lead.
•    Analysts said corruption scandals in Ms Fujimori's Popular Force Party may have dented her support since April, when she comfortably won the first round of voting.
•    She is the daughter of Peru's former President, Alberto Fujimori, who is in jail for crimes against humanity.
•    'Promoting economic growth'
•    Mr Kuczynski, who is an ex-Wall Street financier, said he would use his international financial experience to promote economic growth.
•    He has the support of prominent figures such as Nobel-Prize-winning novelist Mario Vargas Llosa and left-wing candidate Veronika Mendoza, who came third in the first round of voting.
•    But he has faced scrutiny over his close relationship to Peru's business elite.

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Pakistan has topped in the list of 19 countries figuring in the 2016 Malware Infection Index (MII)

A study by Microsoft has found that At least four out of ten computers in Asia Pacific countries are likely to be infected with malware.
•    While Pakistan tops the list of countries figuring in the Malware Infection Index 2016, India ranks 8th on the list.
•    The index has also identified the top three most encountered malware as Gamarue, Skeeyah and Peals.
•    Out of the top five locations across the globe most at risk of infection, a total of four are from the Asia Pacific — Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal, topping the rankings at first, second, fourth and fifth places respectively in terms of computers encountering malware.
•    The Asia Pacific region is especially vulnerable with emerging markets most at risk of malware threats.
•    More than 40% of computers in the 19 countries in Asia Pacific region are infected against the global average being around 20%, Microsoft has claimed.

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Sweden ranks first in "Good Country 2015 Index"

Sweden has been voted as the best country in the world when it comes to serving the interests of its people and contributing to the common good of humanity while India figured low at 70th position on a list of 163 nations.
•    According to the 'Good Country' 2015 index which seeks to measure how countries contribute to the global good, Sweden, relative to the size of its economy, does more "good" and less harm than any other country. 
•    The report ranked a total of 163 countries taking 35 different UN and World Bank indices into account, including global contributions to science, culture, peace and security, climate change and health and equality.
•    The top 10 best countries included Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Finland, Canada, France, Austria and New Zealand, whereas Libya was ranked as the least "good" country in the world. 
•    India figured at 70th position overall, three places below China, with the best ranking (27th) in 'international peace and security' and the worst (124th) in 'prosperity and equality'.
•    While the country stood at 37th position in health and wellbeing and 62nd in science and technology, it was ranked 119th in culture, 106th in climate and 100th in world order. 
•    "The Good Country Index is pretty simple: to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away, relative to its size," the report said.

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IOC unveils first ever team of refugees

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) unveiled its first ever team of refugees which will have 10 members and 12 officials and will compete at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games under the Olympic flag.
•    The team includes five athletes from South Sudan, two from Syria, two from Democratic Republic of Congo and one from Ethiopia.
•    These refugee athletes have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem. 
•    The invention of this refugee team is to give them a home in the Olympic village together with all the athletes around the world.
•    The athletes, six men and four women, will compete in the sports of swimming, judo and athletics.
•    They include swimmer Yusra Mardini from Syria who trains in Germany, South Sudanese middle distance runner Rose Nathike Lokonyen, living in a refugee camp in Kenya, and democratic Republic of Congo judoka Yolande Bukasa Mabika, training in Brazil.
•    The Olympic anthem will be played in their honor, the Olympic flag will lead them into the stadium.
•    It can send a symbol of hope for all refugees in the world and can send a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are enrichment to society.
•    The team will be housed in the athletes‘ village along with all other national teams and will enter the stadium as the penultimate team at the opening ceremony, ahead of the host nation.
•    “They will show to the world that despite the unimaginable tragedies they have faced, anyone can contribute to society through talent, skills and the strength of human spirit,” said Bach.
•    The plight of those fleeing conflict, as well as economic migrants escaping poverty, has polarized opinion in Europe, with the amount of new arrivals stretching the European Union’s asylum system.
•    The IOC had said it wanted to draw the world’s attention to the plight of refugees.

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The New Development Bank of BRICS is set to issue its first yuan-denominated bonds

Shanghai-based New Development Bank is set to issue its first renminbi-denominated bonds, and is eyeing future funding for infrastructure projects.
•    This was revealed by Paolu Nogueira Batista, the bank's vice-president for economic research, strategy and partnerships and chief risk officer.
•    The bank was founded by the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to finance sustainable development in the emerging markets and developing countries.
•    Its first five-year yuan-denominated bonds, also referred as green bonds, will be issued after receiving a rating from international ratings agencies as well as getting authorities' approval.
•    Batista outlined the bank's plans on Monday at the closing ceremony of the Shanghai Forum, an annual meeting of officials, academics, business chiefs and world opinion leaders that discusses issues such as business solutions and social governance.
•    Batista said that more bonds denominated in local currencies of the BRICS countries, including the rupees in India, will be issued if the bank's board and local authorities endorse the project plans.
•    The NDB announced its first batch of loans on April 16, providing $300 million to Brazil, $81 million to China, $250 million to India and $180 million to South Africa.
•    The NDB aims to be a global lender instead of being limited to being an institution for just a handful of countries.

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First Wine theme park opens in France

France has finally made a theme park filled with alcohol. La Cité du Vin, which translates to "the city of wine" and probably "heaven on Earth," is a full-blown wine theme park.
•    It's located in Bordeaux, one of France's most famous wine-making regions, and was opened on 1st June 2016.
•    There are no roller coasters at this theme park but there are 20 wine-themed sections and exhibits that cover the history and culture of wine. 
•    There is also a 250-seat auditorium for classes, screenings and wine-tasting sessions in the 10-story building, High Snobiety noted. 
•    La Cité du Vin — which is housed in a stunning structure also has two restaurants on-site. 
•    One offers dishes made from in-season regional produce, while the other boasts 800 bottles of wine from around the world and some special-seeming tapas.
•    There will be no limp corn dogs and under-salted pretzels sold at exorbitant prices. 
•    The cost of entry at the theme park starts at approximately $22 per adult .

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World's longest rail tunnel opens in Switzerland

Switzerland on 1 June 2016 inaugurated Gotthard Base Tunnel, world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel. The tunnel is also the first flat low-level route through the Alps.
•    It took 17 years and 12.2 billion Swiss francs to construct the tunnel.
•    The Gotthard Base Tunnel has route length of 57.09 km and a total of 151.84 km of tunnels, shafts and passages.
•    It is a part of the AlpTransit project, also known as the New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA).
•    It is situated 2.3km deep under the Alps.
•    It is the third tunnel connecting the cantons of Uri and Ticino after the Gotthard Tunnel and the Gotthard Road Tunnel.
•    The main purpose of the Gotthard Base Tunnel is to increase total transport capacity across the Alps, especially for freight.
•    The construction of the tunnel began in 1996 after 64 percent of Swiss voters accepted the AlpTransit project in a 1992 referendum.
•    Drilling operations in the eastern tunnel were completed on 15 October 2010 in a ceremony broadcast live on Swiss TV.

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