Covid-19 may spread more in winter in: Study
•According to a recent study, “The Covid-19 Spread in India and Its Dependence on Temperature and Relative Humidity”, the spread of Covid-19 may pick up the pace during peak monsoon and winter with a fall in the temperature
[The study was conducted by IIT, Bhubaneswar and AIIMS, Bhubaneswar]
• 1℃ rise in temperature leads to a 0.99% decrease in cases and increases the doubling time by 1.13 days, implying a slowdown of the virus spread.
【The respiratory viral pandemics of the 21st century (SARS in 2003, Swine Flu in 2009) have revealed that seasonality in environmental factors plays an important role in the dynamics of their spread.】
•In June 2017, Qatar’s neighbouring Arab nations of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt shut off shipping routes and air space with Qatar for its alleged support for terrorism and its ties with Iran.
[It severed their diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar.]
•However, Qatar denied supporting Islamic extremism and has openly condemned its isolation as a clear attack on its sovereignty.
•All four neighbours issued a 13-point list of demands for Doha (capital of Qatar) to comply with in order to restore erstwhile relations
•Qatar approached the ICAO, alleging that its rights of free passage under the 1944 Convention on Civil Aviation were violated by the blockade.
•Saudi Arabia and its allies argued that the ICJ should have the authority to settle the dispute instead of the ICAO because the dispute goes beyond the aviation matters.
•In 2018, the ICAO ruled against the Saudi coalition, holding that it did have jurisdiction to hear the case and its ruling was recently backed by the ICJ too.The blockade still remains in force and the ICAO is expected to deliver its verdict in 2021. The ruling will be in Qatar’s favour and will be a major win for the country and its national carrier, Qatar Airways.】
National Award of Excellence for Outstanding Research in Forestry for the year 2019
•It has been awarded to Kannan C S Warrier, a scientist at Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB).
•This award is conferred by the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE).
[ICFRE is an apex body in the national forestry research system]
•The award has been awarded to Kannan C S Warrier for releasing three salt-tolerant productive clones of Casuarina that are suitable for salt-affected soils, for the first time in the country
•India has 6.73 million hectares of salt affected land and is also the largest producer of Casuarina in the world which makes the production of these clones a significant achievement
BlackRock : A new Android Malware
•BlackRock is a banking Trojan and said to be an enhanced version of existing Xerxes malware which itself is a variant of the LokiBot Android trojan.
•[A trojan is any type of malicious program disguised as a legitimate one. Often, they are designed to steal sensitive information (login credentials, account numbers, financial information, credit card information, and the like) from users.]
•It collects user information by abusing the Accessibility Service of Android and overlaying a fake screen on top of a genuine app. It uses Android DPC (Device Policy Controller) to provide access to other permissions.
•It surfaces as a google update
•It makes antivirus applications useless
•Recently, scientists have reported the discovery of the first super giant isopod species in the eastern Indian Ocean named ‘Bathynomus raksasa’.
•It has been described as the ‘cockroach of the sea’.
•A team of researchers from Singapore discovered it while exploring waters of the Indian Ocean in Bantan, off the southern coast of West Java in Indonesia in 2018
•Isopods are marine invertebrates (animals without backbones) that belong to the greater crustacean group of animals, which also includes crabs and shrimp.
•It has 14 legs but uses these only to crawl along the bed of oceans in search of food.
•It measures around 50 cm in length, which is big for isopods, which normally do not grow beyond 33 cm