Trivia Thursday: 7 Wonders Of The World

As the World Monument Day is almost here (18th April), let us all take a look at the 7 modern wonders of the world on this week's Trivia Thursday.

Alright, we know you know that Taj Mahal is one of the 7 wonders of the world. But can you name the other six?

How many did you know? Not many? Don’t worry, we got you covered. As the World Monument Day is almost here (18th April), let us all take a look at the 7 modern wonders of the world on this week’s Trivia Thursday. Which one is your absolute favourite? Let us know in the comments!

Crux of the Matter

In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us know about the Seven Wonders of the World!

1. Great Wall of China
Built and re-built over centuries, the Great Wall of China is an array of bulwarks constructed across the northern region of China. They were built for protection against various Eurasian nomadic groups.

2. Taj Mahal
Created with ivory-white marble, Taj Mahal is the mausoleum of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is situated on the southern bank of the river Yamuna in Agra, India.

3. Colosseum
Built in around 70D, the Colosseum is the largest ancient Amphitheatre ever built.  The oval-shaped Amphitheatre is located in the centre of the Rome, Italy.

4. Chichen Itza
Chichén Itzá was an ancient city complex built by Maya people around 600 AD. Located in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, its primary attraction is El Castillo or Temple of Kukulcan, a massive step pyramid.

5. Christ The Redeemer
The Catholic Circle of Rio made a proposal for a landmark statue in 1920. The group organized an event called Semana do Monumento (“Monument Week”) to attract donations and collect signatures to support the building of the statue. The organization was motivated by what they perceived as ‘Godlessness’ in the society. Construction took nine years, from 1922 to 1931 and cost the equivalent of US$250,000 (equivalent to $3,600,000 in 2019).

6. Machu Picchu
Located in Peru, it is a 15th-century Inca citadel. In the Quechua language, machu means “old” or “old person”, while pikchu means “pyramid, pointed multi-sided solid; cone”. Thus the name of the site is sometimes interpreted as “old mountain”.

7. Petra
A historic and archaeological city in southern Jordan, Petra flourished in the 1st century AD, when its population peaked at an estimated 20,000 inhabitants. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. UNESCO has described Petra as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”.

8. Great Pyramid Of Giza (Honorary Status)
The Great Pyramid of Giza, largest and oldest of the three pyramids at the Giza Necropolis in Egypt was granted honorary status by the New 7 Wonders Foundation. The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years. It was also a part of the Ancient Wonders of the World.

Take a look at our last week’s Trivia Thursday here: Trivia Thursday: Fun Facts on IPL

How Does the World Trade System Work?

Rahul is able to enjoy playing with his US manufactured latest PS5 in India, whereas Pete is enjoying his risotto made from Pakistan’s Basmati Rice. How is this all possible? And more importantly, why are these products reaching there? Let’s dig into the world of trade and economics to find out.

Crux of the Matter

World is a relatively free economy today. We can import and export goods across border without severe restrictions. But how do nations decide on which goods they should export and import?

The Mechanism Of International Trade
Let’s say we have two countries: A and B. Below is the proportion of their factors of production (means of production):

In absolute terms, Country A has much less resources as compared to Country B. But in relative terms:

Competitive Advantage
If a country has a higher proportion of resource (as % of its total resources) compared to another country, then it is said that the former country has ‘a competitive advantage’ over other country in that resource.

So a country with a competitive advantage in capital will produce goods and services which require more capital, whereas a country with competitive advantage in land and labor will produce goods and services which require more land and labor.

Because Country A has competitive advantage over land and labor, it will produce labor-intensive goods and services and export them to B. Whereas Country B having a competitive advantage over capital will produce capital intensive goods and services and export it to Country A.

This mechanism of countries exporting goods that use their factors of production most intensely is the base for international trade.

Leontief Paradox

  • Conventionally, India should export labor intensive goods while US should export capital intensive goods
  • But, what is actually happening today is that India is exporting capital intensive goods while US is exporting labor intensive goods
  • This contrast is known as Leontief’s Paradox.

Reason Behind Paradox

  • One of the limitations of comparative advantage theory is that it considers only the quantity of resources and not the quality of goods produced.
  • US had less labor resource but they were much efficient than that of other nations owing to the technology factor.
  • Hence, it exported labor and capital driven goods like software to other nations as it world’s leader in the same.

  • The Marrakesh Agreement was an agreement signed in Marrakesh, Morocco, by 123 nations on 15 April 1994, marking the culmination of the 8-year-long Uruguay Round and establishing the World Trade Organization, which officially came into being on 1 January 1995. 
  • The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a legal agreement between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas. It remained in effect until January 1st, 1995, when the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established. 
  • Globalization is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. Globalization has accelerated since the 18th century due to advances in transportation and communication technology.

