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India ranks Ninth in Crony-Capitalism Index

India is ranked at ninth position in crony-capitalism index that was released by the Economist in the first week of May 2016. 
•    As per the latest crony-capitalism index the non-crony sector wealth in India amounts to 8.3 per cent of the GDP
•    Russia topped the list 
•    It was followed by Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
•    Russia fares worst in the index, wealth from the country's crony sectors amounts to 18 per cent of its GDP.
•    It was based on the work by Ruchir Sharma of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Aditi Gandhi and Michael Walton of Centre for Policy Research of New Delhi, and others in 2014.
•    Due to its limitations the index was not recognized internationally.
•    It also aims to measure the increase trend in the number of economic rent-seekers.

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Enda Kenny wins second term as Ireland’s prime minister

On 6 May 2016Taoiseach Enda Kenny got re-elected as Prime Minister of Ireland. 
•    Kenny is leader of Fine Gael party
•    He was re-appointed with 59 votes in favour and 49 votes against.
•    His party won the most seats in the election 
•    Kenny will lead a minority government.
•    He was acting Irish Prime Minister over the past 10 weeks 
•    He is the first Fine Gael Irish Prime Minister to be re-elected to the office.
•    Republic of Ireland's second largest party is Fianna Fail.
•    It was the fourth attempt to appoint a new Prime Minister.
•    Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. 
•    It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel.

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India-Japan to sign MOU for Cooperation in Sports

A 12 member delegation from Japan led by Mr. HASE Hiroshi, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Government of Japan called on Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports. 

Both sides agreed for exchange of sportspersons, coaches, sports experts, sports administrators etc., 
•    It was decided that they will sign a MOU on cooperation in the field of sports.
•    In the wake of India hosting Under-17 FIFA World Cup in 2017, both sides agreed for promotion of football and exchange of players and coaches. 
•    Two countries will also play friendly football matches. 
•    The Government of Japan has launched ‘SPORT FOR TOMORROW’ to promote sports to more than 10 million people in 100 nations between 2014 and 2020. 
•    The goal is to spread values learned through sports and increase awareness of the Olympic and Paralympic movement to people of all generations worldwide. 
•    Mr. HASE Hiroshi offered that India may also consider taking coaches, instructors from Japan under ‘SPORT FOR TOMORROW’ programme. 
•    Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports welcomed Japan’s initiative.
Mr. HASE Hiroshi extended invitation to Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports for attending “World Forum on Sport and Culture” to be held in October 2016 in Tokyo.

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ECB decided to end production and issuance of 500 euro banknote

On 4 May 2016 The European Central Bank (ECB) announced to permanently stop producing the 500 euro banknote by the end of 2018.
•    500 euro banknote, like the other denominations of euro banknotes, will always retain its value and can be exchanged at the national central banks of the Euro system.
•    On 20 April 2010, money exchange offices in the United Kingdom stopped selling 500 euro notes because of money laundering.
•    The five hundred euro note is the highest-value euro banknote.
•    It is one of the highest value circulating banknotes in the world, worth around 558 USD, 3634 Chinese Yuan, 62700 Japanese Yen, 544 Swiss Franc or 395 Pound sterling.
•    The note is used in the 23 countries.
•    It is the largest note measuring 160 × 82 mm and has a purple colour scheme.
•    The five hundred euro note contains several security features such as watermarks, invisible ink, holograms and microprinting.

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US Navy tested world's largest unmanned surface vessel, Sea Hunter

On 2 May 2016 US Navy tested the world's largest unmanned surface vessel named Sea Hunter in San Diego.
•    It is a self-driving 132-foot ship able to travel up to 10000 nautical miles.
•    It is designed to travel thousands of miles out at sea without a single crew member on board.
•    The Pentagon's research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) developed the ship with Virginia-based Leidos.
•    The ship is powered by two diesel engines.
•    It is a 132ft-long (40-metre) unarmed prototype ship.
•    The ship underwent two years of testing which includes verifying that it can safely follow international norms for operating at sea.
•    It is the naval equivalent of Google's self-driving car.
•    It marks the first step toward sending unmanned cargo vessels between countries, according to military officials, who showed off the ship in San Diego today before it was put in the water.
•    The Pentagon's research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) developed the ship along with Virginia-based Leidos. 
•    Darpa will test it in conjunction with the Navy over the next two years off California's coast. 
•    The tests will largely focus on its ability to react on its own to avoid collisions with seafaring traffic.
•    During the testing phase, the ship will have human operators as a safety net, but once it proves to be reliable, the autonomous surface vessel will maneuver itself — able to go out at sea for months at a time.

