1. NASA’s Kepler mission discovers ‘super-Earth’
i. NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft, which is carrying out a new mission has made its first exoplanet discovery — a ‘super-Earth’ located 180 light-years from Earth.
ii. This led to the discovery of a planet, HIP 116454b, which is 2.5 times the diameter of Earth and follows a close, nine-day orbit around a star that is smaller and cooler than our Sun, making the planet too hot for life as we know it.
iii. The discovery was confirmed with measurements taken by the HARPS-North spectrograph of the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in the Canary Islands, which captured the wobble of the star caused by the planet’s gravitational tug as it orbits.
i. Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi will remain in jail for at least three more months with Pakistani authorities on Friday slapping stringent provisions under public security against the key accused in the 2008 Mumbai attack, a day after a court gave him bail sparking outrage in India.
ii. Lakhvi (54) was detained for three months under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).
iii. Lakhvi was granted bail by Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court on Thursday due to lack of evidence against him.
3. 8.75% interest on PF for 2014-15
i. Over five crore provident fund subscribers governed by the EPFO will get 8.75 per cent interest on their deposits for the current fiscal.
ii. The Finance Ministry has ratified the rate for 2014-15, after a decision was taken to retain the interest payout at this level by the Central Board of Trustees of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation.
iii. Following the ratification by the Finance Ministry, the decision would now be notified by the Labour Ministry as also by the Income Tax Department.
4. Carbon-dioxide emissions at all-time high in 2013.
i. Global carbon-dioxide emissions from burning of fossil fuels and production of cement reached a high of 35.3 billion tonnes in 2013, mainly due to the continuing steady increase in energy use in emerging economies such as India.
ii. Brazil (6.2 per cent), India (4.4 per cent), China (4.2 per cent) and Indonesia (2.3 per cent) reported a sharp rise in emissions of the greenhouse gas that year.
iii. The global emissions, however, increased at a notably slower rate of 2 per cent than the average yearly 3.8 per cent since 2003.
iv. China, the United States and the European Union remain the top three emitters of carbon dioxide, accounting for 29 per cent, 15 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively, of the world’s total.
5. It's Atletico De Kolkata Vs Kerala F.C. in ISL Finals
i. Atletico De Kolkata and Kerala F.C. will Lock horns in the ISL finale on 20th December 2014.
ii. Atletico defeated Goa F.C. in the penalty shoot outs after the goalless draws over two legs.
iii. While Kerala F.C. defeated Chennaiyan F.C. 4-3 on aggregates to reach the summit clash.
iv. Atletico is co owned by Saurav Ganguly while Sachin is the joint owner of the Kerala F.C.
6. Veteran poetess Imtiaz Dharker awarded with the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2014.
i. Noted Pakistan-born poetess Imtiaz Dharker was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2014 for her latest poetry collection Over the Moon.
ii. The award recognizes Imtiaz Dharker life’s contribution to poetry. It will be presented to Dharker in 2015.
iii. Earlier on 4 December 2014, Dharker was unanimously chosen for the award by the Poetry Medal Committee at Windsor.
7. TVS Chairman Venu Srinivasan conferred honorary citizenship of Busan
i. TVS chairman Venu Srinivasan was made Honorary Citizen of Busan, Korea.
ii. He was conferred with the citizenship for his efforts to enhance friendship and cooperation between India and Republic of Korea.
iii. He was conferred the title by Mayor of Busan Metropolitan City, Suh Byung-soo during the honorary citizenship ceremony held at Busan.
8. US released three Cuban spies of Wasp Network.
ii. These spies were released as part of announcement restoring diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba after more than 50 years of enmity.
iii. The Wasp Network is a spy ring of Cuba that included five members of a 14 member espionage team called La Red Avipsa.