The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance, plans to build a headquarters for space operations at its airbase in Ramstein in Germany, to counter a rising Russian and Chinese threat.

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The new centre is to be a central point of contact to support NATO missions with communication and satellite images. It will also be a place to exchange information on potential threats to satellites. Some 2,000 satellites orbit the Earth, more than half of which are operated by NATO members, allowing everything from mobile phone services to weather forecasts. Currently, at least 40 per cent of NATO’s communications are via satellite.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • NATO Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.
  • NATO Chairman of the NATO Military Committee: Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach.
  • Member countries of NATO: 30; Founded:  4 April 1949.

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Indian-origin Wavel Ramkalawan has been elected as the President of Seychelles. Seychelles has elected an opposition candidate as president for the first time since 1977. He has defeated the incumbent Danny Faure. Ramakalwan is a priest of Indian Origin whose grandfather came from Gopalganj, Bihar.

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Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Seychelles Capital: Victoria.
  • Seychelles Currency: Seychellois rupee.
  • Seychelles Continent: Africa.

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Bangladesh government has decided that no service will be provided to people who don’t wear a mask. The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina decided that no one will be allowed to enter offices without the mask. It decided that all offices must install notice boards saying ‘no mask, no service’ in order to control the spread of COVID 19 virus in the country.

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Involving community leaders in the campaign to wear a mask, the Cabinet Secretary said that the government has also talked to the Islamic scholars and religious leaders to publicise this at all mosques through the Imams.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Prime Minister of Bangladesh: Sheikh Hasina; Capital: Dhaka; Currency: Taka.

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The global terror financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has announced that Pakistan will continue to remain on its grey list till February 2021. This decision has been taken since Pakistan has not been able to fulfil six out of the 27 mandates to check terror funding. FATF has strongly urged Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2021.

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About FATF:

  • FATF objective is to combat money laundering, terror financing and other related threats to the international financial system.
  • It currently has 39 members which include two regional organizations, the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • The headquarters of FATF is in Paris, France.
  • FATF was founded in July 1989.
  • Prime Minister of Pakistan: Imran Khan.
  • President of Pakistan: Arif Alvi.
  • Capital of Pakistan: Islamabad.

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                                                हिंदी में पढ़ें 

Andorra has joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to become its 190th member. Andorra is a microstate situated between France and Spain. However, it is the largest microstate in Europe.

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IMF’s Membership allows the Andorran government to benefit from IMF policy advice, especially as the country tackles the crisis caused by COVID-19 and can now receive an annual review or “health check” of its economy by the IMF, tap technical assistance, and access IMF lending if needed.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Capital of Andorra: Andorra la Vella.
  • The currency of Andorra: Euro.

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Former Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad al-Hariri has been re-appointed to the post, after winning a slim majority of votes in parliament election. Hariri received 65 parliamentary votes out of 118, giving him the mandate to form his new government. In October 2019, Hariri announced his resignation amid 2019-20 mass-protests.

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Previously he had served as Prime Minister of Lebanon from 9 November 2009 to 13 June 2011 and then from 18 December 2016 to 21 January 2020. Hariri is the third person to be tasked with forming a government this year, after academic Hassan Diab, who succeeded in forming a government but resigned and then diplomat Mustafa Adib.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Capital of Lebanon: Beirut.
  • The currency of Lebanon: Lebanese pound.

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Singapore became the World’s First Country to attach Facial verification in the National Identification Database. The function is called “SingPass Face Verification”. This technology is being rolled out to the city-state’s SingPass digital identity scheme, offering access to no less than 400 online services, including tax declarations and public housing applications.

According to the Singapore authorities, the technology helps ensure that the right person is genuinely present in front of their screen, rather than a photograph, a video, a replayed recording or a deepfake.

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Benefits of Facial recognition:

  • Facial recognition is increasingly being used to access other online services, such as banking.
  • The function is designed to work via home computers, tablets and cell phones, as well as at public kiosks.
  • In the future, facial recognition could find other applications in Singapore, such as making sure students sit their own examinations or for verification purposes in secure areas of the city-state’s ports.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Prime Minister of Singapore: Lee Hsien Loong.
  • Singapore Capital: Singapore City.
  • Singapore Currency: Singapore Dollar.

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The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, won a landslide victory in the country’s general election, to be elected as the PM for the second consecutive three-year term. In the battle against Covid, Ardern was alone among her western peers in pursuing an explicit elimination strategy and imposed one of the strictest nationwide lockdowns in the world.

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Ardern’s centre-left Labour Party won 49.2% of the total 83.7% votes counted in the 120-member parliament. The 40-year-old is serving as the 40th Prime Minister of the country since 26 October 2017.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • New Zealand Capital: Wellington.
  • New Zealand New Zealand dollar.

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Kyrgyzstan President, Sooronbai Jeenbekov has resigned from his post, following 10 days of unrest caused by protesters who have demanded his removal from office. On 4th October 2020, he was re-elected as the President in Parliamentary election, causing political turmoil throughout the country.

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The 61-year-old has served as the President of Kyrgyzstan from 2017 to 2020. He was also the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan from April 2016 to August 2017.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Kyrgyzstan Capital: Bishkek
  • Kyrgyzstan Currency: Kyrgyzstani som

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Russia has given regulatory approval to a second Covid-19 vaccine, named ‘EpiVacCorona’, after early-stage studies. The new coronavirus vaccine comes two months after a similar move for Russia’s first vaccine Sputnik V prompted widespread criticism from scientists both at home and abroad.

Russia became the first country to give regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine in August when Sputnik V was officially registered ahead of the large-scale clinical trial. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country has registered the second Covid-19 vaccine.

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About EpiVacCorona:

  • The second Russian vaccine to receive regulatory approval was developed by the Vector State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology.
  • The two-shot vaccine, ‘EpiVacCorona’, was tested among 100 volunteers in early-stage, placebo-controlled human trials, which lasted more than two months and were completed two weeks ago.
  • The volunteers were between 18 and 60 years old.
  • Vector’s vaccine EpiVacCorona relies on chemically synthesized peptide antigens of SARS-CoV-2 proteins, conjugated to a carrier protein and adsorbed on an aluminium-containing adjuvant, according to details posted at ClinicalTrials.gov, a database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies conducted around the world.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Russia President: Vladimir Putin.
  • Russia Capital: Moscow.
  • Russia Currency: Russian Ruble.

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