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Current Affairs for 20 April 2016
April 21, 2016
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LAUREUS AWARDS: NOVAK DJOKOVIC & SERENA WILLIAMS WIN ‘SPORT’S OSCARS’

It was tennis that triumphed at this year’s Laureus Awards, as Novak Djokovic and Serena William took home the top honors at the prestigious annual ceremony.

Little wonder.

Djokovic reached all four grand slam finals in 2015, winning three — a feat matched by Serena Williams, who also held onto the world No. 1 ranking all year.

Djokovic’s Sportsman of the Year award means he’s now won it a total of three times, alongside tennis rival Roger Federer — the most since the inception of the Laureus Awards in 2000.

“It’s a great privilege and an honor,” said Djokovic on the red carpet.


 

HPCL PLANS $3.8 BN INVESTMENT TO LIFT CAPACITY BY TWO-THIRDS

 

Aims to raise its capacity to process about 500,000 barrels per day of crude

India’s Hindustan Petroleum Corp plans to invest around $3.8 billion to ramp up its refining capacity by two-thirds this decade, as the country’s oil demand soars and to meet cleaner fuel standards, a company official told Reuters.

Fuel demand in India — the world’s third-biggest oil consumer — is rising at its fastest clip in more than a decade, buoyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s manufacturing push and as an expanding middle-class buys more cars.

State-run Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) aims to raise its capacity to process about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude by investing around 250 billion rupees ($3.76 billion), refineries head, Mr B. K. Namdeo, said in an interview.

HPCL aims to boost the capacity of its Mumbai refinery to 190,000 bpd by July 2019 from 130,000 bpd, while the Vizag refinery in India’s south will ramp up to 300,000 bpd from 166,000 bpd by July 2020, he said.


 

DINOSAURS STRUGGLED TO SURVIVE LONG BEFORE ASTEROID HIT

Dinosaurs struggled to survive for tens of millions of years before they finally went extinct, an event widely blamed on the environmental fallout from an asteroid strike, researchers said on Monday.

The argument offers the latest salvo in a long-running debate among scientists over the state of dinosaur health in their final years on Earth — some say they were flourishing, while others say they were strongly in decline.

For the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , researchers combed through fossil records from around the world and performed a statistical analysis showing that various species of dinosaurs were going extinct at a faster pace than new ones were emerging for a period of at least 40 million years prior to the cosmic debris that smashed into what is modern-day Mexico. “We were not expecting this result,” said Mr. Sakamoto.


 

BARD MORE POPULAR IN INDIA THAN IN U.K.

William Shakespeare is understood far better in India than his birth country and the iconic playwright’s popularity in the emerging economies exceeds his fame in the UK, a new survey released on Tuesday has found.

The YouGov poll for the British Council covered 18,000 people across 15 countries to mark the 400th death anniversary of the Bard this month. According to the report titled “All the World’s”, as many as 83 per cent of Indians said they understood Shakespeare, compared to just 58 per cent of Britons.

The iconic playwright proved more popular in almost all emerging economies than in the United Kingdom.

In Mexico, 88 per cent said they liked Shakespeare, compared with only 59 per cent of British people and 84 per cent of Brazilians said they found him relevant to today’s world, compared with just 57 per cent in the UK.

More than a third of people questioned said Shakespeare made them feel more positive about the UK in general, with the figures highest in India (62 per cent) and Brazil (57 per cent). Of those people, 70 per cent were interested in visiting the UK as tourists.


AP WINS PUBLIC SERVICE PULITZER FOR ASIA SERIES

The Associated Press won the Pulitzer Prize for public service on Monday for a series that exposed slavery and vicious abuse in the Southeast Asia fishing trade, leading to the release of 2,000 captives and broad reforms in an industry that is a major supplier of seafood to the United States.

The Pulitzers are in their centennial year, and the winners announced by Columbia University reflected in part the changes sweeping the media landscape. Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project , an online outlet founded 17 months ago, and T. Christian Miller of ProPublica , another digital news organisation, won the explanatory reporting prize for a harrowing account of a botched rape investigation.

One year after magazines became eligible in some Pulitzer prize categories, The New Yorker received two prizes: for Emily Nussbaum’s television criticism, and for The Really Big One , Kathryn Schulz’s ominous article about the potential for a major earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, which won for feature writing.

In an honour that was widely predicted, the musical Hamilton , a hip-hop retelling of the Founding Fathers story, received the prize for drama. The musical’s creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, reacted joyfully on Twitter, writing: “PULITZER?!”