News Flash (20th May 2020): Top Stories Of The Day

Image Credits: Milenio

1. India elected to WHO’s Executive Board among 10 other nations 

On Tuesday India was elected to the WHO’s Executive Board by the 73rd World Health Assembly for a period of three years. The other nations elected to the Executive Board include Botswana, Colombia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Oman, Republic of Korea, Russia and the UK. The main responsibilities of the Executive Board are to execute the decisions and policies of Health Assembly, to advise it, and to facilitate its work. India’s appointment to the board comes after India co-sponsored a resolution by a few other member nations calling for an independent probe into the WHO’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. 

2. Home Ministry permits conducting the 10 & 12th Board examination amid lockdown. 

lockdown, WHO
Image Credits: Zee News

Ministry of Home Affairs recently released a notice mentioning that it will grant permission to conduct various board examinations during the lockdown. Although all schools and college will continue to remain shut, institutes whose exams were pending due to the outbreak of the virus, will be allowed to conduct board examinations. “Taking into consideration the academic interest of large number of students, it has been decided to grant exemption from the lockdown measures to conduct Board Examination for Class 10th and 12th,” the notice read. No examination centre will be permitted in the containment zone. Teachers, staff, and students will compulsorily have to wear masks. There must be provision of thermal screening and sanitizer at the examination centres and social distancing must be strictly followed under all circumstances. 

3. Taiwan opposes unification with China. China says it’s inevitable

Image Credits: DW

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has refused to unify with China and it’s its “one country, two systems” offer of autonomy. China answered back saying that “reunification” was inevitable and that it won’t tolerate Taiwan’s independence. This has set tensions between the nations’ ties. “Both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences,” said the Taiwan President. This moves came after Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in as the President for her second and final term in office. 

4. Govt decides to resume domestic flight from May 25

Image Credits: The Week

Hardeep Singh Puri, Civil Aviation Minister has confirmed that the domestic flight services in India will resume from May 25 in a calibrated manner. He has ordered all officials and workers of the flight services to get ready and prepare to start the services. The minister has further said that SOPs for passenger movement are being separately issued by Civil Aviation Ministry.This announcement has come after much differences between the state government. The minister also said that the state plays an important role in deciding if they will permit flights to fly from their respective airports or not.

5. Facebook launches ‘Shops’ for small businesses to set up online stores

Facebook Shop, WHO
Image Credits: The News Minute

Social media giant Facebook has launched a new feature called ‘Shops’ to enable small businesses and firms to set up a single online store on its platform and also on its photo-sharing app Instagram for free, to help them amid the COVID-19 crisis. The shops are to be supported by third-party software like BigCommerce and Shopify. The stores will be visible on Instagram profiles, Facebook’s business pages and also through targetted ads. “Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use our apps to connect with customers,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a video while announcing the launch of the new product.

6. Scientists find lava-like mud flowing on Mars 

Mars, WHO
Image Credits: Evening Standard

A team of European researchers have spotted lava-like flows on Mars that may not have been formed by lava but by mud. To study more about this occurrence, the researchers recreated the Martian environment in a vacuum chamber and have proved how mud flows at very low temperatures under reduced atmospheric pressure. It acts in a similar way to lava that flows on Earth. The result of this experiment published in the journal Nature Geoscience has added important details to the existing knowledge we have of Mars and its history, which is that of being shaped by volcanic activity. 

7. Andhra Pradesh to reopen schools from 3rd August: CM

Image Credits: Twitter

Jagan Mohan Reddy, Andhra Pradesh CM  announced to reopen schools from August 3. In addition to this, the chief minister directed authorities to complete infrastructure-related works of around  15,715 schools by the end of July month. The state government has also decided to release a fund of Rs 456 crore for providing proper facilities in all state government schools. The Andhra government will soon be issuing further guidelines that the schools will have to follow to maintain social distancing after its reopening.

8. Cyclone Amphan to hit West Bengal around 4pm with 155-165 mph: IMD

Cyclone Amphan, WHO
Image Credits: DailyHunt

Cyclone Amphan has slammed into West Bengal and will “will continue for about four hours,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said. Cyclone Amphan is one of the worst storms to hit over the Bay of Bengal in years. Over 5 lakh people have been put into shelters in West Bengal and over 1 lakh in Odisha. East Midnapore and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal are currently experiencing heavy rain. The wind speed could be from 110-120 km per when it reaches Howrah, Kolkata and Hoogli, a senior IMD official has told news reporters.

9. 70-million-year-old remains of a megaraptor found in Argentina 

Mega Raptor, WHO
Image Credits: The Pigeon Express

Palaeontologists belonging to the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences have found 70-million-year-old remains of a megaraptor (large theropod dinosaur), which has become the last carnivorous dinosaurs to exist on the planet. “This is the moment, 65 million years ago, when the extinction of the dinosaurs occurs, and this new megaraptor that we now have to study would be one of the last representatives of this group,” Fernando Novas, the palaeontologist working on the project, told Reuters. The fossils were found in the southern province of Santa Cruz and measured 10 meters (32 feet).

10. Australia releases footage of the last known Tasmanian tiger 

Tasmanian tiger, who
Image Credits: ABC

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has released a video of the last-known thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger. Although now it is extinct, the thylacine was one of the largest known carnivorous marsupials native to Tasmania, New Guinea, and the Australian mainland. It was also called as the Tasmanian tiger for its unique striped lower back. The video, shot in 1935 shows the animal, named Benjamin, pacing his enclosure at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, Tasmania. It was filmed shortly before Benjamin died that marked the extinction of its species.

11. After 6 months of online classes, South Korean students return to school

Image Credits: Asia News

After an unprecedented six-month break, the students of South Korea returned to their classrooms as the country has reportedly avoided a “second wave” of infections. The schools are reopening in stages, with high school seniors returning first this week while the middle and elementary students to begin school in the following weeks. The third-year high school students are returning quick as they now have only half a year before their annual university entrance exams commence in early December.

11. US family find bag stuffed with $1mn, returns money to police

Image Credits: iStock

A Virginia family had mistaken a bag filled with $1 million cash for trash. The family was out for a Saturday afternoon drive when they saw a car in front of them happened to drop an object that they then hit. It turned out to be a bag that they happened to take back home. On returning they found cash in the bag. The family then reached out to the Caroline County authorities who believe the bags belong to the postal service and are meant to go to the bank.


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