Mortal remains of Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee consigned to flames with full state honour
• The mortal remains of Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee were consigned to flames with full state honour at Smriti Sthal in New Delhi late evening on August 17, 2018.
• The funeral pyre was lit by his daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya amidst chanting of mantras.
• President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid their last respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee along with several senior party leaders and foreign dignitaries including the King of Bhutan at Smriti Sthal.
• The former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and Acting Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Lakshman Kiriella also paid their last respects to the late political stalwart.
• Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with BJP President Amit Shah, host of cabinet Ministers, many Chief Ministers and other leaders walked alongside the casket from BJP headquarters to Smriti Sthal.
• The Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh and others prominent leaders are present at Smriti Sthal for the funeral.
• 93-year-old Vajpayee passed away at AIIMS in New Delhi late evening on August 16 after a prolonged illness.
Pakistan pays tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee hailing him as 'statesman'
• Pakistan on August 16, 2018 paid tribute to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee hailing him as a 'statesman' after he passed away.
• Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson said that Vajpayee was a renowned statesman who contributed to bringing a change in India-Pakistan relations and remained a key supporter of SAARC and regional cooperation for development.
• He said that the government and people of Pakistan extend their heartfelt condolences to Vajpayee's family and to the government and people of India.
Election Commission of Pakistan announces presidential elections on September 4
• The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on August 16, 2018 that presidential elections will be held on September 4 to elect President Mamnoon Hussain's successor at the end of his five-year tenure.
• Pakistan's President is elected indirectly by the members of Parliament and the four provincial assemblies.
• The ECP said that candidates can file nominations by August 27 and the final list of contesting candidates will be issued on August 30.
• A tough competition is expected between nominees of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Prime Minister-in-waiting and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and the joint opposition forged by the PML-N, the Pakistan People’s Party and the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal.
US singer Aretha Franklin dies at 76
• US singer Aretha Franklin passed away recently at the age of 76. The "Queen of Soul" was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and made her debut in 1961.
• Franklin received the Grammy Award 18 times and was the first female vocalist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
• Her style on hits such as "Respect" and "Natural Woman" attracted fans all over the world and influenced Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and other pop divas.
• Reports state that she had cancer and her family members were there with her when she passed away at her home in Detroit on August 15.
World's oldest cheese discovered from Egyptian Tomb: Researchers
• The world's oldest cheese was recently discovered inside an Egyptian tomb. The tomb of Ptahmes, who was the mayor of Memphis in Egypt during the 13th century BC, was initially unearthed in 1885.
• After being lost under drifting sand, it was rediscovered in 2010 and archeologists found broken jars at the site a few years later.
• One of the jars contained a solidified whitish mass, as well as canvas fabric that might have covered the jar or been used to preserve its contents.
• After dissolving the sample, the researchers purified its protein constituents and analyzed them with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.
• The peptides detected by these techniques show the sample was a dairy product made from milk. The characteristics of the canvas fabric, which was suitable for containing a solid rather than a liquid substance, supported the conclusion that the dairy product was a solid cheese.
China unveils Chang'e 4 lunar rover to explore far side of moon
• China has unveiled Chang'e 4 lunar rover to explore the far side of the moon by the end of 2018. In December, the vehicle will travel aboard the unmanned lunar probe Chang'e 4, which is expected to land in the Aitken basin on the far side of the Moon, not visible from the Earth.
• The vehicle is similar to Yutu, China's first lunar rover launched in 2013 along with Chang'e 3, which continues to traverse the visible side of the Moon.
• It is also the lightest of its kind in the world, weighing only 140 kg (309 pounds), much less than its predecessors.
• The rectangular box-shaped rover will have six wheels, two solar panels for power, a radar and multiple cameras to explore the lesser-known side of the Moon.
• The pioneering space programmes earlier had photographed the far side of the Moon over half a century ago but could never manage to land there.