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Visitors pass by drawings by Belgium illustrator Herge during a Tintin exhibition in Paris, Dec.19, 2006. The country enters the space race, as illustrated in the comic strip in the 1950s, with plans to form a space agency next year. VOA

Belgian comic-strip hero Tintin helped popularize the 1950s Space Race with his iconic cartoon rocket; seven decades on from the boy reporter’s “Destination Moon,” his country is finally getting its own version of NASA.

The Interfederal Space Agency of Belgium (ISAB) will be set up next year, science minister Elke Sleurs said, arguing that it would help a local industry hang on to what is now a 5-percent share of the EU’s 7 billion-euro a year space industry.


Challenges from the likes of rising powers India and China and changing rules for EU-wide tenders meant Belgium should pool resources to help its companies compete, she said: “If we just keep the status quo, we risk losing out on space contracts.”

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

About 60 firms in the local sector include the 96-year-old SABCA, which has worked on Europe’s Ariane rocket program.

Images from Tintin space stories, starting with “Destination Moon” in 1950, have become Belgian national treasures and fed popular fascination worldwide with cosmic adventure.

A single original drawing by his creator Herge from 1954’s “Explorers on the Moon” sold last week in Paris for 1.55 million euros (1.64 million U.S. dollars). (VOA)


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Zee TV, India's oldest television channel, will now merge with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), with Sony.

By Vinod Mirani

There comes the official news of Zee TV network's merger with Sony TV and the news invokes a sense of melancholy. When India liberalised its policies in 1991, changes started taking place in all fields and one of them was the media. It marked the entry of privately owned television channels in India. What makes one a bit sad is that Zee TV, India's oldest television channel, will now merge with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), with Sony slated to hold the majority stake of 53 per cent as against Zeel's 47 per cent.

Naresh Goyal's Zee Telefilms Limited was the first to venture into the telecast medium with its Zee TV channel. The year was 1992, October 2, to coincide with Gandhi Jayanti. I remember the programme specially designed for the inaugural evening. To be candid, it was quite chaotic, like a children's costume party. One of the items stuck in my memory is a skit played out by two young men dressed as rustic Haryanvis, carrying huge dangs, and blabbering what they thought was funny. Though launched in October 1992, the regular daylong telecast on the channel started in 1993.

That opening show did not promise much and that is what the content in the early days of the channel presented. The channel had a huge collection of hit movies it had acquired from top notch producers, many of which starred Amitabh Bachchan. Programmes were woven around movies like songs, dialogues, scenes that were appreciated in the films earlier and were a sure shot eyeballs grabbers.

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Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Amazon India on Sunday announced that it is all set to begin its 'Great Indian Festival' (GIF) 2021 from October 3.

Continuing with its commitment to support Small Medium Businesses (SMBs), Amazon India on Sunday announced that it is all set to begin its 'Great Indian Festival' (GIF) 2021 from October 3. The company said that Amazon GIF 2021 is dedicated to lakhs of small sellers, including over 75,000 local shops from 450 cities, offering their unique selection of products to customers across the country.


"Our top priority remains customer trust and the interest of our sellers, especially the lakhs of small sellers and the tens of thousands of local shop owners across India," the company said in a statement. "The Amazon Great Indian Festival will now start from October 3, 2021 and as always, Prime members will have early access," it added.

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The warning has been issued that India needs to adapt to increased water scarcity, droughts, floods, cyclones, and other natural disasters.

Indian Meteorological Department issues a warning of the approaching Cyclone Gulab which will hit Andhra Pradesh and Odisha on 26th September 2021. Heavy rainfall can be expected in northern states till 28th September 2021. It is the third September Cyclone of the century that came knocking on our door unexpectedly. The country has already faced major damage left behind by Cyclone Tauktae and Cyclone Yaas in May. These are the warnings from our environment about the increasing climate change which is becoming more and more severe with days passing by.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases a report on how human-induced climate change is gathering pace and how extreme weather events have reached our doorsteps every seven-year or so. IPCC released a report in August 2021 and issued an environmental warning for India to cut down its carbon emissions to avoid a climate catastrophe. India is the third-largest carbon emitter in the world, the first two being China and the US. In Paris Climate Agreement India pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030. India aims to produce 40 percent of its power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. India's carbon emissions fell 24 percent from 2005 levels by 2016- in 11 years. However, India has not yet set out a target for when it will start reducing total emissions (the so-called peak emission year).

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