Current Affairs : International
 

  • More than 120 countries approved the first-ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons today at a UN meeting boycotted by all nuclear-armed nations.
  • To loud applause, Elayne Whyte Gomez, president of the UN conference that has been negotiating the legally binding treaty, announced the results of the "historic" vote - 122 nations in favour, the Netherlands opposed, and Singapore abstaining.
  • "We have managed to sow the first seeds of a world free of nuclear weapons," Whyte Gomez said. "We (are) ... saying to our children that, yes, it is possible to inherit a world free from nuclear weapons."

  • Seven Indian companies figure in the latest Fortune 500 list, released on Thursday 21 July 2016
  • State-run Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is ranked highest at 161st with revenues of $54.7 billion
  • Public sector firm Oil and Natural Gas Corp has moved out of the rankings for 2016
  • Gems and jewellery firm Rajesh Exports ranked 423rd position
  • IOC is followed by State Bank of India (SBI), Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum
  • Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is the highest ranked, though it has slipped down to 215th position, from 158 last year.
  • Tata Motors follows at number 226, up from 254th last year
  • Bharat Petroleum fell from 280th to 358th this year, while Hindustan Petroleum is at 367th, compared to its 327th place last year.
  • SBI has improved its position to 232, from being at 260 last year.
  • List was topped by retail giant Walmart with revenue of $482,130 million
  • The world's 500 largest companies generated $27.6 trillion in revenues and $1.5 trillion in profits in 2015
  • Global top 10 companies are State Grid (second, $329,601 million), China National Petroleum (third, $299,271 million), Sinopec Group (4th, $294,344 million), Royal Dutch Shell (5th, $272,156 million), Exxon Mobil (6th, $246,204 million), Volkswagen (7th, $236,600 million), Toyota Motor (8th, $236,592 million), Apple (9th, $233,715 million) and BP (10th, $225,982 million).

  • Islamic State militants began reinventing themselves months before US-backed Iraqi forces ended their three-year reign of terror in Mosul, putting aside the dream of a modern-day caliphate and preparing the ground for a different fight.
  • Intelligence and local officials said that, a few months ago, they noticed a growing stream of commanders and fighters flowing out of the city to the Hamrin mountains in northeast Iraq which offer hideouts and access to four Iraqi provinces.
  • Some were intercepted but many evaded security forces and began setting up bases for their new operations.
  • What comes next may be a more complex and daunting challenge for Iraqi security forces once they finish celebrating a hard-won victory in Mosul, the militants' biggest stronghold.
  • Intelligence and security officials are bracing for the kind of devastating insurgency al Qaeda waged following the 2003 US-led invasion, pushing Iraq into a sectarian civil war which peaked in 2006-2007.
  • They are digging in. They have easy access to the capital," LahurTalabany, a top Kurdish counter-terrorism official, told Reuters. As part of the US-led coalition, he is at the forefront of efforts to eliminate Islamic State.

  • Ashok Sharma, adjunct faculty at the University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy and fellow at the Australia-India Institute has closely tracked US-India relations and Indian lobbying in US foreign policy for a decade now.
  • He's recently authored the book 'Indian Lobbying and its Influence in US Decision Making: Post-Cold War' tracing the Indian lobby at work during testing times including the Kargil War and the Indo-US nuclear deal.
  • An alumnus of Delhi University and JNU, he tells ChidanandRajghatta how lobbying has ramped up under PM Narendra Modi and US president Donald Trump

  • Andy Murray beats Milos Raonic to take second Wimbledon title on 10 July 2016
  • 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(2)
  • Won Olympic gold medal 2013

  • Chhetri drilled a low shot off a fine pass from Lalpekhlua in the 69th minute to lead India to a crucial win
  • India notched up their seventh official international win on the trot
  • India's next match is against Macau, an away game, on September 5

  • India ratified on Tuesday two fundamental conventions against child labour — the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (Number 138), and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (Number 182) — at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conference currentlyunder way in Geneva.
  • With this, India has become the 170th member of the ILO to ratify Convention Number 138, and the 181st to ratify Convention Number 182. ILO has 187 member states.
  • Labour minister BandaruDattatreya, who is representing India at the conference, said the amended Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Central Rules completely prohibited employment of children aged below 14 years in any occupation or process, and of adolescents (aged 14 to 18 years) in hazardous occupations and processes.
  • He added that the amended ruled provided a broad and specific framework for the prevention, prohibition, rescue and rehabilitation of child and adolescent workers.

