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News in Short

News in Short - 02-December-2020

India records highest reduction in Malaria cases in South-East Asia

Date: 02 December 2020 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • The WHO noted the impressive gains made by India in the fight against malaria, with reductions in cases and deaths of 18% and 20%, respectively, over the last two years.
  • India also recorded a decrease in the number of deaths from malaria between 2000 and 2019. Malaria deaths in India declined from about 29,500 in 2000 to about 7,700 last year.
  • In the WHO South-East Asia Region, malaria deaths reduced by 74 percent, from about 35,000 in 2000 to 9,000 in 2019.
  • India, however, still accounted for 88 per cent of malaria cases and 86 percent of malaria deaths in the WHO South-East Asia Region in 2019.
  • A better targeting of interventions, new tools, and increased funding are needed to change the global trajectory of the disease and reach internationally-agreed targets.

Indonesian volcano explosion

Date: 02 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Lewotolok volcano in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province had erupted, spewing ash and smoke into the sky and forcing more than 2,700 residents to seek refuge.
  • Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country, and while many show high levels of activity it can be weeks or even months before an eruption.
  • Indonesia is home to about 130 active volcanoes due to its position on the Ring of Fire, a belt of tectonic plate boundaries circling the Pacific Ocean where frequent seismic activity occurs.

Mars and Hershey’s accused of denying fair pay to Cocoa farmers

Date: 02 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Two of the world's largest cocoa producers have accused Hershey's and Mars of avoiding paying a bonus that helps boost poor farmers' incomes.
  • West African nations Ghana and Ivory Coast account for two-thirds of global cocoa production, but there have been long-running tensions with US multinationals over pricing.
  • The Living Income Differential (LID) gives a bonus of $400 per tonne of cocoa in addition to the market price and is intended to better remunerate cocoa farmers, many of whom live in poverty.
  • The schemes certify that the chocolate is ethically produced allowing firms to sell it at higher prices. Production must avoid deforestation and be free of child labour.

Steppe Eagle and Tawny Eagle spotted in Coimbatore

Date: 02 December 2020 Tags: Biodiversity
  • Birders have recently spotted two large birds of prey namely Steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) and Tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) on dry lands of Coimbatore.
  • Steppe eagle breeds across Eurasia, from Turkey to China. The migratory season has been observed from August to March and they return from April.
  • They feed on small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. Immature birds have been noticed taking carcasses of these.
  • They frequent open grasslands, scrubs, and mountain forest. Its conservation status is ‘endangered’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

China and Pakistan to sign military deal

Date: 02 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • China and Pakistan has signed a new memorandum of understanding to boost their already close military relations.
  • Both also discussed on-going projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in which the Pakistani military is playing an increasingly prominent role.
  • The Pakistan Army, which has ruled the country for more than half of its 70 plus years of existence, has wielded considerable influence in deciding matters of security and foreign policy.