The Daily Brief – 20th February, 2017

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  • Former Chief Justice of Supreme Court Altamas Kabir passed away at the age of 68, due to kidney-related ailments. During his brief tenure as Chief Justice of India, Justice Kabir delivered several landmark judgments particularly on human rights and election laws. As the Chief Justice, he was part of the Supreme Court Bench which heard the case of the two Italian marines in 2013.
  • A new museum in Kolkata tells the tale of how modern humans in the Indian subcontinent evolved from ancestors who arrived about 12.3 million years ago from Africa, during the Pleistocene era. Set up by the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI), the museum traces the history of human evolution in this part of the world through displays of tools, replicas of artefacts and models. The story begins with the arrival of Ramapithecus , the oldest fossil primate found in the Siwalik Hills, about 12.3 million years ago. This first hominid and the gradual evolution later is depicted through a series of replicas of facial and skull variations.
  • Two alleged members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) were killed in two separate encounters with the security forces in restive Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.
  • The U.K.’s Vodafone and Aditya Birla group firm Idea Cellular are likely to merge, and finalise the deal within a month. The mega merger deal will create India’s largest telecom firm.
  • Shaun Pollock has replaced Ravi Shastri as the representative from the media on the ICC’s Cricket Committee.  He was nominated to the committee, which is chaired by Anil Kumble, at the recent ICC meeting in Dubai.
  • The Indian women’s cricket team continued its unbeaten run at the ICC World Cup Qualifiers by advancing to the final with a seven-wicket victory over Pakistan.
  • The India women’s team won the silver medal in the 2017 Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy at Laos. 
  • Scientists have discovered why the crystallised iron core of the Earth remains solid, despite being hotter than the surface of the Sun. Researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden found that on the edge of the inner core, pieces of crystals’ structure continuously melt and diffuse only to be reinserted due to high pressure. This energy distribution cycle keeps the crystal stable and the core solid.
  • Over 2,000 copies of archived records of Chinese philosopher Confucius’s direct descendants will be published over the next four years. The archives are included in the Asia/Pacific Regional Register of Memory of the World, and, in China, they are classed as a protected ancient book. Confucius is reported to have six lakh descendants in China. Confucius (551-479 BC), an educator and philosopher, influenced generations of Chinese society. He was the first Chinese person to set up private schools that enrolled students from all walks of life.
Image result for norma mccorvey
Left: Norma McCorvey (The Washington Post)
  • Norma McCorvey, whose legal challenge under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalised abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure, has died. She was 69. Her lawsuit, known as Roe v. Wade , led to the US Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling that established abortion rights, though by that time, Ms. McCorvey had given birth and given her daughter up for adoption.

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