Competitive Exams: International Current Affairs 2009 (Part 2 of 3)

Earthquake rocks southern Iran (4th November 2009)

A 4.9-magnitude earthquake Rattled southern Iran injuring about 700 people, officials said. Iran lies along seismic fault lines and has been rocked strong earthquakes, notably in December 2003 when a 6.6-magnitude quake devastated the ancient city of Bam, killing at least 30, 000 people.

ASEAN Summit 2009 (25th October 2009)

Leaders of ASEAN countries has decided to increase cooperation in education at the 14th ASEAN Summit held in Hua Hin, Thailand, on October 23 − 25, 2009. The cooperation agreement signed by the leaders of the ten ASEAN member countries at the summit's closing ceremony on Sunday. The ASEAN community in 2015 will be based on three pillars, security of the political community, economic community, and socio-cultural community. Therefore, ASEAN leaders had been urged to step up educational competency in their respective countries. All these efforts may serve as a common reference for ASEAN to a better quality education. The member country had also expressed readiness to establish a research convention on education. The result will serve as a basic framework for new cooperation in the sector. The summit also announced a plan to observe ASEAN's founding anniversary every August 8, and introduce the history of the regional organization as well as its latest developments to the students.

Global population to reach seven billion by 2011 (23rd October 2009)

The global population is expected to reach seven billion in 2011 and the increase would happen in just 12 years after reaching six billion in 1999, says the World Population Data Sheet prepared by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB). In a statement issued by the Information Services Department, growth of the world's youth population was shifting to the poorest countries'especially Asia and Africa, and latter's population of one billion was growing by about 24 million per year, and would double by 2050. The bulk of today's 1.2 billion youth are in developing countries with 8 out of 10 living in Africa and Asia.

Obama Wins Nobel peace prize 2009 (9th October 2009)

The chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize committee cited President Obama's outreach to the Muslim world and his push for Israeli-Arab peace in explaining its decision to award him the prize. One of the first things he did was to go to Cairo to try to reach out to the Muslim world, then to restart the Mideast negotiations and then he reached out to the rest of the world through international institutions, Thorbjorn Jagland said in Oslo last Friday after announcing that Obama had won the prize. The formal citation notes Obama's extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples and his vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons. Obama will receive the $1.4 million prize in Oslo on Dec. 10.

Kabul's Indian Embassy attacked (8th October 2009)

A vehicle packed with explosives drove into the sidewall of the Indian Embassy in Kabul. A huge blast followed. Seven Afghan civilians were killed and 45 more were wounded in a blast outside the Indian embassy in the Afghan capital on Thursday, police sources said. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. On its website, it said it intended to target the Embassy. There was some speculation whether the real targets were other government buildings nearby.

Al-Qaida calls for holy war against China (7th October 2009)

In a video message, a senior Al-Qaida leader has urged Muslims to launch a holy war against Chinese invaders in response to the massacre of Uighurs in western China. The atheist criminals have long used the most despicable, cruel and brutal means against Muslims in Turkistan, said Abu Yayha al-Libi, who is sometimes identified as the commander in Afghanistan of the international terrorist network Al-Qaida.

China celebrates its 60th anniversary (1st October 2009)

A confident China on Thursday marked 60 years of Communist rule as it unveiled its military might parading new generation battle tanks and long-range cruise missiles, with President Hu Jintao asserting that only socialism can save the country.

Afghan Presidential election (18th September 2009)

President Hamid Karzai won an absolute majority in Afghanistan's presidential election, according to a final preliminary result released by the election commission. Incumbent Karzai won 54.6% of the vote in the Aug 20 poll, nearly double the 27.8% of his nearest rival, former foreign minister Abdullah, the commission said. Voter turnout was 38%, which accounts for more than 5.5 million votes cast on the election day. Of that percentage, 42% were men and 38% were women, Daoud Ali Najafi, chief electoral officer said.

US largest supplier of arms in 2008 (7th September 2009)

Defying the trends of global recession, the United States has emerged as the largest supplier of arms, accounting for more than two-third of the USD 55.2 billion of arms sales in the year 2008. The United States has not only supplied arms and weapons to its traditional market, but also begun creating a pie for itself in the traditional Russian supplier markets like that of India, says a latest Congressional report. The increase in American weapons sales around the world was attributable not only to major new orders from clients in the Near East and in Asia, but also to the continuation of significant equipment and support services contracts with a broad-based number of US clients globally.

Powerful earthquake kills 57 in Indonesia (3rd September)

At least 57 killed, another 400 injured, says disaster agencyTsunami watch quickly expires, Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says Older buildings damaged in Tasikmalaya in Indonesian island of Java, witness says Series of quakes hit Indonesia's Sumatra Island three weeks ago. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Cianjur, and vowed to free up nearly $500, 000 (5 billion rupiahs) for emergency response efforts.

Miss Venezuala win Miss Universe 2009 title (24th August 2009)

Impressing 12 judges and beating 84 contestants Miss Venezuela Stefania Fernandez crowned the Miss Universe 2009 from Dayana Mendoza. 18-year-old Stefania is the sixth Venezuelan to win the crown.

Michael Jackson is Dead (25th June 2009)

Michael Jackson, the King of pop died because of cardiac arrest at the age of 50 at Los Angeles. The only man who neither needs any introduction nor any eulogy died leaving millions of fans grieving. Keeping aside the controversies he stirred in the last few years, Michael Jackson was definitely an extraordinary artist, musician and a performer. Jackson left behind some heart touching songs like ‘Earth Song’

Racial attack in Australia (15th June 2009)

So far there have been 14 attacks encountered by Indian students in Australia. Indian students are continuing their street protest against the racially motivated attacks. The Indian community leaders in Australia have asked the Indian students to stop violent protests in Harris Park in Melbourne. There have also been some stray incidents of Indian students retaliating.

Air France 447 jet Crash (2nd June 2009)

The Air France 447 jet with 228 people on a flight to Paris vanished over the Atlantic Ocean after flying into towering thunderstorms and sending 24 automated messages that the electrical system had failed. Massive operations were taken to locate the, but all 228 passengers seem to have died. The hunt for the black boxes and plane parts still continues. The total bodies recovered were only 50. The bodies found were sent to perform DNA tests to the Legal Medical Institute in Brasilia. The United States of America has also joined in the efforts.