GENERAL AWARENESS –Bank PO/SO/Clerical – 30.9.16

After surgical strikes ,Rupee falls

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  • The rupee on Thursday lost a whopping 39 paise, its biggest single-day fall in three months, against the US dollar to close at 66.85 after the Army carried out “surgical strikes” Wednesday night on terror launchpads across LoC.
  • Overall sentiment turned highly volatile on fears that heightening tensions between India and Pakistan could bitter sentiment for foreign investors who have been pumping funds into the world’s fastest emerging economy.
  • Month-end dollar demand from oil companies along with aggressive hedging strategy adopted by importers in the wake of currency volatility mainly weighed on the rupee trade.
  • In parallel, the benchmark BSE Sensex tumbled over 465 points to end at 27,827.53.
  • At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit commenced higher at 66.44 from last close of 66.46 and firmed up further to 66.42 on sustained selling of the greenback by exporters and banks amidst higher opening in the domestic equity market.
  • However, the rupee suffered a big blow in noon trade and witnessed a sharp downturn to hit a low of 66.92 after reports of surgical strikes against Pakistan flashed alongside a massive fall in local equities.

Indians failed to carry out CPR training

Practicing defibrillator CPR procedure on a dummy

  • Only two per cent of Indians are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a basic life-saving technique used to revive a person in emergency situations like heart attack, a major cause of deaths in the country, according to a survey.
  • Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death globally, leading to more deaths annually than from any other cause.
  • “Even as CVDs in India have become the leading cause of deaths, 98 per cent of the country’s population is not trained in technique of CPR, which is the most crucial and basic procedure to save a life in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA),”- survey
  • The survey, conducted by Lybrate, an online doctor consultation platform, included people from 20 cities in the age group of 25-50.
  • Less than 2 per cent of the 1,00,000 surveyed agreed to be knowing the technique (CPR), while only 0.1 per cent said they have ever performed it on someone in case of an emergency.
  • CPR is a life-saving technique useful in many emergencies, including heart attack or near drowning situation, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped.
  • India has over 30 million heart patients, and about 1.7 million Indian hearts stop beating every year, as per World Health Organisation. Studies have estimated that CVDs will account for one-third of all deaths in the country by 2020.

Goverment of Punjab removes 1000 Village Borders

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  • Residents of nearly 1,000 villages in Punjab districts bordering Pakistan are being evacuated following escalation of tension between India and Pakistan in the wake of surgical strikes by the Indian Army across the LoC.
  • The villages being evacuated as a preventive measure include 300 in Ferozepur district, 290 in Gurdaspur, 137 in Amritsar, 135 in Tarn Taran, 65 in Pathankot and 60 in Fazilka.
  • Punjab shares a 553-km border with Pakistan.
  •  “We are trying to evacuate residents of around 1,000 villages. Camps are being set up to accommodate people. We have made all preparations,” – Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal
  • The leave of all officials in the border belt, including police, has been cancelled.
  • He asked people not to panic and assured that police will remain stationed in the evacuated villages to protect property.

After Durga Puja land owners of singur, to take their land back: Mamata

The Union Minister for Railways, Kumari Mamata Banerjee addressing at the Economic Editors’ Conference-2010, in New Delhi on October 27, 2010.

  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said landowners in Singur will get ownership of land after Durga Puja festival.
  • “After Puja all land owners will get their land back. It will be fit for agriculture,”- Mamata
  • mamata was happy to be part of the fight of farmers who were getting back their land.
  • Partha Chatterjee – the State Minister said they were never against industries, but against having industries on a multi-crop land.
  • “We were never against the Tatas. We told them you can do the factory on the other side,” – Partha Chatterjee

US urges India and Pakistan to avoid escalation of tensions

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  • The US State Department spokesperson John Kirby on Friday said that the US is following the situation on Line of Control (LoC) closely after surgical strikes were conducted by Indian Army early on Thursday to eliminate terrorist launched pads operating along LoC.
  • Kirby: “We’ve repeatedly expressed our concerns regarding danger that terrorism poses to the region.” He also said that US urges action to combat terrorist groups like JeM and LeT.
  • John Kirby also said that US Secretary of State John Kerry had spoken to Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on September 27 and “reiterated his strong condemnation for the September 18 Uri terror attack.”
  •  “He (John Kerry) condemned terrorism in all its forms and cautioned against any escalation in tensions,” Kirby said.
  • He also urged both sides to maintain active communication in order to avoid escalation in tensions.

In London for Hinkley signing ceremony, France’s Ayrault defends deal

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  • French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, in London to take part in the formal signing ceremony for the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant project, said it was a good deal for Britain and France despite widespread reservations.
  • “It’s a good deal. I know it has raised questions, particularly in France, but it represents an opportunity for the future of an entire industry,” Ayrault told reporters just before heading to the ceremony.
  • New British Prime Theresa May unexpectedly put the Hinkley Point project on hold in July when it was about to be formally signed, citing the need to review the details. She finally approved it two weeks ago.
  • “Mrs May had taken office and a new prime minister, a new government was perfectly entitled to examine the contents of the agreement,” he said, adding he was pleased May had finally approved a deal which would benefit Britain, France and Franco-Chinese nuclear cooperation.

Children bear brunt of alleged chemical weapon attacks in Sudan, says Amnesty

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  • Sudanese government forces have used chemical weapons repeatedly against civilians, including babies and young children, in one of the most remote regions of Darfur over the past eight months, according to allegations documented by Amnesty International.
  • Human Rights Group : The alleged chemical attacks, believed to have killed up to 250 people, mostly children, represent a “new low” in the catalogue of serious abuses perpetrated by government forces in the region.
  • The most recent of the alleged offensives recorded by the investigation occurred on 9 September. The attacks are ongoing, said Amnesty.
  • Using satellite images, more than 200 in-depth interviews by phone or internet, and expert analysis of dozens of distressing images showing babies and children with flayed and bloody skin, the investigation claims that at least 30 chemical attacks have taken place in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur since January 2016.

Javelin throwersets new national record

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  • Lucknow, Sep 29 (PTI) Javelin thrower Annu Rani smashed her own national record and in the process became the first Indian woman to cross the 60m mark on the third and penultimate day of the 56th Open National Athletics Championships here today.
  • Annu, who won a bronze in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, threw the javelin to a distance of 60.01m to erase her own earlier national mark of 59.87m which she made in July during the National Inter-State Championships in Hyderabad.
  • 24-year-old Annu was representing Railways. Todays effort was his fourth national record in two years. Poonam Rani of ONGC won the silver with an effort of 56.73m while the bronze went to another Railwaywoman K Rashmi with 51.56m. In mens jump, for the first time in Indian athletics history, all the top three finishers cleared 2.20m.
  • Tejaswin Shankar of Delhi went on to win the gold with an effort of 2.22m while Chetan of Services and Sreenith Mohan of Kerala bagged the silver and bronze respectively by clearing 2.20m. In fact, Commonwealth Youth Games champion Tejaswin added 5cm to his personal best to win the gold and equalled the meet mark of 2.22m held by Jithin Thomas since 2012.
  • 17-year-old Tejaswin, who earlier this year won a silver in the South Asian Games in Guwahati, surprised many of his senior competitors to win the gold. In the process, he posted a world leading mark in the event in the Under-18 category.
  • American high jumper Vernon Turner was listed with better marks (2.24m) than Tejaswin in the current IAAF lists. However the US jumper does not have a verifiable date of birth to prove his standing, and hence Tejaswin would get the credit of being at the top of the IAAF list.

Inventor &  Birth place of World Wide Web

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  • Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist at CERN, invented the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989.
  • The first website at CERN – and in the world – was dedicated to the World Wide Web project itself and was hosted on Berners-Lee’s NeXT computer.
  • The website described the basic features of the web; how to access other people’s documents and how to set up your own server.
  • The NeXT machine – the original web server – is still at CERN.
  • As part of the project to restore the first website, in 2013 CERN reinstated the world’s first website to its original address.
  • On 30 April 1993 CERN put the World Wide Web software in the public domain.
  • CERN made the next release available with an open licence, as a more sure way to maximise its dissemination.
  • Through these actions, making the software required to run a web server freely available, along with a basic browser and a library of code, the web was allowed to flourish.

Worlds Smallest Mirror

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  • Using a mere 2,000 atoms of cesium, Professor Julien Laurat and his team at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris have created the world’s smallest mirror.
  • The nano-mirror has the same level of reflectance as materials that require tens of millions of atoms and could one day lead to new advances in optical computing.
  • The mirror uses a nanoscale optical fiber only 400 nm in diameter to place the chain of cesium atoms in just the right alignment to reflect the light.
  • For reference, a human hair is roughly 80,000-100,000 nm thick.
  • The team was able to use the mirror to temporarily trap the light beam, essentially creating a sort of optical diode that can store and retrieve light pulses.

