Chandrayaan-2 to be launched in January-March window in 2019
• India's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 will now be launched in the January-March window in 2019 instead of later in 2018.
• The main reason for postponing the launch is a change in design, which will enable the spacecraft to land on the lunar surface.
• ISRO scientists noticed during experiments that after the moon lander was ejected, the satellite would shake. So they decided that the design modification was required for landing and mass has to be increased.
• ISRO now plans to launch 50 satellites in the next three years including 22 satellites in 2019 itself, the maximum in any year in the history of ISRO.
Pakistan releases 30 Indian prisoners as a goodwill gesture
• Pakistan on August 13, 2018 released 30 Indian prisoners as a goodwill gesture. The prisoners, including 27 fishermen, were handed over to Indian officials at Wagah border.
• The decision to release the prisoners was a humanitarian gesture to mark the nation’s Independence Day on August 14.
• According to a government report submitted before the country's Supreme Court last month, over 470 Indians, including 418 fishermen, are in Pakistani jails.
North and South Korea agree to hold their third summit in Pyongyang
• North and South Korea have agreed to hold their third summit in Pyongyang, in September 2018.
• The agreement was reached during the high-level talks that were held August 13, 2018 in the de-militarised zone that divides the peninsula.
• The summit if held will mark the third of its kind meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un following their face-to-face meetings in April and May.
Iran unveils new short-range ballistic missile
• Iran's Defence Minister unveiled the next generation of Tehran's Fateh Mobin short-range ballistic missile on August 13, 2018.
• The minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami, described the new version of the Fateh Mobin as 100-percent domestically made, agile, stealth, tactical and precision-guided.
• Iran's missile programme is a major bone of contention with world powers, particularly the United States, but is seen as vital by Iran to its defensive posture in a troubled region.
US to create Space Force by 2020
• The US Defence Department will create a Space Force as the sixth branch of the military by 2020, Vice President Mike Pence announced.
• Advancements in space technology made it clear that space is the new battlefield for the 21st Century, Pence said.
• Pence also announced plans to establish the US Space Command and the Space Development Agency.
Lionel Messi named Barcelona’s captain
• Lionel Messi will replace Andrés Iniesta as Barcelona’s captain for the new season, after the latter ended his 22-year stint at the Spanish club.
• Messi, who already leads his national team, has previously led Barcelona in Iniesta’s absence.
• Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentine national team.
Free sex change operations: Kerala
• The Kerala government will foot the bill for transgenders willing to undergo sex change operations, CM Pinarayi Vijayan has announced.
• An amount worth Rs 2 lakh will be reimbursed as hospital expenses, while those who have already undergone such surgeries can also apply for reimbursement.
• Earlier, Tamil Nadu had announced free sex change surgeries in government hospitals for transgenders.
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