Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2014

US Senate appoints Dr. Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General

The U.S. Senate has appointed Indian-American physician Dr. Vivek Murthy as U.S. Surgeon General. US Senate voted in favour of him by 51 votes to 43, after more than a year he was nominated by US President Barack Obama.

Dr.Murthy is the youngest person and first person of Indian-origin to hold this post. It should be noted that U.S. surgeon general does not set any government policy but is an advocate for the people’s health.

For this post, Murthy was endorsed by over 100 health organisations, including the American College of Physicians, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. This post was vacant since 2013 and Boris Lushniak was the acting Surgeon General of US since then.

About Dr. Vivek Murthy

He was born to parents who are originally from Karnataka. He came to the US when he was three years old and grew up in Miami, Florida.

Education: He had received a BA from Harvard University, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and an MD from Yale School of Medicine.


Before his appointment as US Surgeon General, Dr Murthy was physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a Hospitalist Attending Physician and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

He co-founded VISIONS Worldwide in 1995, a non-profit organisation focused on HIV/AIDS education in India and the United States, where he served as president from 1995 to 2000 and Chairman of the Board from 2000 to 2003.

He is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of TrialNetworks, formerly known as Epernicus, since 2007.

He is founder and president of Doctors for America, a group of 15,000 physicians and medical students supporting comprehensive health reform since 2009.

In 2011, President Barack Obama had appointed him on the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Chinese pro-democracy activist Xu Youyu awarded Swedish Human rights prize

Chinese pro-democracy activist Xu Youyu was awarded Sweden’s Olof Palme Human Rights prize. As per Stockholm-based Olof Palme Memorial Fund, Xu has worked consistently for a democratisation of Chinese society, while condemning any form of violence as a political method

About Xu Youyu

He was born in 1947. By profession he is a Philosophy Professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Science.

He is among the key signatories of a 2008, Charter 08 manifesto seeking sweeping political reforms in communist China.

He was detained by Chinese authorities in May 2014 in a crackdown on dissent ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Olof Palme Prize

The Olof Palme Prize is an annual prize granted by the Swedish labour movement. Prize includes monetary sum of $ 75,000.

It commemorates the memory of the Nordic country’s Social Democratic Prime Minister- Olof Palme, who was an outspoken international human rights advocate, who was assassinated in the Swedish capital in 1986.

Since 1987 the award has been awarded to human rights defenders around the world. Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan were also given this award.

Boxer Sarita Devi banned for a year for refusing Asian Games bronze by AIBA

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has banned Indian boxer Sarita Devi for one year.

She was banned for not accepting her bronze medal at Asian Games medal ceremony. She was also fined 1000 Swiss Franc for the act.

Earlier, AIBA had suspended Sarita from all competitions. In September 2014, during Asian Games she had lost in the semifinals of the women’s lightweight competition at Incheon, South Korea.  She had won bronze medal in the semifinal.

However, she had refused to accept the medal and tried to give her medal to her opponent as a mark of protest, citing wrong judgement from referees.

Later, she apologized but could not fall in line with AIBA’s stringent rules and regulations.