A Born Baby looks like an 80

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  • A baby boy was born with Progeria, a rare premature ageing condition, in Bangladesh’s Magura district.
  • A baby with wrinkles on face, hollow eyes and a shrunken body resembling an 80-year-old’s.
  • A Baby is affected with a rare medical condition called Progeria. People with Progeria age eight times faster than others.
  • “Our first child, Aparna, has taken after her mother. But my boy looks like me, and I am happy,” – Baby’s Father
  • Most Progeria patients die very young. The family, however, hopes that the baby will grow into a healthy boy.
  • The baby looks old because his father also looks more than his age. I just hope that the baby will lead a long and healthy life
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What India plans about Military Attack after the attack of Uri

After 18 soldiers were killed in the attack on the Army camp in Uri on September 18 2016, the government made up its mind that it could not be business as usual with Pakistan, conversations with top defence, intelligence and diplomatic officials indicate.

Areas that are generally used to infiltrate militants across the Line of Control were studied. Around ten sites were identified across the LoC as possible targets. The military operations directorate finally chose four: Bhimber and Hot Springs in the Poonch-Rajouri sector, Leepa opposite Baramulla and Kel that faces the Kupwara sector.

The government decided that a strike would be carried out only if it detected plans to infiltrate militants across these four sectors. The Research and Analysis Wing chief and his key officer in charge of Pakistan were asked to gather intelligence from the ground, while the technical intelligence agency, the National Technical Research Organisation, was asked to monitor satellite imagery to detect any movement of the sort associated with infiltration bids.

Both agencies reported activity from these sectors, helping the army’s military operations directorate to firm up its plans to carry out its strikes by Tuesday. While strikes across the LoC have been carried out in the past, this was the first time that so much intelligence wherewithal was pressed into service to plan for the operations.

The Indian Army’s 25th Division in Rajouri on the Jammu axis, 19th Division in Baramulla and the 28th Division in Kupwara were designated as the formations that would help stage this combined operation involving Special Forces teams with artillery and missile units, military officials said. Four teams from the two Special Forces units had been in the designated areas days in advance, in anticipation of the raids.

The strikes and after

In the early hours of Thursday, four teams from two Indian Army Special Forces units quietly slipped across the Line of Control in four places to carry out “surgical strikes”, according to informed officials. Between 18 to 30 militants and two Pakistani soldiers were killed in the cross-LoC raids, as per initial reports.

The strikes were made public by the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, Vikas Swarup, along with the Director General of Military Operations, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, at a press conference on Thursday morning. The last time India saw a joint press conference by the ministries of defence and external affairs was during the Kargil war in 1999, when Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was heading the National Democratic Alliance government.

The decision to announce the surgical strikes was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security on Thursday morning. The meeting was called after the army communicated to the government that the operation was successful.

While one of the Special Forces units is a veteran of similar operations in Jammu & Kashmir, the other unit was converted a decade ago and is relatively new. Four teams from the two battalions were transported by military helicopters to the launch areas a few days ago to ensure operational secrecy as well as to give them time to plan for the raids, senior military officials said.

Even the local military commanders were kept in the dark and only the Divisional Commanders were briefed in the initial stages, with the Northern Army Commander designated as the military commander on ground. Some of these plans were firmed up when the army chief, General Dalbir Singh Suhag visited Northern Command after the Uri attack.

In New Delhi, the National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval held several meetings with the three service chiefs to ensure that the military had adequate “actionable intelligence” to carry out the strikes. Other major military formations in the Punjab and Rajasthan sectors were briefed on Wednesday, in case the surgical strikes led to an escalation.

The Indian Air Force and Naval chiefs were instructed to keep their forces on high alert in case Pakistan reacted to the planned strikes. In fact, all the villages within 10 kms of the international border have been evacuated as a precautionary measure to ensure that the Indian Army could react to any Pakistani escalation in this sector. The daily flag-lowering beating retreat ceremony at the Wagah border was also called off as soon as the surgical strikes were announced in Delhi.

Actionable intelligence

These surgical strikes are not the first of their kind that India has carried out across the LoC. While the Vajpayee government took a clear decision not to allow the Indian forces to cross the LoC during the Kargil war, Indian Special Forces carried out several raids between 2000 and 2003. However, after the November 2003 ceasefire, such raids had been called off. Some Special Forces raids were renewed after 2012 when Pakistani troops raided Indian army posts and beheaded Indian soldiers in some cross-LoC operations.

Most of the earlier operations were local military actions, held either at the Corps or Divisional level, with local intelligence units being assigned with gathering information before strikes. This time, the R&AW was specifically tasked by the National Security Advisor to gather actionable intelligence, which could be used to carry out pinpoint strikes with minimum casualties. A conscious decision was also taken to target militants rather that the Pakistani army to ensure that the situation did not escalate. The R&AW chief and his key team that works on Pakistan under an Additional Secretary spent days poring over reports and gathering intelligence that would finally shape the surgical strikes, conversations with officials revealed.

“We have had strikes earlier, but those were mostly local,” Lieutenant General Hardev Singh Lidder, a former Chief of Integrated Defence Staff and a veteran Special Forces officer told Scroll.in. “This is the first time that strikes were carried out as a national policy, which is significant.”

Veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who attended an All-Party meeting called by the government on Thursday evening, told news channels that Indian troops had “returned safely” after the operation, expressing satisfaction that Special Forces had carried out the raids, working closely with Indian intelligence.

Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh also called up his Pakistani counterpart, Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, who had taken over recently as Director General of Military Operations after his predecessor was promoted as a Corps Commander, to inform him that India had struck at militants preparing to cross the LoC and was prepared to do so again if there were further attempts, according to military officials.

Information warfare

The decision to go public with a high-profile joint official briefing by top defence and external affairs ministry officials was taken by the prime minister on inputs from the National Security Advisor. The decision was, in fact, bolstered by a call from the American National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, to her Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Thursday morning, that was also prompted by the Indian action across the LoC. The idea was to send out a military and diplomatic message to the international community that New Delhi would no longer be held back by “strategic restraint” in the eventuality of further attacks.

The Indian ambassador had been briefed to inform the US State Department about the raids once it was complete and Rice called up Doval to ensure that there was no further escalation. Doval assured her that New Delhi would not take any further action if Islamabad did not escalate matters, according to government officials who were privy to the call. He also asked her to convey to Pakistan that India would be prepared to meet any eventuality.

In some ways, as a senior diplomat described the phone conversation between the two National Security Advisors, India was calling the Pakistani military’s bluff. It was also pointed out that American Special Forces had carried out a raid on Abbottabad to kill Osama Bin Laden in 2011.

The Indian military action is “legitimate in the eyes of international law”, said Supreme Court advocate and Constitutional expert, Menaka Guruswamy. “It allows for surgical strikes against terror cells, including preemptive strikes, especially if a host nation has been warned previously,” she told Scroll.in.

It was also decided at the Cabinet Committee on Security meeting that besides informing other political leaders, the Army chief would also give a more detailed briefing to former chiefs and army veterans who write in the press regularly, to ensure that the narrative was consistent and factual.

In the coming days, it is almost certain that India will also withdraw the Most Favoured Nation status that was given to Pakistan. India will also intensify its diplomatic push, this time backed by a military resolve, to press for isolating Pakistan until it agrees to cease any further terror strikes.

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BANKING AND FINANCIAL AWARENESS -Bank PO/SO/Clerical – 30.09.16

 EPFO to invest Rs 13,000cr in ETFs in FY17

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  • Buoyed by a handsome return of 12.1% in the first year of investing fresh inflows in equity exchange traded funds (ETFs), Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has decided to invest 10% of its annual incremental deposits or an estimated R13,000 crore in the current fiscal in these funds.
  • “We have already issued a notification raising the EPFO investment limit of ETFs to 10% from the current 5% of its investible deposits,” labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya said here, adding that EPFO has already invested R1,500 crore in ETFs in the first half of the current fiscal and will invest about R11,500 crore in the remaining six months.
  • In the year to July 31, 2016, the EPFO invested R7,468 crore of incremental deposits received in ETFs (in a 75:25 ratio between Nifty 50 and the Sensex) through various schemes, namely EPF, EPS, EDLI, PNG and SPF. The returns under various schemes have varied from 9.6% (PNG-Sensex) to 18.3% (SPF-Nifty), as the allocations have been in a phased manner.

Budget merger may need Parliament’s nod

Construction site crane building a blue 3D text. Part of a series.
  • The Centre may have to pass a resolution in Parliament in the upcoming session to finally put an end to the practice of presenting a separate Rail Budget, senior Railway Ministry officials said.
  • Although the Constitution does not provide for a separate Rail Budget, it was separated from general finances after a resolution was passed in the Legislative Assembly (now Parliament) based on the recommendations made by the Acworth Committee in 1921.
  • “Based on the recommendations made by Acworth Committee, it was decided that the separation of Railway Finances be effected by means of a Convention to be laid before the Legislative Assembly , in the form of a resolution, and that the Assembly be asked to agree to it,” the official said, on conditions of anonymity. The matter was placed before the House, which voted the Convention resolution of 1924.

