Colors: Blue Color

A lawmaker in the US have introduced a bill to make caste discrimination illegal in the state's senate. If it's passed, California - home to some of the world's biggest tech companies - will become the first US state to outlaw discrimination based on caste.

The bill was authored and introduced by Senator Aisha Wahab, a lawmaker from the Democratic Party, who proposed to add caste as a protected category in California's anti-discrimination laws alongside gender, race and disability.

Americans, like people from other countries, revere their nation’s history. They study the men and women who helped found their country, performed acts of heroism in its service and led it in good times and bad.

They visit national monuments and parks. They read books about the United States to learn new stories. In recent years, growing numbers of Americans have come to understand that their history is richer and more complex, if less uniformly triumphant, than they once thought.

STL, a leading optical and digital solutions company, on the occasion of World Water Day, announced that it has replenished 1.4 billion litres (1.4 million m3) of water in 12 villages of Aurangabad, in the state of Maharashtra, India. The company has designed a water resilience program in partnership with the Village Social Transformation Foundation (VSTF) to improve water and sanitation management in the region.

With the local hotel room-stock set to grow by 20,000 new rooms over the next five to ten years, Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett has welcomed a resurgence of the villas sub-sector. Crediting the COVID-19 pandemic for bringing about a revival in villas for visitor accommodation, he said “Jamaica is now leading the way in providing new and exciting villa experiences for tourists across the region.”

In celebration of World Tattoo Day today (Tuesday 21 March), the teams behind two iconic Sydney brands - the Sydney Tower Eye and Bondi Ink are collaborating to host the 'The World's Highest Tattoo Studio,' 250m above Sydney.

Chris and Cristina, artists from the leading tattoo parlour, will give two lucky winners one of two Sydney-skyline-inspired tattoos, in a pop-up-parlour, at the Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck. Creative inspiration for the two unique semi-realistic designs came following a Bondi Ink team building SKYWALK experience, where the crew got to experience Sydney from the highest vantage point in the city, 268m up high.

A powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador today, with tremors felt as far away as Guayaquil, Machala, and neighbouring Peru, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) reported.

The quake was at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.21 miles). The earthquake, which struck at 12:12 p.m. local time on Saturday, was centred in Azuay Province, about 47 kilometres northwest of Cuenca and 77 kilometres southeast of Guayaquil.

Indian television actress Dalljiet Kaur tied the knot with businessman Nikhil Patel on March 18, 2023, in a beautiful day wedding in Mumbai, India.

The couple was dressed in ivory-coloured ensembles for the ceremony, which was attended by close friends and family. The wedding was shared on social media by celebrities Karishma Tanna and Ridhi Dogra, who shared pictures and videos from the ceremony.

Jamaica Tourism Minister announced that during the first 2 months of the year, 490 farmers earned approximately $108 million in revenue. This was accomplished via the Agri-Linkages Exchange (ALEX) platform, which was designed to connect small farmers directly with buyers within the tourism industry.

Africa’s biggest festival, FESTAC Africa 2023, sets stage in Tanzania’s Northern Tourist City of Arusha in May of this year, with expectations to draw key African big names from all corners of the world.

FESTAC is a celebration of Cultures and Heritage in the form of arts, fashion, music, storytelling, poetry, film, short stories, travel, tourism, hospitality, food and dance, through live performances from various countries of the continent and across the world, sharing and showcasing their richness in their culture.

March 20th, 2023, marks the 10th annual International Day of Happiness, a global reminder of the importance of promoting wellbeing. The day also sees the launch of the World Happiness Report, which ranks 137 countries by how happy they are, based on survey data from the Gallup World Poll.

Finland tops the list of happiest countries for the 6th year running. The UK has dropped from 17th place (scoring 6.94) in 2022 to 19th (scoring 6.80) in 2023. 

Unsurprisingly happiness has gone down in many countries during the pandemic years - a time of increased fear, illness, social distancing and lockdowns. At the same time, the report shows a notable increase in benevolent and pro-social behaviour which continues to remain higher than pre-pandemic levels. 

Dr Mark Williamson, CEO of Action for Happiness, said: “Our world has been facing major challenges, including pandemic, war and economic hardship, so it’s no surprise that global happiness has taken a hit. This report also shows the amazing resilience people have shown in the face of difficulties.

“Supporting people’s wellbeing should be our top priority - especially for leaders and policy makers - as we continue to rebuild and recover. The inspiring silver lining is that we continue to see higher levels of kindness and community spirit, even in the darkest of times. Kindness is the key to a happier world for all of us.”

The reported levels of three benevolent behaviours, ‘donating’, ‘volunteering’ and ‘helping a stranger’ increased significantly. The behaviours peaked in 2021 and all three remain above pre-pandemic levels (see chart below). 

This prosocial behaviour may have helped to cushion the experience of living through the pandemic and may explain why life satisfaction did not fall significantly during that time. This year’s report also notes the bi-directional benefit between altruism and wellbeing; higher wellbeing promotes altruism, and altruism promotes higher wellbeing.

The unhappiest countries are those affected by war; Afghanistan and Lebanon remain at the bottom of the table. Ukraine saw happiness fall by two-thirds of a point, partly due to high levels of worry. However, it also saw a galvanising of benevolence with significant increases in helping strangers, donations and trust in government, which may have mitigated the fall in life satisfaction.

The top ten countries:

1. Finland (7.80)

2. Denmark (7.59)

3. Iceland (7.53)

4. Israel (7.47)

5. Netherlands (7.40)

6. Sweden (7.39)

7. Norway (7.31)

8. Switzerland (7.24)

9. Luxembourg (7.23)

10. New Zealand (7.12)

Other countries of note:

15. United States (6.89)

19. United Kingdom (6.80)

64. China (5.82)

70. Russia (5.66)

92. Ukraine (5.07)

137. Afghanistan (1.86)

Cyclone Freddy recently hit Malawi with heavy rains and strong winds causing massive flooding and enormous damage, including the loss of 336+ lives in Malawi and Mozambique.

TIME magazine has revealed its highly anticipated third annual list of the World’s Greatest Places, featuring 50 extraordinary travel destinations around the world, including the Caribbean island of Dominica.

TIME compiled the list by soliciting nominations of places, including countries, regions, cities, and towns, from its international network of correspondents and contributors, with an eye toward those offering new and exciting experiences. Readers can view the full list on TIME's website. This is the first time Dominica has been featured on the list.

Chintan Suhagiya is only 26, but already has seven years experience working in India's diamond industry.

Starting out, he ferried diamonds around his company, based in the world's diamond polishing capital, Surat in western India. But over the years he learnt how to inspect diamonds and now he grades their quality, using specialist equipment.

Around £70m of unspent Commonwealth Games funding is to be used to realise the Games' legacy ambitions, help level up and grow the West Midlands economy and boost its trade and tourism sectors.

The Government will provide the money, which is £10m more than originally announced, to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to help enhance and amplify the positive legacy of the Games across the entire region.

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has commenced the translocation of 200 Uganda Kobs from Murchison Falls Conservation Area to Kidepo Valley Conservation Area.

30 males and 170 females will be translocated from Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve in Murchison Falls Conservation Area and released into Kidepo Valley National Park. This is the second translocation of Kobs to Kidepo Valley National Park in six years, following the translocation of 110 Kobs to the park.

The Electronic Governance (AGE) has won the "Special Award for the design of digital services" in a competition organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and GovStack. The award was given to AGE for the "Front-Office Digitization" (FOD) Platform, which is a solution for digitizing public services that was developed by the Electronic Governance Agency team as part of the Modernization of Government Services (MGSP) project. The World Bank Group provided support for the project.