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News in Short

News in Short - 28-April-2020

Our Solar system stealing interstellar asteroids

Date: 28 April 2020 Tags: Space
  • A new research focused on a handful of strange space rocks known as Centaurs has found that they were stolen by our solar system when it was very young.
  • According to the researchers, that analysis suggests that the Centaurs' strange-but-steady orbits are a hint they were born beyond our solar system and trapped here.
  • The scientists on the new research think early asteroids may have been more likely to wander into other star systems and get stuck because in the early days of the solar system, things were closer together.
  • Identifying originally interstellar asteroids in our cosmic neighbourhood is important because they are much easier to study than objects in distant solar systems.

Largest ozone hole over Arctic closed

Date: 28 April 2020 Tags: Climate Change
  • The largest hole in the earth's ozone layer over the Arctic has closed. Scientists have confirmed that the largest hole in the ozone layer which was 1 million square kilometres wide over the Arctic has now healed.
  • The information has been confirmed by Copernicus ECMWF, the European satellite system, which found that the largest ozone layer hole over the Arctic has closed.
  • Since the development is unprecedented, it is being presumed that the healing of earth's widest ozone layer hole happened due to the coronavirus lockdown, as almost half of world's population is under lockdown, stuck at home, industries are shut, roads are empty, bringing a drastic improvement in pollution levels across the globe.

RBI opens special liquidity facility for mutual funds

Date: 28 April 2020 Tags: Monetary Policy & RBI
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will open a special liquidity window of ? 50,000 crore to ease pressure on mutual funds, which are facing liquidity strains due to heightened volatility in capital markets in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • The liquidity strains have intensified amid redemption pressures related to the closure of some debt MFs and potential contagious effects.
  • Banks will draw funds under the Special Liquidity Facility-Mutual Fund (SLF) exclusively for meeting the liquidity requirements of MFs by extending loans. Bank could also make outright purchase of investment-grade corporate bonds, commercial papers (CPs), debentures and certificates of Deposit (CDs) held by MFs.

India puts its COVID-19 recovery rate at 21.9%

Date: 28 April 2020 Tags: Disaster & Disaster Management
  • The death toll due to COVID-19 continued to rise, with the country registering a total of 826 fatalities and 26,917 cases, according to the Union Health Ministry.
  • Reports from the States put the total number of cases at 27, 579, out of which 20,274 are active. The nationwide death toll stood at 880, while 6,425 people have recovered.
  • Maharashtra accounts for the highest number of fatalities, followed by Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Doubling rate had been showing regular improvement and stood at 10.5 days when seen over a period of 3 days, 9.3 days over a period of 7 days and 8.1 days over a period of 14 days.

Saudi Arabia abolishes death penalty for minors

Date: 28 April 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Saudi Arabia will no longer impose the death penalty on people who committed crimes while still minors, the country's Human Rights Commission said.
  • The announcement, citing a royal decree by King Salman, comes two days after the country said it would ban flogging.
  • The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Riyadh has signed, says capital punishment should not be used for offences carried out by minors. Activists say Saudi Arabia has one of the world's worst human rights records.
  • A  record 184 people were executed in the kingdom in 2019, according to human rights group Amnesty International. At least one case involved a man convicted of a crime committed when he was a minor, the rights group reported.