DAILY GK UPDATE 25-26TH JUNE

1.   
Army launches website on Uttarakhand
relief: suryahopes.in
 
i. The Indian Army on Wednesday launched a website — suryahopes.in — to provide updates on the
whereabouts of people stranded in disaster-hit Uttarakhand.

ii. The
site also provides information about the location of people, helpline numbers,
lists of those rescued and their current location.
iii. A spokesman for the Central Command told IANS that the website was a one-stop
helpline for people in distress following the natural calamity in Uttarakhand.
2.   
PM, Sonia flag off first train connecting Jammu to
Kashmir Valley
i. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on
Wednesday flagged off the first train connecting Banihal in Jammu region with
Qazigund in Kashmir Valley.
ii. The newly
constructed station in Banihal, 125 km from summer capital Srinagar, flagging
off the first train which will pass through 11 km tunnel through Pir Panchal range.
iii. The Banihal-Qazigund
section, which includes an 11-km long tunnel, the country’s longest, reduces
the 35 km distance to 18 km.
iv. It has been
constructed at a cost of Rs 1,691 crore.
v. The Udhampur-Banihal
section is expected to be completed by 2017 connecting the Valley to the rest
of the country round-the-year without any hindrance.
vi. The train will make
regular operation from Banihal to Baramulla in north Kashmir from 27th June.
vii. The
Banihal-Baramulla -Banihal train will make five trips daily beginning at 7.10
AM from Banihal and 7.35 AM from Baramulla.
viii. The
tunnel has been constructed using New Austrian Tunnelling Method, which has
been used for the first time on such a large scale in India.
ix. A three-metre wide road has been provided inside the tunnel
for maintenance and emergency rescue and relief operations. The tunnel has been
made water-proof by providing continuous PVC membrane between primary and
secondary lining.
3.   
Sheikh Abdullah to be
Qatar’s new PM: Sources
i. Qatar’s state
minister for internal affairs is tipped to succeed powerful Sheikh Hamad bin
Jassem al-Thani as prime minister in an expected cabinet reshuffle by the new
emir, sources said on Wednesday.
ii. Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, 33, succeeded his 61-year-old father who voluntarily
abdicated as emir on Tuesday, making his son the youngest ruler in Gulf Arab
states. 
iii. The
cabinet reshuffle is expected to see 
Sheikh Abdullah bin
Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani replacing Sheikh Hamad as prime minister, according
to several sources as well as Doha-based Al-Jazeera television channel. 
iv. Sheikh Hamad, a driving force behind the tiny Gulf state’s
rise to global prominence, also held the post of minister for foreign affairs
for 21 years. 
v. Sheikh Abdullah, a member of the ruling family,
has been state minister for internal affairs since February 2005. 
vi. The new government is expected to be announced when Sheikh
Tamim makes his first address to the nation later on Wednesday marking his
official enthronement as new ruler of the gas-rich state.
4.   
Nelson Mandela’s condition deteriorates
i. Anti-apartheid icon Nelson
Mandela has been kept on a life-support system following deterioration of his
health condition at a South African hospital where the 94-year-old leader was
admitted three weeks ago with a recurring lung infection.
ii. Ailing former
President Nelson Mandela is on life support in the Pretoria Heart Clinic where
he has been fighting a recurrent lung infection since June 8,” The
Citizen’ newspaper reported.
iii. According to the
paper, five highly-placed sources close to the family, including two who had
recently visited him in hospital, said that the iconic leader’s health has
deteriorated to the point where he is breathing with the assistance of a life
support ventilator.
iv. Another source told
the daily that Mandela is suffering from kidney failure and is undergoing renal
dialysis for three hours every second day.
v. He is critical, but has an entire team
of doctors, from a cardiac specialist, pulmonary specialist, kidney specialist
and a main consultant looking after him
vi. At Mandela’s
original home in Vilakazi Street in Soweto, barricades has to be put up to
control the influx of visitors. Considered the founding father of South
Africa’s democracy, Mandela became an international figure while enduring 27
years in prison for fighting against apartheid. He was elected the nation’s first
black president in 1994, four years after he was freed from prison.
5.   
Oprah tops Forbes most powerful
celebrity list
i. After two years as a
runner-up, Oprah Winfrey was named the most powerful celebrity on Wednesday by
Forbes, heading the six women and four men who make up the top 10.
ii. Singer Lady Gaga
came in second, followed by director/producer Steven Spielberg and singers
Beyonce and Madonna. 
iii. It was the fifth
time the former talk show host who runs her own TV network has headed the
annual ranking of 100 celebrities.
iv. Singer and actress
Jennifer Lopez, who was No. 1 last year, dropped to 12th place.
