1) WHO declared Ebola an international health emergency: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be an international public health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread. The WHO announced the Ebola outbreak the largest and longest in history is worrying enough to merit being declared an international health emergency. WHO declared similar emergencies for the swine flu pandemic in 2009 and for polio in May. The WHO chief, Dr. Margaret Chan, said the announcement is “a clear call for international solidarity” but acknowledged that many countries would probably not have any Ebola cases. The current outbreak of Ebola began in Guinea in March and has since spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia.
2) US defence secretary Hagel arrived in India: The US will make India an offer to "co-produce and co-develop" state-of-the-art Javelin infra-red-guided anti-tank missiles during defence secretary Charles 'Chuck' Hagel’s three-day visit. Hagel arrived in New Delhi and will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and defence minister Arun Jaitley.
3) RBI proposed 'anytime anywhere' bill payment system: For the convenience of people to pay school fees and municipal taxes and utility bills through an integrated platform, the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday proposed setting up an "anytime anywhere" bill payment system. Bill payment is a major component of the retail payment transactions as over 3,080 crore bills amounting to more than Rs 6,00,000 crore are generated each year in the top 20 cities in the country.
4) Ajitpal Singh to head Dronacharya Award Selection Committee: Three-time Olympian and former Hockey Captain Ajitpal Singh was selected as the Chairman of the Dronacharya Award Selection Committee on 7 August 2014. The committee will have 15 members, including 12 eminent sportspersons and three officials. The three officials -- Director General of the Sports Authority of India and a joint secretary and deputy secretary from the ministry -- will also be in the committee.
5) Philips ropes in Alia Bhatt as brand ambassador for beauty biz: Philips India has roped in Alia Bhatt as its brand ambassador for its beauty business which includes a range of hair and depilation devices. The company said in a statement that Bhatt will help take the style revolution that Philips India has started among the new age Indian women to the next level. She will start by endorsing Philips Kerashine range and the company will run a 360 degre campaign in mid-August.
6) Didier Drogba retired from international football: Didier Drogba has announced his retirement from international football after 12 years playing for the Ivory Coast. The 36-year-old striker made more than 100 appearances for the Ivorians and played in three World Cups, most recently in Brazil this summer. He also played in two editions of the African Cup of Nations.