Indo-Pak tension wipes off Rs 2.40 lakh crore of investors’ wealth; Sensex, Nifty tank over 1.50% on Sept F&O expiry

[caption id="attachment_16194" align="aligncenter" width="300"]India-Pakistan Handshake India-Pakistan Handshake[/caption]
  • Rising tensions between India and Pakistan wiped off around Rs 2.40 lakh crore of BSE-listed companies in terms of market capitalisation. The BSE Sensex which kicked off the day on a firm note slipped over 550 intraday after the government said it had conducted surgical strikes on militants preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan.
  • Later, the 30-share index closed 465.28 points, or 1.64 per cent, down at 27827.53, while the 50-share Nifty index settled 153.90 points, or 1.76 per cent, down at 8,591.25. Total market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies plunged to Rs 109.62 crore from Rs 112.04 crores.
  • Among the 51-components in the Nifty index, 46 stocks ended the day in negative terrain with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) slipping the most 7.51 per cent, followed by Adani Ports (down 4.52 per cent), Hindalco (down 4.37 per cent), Aurobindo Pharma (down 4.30 per cent) and Bank of Baroda (down 3.98 per cent). On the other hand, Bharti Infratel, TCS, ITC, Mahindra & Mahindra and ONGC gained 3.36 per cent, 0.60 per cent, 0.28 per cent, 0.24 per cent and 0.24 per cent.

No negative impact on economy, says industry

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  • India Inc rallied behind the Army’s move to conduct surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control and said it was time to act tough while ruling out any negative impact on the country’s economy and trade.
  • “Our civil n (sic) decent response in the past hasn’t been met with reciprocity so it’s time to act tough,” Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar—Shaw tweeted.
  • India’s exports to the neighbouring country worked out to $2.17 billion, or 0.83 per cent, of the total Indian outward shipments while imports were less than $500 million, or 0.13 per cent, of the total inward shipments.

NTPC’s Green Masala bonds listed at Singapore Stock Exchange

  • ntpcState-owned NTPC today announced the listing of its Rs 2,000 crore Green Masala Bonds at Singapore Stock Exchange.
  • “NTPC has become the flag bearer for Rupee denominated Indian paper bringing in a new set of investors to meet the financing needs of the Indian Infrastructure sector on listing of INR 2000 Crore Green Masala Bonds at Singapore Stock Exchange,” the company said in a statement.
  • NTPC Director (Finance) K Biswal NTPC was the special speaker at the event where a presentation was made by him to a large audience highlighting the PSU’s Green Masala Bonds issue for financing renewable energy projects.

Commercial tax staff may strike over powers

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  • Employees of Commercial Tax departments, under the State governments, will go on strike on October 15 if their demand to be allowed to monitor and collect Service Tax, under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, is not addressed. Almost two lakh employees of Commercial Tax departments will go on strike in October if the issue is not addressed in Friday’s GST Council meeting, the All India Confederation of Commercial Taxes Association (AICCTA), said on Thursday.
  • In the first meeting of the newly constituted GST Council last week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the officers of the Central government would exclusively monitor Service Tax assessees under the GST regime.
  • However, earlier, during all the deliberations of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers it was decided that all taxpayers below the annual turnover threshold of Rs.1.5 crore would be monitored by the officials of the respective State’s Commercial Tax department.

ICICI Prudential Life shares tumble 11% on market debut+

  • icici-peruShares of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd ended their first day on the stock exchanges nearly 11% below their issue price, even after the company’s Rs6,057 crore initial public offering (IPO) was subscribed 10.48 times last week.
  • ICICI Prudential, a subsidiary of India’s top private sector bank, ICICI Bank Ltd, is the country’s largest private sector life insurer, with assets of Rs1.01 trillion. It is the first Indian insurer to go for an IPO. The IPO was also the largest new share sale in India since state-run Coal India Ltd raised Rs15,000 crore in 2010.
  • ICICI Prudential shares opened at Rs329 on Thursday, 1.5% below the issue price of 334, and touched a high and low of Rs333.9 and Rs295.50, respectively, during the day. Shares closed 10.88% lower at Rs297.65 on BSE, below the lower end of the IPO price band of Rs300-334.

Second Largest Bank in Commerz to cut one-fifth force

  • commerzbankGermany’s Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) will cut more than a fifth of its workforce and suspend its dividend as it tackles the challenges of low interest rates, weak profits and the shift to online banking.
  • Germany’s second biggest lender said on Thursday it plans to cut 9,600 of its 45,000 full-time positions, a more drastic move than the 10 percent staff reduction at larger rival Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), which remains under pressure for deeper cost cuts.
  • Squeezed by the European Central Bank’s money printing policy, German lenders have been seeking ways to boost revenue by passing on costs to corporate customers and increasing fees for retail depositors, but profit margins remain thin in one of Europe’s most competitive banking markets.

Operations across LoC won’t impact markets: SBI

  • sbiIndia’s strike on terror launch pads last night across the Line of Control (LoC) is unlikely to have any major impact on the financial markets thanks to the strong macro-economic data, says a report by SBI.
  • “While the initial response of the financial market has been negative, we believe such attacks are unlikely to have any material impact on the markets,” SBI said in its report ‘Ecowrap’.
  • Stock market benchmark Sensex came under severe selling pressure and plunged 465.28 points or 1.64 per cent to 27,827.53 at close today. Domestic currency depreciated over 40 paise to close at 66.84. The report said Indian economy is currently on a sound footing with favourable macro numbers.

‘Germany may become giant ATM machine after Brexit’

  • germanyThe Brexit vote gives Britain a golden opportunity to forge a new role for itself as the guardian of global free trade, Prime Minister Theresa May’s pro-Brexit trade minister said on Thursday.
  • “The UK has a golden opportunity to forge a new role for ourselves in the world, one which puts the British people first,” said Fox, who is likely to play a key role in Britain’s Brexit negotiations.
  • “This is potentially the beginning of what I might call the post-geography trading world,” he said. “We stand on the verge of an unprecedented ability to liberate global trade for the benefit of our whole planet.”
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BANKING AND FINANCIAL AWARENESS -Bank PO/SO/Clerical – 29.09.16

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Jio : COAI’s ‘Backdoor’ remark contempt of court

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  • Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio today slammed the telecom lobby group COAI for calling the company a “back door operator”, saying the charge has already been rejected by the Supreme court and leveling such an allegation is “contempt of court.”
  • “The press statement of COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews is surreptitious, defamatory, and an act of contempt of the orders of the Supreme Court of India and devoid of any merit.”
  • “These regulations as exist today admittedly are skewed in favour of incumbent operators, giving them de facto and de jure control over COAI to promote their vested interests.”

Mumbai: wealthiest city in India

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  • India’s financial capital Mumbai, home to 45,000 millionaires and 28 billionaires, is the wealthiest city in the country with total wealth of USD 820 billion, says a report. Mumbai is followed by Delhi and Bengaluru at the second and third place respectively.
  • While Delhi, home to 22,000 millionaires and 18 billionaires has total wealth of USD 450 billion, Bengaluru boasts of a total wealth of USD 320 billion. The city is home to 7,500 millionaires and 8 billionaires.
  • As per the report, the total wealth held in the country amounts to USD 5.6 trillion. The country is home to 264,000 millionaires and 95 billionaires in total.The report defines ‘wealth’ as the net assets of a person. . The report excludes government funds from its figures.

India selling 7 % stake in Hcl

  • hclIndia is selling a 7 percent stake in state-run Hindustan Copper Ltd in stock market deals over two days to Friday, potentially raising the government 4.02 billion rupees is $60.5 million.
  • The government, which owns almost 90 percent of the miner, is selling 64.7 million shares, and has set a floor price of 62 rupees apiece, according to a regulatory filing.
  • The sale is part of the government’s asset sale plan to raise funds to help plug its deficit. For the year to March 2017, it plans to raise 565 billion rupees from such sales.

CEO of  Wells Fargo $41 Million in Fight

  • wells-fargoWells Fargo & Co. Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf, fighting to keep his job amid a national political furor, will forgo more than $41 million of stock and salary as the bank’s board investigates how employees opened legions of bogus accounts for customers.
  • It’s a swift turn for one of the industry’s most exalted leaders, marking the biggest forfeiture of compensation from a major U.S bank chief since at least the 2008 financial crisis.
  • But it may not be enough to spare Stumpf another lashing when he returns to Capitol Hill on Thursday. Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren demanded he resign for “gutless leadership” after he blamed abuses on low-wage employees.

