Current Affairs: 31 October 2016

Rajoy Re-elected Spain's PM after Two Failed Elections

Spain's 350-member parliament voted 170-111 in favour of re-electing People's Party's Mariano Rajoy as the Prime Minister after a 10-month deadlock following two failed general elections.

  • This comes after the socialist Citizen's Party forced out its leader Pedro Sanchez, earlier this month after he rejected the plan to abstain from voting to allow Rajoy to form the government.

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First Case of Zika Virus Reported in Myanmar

Myanmar on Friday reported its first confirmed case of Zika virus in the country's largest city Yangon.

  • A 32-year-old pregnant foreigner was quarantined after being diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus, reports said. 
  • Myanmar officials said they will advise women in Yangon to avoid getting pregnant in the next six months as a precaution against the virus linked to birth defects.

Strong Earthquake of Magnitude 6.6 Hits Italy

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy on Sunday causing the collapse of buildings, including historic churches, according to reports.

  • The earthquake originated at a depth of 10 kilometres, around 6 kilometres north of the city of Norcia. No casualties were reported immediately. 
  • This comes after an earthquake of 6.2 magnitude in central Italy claimed more than 300 lives in August.

Wild Animals Count Could Fall 67% from 1970-2020: Study

The number of wild animals across the world could fall by 67% in the fifty years to 2020, according to a study by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

  • It attributed the fall in animal numbers to the destruction of forested areas and pollution. 
  • WWF researchers reportedly monitored the changing presence of 14,152 populations of the 3,706 vertebrate species to draw conclusions.

Odisha Govt to Announce New Tourism Policy

Odisha is set to unveil a new tourism policy focusing on infrastructure development at tourist sites and promoting the hotel industry, state Tourism Minister Ashok Panda said.

  • The government will spend Rs. 82 crore for developing infrastructure for tourists in 2016-17, he added. 
  • He further said officials were asked to form a land bank for future tourist infrastructure development.

Himachal Becomes 2nd Open Defecation Free State

Himachal Pradesh was on Friday declared 'Open Defecation Free', becoming India's second state to get this status after Sikkim.

  • The newly acquired status will entitle Himachal Pradesh to receive World Bank funding under Rs. 9,000 crore project to sustain sanitation campaign. 
  • The state achieved this five months before the target, Secretary in the ministry of rural development Parmeshvaran Iyer said.

SBI to Allot Shares to Govt for Rs. 5.6k cr Capital Infusion

The country’s largest state lender State Bank of India will issue equity shares on preferential basis to the Centre for capital infusion of Rs. 5,681 crore, the bank said in a filing before the Bombay Stock Exchange on Saturday.

  • The transaction is subject to the approvals by the Government of India and the Reserve bank of India. 

47th International Film Festival to be Held in Goa in Nov

The 47th International Film Festival of India will be held in Goa between November 20 and 28.

  • It will screen 26 feature films, including 'Airlift' and 'Sultan', and 21 non-feature films. 
  • Award-winning films on 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' will also be screened during the festival, being held jointly by the Goa Government, Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Directorate of Film Festivals.

PM Modi Dedicates Diwali to Indian Soldiers

Addressing the nation in the 25th edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme, PM Narendra Modi on Sunday dedicated this year’s Diwali to the Indian soldiers while lauding their courage.

  • "Our jawans are on duty and guarding us. That is why we are celebrating Diwali joyfully,” he said. “Every citizen of the country is proud of our soldiers,” he added.

India Ranks 133rd in Commonwealth Youth Index

India has ranked very poorly at 133 in a new Global Youth Development Index compiled by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the countries prospects for young people in employment, education, health, civic and political spheres.

  • India ranked 133rd in the index covering 183 nations, below neighbouring countries like Nepal (77), Bhutan (69) and Sri Lanka (31) and trailing behind the South Asian average.
  • The top 5 countries on the index are Germany (1), Denmark (2), Switzerland (4), and United Kingdom (5).

PM Modi Pays Tribute to Sardar Patel on Ekta Diwas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 141st birth anniversary, which is also observed as the National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.

  • PM Modi will later flag off the 'Run for Unity' and administer a 'Unity Pledge'. 
  • He would also release a commemorative stamp and dedicate a digital exhibition to Sardar Patel.

Japan’s Prince Mikasa, World’s Oldest Royal Passes Away

Prince Mikasa, the 100-year-old uncle of Japanese Emperor Akihito, has died of heart failure, a media reported.

  • The youngest brother of the late Emperor Showa, Prince Mikasa was the oldest Imperial family member since the Meiji era. 
  • He breathed his last at 8.34 a.m. on Thursday at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo, Japan News reported.

India Reclaims Champions Trophy

India prevailed 3-2 over Pakistan to reclaim the Asian Champions Trophy hockey title here on Sunday.
  • This was the first time the teams were meeting in the final of a continental tournament since India dethroned Pakistan as the Asian Games champions in Incheon, South Korea in 2014.
  • India had won the inaugural edition of the Asian Champions Trophy, defeating Pakistan in 2011.

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