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News in Short

News in Short - 01-June-2021

Declining forest bird species in western Himalayas

Date: 01 June 2021 Tags: Biodiversity
  • A new study that analysed natural oak-dominated forests and modified forests of western Himalayas has noted that there was a drastic loss of bird species in all modified landscapes.
  • The researchers studied six major land-use types which included natural oak forest, degraded oak forest (lightly used), lopped oak forest (intensively used), pine forest, agricultural cultivation area.
  • The results showed that there was a low diversity of species in monoculture areas and urban sites. They also noted a drastic loss of pollinator birds and insectivores in the degraded forests, monocultures and urbanised sites.
  • The researchers noticed that many of the species that dropped out of the modified land areas were recognised oak forest specialists such as rufous-bellied woodpecker, greater yellow nape, rufous sibia, white-throated laughing thrush and black-faced warbler.

Chelsea wins champions league title

Date: 01 June 2021 Tags: Sports
  • Chelsea rode on Kai Havertz's goal to defeat Manchester City 1-0 and win its second Champions League title.
  • Only two English clubs, Liverpool (six) and Manchester United (three), have more Champions League titles than the Blues. However, Real Madrid remains the undisputed champion of Europe with 13 titles.
  • The closest team to Madrid with seven titles is AC Milan. Representing England and Germany among the heavyweights are Liverpool and Bayern Munich with six titles each.

Philippines objects Chinese presence in South China sea

Date: 01 June 2021 Tags: Geography & Environment
  • The Philippines has protested China's continuing "illegal presence and activities" near an island in the South China Sea held by the Southeast Asian nation.
  • Manila lodged the diplomatic protest over the deployment, prolonged presence, and illegal activities of Chinese maritime assets and fishing vessels in the vicinity of Thitu island.
  • Tensions between Manila and Beijing have escalated over the months-long presence of hundreds of Chinese boats in the Philippines' 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
  • Thitu, known as Pag-asa in the Philippines, is 451 km from the mainland and is the biggest of the eight reefs, shoals and islands it occupies in the Spratly archipelago.
  • China has built a mini-city with runways, hangars and surface-to-air-missiles in the Subi Reef about 25 km from Thitu.

Researchers reveal SARS Cov-2 protein structure

Date: 01 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Researchers at IIT Mandi in Himachal Pradesh have revealed the part of structure of a key protein in COVID-19 virus, which helps in understanding its mode of action, its role in the spread and severity of the disease and development of antiviral therapeutics.
  • The current COVID-19 treatments simply manage symptoms while the body fights off the infection with its immune defence system.
  • This virus has 16 non-structural proteins (NSP1–NSP16), of which the NSP1 plays a vital role in the pathogenicity (ability to cause disease) of the virus.
  • The NSP1 disrupts the proteins of the host cell and suppresses its immune functions. Its importance can be understood by the fact that it is also called the ‘host shutoff factor’.

Government announces PM CARES for children scheme

Date: 01 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that those children who have lost both parents or guardian due to COVID-19 will be supported under the ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme.
  • The prime minister said that such children will get a monthly stipend once they turn 18 and a fund of Rs 10 lakh when they turn 23 from PM-CARES.
  • The corpus will be used to give monthly financial support from 18 years of age, for the next five years to take care of the child's personal requirements during the period of higher education.