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News in Short

News in Short - 16-April-2021

Microsoft buys AI speech firm Nuance

Date: 16 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Microsoft has agreed to buy Nuance Communications, a cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) software firm, in an deal valued at $19.7 billion.
  • The acquisition will combine solutions and expertise to deliver new cloud and AI capabilities across healthcare and other industries.
  • Nuance’s products include multiple clinical speech recognition software as a service (SaaS) offerings built on Microsoft Azure. The firm’s solutions work with core healthcare systems, and are currently used in 77% of U.S. hospitals.

New Zealand introduces climate change laws for financial firms

Date: 16 April 2021 Tags: Climate Change
  • New Zealand has become the first country to introduce a law that will require banks, insurers and investment managers to report the impacts of climate change on their business.
  • All banks with total assets of more than NZ$1 billion ($703 million), insurers with more than NZ$1 billion in total assets under management, and all equity and debt issuers listed on the country's stock exchange will have to make disclosures.
  • The New Zealand government has introduced several policies to lower emissions during its second term including promising to make its public sector carbon-neutral by 2025 and buy only zero-emissions public transport buses from the middle of this decade.

Guneet Monga honoured with second highest French civilian honour

Date: 16 April 2021 Tags: Honours & Awards
  • Oscar-winning producer Guneet Monga, known for backing films like "The Lunchbox" and "Masaan", was awarded with the second highest civilian French honour.
  • Monga was given the honour of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters at the Residence of France for her contribution to world cinema through her Indo-French productions.
  • Through her production company, Sikhya Entertainment, Monga has spearheaded several acclaimed Indo-French productions including actor Irrfan Khan starrer "The Lunchbox", filmmaker Neeraj Ghaywan's 2015 drama "Masaan" and "Taj Mahal".
  • Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France rewards contributors across the globe under three categories- Commandeers, Officier and Chevalier.

Babar Azam becomes top ranked ODI batsman

Date: 16 April 2021 Tags: Sports
  • Pakistan skipper Babar Azam became the number one ODI batsman in ICC ODI rankings. Babar surpassed his Virat Kohli at the top of the rankings table with 865 points.
  • Kohli now comes second in the list with 857 points and Babar now leads the Indian captain by eight points. Rohit Sharma is third on the list with 825 points to his name.
  • By ending Kohli’s 1,258 day-supremacy, Babar has emulated compatriots Zaheer Abbas (1983-84), Javed Miandad (1988-89), and Mohammad Yousuf (2003) as the number one ODI batsman.
  • In Tests, Babar has attained a best of the fifth position and is currently ranked sixth while in T20Is he is third but has been number one in the past.

Joe Biden to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September

Date: 16 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • President Joe Biden will formally announce the withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan before this year's 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
  • The drawdown delays only by around five months an agreement with the Taliban by former president Donald Trump to pull troops.
  • The decision came as Turkey announced an international peace conference on Afghanistan in hopes of reaching an agreement that brings stability to a nation battered by nearly 40 years of war.