World Post Day
Postal services have helped change how people communicate with one another in drastic ways. World Post Day on October 9, is here to remind people of how postal services became easier for everyone when countries all over the world finally came to an agreement that would change everything about how mail is processed.
Kerch Bridge collapse
A fuel tank explosion caused the partial collapse of the Kerch Bridge, which connects Russia with Crimea.
- The Kerch Bridge, also known as Crimea Bridge, is a road-and-rail bridge connecting Russia and Crimean Peninsula.
- It is the longest bridge in Europe.
- This bridge passes over the Kerch strait and provides the only direct link between Russia’s transport network and the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed in 2014 by Russia from Ukraine.
- This 19-km long bridge is a flagship project of Vladimir Putin. It was opened by the Russian President in 2018.
- It symbolizes the unification of Crimea and Russia.
- The bridge has a separate roadway and railway. They are supported by concrete stilts that support a wider span held by steel arches at the point where ships traverse between the Azov Sea and the Black Sea.
- The overall cost of the bridge was 3.6 billion USD.
- Since it is the only direct link between Russia and Crimea, it plays a major role in supplying fuel, food and other key goods to Crimea, which hosts the port of Sevastopol – the historic home base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
- It became a major supply route for Russian Forces after the military campaign against Ukraine was launched on February 24, 2022.
- It is the only military supply route linking Russia with the Crimea peninsula. Its collapse would mean the disruption of fuel, food, military equipment and ammunition supply to Russian units fighting the Ukraine war.
- Its collapse also affected fuel supply in Crimea.
About Kerch Strait
The Kerch Strait is situated in Eastern Europe. This waterway connects the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov. It separates the Kerch Peninsula in Crimea from the Taman Peninsula in Russia. The strait is named after the Crimean city of Kerch.
IFC’s Global Food Security Platform
International Finance Corp. (IFC) has launched Global Food Security Platform to strengthen the private sector’s ability to respond to food crisis and boost food production.
- The World Bank’s private sector arm, IFC, launched the Global Food Security Platform to address global food crisis.
- This 6 billion USD financing facility will help boost the flow the vital goods and services, including the uninterrupted trade flow of food supplies and other important commodities like fertilizers to vulnerable communities.
- It is part of the World Bank’s on-going 30 billion USD initiative that was launched to reduce food insecurity.
- The Global Food Security Platform will also help private entities to make new and long-term investment on local food systems in emerging markets to make them more diversified, sustainable and productive.
- The platform aims to reduce the food volatility through emergency funding to farmers, food and feed processors, commodity traders, and other stakeholders witnessing funding constraints because of sudden inflation.
- It will also assist war-torn Ukraine to restore crop production, food storage, food processing and logistics.
Tamil Nadu promulgates ordinance against online gambling
- Online gambling and online games of chance have been banned in Tamil Nadu. At the same time, the other online games will be regulated.
- The court had held that a blanket ban on games of skill fell foul of Article 19 (1)(g) (right to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business) of the Constitution. The earlier law, too, had banned games such as rummy and poker on cyberspace with stakes.
- For the purpose of regulation of online games, the ordinance has proposed the creation of the Online Gaming Authority, which will be headed by a retired officer who was of the rank of Chief Secretary. The body will have four members, including a retired police officer not below the rank of Inspector-General; experts in information technology and online gaming; and an eminent psychologist.
- The Online Gaming Authority will issue certificates of registration to local providers of online games; identify online games of chance for recommending them to the government for being banned; and oversee the functioning of the providers of online games. An appellate authority has also been provided for in the ordinance. It will have three members, including a former judge of the High Court.
- The official said there was no estimate of the number of providers of online games in the State.
- The law has defined the terms, ‘online gambling,’ ‘online game’ and ‘online game of chance’.
- Those who indulge in online gambling or online game of chance will get the punishment of imprisonment of up to three months or a fine of ₹5,000 or both. If anyone makes or causes to make advertisement in any media on the banned games, the person concerned will suffer one-year imprisonment or ₹5 lakh in fine or both. For the provider, the ordinance has stipulated the punishment of imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of ₹10 lakh or both.
Fatalities among U.N. Peacekeeping Forces rising
India is among the highest contributors of troops to the UNPKF, and has lost 179 soldiers in the past six decades, the highest fatality suffered by any country among “blue helmets”, and has been demanding a greater say in the decision making on U.N. peacekeeping missions.
Troop- and police-contributing countries need to be very much in the loop and involved in the process of making decisions on peacekeeping, and we have been making a lot of efforts to improve the geographical diversity of nations providing the forces.
Foreign Direct Product Rule (FDPR)
The US Government recently imposed FDPR to limit China’s access to advanced computer chips and chip-making equipment, which are used for military modernization and development of weapons of mass destruction.
- The foreign direct product rule (FDPR) was recently applied on China’s advanced computing and supercomputer industry to prevent it from obtaining advanced computing chips.
- The imposition of the FDPR would prevent companies, including those operating outside American soil, from selling certain products that were produced using American technology to Chinese consumers without the US government’s permission.
- This rule will now apply to semiconductor chips used in supercomputers and certain artificial intelligence applications.
- It will prevent China from developing nuclear weapons and other military equipment.
MENA region – world’s fastest crypto adopter
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the fastest growing cryptocurrencies market in the world.
The 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index released by the blockchain researcher Chainalysis revealed that the Middle East and the North Africa (MENA) region witnessed 48 per cent increase in the volume of cryptocurrency received – the highest in the world.