Current Affairs in Short: 13 November 2018
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch the modern communication satellite GSAT-29 onboard the rocket GSLV-Mark-Three. The flight would take place from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota.
Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee dies at 95
• Stan Lee, person behind Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk and a convoy of other Marvel Comics superheroes that became mythic figures in pop culture, died on November 12, 2018. He was 95.
• As a writer and editor, Lee was the main person behind the expansion of Marvel into a comic book in the 1960s.
• In collaboration with artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he created superheroes who would enthrall generations of young readers.
• His creations included web-slinging teenager Spider-Man, the muscle-bound Hulk, mutant outsiders The X-Men, the close-knit Fantastic Four and the playboy-inventor Tony Stark, better known as Iron Man.
• Dozens of Marvel Comics movies, with nearly all the major characters created by Lee, were produced in the first decades of the 21st century.
Wrestler Bajrang Punia achieves World No. 1 rank in 65 Kg category
• Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia recently touched a new high in his career by achieving the number one rank in the world in the 65kg category.
• Bajrang was placed atop the ranking table with 96 points in the United World Wrestling (UWW) list.
• United World Wrestling is the international governing body for the sport of amateur wrestling. Its duties include overseeing wrestling at the Olympics.
• Bajrang has won five medals this season, including Common Wealth Games and the Asian Games gold and a silver at the World Championship in Budapest.
• Bajrang was also the only Indian grappler to be given a seeding at the Budapest World Championship.
WhatsApp selects 20 teams to curb fake news globally, including India
• Facebook-owned WhatsApp selected 20 research teams worldwide including experts from India and those of Indian origin who will work towards how misinformation spreads and what additional steps it could take to curb fake news.
• Shakuntala Banaji from London School of Economics and Political Science, Anushi Agrawal and Nihal Passanha from Bengaluru-based media and arts collective “Maraa” and Ramnath Bhat from LSE were selected for the paper “WhatsApp Vigilantes? WhatsApp messages and mob violence in India.”
• The research examines the ways in which WhatsApp users understand and find solutions to the spate of “WhatsApp lynchings” that has killed over 30 people so far.
• The Indian government recently directed WhatsApp to take necessary remedial measures to prevent proliferation of fake messages on its platform.
• Among others selected were Vineet Kumar from Ranchi, principal investigator at Cyber Peace Foundation; Amrita Choudhary, President of the Delhi-based non-profit Cyber Cafe Association of India (CCAOI); and Anand Raje from Cyber Peace Foundation.
California wildfires claim 42 lives; become deadliest in state’s history
• In the United States, the deadliest wildfire in California State’s history has claimed 42 lives till November 12, 2018. The wildfire has razed a staggering 6453 homes.
• The dead wete found in burned-out cars, in the ruins of their homes, or next to their vehicles, apparently overcome by smoke and flames before they could jump and escape.
• More than 200 people remain missing in and around the town.
• A 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles killed 29 people, and a series of wildfires in Northern California's wine country in the last fall killed 44 people.
17th AEC Council Meeting held in Singapore
• The 17th ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Council Meeting was held in Singapore as part of the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summit Meetings.
• Apart from taking stock of regional economic integration efforts during the year, the meeting reiterated ASEAN’s commitment to free and open trade by deepening the integration of its economies and realising the AEC Blueprint 2025.
• The meeting was attended by the ASEAN Economic Ministers and AEC Ministers.
• They signed the ASEAN Agreement on e-Commerce, Concluded the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA) and Finalised the Fourth Protocol to Amend the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA).
• The agreements will help create a more conducive environment for the growth of e-Commerce in the region through advancing trade rules in e-Commerce and building up greater digital connectivity in ASEAN.
• The ACIA agreement will introduce stronger commitments prohibiting the imposition of performance requirements on investors and help ASEAN remain competitive investment destination.
RBI relaxes ECB norms for infrastructure creation
• The Reserve Bank of India liberalised the norms governing foreign borrowings for infrastructure creation.
• The central bank said that the minimum average maturity requirement for the External Commercial Borrowings, ECBs in the infrastructure space raised by eligible borrowers has been reduced to 3 years from 5 years.
• The provisions have been reviewed and in consultation with the Union Government.
ISRO to launch modern communication satellite GSAT-29 onboard rocket GSLV-Mark-3
• The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch the modern communication satellite GSAT-29 onboard the rocket GSLV-Mark-Three.
• The flight would take place from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota.
• This would be the second development flight of the heavier launch vehicle GSLV Mark-III. It has the capacity to lift satellites of about four-tons into a geostationary transfer orbit.
• The payload for the GSAT-29 is a high; it has a lift off mass of 3423 kilograms and an operational life of more than ten years.
• It has Ku and Ka spot beams for augmenting hi-speed data connectivity in remote and far flung areas.
• It will also serve as a test-bed for several new technologies in providing latest communication technologies.