ICICI Pru made a market debuticici-peru

  • Shares of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance made a sluggish debut at bourses, falling 1.5 per cent, against the issue price of Rs 334. The price band was fixed at Rs 300-334 per share.
  • The biggest initial public offering after Coal India, which had hit the capital market in 2010 to raise over Rs 15,000 crores. At the upper end, the offer is worth Rs 6,057 crores and was open to subscription during September 19-21.
  • The stock listed at Rs 329, down 1.49 per cent over the issue price, on BSE. It later touched a day’s low of Rs 315.65, a slump of 5.49 per cent. At NSE, it debuted at Rs 330, down 1.19 per cent.The company commands a market valuation of Rs 46,023.66 crores.

Rupee good run continues, gains 3 paise

  • indian-rupeesContinuing its good run for the sixth day at a stretch, the rupee appreciated by 3 paise to 66.43 against the US dollar in early trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange on continued selling of the greenback by exporters and banks amidst higher opening in the domestic equity market.
  • Forex dealers :That besides persistent selling of the American currency by exporters and banks, the dollar’s weakness against peers overseas supported the rupee. .The Asian currencies were trading higher today.
  • The Organisation of Export Producing Countries (OPEC), at its meeting in Algiers yesterday, had agreed to cap oil production for the first time since 2008, amid pressure from declining oil prices. OPEC leader Saudi Arabia also softened its stance against rival Iran which lifted global sentiments.

    Pakistan avoiding Indian goods

  • india-pakistanPakistan suffered a loss of about $7 billion in 2014 by importing items from other countries at a higher cost instead of sourcing them from India, according to a study by the New Delhi-based Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS).The think-tank in the study, to be released this week, found out that the loss was substantial considering Pakistan’s GDP  was only about $270 billion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to chair a meeting to review trade ties between India and Pakistan on Thursday.
  • Significantly, the RIS study’s findings are in line with the theme of Modi’s recent speech at Kozhikode (Kerala), where he called upon the people of Pakistan to fight a war on unemployment, poverty and illiteracy.

Saksham gets govt nod for easy GST

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  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a Rs.2,256 crore outlay for ‘Project SAKSHAM’, an initiative under the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), to bolster the information technology network for the new GST regime that the government intends to roll out from April 2017.
  • “CBEC’s IT systems need to integrate with the Goods & Services Tax Network (GSTN) for processing of registration, payment and returns data sent by GSTN systems to CBEC, as well as act as a front-end for other modules like audit, appeal and investigation.”
  • “There is no overlap in the GST-related systems of CBEC and GSTN.”

IMF to disburse $102 million to Pakistan

  • pakistanThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board on September 28 completed the 12 and final review of Pakistan’s three-year economic reform program supported by an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement. The Board’s decision enables the immediate disbursement of the final tranche in an amount equivalent to the SDR 73 million in the IMF currency or about $102.1 million.
  • The go-ahead follows the approval on September 4, 2013, by the Executive Board of the 36-month extended arrangement under the EFF in the amount of SDR 4.393 billion (about $6.15 billion, or 216 per cent of Pakistan’s current quota at the IMF).
  • IMF: “Despite the challenges it faces, Pakistan is a country with abundant potential, given its geographical location and its rich human and natural resources. The authorities’ program is expected to help the economy rebound, forstall a balance of payments crisis and rebuild reserves, reduce the fiscal deficit, and undertake comprehensive structural reforms to boost investment and growth.”

Wal-Mart in talks to buy stake in Flipkart

  • wal-martUS-based retail corporation Wal-Mart Stores Inc is in talks to buy a minority stake in Flipkart, two sources familiar with the matter said, as the world’s biggest retailer aims to get a slice of a fast-growing online retail market.
  • One of the sources said the US retailer was looking to invest between $750 million and $1 billion in Flipkart, but the final value and size of the stake would depend on the outcome of talks about the e-tailer’s overall valuation.
  • “With Amazon slowly taking a lead over the Indian players, all these unicorns including Flipkart and Snapdeal are out there in the market to raise funds. Companies like Wal-Mart would be more long-term investors, but there aren’t too many like them to write such big cheques.”

Oriental Bank of Commerce to raise Rs 500 crore via bonds

  • oriental-bank-of-commercePublic-sector lender Oriental Bank of Commerce will raise Rs 500 crore on private placement by issuing bonds.
  • “The bank intends to raise Tier 1 capital through private placement of Basel III compliant additional tier 1 bonds of Rs 10,00,000 each at par aggregating to Rs 500 crore,” Oriental Bank of Commerce said in a BSE filing.
  • The proposed bonds issue has been rated as ‘A+’ by CARE ratings and ‘A+ (Hyb.) with Negative Outlook’ by ICRA.Shares of Oriental Bank of Commerce were trading 0.52 per cent lower at Rs 134.60 on BSE.

Eros International Jumps 5% On Tie-Up With UAE Firm

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  • Shares of Eros International Media rose by nearly 5 per cent today after the entertainment firm said it has tied up with UAE’s largest film distribution and exhibition network, Phars Film.Opening on a strong note, the stock gained 5.15 per cent to Rs 220.50 on BSE. At NSE, it jumped 4.38 per cent to Rs 219.
  • Eros International Media yesterday announced its association with Phars Film. The partnership allows the two companies to jointly co-produce Malayalam films and explore theatrical rights between themselves, the company said in a BSE filing.
  • The deal licenses Eros to tap distribution of all Malayalam movies produced jointly in India while Phars Film will present the same overseas where it enjoys a dominant market share, it added.
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BANKING AND FINANCIAL AWARENESS –Bank PO/SO/Clerical – 1.10.16

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Commodities trading

It may open to foreigners

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  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has initiated talks with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow foreign portfolio investors into the commodity derivatives market.
  • “We are already in talks with the RBI on this matter,” SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha said on the sidelines of an event on the completion of one year of merger of Forward Markets Commission (FMC) with SEBI. “The FPI regulations emanated from FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) and any kind of foreign money coming into the country has to have RBI approval.”
  • The regulator is also keen to allow other participants such as banks, mutual funds and insurance companies in the commodities market but will do so in a phased manner after talking to other regulatory bodies.

Kotak Mahendra Bank

It customers to get crossborder remittance same day

 

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  • Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMBL) will soon enable its customers to get cross border remittances on the same day through blockchain technology.Talking to The Hindu, Deepak Sharma, Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Chief Digital Officer, said: “We are one of the early banks to start saying blockchain can change lot of things in speed of transaction.
  • If cross border remittance takes two days for money to move from Australia/Europe to a bank account account in India, how can we make it to happen on the same day? There are some pilots we are running in blockchains in two payment corridors there with some international banks and the platform.”
  • According to officials in the banking industry, blockchain works as an electronic payment ledger which is continuously maintained and verified in ‘blocks’ of records. The ledger is shared between parties on computer servers and protected from tampering by cryptography, doing away with the need for a central authority.

Goods & Service Tax

Differences crop up in GST Council’s meeting

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  • The GST Council on Friday could not adopt the minutes of its first meeting held earlier this month after a couple of States said that one of the items did not match their understanding of the decision that had been taken.
  • In this round, “ the Council will discuss the two big items of the GST rates and the draft state and central GST bills,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told a media conference. Mr. Jaitley said that the Council in its second meeting on Friday approved two agenda items.
  • First, five sets of draft rules governing payments, refunds, returns, invoices, debt and credit notes. “These were finalised in anticipation of the GST legislations under which the final rules will be notified.”

Securities and Exchange Board of India

It plans steps to curb business imbalance among commexes

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  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India is worried that the ratio of business among the three commodity exchanges is not evenly balanced.“We are working on measures to ensure overwhelming business is not concentrated in a single exchange,” Sebi chairman UK Sinha said. He added this would not imply throttling the growth of any particular exchange or of interfering with market forces.
  • “Both the government and Sebi believe there should be healthy competition with oversight in the interest of the market. This would involve creating objective criteria with laws and rules evenly applied so that others can catch up.”
  • Currently, out of three commodity exchanges, metals and energy bourse MCX has around 85% market share followed by agri exchange NCDEX with 10-12% market share and the rest with NMCE.

India great platform for power demand: Sembcorp

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  • Describing India as a growth platform in power sector, a Singapore-based firm has said it will enhance its presence in the country to tap the ever-growing power market. Sembcorp Industries’ big push in India is 2,640-megawatt Sembcorp Gayatri Power Complex in Andhra Pradesh, which opened earlier this year.
  • The USD 3 billion facility has the distinction of being the largest foreign direct investment-driven project on a single site in the thermal energy sector with two 1,320-MW supercritical coal-fired power plants.
  • “India is short of power. We were able to deliver the plants on time,” Sembcorp Industries CEO Tang Kin Fei said. “The project had been delayed and we provided the funding to complete it.”

UBER

 It plans India expansion with 2 lakhs cabs

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  • The two Indian auto giants, Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors are on the verge of cashing in on a tremendous sales opportunity, all thanks to the San Francisco based taxi-hailing company Uber Technologies.
  • As a part of a ‘major’ India expansion plan, Uber is planning to purchase as many as two lakh passenger cars over the next two years to be used as cabs for multiplying its operations in India.
  • Now, as both Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors are already on-board with Uber through pacts that allow both companies to be used for vehicle purchase, finance solutions and driver skill programmes, both of them are likely to bag orders for the same.

