1. WHO reported air pollution kills 7 million every year
The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) is being held in Katowice, Poland from 3rd to 14th December 2018.
- In that conference, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the exposure to air pollution causes 7 million deaths worldwide every year and costs an estimated $5.11 trillion in welfare losses globally.
- It said that the same human activities that are destabilizing the Earth’s climate also contribute directly to poor health.
2. Indian-origin woman Shamila Batohi named South Africa’s 1st female chief prosecutor
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Indian-origin Shamila Batohi as the country’s first female chief prosecutor.
- Batohi is a former state prosecutor from KwaZulu-Natal and has served as a senior adviser to the prosecutor in the International Criminal Court since 2009.
- Batohi will start her new role as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in February 2019.
3. Cox & Kings Ltd. started a new business called Tour to Feast
Cox & Kings Ltd. has started a new business called ‘Tour to Feast’ to promote food-related travel across India’s popular culinary destinations.
- Tour to Feast will offer journeys across the most popular culinary destinations in India like Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jaipur, Agra, and Goa. Travelers can choose from an array of customized culinary holidays.
- Each of these journeys has been designed to be accompanied by hand-picked experts who will take travelers through the evolution of the indigenous cuisines of each region.
4. The US gave Russia 60 days to comply with the nuclear arms treaty
The US gave Russia 60 days to comply with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces(INF) Treaty, failing which the US will withdraw from the pact.
- Russia has violated the pact by deploying a ground-based cruise missile.
- The INF treaty requires the elimination of both US’ and Russia’s land-based nuclear missiles from Europe.
5. PM will inaugurate India’s longest railroad bridge on December 25
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Bogibeel Bridge, India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge, falling in the eastern part of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on December 25.
- This project was first cleared by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda in 1997.
- The bridge spans over the Brahmaputra river in the northeastern state of Assam between Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district.
6. SC introduced the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 in India
The Supreme Court (SC) introduced a witness protection regime in the country noting that one of the main reasons for witnesses turning hostile is that they are not given security by the State.
- It also announced that the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 will come into effect immediately across all States. This scheme is aimed at enabling a witness to depose fearlessly and truthfully, would be the law of the land till Parliament enacted suitable legislation.
- Under the scheme, the witness protection may be as simple as providing a police escort to the witness up to the courtroom or, in more complex cases involving an organized criminal group, taking extraordinary measures such as offering temporary residence in a safe house, giving a new identity, and relocation at an undisclosed place.
7. Researchers found that the CO2 levels have been increased
Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Global Carbon Project said that Global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high of 37.1 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2018. Among all the countries India is the third-highest contributor of CO2. India has projected to see emissions rise by 6.3% from 2017.
- Representatives from more than 190 countries have begun discussions at the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland. The discussion is to set ways to equitably cut carbon emissions.
- Limiting global warming to the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of keeping the global temperature increase this century to well below 2°C, would need carbon dioxide emissions to decline by 50% by 2030 and reach net zero by about 2050.
8. Padma awardee Piyush Pandey named Ogilvy’s global creative chief Officer
WPP Plc.-owned creative agency, Ogilvy and Mather, has appointed Piyush Pandey as its global chief creative officer (CCO), effective 1 January 2019.
- With more than three decades of experience in the advertising industry, Pandey has created many memorable campaigns for brands such as Cadbury, Fevicol and Asian Paints, among others.
- He has been associated with Ogilvy since 1982.
- Besides, Pandey was the first Asian to be a jury president at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2004.
9. India and UAE signed 3,500 crore currency swap agreement
This agreement will boost investment and enable direct trade without using dollars or other international currencies.
- The agreement was signed after the 12th India-UAE joint commission meeting co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
- In 2015, China’s central bank extended a currency swap agreement with the UAE Central bank worth $5.54 billion.
10. Salman Khan topped Forbes’ richest Indian celebrity list for the third time
Salman Khan has been named the highest-earning celebrity in India for the third time in a row by Forbes, with earnings of ₹253.25 crore.
- The second spot was captured by Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli, with Rs 228.09 crore to his name, to become the first sportsperson to reach the position.
- Akshay Kumar came third on the Forbes India Celebrity 100 2018 with Rs 185 crore, followed by Deepika.
- The fifth spot went to former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who earned Rs 101.77 crore during 2018.
11. Deepika Padukone became the first woman to rank among the Forbes’ top five richest celebrities in India
The 32-year-old Indian actress was placed fourth in the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list with her earnings reaching Rs 112.80 crore during 2018.
Other women to feature on the Forbes Indian Celebrity 100 include:
- Actresses Alia Bhatt (Rank 12, Rs 58.83 crore),
- Anushka Sharma (Rank 16, Rs 45.83 crore),
- Katrina Kaif (Rank 21, Rs 33.67 crore),
- Priyanka Chopra (Rank 49, Rs 18 crore),
- Shuttlers PV Sindhu (Rank 20, Rs 36.50 crore) and
- Saina Nehwal (Rank 58, Rs 16.54 crore), and
- comedian Bharti Singh (Rank 74, Rs 13.95 crore).
12. Worlds first 3D-printed functional e-bike made in Germany by BigRep and NOWlab
German firm BigRep and NOWlab produced the world’s first fully functioning e-motorbike NERA using a 3D printer.
- The bike was conceptualized and developed in 12 weeks and includes 15 parts excluding the electrical components.
- “Nera illustrates the massive benefits that 3D-printing offers for the production of end-use parts, particularly for batch sizes between lot size one [small quantities manufactured in a single production run] to small series, by reducing lead times and costs, optimizing supply chains and limiting dependency on supplier networks,” said Nowlab co-founder Daniel Büning.