- India has been re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council for a term of 2022-24 on October 14, 2021, with an overwhelming majority in the United Nations General Assembly. This decision was taken in the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The meeting was held for 18 new members of the United Nations Human Rights Council. These new members will serve for a period of three years starting from January 2022.
- The Global Hunger Index 2021, jointly prepared by the Irish aid agency ‘Concern Worldwide’ and the German organization ‘Welt Hunger Hilfe’, was released recently. This index rated the level of hunger in India as alarming. India has been ranked 101 out of 116 countries in this index. In 2020, India was ranked 94th. In the 2021 edition, India has been placed behind its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. India’s GHI score has also come down. In 2000 it was 38.8 but now it has come down to 28.8 – 27.5 between 2012 and 2021.
- German rail operator Deutsche Bahn and industrial conglomerate Siemens launched the world’s first automated and driverless train. The self-driving train was launched in the city of Hamburg. The project is being developed by Siemens and Deutsche Bahn. The project is part of a 60 million euro modernization of Hamburg’s rapid urban rail system. These automated trains will provide reliable service without laying a kilometre of new track
- India, Israel, United Arab Emirates and the United States have decided to launch a new quadrilateral economic forum. The quadrilateral builds on the ongoing cooperation between the US, Israel and the UAE following the Abrahamic Agreement last year. This Quad grouping decided to establish an international forum for economic cooperation and discuss the possibilities of joint infrastructure projects expanding economic and political cooperation in the Middle East and Asia. All four nations have agreed to create a platform for future economic cooperation and explore the possibilities of joint infrastructure projects in the fields of transport, technology, maritime security, economics, trade as well as additional joint projects.
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- Donald Trump has announced plans to launch a social media platform called TRUTH Social will be rolled out early next year. The former US President, who was banned from Facebook and Twitter earlier this year. He says that he aims to compete with the tech companies that have denied him the megaphone that was essential to his win. TRUTH Social will be the product of a new venture called Trump Media & Technology Group. He wants to create a platform that can compete with Twitter or Facebook.
- Barbados has elected its first president as it prepares to become a republic, removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. Dame Sandra Mason, 72, is set to be sworn in on November 30, which will mark the 55th anniversary of the country’s independence from Britain. Dame Sandra, the first woman to serve on the Barbados Court of Appeals, has been governor-general since 2018. The historic election was followed by a joint session of the Assembly and the Senate. The vote was described as a “seminal moment” for the nation.
- Global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has retained Pakistan on the ‘Grey List’ of countries. In a briefing, FATF President Marcus Player also said that three new countries Turkey, Jordan and Mali have also been included in the grey list. In June this year, the FATF retained Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ for failing to investigate money laundering, which led to terror financing. The FATF asked Pakistan to investigate and prosecute UN-designated terrorists, including Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar. It also asked Pakistan to work to address its strategically important shortcomings.
- Doctors at the NYU Langen Transplant Institute in Manhattan in New York have made the biggest breakthrough ever in organ transplantation. Doctors successfully transplanted a gene-transformed kidney from a pig into a brain-dead patient. After this transplant, all the organs of the patient are working normally. The patient’s kidney had stopped working and before being removed from life support, doctors had sought permission from their families for this experiment. NYU’s director Dr Robert Montgomery said after this success that pig organs could be made a permanent source towards transplant. After this success, the severe shortage of organs for organ transplantation in the human body will be overcome.
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- In many parts of China, the infection of the delta variant of the coronavirus is increasing continuously. Residents of inner Mongolia’s, northwest of China, has been asked to stay home from Monday. They have been instructed to strictly follow the COVID restrictions. At present, this region remains the hotspot of Corona. More than 150 new infected persons were found here last week. China’s National Health Commission has warned about COVID infection spread in 11 regions. In such a situation, the situation will worsen in the coming days. Following this warning, a lockdown was announced in this region. On Monday, 38 corona cases were found in China, half of which were from Inner Mongolia.
- The Taliban government of Afghanistan has launched the Food for Work scheme to eradicate hunger from the country. Under the scheme, the labourers will be given wheat in the place of wages. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid held a press conference in southern Kabul on Sunday. Mujahid said that this scheme will be implemented in all major cities of Afghanistan. This will provide employment to 40 thousand people in Kabul alone. Mujahid said that this will prove to be a big weapon in ending unemployment, but to take advantage of it, the workers will have to work hard.