State Bank Of India

SBI offers ‘Home Loans’ at reduced interest rates

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  • SBI today announced the launch of a special financing scheme ‘Hope Loans’, under which customers can avail credit facility at lower rates.
  • “Hope Loans comes with the added benefit of reduced interest rates that SBI has just announced due to the reduction in the marginal cost of lending rate (MCLR). On an Rs 50 lakh home loan, for example, one would get to save approximately 3.5 lakh for a 30 year tenor compared to the same period last year,” it said in a release.
  • With the reduction in MCLR, the effective interest rate for home loans will be 9.25 per cent for women and 9.30 per cent for men and for auto loans, it would be 9.65 per cent respectively.

India’s largest spectrum auction

It worth Rs 5.63 lakh crore starts; Jio, Vodafone, Airtel and Idea in fray

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  • India’s largest-ever spectrum sale where mobile airwaves worth Rs 5.63 lakh crore are up on the block kicked off today.
  • Leading operators, including Reliance Jio, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel%, are in the fray for frequencies that are crucial for next-generation telecom services. There is no end limit set by the government for the auction, but the bidding will be between 9 am to 7 pm everyday except on Day 1 when it started at 10 am.
  • Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications and Aircel are also in the race for buying spectrum. The auction conducted in 2010 for 3G airwaves in the 2100 Mhz band has been the longest that lasted for 34 days.

 Deutsche Bank

It was never in much danger

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  • The report of a possible settlement between Deutsche Bank and U.S Department of Justice did not shock Jim Cramer on Friday.”The truth is Deutsche Bank was never in that much danger. So, why was everyone pretending like this company was the German Lehman, code-name for disaster?” the “Mad Money” host asked.
  • Instead, the lack of accountability on Wall Street and in the media bothered Cramer. If commentators predict something positive and they are wrong, they get hounded on it for the rest of their lives. But no one ever gets punished for being too negative.
  • “The next time someone tells you the sky is falling and we are facing a crisis that could be the next Lehman, please, I’m begging you, take it with a grain of salt, if not a whole box of Morton’s,” Cramer said.

Reserve Bank Of India

Banks can’t publish defaulters’ photo randomly

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  • He RBI said on Thursday lenders can publish photographs of only those borrowers in newspapers who have been declared wilful defaulters as per the central bank’s guidelines.
  • While asking the banks not to indiscriminately publish photographs of defaulters and guarantors in newspapers, it directed the lending institutions to formulate a policy in this regard.
  • In view of the “sensitivity involved and need to prevent” the publishing of photographs of defaulting borrower/guarantor in an indiscriminate manner, the RBI said photographs of only those borrower who have been declared as wilful defaulters could be published.
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GENERAL AWARENESS –Bank PO/SO/Clerical – 29.9.16

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First Indian meet an Organization of Islamic Nations

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  • In a recognition of the country’s Muslim community, the second-largest in the world, an Indian has been invited to attend a prestigious conference of the Organisation of Islamic Countries’ Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC).
  • Haji Syed Salman Chishty of Dargah Ajmer Sharif has been invited to address the ICYF-DC’s Third Islamic Conference of Youth and Sports Ministers opening in Istanbul on 4 October.
  • This is a great honour for India and Indian Muslims. I shall speak on ‘Empowering Youth for Peace, Solidarity and Development’, which is the main theme of this global conference to be attended by representatives from 52 countries – Haji Chishty
  • The recommendations of the conference will be included in “The OIC 2025 Action Plan”, encompassing the adoption of the OIC Youth Strategy.
  • Haji Chishty said that under the leadership of its Secretary General, Iyad Ameen Madani, the OIC has declared youth engagement in the Islamic world as one of its key priorities and the member-states have made investing in youth their main priority.

The most polluted city in India is Gwalior

A woman wearing a mask walk through a street covered by dense smog in Harbin, northern China, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. Visibility shrank to less than half a football field and small-particle pollution soared to a record 40 times higher than an international safety standard in one northern Chinese city as the region entered its high-smog season. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
  • The Central Pollution Control Board’s data, which puts Gwalior at the very top of India’s eleven most polluted cities in terms of particulate matter, has caught the Madhya Pradesh government on the wrong foot.
  • According to the pollution control board (CPCB), the particulate matter in Gwalior stands at 329 micrograms per cubic metre, which is over five times the permissible limit of 60 micrograms.
  • Expressing surprise over this piece of information, state environment and urban administration minister Kailash Vijaywargia told  that “I have been to Gwalior so many times, but it didn’t occur to me that it is a very polluted city. I will look into this issue myself. I will send a team of officials and experts to Gwalior to study what exactly is leading to such high levels of particulate matter.”
  • Madhya Pradesh State Pollution Control Board chairman NP Shukla found it a very worrying development.
  • He said the spurt in particulate matter pollution may have been caused due to factors such as high population density, increase in the number of vehicles, less greenery, and dilapidated roads.

 From 2018 onwards,10th board exams of CBSE will reintroduce

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  • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is planning a big systemic change in the months to come.
  • CBSE chairman Rajesh Chaturvedi, who was in Patna on Wednesday, said Class 10 board examinations would be revived from 2018 as there is a growing opinion in its favour.
  • “We will not be able to do it in 2017 as time is short but we will certainly like to go ahead with it from 2018 as it has become important in the context of improving quality. In any case, the state boards are continuing with the board exams,” – Rajesh Chaturvedi.
  • Chaturvedi said the matter of re-introducing the examination would be discussed at the next education ministers’ conference and with the ICSE and state boards under the direction of the ministry of human resource development (MHRD).
  • “Students need to be made to write descriptive answers and not just reply on multiple choice questions,” – Rajesh Chaturvedi.

Unemployment rate of India are still high in every 5-year

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  • Touching a five-year high, India’s unemployment rate rose to 5 percent in 2015-16, with females having the highest unemployment rate and lowest labour force participation rate (LFPR), both in rural and urban areas.
  • As per the fifth annual employment-unemployment survey of households released by Labour Bureau, unemployment rate of females was at 8.7 percent at all-India level, as against 4 percent for males and 4.3 percent of transgenders.
  • In urban areas, the female unemployment rate was estimated at 12.1 percent at the as against 3.3 percent for males and 10.3 percent for transgenders.
  • For rural areas, the female unemployment rate stood at 7.8 percent in 2015-16 as against 4.2 percent for males and 2.1 percent for transgenders.
  • The Labour Force Participation Rate for females was significantly lower as compared to males at 23.7 percent in 2015-16.
  • Male LFPR for the same period stood at 75 percent, while for transgenders it was 48 percent.

Most watched debate

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  • The broadcast was the most-watched debate ever with an average of 84 million viewers.
  • However, it also pushed boundaries of the internet, too.
  • For starters, YouTube reports that Clinton-versus-Trump was the biggest political live stream “of all time,” with almost 2 million concurrent viewers spread across six major news outlets.
  • It was also one of the largest streams in the site’s history, and had 14 times more live viewers than during the 2012 debate.
  • Twitter isn’t offering concrete data, but does say that it beat the 10.3 million tweets sent during 2012’s first candidate showdown. We’ve reached out to Facebook to see if it can provide its own statistics.
  • The heated discussion smashed a few other records, as well. CBSN’s young online-only service broke both its hourly and single-day viewership records with about 1.4 million unique viewers.
  • The political predictors at Five Thirty Eight, meanwhile, had their highest single-day traffic to date.

The first U.S. ambassador was named by Obama  to Cuba in more than 50 years

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  • The United States has tapped career diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis to become the first official ambassador to Cuba in more than five decades.
  • “The appointment of an ambassador is a commonsense step forward toward a more normal and productive relationship between our two countries,” – President Barack Obama.
  • Having an ambassador will make it easier to advocate for our interests, and will deepen our understanding even when we know that we will continue to have differences with the Cuban government.
  • Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced a thaw in relations in December 2014. The two countries restored full diplomatic relations in July 2015.
  • Since then, Washington and Havana have taken once-unthinkable steps to mend ties after more than half a century of enmity.
  • Obama visited Cuba earlier this year and relaxed portions of the US embargo imposed since 1962.

Shimon Peres, a noble prize winner dies at 93

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  • Shimon Peres, one of Israel’s defining political figures and a Nobel peace prize laureate, has died at the age of 93, two weeks after suffering a stroke.
  • Peres had twice served as prime minister of Israel and later as the country’s ninth president.
  • He had been seriously ill on a respirator in an Israeli hospital near Tel Aviv and died after his condition deteriorated sharply.
  • Among those who have said they will attend his funeral and burial on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl on Friday are Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, as well as Prince Charles and François Hollande.
  • In more than six decades of political life his defining achievement was as one of the key architects of the Oslo peace accords, for which he was jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1994 with the then Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
  • Those peace agreements – signed in Washington in 1993 and Taba, Egypt in 1995, – foresaw the creation of a Palestinian state, and were named after the Norwegian capital where the two sides launched eight months of secret negotiations in which Peres played a key role.
  • With Peres’s death the last of that trio has now gone.

