Current Affairs, News & Facts of 20 May 2014

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  • Dalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi to replace Nitish Kumar as the next Chief Minister of Bihar.  
    • Earlier, Nitish Kumar stepped down as such taking moral responsibility of the massive electoral debacle his party suffered in the general election 2014.
    • Manjhi currently holds the SC/ST, OBS, EBC Welfare Ministry in the state government.
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  • Thailand Army imposes martial law in the country.    
    • The decision has been taken in order to tackle the deteriorating law and order amidst political upheavel.
    • Earlier, Thailand caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was forced out by the constitutional court after being found guilty of abusing power as interim PM.  
    • The reins of the interim government (to be there until July elections) was passed on to Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan; A move which resulted into massive nationwide protest. 
    • It is noteworthy that Thailand Army has so far staged 11 coups since 1932 – the last of them being the 2006 ouster of Thaksin Shinawatra (brother of Yingluck Shinawatra).
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  • Congress leader Nabam Tuki resumes his 2nd inning as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh.   
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  • Indian recurve archers bagged two medals, a silver and a bronze, in the second World Cup held at Medellin, Columbia. 
    • While India’s recurve ‘B’ team comprising Atanu Das, Thupuvoyi and Sanjay Boro lost to Korea in the shoot-off to return with a silver medal, the mixed team of Atanu Das and Bombayla Devi Laishram pocketed a bronze by beating a Mexican combination.
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  • Sir Jack Brabham, the three-time Formula One world champion, dies aged 88.  
    • The Australian won the world championship in 1959, 1960 and 1966. 
    • 1966 title was unique and most memorable in a way as he had won the race in a self-built car named Brabham.
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  • Veteran nuclear scientist N Srinivasan passes away aged 84. 
    • He had played a key role in establishing the indigenous technology for reprocessing spent fuels from thermal reactors.
    • He was awarded with Padma Bhushan in 2000.
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  • Nine Indian students have been honoured at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) held in California (US).  
    • The fair is the largest international pre-college science competition in the world. 
    • More than 1,700 young scientists from around the world competed for over USD 5 million in awards and scholarships.
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  • India languishes at 134th place in 'Ease of Doing Business’ ranking 2014  - read more cat
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  • China on course to build infrastructure connecting it to neighbouring countries; sets up a 10 billion Yuan (10000 crore in Rs) fund as part of “maritime silk road plan”.  
    • The emerging superpower plans to construct ports and boost maritime connectivity with Southeast Asian and Indian Ocean littoral countries.
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  • Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca declines a massive takeover bid by the US based pharmaceutical MNC Pfizer.  
    • Pfizer is the maker of best-selling drugs like Lipitor and Viagra.
    • If completed, the deal would be one of the largest acquisitions in the pharmaceutical industry, surpassing Pfizer’s acquisition of Warner-Lambert valued at $90 billion some 14 years ago. 
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  • Rukmani is the first dedicated communication satellite for the Indian navy.
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