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Current Affairs Today: April 17 2015

James Bond ( Daniel Craig) Appointed By UN for elimination of Mine

  • Daniel Craig, who won international acclaim playing James Bond
  • Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed the actor as the first U.N. Global Advocate for the Elimination of Mines and Explosive Hazards.
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Barack Obama Remove cuba from state Sponsor of Terror List

  • President Barack Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House announced
  • Cuba will officially be removed from the terror list 45 days after the president’s message was sent to Congress.
  • Cuba was designated a state sponsor of terror in 1982

Nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile test-fired successfully

  • India today successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile with a strike range of more than 3,000 km from Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast.
  • The indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher at launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island.
  • The Agni-III missile is powered by a two-stage solid propellant system. With a length of 17 metres, the missile’s diameter is 2 metres and launch weight is around 50 tonnes.

NASA spacecraft beams back its first colour image of Pluto

  • NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has sent back its first colour image of the dwarf planet Pluto and its largest moon Charon, after more than nine years of travelling through the solar system.

Chemical scientists Susanta Lahiri and Kattesh V Katti received Hevesy Medal Award 2015

  • Professors Susanta Lahiri and Kattesh V. Katti received Hevesy Medal Award 2015 for their outstanding contributions in the fields of radio and nuclear chemistry.
  • The awards were presented to them at the Tenth International Conference on Methods and Applications of Radio-analytical Chemistry held in USA.

Fourth Lighthouse Museum of India to be opened at Kannur, Kerala

  • The fourth Lighthouse Museum of India will be opened at Kannur, Kerala to promote lighthouse tourism. The Directorate General of Lighthouse and Lightships (DGLL) announced on 14 April 2015 to open the museum by the end of April 2015.
  • The other three lighthouses museums have been set up at Alappuzha in Kerala and Chennai and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu.

Nokia to buy Alcatel-Lucent in $16.58 billion deal

  • Finnish network equipment maker Nokia said it has agreed to buy Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share transaction that values the smaller French rival at 15.6 billion euros ($16.58 billion).
  • Nokia will give Alcatel-Lucent shareholders 0.55 shares in the combined company for each of their old shares, resulting in 33.5% of the entity being in Alcatel’s hands and Nokia having 66.5% if the public exchange offer is fully taken up.

Gujarati filmmaker Govind Patel passes away

  • Noted Gujarati filmmaker Govind Patel has died here following prolonged illness. He was 72.
  • Patel, who was suffering from cancer, was admitted to a private hospital few days ago and passed away yesterday.

C Sudharsan Reddy appointed PS to Labour Minister

  • IAS officer C Sudharsan Reddy has been appointed Private Secretary to Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatraya.
  • Reddy, a 2002 batch IAS officer, is presently serving in his cadre–Andhra Pradesh.

Temasek acquired InnoVen Capital India for 300 crore rupees

  • Singapore-based investment firm Temasek announced its entry into the venture debt segment via acquisition of InnoVen Capital India, formerly known as SVB India Finance, for Rs 300 crore.
  • InnoVen Capital provides debt financing to venture capital-backed companies like Snapdeal, Myntra, Freecharge and Practo.

Former Czech PM Stanislav Gross dies at 45

  • Stanislav Gross, who became the Czech Republic’s youngest prime minister but was forced to resign nine months later, has died at the age of 45.
  • The Social Democratic Party said Gross died Thursday but offered no details. Public television said he had been battling illness.
  • Gross became premier at the age of 34 in July 2004 and took over as chairman of the leftist Social Democrats.

Indian Defence Minister Arrives in South Korea

  • The Defence Minister of India (RM) Shri Manohar Parrikar arrived in Seoul on his first official visit to South Korea.
  • During this three-day visit to RoK, RM will co-chair the India-RoK Defence Ministerial meeting with his Korean counterpart Gen. Han Min-Koo on 17 April. They will hold extensive discussions on the entire gamut of the bilateral defence relationship and regional and global issues of mutual interest, and will in particular identify ways to upgrade the Defence relationship.
  • RM will also meet the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Choi Yun-hee, Minister Chang Myoung-Jin of the Korean Defence Acquisition Program Administration and National Security Adviser, Kim Kwan-Jin.

UN peace envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, has resigned.

  • The Moroccan diplomat had been UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy for Yemen since 2012.
  • Benomar’s departure came after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for the swift resumption of peace talks and an end to violence in Yemen.
  • Mauritanian diplomat Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who currently heads the UN Ebola mission in Accra may take his place.

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