Current Affairs International - 29-30 January 2016

1. Professor Morton Mower and Sir Michael Marmot were awarded with the Prince Mahidol Award 2015 for outstanding achievements in medicine and public health worldwide. The award was presented on 29th January at the Grand Palace in Bangkok by the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on behalf of the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Mower of USA received the award in the category of medicine for invention of the Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. The device helps in monitoring heart rate and rhythm and delivers electrical current when abnormality is detected. UK-s Marmot receive the award in public health category for his evidence-based evaluation of the role of Social Determinants of Health, a concept that was adopted by the government of the UK and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to eliminate health inequalities.

2. United States' economy grew by 0.7% in last quarter (October to December) of the previous year 2015 due to slower investment and consumer spending. It is the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2015, when the economy grew by 0.6%. US economic growth stood at 2.4% in 2015.

3. The Bank of Japan unexpectedly cut a benchmark interest rate below zero yesterday in order to revive the struggling economic amid renewed concern about world economy. The BOJ's policy board decided to charge a 0.1% interest on selected current account deposits that financial institutions hold with it. With negative interest rate, BoJ expects to increase liquidity in the market and improve lending to support economic activity.

4. Angelique Kerber defeeated world number one Serena Williams by 6-4 3-6 6-4 in the final match to win the Australian Open Women-s singles title today. With this she became the first German to win a Grand Slam title since Steffi Graf in 1999.

5. South African Cricketer Graham Xavier Fordwas named as the chief coach of the Sri Lankan cricket team for his second stint.For the first time he was appointed as the head coach of the Sri Lanka national team, replacing Geoff Marsh in January 2012. He succeeded Marvan Atapattu, who resigned from the post in September 2015.

6. AB de Villiershas been appointed as the full-time captain of South Africa-s Test side, as per Cricket South Africa (CSA). He took this position after Hashim Amla-s resignation.