Hi Aaditya here and welcome to weekly news update
November 19th is observed as ‘World Toilet Day”. World Toilet Day has been an annual United Nations observance since 2013. It was first established in 2001 by the World Toilet Organization.
Over half of the global population or 4.2 billion people lack safe sanitation. World Toilet Day celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal – water and sanitation for all by 2030.
Today, the world’s toilets – and the sanitation systems they are connected to – are under threat from climate change. Flooding, drought and rising sea levels can damage any part of a sanitation system – toilets, pipes, tanks and treatment plants – spreading raw sewage and creating a public health emergency. We must make our sanitation systems resilient, so they are sustainable as climate change gets worse. Everyone must have sustainable sanitation, alongside clean water and handwashing facilities, to help protect and maintain our health security and stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases such as COVID-19, cholera and typhoid.
Those who have pets at home and love animals must have, at some point, wondered wish we could understand their language. Well, that seems like a reality now. According to reports in BBC, a former Amazon Alexa Engineer has developed an app that can translate cat’s meow. The app MeowTalk records a cat’s meow sound and tries to decipher the meaning.
At present, there are only 13 phrases in the MeoTalk app vocabulary – that includes – feed me, I am angry, leave me alone. Each cat meow is different and the app has the capability to adapt based on each individual profile. The cat owner can also label instructions and create a database for the AI software to learn.
Are you curious to try it? Download the app now. It is available for free on both Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
New Zealand has voted kākāpō, also called owl parrot as the bird of the year 2020. Kakapo belongs to a species of large, flightless, nocturnal ground-dwelling birds. They were critically endangered species. Thanks to intensive conservation efforts, the kākāpō have come back from the edge of extinction. Their numbers have grown from just 50 birds in the 1990s, to 213 individuals today.
Many of New Zealand’s native birds are at risk of extinction. Their habitats are being destroyed or degraded by introduced predators, pollution, human development, and climate change.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, space- and ground-based observations have shown that Earth’s atmosphere has seen significant reductions in some air pollutants. Using computer models to generate a COVID-free 2020 for comparison, NASA researchers found that since February, pandemic restrictions have reduced global nitrogen dioxide concentrations by nearly 20%. The results were presented at the 2020 International Conference for High-Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis.
Nitrogen dioxide is an air pollutant that is primarily produced by the combustion of fossil fuels used by industry and transportation—both of which were significantly reduced during the height of the pandemic to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading. The researchers received data from 46 countries—a total of 5,756 observation sites on the ground—relaying hourly atmospheric composition measurements in near-real time. On a city-level, 50 of the 61 analyzed cities show nitrogen dioxide reductions between 20-50%.
In our famous birthday column, we have Indira Gandhi. Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917. She was the first and, to date, only female Prime Minister of India. Daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, she served as prime minister from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in October 1984, making her the second longest-serving Indian prime minister after her father.
In 1999, Indira Gandhi was named “Woman of the Millennium” in an online poll organised by the BBC. In 2020 Gandhi was named by Time magazine among world’s 100 powerful women who defined the last century.
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