1. Saudi Aramco, a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company, is in talks to acquire a 25 percent stake in Reliance Industries’ refining and petrochemicals businesses. However, both Aramco and Reliance declined to comment on the issue.
2. World Heritage Day, also known as the ‘International Day for Monuments and Sites’, was observed across the world on April 18, 2019, with an aim to create awareness among the people to conserve and protect the valuable assets and cultural heritage across the world.
3. The voting for the Second Phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 began on April 18, 2019, in 95 Lok Sabha Constituencies across 12 States and 1 Union Territory. Initially, the voting for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Phase II was scheduled to be held for 97 Constituencies; however, the polling for Vellore Parliamentary Constituency and Tripura East Parliamentary Constituency was deferred.
4. The Puducherry Lok Sabha constituency, which covers the entire Union Territory of Puducherry, went to polls in the second phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2019. The lone LS seat from the UT has 9,73,161 total electors of whom 5,13,799 are women and 4,59,266 are men. The other category has 96 as per the latest data released by the government.
5. Sri Lanka on April 18, 2019, launched its first satellite ‘Raavana-1’ into space from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s East Shore. The satellite, which weighs around 1.05 kg, will have the lifespan of around one and a half years. The satellite was designed and built at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan by two Sri Lankan research engineers.
6. Top Indian grappler Bajrang Punia regained the world number one spot in the men’s 65kg freestyle category in the rankings issued by United World Wrestling on April 17, 2019. The 25-year-old Indian, who won gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games as well as silver in the World Championships last year, secured 58 ranking points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev of Russia, who has 21 points.
7. The Donald Trump administration has halted the recent US government practice of disclosing the current size of the nuclear weapons stockpile. The Department of Energy provided no explanation for the same. The department stated that the decision was made by the Formerly Restricted Data Declassification Working Group, consisting of officials from the departments of Defense and Energy.
8. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has supervised the test-firing of a new type of “tactical guided weapon”, as per a report by the country’s state media on April 17, 2019. The report stated that the advantages of the weapon include the peculiar mode of guiding a flight and a load of a powerful warhead.
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