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Last Updated Thursday February 22 2018 05:42 PM IST

Tiny Bytes: Budget 2018, rare 'Super blue blood Moon', U-19 World Cup and more

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Welcome to Tiny Bytes, a look at some of the top news for little minds.

Health, rural sector focus of Union Budget 2018

A slew of measures for the agriculture and rural sectors, a new health insurance scheme for the poor and some relief in income tax for the salaried class and senior citizens, were announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley Thursday in the last full budget before the general elections.

Presenting his fifth straight budget in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley raised the health and education cess, levied on all taxable income, to 4 per cent from current 3 per cent, and introduced a social welfare surcharge of 10 per cent to fund social welfare schemes. Read more

A women-friendly, coastal-focussed Budget for Kerala

Coming on the trail of Cyclone Ockhi that devastated Kerala’s coastline, the state Budget includes a Rs 2,000 special package for the fisheries sector. Finance minister T M Thomas Isaac, who also announced measures to revive the healthcare sector, said that the cyclone presented a model in disaster management.

He also said that Kerala was No. 1 in economic achievements and the state was an impenetrable fortress against forces of communalism. Read more

Rare 'Super blue blood Moon' leaves millions awestruck

Enthusiastic stargazers here relished the rare spectacle of viewing a 'super blue blood Moon' on Wednesday, celestial triple treat. The January 31 sighting of a "blue Moon" and a total lunar eclipse occurred in India for the first time after 1982. Many organizations across the country stepped in to enhance the show which was also visible to the naked eye.

According to NASA, the January 31 full moon is special for three reasons. It is the third in a series of 'supermoons,' when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit - known as perigee - and about 14 per cent brighter than usual. It is also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a 'blue moon.' The super blue moon will pass through Earth's shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. And while the Moon is in the Earth's shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a 'blood moon.' Read more

Trump pushes hardline immigration policies even as he urges unity

US president Donald Trump urged lawmakers on Tuesday to work toward bipartisan compromises, but pushed a hard line on immigration, insisting on a border wall and other concessions from Democrats as part of any deal to protect the children of illegal immigrants. Read more

History awaits Dravid's boys in U-19 World Cup final

Unstoppable so far, India would be aiming to rewrite record books with a fourth title when the Rahul Dravid-coached side squares off against an equally formidable Australia in the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup, in new Zealand on Saturday. India and Australia are the two most successful teams in the history of the tournament having won the coveted trophy thrice each. Read more

Facebook AI team teaching chatbots how to talk like humans

Facebook Artificial Intelligence Researchers (FAIR) have tested a new approach that teaches bots how to chit-chat like humans. The team used a special 164,000-utterance data set titled "Persona-Chat" to teach its AI to look for patterns. "Persona-Chat" consists of more than 160,000 lines of dialogue, sourced from workers found on Amazon's "Mechanical Turk" marketplace. Read more

That’s it for today, kids. Thank you for listening. I hope you’ll watch out for me next Friday again. Remember it’s so important to know what’s going on in the world around you.

The opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of Malayala Manorama. The responsibility of opinions expressed here lies solely with the author. According to the IT Act, derogatory statements towards an individual, community, religion and country as well as the use of obscene words are punishable offenses. Legal action will be taken against such practices.
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