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International Current Affairs October 1st Week 2017
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Category : International Current Affairs
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International Current Affairs October 1st Week 2017

1. Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young win 2017 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine.

Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday for discoveries about the molecular mechanisms controlling the body’s circadian rhythm.

The three scientists used fruit flies to isolate a gene that controls the rhythm of a living organism’s daily life. Dr. Hall, Dr. Rosbash and Dr. Young were “able to peek inside our biological clock,” helping “explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions,” the Nobel Prize committee said.

By examining the internal workings of fruit flies, the investigators helped determine that the gene they were analyzing encoded a protein that accumulated in cells at night, and then degraded during the day.

“With exquisite precision, our inner clock adapts our physiology to the dramatically different phases of the day,” committee members noted. “The clock regulates critical functions such as behavior, hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism.”

The researchers studied fruit flies in which a gene called period seemed to control circadian rhythm; when it was mutated, the insects lost that rhythm.

But what was period, and how did it work? The questions were relevant not just to flies: All organisms, including humans, operate on 24-hour rhythms that control not only sleep and wakefulness but also physiology generally, including blood pressure and heart rate, alertness, body temperature and reaction time.

In 1984, the scientists isolated the period gene and discovered that cells use it to make a protein that builds up at night, during sleep. In daytime, the protein degrades in accordance with the insects’ sleep-wake cycle.

The researchers believed that this protein, which they called PER, somehow blocked the period gene during the day. As PER was broken down in daytime, the gene regained its function and worked again the next night, directing the synthesis of PER.

The entire system turned out to involve several other proteins needed to control the accumulation of PER. These include one that attaches to PER, helping to block the period gene, and another that slows the buildup of the protein.

Continuing to investigate this biological system over the years, the scientists went on to discover still other components, notably one that allows light to influence the 24-hour rhythm.

Their work was pivotal, the Nobel committee said, because the misalignment between a person’s lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by an inner timekeeper — jet lag after a trans-Atlantic flight, for example — could affect well-being and over time could contribute to the risks for various diseases.

Jeffrey C. Hall received his doctorate in 1971 from the University of Washington. He joined the faculty at Brandeis University in 1974 and is now a professor emeritus of biology.

Michael Rosbash received his doctorate in 1970 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since 1974, he has been on the faculty at Brandeis University, where he is a professor of biology and holds an endowed chair in neuroscience.

Michael W. Young received his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975. He is a professor of genetics at Rockefeller University in New York.
 
2. India and Nepal to Conduct First Joint Tiger Count.
India and Nepal to Conduct First Joint Tiger Count
Nepal and India will be conducting in November a joint head count of tigers in the national parks, forests and sanctuaries along the international border between the two neighbours using a similar camera tapping method.

Conservation authorities and experts from both the countries will use the method in which they would install cameras in various locations in the tiger habitats as well as their roaming areas and capture and track down their movements, the Himalayan Times reported on Monday.

"The counting of tigers will begin from the second week of November," said Man Bahadur Khadka, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.

Khadka said that although the tiger census had been conducted jointly in Nepal and India in the past, this is the first time when both the countries were employing the same method that is globally preferred.

By using this method, chances of counting the same tiger over again remain slim, said Khadka.

The decision was taken after a recent meeting between the officials of both countries regarding the tiger census.
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The Chitwan National Park in Chitwan and Parsa Wildlife Reserve, which are the habitats of tigers in Nepal, are adjacent to the Balmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar state of India.

Similarly, Nepal`s Bardiya National Park is close to India`s Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh while the Shuklaphanta National Park in Nepal adjoins India`s Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, also in Uttar Pradesh.

As per the last tiger census in Nepal in 2013, as many as 198 Royal Bengal Tigers were found in Nepal with Chitwan National Park alone housing 120 of them, the report said.

The tiger is regarded as an endangered animal and is listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
 
3. World Teachers Day is observed on 05 October.
World Teachers Day is observed on 05 October
World Teachers Day will be observed across the globe, including Pakistan, on October 5 (today) to commemorate the work of teachers and their contributions to society.

The day is aimed at mobilising support for teachers and to ensure that the educational and spiritual need of future generations would continue to be met by dedicated teachers.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) the World Teachers Day is celebrated to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation for the vital contribution that teachers have made to education and human development through the centuries.

The day was first held on October 5, 1994, and the event had been held on the same day ever since. While the day mainly recognises the contributions of teachers, it also invites children and adults to learn from this initiative and contribute positively to the local and global societies.

Different events would be arranged in many countries of the world on or around October 5. These include celebrations to honour teachers in general or those who have made a special contribution to a particular community.

The day would also be marked by conferences extra training sessions for teachers, recruitment drives for the teaching profession among university students or other suitably qualified professionals, and events to increase the profile of teachers and the role they play in the media.

Moreover, international organisations such as Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and Education International are also known to organise large events to commemorate this particular day.

In other areas of the world relevant posters are also displayed in public places and students are encouraged to send e-cards or letters of appreciation to teachers who made a special or memorable contribution to their development.
 
4. World Space Week is observed from October 4th to October 10th.
World Space Week is observed from October 4th to October 10th 
World Space Week (WSW) is an important international event celebrated since 1999, according to a United Nations (UN) resolution. The week long celebrations held from October 4 to 10 of every year, commemorate two milestones in Space exploration; 4th October marking the launch of the first man-made satellite, Sputnik-1 in 1957 and 10th October marking the day on which the UN declaration for peaceful uses of outer Space came into force in 1967. The celebrations are coordinated by UN with the support of Space Week International Association and local coordinators in various countries, based on a theme declared by UN, every year. The WSW event organisers are encouraged to explore, develop and apply this theme in all the programmes conducted throughout the week. It fosters international cooperation in Space outreach and education, focusing on the contributions to the betterment of mankind.

