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Eugene Cernan, Last Man to Walk on Moon Passes Away

U.S. astronaut Gene Cernan, who as the commander of the final Apollo lunar landing mission in 1972 became known as the "last man on the moon," died on Jan 16. He was 82.
●    NASA confirmed Cernan's death on its website and social media channels, noting he was surrounded by his family at the time he died. 
●    The cause of death was not stated, but he was known to have been ill in recent months.
●    Cernan was chosen with NASA's third group of astronauts in 1963. 
●    His first spaceflight, Gemini 9A, came three years later, after he and Thomas Stafford replaced Elliot See and Charles Bassett in the wake of a jet crash that claimed the original crew members' lives.
●    As the pilot of NASA's seventh Gemini Flight — a three-day mission in Earth orbit that rendezvoused but failed to dock with an unmanned target vehicle, Cernan became only the second American astronaut to go out on an extra-vehicular activity (EVA). 
●    The two-hour spacewalk though, nearly cost him his life.

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Prof. C V Vishweshvara, Black Hole Research Pioneer Passes Away

Professor CV Vishveshwara who did pioneering work on black holes, passed away on 16 January 2017 in Bengaluru following a brief illness. He was 77. 
●    He is survived by wife and two daughters.
●    Popularly called Vishu, he was celebrated as the 'Black Hole Man of India'.
●    In the 1970s at the University of Maryland, he was among the first to study black holes even before they were named. 
●    His calculations gave a graphic form to the signals emitted by two merging black holes. This was the waveform detected in 2015 by the LIGO collaboration.
●    This waveform also contained the quasi normal modes, a ringdown stage that sounds like a fading out ringing bell. 
●    He was also the founding director of the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bengaluru. 
●    He had written several books including Einstein’s Enigma and Black Holes in My Bubble Bath.

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Zhou Youguang, father of Pinyin writing system, dies

Chinese linguist Zhou Youguang, known as the father of Pinyin for creating the system of Romanized Chinese writing, passed away on 14 January 2017 in Beijing, China. He was 111.
●    Pinyin is the writing method that coverts Chinese characters into words using letters from the Roman alphabet. It changed the way the language was taught. In 1958, it was officially adopted by the Chinese Government. 
●    In 1982, Pinyin became the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 7098 after a vote. The United Nations adopted it in 1986.
●    Zhou Youguang was a Chinese economist, linguist, sinologist, publisher, banker, and supercentenarian (someone who has lived to or passed their 110th birthday).
●    He entered Changzhou High School in 1918, during which time he first took interest in linguistics. In 1923, he graduated with honours.
●    He majored in economics from St. John's University, Shanghai.
●    His committee was charged with developing a romanization to represent the pronunciation of Chinese characters.


 

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Surjit Singh Barnala, former Chief Minister of Punjab, dies

Former Chief Minister of Punjab, Surjit Singh Barnala, passed away on 14 January 2017. He was 91.
●    Barnala served as the Chief Minister of Punjab from 29 September 1985 until 11 May 1987, a period of Sikh militant movement in Punjab. 
●    Born on 21 October 1925, he completed his graduation in law from Lucknow.
●    His first ministerial assignment was in 1969 when he was sworn in as Education Minister in the Justice Gurnam Singh Government.
●    He had also served as the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand. 
●    He was the first Governor of Uttarakhand from its creation in 2000 until 2003.
●    From December 1990 to 18 March 1993, he served as the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
 

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Veteran British war correspondent Clare Hollingworth dies

Clare Hollingworth, legendary correspondent who first broke the news of the beginning of World War II, passed away on 10 January 2017 following a brief illness. She was 105.
●    She was famously known as the doyenne of war correspondents.
●    She was the first to report the invasion of Poland by German troops that triggered the outbreak of World War Two.
●    Hollingworth's career took her to Palestine, Iraq and Iran, where she interviewed Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, who was overthrown by revolutionaries in February 1979.
●    While working as a correspondent for the Economist and the Observer, Hollingworth went to Jerusalem in July 1946 when the King David hotel, where she was staying, was bombed by Zionist paramilitaries led by future Israeli prime minister Menachim Begin.
●    She also covered the conflict in Vietnam where she scored a scoop that peace talks would shortly begin between Hanoi and Washington in 1968.
●    She also reported the defection of British spy Kim Philby, but the story was largely buried by her editors out of the fears of a libel suit. 
●    In 1972, Hollingworth became the Telegraph's first Beijing correspondent since 1949.
●    Later, she returned back to the UK as a defence correspondent and also travelled to Hong Kong to cover the colony's handover to Chinese control in 1997.
●    She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.
 

