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News in Short

News in Short - 29-September-2021

Taliban issues no-shave order in Afghanistan province

Date: 29 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The Taliban banned barbershops in a southern Afghanistan province from shaving or trimming beards, claiming their edict is in line with Shariah, or Islamic law.
  • The order in Helmand province was issued by the provincial Taliban government’s vice and virtue department to barbers in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.
  • During their previous rule of Afghanistan, the Taliban adhered to a harsh interpretation of Islam. The world has been watching to see whether they will re-create their strict governance of the late 1990s.

Angela Merkel’s CDU loses German elections

Date: 29 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Germany’s Social Democrats narrowly won national election to lead a government for the first time since 2005 and to end 16 years of conservative-led rule under Angela Merkel.
  • The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) were on track for 26.0% of the vote, ahead of 24.5% for Merkel’s CDU/CSU conservative bloc.
  • With neither major bloc commanding a majority, the most likely alliance would be led by either the Social Democrats or Merkel’s conservatives.
  • Agreeing a new coalition could take months, and will likely involve the smaller Greens and liberal Free Democrats (FDP).

Statue of MA Jinnah’s statue destroyed in Balochistan

Date: 29 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • A statue of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah has been destroyed by the Baloch militants in a bomb attack in the coastal city of Gwadar in the troubled Balochistan province.
  • The statue, which was installed in June at Marine Drive was blown up by explosives placed beneath the statue.
  • Born on December 25th, 1876, Jinnah served as leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan’s creation on August 14, 1947.
  • He served as Pakistan’s first governor-general until his death in 1948. Balochistan has been witnessing a spate of low-level violence for years.

India gets first herbicide tolerant and non-GM varities

Date: 29 September 2021 Tags: Biotechnology
  • The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has developed the country’s first-ever non-GM (genetically modified) herbicide-tolerant rice varieties that can be directly seeded and significantly save water and labour compared to conventional transplanting.
  • The varieties — Pusa Basmati 1979 and Pusa Basmati 1985 — contain a mutated acetolactate synthase (ALS) gene making it possible for farmers to spray Imazethapyr.
  • This dispenses with the need to prepare nurseries where paddy seeds are first raised into young plants, before being uprooted and replanted 25-35 days later in the main field.

Z-Morh tunnel to link Sonmarg and Srinagar

Date: 29 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will be the first person to travel in the all-weather escape tunnel of Z-Morh main tunnel, connecting Srinagar and Sonmarg.
  • The 6.5-km escape tunnel is ready to be partially opened for controlled traffic around November, giving tourist destination Sonmarg connectivity to Srinagar, as also maintaining supplies through the winter for the first time.
  • Sonmarg is covered in snow in the winter months, forcing local residents to shift to Srinagar side. All commercial activity comes to a halt during winter, and due to avalanches, connectivity on Srinagar-Leh highway gets blocked.