9 June 2016

PM Narendra Modi addresses US Congress 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the joint session of the US Congress on 8 June 2016. Earlier PM Modi was invited to speak at the joint session by House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan. He addressed the congress during his second official bilateral visit to the US after his trip in September, 2014. This was PM Modi’s fourth visit to the US since he assumed office in May 2014.

 With this PM Narendra Modi became the fifth Indian Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of Congress, and the first since 2005. Earlier, Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi (July 13, 1985), P V Narasimha Rao (May 18, 1994), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (September 14, 2000) and Manmohan Singh (July 19, 2005) had addressed the joint meeting of the US Congress. 
It should be noted that the tradition of foreign leaders and dignitaries addressing US Congress began with the Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat and military officer. He had addressed the House Chamber on December 10, 1824.

Dr Shahid Rasool Takes Charge at CEMCA

·        New Delhi Headquartered Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia has appointed communication technology specialist Dr Shahid Rasool as the new director of the institute.

·        Rasool will guide CEMCA institute which is an arm of the Vancouver-based Commonwealth of Learning that ensures effective utilization of educational media resources for distance education.

·        Prior to his new appointment he was a director of the university’s Educational Multimedia Research Centre besides he has a doctorate in mass communication and journalism from the University of Kashmir.

Naresh Goyal re-elected to IATA Board of Governors

  •   Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal has been re-elected to trade association of the world’s airline body IATA’s Board of Governors for the three-year term.

  • This would be the fifth successive tenure for Goyal at the IATA Board of Governors. He is the only representative from India on this board

  •  Upon this appointment he will take part in providing policy directives and guidance to IATA industry committees and to their subsidiary bodies

Putin awards UN chief Ban Ki-Moon with Order of Friendship

·        Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree awarding the Order of Friendship to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

·        The decoration was awarded to Ban for special merits in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding between peoples.

·        Among those awarded are Prince Michael of Kent, Oscar Niemeyer, the architect of the Brazilian capital, and former President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge.

·        The order, set up in 1994, is meant to reward Russian citizens and foreign nationals for outstanding accomplishments in strengthening peace and cooperation with Russia, as well as for charity activities.

Ronaldo highest earning athlete: Forbes

·        Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo became the first footballer ever to top Forbes' list of highest-earning athletes of the year.

·        Ronaldo earned $88 million in the last 12 months, $6.6 million more than second-placed Lionel Messi.

·        Notably, this is the first time since 2000 that someone other than Tiger Woods or Floyd Mayweather has topped the list.

International Tennis Federation bans Maria Sharapova for two years

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has banned former Russian World No. 1 tennis player Maria Sharapova for two years over doping charges The ban was imposed on her Independent Tribunal of ITF appointed under Tennis Anti-Doping Programme found that she had committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. It will commence on 26 January 2016.

 In January 2016 during the Australian Open she was tested positive for banned drug meldonium, a substance that has been added in the forbidden list by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 1 January 2016. Since then she was provisionally banned. So far in her career, Maria Sharapova has won total 35 singles titles and five Grand Slam titles, two at the French Open and one each title at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open.

India becomes third largest oil consumer

According to recently released BP Statistical Review of World Energy India has surpassed Japan to become the world’s third-largest oil consumer. With demand of 4.1 million barrels a day (bpd), India is the third-largest consumer behind the United States (19.39 million bpd) and China (11.96 million bpd).
Other Highlights of Review

  •  India accounted for 4.5% of world oil consumption in 2015 and its oil demand galloped 8.1% in 2015. India’s oil demand growth had surpassed China’s 6.3 per cent expansion. 
  • The US oil consumption has grown by 1.6% in 2015 and it demand share accounts for 19.7% of the total world demand of 95 million bpd in 2015. 
  • Japan slipped to the fourth spot after its oil usage contracted 3.9% to 4.15 million bpd in 2015. In 2014, Japan had used 4.3 million bpd, ahead of India’s 3.84 million bpd.
  •  Oil remained the world’s leading fuel, accounting for 32.9% of global energy consumption. It is gaining market share for the first time since 1999. 
  • Coal is the second-largest fuel by market share (29.2%). Natural gas’ market share of primary energy consumption stood at 23.8%.
  •  In 2015, the global demand for primary energy grew only 1% which is significantly slower than the 10-year average.
  •  It reflected continued weakness in the global economy and lower growth in Chinese energy consumption as the country shifts from an industrial to a service-driven economy.