Current Affairs in Short: 13 August 2020
Russia, Brazil to cooperate in production & marketing of ‘Sputnik V’
• Russia and Brazil have agreed to cooperate in the production and marketing of the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine ‘Sputnik V’. The Russian Direct Investment Fund said that the cooperation agreement was signed with the Brazilian State of Parana on August 12, 2020.
• Under the strategic agreement, the Russian Direct Investment Fund together with pharmaceutical companies in the state of Parana will organise the production of the Sputnik V vaccine and its distribution in Brazil and other Latin American countries.
• The Russian Health Ministry registered the world's first COVID-19 vaccine- Sputnik V on August 11, 2020.
Ram Temple Trust Head Nritya Gopal Das tests positive for COVID-19
• The head of Ram Janmabhumi Teerth Kshetra trust, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das tested positive for coronavirus on August 13, 2020.
• He had fever and showed symptoms of mild breathlessness while attending the Janmashtami function in Mathura on August 12, 2020. The religious leader had shared the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5, 2020 during the foundation laying ceremony of the historic Ram Temple.
• Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken details of the health status of Mahant Nitiya Gopaldas. Nritya Gopal Das is the Mahant of Maniram Das Chawani of Ayodhya.
Israel successfully tests advanced missile defense system Arrow-2 interceptor
• Israel's Defense Ministry conducted a successful test of the nation’s advanced missile defense system against long-range ballistic attacks on August 12, 2020.
• Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that the successful flight test of the Arrow-2 interceptor was part of Israel's technological effort, which ensure that they will always be one step ahead of their enemies.
• The test was conducted overnight jointly with the US Missile Defense Agency in central Israel. The Arrow-interceptor is a part of the multi-layered system, which Israel has developed to defend against both short and mid-range missiles. It can also intercept long-range missiles.
• The advanced missile defense system including the Arrow-3 system, Irone Dome and David’s Sling is also capable of defending against threats from outside the atmosphere.
UAE, Sri Lanka kept as India’s back up for T20 World Cup 2021
• As per the latest report, Sri Lanka and the UAE have been kept as backup venues for the 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup in case India is unable to host the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• The ICC had recently confirmed that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be held in India as scheduled earlier, while this year’s postponed T20 World Cup edition will be held in Australia in 2022.
• However, the ICC has identified Sri Lanka and UAE as backup venues for the 2021 edition in case Covid-19 makes India an untenable host. India is currently the third-worst-hit country in the world after the US and Brazil with over 2 million coronavirus cases.
Japan signs largest-ever loan package worth USD 3.1 billion for Bangladesh
• Japan signed its largest-ever loan package worth USD 3.1 billion for Bangladesh on August 12, 2020 in Dhaka.
• The loan will be given under concessional terms for seven projects in Bangladesh under Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). The loan carries an interest rate of 0.65 percent with a repayment period of 30 years including initial 10 years as grace period.
• The loan is expected to cover the construction of the Jamuna railway bridge parallel to the existing Bangabandhu Bridge and the expansion of the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. It will also cover Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Highway improvement project and Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Projects among the seven projects.
• Since 2012, Japan has been the single largest bilateral donor for Bangladesh with the total amount of its aid reaching USD 22 billion (commitment base).