Rapid Fire Current Affairs
- 26 May 2023
- 6 min read
Iran Successfully Tests Long-Range Ballistic Missile
Iran showcased its latest version of the Khorramshahr ballistic missile, unveiling the Khorramshahr-4 with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) and a 1,500-kilogram (3,300-pound) warhead. The Khorramshahr-4 derives its name from an Iranian city associated with intense warfare during the Iran-Iraq War. The missile is also called Kheibar, after a Jewish fortress conquered by the Muslims in the 7th century. As Iran continues uranium enrichment, nearing weapons-grade levels, and given the missile's range, it raises concerns about the potential threat to Israel.
Ballistic missiles are rocket-propelled strategic weapons that follow a parabolic trajectory to deliver payloads to fixed targets. India has developed a Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system since 1999, primarily to enhance defense against potential nuclear attacks from Pakistan. The BMD system aims to incorporate both low-altitude and high-altitude interceptor missiles and involves the collaboration of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) with public and private firms. Notable ballistic missiles in India's arsenal include Agni, K-4 (SLBM), Prithvi, and Trishul.
High Forest Fire Occurrences in Indian Protected Areas
An analysis reveals that despite significant excess rainfall in the last two months, over 50% of forest fire occurrences in India were reported from nine national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. From May 17 to May 23, 2023, a total of 516 forest fires were reported, with Guru Ghasidas National Park recording the highest number of incidents (129). These fires were observed in states such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand.
While the cause of these wildfires remains unknown, it is perplexing that these areas have experienced significant excess rainfall. The Forest Survey of India indicates that approximately 4% of forest cover in the country is highly prone to fires, while another 6% is extremely prone.
Forest fires can be defined as any uncontrolled and non-prescribed combustion or burning of plants in a natural setting such as a forest, grassland, brushland, or tundra. Forest fires can be caused by natural causes like lightning or man-made causes like land clearing, agricultural activities, and industrial development. Hotter and drier weather caused by climate change and poor land management create conditions favorable for frequent, larger, and high-intensity forest fires. Forest fires can have severe consequences on the environment and wildlife. Forest fires, though often deadly, are a natural phenomenon that can be beneficial for ecosystems by clearing dead organic matter.
Read more: Forest Fires
Neeraj Chopra: The Quest for the 90m Mark
Neeraj Chopra is India’s golden boy in javelin throw, having won the Olympic gold medal in 2020 and becoming the world number one in 2023. He happens to be the first Asian to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the men's javelin throw. However, there is one elusive target that he has not yet achieved: the 90m mark. This is considered a significant milestone in the sport, as only 23 men have crossed it since 1986.
Among them are Jan Zelezny and Johannes Vetter, who have done it multiple times. Johannes Vetter of Germany stands out, having achieved this feat eight times. Jan Zelezny's astounding world record of 98.48m, set 27 years ago, remains unbroken
Neeraj has come close to the mark, with a personal best of 89.94m. He will face Vetter and two other 90m throwers at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Netherlands on June 3, 2023.
Read more: Target Olympic Podium Scheme
German Economy Enters Recession
The German economy has suffered an unforeseen setback, plunging the country into a formal recession, according to newly released data. The Federal Statistical Office's report reveals a 0.3% decline in Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) during the first quarter of 2023.
This follows a 0.5% contraction in the previous quarter of 2022, marking two consecutive quarters of decline and meeting the technical definition of a recession.
A recession is defined as a time when economic activity experiences a downturn. It is important to note that brief declines are not classified as recessions. Instead, a recession is identified by two consecutive quarters of decline in a country's real (inflation-adjusted) GDP, which takes inflation into account.
Read more: Recession