In Kerala, World Space Week is celebrated every year under the auspices of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), and ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU), Thiruvananthapuram, since 2001. During WSW, events and educational programmes with special focus on Space are organised within and outside VSSC, based on the theme declared by UN. 

5. India and Ethiopia sign agreements on trade, communication.

 India and Ethiopia sign agreements on trade, communication
India and Ethiopia on Thursday signed agreements on trade, communication and media to boost bilateral ties as President Ram Nath Kovind held talks with his Ethiopian counterpart Mulatu Teshome.

Kovind and Teshome discussed economic relations, with the agreements on trade, communication and media signed in their presence, according to the president`s Twitter page.

India also thanked Ethiopia for its participation in the International Solar Alliance (ISA), established in 2015.

The aim of the ISA is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries and promote the use of solar energy.

The president discussed Indian support to Ethiopia in the power sector, healthcare, and education. He referred to India as among the top three sources of foreign direct investment for Ethiopia.

Later, Kovind and Teshome also addressed the India- Ethiopia Business Dialogue and released a book titled `India- Ethiopia: 70 Years of Diplomatic Relations`.

The India Business Forum is the first partner-country forum of its kind in Ethiopia and represents more than 100 Indian companies.
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Kovind said India has created jobs and contributed to the prosperity of Ethiopia.

Indian investment has had a significant presence in manufacturing in Ethiopia and value addition to local resources, he said.

Ethiopia has been the largest recipient of Indian concessional lines of credit in Africa, with over USD 1 billion committed.

Kovind arrived here from Djibouti yesterday on the second leg of his maiden visit abroad.

His visit is the first by an Indian president to Ethiopia in 45 years since President V V Giri`s trip in 1972.

Last night, the president addressed the Indian community at an event in Addis Ababa, noting that it has been at the centre of India-Ethiopia relations.
 
6. Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Announced.
 Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Announced
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The organization is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.

We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time. Some states are modernizing their nuclear arsenals, and there is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea. Nuclear weapons pose a constant threat to humanity and all life on earth. Through binding international agreements, the international community has previously adopted prohibitions against land mines, cluster munitions and biological and chemical weapons. Nuclear weapons are even more destructive, but have not yet been made the object of a similar international legal prohibition.

Through its work, ICAN has helped to fill this legal gap. An important argument in the rationale for prohibiting nuclear weapons is the unacceptable human suffering that a nuclear war will cause. ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organizations from around 100 different countries around the globe. The coalition has been a driving force in prevailing upon the world’s nations to pledge to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. To date, 108 states have made such a commitment, known as the Humanitarian Pledge.

Furthermore, ICAN has been the leading civil society actor in the endeavour to achieve a prohibition of nuclear weapons under international law. On 7 July 2017, 122 of the UN member states acceded to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. As soon as the treaty has been ratified by 50 states, the ban on nuclear weapons will enter into force and will be binding under international law for all the countries that are party to the treaty.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is aware that an international legal prohibition will not in itself eliminate a single nuclear weapon, and that so far neither the states that already have nuclear weapons nor their closest allies support the nuclear weapon ban treaty. The Committee wishes to emphasize that the next steps towards attaining a world free of nuclear weapons must involve the nuclear-armed states. This year’s Peace Prize is therefore also a call upon these states to initiate serious negotiations with a view to the gradual, balanced and carefully monitored elimination of the almost 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Five of the states that currently have nuclear weapons – the USA, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China – have already committed to this objective through their accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1970. The Non-Proliferation Treaty will remain the primary international legal instrument for promoting nuclear disarmament and preventing the further spread of such weapons.
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It is now 71 years since the UN General Assembly, in its very first resolution, advocated the importance of nuclear disarmament and a nuclear weapon-free world. With this year’s award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to pay tribute to ICAN for giving new momentum to the efforts to achieve this goal.

The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has a solid grounding in Alfred Nobel’s will. The will specifies three different criteria for awarding the Peace Prize: the promotion of fraternity between nations, the advancement of disarmament and arms control and the holding and promotion of peace congresses. ICAN works vigorously to achieve nuclear disarmament. ICAN and a majority of UN member states have contributed to fraternity between nations by supporting the Humanitarian Pledge. And through its inspiring and innovative support for the UN negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons, ICAN has played a major part in bringing about what in our day and age is equivalent to an international peace congress.

It is the firm conviction of the Norwegian Nobel Committee that ICAN, more than anyone else, has in the past year given the efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons a new direction and new vigour.
 
7. Saudi Arabia agrees to purchase S400 missile defence systems from Russia.
Saudi Arabia agrees to purchase S400 missile defence systems from Russia
Saudi Arabia has agreed to buy Russian S-400 air defense system, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported on Thursday, on the sidelines of a visit by Saudi King Salman to Moscow.
The Dubai-based television channel also said that Saudi Arabia had signed a memorandum of understanding to help the kingdom in its efforts to develop its own military industries.

Salman arrived in Moscow on Wednesday, and it was the first time a Saudi king has ever visited Moscow.

Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin were slated to talk about global oil market and the war in Syria, the latter of which has been a source of tension between the two nations in recent years. Moscow backs the Syrian regime, while Riyadh has supported the government`s enemies.
This is also the first time in recent years, according to SIPRI, that Saudi Arabia has purchased weaponry from Moscow, as the US is Riyadh`s main source of arms.

And this is the second time in the last month that Moscow has sold its S-400 missile defense system to an ally, and major purchaser of weapons, of the US. Last month, Turkey agreed to buy the S-400 defense system, which has further strained relations between Ankara and NATO.

 

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