1. Where do world powers stand on soft power
US, the long ruling soft power king of the world for many years, has lost the spot to France according to new soft power rankings.
While India does not even figure in the top 30, India’s so-called competitor China does feauture withing 30.
Soft Power refers to a country’s ability to shape preferences around the world through ‘appeal and attraction’ to its culture, values etc.
2. WannaCry and Petya infected 1000s of computers worldwide in May and June
Parliament was informed on Wednesday that A total of 34 incidents of infections from the two global ransomware attacks, WannaCry and Petya, were reported to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) by various organisations and individuals.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access to affected files by encrypting them until a ransom is paid to unlock it.
3. Pakistan is “safe havens” to terrorists
The United States on Wednesday listed Pakistan among the nations providing “safe havens” to terrorists, saying terror groups like the LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed) continued to operate, train, organise and fundraise inside the country.
Although LeT is banned in Pakistan, LeT’s wings Jamaat- ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FiF) were able to openly engage in fundraising, including in the capital.
4. GST will expand tax net: Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday briefed BJP MPs on the benefits of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime stating that it would expand the tax net, bring down “inspector Raj” and cut prices of goods.
He was making a presentation on GST for the parliamentary party group, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Mr. Jaitley said the prices of goods had come down between 4 and 8% since the GST rollout on July 1.
5. Indian team shines at robotics meet.
A group of seven Indian students has bagged two awards at the first global robotics Olympiad where 157 countries participated.
The students, who hail from Mumbai, won gold in the Zhang Heng Engineering Design Award category and bronze in the Global Challenge category at the event organised by FIRST Global in Washington.
The Indian team was led by 15-year-old Rahesh, the youngest member of the group.
6. World’s first child hand transplant a success
The first child in the world to undergo a double hand transplant is now able to write, feed and dress himself, doctors have said, declaring the ground-breaking operation a success after 18 months.
The report in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health provides the first official medical update on 10-year old Zion Harvey, who underwent surgery to replace both hands in July 2015.
Brain scans show that Zion Harvey is adapting to the new limbs, developing new pathways to control movement and feel sensation
7. CONCACAF Gold Cup
The United States overcame a battling display from El Salvador to advance to a CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final showdown with Costa Rica in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
First-half goals from defenders Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj secured a hard-fought quarterfinal win for the hosts, who are chasing their first Gold Cup title since 2013.
The Americans now face 2014 World Cup quarter-finalists Costa Rica in Saturday’s semifinals.
8. Rajya Sabha wants Mayawati to reconsider her resignation
The Rajya Sabha has urged BSP supremo Mayawati to withdraw her resignation, with Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien insisting it was “a misunderstanding” that had upset her.
Mayawati had resigned from Rajya Sabha on July18 after alleging she wasn’t allowed to speak about atrocities on Dalits.
Kurien claimed she hadn’t given notice about wanting to speak. He reportedly gave her three minutes to talk after bypassing the opposition leader.
9. 2007 INX deal and the Chidambaram link
The case is related to the clearance given by Foreign Investment Promotion Board to INX Media during the UPA rule in 2007.
CBI alleges a firm “indirectly controlled” by Karti received massive amounts of money from INX.
Seeking more time, Karti evaded previous CBI summons.
10. corporate culture for Air India staff
With the complete overhauling of Air India in the offing, Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani has asked the staff to be ready for a complete change in work culture.
Lohani said that the move would get a better deal and also stated the government’s decision to sell off AI, mentioning that privatization would make it a better airline.