NASA Spitzer Space Telescope captured a beautiful image of Pandora cluster

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  • NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) has captured mesmerising blue-black image of galaxy cluster Abell 2744, commonly known as Pandora’s Cluster.
  • The cluster appears magnified due to gravitational lensing effect of its own gravity.
  • A gravitational lens is a distribution of matter (such as a cluster of galaxies) between a distant light source and an observer, that is capable of bending the light from the source as the light travels towards the observer.
  • The amount of bending is one of the predictions of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
  • In the image, the fuzzy blue spots are massive galaxies especially at the center of the cluster, but astronomers will be poring over the images in search of the faint streaks of light created where the cluster magnifies a distant background galaxy.
  • In this image, light from Spitzer’s infrared channels is colored blue at 3.6 microns and green at 4.5 microns.
  • NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory and Hubble Space Telescope are also monitoring this Pandora Cluster.
  • Astronomers have used Abell 2744 for magnifying images of more distant background galaxies.
  • The more distant galaxies appear as they did longer than 12 billion years ago, not long after the big bang.

Paralympics medal winners will be prized 90 lakh: Govt

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  • The Indian government has announced cash awards of Rs 90 lakhs for medal winners at the Rio Paralympics.
  • Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawaarchand Gehlot said that the cash awards are being given under the Awareness Generation and Publicity (AGP) scheme.
  • Gehlot said he will felicitate medal winners at a special felicitation programme.
  • Gold medal winners Mariyappan Thangavelu and Devendra Jhajharia will be awarded Rs 30 lakhs each, silver medallist Deepa Malik will be given Rs 20 lakh and Varun Singh Bhati will be honoured with Rs 10 lakh for winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games.
  •  Gehlot : “Indian paralympic athletes bagged an impressive four medals at the Rio Paralympics 2016 and made history. The success of paralympic athletes has made India proud. The department has decided to award cash prize of total Rs 90 lakh to medal winners” .
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already hailed the best ever performance of Indian Paralympians in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
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GENERAL AWARENESS –Bank PO/SO/Clerical – 28.9.16

Global Competitiveness Index : India Improves indian-flag-710x397

  • India’s ranking in the Global Competitiveness Index for 2016-17, released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), improved 16 places to 39.
  • India’s competitiveness improved across the board, particularly in goods market efficiency (60), business sophistication (35) and innovation (29).
  • recent reform efforts by the government have concentrated on improving public institutions (up 16 places), opening the economy to foreign investors and international trade (up 4), and increasing transparency in the financial system (up 15) – WEF.

Every Household Has an Army Man in Andhra

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  • Madhavaram would be a relatively unremarkable village, Located about 150 kms away from Amravati, this tiny village in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district has an illustrious 300-year old history of sending its men to serve in the Army.
  • Local lore revolves around tales of war and valour, and over a hundred families in the village proudly display war decorations won by their members.
  • Madhavaram’s military history is matter of pride for its residents.
  • Village was the defence base of Pusapati Madhava Varma Brahma, the 17th-century ruler of the Gajapati dynasty who presided over present day Orissa and the Deccan Plateau.

Bill Introduced by Kerala Government to raise money outside Budget

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  • CPI(M)-led LDF government today introduced in the state assembly the much-awaited Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund (Amendment) Bill, which among other things envisages raising funds from outside the budget to boost investment and take up infrastructure projects.
  • Bill comprising a set of guidelines to revive and expand the operation of Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board – Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac.
  • Government had recently amended the KIIFB Act through an ordinance and the present Bill was introduced without making any changes in its clauses.

After India considers revisiting Indus treaty Pak approaches World Bank

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  • Pakistan approached the World Bank on Tuesday, that India could revoke the 56-year- old Indus Waters Treaty.
  • Delegation of the government of Pakistan — led by the attorney general for Pakistan, Ashtar Ausaf Ali, met with senior officials of the World Bank at its headquarters in Washington DC to discuss matters relating to Pakistan’s recent Request for Arbitration.
  • Pakistan approached the International Court of Justice but did not provide any details.
  • Pakistan had formally requested India for settlement of outstanding disputes pertaining to India’s construction of Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric plants.

Uri: India face Pak  mediator with proof, issues 2nd demarche

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  • Foreign Secretary  issued a demarche to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit over Uri attack.
  • Confronted him with proof of “cross-border origins” of the terror strike in which 18 jawans were killed.
  • Preliminary interrogation reveals identity of one of the slain Uri attackers as Hafiz Ahmed, son of Feroz and resident of Dharbang, Muzaffarabad and also gives details of Pakistan.
  • “Local villagers in the Uri sector apprehended on 21 September and handed over to Indian security forces two individuals from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir who have acted as guides for terrorists.

In next four years India invest $2 bln in Sri Lanka

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  • India will invest up to $2 billion in Sri Lanka over the next four years in a range of sectors including real estate etc..
  • In the next two to four years, the total investment interests will rise to $2 billion.
  • India has investment interests in a wide range of areas.
  • India’s regional rival, presses ahead with a $1.4 billion real estate project next to Colombo’s main port after the Sirisena government.

Jim Yong Kim a World Bank President

Jim Yong Kim, President of Dartmouth College
  • Jim Yong Kim has been re-appointed for a second five-year term as World Bank president.
  • “Humbled to have the honour of serving a second term as the head of this great institution. I would focus on building a more inclusive world free of poverty.”
  • “In order to deliver these goals, the Bank had to accelerate, become bolder and more agile.
  • “I believe we are well on the way to achieve these important aims.”
  • “We will need to work even more closely with partners and continue to find new and innovative ways to leverage scarce development resources effectively.”

China tops in air pollution – WHO

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  • China is the world’s deadliest country for outdoor air pollution.
  • warned that tiny particulates from cars, power plants and other sources are killing 3 million people worldwide each year.
  • 1 million people died from dirty air in China in 2012, at least 600,000 in India and more than 140,000 in Russia.
  • UK ranks worse than France, with 16,355 deaths in 2012.
  • Australia had 94 deaths and 38,043 died in the US.

iMessage turns your photos into GIFs

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  • iMessage App Store is currently dominated by sticker packs.
  • Momento, an iMessage-only app that automatically turns your photos from your Camera Roll into GIFs you can text to your friends.
  • App scans your photo library to figure out which photos will make good GIFs.
  • wanted to build something that encourage people to go back to revisit their photo memories – Momentos Creator.

When is Google’s birthday?

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  • Google is celebrating its 18th birthday.
  • Problem is that it’s had at least six 18th birthdays already.
  • Company is showing everyone a cute, celebratory doodle on 27 September to mark the company’s coming-of-age.
  • Google’s “G” blowing up a balloon to spell out the rest of its name – but blowing it up too much, and being carried off into the sky.

Earth – the Warmest Planet

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  • Earth that is warmer than it has been in about 120,000 years.
  • Locked into eventually hitting its hottest mark in more than 2 million years.
  • Carolyn Snyder,created a continuous 2 million year temperature record, much longer than a previous 22,000-year record.
  • Doesn’t estimate temperature for a single year but averages 5,000-year time periods going back a couple million years.
  • Snyder based her reconstruction on 61 different sea surface temperature proxies from across the globe, such as ratios between magnesium and calcium, species makeup and acidity.

Roller Coaster – a remover of kidney stone

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  • Roller coasters can, in fact, do more than just give you a temporary thrill.
  • David Wartinger a author  set out to test the experience of one patient who claimed to have passed three kidney stones after taking three rides on Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
  • Built a 3D printed silicone model of a kidney, filled it with urine and three kidney stones, and then tossed the whole contraption in a backpack that rode Thunder Mountain along with them a total of 20 times.
  • Support the anecdotal evidence that a ride on a moderate-intensity roller coaster could benefit some patients with small kidney stones.”
  • Sitting at the front of the ride helped get things moving with a 16.67 percent passage rate, but sitting in the back was even more effective – resulting in a 63.89 percent passage rate.

FIFA U-17 World Cup emblem launched in India

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  • FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 (LOC) unveiled the official emblem for what will be the country’s first international football event.
  • It is clear for all to see how football has already been making huge strides in India.
  • But there is still an enormous room for growth, and the FIFA U-17 World Cup can be an ideal catalyst to develop the sport even further and across the whole country.
  • Emblem of the first ever FIFA Tournament in India was designed as a celebration of the country’s rich and diverse culture, with its main elements being the Indian Ocean, the banyan tree, the kite and the starburst, which is an interpretation of the Ashoka Chakra.

