- A Japanese volcano that figured in a 1960s James Bond movie erupted explosively.
- Shinmoedake volcano is in the southernmost main island of Kyushu, Japan.
- It is located in a mainly rural area about 985 km from Tokyo.
- It recently erupted after a strong earthquake of 6.1 magnitude shook the country’s west Osaka region.
- Few months back, “Mount lo” erupted for the first time after 250 years.
- It is a part of the Mount Kirishima group of volcanoes and located few kilometres away from Shinmoedake.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency
- A total of 20 countries, including India, announced contributions to the 2018 budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees.
- UNRWA has been providing health, education, relief and social services, as well as emergency humanitarian assistance, to some 5.3 million Palestinian refugees across its five fields of operation — Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — for 65 years.
- However, in January, the agency’s financial situation became catastrophic due to the sudden loss of USD 300 million in voluntary contributions. The Trump administration in January US said it would withhold USD 65 million of USD 125 million it had planned to send to UNRWA.
- Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, UNRWA was established by United Nations General Assembly to carry out direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees. The Agency began operations on 1 May 1950.
- In the absence of a solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA’s mandate, most recently extending it until 30 June 2020.
- UNRWA is the only UN agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict and is separate from UNHCR.
- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN Member States. UNRWA also receives some funding from the Regular Budget of the United Nations, which is used mostly for international staffing costs.
- The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has come up with a safe and effective alternative to the controversial drug oxytocin.
- While Oxytocin, must be stored and transported at 2–8 degrees Celsius, and becomes less effective when exposed to heat,
- Carbetocin does not require refrigeration and retains its efficacy for at least three years even if it is stored at 30 degrees Celsius, and in 75% relative humidity.
COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement)
- COMCASA is meant to provide a legal framework for the transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India that would facilitate “interoperability” between their forces and potentially with other militaries that use US-origin systems for secured data links.
- The general agreement signed by the US is called the Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) but the name was changed to COMCASA to reflect its India-specific nature.
- It is part of a set of three military agreements that the US considers “foundational” for a functional military relationship.
- In August 2016, India had signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), which allows the military of each country to replenish from the other’s bases.
- Negotiations on the third agreement, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA), have not yet begun.
- A total of 18 Chinkaras or Indian gazelles have died in Rajasthan’s border district of Jaisalmer in the past fortnight bringing back into focus, the plight of the species.
- Chinkaras are categorised under Schedule-1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, states can request the Centre to declare some species as “vermin” if their population becomes unmanageable, thereby removing protections assured by the Act.
- Essentially, the species can then be hunted or culled.
- The Central Government may declare any wild animal other than those specified in Sch. I and part 11 of Sch. H to be vermin for any area, so long as such notification is in force, such wild animal shall be deemed to have been included in Sch. V.
Green Climate Fund (GCF)
- It is a fund within the framework of UNFCCC
- It is founded to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.
- It was Formed in 2010.
- World Bank is chosen as a temporary trustee of the fund.
- It is headquartered in Incheon, South Korea.
- It is intended to be the centrepiece of efforts to raise Climate Finance of $100 billion a year by 2020.
Michigan Micro Mote
- Researchers at the University of Michigan in the US have come out with the world’s smallest “computer”- a device measuring just 0.3 mm to a side
- Unlike traditional desktops that retain their program and data with or without a power back-up, these new microdevices lose all prior programming and data as soon as they are switched off.
- In addition to the RAM and photovoltaics, the new micro-computing device —”Michigan Micro Mote”—has processors and wireless transmitters and receivers.
- As the Motes are too small to have conventional radio antennae, they receive and transmit data with visible light.
- A base station provides light for power and programming, and it receives the data.
- The device can help in oncology (the study and treatment of tumours) research.