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Current Affairs in Short: 1 April 2019

The Indian government has extended the last date to link Permanent Account Number with Aadhaar number by six months till September 30.

Apr 1, 2019 17:35 IST
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Cities around the world turn off lights to mark Earth Hour

• Cities around the world marked the Earth Hour on March 30, 2019 by turning off the lights in a call for global action on climate change.
• In Hong Kong, major buildings along Victoria Harbour turned off their non-essential lights at 8:30 pm and the city's popular tourist attraction known as the Symphony of Lights was cancelled.
• Over 3,000 corporations in Hong Kong signed up for Earth Hour 2019, according to the WWF Hong Kong website. Iconic skyscrapers including the Bank of China Tower and the HSBC Building in Central, the city's major business district, switched off their lights in response to the global movement.
• In Taipei, Taiwan's capital, the island's tallest building, Taipei 101, joined surrounding buildings in shutting off the lights as part of the Earth Hour event.
• Beginning in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has spread to more than 180 countries, with tens of millions of people joining in.

China successfully launches second generation data relay satellite

• China has successfully launched the first of its new-generation data relay satellites into orbit that will provide data relay, measurement and control services for its manned spacecraft.
• The Tianlian II-01 satellite was launched by a long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China's Sichuan Province on March 31, 2019.
• As the first satellite to constitute China's second-generation data relay satellite network, the Tianlian II-01 will provide data relay, measurement and control, transmission services for manned spacecraft, satellites, carrier rockets and other non-spacecraft users.
• The Tianlian II network will be markedly more advanced in mission planning, system management and operations than the first-generation network composed of Tianlian I satellites. China launched its first data relay satellite, the Tianlian I-01, in April 2008.

Afghanistan: Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum escapes an assassination attempt

• Afghanistan’s Vice President and former warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum on March 30, 2019 escaped unhurt in a Taliban attack in the northern province of Balkh.
• Enayatullah Babur, Dostum's former chief of staff, said that during the hour-long attack several others were injured.
• On Twitter, a Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack and said four of Dostum's bodyguards were killed.
• It was the second attempt on the life of General Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek and former warlord. He joined the Afghan unity government in 2014.
• He helped the US oust the Taliban in 2001 but has been blamed for some of the worst atrocities in the country's long-running civil war.

UAE rejects experts' report on Yemen

• UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, has rejected a report by the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen and urged the Human Rights Council, to instead refocus on providing support to the Government of Yemen in building institutions to protect human rights in the country.
• In a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, the Minister explained that the Group’s mistakes and missteps in judgment and methodology are too numerous and too serious to ignore, which is why the UAE, along with many other HRC members, decided not to support the renewal of the mandate of the Group of Experts last year.
• Attached to the letter was a detailed assessment of the Group of Experts’ report published in 2018. The assessment finds that the Group in its report has both exceeded its mandate in a number of ways, while at the same time failing to fulfill important aspects of it.

Israel reopens crossings with Gaza Strip closed for days after the strike

• Israel reopened its crossings with the blockaded Gaza Strip on March 31, 2019 after having kept them closed for nearly a week following a rare long-distance rocket strike from the Palestinian enclave.
• The crossings were closed after a rocket fire that wounded seven Israelis and led to Israeli retaliatory strikes across the Gaza Strip.
• The reopening also comes after tens of thousands of Palestinians protested along the Gaza border with Israel yesterday.

Roger Federer lifts his 4th ATP Miami Open title

• Roger Federer lifted his fourth ATP Miami Open title with an emphatic 6-1, 6-4 win over defending champion John Isner on March 31, 2019. The 37-year-old world number five took the first set in 24 minutes.
• In his 50th Masters final, the Swiss fourth seed produced some typically sublime groundstrokes and wrapped up the match in an hour and three minutes.
• It is Swiss player's 28th Masters Title and the 101st overall for a player who has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles.

Detention of foreigners: SC directs Assam Chief Sec to appear before it on April 8

• The Supreme Court on April 1, 2019 voiced unhappiness over the inaction in a case relating to the detention of foreigners in Assam and directed the state Chief Secretary to appear before it on April 8.
• A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi termed the affidavit filed by the Assam government as an "exercise in futility" and wanted to know as to how many persons, who have been declared foreigners by the tribunal, have amalgamated with the local population.
• The bench was hearing a plea on the condition of detention centres in Assam and the prolonged detention of foreigners in the state.

Last date to link PAN with Aadhaar extended till Sep 30

• The government has extended the last date to link Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar number by six months till September 30.
• Earlier, the last date was March 31. In a statement, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said, the decision to extend the deadline was taken in view of the media reports that those PANs, which are not linked with Aadhaar number by March 31 may be invalidated.
• The CBDT has also made it clear that it is mandatory to quote and link Aadhaar number from today in filing the Income Tax Return.

Odisha celebrates 84th foundation day today

• Odisha celebrated its 84th foundation day on April 1, 2019. The day is also known as ‘Utkal Divas.’
• To commemorate the sacrifices of people for the formation of Odisha province in 1936, programmes are being organised at various places across the State.
• Odisha was the first state to be formed on linguistic basis in 1936. Earlier, the state was a part of Bihar.
• Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu greeted the people of Odisha on the auspicious occasion of Odisha Day.

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