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News in Short

News in Short - 21-June-2021

Kabul airport to be secured by Turkey

Date: 21 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The U.S. and Turkey have agreed to a plan for the Turks to continue providing security at the airport in Kabul.
  • The issue of airport security is critical to the American diplomatic presence in Afghanistan. A Taliban takeover of the airport could make it impossible for American and allied personnel to safely evacuate the country.
  • U.S. military officials also have said that without a secure airport, the U.S. Embassy complex in Kabul would have to shut down and all personnel be removed from the country.
  • Taliban leaders already have expressed opposition to any foreign personnel, including from Turkey, remaining in the country to provide airport security.

EU and India begin Naval exercise

Date: 21 June 2021 Tags: Military Exercises
  • The maiden Indian Navy and European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) exercise began in the Gulf of Aden. A total of five warships from four navies were participating in the two-day exercise.
  • INS Trikand, mission deployed for anti-piracy operations, is participating in the exercise. Other warships include Italy’s ITS Carabinere, the Spanish Navy’s ESPS Navarra, and FS Tonnerre and FS Surcouf of France.
  • The exercise would see high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, cross-deck helicopter operations, tactical manoeuvres etc.

Sale of illegal Htbt cotton seeds doubles

Date: 21 June 2021 Tags: Agriculture
  • The illegal cultivation of herbicide tolerant (HT) Bt cotton has seen a huge jump this year, with the sale of illegal seed packets has more than doubled from 30 lakh last year to 75 lakh this year.
  • Bt cotton is the only transgenic crop that has been approved by the Centre for commercial cultivation in India.
  • The HTBt cotton variant adds another layer of modification, making the plant resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, but has not been approved by regulators.
  • Fears include glyphosate having a carcinogenic effect, as well as the unchecked spread of herbicide resistance to nearby plants through pollination, creating a variety of superweeds.

Fossils of new species of ancient rhino discovered

Date: 21 June 2021 Tags: Biodiversity
  • Fossils found in northwest China’s Gansu province indicate a new species of giant rhino that lived more than 26 million years ago.
  • The fossils including a skull and two vertebrae found in the reddish-brown sandstone of the Linxia basin shed light on how the ancient rhinos, some of the largest land mammals ever, evolved and moved across what is now Asia.
  • Giant rhinos like the newly discovered species, named Paraceratheriumlinxiaense, were hornless, long-necked herbivores, perhaps weighing 20 tonnes and likely living in open woodland.

Sporting legend Milkha Singh passes away

Date: 21 June 2021 Tags: Obituaries
  • Indian sprint legend Milkha Singh passed away in Chandigarh after a month-long battle with COVID-19. He was 91.
  • The legendary athlete is a four-time Asian Games gold medallist and the 1958 Commonwealth Games champion but his greatest performance remains the fourth-place finish in the 400m final of the 1960 Rome Olympics.
  • He also represented India in the 1956 Melbourne and 1964 Rome Olympics and was bestowed the Padma Shri in 1959.