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Chinese ship opens new trade route via Pak Port

Pakistan’s top civil and military leaders traveled to the country’s southwest on Sunday to open a new international trade route by seeing off a Chinese ship that’s exporting goods to West Asia and Africa from the newly-built Gwadar port.
●    The first convoy of Chinese trucks carrying goods for sale abroad has arrived in Pakistan amid tight security using a road linking Gwadar to China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, the government said in a statement.
●    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan will provide best possible security to foreign investors to enable them to use the Chinese-funded port for international trade.
●    Amid security concerns for foreign workers, the Pakistani army has created a special force to guard the new trade routes and the port, which is located in insurgency-hit Balochistan province where an overnight blast at a shrine killed nearly 50 people.
●    The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group and Pakistani officials said it was aimed at harming the Chinese-funded projects in the southwest and elsewhere in the country.

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Twitter’s Chief Operating Officer Adam Bain quits

Twitter on 9 November 2016 announced that Adam Bain, its Chief Operating Officer (COO), plans to leave the company.
●    In August 2016, Bain had celebrated his six-year anniversary at Twitter. Over his time at the company, he helped build Twitter’s ad efforts from the ground up. He was once considered a top candidate to be the chief executive of the company before Jack Dorsey got the job.
●    After Bain’s decision, Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Anthony Noto will be promoted to the position of COO.
●    Twitter is an online news and social networking service where users post and read short 140-character messages called tweets.
●    It is based in San Francisco and has more than 25 offices around the world.
●    It was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams. However, the site was officially launched in July 2006.

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Trump becomes 45th President of US 


US Republican Donald Trump on 9 November 2016 won the US presidential elections in a stunning victory. He won the elections by 276 seats.
●    He is scheduled to take office as the 45th President of the United States of America (USA)on 20 January 2017. He will succeed Barack Obama.
●    He won Florida, Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina, while Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won 218 seats, took Virginia and Nevada, ABC projects.
●    Donald Trump is an American businessman and the President-elect of the United States.
●    He was the Republican Party's nominee for president in the 2016 election
●    Earlier, he said that he will vacant his position in the Trump Organisation prior to his assumption of the presidency.
●    He has received a bachelor's degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968.
●    Trump has appeared at the Miss USA pageants, which he owned from 1996 to 2015, and has made cameo appearances in films and television series.
●    He hosted and co-produced The Apprentice, a reality television series on NBC, from 2004 to 2015.


 

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Egypt devalues and floats its currency

Egypt's central bank floated the pound in an attempt to stabilize its economy, which has been hampered by a shortage of dollars.
●    The currency was initially devalued by 32.3% to about 13 pounds per dollar, down from the previous peg of 8.8 per dollar, which had been in place since March. 
●    It has since tumbled further, and is now down by about 50%.
●    The central bank also hiked rates by 300 basis points in an attempt to curtail the inflation that's likely to follow the weaker exchange rate.
●    The devaluation of the pound was one of the key demands by the International Monetary Fund in order for Egypt to receive a loan of $12 billion over three years. 
●    The IMF has yet to officially ratify the loan, but it is seen as crucial in helping to stabilize the country's economy.


  

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11357 Indians Sign up for Asgardia

A group of scientists and space experts based out of Russia, Romania, Canada and the US now want to offer an opportunity to be part of a nation they have christened ‘Asgardia’.
●    According to the statistics on the website, there are 11,098 applications from India till date. People from China have sent the most applications at 127,161, followed by the US with 53,441 and 42,752 from Turkey.
●    Registration on the Asgardia website (asgardia.space), founded by Ashurbeyli who is also a businessman, scientist and founder of the Aerospace International Research Center in Vienna, make you a part of the Asgardia community.
●    Asgardia is not offering official citizenship because it is yet to be officially recognized as a nation. 
●    Once you are a citizen, you will get a passport like in any country. 
●    In fact, the first registered Asgardian child is a boy called Michele from Italy. Anyone under 18 is welcome but needs parental consent, according to the website.

