1. The US and Cuba announced the opening of embassies in each other’s capitals, a major step in re-establishing diplomatic ties severed in 1961. Relations had been frozen since the early 1960s when the US broke links and imposed a trade embargo with the Communist island. But the US and Cuba agreed to normalise relations at the end of 2014.
2. Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel has become the world’s third largest mobile operator with 303 million subscribers. It operates in 20 countries. According to World Cellular Information Service (WCIS) Bharti Airtel has moved up one position in the global rankings. China Mobile is the top mobile operator in the world with 626.27 million subscribers. Vodafone Group of UK ranks second with 403.08 million subscribers.
3. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, in an unprecedented move for the first time nominated a female to the post of judge in Afghanistan’s Supreme Court. He has appointed Anisa Rasouli to the post of judge. Anisa Rasouli, the head of the Afghan Women Judges Association and a former juvenile court judge, is the only female nominated to the nine-member bench.
4. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and JCB International Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Japan’s JCB Co. Ltd., entered into a partnership for payment cards issuance and acceptance. Under the pact, JCB cards will be accepted at all NPCI locations in India. The partnership will also include the issuance of RuPay/JCB international cards by NPCI member banks that will be globally accepted through the JCB network. These cards will be launched in the second half of 2016
5.Infosys has launched a mobile app, the ‘Finacle SME Enable’ to help banks enhance support and service for their small and medium business enterprise (SME) customers. The mobile-based financial and business management solution will provide bank’s SME customers real-time access to their account information and relevant financial management tools to manage their day-to-day business operations in a self-service mode.
6. Goa has been selected to host FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017. Goa would be one of the six centres in the country that are provisionally selected to host forthcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 matches. FIFA has provisionally shortlisted other centres like Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Navi Mumbai and New Delhi besides Goa as the World Cup venues.
7.Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta won the Commonwealth Chess Championship after settling for a quick draw with Arghyadip Das in the ninth and final round. Gupta made eight points out of a possible nine. In the women’s section, Padmini Rout won gold medal by defeating S. Vijayalakshmi
8. Cuba has become the first country to eliminate the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The World Health Organization hailed what it called ‘one of the greatest public health achievements possible. Only two children in the country were born with HIV and five with syphilis in 2013.
9. Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was conferred with Peru’s one of the highest awards ‘Grand Officer’ for social work and mission to deliver peace through his foundation ‘The Art of Living’. Earlier the government of Colombia honoured him with the country’s highest civilian award for his contribution to peace.
10. Star shot putter Inderjeet Singh and half-miler Jinson Johnson clinched their third gold in a row at the third and final leg of Asian Athletics Grand Prix Series 2015 held in Thailand’s Chantaburi. With this gold, both Inderjeet and Johnson completed their golden hat-trick as they had bagged the yellow metal in their respective events in the first and second legs. Johnson led men’s 800m final all through with a timing of 1:50.56 while Inderjeet produced a best effort of 19.83 m to take the top honours.