Kazakhstan's parliament voted to rename the country's capital Astana as Nursultan. It will be renamed in honour of longtime ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev a day after he resigned as president. Kazakhstan's new interim president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed renaming the capital. Astana replaced Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty as the capital in 1997.
New Zealand has imposed an immediate ban on assault weapons following the Christ church massacre that claimed the lives of 50 mosque-goers. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said assault rifles and military-style semi-automatic weapons would be banned with immediate effect. High-capacity magazines and devices similar to bump stocks will also be banned. Proponents of gun control in the United States and around the world praised the move.
Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for the second year. Indian figures at 140th place, seven spots down from last year, on this year's UN World Happiness Report. The report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20 which was declared as World Happiness Day by the UN General Assembly in 2012. The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity.
Google unveiled a video-game streaming platform called Stadia, positioning itself to take on the traditional video-game business. The platform will store a game-playing session in the cloud and lets players jump across devices operating on Google's Chrome browser and Chrome OS, such as Pixel phones and Chromebooks. Google made the announcement at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Indian-origin Jagmeet Singh has created history in Canada when he made his debut in the House of Commons. He entered as the first non-white leader of a major opposition party in the country. Singh, the leader of the New Democratic Party, was elected in federal by-elections held on February 25. Prime Minister Trudeau responded by congratulating Singh for his entry into the Commons.
The country’s largest lender SBI has signed a pact with the Bank of China to boost business opportunities. Bank of China (BoC) is the third-largest bank in the world by capital size Through this pact, both SBI and BoC will gain direct access to their respective markets of operation. Both banks’ clients will be able to use the vast combined network to expand their businesses abroad. SBI said it has a branch in Shanghai and BOC is opening its branch in Mumbai.
Election Commission has appointed two eminent former Civil Servants Shailendra Handa and Ms Madhu Mahajan as Special Expenditure Observers for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. Shailendra Handa has been deployed in Maharashtra and Madhu Mahajan has been deployed in Tamil Nadu. Both these officers have rich experience of working in Investigation Wing of I.T Department. The Special Observers will supervise and monitor the work being done by the electoral machinery.
Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics unveiled a cherry-blossom shaped torch for the Games. The top part of the torch is shaped in the traditional emblem of the sakura, or cherry blossom. The shiny rose-gold torch, which is 71 centimetres long and weighs 1.2 kilograms, uses aluminium construction waste from temporary housing built for victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Fukushima was chosen as the starting point for the Olympic torch relay. Japan has dubbed the 2020 Games the "Reconstruction Olympics" and wants to showcase recovery in regions devastated by the disaster.