- Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was sentenced to four years in prison after being found guilty on two charges. The first verdict was given in criminal cases against her. Suu Kyi was indicted on charges of abetment and breach of pandemic regulations. The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate is facing a total of 11 charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 102 years in prison. However, her sentence was later reduced to a two-year term of detention in her current, undisclosed location. As of now, the verdict has been postponed till December 27.
- The United Arab Emirates has announced to change its existing five-day workweek to four and a half days. Starting from January 1, UAE is becoming the first country in the world to make employee-friendly changes as part of its efforts in productivity and work-life balance. As per the new schedule, the working hours will be from 7.30 am to 3.30 pm from Monday to Thursday, followed by half-day hours from 7.30 am to 12.00 noon on Fridays. Under the new rule, Saturday and Sunday are full-day holidays.
- Malta became the first European country to allow limited cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal use after a vote in Parliament. The Maltese parliament voted in favour of the reform last week, with 36 votes in favour and 27 against. Adults will be allowed to grow up to four plants at home and carry seven grams of cannabis, which includes smoking in public. The Netherlands also has a liberal attitude towards cannabis, allowing the sale in small quantities in a policy aimed at managing crime and health risks, although officially this is illegal.
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- Dubai’s government has become the first government in the world to go 100% paperless, this was announced by the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. This would save about 3 billion dirhams and 14 million-man hours. Digitization will provide all government services to customers and reduce paper consumption by over 336 million papers. Citizens can access all exceptional digital services through the “Dubai Now Application”.
- Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen sworn in Karl Nehammer as the new Austrian Chancellor at a ceremony at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. He succeeds career diplomat Alexander Schallenberg who took over as chancellor in October 2021. He is the third person to take on the role of chancellor of Austria in the past two months. Nehammer, of the ruling conservative Austrian People’s Party, was formerly the country’s interior minister.
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- Indian model Harnaaz Sandhu created history as she was crowned Miss Universe 2021 after defeating contestants from 80 countries, 21 years after India last won the title. Paraguay’s Nadia Ferreira, 22, came second, while South Africa’s 24-year-old Lalela Mswane came third. The ceremony was hosted by Steve Harvey and performed by American singer JoJo. The selection committee included actors and Miss Universe India 2015 Urvashi Rautela, Adamari Lopez, Adriana Lima, Chesley Crist, Iris Mittenaere, Lori Harvey, Marion Rivera and Rena Soffer.
- Bhutan has honoured PM Modi with its highest civilian award, the Ngadag Pel gi Khorlo. Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering has announced PM Modi’s name for Bhutan’s highest honour. The honour comes as an appreciation of India’s friendly approach towards Bhutan under PM Modi’s rule. During the pandemic, India had supported the neighbouring friend by giving vaccines, medicines and other emergency services.
- On December 16, 2021, Typhoon Rai made landfall in the south-eastern part of the Philippines, causing heavy rains and flooding, displacing thousands of people over a large area. Rai was the 15th major weather disturbance to hit the country in the year 2021. It was classified as a super typhoon with sustained winds of 120 mph. Its top speed was up to 168 mph. The death toll has surged to 375. More than 380,000 people fled their homes and beachfront resorts as Rai slammed into the country on Thursday.
Read more: How Dangerous Is Omicron Variant Of Coronavirus? What Government is Planning And What You Should Do?
- So far, Omicron variant has been found in 89 countries of the world and due to community transmission, its cases are doubling in 1.5 to 3 days. The World Health Organization has given this information. WHO has told in technical information given to member countries that there is evidence that Omicron is spreading much faster than Delta. It is also a matter of concern that Omicron is spreading rapidly in countries where the population has high immunity. However, it is not yet clear whether this virus has the ability to evade immunity or its infectiousness has increased or it may be that both of these reasons are behind it.
- Turkey, who aspires to become the Islamic leader of the world, is going through a serious economic crisis. The country’s currency Lira is continuously weakening and the inflation rate has crossed 21%. The prices of food items have gone up so much that there are long queues outside shops to buy cheap bread on subsidy. The situation in Turkey may become worse in the coming days, as President Erdogan is running contrary to economic theories.
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