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DATE: 16 AUGUST, 2020 || INTERNATIONAL NEWS UPDATE

                                     #KNOW THE FACT

1. BEIRUT EXPLOSION 

                                                                                ARTICLE BY: ASHISH KUMAR 

The Lebanon capital Beirut was rocked on 4 August, 2020 by an explosion caused by Ammonium Nitrate that has killed around 178 peoples and numbers of peoples are missing and approximately 6000 peoples injured but the figure is expected to rise. Question arises how be it possible, what happened, that caused such level of destruction in Beirut. Actually it all started in September 2013 a cargo ship headed from Georgia to Mozambique face technical problem and had to dock in the Beirut port. Upon inspection it was found that the ship was carrying the about 2750 tons of Ammonium Nitrate. The ship was forbidden to sail, according to a report published in "The Arrest News" , a publication that reports on incidents of ship detainment. After efforts to released the ship had failed, the ship's crew hired a Lebanese law firm to make a case to be allowed to leave. the ship's owner had abandoned it. According to the report, the ammonium was uploaded and stored in the Beirut port in 2015, because it posed a threat to the ship. The plan was to resell the substance later in an auction.

                          




LEBANESE GOVERNMENT QUITS. 

According to the news agency Aljazeera, the protest with the slogan " Burry the authorities first" was planned near the port, where the highly explosive material stored for years exploded on August 4. Prime Minister Hassan Diab, announcing his cabinets resignation said that, " I said before that corruption is rooted in every juncture of the state but I have discovered that corruption is greater than the state, this disaster is the result of chronic corruption". This explosion has shown the picture of weak governance in Mediterranean state, which was already suffering from economic implosion that destroys the livelihoods of millions of people. 


WHAT IS AMMONIUM NITRATE ?

 The chemical formula of  ammonium nitrate is NH4NO.Produces as small porous pellets, or "prills" it's one of the world's most widely used and produced fertilizers. It is also main component in many types of minig explosives, where it's mixed with fuel oil and detonated by an explosive charge. For an industrial ammonium nitrate disaster to occur, a lot needs to go wrong. Tragically, this seems to have been the case in Beirut. Ammonium Nitrate doesn't burns on its own it acts as a source of oxygen that can acts as combustion for other materials. 


WHAT IS DOCKING, CARGO SHIP AND TRANSSHIPMENT PORTS ?


An enclosed area of water in a port for loading, unloading  and repairs of ships.
Any kind of a ship or any other vessel that transport heavy goods and materials from one port to another ports.
The Transshipment ports are that one where the cargo ship or any vessel stops there in between their journey for repairing of the ships or to fulfill the any other kind of requirements. 


2. WIKIPEDIA ASKING FOR DONATIONS

                                                                            ARTICLE BY: HEMANT MISHRA 




Believe it or not, but we Indians are dependents on Wikipedia. It has stood by your side every time you scrambled to finish last-minute assignments, every time you needed proof to win an argument. Wikipedia is one of the first links we open while doing online research. Indians alone accounted for 771 million visits to Wikipedia. But a few days ago I was using it and saw a notification regarding donation firstly, I was shocked for a moment and I started my research on this matter and in two minutes after reading my article you all will going to know what actually happened. The world's seventh-largest website is looking to defend its independence and feels that commercialising the website is going to be a great loss for its readers.


WHY WIKIPEDIA ASKING FOR DONATIONS?

Wikipedia is owned and run by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) which is a nonprofit organization. So all the operations run by them are mostly depends on donation. Wikipedia is edited by volunteer editors across the world .Each year, it costs $25 million to run the site. It is not the first time Wikipedia has come up with such donation messages. In the past, Wikipedia has asked donation from its readers to keep the non-profit organization running In 2015 blog, WMF had clarified that the donation helps the organization to pay salaries of all editors and staff. The fund also helps to keep Wikipedia and its sister sites secure, fast and easily accessible. Wikipedia isn’t asking donations just from Indian users. They are asking people to donate from all over the world!

FUND RAISING FOR THE ORGANIZATION

According to a Wiki page on its fundraising statistics, the website was able to raise $28,653,256 between 2018-2019, bringing its total assets to $165,641,425. The previous financial year, it garnered $21,619,373 — a marked rise from the $56,666 it earned through donations in 2003.
It’s not an emergency it’s just a fundraising trial in india.as Over the years, through fundraising campaigns and generous corporate endowments, Wikipedia’s assets have grown exponentially. Given its considerable net worth, many have criticised the website for the doomsday-esque tone it adopts in its call for donations. Asked about the same, the spokesperson for the Wikimedia Foundation said, “As a website that hundreds of millions of people have come to rely on, we have a duty to ensure Wikipedia remains accessible, up to date, and relevant for its readers.”

WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO?

“Donations go directly toward sustaining the organization’s work, including activities such as hosting and running our sites, building and improving software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, supporting the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, advocating for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive, and more,” said Alikhan.


SHOULD WE DONATE TO WIKIPEDIA?

Yes!!! We should donate at least 150 rs. to Wikipedia. Just Remember the days when we used Wikipedia for our school projects. It has always been our saviour in all scenarios from collecting information for assignments to searching about our teenage celebrity crush and lots more! The minimum donation is the price of a burger. Can't we sacrifice one burger for our old friend?