NOTE:i. Forbes said :With earnings of $77 million from June 2012
to 2013, Winfrey was not the highest earning celebrity, an honor that went to
Madonna who made $125 million.
ii. But Winfrey’s
position in Hollywood and her presence in the press, on television and in
social media propelled her to the No. 1 spot.
iii. It is important here
to note that Oprah Winfrey has topped the list on four previous occasions, and
she is one of three celebrities who featured on the prestigious list every year
since its inception in 1999, along with radio DJ Howard Stern and director
Steven Spielberg. 
Top 10 Forbes most
powerful celebrity
1. Oprah Winfrey       2.Lady Gaga       3. Steven
Spielberg        4.

Beyonce Knowles
5. Madonna              6.Taylor Swift      7.Bon
Jovi                       8.Roger Federer
9.Justin Bieber         10.
Ellen
DeGeneres
6.   
Reliance Capital partners with Japan’s Sumitomo
i. Reliance Capital has roped in Japanese financial behemoths Sumitomo Mitsui Trust
Bank and
 Nippon Life Insurance as minority partners to
boost its quest for banking license.
ii. The Anil Ambani Group company will spin off its
consumer lending business into a new entity in which the Japanese giants will
buy just under 5% stake each at a substantial premium
iii. Reliance Capital and
its two Japanese partners, who have signed an MoU, will apply for a licence by July 1, the deadline set by the
RBI. “After roping in the two (Japanese) firms, the consortium will submit
the business plan to the RBI – stating its loan book
size, net worth and the ability to fund the business in line with the new
norms.
iv. In case the central
bank issues a letter of intent for the banking
licence its structure would be finalised
v. Sumitomo has total assets of USD 400 billion, advances of USD 238
billion and net assets of USD 25 billion.
vi. Nippon Life, also known as Nissay, is Japan’s largest private life
insurer with revenues of USD 71 billion, profits of USD two billion and it is
also present in a host of other Asian countries and in North America and
Europe.
7.   
India, Hungary join hands for ‘gas
monitoring system’
i. Gujarat Info Petro
Ltd, a subsidiary of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, has signed an
agreement with Cason Engineering Plc, Hungary, in pursuant to the MoU signed
during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit-2013, for a gas monitoring system.
ii. This agreement was
signed between VK Sharma, CEO, Gujarat Info, and Ferenc Szakács, Chairman and
CEO of Cason.
iii. Gujarat Info
provides IT services to government departments, boards, corporations and
corporate houses as an apex consultant and total solutions provider.
USER-FRIENDLY
i. Cason is a
Hungary-based technology company having experience in developing, manufacturing
and implementing systems for gas distribution network monitoring.
ii. It has developed and
installed new solutions with leading technologies for large oil pipeline
operators in Europe and other countries worldwide.
iii. The agreement aims to
provide automation services for gas and oil companies in India.
ADVANTAGES
i.The main advantages
of the offered solutions are to provide tool to control the procurement and
sales procedures of daily purchased gas volume and to provide access for
stakeholders to the relevant daily business data with technology reports and
alarms via Web-based applications.
ii. This will provide
solutions for disaster management and security issues of cross-country
pipelines.
8.   
Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to 7 years
Jail in Sex Trial
i. Former Italian Prime
Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in prisons and a
lifetime ban on holding public office by a lower court of Milan as he was found
guilty of soliciting sex from a minor and abusing his powers to cover up his
actions.
ii. Former Italian Prime
Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in prisons and a
lifetime ban on holding public office by a lower court of Milan as he was found
guilty of soliciting sex from a minor and abusing his powers to cover up his
actions.
iii. The
sentence will be suspended until all appeals process is going to be exhausted,
which itself is likely to take several years.
iv. he
three presiding judges, all women, handed 76 years old Berlusconi a seven-year
sentence, tougher than the six years that prosecutors were demanding.
NOTE: i. The trial of
Berlusconi relates to crimes committed in 2010 when Berlusconi was prime
minister, and revolves around what prosecutors have described as erotic parties
held at his luxury residence outside Milan.
ii. There is a lenient
guideline in Italy for people over the age of 70 so it is quite evident that
Berlusconi will get some leniency in his jail term. 
9.   