  • Jack Miller won a chaotic and rain-disrupted Dutch MotoGP on Sunday 26 Jun 2016
  • The 21-year-old Australian Miller, riding a Honda Marc VDS, finished ahead of Marquez (Honda) and Briton Scott Redding (Ducati Pramac)
  • This is his maiden victory in the elite motorcycling category

  • Bangladesh has accused Myanmar of repeatedly violating its air space and warned that any more "provocative acts" could have "unwarranted consequences", raising the possibility of a deterioration in relations already strained by a refugee crisis.
  • Nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslims from western Myanmar have crossed into Bangladesh since Aug. 25, fleeing a Myanmar government offensive against insurgents that the United Nations has branded a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".
  • Bangladesh said Myanmar drones and helicopters had violated its air space three times - on Sept. 10, 12 and 14 - and it had called in a top Myanmar embassy official in Dhaka to complain.
  • "Bangladesh expressed deep concern at the repetition of such acts of provocation and demanded that Myanmar takes immediate measures to ensure that such violation of sovereignty does not occur again," the ministry said in statement late on15 sep.
  • "These provocative acts may lead to unwarranted consequences."
  • A Myanmar government spokesman said he did not have information about the incidents Bangladesh had complained about but Myanmar had denied an earlier accusation.
  • The spokesman, ZawHtay, said Myanmar would check any information that Bangladesh provided."At this time, our two countries are facing the refugee crisis. We need to collaborate with good understanding," ZawHtay told Reuters.
  • Bangladesh has for decades faced influxes of Rohingya fleeing persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where the Rohingya are regarded as illegal migrants and denied citizenship.Bangladesh was already home to 400,000 Rohingya before the latest crisis erupted on Aug. 25, when Rohingya insurgents attacked about 30 police posts and an army camp, killing a dozen people.
  • The Myanmar security forces responded with what rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya say is a campaign of violence and arson aimed at driving out the Muslim population.

  • Brexit: British + Exit
  • UK joined EU in 1973
  • Withdrawal from EU under article 50 of Treaty of EU
  • Total Votes: 33,578,016, 72% of Registered Voters
  • 51.9 Voted for Leave and 48.1 voted for Remain
  • It will take 2 years to see actual effect
  • Immediate Effect: Global Share markets collapsed, US dollar became stronger
  • Indian IT industry may be affected, Indian IT companies may need to establish separate operations for EU and UK.
  • Gold prise rise

  • Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel early next month, the Union Cabinet today approved signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries on a water conservation campaign in India.
  • This will benefit the country in conserving water for future generations, an official statement said.
  • Modi will be on a three-day visit to Israel, beginning July 4.
  • "The two countries shall work to enhance cooperation at the national, regional and international level to design, implement and monitor the professionally-designed conservation campaign," the statement said.

  • Chile win second Copa América title in two years
  • Lionel Messi misses penalty as Chile win shoot-out 4-2
  • Game ends scoreless after 120 minutes
  • Messi retired from international duty after missing in a penalty shootout as Argentina lost
  • Most Successful team is Uruguay by winning 15 times
  • First tournament was held in July 1916 with Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil
  • Tournament is held every 4 years from 2007 onwords and 2016 tournament hosted in the United States

  • China loves peace but will never compromise on defending its sovereignty, President Xi Jinping said on 1 aug. while marking 90 years since the founding of the People's Liberation Army.
  • China has rattled nerves around Asia and globally with its increasingly assertive stance in territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas and an ambitious military modernisation plan.
  • Relations with self-ruled Taiwan have also worsened since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won presidential elections there last year.
  • China considers Taiwan a wayward province, to be brought under Beijing's control by force if necessary.
  • Xi, speaking at the Great Hall of the People, made no direct reference to any particular territorial dispute, as he sought to assure that China's intentions were peaceful, but also show that China would not be bullied.

  • China should remain neutral if North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on11 aug, sounding a warning for Pyongyang over its plans to fire missiles near the US Pacific territory of Guam.
  • The comments from the influential Global Times came after US President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea again on10 aug, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.
  • China, North Korea's most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis. Beijing has expressed frustration with both Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behaviour from South Korea and the United States, such as military drills, that it sees as escalating tensions.
  • "China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral," the Global Times, which is widely read but does not represent government policy, said in an editorial.
  • "If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so," it said.
  • North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency said on 10 aug its army would complete plans in mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near Guam.
  • Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was not going to get away with his "horrific" comments and disrespecting America.

  • China will halt iron, iron ore and seafood imports from North Korea starting 15aug as it implements new UN sanctions, the commerce ministry said14 Aug.
  • Beijing had pledged to fully enforce the latest sanctions against its diplomatic ally after coming under pressure from the United States to do more to compel Pyongyang to drop its nuclear weapons programmer.
  • The ministry said on its website that all imports of coal, iron, iron ore and seafood will be "completely prohibited" from 15 Aug.
  • The announcement follows days of increasingly bellicose rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un's regime, which has raised international alarm.
  • The United Nations Security Council, including permanent member Beijing, approved tough sanctions against Pyongyang on August 6 that could cost the hermetic country $1 billion a year.