Aadhaar card is important for wrestlers at nationals

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  • A WRESTLER will now require an Aadhaar card to participate in national level tournaments.
  • Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has introduced this mandatory stipulation to curb age fraud and also prevent the inter-state exodus of players using fake domicile.
  • “over-interference of private agencies and agents with the wrestlers in national camps.”
  • “We have seen many wrestlers sign contracts with private agencies and later these agencies interfere with our wrestlers and the federation.We need to bring in regulations to curb this phenomenon.”
  • “We have seen wrestlers moving to other states once they fail to qualify from their state where they were born.
  • Once an Aadhaar card is submitted,We will enter these details in our data base. The Aadhaar number will be his identity and it will be mentioned in the participation list of tournaments.”
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BANKING AND FINANCIAL AWARENESS -Bank PO/SO/Clerical – 28.09.16

RBS to pay $1.1 billion

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  • Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS.L) will pay $1.1 billion (845.18 million pounds) to resolve claims that it sold toxic mortgage-backed securities to credit unions that later failed.
  • The settlement with RBS brings the U.S. regulator’s recoveries against various banks to $4.3 billion in lawsuits over their sale of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis.
  • National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Rick Metsger said the regulator was pleased with the settlement and plans to continue “to pursue recoveries against financial firms that we maintain contributed to the corporate crisis.”

Coal Ministry to go ‘totally digital’ from Nov 1

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  • In line with the Centre’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ initiative, the Coal Ministry has decided to move all papers and documents into digital format from November 1 onwards, a move aimed at bringing efficiency and transparency.
  • Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said in a tweet, “For timely disposal of papers & transparency, Coal Ministry to go totally digital by November 1.”
  •  “All files & papers to move in digital format.” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had said the government wants to make the whole apparatus as digital.

Try to trim RCom debt by 75% in 12 mths: Anil Ambani

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  • “The target is to reduce debt by 75 per cent within a year (from Rs 42,651 crore) and once the ongoing merger processes of MTS and Aircel with RCom are complete, it will help reduce debt by Rs 20,000 crore.”
  • This will create a formidable operator with the second largest holder of spectrum aggregating 448 MHz across the 850, 900, 1,800 and 2,100 MHz bands.
  • It will also make RCom one of the largest and valuable corporates with an asset base of over Rs 65,000 crore and networth of Rs 35,000 crore.

1.6 crore calls still failing everyday between Airtel and us: Reliance Jio

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  • Hitting back at Airtel’s allegations of being “under-prepared”, new player Reliance Jio today said it had given projections of its required number of points of interconnection to the rival three months in advance.
  • Reliance Jio said it has been consistently following up with Airtel and other incumbent operators over the last several months for augmentation of interconnection capacity.
  • “In anticipation of such demand for services, Reliance Jio had given its projections for POI requirement to Airtel over three months ago. The massive deterioration in quality of service parameters would not have occurred had Airtel augmented POIs on a timely basis.”

Jim Yong Kim re-appointed as World Bank President

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  • Jim Yong Kim has been re-appointed for a second five-year term as World Bank president, beginning July 1, next year, the bank announced.
  • Kim : “Humbled to have the honour of serving a second term as the head of this great institution. I would focus on building a more inclusive world free of poverty.”
  • He said the starting point for his work when he joined the Bank in 2012 was the setting of two ambitious new goals for the institution to end extreme poverty by 2030, and to promote shared prosperity by boosting the income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population in every developing country.

ICICI Pru Life set for stock market debut tomorrow

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  • ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, which recently concluded its Rs 6,057-crore IPO, will make its stock market debut on Thursday becoming the first insurer to list.
  • The public offer comprises up to 18,13,41,058 shares of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company, including reservation of up to 1,81,34,105 (10 per cent of the offer) for shareholders of ICICI Bank.
  • The price band was fixed at Rs 300-334 per share. At the upper end of the price band, the offer is worth Rs 6,057 crore. The company’s public issue was oversubscribed 10 times.

Sensex starts with gains amid Asia overhang

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  • The market got off to a positive start despite weak Asian cues as the benchmark Sensex rebounded over 68 points on Wednesday on value-buying in select blue-chip stocks.
  • The BSE 30-share barometer advanced 68.17 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 28,291.87. The gauge had lost almost 550 points in the previous three sessions.
  • Sectoral indices led by capital goods, healthcare and auto stocks were in the green, adding up to 0.55 per cent.The NSE Nifty recovered 21.60 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 8,728.

Google users to jump to 400 million by 2020

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  • Of the 650 million users expected to be using Internet in India by 2020, a whopping over 61 per cent will be accessing it in local language, forming majority of the online population, according to technology giant Google.
  • At its “Google for India” event, the US-based firm said the number of internet users in India will jump 85 per cent from 350 million in 2016 to 650 million by 2020.
  • As the same time, people accessing the Internet in local language will more than double from 150 million at present to about 400 million by 2020.

India to invest $2 billion in Sri Lanka

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  • India will invest $2 billion in Sri Lanka in the next three-four years, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
  • Ms. Sitharaman, who was here for talks on the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), called on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and later met senior Ministers to discuss the terms of the agreement.
  • “Of course, there are issues that will have to be sorted out in good detail,” she said, adding that while opportunities exist, it was important to recognise that the negotiations had to be done in detail.

1st newly-constituted monetary policy panel will meet

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  • The three other members from RBI are its governor Urjit Patel, deputy governor in-charge of monetary policy R Gandhi and M. D. Patra, the executive director who was nominated by the RBI board. In case of a tie, the governor will have the casting vote.
  • The three external members are Pami Dua, director, Delhi School of Economics, Chetan Ghate, professor, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi and R Dholakia, professor of Economics at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
  • Das: “It is our expectation, and I am quite sure…in fact, the MPC will of course meet before Oct 4. It will certainly meet, and the committee will give their recommendations based on which the RBI will take a decision.”

Time to create a BRICS bond market

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  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) chairman U.K. Sinha has said that the BRICS countries  should come together and form a common bond market for the benefit of all participating nations.
  • Speaking at a seminar, the SEBI chairman said that after the creation of New Development Bank (NDB), the time is ripe to think of sharing the experiences in developing the bond markets and to create an exclusive BRICS Bond Market.
  • There are challenges since long term borrowers typically rely on banks that offer better options such as cash credit and overdraft facilities.

India now ranks 39 among most competitive economies

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  • India has risen rapidly among all countries in the global competitive stakes by climbing 16 notches to the 39th position during the past year in the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index.
  • According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest Global Competitiveness Report for 2016-17 this marks the biggest scale of improvement in competitiveness among all countries and is the second year in a row India has gone up 16 ranks in the WEF index.
  • It suggests that improvements in institutions and infrastructure have increased overall competitiveness along with recent reforms such as opening the economy to foreign investors and increasing transparency in the financial system.

Paris climate targets to cost Asia $300 billion a year

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  • Developing economies in Asia will have to spend $300 billion a year until 2050 to meet targets set by the Paris climate deal, but can expect to save thousands of lives and avoid worsening poverty if they shift to low-carbon growth.
  • ADB’s deputy chief economist Juzhong Zhuang : “ADB estimates that the region can generate more than $2 in gains for each $1 of cost it bears to reach the Paris goal – if the right steps are taken.”
  • The extra cost for developing Asia is equivalent to the size of Denmark’s gross domestic product (GDP) or the GDPs of Portugal and Morocco put together, according to World Bank data.

Home-grown Trupay cuts intermediaries

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  • An Indian company, Trupay, is creating a home-grown alternative to Visa and MasterCard, allowing banks to do away with the transaction surcharge and longer settlement periods implemented by such payments networks.
  • On the customer end, the company’s app does away with the need for a one-time password or the constant topping up of online wallets.
  • “Our idea is to work at the bottom layer, directly with banks, because with every additional layer in the payment process, there is a cost added to the transaction,” Vivek Lohcheb, co-founder of Trupay, said in an interview. “This cost is borne by the customer, even though he doesn’t realise it. It is integrated into the price of the product, for example, a credit card.”

Rupee climbs another  in early trade

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  • Extending its gains for the fifth straight day, the rupee inched up by another 6 paise to trade at a fresh two-week high of 66.44 against the dollar in early trade today on sustained selling of the American currency by exporters.
  • The rupee had gained 11 paise to close at a fresh two-week high of 66.50 per dollar yesterday on persistent selling of the greenback by banks and exporters despite a higher dollar overseas.
  • Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex was quoting higher by 68.17 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 28,291.87 in early trade.