Pipavav Port Regained Top Position in
Seafood Exports
i. Pipavav port, the
first private sector port of India located in Saurashtra, Gujarat, remained at
the top most position for second year in a row in FY13 on the basis of
quantity. 
ii. The Pipavav port
registered a jump of 6 percent in comparison to 2012-13 financial year. The
reason why Pipavav port remained a forerunner in terms of quantity was because
it handled lot of pre-processed fish.
iii. The
export figures by the Marine Products Export Development Authority revealed
that Pipavav port handled 233738 tonnes of marine exports in 2013-14 in
comparison to 219801 tonnes in 2012-13 fiscal year. 
iv. In
terms of value, nevertheless, Kochi as well as Vizag ports shared almost equal
share of earning, i.e., 3344.97 crore and Rs 3265.64 crore respectively in
2013-14 financial year. 
More about Pipavav
port
i. Pipavav port is the
first private sector port of India on West Coast. 
ii. Pipavav port is
situated in Saurashtra, Gujarat, at a distance of 90 km South of Amreli. 
iii. The lead promoter of
this port is APM Terminals, which is among the largest container terminal
operators in the world.
iv. The Pipavav port is
situated along the major trade routes and is also in proximity with major
Indian Port of Nhava Sheva. 
v. The services offered
by this port include logistics support, cargo handling as well as pilotage and
towage. The port handles bulk, container as well as liquid cargo.
10.  Dhoni
named captain of ICC Team of the CT
i. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was named captain of the ICC’s Team of the Champions
Trophy, which has four other Indians including stylish batsman Shikhar Dhawan.
ii. India won the last
edition of the Champions Trophy after edging past England by five runs on
Sunday.
iii. The ICC team has
seven players from India and runners-up England.
iv. The team includes
Dhoni, Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar two
Englishmen, Jonathan Trott and James Anderson, as well as Pakistan’s
Misbah-ul-Haq, Kumar Sangakkara from Sri Lanka, South Africa’s Ryan McLaren and
New Zealand’s Mitchell McClenaghan.
v. Dhoni was named as
the captain after he led his side to victory in the final, thus becoming the
first captain in the history of the game to lift all three major ICC trophies
World Twenty20 2007, Cricket World Cup 2011 and Champions Trophy 2013.
11. 
Hariharan appointed Secy of Indian chess federation 
i. Former international player V Hariharan has been appointed as secretary
of the All India Chess Federation while Bharat Singh was named Chief Executive
Officer at the AGM held in Chennai on Monday.
ii. According to an AICF
press release issued Monday, Kishore Bandekar of Goa was nominated as the joint
secretary in place of Hariharan while Singh has agreed to serve as the CEO, but
has declined a salary.
iii. Hariharan replaced
Singh who had to step down as per the government guidelines on tenure of office
bearers in national federations, the release added.
iv. Hariharan is a
former National A player and represented India in the Asian Team Chess
Championship held at Singapore in 1987.
12. 
CA sacks Arthur, names Lehmann as Australia coach
i. In a sudden move, Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday sacked Mickey
Arthur
and appointed Darren Lehmann as the new coach of the Australian team
just weeks ahead of the Ashes series.
ii. The
45-year-old Arthur, who was appointed as coach in November 2011, came in for
sharp criticism following Australia’s poor performances and disciplinary issues
within the camp.
iii. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said it
was a difficult decision but it was taken to make Australia a better side.
iv. Arthur, who had a contract till the end of the 2015 World Cup, said though it was
disappointing he admitted that he could not do justice to his job.
v. Arthur said: “Naturally I’m very disappointed with how
this has all ended. I certainly wanted to see the job through but I accept that
the team hasn’t been completely galvanised under my leadership and our
performances have been inconsistent, under whom Australia has won 10 of 19
Tests, 18 of 39 ODIs and 7 of 16 T20s.
vi. The day also saw Michael Clarke resigning from his role as a
selector of the team.
13. 
Indian male lifters end runners-up at Asian Championships
i. The Indian men’s weightlifting team finished runners-up in the Asian
Championships in Astana,
Kazakhstan for the first time in its competitive
history even though none of them could bag a medal at the event which concluded
Wednesday.
ii. The 25th Women’s and 44th Men’s
Asian Senior Weightlifting Championships concluded with most of the Indian
lifters finishing inside top eight in their respective categories.
iii. The 25th
Women’s and 44th Men’s Asian Senior Weightlifting Championships concluded with
most of the Indian lifters finishing inside top eight in their respective
categories.
iv. S Sathish Kumar ended
eighth in the 77kg category and Sukeh Dey ended seventh in the 56kg division.
14. 
