The Daily Brief – 3rd July 2016

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  • Nihal Bitla, India’s first identified progeria patient has passed away. Progeria, also known as Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, is a genetic disorder that accelerates the aging process of children, leading to premature death. There are 124 children suffering from progeria in the world and 60 of them were identified in India by the Progeria Research Foundation.
  • Last month, the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) submitted a list to the Prime Minister’s Office regarding companies to be considered for closure or government divestment. These include sick or loss making companies where government presence is not required. A secretarial meeting in this regard has been scheduled for July 5th. Air India and BSNL are to be excluded from this list. The NITI Aayog was set up under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to replace the Planning Commission. Its aim is to foster involvement and participation in the economic policy making process. The Prime Minister serves as the ex-officio chairperson of the NITI Aayog.
  • A new study will be carried out aimed at revamping the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The DGFT is India’s foreign trade regulator. The study is to be carried out by international consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan.
  • India has revived its move to get a terrorism convention passed by the UN General Assembly in September this year. This proposal is nearly twenty years old, and calls for the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT). Syed Akbaruddin is India’s ambassador to the UN.
  • Rome’s Colosseum has been unveiled after the completion of a clean-up project. This is the first phase of a plan to restore the 2000 year old monument. It is the largest amphitheatre ever to have been built.
  • NASA’s New Horizons mission recently carried out the first ever fly-by of Pluto. It is now set to fly onward to the Kuiper Belt. It is expected to reach the Kuiper Belt on January 1, 2019.
  • The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an overnight terrorist siege in Dhaka. The attack left 28 people dead. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has vowed to root out terrorism and militancy from the country, in light of a series of recent killings targeting religious minorities, foreigners, secularists and liberal activists.
  • Immigration into Germany from other countries in the European Union has hit a record high. A total of 6,85,485 EU citizens arrived in Germany in 2015 alone. Germany’s economic success and relatively low unemployment has drawn people from the EU’s poorer members in search of work.
  • Novak Djokovic has crashed out of the Wimbledon, ending his hopes to secure the first calendar Grand Slam in 47 years. He lost to USA’s Sam Querrey at the third round of the Wimbledon. It was his first loss before the quarterfinal of a Grand Slam tournament since 2009. A calendar Grand Slam is awarded to a player who wins all four major tennis titles in the same year. The last man to do this was Rod Laver in 1969.
  • Atmospheric scientists have seen signs of the mending of the ozone hole above the Antarctic. This healing has been understood to be a direct result of the curb on the release of chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) following the Montreal Protocol in 1987.

Today’s Quiz

1. Progeria is a disease that leads to premature aging and eventually death in children. What kind of disease is progeria?





2. Which of the following is a company exempt from governmental divestment in the NITI Aayog’s new divestment plan?





3. Who is India’s ambassador to the UN?





4. Who was the last man to win the calendar Grand Slam, and when did he win it?





5. What did the Montreal Protocol aim to do?





6. Who did Novak Djokovic lose to, in this year’s Wimbledon?





7. Which international consulting firm is set to carry out a study suggesting reforms in India’s DGFT?





8. Who serves as the ex-officio chairman of the NITI Aayog?





9. Which of the following missions recently carried out a historic fly-by of Pluto?





10. What is the rare genetic disease, Progeria, also known as?









 

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