Daily GK Update 19th June 2014

1) Amazon enters smartphone market with Fire
i) Amazon has introduced a new smartphone with audio and object recognition technology that seeks to make it easier for consumers to locate and purchase products and services from the nation’s largest e-commerce company.
ii) The new Fire phone also adds such features as the ability to render images in 3-D.
iii) The phone will have a screen measuring 4.7 inches diagonally. That’s smaller than leading Android phone, but larger than Apple’s iPhone.
iv) The phone will be available July 25 in the U.S. exclusively through AT&T. People can start ordering it Wednesday. Prices are comparable to other leading high-end phones, but the Fire will have double the storage. It will cost $200 for a base model with 32 gigabytes and $300 for 64 gigabytes. Both require two-year service contracts. Without contracts, they will cost $650 and $750.

2) India, the second largest LinkedIn user base
i) At around 26 million users, India is the second largest user base for professional networking site LinkedIn.
ii) China, however, may be close on the heels given that just over five months into the launch of a Chinese version the user base has already touched 5 million.

3) 40 Indians missing in Iraq, kidnapping feared
i) Indian officials in Baghdad lost contact with about 40 Indian construction workers in Mosul, and fear many of them have been kidnapped, sources confirm.
ii) The group of workers, some from Punjab were working on a government construction project in Mosul, that was over-run by ISIS militants last week.

4) Homi Bhabha’s iconic bungalow auctioned off for Rs. 372 crore

i) “Mehrangir” — the bungalow of the late Dr. Homi Bhabha, the father of India’s atomic energy programme — was on Wednesday sold for an unprecedented Rs.372 crore — effectively Rs.2,80,000 per square foot.
ii) The minimum reserve price for the publicly-auctioned 17,150-square-foot property was Rs.257 crore. The National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), a cultural institution, is the sole beneficiary. The winning bidder’s identity was not disclosed.

5) Chile send Spain packing from World Cup
i) Spain made a shock early exit from the World Cup after a disappointing 0-2 loss against Chile to become only the fourth defending champions to crash out of the tournament at the first stage.

ii) Spain needed either a win or at least a draw to remain afloat in the tournament but failed to do so. They now join Brazil (1966), France (2002) and Italy (2010) in the dubious club of defending champions bowing out of the World Cup in the first round.

6) Luxembourg approves same sex marriage
i) Lawmakers in Luxembourg, whose prime minister is openly gay, overwhelmingly approved changes in the small European nation’s legislation governing marriage that will allow people of the same sex to wed and to adopt children.
ii) The Chamber of Deputies voted 56-4 to adopt the bill, which is said to be part of the most fundamental rewrite of Luxembourg’s laws on marriage since 1804. The chamber’s website said the new rules could take effect in early 2015, or six months after their official publication.
iii) The Human Rights Campaign, a U.S-based organization in favour of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, commended Luxembourg on its decision.
iv) Xavier Bettel, who became Luxembourg’s prime minister in December, is openly gay.


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