Pacific Ocean Current Affairs - 2019
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Panama’s Electoral Court declared the centre-left candidate Laurentino Cortizo as winner of Panama’s presidential election. Cortizo is candidate for Panama’s Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), which won 33% of 95% of votes counted. The PRD was founded in 1979 by military ruler Omar Torrijos and has been out of power since 2009.
About Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo
- He is a 66-year-old cattleman who was educated in US. He has earlier served as country’s minister of agriculture and also held roles at regional Organisation of American States, and worked in construction and livestock sectors.
- His presidential campaign focused on combating inequality and corruption, rising unemployment, Panama’s education system, state of water utilities and rubbish collection in capital, Panama City and slowing economic growth in this Central America trade and financial hub.
- It is a Central America country located on Isthmus of Panama (narrow bridge of land connecting North and South America).
- It is a tropical nation renowned as site of Panama Canal (which cuts through its midsection and connects Atlantic and Pacific Oceans).
- It lies between Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.
- Its national currency is ‘the balboa’. It is issued only in coins. The balboa is at par with U.S. dollar, and U.S. paper currency is freely circulated.
Scientists from Ocean University in Qingdao, China and the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England have discovered a bacteria that eats oil.
- The oil eating bacteria was discovered in the western Pacific Ocean’s 10,994-meter-deep Mariana Trench.
- The team from collected samples from the trench. In the samples, they found microorganisms that eat compounds similar to those in oil.
The expedition was organised by marine explorer and film director James Cameron.
Significance of the Discovery
Hydrocarbons are organic compounds that are made of only hydrogen and carbon atoms. They are found in many places, including crude oil and natural gas. These types of microorganisms which essentially eat compounds similar to those in oil and then use it for fuel can play a significant role in degrading oil spills in natural disasters such as BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.