IDFC Bank hits new high; m-cap crosses Rs 25,000 crore

  • IDFC Bank was trading higher by 5% to Rs 80, crossing a market capitalisation of Rs 25,000 crore mark to Rs 27,279 crore on the BSE.
  • The bank’s asset quality improved marginally as gross non-performing assets (NPA) declined to 6.1% in Q1FY17 from 6.2% in Q4F16. Net NPA ratios of the bank declined to 2.3% from 2.4% during the quarter.
  • “This acquisition has given IDFC bank a 20-fold surge in customer base. The acquisition would give an extraordinary reach in a very short period of time to a very large customer base and it creates a platform for growth for IDFC Bank’s retail banking business. Bank plans to raise the customer base from 60,000 now to 150,000 by Mar-17, including the recent acquisition of Grama Vidiyal (MFI) with 110,000 clients,” according to analysts at Ashika Stock Broking.
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EAT CHOCOLATES FOR YOUR HEALTHY BRAIN

If quality wasn’t reason enough for you to travel gaga over chocolates, then here is another one, a replacement study has recommended that indulgence during a daily chocolate habit might be all it takes for a better-working brain.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of South Australia, University of Maine and also the Luxembourg Institute of Health, found that chocolate consumption improved psychological feature performance “irrespective of different dietary habits”.

Researchers checked out information collected throughout associate degree earlier study during which residents of Syracuse, New York, were measured for dietary intake and risk factors for disorder. Participants were additionally given a series of tests designed to live psychological feature perform.

They aforesaid that additional frequent chocolate consumption was considerably related to higher performance on tests, as well as Visual-Spatial Memory and Organisation, remembering, Scanning and pursuit, Abstract Reasoning, and therefore the Mini-Mental State Examination, adding that with the exception of remembering, these relations weren’t attenuated with applied math management for vessel, way and dietary factors.

The study steered that regular chocolate intake may facilitate “protect against traditional age-related psychological feature decline”. They additionally note that chocolate has traditionally been wont to “reduce fever, treat childhood diarrhea, promote strength before sexual conquests, decrease “female complaints”, increase breast-milk production, encourage sleep and to scrub teeth.

These chocolates are best to eat.

  Endangered Species 88% Dark Chocolate Made with ethically traded, responsibly sourced ingredients, Endangered Species’ mission is to make good chocolate while doing good deeds. The brand donates 10 percent of net profits to organizations—the African Wildlife Foundation, for one—that help protect endangered species and habitats. The flavor is incredibly rich and delicious. Aloha Superfood Chocolate At 60 percent cacao, Aloha’s bars come in slightly below Glassman’s recommendation, but they’re made with super pure, almost-all-organic ingredients and come with a serious healthy bonus: each bar is infused with the brand’s Daily Good Greens powder, meaning you’re getting nutrients from foods like spinach, raspberries, and spirulina every time you take a bite, too. And the bars come in creative, delicious flavors like Hazelnut & Fig and Macadamia Coconut. Sweet Riot Dark Chocolate with Fabulous Flax Sweet Riot’s line of fair-trade, organic chocolates are sourced exclusively from farms in Latin America. This 70 percent dark chocolate bar is also packed with organic flax seed, making it a good source of both omega-3s and fiber. Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate 85% Made in a facility with no nuts, soy, wheat, eggs, or dairy, Pascha’s bars are guaranteed allergy-free. On top of their purity, each bar is also organic and fair-trade certified, made with Peruvian cocoa. Raaka 71% Dark Chocolate With Sea Salt The cacao comes from the Dominican Republic and Bolivia, but Raaka’s chocolate is made in New York City: in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The “virgin” bars are made of unroasted beans that are minimally processed, which allows the cacao to retain bolder, more complex, natural flavors. Antidote 100% + Nibs This is one of the few bars you can find in the U.S. that hits the 100 percent cacao mark—and it includes raw beans which are sourced and prepared specially on a farm in southwest Ecuador. All you need is a nibble, trust. Hu Kitchen Almond Butter & Puffed Quinoa Chocolate Bar Whoever decided to put almond butter inside a 72% dark chocolate bar is our hero. Hu Kitchen’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients shows in this bar of cacao, almonds, organic puffed quinoa, and organic coconut sugar. BarkTHINS Snacking Chocolate Heart-healthy pumpkin seeds and almonds make this fair-trade dark chocolate even tastier—and even better for you. And, since it’s already broken into pieces for you, it’s super easy to share. Unless that’s not your thing, then hide this bag pronto. Compartés Vegan Zen Healthy Kale Dark Chocolate Bar Yes, there is kale in this chocolate bar. Kale chips to be exact. And that extra healthy dose of dark leafy greens along with pumpkin and sesame seeds—makes Compartés’ 75 percent cacao bar stand out from the crowd. Using cacao sourced in South America, the bars are made by a small team of chocolatiers in Los Angeles. Green & Black’s Organic 85% Dark Chocolate Made with fair-trade cacao sourced from Belize and the Dominican Republic and organic vanilla from Madagascar, the UK chocolates are all ethically and sustainably sourced—and widely available in the US. It does contain a little organic raw cane sugar.  ]]>

HOLIDAY BOOKS

Everyone loves a good browse once they’re on vacation, but what proportion higher if the book you’re greedy is really primarily based inside the place you’re visiting? Novels are going to be an amazing because of learn a lot of regarding the history and culture of a part, while not the dry factual feel of a book of facts. Here ar six novels that ar good summer reading, and provides a further dimension to a vacation taken inside the regions wherever they’re set.

Summer at the Lake by erica James – Lake Como, Italy The light magnificence associated beautiful natural landscapes of Lake Como type the scene for James’ tale of an English tour guide working in European country, whose life is turned upside down when she’s involved in associate degree accident. Saved by two terribly completely different people, associate degree ageing Italian spinster and a young English property developer, the books charts the stories of the three main characters, weaving them round the sunkissed trattorias and stylish bars of Como. For Italophiles, few places will match Como for it’s mixture of classic Italian vogue, old school glamour and spectacular scenery. Inghams European country has a choice of hotels and escorted tours in and around Como.

The Poldark Saga by Winston Graham – Cornwall, UK

Winston Graham’s eighteenth century adventure story got a heavy boot with the launch of the BBC series last year, attack the dramatically lovely west Cornish coast. There are lots of Poldark-themed locations to explore, from the ‘Poldark Mine’, used in the TV series, to the picturesque seashore village of Charlestown, that doubles for Truro within the series. The spectacular clifftops of St Agnes Head feature as a part of Ross Poldark’s home estate, Nampara, and fans of the series will follow a coastal walk on the stretch of coast that’s home to the remains of Botallack and Levant Mines, that feature within the series as Ross and his first cousin Francis’ mines. Classic Cottages contains a choice of properties on the geographical area of county.

The individuals we have a tendency to Were Before by Annabelle jock – city & Konavle, Croatia Perceived as a ‘safe’ destination within the MEd, and cheaper than most thanks to being outside the Eurozone, Republic of Croatia is hospitable a lot of tourists than ever this year to it’s island-studded lineation and atmospherical, Venetian cities. The country contains a turbulent past, however, and if you would like to search out out additional regarding however the country fought for its independence within the early 1990’s, The individuals we tend to Were Before may be a excellent spot to start out. Set in a very fictional village near urban center, the book tells the story of a young boy, Miro Denkovic, and what happens to him and his family before, throughout and when the war. fully Republic of Croatia offers hotels, residences and escorted tours in Republic of Croatia.

The proficient mister Ripley by Patricia Highsmith – Ischia & the Amalfi Coast, Italy This sparkling stretch of outline – home to the evermore trendy cities of Positano and Amalfi – has oozed glamour for many years, and also the island of Ischia – a brief hop from the earth – is believed to be the idea for Highsmith’s fictional island of Monigbello, wherever a lot of of the action between Tom Ripley and Dickie Highsmith takes place. Highsmith’s novel fuses the wonder of the backdrops with a chilling narrative, ending during a actually stunning denouement – one to be browse with a stiff cocktail at hand. Expressions Holidays provide journeys to the Amalfi Coast and also the island of Ischia.

My Family & different Animals by Gerald writer – Corfu, Greece Another recent hit TV series, this semi-autobiographical book by Gerald Durrell, charts his families adventures once they move from grey, dreary England to the Greek island of Corfu in the late 1930’s. though the island has modified massively since the Durrell’s day, the quiet geographical area, wherever they lived during a succession of villas, still remains comparatively fresh. Gerald and his family lived within the villages of Perama, Kontokali and Criseda; the house in Kontokali is extremely very much like it absolutely was throughout their time. This space of Corfu offers an amazing mixture of quieter beaches, walking trails through olive groves and also the bright lights of Corfu city, with its beautiful architecture and buzzy city district. CV Villas contains a fantastic choice of villas to rent on the island.

The Thread by Victoria Hislop – city, Greece Few writers bring Hellenic Republic to life like Hislop; her novels mix the history of the region with a true understanding of rural Greek life. The Thread tells the story of the Kominos family, starting in 1917, taking them through the wars, invasions and natural disasters that befell the Greek earth through the twentieth century, focusing in on a permanent relationship between Dimitri and Katerina. The story relies in Salonika, currently an oversized, trendy town, however on the far side the town streets, the Halkidiki region is home to a number of the simplest, most fresh beaches in Hellenic Republic. a perfect destination for people who need a classic Mediterranean vacation while not hordes of different guests, the luxurious Sani Resort makes an excellent base for exploring the Halkidiki region.]]>