News Feed 16-July ‘2016

Nice terror attack: 84 dead after truck rams Bastille Day crowd

  • 84 people were killed and about 100 more injured when an armed man drove a truck at full speed into a crowd who had gathered to watch the Bastille Day fireworks display over the seafront in Nice, France.
  • French counter-terrorism police are investigating after the driver careered into the dense crowd and continued to drive into them for a distance of 2km. The French interior ministry confirmed that the driver had been shot dead by police, who are investigating whether he acted alone or had accomplices.
  • The date of the attack – France’s national day of celebration – was seen as symbolic. It came eight months after 130 people were killed in November’s coordinated Paris attacks on a stadium, bars and a rock gig at the Bataclan concert venue.
  • Witnesses described scenes of terror and chaos on Nice’s beachfront Promenade des Anglais as the truck driver ran down dozens in the crowd that included families, children and babies. Moments earlier the crowd of locals and tourists had been gathered in a festive atmosphere to mark France’s 14 July bank holiday with the traditional fireworks display and concert.

Government Mobilises Over 3 Tonnes of Gold Under Monetisation Scheme

  • The government announced that it has netted 3.1 tonnes of idle household and temple gold under the monetisation scheme since its launch in November 2015.
  • “As of now 3.1 tonnes of gold (has been) deposited under the Gold Monetisation Scheme,” Joint Secretary in Finance Ministry Saurabh Garg said.
  • This is much lower than 800-1,000 tonnes of annual gold import, he said, adding that estimates say 300 tonnes are for investments, while the balance is jewellery.
  • Under the gold monetisation scheme, banks are authorised to collect gold for up to 15 years to auction it off or lend to jewellers from time to time. Depositors will earn up to 2.50 per cent interest per annum, a rate lower than savings bank deposits.
  • Currently, there are 46 assaying and hallmarking centres which are qualified to act as Collection and Purity Testing Centres (CPTC) for handling gold under the scheme.
  • All gold deposits under the scheme have to be made at CPTCs. Banks can also accept deposits at designated branches, especially from larger depositors.
  • India imports about 1,000 tonnes of gold every year and the precious metal is the second-highest component of the imports bill after crude oil. An estimated 20,000 tonnes of gold are lying with households and temples.

Scientists find evidence of new Stone Age farmers

  • Scientists say a previously unknown group of Stone Age farmers may have introduced agriculture to South Asia, challenging earlier theories that attributed the spread of farming to a different population.
  • Previous research held that a single group of hunter-gatherers developed agriculture in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago and then migrated to Europe, Asia and Africa, where they gradually replaced or mixed with the local population. But scientists who analyzed ancient human remains found in the Zagros mountains of present-day Iran say they belonged to a completely separate people who appear to have taken up farming around the same time as their cousins further west in Anatolia, now Turkey.
  • Scientists from Europe, the United States and Iran who examined the DNA of 9,000 to 10,000-year-old bone fragments discovered in a cave near Islamabad, 600 kilometers southwest of the Iranian capital of Tehran, found they belonged to a man with black hair, brown eyes and dark skin.

Census 2011 records rise in literacy among disabled

  • More than half of the total disabled population in India is now literate, new numbers released from Census 2011 show. The literacy rate among the disabled has increased from 49.3 per cent in 2001 to 54.5 per cent in 2011. However, this is significantly lower than the overall literacy level of India which stands at 74 per cent.
  • Both rural and urban areas saw an increase of around four percentage points in literacy rate of the disabled.
  • Among the urban disabled, 68 per cent are literate while the number stands at 49 per cent for disabled in the rural areas.
  • The difference between literacy rate of males and females is wider in rural areas — 72 per cent of disabled males and 61 per cent of disabled females in urban areas are literate, a difference of nine percentage points.
  • But in rural areas, the difference stands at 20 percentage points, as 58 per cent of disabled males and only 38 per cent of disabled females are literate.

Leave a Reply