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Today's GK Updates 18th December 2014

1. ISRO successfully launches GSLV Mark-III
i. ISRO successfully carries out human crew module experiment; module safely splashes down into Bay of Bengal off Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
ii. Also known as LVM3/CARE, this suborbital experimental mission was intended to test the vehicle performance during the critical atmospheric phase of its flight and this carried passive (non functional) cryogenic upper stage.
iii. With today’s successful launch, the vehicle has moved a step closer to its first development flight with the functional C25 cryogenic stage.
2. 26/11 trial: Pak court grants bail to Lakhvi
i. LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one the seven Pakistani nationals accused of planning and abetting the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, was granted bail on Thursday by the Anti-Terrorism Court.
ii. The seven accused — Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum — are facing trial at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.
iii. Lakhvi and six others had filed bail applications on Wednesday even as lawyers were observing strike to condemn the terrorist attack on an army-run school in Peshawar that left 148 people, mostly children, dead.
3. Priyanka Chopra inks deal with American TV network
i. After launching her music career in the U.S., Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra has now sealed a one-year TV development deal with ABC Television Studios.
ii. The ABC deal comes after Priyanka had a voice role in the animated feature ‘Planes’
iii. The actress’s first single, ‘In My City’, was also selected as the theme song to the 2013 season of the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football and her cover of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ was featured in a nationwide campaign for Beats By Dre.

4. ‘The Lunchbox’ honoured by Toronto film critics
i. Indian film director Ritesh Batra’s ‘The Lunch box’ has been named best first feature at the 18 th annual Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) awards in Toronto.
ii. It’s the only Indian movie to win a TFCA award, voted by the members of the association, which includes Toronto-based journalists and broadcasters who specialise in film criticism and commentary.
iii. The awards, to be hosted by Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, will be presented at a gala dinner here Jan 6, next year, said their official site torontofilmcritics.com.
5. Twins at peak of mountaineering glory
i. By scaling Mount Vinson, Antarctica’s highest mountain at 4,892 metres, Tashi Malik and Nungshi Malik from Dehradun have become the world’s first twins and siblings to climb the highest peaks on the seven continents.
ii. The 23-year-old twins accomplished their “Mission 2 for 7” on Tuesday night (IST) when they conquered the mountain.
iii. The mission, which they have dedicated to the cause of the Indian girl child, started by conquering Mt. Kilimanjaro in February 2012. The mission progressed as they conquered Mt. Everest in May 2013; Mt. Elbrus in August 2013; Mt. Aconcagua in January 2014; Mt. Carstensz Pyramid in March 2014; and Mt. McKinley in June 2014.
6. SC directed Union government to complete fencing along Indo-Bangladesh border in 3 months
i. The Supreme Court (SC) directed the Union Government to complete fencing work along Indo-Bangladesh border within three months. 
ii. The direction was given to check cross-border influx of illegal Bangladesh nationals into Assam. It also asked the government to streamline the process to deport them back. 
iii. The court also asked the Union government why even after 67 years of independence, the eastern border is left porous.

7. Former Olympic wrestling champion suspended for one year.
i. Former Olympic wrestling champion Steeve Guenot was suspended for one year on Thursday by the French anti-doping agency for missing doping tests.
ii. Guenot, who has been suspended until July 30, 2015, will not appeal the decision, meaning that he won’t be able to compete at the European Games in Baku next June.

8. AIBA bans Sarita Devi
i. Indian woman boxer L. Sarita Devi was on Wednesday handed a one-year ban by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for refusing to accept her bronze medal at the Asian Games.
ii. But the punishment is unlikely to hurt her career too badly as she would be available to compete in the 2016 Olympic qualifiers.
iii. Sarita, who had refused to accept the medal to protest her controversial semifinal bout loss, has been banned retrospectively from October 1, 2014 to October 1, 2015 and fined 1000 Swiss francs.
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