1. Pope Francis is Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year. Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year on Wednesday, saying the Catholic Church’s new leader has changed the perception of the 2,000-year-old institution in an extraordinary way in a short time. The pope beat out NSA leaker Edward Snowden for the distinction, which the newsmagazine has been giving each year since 1927. The former Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected in March as the first pope from Latin America and the first Jesuit.
2. Ayurvedic doctor-turned-politician Raman Singh was today sworn in as the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh for the third consecutive term.
Governor Shekhar Dutt administered him the oath of office in Raipur on Thursday. 61 year old Singh led BJP to victory for the third time in assembly polls. Raman Singh has become the fourth chief minister of Chhattisgarh that came into existence in November 2000.
3. After a landslide victory in Mizoram Assembly polls, Lal Thanhawla will be sworn in for a second consecutive term as the Chief Minister on Saturday.
Lal Thanhawla (71) and members of his council of ministers will be administered the oath of office by Governor Vakkom B Purushothaman at a ceremony which would begin at 11 am at the Raj Bhavan in Aizawl, a communique said on Thursday.
4. Banks might adopt Aadhaar as additional authentication or move to EMV (Euro pay MasterCard Visa) chip and pin technology to ensure security in card-based payment transactions, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) suggested. The central bank also said that all new card present infrastructures must be enabled with EMV chip and Pin technology as well as Aadhaar acceptance. The notification is based on Gowri Mukherjee-headed working group’s recommendation. Mukherjee is the global head of digital marketing at Standard Chartered Bank.
5. Doha Bank has been granted the license to start its banking operations in India. The bank has been permitted to open a branch in Mumbai to provide full-scale banking services. This was announced by the Chairman of Doha Bank Board of Directors Sheikh Fahad Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al-Thani in Doha. Doha Bank now becomes the first Qatari bank to get the license from the Reserve Bank of India to start operations in India. The bank plans to start its operations soon as a Foreign Bank branch in the city of Mumbai. It will offer wholesale banking, retail banking, treasury and trade finance services.
6. Wipro has received the ‘2013 ESCAP-Sasakawa Award for Disability-Inclusive Business in Asia and the Pacific’, in the category ‘Disability-Inclusive Multinational Enterprise’. The award for Disability-Inclusive Business was established by ESCAP in cooperation with The Nippon Foundation (TNF) and the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) to recognise and honour companies that have made a significant breakthrough in engaging and hiring people with disabilities in their daily operations. The award is an initiative that views persons with disabilities as an untapped workforce.
7. India and the UAE are set to sign an agreement for promotion and protection of bilateral investments.
Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA), to be signed next week in New Delhi
, will provide a comprehensive framework to investors from both the countries, the outgoing Ambassador of India to the UAE M K Lokesh said on Sunday.
8. Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in New Delhi Thursday afternoon on a four day official visit to India. A press release issued by the President’s office in Kabul last evening said he will meet Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid and hold talks on various aspects of bilateral cooperation under the long term strategic partnership treaty between the two countries. Afghan President is also scheduled to meet the Indian business and industry leaders in Pune.
9. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd lost its case to have certain products by Apple Inc banned in South Korea Thursday when a Seoul court ruled the US manufacturer had not violated Samsung patents. Samsung in March 2012 filed for damages and a sales ban on some iPhone and iPad models, saying Apple had breached three patents on technology for handling and displaying text and messages from its flagship Galaxy product range.
10. Nearly 230 million children under the age of five around the world have never had their birth registered, which often means they will be barred from education, health care and social security, the UN children’s agency said. A report by UNICEF to mark its 67th birthday on December 11 said that globally it amounts to one in three children under five.
11. De Villiers dethrones Kohli from top in ICC ODI rankings. Star batsman Virat Kohli lost his top position to AB de Villiers while most of his teammates, barring skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, also slipped in the latest ICC one-day rankings issued on Thursday after the 0-2 series loss to South Africa. De Villiers is the third batsman from South Africa after Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla to head the Test and ODI batting tables at the same time, and the ninth player overall. Amla achieved the distinction in February this year when he topped the charts after the Johannesburg Test against Pakistan.
12. Saina Nehwal has lost to the World No.1 and Olympic Champion Li Xuerui of China in the Group-B match of BWF World Super Series finals Badminton Tournament. Li defeated Saina 21-9 and 21-14 in a match today. Yesterday in the opening match, Saina lost to Japan’s Minatsu Mitani 21-19, 22-24 and 19-21. With the second defeat in the tournament, her chances for getting into semi-finals have turned bleak.
13. Kabbadi World Cup: Indian Kabaddi teams both in Men and Women sections have stormed into the final of 4th World Cup Kabaddi Tournament at Bhatinda last night. Now in the final in the Men Section, Indian team will clash with Pakistan while Women team will face New Zealand.
14. SA win series 2-0. The final one-dayer of the 3-match cricket series between India and hosts South Africa was abandoned last night, due to rain at Centurion. Rain started at the innings break, after South Africa posted 301 for 8 in the stipulated 50 overs. Opener Quinton de Kock scored his third consecutive century. He made a superb 101, while Skipper AB de Villiers hit a brilliant 109.