What is it? The number of people killed in a suicide bombing in the centre of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, on Saturday. Nearly 160 were reportedly injured in the attack.
Why is it important? This is the second major attack to hit Kabul in two weeks and the deadliest in months, carried out by the Taliban. Militants killed 22 people in a 15-hour siege by gunmen last Saturday. According to a Kabul-based researcher, the Taliban, which controls parts of Afghanistan, likely carried out this attack in response to the government’s recent efforts to fight militants in remote areas and the imposition of sanctions by the US on its members. The United Nations had attributed the rise in civilian casualties, which hit a new high in 2016 and remained at high levels in 2017, mainly to the Taliban.
Tell me more: The attackers drove an ambulance with explosives and drove past a police checkpoint into a street that leads to important government buildings and was open to their employees only.
What is it? The number of children below five years of age who will be given polio drops as part of the Indian government’s Pulse Polio programme for 2018, launched on Saturday.
Why is it important? This is to sustain the polio-free status of India, which it achieved in the absence of the wild polio virus, in 2014. The last polio case to be recorded was on 13 January 2011. However, the country still faces the threat of vaccine-derived polio virus, a few cases of which were reported from four states between 2014 and 2015. India also continues to be at risk of the virus importation from three countries—Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria—where it is endemic, mainly due to poor sanitation, violent conflicts and weak health systems.
Tell me more: Pakistan reported 20 wild polio virus cases in 2016, while Afghanistan saw 13 cases, according to the World Health Organization.
What is it? The amount spent by the eight franchises in the two-day player auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 over the weekend.
Why is it important? The amount was used to buy 169 players, including 113 Indians and 56 overseas players. Kolkata Knight Riders were the highest spenders, with Rs80 crore, but the side bought only 19 players—the least by any team. Chennai Super Kings, which spent the least amount, Rs73.5 crore, bought the maximum number of players (25).
Tell me more: Rajasthan Royals, historically a “moneyball" franchise, ended up with the two most-expensive buys of the 2018 auctions: Ben Stokes (Rs12.5 crore) and Jaydev Unadkat (Rs11.5 crore), the latter also being the most expensive Indian player in the 2018 auction. The acquisitions done, the attention will now shift to possible starting teams.
What is it? The age at which Ingvar Kamprad set up Ikea. On Sunday, Kamprad died in his home, at the age of 91 years.
Why is it important? The company he started in 1943 is now the world’s largest—and most famous—furniture retailer, selling ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories, as well as Swedish meatballs. As of August 2017, there were 403 Ikea stores in 49 countries, and the company recorded 936 million visits to them in financial year 2017 (ended August).
Tell me more: The name Ikea was composed from his own initials and Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd, the farm and village in the Swedish region of Småland where he grew up.
What is it? The number of attempts it took Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki to win her first Grand Slam singles title.
Why is it important? On Saturday, the 27-year-old beat Romanian Simona Halep 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 to win the Australian Open women’s singles in Melbourne. Wozniacki had lost two US Open final matches in 2009 and 2014, while Halep met with the same fate in two French Open finals. This was the first time in the open era that players ranked one and two squared off in a grand slam final where neither had won a Grand Slam title. It was also the first time both Australian Open finalists saved match points before the finals.
Tell me more: Wozniacki’s major win will return her to world number 1 ranking next week for the first time in six years. With this, she would beat Serena Williams’ record of 5 years and 29 days in terms of the gap between being the top-ranked player on the women’s tour.
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