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Sania wins Brisbane women's doubles title but loses No.1 rank

  • Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza picked up her first title of the season, combining with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands to lift the Brisbane International women's doubles title. 
  • The top-seeded Indo-American duo triumphed 6-2 6-3 against the second-seeded Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the final. 
  • The trophy, however, ended Sania's 91-week reign as the world No.1 doubles player in the WTA rankings. 
  • That position was taken over by her partner Bethanie.

Budget session of Parliament to begin from January 31st, 2017

  • The Budget session of Parliament convened to start from January 31, a day before the Union Budget is likely to be presented. President Pranab Mukherjee has summoned the Rajya Sabha to meet on January 31, 2017. 
  • A similar notification is also expected from the Lok Sabha secretariat.
  • The practice of separate railway Budget presentation is being scrapped from this year. 
  • The railway estimates will be part of the Union Budget.

China to build world's highest altitude telescopes in Tibet

  • China is setting up the world's highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet prefecture close to Line of Actual Control with India with a budget of $18.8 million to detect faintest echoes resonating from the universe which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory. Construction has started for the first telescope, code-named Ngari No 1, 30 km south of Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture, said Yao Yongqiang chief researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
  • Parts of Ngari is last Tibetan prefecture at China's border with India. 
  • The telescope, located 5,250 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere. 
  • It is expected to be operational by 2021, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

China forex reserves fall by USD 320 billion in 2016

  • China's Central Bank says, the country's foreign currency reserves shrank last year, marking large annual losses for the 2nd year in a row. Officials at the People's Bank of China said that foreign reserves stood at over three trillion dollars as of the end of December, 2016. 
  • For the year as a whole, China's foreign exchange reserve fell nearly 320 billion dollars from a year earlier, following a drop of more than 512 billion dollars in 2015.
  • Chinese firms and individuals concerned about the country's economic outlook have positive expectations for US President-elect Donald Trump's economic policies. 
  • They have been selling the yuan against the dollar to purchase businesses and properties overseas.The Chinese currency fell about 7 percent against the dollar in 2016.

Donald Trump names Dan Coats as new national intelligence director

  • US President-elect Donald Trump has named Dan Coats as his National Intelligence Director. The Indiana ex-senator formerly served on the Senate Intelligence Committee. 
  • Mr Coats would provide unwavering leadership and spearhead his administration's ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do them harm. 
  • The appointment comes a day after an intelligence report accused Russia's President of ordering a campaign aimed at helping Mr Trump to victory. 
  • Mr Coats will need the Senate to confirm his appointment, replacing James Clapper.

PM Modi & Portuguese PM Antonio Costa inaugurate PBD Convention at Bengaluru

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Portuguese counterpart Dr Antonio Costa has inaugurated the main convention of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas this morning (08th January 2017) in Bengaluru.
  • In his key note address at the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas celebrations, Mr Modi said, the Indian diaspora represents the best of Indian culture, ethos and values. 
  • Indians abroad are valued not just for their strength in numbers.

Djokovic wins Qatar Open tennis title

  • Novak Djokovic has won the Qatar Open tennis title. In an epic final in Doha, the Serbian defeated Andy Murray of UK by 6-3 5-7 6-4. 
  • Djokovic missed out on three match points and had to repel a roaring Murray comeback before ending the Briton's 28-match, five-tournament winning streak. 
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