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

Obama gets a ‘B + grade’ for his presidency (29th April 2009)

Barack Obama celebrated his successful completion of 100 days (called as ‘hallmark holiday’ ) as US president. Obama's first 100 days was fighting against global terror, an economic crisis worse than the great depression of the 1930s and a pandemic, swine flu. He has made milestone changes in foreign relations with Cuba and Iraq along with policy shifts towards China and Mexico. To improve economic status, he has provided for 787-billion-dollar stimulus bill, along with environmental and health care reforms on the launch. Robert Gibbs gave Obama a grade of B plus, observing that ‘there's always room for improvement’ A survey on Obama's leadership showed positive reactions of the people and 63% approving his presidency.

Over 150 people died due to Swine flu in Mexico (29th April 2009)

The death toll has risen to 159 people in Mexico due to Swine flu disease. Out of a total of around 2, 500 suspected cases of the virus, more than 1, 300 people are reported to be in hospitals, some of them ‘seriously’ ill. Most of the deaths occurred in Mexico City. Other affected states, such as Aguascalientes and Veracruz have only seen a handful of deaths. The victims include all age groups ranging from children, adults, and middle-aged people

6 killed in murder-suicide bid in US (31st March 2009)

In a shocking incident 6 people, including 3 children, were shot dead and one critically injured reportedly in a murder-suicide bid in Santa Clara, a city in the Silicon Valley. Media reports suggest that an ‘Indian passport’ was found inside the house where the incident occurred.

The body of suspected shooter was found inside the house. Police also recovered two handguns used in the killings. The killer was a man in his 40s. Mike Sellers, the Santa Clara Police Captain said, It does appear as though they (the victims) were related.

Titanic museum to open in UK (31st March 2009)

A new museum charting the story of the Titanic could be built in Britain ahead of the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated liner's sinking.

The 28 million pound museum in Southampton, from where the liner set sail in 1912 on her maiden voyage, is set to feature a climb-aboard replica of the doomed ship, which hit an iceberg causing the loss of 1523 lives.

BUSH GETS ATTACKED BY SHOES IN IRAQ

An Iraqi TV reporter threw his shoes at President Bush during a news conference. Muntadhar al-Zaidi, a reporter for the TV channel Al-Baghdadia, faced testing for alcohol and drugs to determine his state of mind, said a government official.

At Sunday's news conference, the journalist whipped off his shoes and hurled them at Bush during the president's unannounced stop in Baghdad. The reporter called his shoe-throwing, a traditional insult in Arab culture, a farewell kiss to a dog who launched the 2003 invasion of Iraq

This is the farewell kiss, you dog, the man shouted in Arabic. After the incident Bush apparently said that he was ok and dismissed the incident as an example of a healthy democracy and an example of free speech.

LTTE LOSES MULLAITHIVU

The Sri Lankan military on Sunday announced the capture of Mullaithivu town, the last major settlement of the LTTE in the only remaining district under its control. With this the Tigers are now confined to Puthukkudiyiruppu and Vishwamadu areas in the same district.

The fall of Mullaithivu came three weeks after the military marched into Kilinochchi. The administrative and political headquarters of the Tigers. After Kilinochchi, the Tigers lost control of their strategic base at Elephant Pass at the mouth of the Jaffna peninsula and the government gained total control of the A 9 highway for the first time since the departure of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in 1990.

The rapid advance of the military into Mullaithivu town caught the political and diplomatic circles by surprise. The manoeuvre was expected to take time in view of the large number of civilians in the war zone, besides thick jungles and lagoons en route, not to mention the added threat of a possible attack by the Tigers to defend their last citadel.

Mullaithivu town is situated in a narrow stretch of land between Nanthikandal lagoon and the Indian Ocean. It has been under the control of the Tigers since 1996 and was considered their main military base.

ISRAEL ATTACKS GAZA

Israeli warplanes killed 10 Palestinians on Tuesday in attacks that targeted Hamas government buildings and other symbols of the Islamist group on the fourth day of the fiercest air offensive in Gaza in decades. Israeli missiles flattened five ministerial buildings and a structure belonging to the Islamic University in Gaza City, witnesses said.

The death toll from the attacks on Gaza continues to rise, reaching 345 dead with more than 1, 400 injured. Hamas has retaliated against Israel is with a deadly barrage of rockets that reached deep into Israel. With this evidence that airstrikes alone have not been able to stop all Hamas rocket launches, Israel is hinting that it will broaden its assault with a ground invasion:

Israel hinted it was ready to broaden its assault on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip with a ground operation after three days of air raids failed to bring an end to cross-border rocket attacks.

Israeli warplanes killed 10 Palestinians on Tuesday in attacks that targeted Hamas government buildings and other symbols of the Islamist group on the fourth day of the fiercest air offensive in Gaza in decades. Israeli missiles flattened five ministerial buildings and a structure belonging to the Islamic University in Gaza City, witnesses said.

The death toll from the attacks on Gaza continues to rise, reaching 345 dead with more than 1, 400 injured. Hamas has retaliated against Israel is with a deadly barrage of rockets that reached deep into Israel. With this evidence that airstrikes alone have not been able to stop all Hamas rocket launches, Israel is hinting that it will broaden its assault with a ground invasion:

Israel hinted it was ready to broaden its assault on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip with a ground operation after three days of air raids failed to bring an end to cross-border rocket attacks.