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National – Across the India:
1. Goa government has classified Feni, country liquor as the heritage spirit of the state.
Feni is a form of spirit produced exclusively in the coastal state of Goa. It is a distilled brew made from coconut or cashew fruits.
For this, state government has opined not categorize it as country liquor as it is presently defined under the Goa Excise Duty Act, 1964.
State government also has proposed to bring an amendment to the Act to change the status.
Awards & Recognition:
1. The 10th edition of Asian film Awards, one of the Asia’s leading film awards was held in the Venetian Casino and Hotel in Macau, China.
The Assassin has bagged 8 awards in different categories in the 2016 Asian film Awards.
It is a 2015 martial arts film based on story of highly trained female assassin and is directed by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien.
Best Film: The Assassin
Best Director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien (The Assassin) from Taiwan
Best Actor: Lee Byung-hun (The Inside Men)
Best Actress: Shu Qi (The Assassin).
2. Union urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has been conferred with the Skoch Lifetime Achievement Award.
He was bestowed with this award at 43rd SKOCH summit held in New Delhi for his contributions to inclusive growth and towards poverty alleviation in India.
Skoch Challenger Awards are the highest independently instituted civilian honours, instituted in 2003.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. Ashley Judd, acclaimed humanitarian, actor, writer and political activist from US has been appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
UNFPA is the nodal UN agency to address reproductive health and population issues, and raises awareness of these issues in all countries.
Ashley Judd will support the UNFPA’s efforts to empower women to choose when and how often to become pregnant and to stop women dying giving life.
She will also play important role at generating awareness about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
2. Lori Robinson, United States (US) Air Force General has been selected as the next head of the US military’s Northern Command.
She becomes the first woman to head a US combatant command as the position is one of the most senior in the US military.
At present, she leads US air forces in the Pacific and Executive Director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. She had enrolled in the US Air Force in 1982.
Bills – New & Amendments:
1. The Union Government has unveiled a Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016 for granting permission for construction of buildings.
It was released by the Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi.
It seeks to provide an online single window framework for approval process.
Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016 intends to improve ease of doing business regarding issuance of construction permits.
2. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has scrapped repeat tests on animals for drugs which already have been approved by other countries.
In this regard, the ministry has as amended Schedule Y of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
The new rules state that there is no need for repeat tests on animals for new drug registrations if complete data from similar toxicity experiments already exists for drugs approved abroad.
The amendments come after repeated appeals by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Union Women & Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi who is a well-known animal rights activist.
Science & Technology:
1. British astronomers have discovered largest sample cluster of nine monster stars named as R136 using NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
The cluster is the largest group of very massive stars ever identified.
The research findings were published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The R136 cluster of monster stars have masses over 100 times and are 30 million times brighter than of our Sun in the star cluster located about 170,000 light-years away.