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Sudarsan Pattnaik bags gold medal at sand art contest in Moscow

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik bagged the gold medal at the ninth Moscow Sand Sculpture Championship "The magical world of sand" 2016.
•    He won the championship for best composition 'Mahatma Gandhi - World Peace'.

•    About twenty sand artists from various countries around the world participated in the championship. 
•    The championship was held from April 21-27 at Moscow.
•    He has already participated in more than 50 international sand sculpture championships across the world.
•    He has also got the fourth highest civilian award- Padma Shri in 2014.
•    He started sculpting images on sand since the age of seven and has designed hundreds of sand art.
•    He was the brand ambassador of NALCO, India.
•    He established "The Golden Sand Art Institute" which is first of its nature in India. 
•    His sculptures include environmental crisis, famous festivals, national integrity and religious tolerance.

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Two Indians scholars got Highest Mongolian honour

Mongolia today conferred its highest civilian award "North Star" on two noted Indian scholars-Lokesh Chandra and Mansura Haider-for their contribution to Mongolian studies.

•    Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren conferred the award on Lokesh Chandra, president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and Mansura Haider, former academic adviser at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), at ceremony at the Mongolian embassy here which was also attended by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju.
•    Mansura Haider, who was a professor and former dean of the faculty of arts in Aligarh Muslim Universitys history department, said was the first to give the Mongols an identity was misrepresented in history.
•    Mongolia is a landlocked sovereign state in East Asia. It is bordered by China to the south and Russia to the north. 
•    While it does not share a border with Kazakhstan, Mongolia is separated from Kazakhstan by only 36.76 kilometres (22.84 mi). 
•    Ulanbator, the capital and largest city, is home to about 45% of the country's population.

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Goa government classified its country liquor, Feni as Heritage Spirit of Goa

On 17 March 2016 Goa classified the country liquor, Feni as Heritage Spirit of Goa.  Feni is the form of spirit produced exclusively in the coastal state.
•    Feni is the first liquor product in India to receive such status.
•    Feni is classified as a "country liquor", and is therefore not allowed to be sold outside the state of Goa
•    The word feni is derived from the Sanskrit word phena. This is because of the bubbles that form a light froth when the liquor is shaken in a bottle or poured into a glass.
•    The feni selling market is largely unorganised. Locals tend to buy feni directly from the thousands of traditional distillers who run seasonal mini-distilleries or stalls in the villages of Goa. 
•    Cashew feni was awarded Geographical Indication registration in 2009 as a speciality alcoholic beverage from Goa, described as a colourless, clear liquid that when matured in wooden barrels develops golden brown tint.
•    A large volume of feni that is distilled is sold directly by distillers to taverns who have business relationships that extend over generations.
•    Feni, is a brew made from coconut or cashew, is synonymous with the Goan ethos and identity.
•    The Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association has hailed the move.

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Allan Donal appointed Australia's bowling coach

Allan Donald is going to be appointed as Australia's bowling coach for their tour of Sri Lanka which begins in July this year. 
•    Donald will have a powerful motivation to make the most of his imminent appointment, winning a chance to prove wrong the South African set-up that denied him a contract extension. 
•    Currently working with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, Donald recently withdrew from the running for a franchise role with Knights, a South Africa domestic franchise. 
•    Allan Anthony Donald is a former South African cricketer and one of their most successful pace bowlers. 
•    In 1997 he came under intense scrutiny from the international cricket media after he was alleged to have used racially abusive language against India's Rahul Dravid in the finals of a one-day series. Allan Donald mentioned this incident in his autobiography, "White Lightning".

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Clement Mouamba appointed as Prime Minister of Congo

Mouamba Clement, the former Congolese Finance Minister, was on 24 April 2016 appointed as the Prime Minister of Congo. He was appointed to the post by Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso.
Clement will be responsible for forming a government in consultation with the president in accordance with the 25 October 2015 constitution.
Further, the appointment comes a month after Sassou Nguesso was elected to a five-year term that extends his long rule over the oil producing country. Sassou Nguesso led Congo between 1979 and 1992 and returned to power after a civil war in 1997.
The central African country has been gripped by political violence since the election.
• Earlier between 1992 and 1993, Clement has served as finance minister under the country's first elected president Pascal Lissouba, who was ousted from power by Sassou Nguesso in 1997.
• He has also served the country as one-time opposition leader into the government.
• The economist and former officer of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) led several financial institutions in the country in the 1980s.
• He was a senior member of the opposition Pan-African Union for Social Democracy before being expelled in 2015 for taking part in the talks that paved the way for a constitutional referendum allowing Sassou Nguesso to extend his rule.
• The referendum scrapped a two-term limit on presidential mandates, allowing Sassou Nguesso to bid to stay in office in March elections, which he won with more than 60 percent of the vote.

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