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Veteran British war correspondent Clare Hollingworth dies

Clare Hollingworth, legendary correspondent who first broke the news of the beginning of World War II, passed away on 10 January 2017 following a brief illness. She was 105.
●    She was famously known as the doyenne of war correspondents.
●    She was the first to report the invasion of Poland by German troops that triggered the outbreak of World War Two.
●    Hollingworth's career took her to Palestine, Iraq and Iran, where she interviewed Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, who was overthrown by revolutionaries in February 1979.
●    While working as a correspondent for the Economist and the Observer, Hollingworth went to Jerusalem in July 1946 when the King David hotel, where she was staying, was bombed by Zionist paramilitaries led by future Israeli prime minister Menachim Begin.
●    She also covered the conflict in Vietnam where she scored a scoop that peace talks would shortly begin between Hanoi and Washington in 1968.
●    She also reported the defection of British spy Kim Philby, but the story was largely buried by her editors out of the fears of a libel suit. 
●    In 1972, Hollingworth became the Telegraph's first Beijing correspondent since 1949.
●    Later, she returned back to the UK as a defence correspondent and also travelled to Hong Kong to cover the colony's handover to Chinese control in 1997.
●    She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

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Eminent Jurist Weeramantry passes away

Eminent jurist C.G. Weeramantry, who was the first Sri Lankan to be appointed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), passed away on 5th January. He was 90.
●    Justice Weeramantry began his judicial career in the 1950s, and became Sri Lanka’s youngest Supreme Court judge.
●    He later served as a senior judge there before moving to Australia as the Sir Hayden Stark Professor of Law at Monash University.
●    He set up the Colombo-based Weeramantry Centre for International Peace and also served as president of the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms, a non-governmental organisation headquartered in The Hague.
 

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Actor Om Puri Passes Away after Heart Attack

Om Puri, the veteran actor of Bollywood, died on 5 January 2017 in Mumbai. He passed away after a massive heart attack. He was 66.
●    Born on 18 October 1950, Puri appeared in commercial Indian, British, American, and Pakistani films.
●    He also acted in art films and independent films.
●    He studied at the Film and Television Institute of India as well as the National School of Drama.
●    He made his film debut with the Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal (1976).
●    Hailing from Ambala, Haryana, Om Puri, was a recipient of Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India as well as Order of the British Empire (OBE).
●    In 2009, he was conferred with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.
●    In 2015, he was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award International Film Festival of Prayag.
 

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Ustad Fateh Ali Khan passes away

Pride of Pakistan and the foremost Khayal vocalist Ustad Bade Fateh Ali Khan of Patiala Gharana passed away on Wednesday evening in Islamabad. He was 81 years old.
●    There is a galaxy of highly acclaimed singers in Patiala Gharana and the deceased was one of the most shining ones. 
●    He was younger of the legendary singing duo Amanat Ali and Fateh Ali, who enjoyed a lot of popularity in Pakistan and India and had fan following and disciples in many other countries. 
●    Ustad Fateh Ali was father of Rustam Fateh Ali and Sultan Ali Khan and uncle of Asad Amanat and Shafqat Amanat. 
●    He was elder brother of Ustad Hamid Ali Khan.
●    Born in 1935 in Patiala, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, at the age of 12, and his elder brother Amanat Ali Khan, at the age of 14, became the Maharaja’s chosen singers at his ‘darbar’ or court.
 

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Hollywood actress Debbie Reynolds passes away

Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, mother of actress Carrie Fisher, passed away on 28 December 2016 following a brief illness. She was 84.
●    Her death came just one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, who died on 27 December 2016 following a heart attack.
●    She was born as Mary Frances Reynolds in April 1932. It was Warner Brothers who changed her name to Debbie.
●    She made her feature acting debut in 1950 in The Daughter of Rosie O`Grady.
●    She was signed by MGM in 1950 and that year, Reynolds performed the hit duet Aba Daba Honeymoon with Carleton Carpenter. 
●    Reynolds rose to stardom in the film Singin` In the Rain in which she starred opposite Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Donald O`Connor, Fred Astaire, and Dick Van Dyke. 
●    Her fame grew with leading roles in Susan Slept Here with Dick Powell, The Tender Trap with Frank Sinatra, Bundle of Joy with then-husband Fisher, It Started with A Kiss with Glenn Ford and The Pleasure of His Company with Astaire.
●    She was nominated for Best Actress performance in Academy Awards for the 1964 musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

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