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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 02-June-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. US House panel chair slams Chinese ‘aggression’ in border dispute with India

  2. Russia to roll out its first approved Covid-19 drug next week

  3. Rare bandtail scorpionfish found in Gulf of Mannar

  4. New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo; WHO surge team supporting the response


US HOUSE PANEL CHAIR SLAMS CHINESE ‘AGGRESSION’ IN BORDER DISPUTE WITH INDIA

Why in news?

  • Eliot Engel, chairman of the powerful US House foreign relations committee, on Monday, slammed Chinese “aggression” for continuing tensions along the border with India, adding to growing US support for India in this dispute.


Highlights:

  • The chairman of the committee, which has oversight over the state department, is the latest US official to weigh in on India’s side in this border dispute with China.

  • Alice Wells, the outgoing head of the state department’s South and Central Asia department, had earlier said the border flare-ups were a “reminder that Chinese aggression is not always just rhetorical”.

  • “Whether it’s in the South China Sea or whether it’s along the border with India, we continue to see provocations and disturbing behaviour by China that raises questions about how China seeks to use its growing power,” she had added.

  • Also on the India-China dispute, President Donald Trump made an unsolicited offer of mediation which has been turned down by both India and China.


Source : Hindustan Times ( https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/us-house-panel-chair-slams-chinese-aggression-in-border-dispute-with-india/story-lvhtyuGWKnEWfNNCEY9PqK.html )


RUSSIA TO ROLL OUT ITS FIRST APPROVED COVID-19 DRUG NEXT WEEK

  • Why in news? Russia will start giving its first drug approved to treat Covid-19 to patients next week, its state financial backer told Reuters, a move it hopes will ease strains on the health system and speed a return to normal economic life.


Highlights:

  • Russian hospitals can begin giving the antiviral drug, which is registered under the name Avifavir, to patients from June 11.

  • There is currently no vaccine for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and human trials of several existing antiviral drugs have yet to show efficacy.

  • Avifavir, known generically as favipiravir, was first developed in the late 1990s by a Japanese company later bought by Fujifilm as it moved into healthcare.

  • RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev said Russian scientists had modified the drug to enhance it, and said Moscow would be ready to share the details of those modifications within two weeks.


Source : Hindustan Times ( https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/coronavirus-update-russia-to-roll-out-its-first-approved-covid-19-drug-next-week/story-9V422benmGih9byWzPoC1O.html )


RARE BANDTAIL SCORPIONFISH FOUND IN GULF OF MANNAR

Why in news?

  • Indian researchers have found a rare fish — capable of changing its colour— off the Sethukarai coast in the Gulf of Mannar, one of the world's richest region from a marine biodiversity perspective.


Highlights:

  • Camouflaged within the seagrass meadows, the bandtail scorpionfish (Scorpaenospsis Neglecta), a rare marine species well-known for the stinging venomous spines and the ability to change colour, was found during an underwater exploratory survey of the seagrass ecosystem by CMFRI scientists.

  • This was the first time this particular species was found live in the Indian waters

  • Having a highly powerful sensory system, the fish could even detect respiratory ventilation flows produced by crabs at a distance of 10 cm in dark environment.

  • The fish is called 'scorpionfish' because its spines contain neurotoxic venom.

  • According to UNESCO, the Gulf of Mannar's 4,223 species of plants and animals representing from primitive to higher