1) Lok Sabha polls: Congress released 2014 people's manifesto: The Congress on Wednesday released its 2014 Lok Sabha election manifesto. The document focuses on inclusive growth, agriculture, education and health. Party president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi were present at the party office to release the manifesto. Speaking at the party office in New Delhi, Rahul Gandhi said that UPA has delivered 90% of the promises of our 2009 manifesto.
2) Laureus World Sports Awards 2014 winners revealed: Three of the most exciting young sports stars of their generation, who have proved world-beaters despite their age, have been honoured at the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
>> Germany’s Sebastian Vettel, the youngest four-time Formula One world champion in history at 26, was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, US swimmer Missy Franklin, at 18, became the youngest ever winner of the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, while Spain’s Marc Márquez received the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award, after winning the World MotoGP Championship at just 20 years and 266 days.
Other winners are as follows:
>> Formula one champion 'Sebastian Vettel': Sportsman of the Year
>> US swimmer Missy Franklin: World Sportswoman of the Year (youngest ever)
>> Marc Marquez (Spain): Breakthrough of the Year Award
>> Bayern Munich: World Team of the Year Award
>> Rafael Nadal: Laureus Comeback Award
>> Marie Bochet (France): World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
>> Jamie Bestwick (UK): World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Two additional Awards were also presented
>> Spirit of Sport Award: Afghanistan Cricket Team
>> Sport for Good Award: Magic Bus (a sports-based community project in India)
The annual award, widely considered as the "Oscars of sports, was established in 1999.
3) Facebook to buy virtual reality firm Oculus for $2bn: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is definitely not finished with his shopping. Barely a month after Facebook spent $19 billion on WhatsApp, the company on Wednesday announced that it was buying Oculus VR, a firm that was working on a virtual reality headset for video gamers. For Oculus, Facebook is forking out around $2 billion. According to the company, "this includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock."
4) Jude Felix Appointed As New Coach Of Senior Men's Hockey Team: Former India captain Jude Felix has been appointed as coach of the senior men's national hockey team and the Olympian will work under Chief Coach Terry Walsh, Hockey India (HI) said. Felix will join the training camp of the senior men hockey team at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi for preparations of the FIH Men's World Cup 2014 to be held at The Hague, Netherlands from May 31 to June 15.
5) Kotak Mahindra Bank links current accounts to Twitter: Digitally-savvy customers of private lender Kotak Mahindra Bank will soon be able to check their balance and do a host of non-financial services transactions using the microblogging website Twitter. The bank on Wednesday launched a new current account product directed at the younger lot that will enable the account holders to undertake 21 such services like cheque book requisitioning, checking last few transactions, etc, using their Twitter accounts.
6) Bayern Munich clinch Bundesliga title with seven games to spare: Bayern Munich wrapped up the Bundesliga title in record time on Tuesday night with a 3-1 win over Hertha Berlin at the Olympic Stadium. After being crowned champions with six games to spare last season, the Bavarians have gone one better this year, winning with seven still left to play.
7) Investment limit in inflation bonds doubled to Rs 10 lakh: The Reserve Bank on Wednesday said the investment limit in the inflation indexed bonds for individuals has been doubled to Rs 10 lakh.
8) Turkish court orders lifting of Twitter ban: A Turkish court on Wednesday ordered the lifting of last week's Twitter ban which came after the social media site was used to spread audio recordings implicating Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in corruption.
9) Dendroid virus threatening Android phones in India: Indian cyber security sleuths have alerted users of Android smartphones about the malicious activities of a tricky virus called 'Dendroid' whose infection could "completely compromise" their personal phone device. The virus of the Trojan family, once activated, could change the command and control server of a user's personal Android phone and intercept private SMSes coming in or going out. Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) said "Do not download and install applications from untrusted sources, install applications downloaded from reputed application market only."
10) J&K becomes first state to declare poll booths as 'no smoking zones': Jammu and Kashmir becomes the first state in the country to declare all election booths as 'no smoking zones' with chief electoral officer (CEO) Umang Narula on Tuesday directing all returning officers (ROs) and district election officers (DEOs) to ensure that all booths are 'smoke free'.
11) Arjun Kapoor named national ambassador for Earth Hour 2014: Young actor Arjun Kapoor has been named the national ambassador of the Earth Hour to be observed March 29. He is glad that he can influence young minds and bring about positive change.