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S&P Rules Out India Upgrade for 2 Years

Standard & Poor's affirmed India's sovereign ratings, welcoming the country's policy stability and improved monetary credibility.
●    But it ruled out any upgrade for this year or in 2017. 
●    The government today slammed global rating agencies for not upgrading India's sovereign rating despite a slew of reforms. 
●    The rating agency expects India's economy to grow 7.9 per cent in 2016 with current account deficit at 1.4 per cent of the gross domestic product. It also expects the RBI to meet its inflation target of 5 per cent by March 2017. 
●    Both S&P and Fitch Ratings currently rate India at "BBB-minus", the lowest investment-grade rating, with a "stable" outlook. Moody's Investors Service rates India at an equivalent "Baa3", but with a "positive" outlook.
●    Mr Das cited various steps taken by the government in the last two years, including controlling inflation and structural reforms like GST and bankruptcy. 
●    The ratings agency also expressed concerns the government could delay subsidy cuts, while noting the country's banking sector would likely need capital infusions of about $45 billion by 2019 global capital norms. 
●    The rating agency expects India's economy to grow 7.9 per cent in 2016. 

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Oldest known evidence of human settlements in Australia's outback found

Archaeologists discovered ancient artefacts in a South Australian cave that have been dated to as far back as 49,000 years ago.
●    The site, which is a newly discovered cave in the Flinders Ranges, about 550 km north of Adelaide, is known as the Warratyi rock-shelter. 
●    Archaeologist Giles Hamm from La Trobe University in Melbourne led the excavations at the cave, finding what appear to be some of the oldest bone and quartz tools ever found in Australia. 
●    Until now, the oldest human tool found in Australia’s vast, interior has been a tiny axe fragment found earlier this year in the Carpenter's Gap rock-shelter of the Kimberley region of northwest Australia.
●    The tools have been dated based on a couple of estimates but radiocarbon dating of the burnt eggshells, revealed them to be between 45,000 and 49,000 years old.
 

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Sino-Indian Troops Resolve to Improve Relations on LAC

The armies of India and China today expressed mutual desire of maintaining and improving relations at the functional level along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.
●    The Indian Army and the PLA held a ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) on the Indian side at Chushul and Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) in the Eastern Ladakh.
●    Indian delegations were led by Brigadier RS Raman and Brigadier Vijayant Yadav whereas the Chinese delegations were led by senior colonel Fan Jun and colonel Huang Xiua Hu, respectively.
●    The celebration commenced with saluting the Indian flag by both the delegations members, followed by the ceremonial address by both delegation leaders.
●    The delegations parted amidst bonds of friendship and commitment towards enhancing the existing cordial relations and maintaining peace along the LAC.
 

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2 billion children breathe toxic air worldwide

A new report from UNICEF says about a third of the 2 billion children in the world who are breathing toxic air live in northern India and neighbouring countries, risking serious health effects including damage to their lungs, brains and other organs. 
●    Of that global total, 300 million kids are exposed to pollution levels more than six times higher that standards set by the World Health Organization, including 220 million in South Asia.
●    New Delhi residents were advised to stay indoors, with health warnings issued for the young, elderly and those with respiratory or heart conditions. 
●    The high pollution levels were made worse by the ongoing burning of spent crops in agricultural fields in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana states.
●    Children face much higher health risks from air pollution than adults. 
●    Children breathe twice as quickly, taking in more air in relation to their body weight, while their brains and immune systems are still developing and vulnerable.

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Diwali commemorated for the first time at UN

Diwali was commemorated for the first time at the United Nations, with the world body's imposing headquarters lit up especially on the occasion of the Indian festival of lights.
●    The facade of the UN headquarters was lit in bright hues and the words 'Happy Diwali', along with the image of a traditional 'diya', projected onto the building.
●    The UN Secretariat building will be lit up for Diwali from 29-31 October.
●    It is for the first time that the Indian festival of lights is celebrated at the world body after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in December, 2014 that acknowledged the "significance of Diwali".
●    From 2016 onwards, Diwali was made an optional holiday for the UN, India's Permanent Mission to the world body said in a special video message.
●    Earlier in June, the UN building was lit up on the occasion of the International Yoga Day, with images of Yoga postures projected on the imposing headquarters.

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