Syrian war will drag on as global conflict: Syria prez
- Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday that the war in his country will “drag on” as long as it is a part of a global conflict that is continuously funded and interfered in by other countries.
- Assad also clarified that Russia was not behind the attack on an aid convoy on Monday, contrary to what the US claims.
Yahoo confirms hack of 500 million accounts
- Yahoo on Thursday confirmed at least 500 million accounts were hacked in 2014 by what it believes was a “state-sponsored actor”.
- The data may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, and in some cases, encrypted security questions and answers, the company said.
- Yahoo added that it is notifying potentially affected users and has taken steps to secure their accounts.
‘Blind people do math using brain’s visual cortex’
- American researchers have revealed blind people use the visual processing region of the brain besides the region associated with numerical reasoning, to do math.
- An MRI study on blind-since-birth individuals found the activity in the visual cortex increased with problem complexity.
- The finding challenges the idea that brain tissue intended for one function is only limited to closely related tasks.
PM Modi meets India’s Rio Paralympics’ contingent
- PM Narendra Modi met India’s 19-member squad which represented the country at the recently-concluded Rio Paralympics in Delhi on Thursday.
- Modi posted individual pictures with all the para-athletes on Twitter and wrote, “It was a delight to meet the Indian contingent that made our nation proud at the #Paralympics. #Rio2016.”
- India won four medals at the Paralympics, including two golds.
ICC introduces system of ‘Demerit Points’ for players
- ICC has introduced a new ‘Demerit Points’ system for players, relating to breach of the ICC Code of Conduct.
- Players who breach the Code will accumulate Demerit Points, which can see repeating offenders suspended. Demerit Points will remain with a player for two years.
- The rule comes into effect from September 22, with all players starting with a zero balance.
Shortest international flight of 8 mins to begin in Nov
- The world’s shortest international flight between Switzerland’s St Gallen and Germany’s Friedrichshafen, taking around 8 minutes of travel time, will start operating in November, Austrian airline People’s Viennaline has claimed.
- The flight will operate twice daily with tickets costing about $44 (₹3,000). It currently takes about an hour to travel the 77.2 km distance by car.
Shortest man in the world was 1.79-foot tall
- With a height of 1.79 feet, Nepalese garment weaver Chandra Bahadur Dangi, made the record for being the shortest adult of all time in 2012.
- Chandra weighed 14.5 kg at the age of 72 and was shorter than five soft drink cans stacked on top of each other.
- Three of Chandra’s five brothers were also less than four feet tall.
Ashwin India’s highest run-getter, wicket-taker in ’16
- Indian all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin has become India’s highest run-getter and wicket-taker in Tests in 2016.
- The 30-year-old spinner, who normally bats at number seven, scored 275 runs including two centuries in five matches to overtake KL Rahul as India’s top run-getter of the year.
- In those five matches, he also took India’s best 17 wickets, which includes two five-wicket hauls.
Marriott becomes world’s largest hotel chain
- Marriott International on Friday completed its $13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, creating the world’s largest hotel chain.
- The merger combines Marriott brands like Ritz Carlton with Starwood’s W Hotels.
- In total, 30 brands are now under Marriott, forming a chain with over 1.1 million rooms in 5,700 properties across 110 countries, thereby surpassing Hilton Worldwide.
Heaviest human brain recorded weighed 2.3 kg
- The heaviest human brain ever recorded according to Guinness was of a 30-year-old US male which weighed 2.3 kg. The record was first reported in 1992 and remains unbroken since then.
- In comparison, the brain of an average man weighs about 1.4 kg whereas Albert Einstein’s brain reportedly weighed slightly below average at 1.23 kg.