Assam kicks off religious tourism with Ambubachi Mela
i. The Assam government
has decided to promote religious tourism in the state and the ongoing
“Ambubachi Mela” at the famous Kamakhya Temple is the first step in
this direction. 
ii. Ambubachi is the most important festival of Kamakhya temple, nestled atop the Nilachal Hills, and is
associated with the concept of fertility cult with the earth symbolising female ‘shakti’ (power’). 
iii. During the four-day
Ambubachi festival, Mother Earth is believed to menstruate and all religious
and agricultural activities are not performed during the period. 
iv.Other festivals like
Doul (Holi) Utsav at Barpeta and Bordowa, Shivaratri at Umananda and Shiva Doul
at Sibsagar and Urs Festival at Poa Mecca at Hajo will similarly be focused,
Tourism Director Anjan Chakraborty said. 
v. “Lakhs
of pilgrims from different parts of the country and even abroad come to shrines
during these four days to pray and seek blessings of the Goddess. The
government, therefore, would ensure that they face no difficulties and the
basic amenities are taken care of,” he said. 
15. 
Chicken intake may ward off colon cancer in teens
i. Teens who eat more chicken and fish may lower their risk of developing
colon cancer, a new study has claimed.
ii. In a
study of nearly 20,000 women, those who ate more chicken during their teen
years had lower risks of developing colorectal adenomas, which are benign
tumours that may progress into colon cancer.
iii. The researchers did
not find a direct relationship between red meat intake and adenomas, but the
results showed that replacing one serving per day of red meat with one serving
of poultry or fish may reduce the risks of rectal and advanced adenomas by about
40 percent.
iv. Among different
cancers, colorectal cancer is the most influenced by diet. Compared to
something like smoking, diet is not a large cancer risk factor, but it does
have an impact,” said study researcher Dr Katharina Nimptsch. 
16. 
New Bird species discovered in Cambodia
i. Scientists have discovered a new species of bird with distinct plumage
and a loud call living not in some remote jungle, but hiding in plain sight in
the large populous city of Phnom Penh.
ii. Scientists with the
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), BirdLife International, and other groups
found the previously undescribed species in Cambodia’s urbanised capital Phnom
Penh and several other locations just outside of the city including a
construction site.
iii. Named the Cambodian
tailorbird
 (Orthotomus
chaktomuk), it is one of only two bird species found solely in Cambodia. The
other, the Cambodian laughingthrush, is restricted to the remote Cardamom
Mountains.
iv. The
newly discovered wren-sized gray bird with a rufous cap and black throat lives
in dense, humid lowland scrub in Phnom Penh and other sites in the floodplain.
v. Its scientific name
‘chaktomuk’ is an old Khmer word meaning four-faces, perfectly describing where
the bird is found: the area centered in Phnom Penh where the Tonle Sap, Mekong
and Bassac Rivers come together.
vi. “This discovery is one of several from Indochina in
recent years, underscoring the region’s global importance for bird
conservation,” said Colin Poole, Director of WCS Singapore and a co-author
of the study.
17. 
Bhupathi-Knowle advance at Wimbledon
i.  : Eighth seeded Indo-Austrian pair of
Mahesh Bhupathi and Julian Knowle advanced to the men’s doubles second round at
Wimbledon beating unseeded Argentine-Spanish duo Leonardo Mayer and Albert
Ramos here Wednesday
ii. Bhupathi-Knowle won
6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 37 minutes in the first round clash.
iii. The eighth seeds broke their opponents for the first time in the
sixth game of the first set to take a 4-2 advantage, converting their third
break point and won the next game to take a step closer to bagging the set. 
iv. The
eighth seeds were in their elements easily breaking Mayer and Ramos twice in
the fourth set and bagging their service games to love to take the set and
match.
v. In the second round
Bhupathi-Knowle will take on American-German duo Nicholas Monroe and Simon
Stadler, who ousted another Indian pair Purav Raja and Divij Sharan in the
first round.
18. 
Connaught
Place:World’s Most Expensive Office Market
i.Connaught Place, the marketplace located in Delhi has been
ranked fifth in the list of world’s most expensive office market due to its
strong demand amid limited supply as per the CBRE report.
ii.
The reason of Connaught place being one of the
most expensive markets is the Strong demand coupled with Connaught Place’s
central location, excellent access to key regional markets and limited
availability of prime office space.
iii.
Connaught Place – the Central Business District
(CBD) is placed at the 5th position with an overall occupancy cost of 178.96
dollars per sq ft per annum. Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Nariman Point of
Mumbai are placed at 11th and 26th positions, respectively. 
The top three
Expensive markets are:
i.Hong Kong (Central)
with annual occupancy costs of 235.23 dollars per sq ft topped the most
expensive list for the third consecutive time.
ii. London’s West End,
Beijing’s Finance Street 
iii. Beijing’s
Jianguomen.