Taiwan President Rejects China’s “One Country, Two System” Formula

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen rejected the political formula given by China by saying, “we would not accept a ‘one country, two systems‘ political formula that has been suggested to unify the democratic island; it has already failed in Hong Kong.

Crux of the Matter
  • Taiwan considers itself as an independent country called the Republic of China whereas China claims Taiwan as its territory and is trying it got under its control by force if necessary.
  • In the on-going election campaign, President Tsai vowed to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty, saying her government would build a mechanism to safeguard freedom and democracy.
  • After anti-government protests in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong, the fear of China has become a major topic in the election campaign.
  • Referring to the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong President Tsai considers ‘one country, two systems’ as the government’s abuse of power which is not feasible in Taiwan.
  • Taiwan parliament passed an anti-infiltration law on December 31 to combat threats from China.
  • The law aims to protect Taiwan’s democracy and cross-strait exchanges will not be affected amid worries that the legislation may damage business ties with China. 
  • Though President Tsai denies seeking independence and reiterated that she would not unilaterally change the status quo with China; it is suspected that her Democratic Progressive Party is pushing for the island’s formal independence.

Taiwan–China relationsare complex and controversial due to the dispute on the political status of Taiwan after the administration of Taiwan was transferred from Japan at the end of World War II in 1945 and the subsequent split of China into the above two in 1949 as a result of civil war, and hinges on two key questions: whether the two entities are two separate countries or two “regions” or parts of the same country that were split by civil war with rivalling governments, and whether the transfer of Taiwan to the Republic of China from Japan after being forced to give up Taiwan in the aftermath of World War II was legal. More Info

Hong Kong witnesses Heavy protests on Christmas Eve

Protesters in Hong Kong called for a series of protests over the Christmas period, and on Christmas Eve thousands came out on the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok one of the busiest shopping areas.

Crux of the Matter
  • Hong Kong riot police fired teargas at thousands of anti-government protesters to disperse them and clear the traffic.
  • Demonstrators inside the malls threw umbrellas and other objects at police.
  • The traffic was blocked outside the malls and luxury hotels like the Peninsula, in the Tsim Sha Tsui tourist district of Kowloon.
  • There was a heavy police presence into the night with hundreds of officers standing guard on the roads as thousands of Christmas shoppers and tourists, some wearing Santa hats, looked on.
  • About 100 protesters vandalised a Starbucks in Mira Place mall. Police also reported that a bank was also vandalised and set on fire.
  • Protests started in June against a draft bill that allowed extraditions from Hong Kong to mainland China.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 is a bicameral and bipartisan American legislation that reintroduced the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in light of the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill proposal and the ensuing protests against it. The act “directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong’s unique treatment under U.S. law.” Read More

General Pervez Musharraf Sentenced to Death in High Treason Case

A three-member special court in Islamabad on December 17 has convicted General Pervez Musharraf of violating the constitution by unlawfully declaring emergency rule while in power. The special court sentenced Musharraf to death in absentia for treason for imposing emergency rule in 2007.

Crux of the Matter
  • According to the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973, the punishment for high treason is death or life imprisonment. 
  • The high treason case related to Musharraf’s suspension of the constitution is pending since 2013.
  • The special court ruled the death sentence by a two to one majority.
  • The decision to suspend the constitution and impose emergency rule had sparked protests after which he resigned in 2008 to avoid the threat of impeachment. 
  • It is argued that he declared an emergency in a move to extend his tenure. 
  • General Musharraf shifted to Dubai in 2016 after a travel ban was lifted and after which he refused to appear before the court citing security and health concerns.
  • In 2014 he was accused of five charges, including three counts of subverting, suspending and changing the country’s constitution, firing Pakistan’s chief justice, and imposing emergency rule.

Syed Pervez Musharraf is a Pakistani politician and retired four-star general of the Pakistan Army, who was the 10th President of Pakistan from 2001 until tendering his resignation, to avoid impeachment, in 2008. Born in Delhi during the British rule Musharraf was raised in Karachi and Istanbul. He studied at the Royal College of Defence Studies. Musharraf was commissioned to the Pakistan Army in 1964. In the 1990s, Musharraf was promoted to major general and assigned an infantry division, and later commanded the Special Services Group. Musharraf rose to national prominence when he was promoted to four-star general by then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1998, making Musharraf the head of the armed forces. After months of contentious relations between Sharif and Musharraf, Sharif unsuccessfully attempted to remove Musharraf as the army’s leader. In retaliation, the army staged a coup d’état in 1999, which allowed Musharraf to take over Pakistan as President in 2001. More Info