  • Sunway-TaihuLight can make 93 quadrillions calculations per second
  • Developed by the National Research Centre of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC) is built entirely using processors designed and made in China
  • Topped the list of the Top 500 supercomputers
  • The list announced at the 2016 International Supercomputing Conference in Germany
  • Processing capacity of 125.436 petaflops (PFlops) per second
  • Many-core CPU chip is just 25 square cm
  • The supercomputer installed at the National Supercomputing Centre in China and earlier there was Tianhe-2 Intel based super computer
  • China has 167 systems and the US is second with 165 super computers

  • Ahead of NSA Ajit Doval's visit, China's state media struck two different notes with the China Daily hopeful of a peaceful resolution to the deadlock with India while the Global Times said the "main schemer's" trip wouldn't sway Beijing.
  • In its editorial, 'It's never too late for India to mend its way', China Daily pressed for exploring ways to avoid confrontation.
  • The Global Times editorial, 'Doval visit won't sway China over border standoff', said Beijing would not talk until Indian troops were withdrawn.
  • Doval is to visit China for a meeting of NSAs from BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - on July 27-28. He is expected to discuss the standoff with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.
  • Both officials are also the Special Representatives of their countries for the boundary talks.

  • The top US commander in Iraq says American troops will assist in the effort to locate unexploded bombs dropped there by the US-led coalition.
  • The commander, Gen. Stephen Townsend, tells a group of reporters in Baghdad that the American military will find a way to help.
  • The coalition's unexploded bombs are only a small part of the problem facing Mosul and other Iraqi cities recaptured from the Islamic State group. Militants hid explosives set to detonate with the slightest of movement.
  • They can be almost anywhere- in a child's toy, a vacuum cleaner or an oven door.
  • A contracting company, Janus Global Operations, has been hired to find and remove explosive devices and unexploded bombs. Some estimates suggest it may take 25 years to clear West Mosul of explosives.

  • The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc, after the initials in Spanish) are Colombia's largest rebel group
  • Peace talks started three years ago in the Cuban capital
  • Estimated 220,000 people dead and almost seven million displaced during five decade of war
  • The longest-running insurgency in the Western Hemisphere
  • Rebels will lay down arms within 180 days of a final peace deal
  • The creation of temporary transition zones and camps for the estimated 7,000 rebels
  • No civilians will be allowed to enter Farc camps, to guarantee rebel security
  • UN monitors will receive all the group's weapons

  • US President Donald Trump accused The New York Times of "foiling" American attempt to kill the self-proclaimed leader of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
  • "The Failing New York Times foiled US attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist, Al-Baghdadi. Their sick agenda over National Security," Trump tweeted.
  • The president, however, did not give any other details in support of his claim.
  • Earlier, Defence Secretary James Mattis said he believes Baghdadi is still alive, shooting down claims the elusive ISIS leader was killed in a Russian air strike in war-torn Syria.
  • Trump also lashed out another major US daily The Washington Post in other tweet.
  • "A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post, this time against AG Jeff Sessions. These illegal leaks, like Comey's, must stop!" Trump said seeking an end to these leaks.

  • President Donald Trump on 12 Aug reassured Guam it was secure amid mounting regional tensions, vowing that American military forces "stand ready" to safeguard the US Pacific island territory against a belligerent North Korea.
  • The North has threatened to fire ballistic missiles over Japan toward the tourism-dependent idyllic island, as Pyongyang and Washington ratchet up their war of words.
  • With Guam's safety in the balance, Trump assured the territory's Governor Eddie Calvo: "We are with you 1000 percent, you are safe."
  • A member of Trump's Republican Party, Calvo insisted during the two men's call that "I have never felt more safe or so confident with you at the helm," according to his office.
  • "We're going to do a great job, don't worry about a thing," Trump then added. "They should have had me eight years ago, or somebody with my thought process."

  • The Panama Canal expansion project, also called the Third Set of Locks Project
  • Built two new sets of locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides, and excavated new channels to the new locks.
  • Widened and deepened existing channels.
  • Raised the maximum operating water level of Gatun Lake.
  • Ex Panamanian President Martín Torrijos formally proposed the project on 24 April 2006 and The project formally began in 2007
  • New locks will approximately double the capacity of the present canal

  • US Senate Republican leaders postponed a vote on a healthcare overhaul on 27june after resistance from members of their own party, and President Donald Trump summoned Republican senators to the White House to urge them to break the impasse.
  • The delay put the future of a longtime top Republican priority in doubt amid concerns about the Senate bill from both moderate and conservative Republicans.
  • With Democrats united in their opposition, Republicans need almost every vote among their own ranks in the Senate.

  • Indian-origin Labour Party candidates have won more seats than their rival Conservatives
  • Labour Party's Preet Kaur Gill won Edgbaston seat by defeating ruling Conservative party rival Caroline Squire
  • The Labour Party had selected 14 Indians and Conservative Party 13 as their parliamentary candidates

  • Former French cyclist Dominique Arnaud
  • Arnaud took part on 11 occasions in the Tour de France
  • Won three stages of the Vuelta a Espana
  • Died at the age of 60 on wednesday 20 July 2016, after a hard-fought battle with cancer