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Alberta Wildfire: State of Emergency declared by Canada Government

On 5 May 2016 a state of emergency was declared in the city of Fort McMurray due to a massive wildfire destroyed several of homes.
•    At least 80000 residents were ordered to leave the northern Alberta city. 
•    Wind whipped wildfires, which broke out on 1 May 2016, have destroyed at least 1600 homes and forced more than 80000 residents to flee.
•    More than 250 firefighters are battling the blaze that was actively burning in residential areas. 
•    Officials also issued mandatory evacuation orders for the Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates .
•    Alberta is a western province of Canada. 
•    It is Canada's fourth-most populous province and the most populous of Canada's three Prairie Provinces. 
•    Alberta and its neighbor Saskatchewan were districts of the Northwest Territories until they were established as provinces on September 1, 1905

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Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa selected as executive secretary of UNFCCC

Ban Ki-moon has selected Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa as the executive secretary of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). 

•    She will replace the incumbent Christiana Figueres when her term ends in July 2016. 
•    Before this she was serving as Mexico’s ambassador to Germany Earlier she had served as Mexico’s representative at the UN in New York 
•    She used to work in the field of drug traffic, human rights, women promotion, social development and children’s rights. 
•    She will be implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change that was approved by 195 countries in December 2015 during UNFCCC’s COP 21 held in Paris, France.
•    The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty negotiated at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 
•    It came into force in 1994. 
•    It has 196 countries and European Union (EU) as its members. 
•    It is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which was ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. 
•    The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas (GHGs) concentrations in the atmosphere.

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Google acquires business technology startup Synergyse

Google has acquired business technology startup Synergyse founded by an Indian-origin entrepreneur Varun Malhotra. 

•    The financial detail was disclosed by the Google. 
•    Synergyse was launched in 2013 to teach users how to use Google Applications. 
•    With this acquisition, Synergyse will be joining the Google Apps team and help it to accelerate its mission and build Google Apps. 
•    Entrepreneur Varun Malhotra has over 10 years of experience in the enterprise space.
•    Google is an American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products. 
•    These include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, and software. Most of its profits are derived from AdWords.
•    An online advertising service that places advertising near the list of search results.
•    Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University. 
•    Together, they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through super voting stock. 
•    They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998.

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Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright claimed to be creator of Bitcoin

Australian entrepreneur Craig Steven Wright on 2 May 2016 publicly identified himself as the creator of Bitcoin, digital cryptocurrency. He claimed to be the real person behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, a claim that is disputed within the Bitcoin community.
•    Wright graduated from high school in 1987 from Padua College in Brisbane.
•    He completed 18 SANS Institute courses and was the world's first person to receive GIAC certification in Compliance and Audits, and was a SANS Institute Mentor.
•    He worked in information technology for various companies, including OzEmail, K-Mart and the Australian Securities Exchange, as well as working as a security consultant for Mahindra & Mahindra.
•    He was the CEO of the technology firm Hotwire Preemptive Intelligence Group (Hotwire PE). Hotwire planned to launch Denariuz Bank, the world's first Bitcoin-based bank, though it encountered regulatory difficulties with the Australian Tax Office and failed in 2014.
•    Since the system works without a central repository or single administrator, the U.S. Treasury categorizes bitcoin as a decentralized virtual currency.

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Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, elected to key Republican position

An Indian American Sikh woman from California, Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, got elected in the Republican Party at the US national level.
She was elected as the newest national committee woman of the Republican National Committee on 1 May 2016.
Earlier she was the vice chairman of the California GOP. She is the first woman elected to this position in California Republican Party.
•    She was born in India, but raised in rural North Carolina after her Sikh parents moved to the US.
•    She is a nationally recognized trial lawyer, boardroom advisor and advocate for individual, corporate and institutional clients across numerous industries and walks of life.
•    She has been awarded the prestigious designation of Northern California Super Lawyer in business litigation by Thomson/West Publishing, an accolade reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the jurisdiction.
•    Dhillon’s practice in New York, London, and the San Francisco Bay Area has focused on federal and state commercial litigation and arbitration, with a particular emphasis on unfair competition/trade secret misappropriation, intellectual.

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