3 ISRAEL-UAE DEAL

                                                                                  ARTICLE BY: RAHUL GUPTA 



India on Friday welcomed the announcement by Israel and the United Arab Emirates a day earlier to normalise diplomatic ties and forge a broad new relationship. The agreement, hailed by the President Donald Trump, Netanyahu, and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy upreme Commander of the UAE, as a breakthrough, has been cast as the coming together of two nations with strong economics for the good of the region. The UAE will be only the third Arab country and the first in the Gulf to recognise Israel. Though both Israel and the UAE have had backroom contact in recent years, establishment of diplomatic relationships would be game changer. There will be formal diplomatic and business contacts, flight services will be launched and both countries could cooperate more directly in regional diplomacy. The UAE will establish diplomatic relations with Israel in return in return for President Binyamin Netanyahu committing to give up a stated plan to annex the WEST BANK, the main territory of a state that the Palestinians want.

WHAT IS THE WEST BANK ?

It is a chunk of land located - as the name suggests -on the west bank of the River Jordan and bounded by Israel to the north, west and south. To its east lies Jordan. The West Bank has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war, but decades of difficult on -off talks between Israel and the Palestinians both of whom assert rights there have left its final status unresolved. 

WHAT IS "ANNEXATION" AND WHY DOES IT MATTER HERE ?
Annexation is the term applied when a state unilaterally proclaims its sovereignty over other territory. It is forbidden by international law. A recent example was Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014.

4. TRUMP SIGN 'BUY AMERICAN FIRST'

                                                                                 ARTICLE BY: ASHISH KUMAR



US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order directing some federal agencies to prioritise purchasing certain drugs and medical materials when made in the United States of America. There could be some exemption, in US markets there are Indian and Chinese medicines that are at least 20 to 25% low in cost as compared to American medicines. If the price difference of the medicine in between American and foreign countries is greater than 25% then only buy the foreign medicines or drugs.  The move will undoubtedly mark a shift in the way the US  sources its drug and medical supplies moving forward. China has been the dominating global player in the production of Personal Protective Equipment(PPE). And in the US, 90% of all prescriptions are filled by generic drugs and, one in every three pills consumed is produced by an Indian generics manufacturer, according to an April 2020 study by the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) and KPMG. The "Buy American" policy order could lead to a seismic shakeup of the drug industry as US is the biggest export market of Indian Pharmaceutical Sector. However the latest measures are targeted mainly at China due to ongoing US-China hostilities and may benefit India strategically. India's Pharmaceutical exports to the US is ex-factory valued at around $6 billion. Trump administration orders mainly targets procurement in high-tech areas like fermentation-based API  [ Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient], for which China has been the single source of global supply, not low cost generics, where India hold the edge. India gets around 68% of its raw materials known as API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) from China. So, if US becomes a major API manufacturer, it will benefit India as well.


WHAT IS EXECUTIVE ORDERS ?

Simply if the government order anything so as to make it legal that orders has to be passed from various level of governments authentic authorities but when the executive orders are signed then there is no need of any authorities like legislative or judiciary it is directly from the president or state governor in need. It can be only given to federal or state agencies. It is more often used in war time.


API (ACTIVE PHARMACEUTICAL INGREDIENT)

API (ACTIVE PHARMACEUTICAL INGREDIENT) means the active ingredient which is contained in medicine. For example, an active ingredient to relieve pain is included in a painkiller. This is called API. A small amount of the active ingredient has an effect, so only a tiny part of the active ingredient contained in the medicine on the package of OTC( over the counter) drugs.


5. US-TAIWAN F-16 DEAL

                                                                         ARTICLE BY: SHUBHAM SHARMA



Taiwan formally signed an agreement to buy 66 of the latest model F-16 jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp.,a move likely to further inflame tensions between the U.S and China. Taiwan's purchase of the F-16s marks the first sale of advanced fighter jets to the islands since President George H.W. Bush announced approval for 150 F-16s in 1992. A $62 billion figure announced by the Pentagon on Friday is the upper limit of numerous contracts if all potential foreign customers placed their maximum desired number over the decade. The self ruled island, which China considers part of its territory, last year obtained the green light from Washington for the purchase of 66 new generation F-16s, which will allow it to modernise its defences. It also comes two days after a visit to Taiwan by the highest level US delegation since 1979, provoking fury from Beijing, with ties between the two superpowers severely strained over issues from trade to military and security issues, human rights and the corona virus pandemic.

A spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry last year urged the US to "refrain" from selling the "fighter jets to Taiwan and stop arms sales to and military contact with Taiwan. Otherwise the Chinese side will surely make strong reactions, and the US will have to bear all the consequences".
Since the warning , ties between U.S and China have grown increasingly strained, with the two countries butting heads on sovereignty over the Aouth China Sea, 5G access, a new and controversial security law in Hong Kong and more.

LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP.

Lockheed Martin Corporation is an American aerospace, defense, arms, security, and advanced technologies company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995


SOURCE - ALJAZEERA, BBC NEWS, INDIAN EXPRESS
                                                   
                                                                                                                       DATE: 16 AUGUST 2020

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