In Brief – July 2021

in-brief1Acid attack survivors distribute food

Sheroes Hangout Café, run by acid attack survivors in Agra, opened its doors to the poor and needy during the lockdown under the Smile Goal Hai campaign. Supported by Chhanv Foundation, the cafe carried out food distribution drives across the city. The acid attack survivors also carried out food distribution drive for Covid patients. The initiative is providing 200 FSSAI-certified food boxes every day. The meal box includes rice, chapati, vegetables and dal.

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in-brief2Covid vaccine for animals

Russia has registered the world’s first Covid vaccine for animals, after tests showed it generated antibodies against the virus in dogs, cats, foxes and mink. The vaccine has been developed by a unit of Rosselkhoznadzor, a federal service for veterinary and phytosanitary supervision, that exercises oversight over vet medicine and agricultural production. This vaccine was named Carnivac-Cov. Farms in Russia, Greece, Poland and Austria have already requested for bulk supplies of the vaccine. The effect of the dosage is said to last for six months. But experts continue to study the effects and results of the vaccine. So far Russia has only registered two Covid cases among animals, both in cats.

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in-brief3Floating city in the Maldives

A Dutch planning and architecture firm is working with the Maldives to create a 200- hectare-floating city as the archipelago with 25 islands in the Indian Ocean faces the risk of becoming inhabitable due to warming. The floating city is modelled on the structure of coral reefs and will be powered by green energy to help fight climate change. A series of canals and flexible bridges will connect its housing modules while docks will allow people to park their boats and access services to facilitate a whole new experience of shopping. The construction, beginning next year, will be completed in five years.

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in-brief4China’s new three-child policy

China has announced that it will allow couples to have up to three children, after census data showed a steep decline in birth rate. The country had introduced the one child policy in 1979 to slow population growth. This was replaced in 2016 with a two-child limit. The latest move was approved by President Xi Jinping. The new policy of having three children by a couple will boost the country’s population which is currently at 1.4 billion. The announcement comes after the release of the Seventh National Population Census, which showed that the number of births in China in 2020 were only 12 million, the lowest since 1960.

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in-brief5Billionaires in space race

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and head of the aerospace company Blue Origin, has announced plans to launch the first human space flight. If successful, the 57-year-old would become the first person to ride his own company’s rocket into space. Two others — Elon Musk of SpaceX and Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic — have said they also want to ride into space on their own company-built spaceship. Named after NASA astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go into space, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket plans to take off on July 20. The spacecraft will carry six passengers on a 10-minute flight to about 105km above Earth. Only one ticket was auctioned online and an unnamed bidder won, offering $28 million. The bidder will join Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, another guest and two crew members on the ride to the Karman Line, that boundary line the divides the atmosphere from the outer space, where they will experience weightlessness and observe the curvature of Earth.

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