Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2012: International News

  • Cameron to face hacking probe against him: Prime Minister David Cameron is likely to face hacking probe. Reports are rife that the P. M may be called before the public inquiry regarding the matter of the World phone-hacking scandal. He will be asked to answer questions about his linkups with Rupert Murdoch and his media group. The Times reported also stated that the inquiry may also call Mr. Murdoch to put forward his answers. Downing Street claimed that the P. M Mr. Cameron is willing to appear before the public enquiry if he is being called. The P. M spokesperson said that-the P. M's office has not received any request to appear before the enquiry and even if they are going to receive it then the Prime Minister will definitely attend it. The relationship of Mr. Cameron's with Mr. Murdoch and his newspaper group was under scrutiny following Murdoch newspapers move of shifting their support from Labour to the Conservative Party during the last general election. As per the, The Times report Mr. Cameron may be asked to elaborate about his controversial decision in which he decided to hire the former NoW editor Andy Coulson as his media chief. He was warned not to take such step as news about his links in the hacking allegation was on the rounds. Mr Coulson later resigned in January last year following the reopening of the case by the police. Mr. Coulson was soon arrested but later released on bail.
  • UN drug report reveals India as the biggest consumer of heroin in South Asia: The United Nations drug reports 2011 revealed that India is the largest consumer of the illegal drug Heroin in the South Asian region. This report acts a contrary to the report that states that India is just being used as a transit point by international traffickers in order to smuggle heroin from the Afghan region to countries like Europe and the US. The reports suggest that out of the 40 tonnes of heroin that is being produced in South Asia approximately 17 tonnes are consumed in India only, making it the biggest consumer of the drug in the southern region. Apart from consuming, India is the main source of heroin suppliers to countries like Bangaladesh and Nepal. And the rest half is consumed by Sri Lanka and the remaining being smuggled via Pakistan. O P Malik the director of the Narcotics Control Bureau said that the rising student population in the southern and western regions of the country are the biggest consumers of the drug.
  • US shows concerns over Pakistan diverting aid money for other purposes: US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and some others lawmakers expressed their concerns over Pakistan's move of diverting the aide money provided by the US administration for other purposes. Following the diverting reports the US even tried its best to build fire wall to stop the diversion of aide money for other purposes. Hillary Clinton said that they have constructed a wall to refrain Pakistan to use aide money for other purpose. The Secretary of state responded to the question asked by the Senetor Jim Webb regarding the fact that of Pakistan using the aide money for expanding their nuclear program. Senetor Clinton said that they have built a firewall; and if the administration provides aid for other purposes, it will make sure that the money is being utilised for health, education, energy, etc and not for works like expanding nuclear power which is a serious concern. She further said that dialogues are going on with the Pakistan on the reforms the country they need to make for their own people benefit.
  • Abu Jundal to be interrogated by the NIA: Three security agencies two from Mumbai and the National Investigating Agency (NIA) have filed a petition seeking custody of 26/11 key handler Abu Jundal in order to interrogate him in his connection with the 26/11 and several other terror strikes in the country. Mumbai Police and Mumbai crime branch have separately appealed to the metropolitan magistrate seeking Jundal's custody on the ground that they need to interrogate him along with Ajmal Kasab, who is the lone surviving 26/11 gunman, whereas the NIA sought the custody of the Lashkar terrorist in connection with an FIR lodged against him on June 8, 2012 regarding a terror strike in the capital. The magistrate has decided to hear the applications filed by the two security agencies and will decide regarding the application of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) seeking custodial interrogation of Jundal for Mumbai serial blasts since 2006.
  • Stephen R Covey, the author of popular self-help book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” passed away in Idaho. He was 79 years old and due to some complications that originated from a bicycle accident in April.
  • China claims historical rights: Beijing's claims to nearly all the South China Sea are embossed in its latest passports, based on what it calls long established “historical facts” and what Chinese analysts say is Western imperial precedent. Beijing has grown increasingly assertive in recent years in claiming islands and waters even without effective control of them-in some cases hundreds of kilometres from the China's mainland and close to rival claimants'coasts. The latest front on the simmering dispute is China's new passport, which shows the map of the country including almost all of the strategically significant sea, the site of key shipping routes and possibly significant petroleum reserves.
  • Statue of Liberty reopens: The statue of Liberty has reopened for the public viewing after a year-long 30 million-dollar interior makeover. The mostly federally funded renovation to the 126 year old statue of Liberty includes fire safety and ventilations improvement, better bathrooms, a third elevator and remodelled staircase with 39 extra steps to make it easier to climb from pedestal to crown. And for the first time ever, there is wheelchair access to the top of the pedestal. With the structural improvements, 26, 000 more visitors will be able to visit the crown every year, the New York Post reports.
  • Chinese Uighurs joins jihadis in Syria: Chinese Muslims separatists from the northwest region of Xinjiang are battling Syrian government forces alongside al-Qaeda and other extremist groups, an official Chinese newspaper reported. Radicals among the China's ethnic Turkic Uighur minority have been travelling to Syria since May to join the fighting on trips organised by groups opposed to Beijing's rule over Xinjiang the Global Times reported.
  • Nelson Mandela often referred to as Madiba turned 94 and celebrated his birthday on 18th July. Former US President Bill Clinton paid him a surprise visit at his home on village Qunu.
  • 350 Indian students in UK face deportation: Around 350 Indians are among the 3, 000 international students who face deportation from Britain after the government suddenly cracked down on a London university accusing it for approving visas for bogus students. London Metropolitan University's power to approve visas for non-European students, was revoked by the government's immigration department, which said a quarter of 101 students sampled in a random check were bogus. But critics say that the government was punishing genuine fee paying foreign students, who bring 12.5billion pounds every year, with an ill-conceived and potentially ruinous move aimed at bringing down immigration. Immigration minister Damien Green said the university was guilty on three counts: Some students had overstayed their visas, others didn't have a “decent standard” of English and more than half weren't attending classes.
  • Republicans welcome NRI's into fold: The Republican Party announced a new political reality in the US: Indian-Americans are no longer a Democratic Party monopoly. It had Ishwar Singh, a Sikh American of Indian Origin; lead the prayer opening the third day of its national convention. A Rabbi did the honours the previous day. And it had Yash Wadhwa, small businessmen of Indian origin from Wisconsin, talk about the power of American dream, always a powerful rallying cry. At 3 million, the Indian Americans are the third largest Asian American Community, training the Chinese and the Filipinos. But they are the most prosperous minority community. “I came here with just $2 in my pocket,” said Wadhwa. One of the many small business owners invited to the convention, he was the only Asian American.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, the Myanmar opposition leader received a congressional gold medal which is a highest US award when she visits the country this year. She's also set to receive the Atlantic Council's “Global citizen” award.
  • Fukushima nuclear crisis, a man-made disaster The Fukushima nuclear power plant which had a meltdown during March 2011 was mainly due to human error and not the natural disaster was what was being claimed earlier. An investigation report that was tabulated in the parliament in July. The report also mentioned that the disaster could have been foreseen and prevented accordingly. The report blames cultural conventions and the reluctance to question the authority which has led to this mishap. The six reactor Fukushima nuclear power plant in Daiichi was very badly damaged following the earthquake and Tsunami which knocked out the cooling systems and this led to meltdowns and release of dangerous radioactive materials. Several tens of thousands or residents were asked to evacuate from the exclusion zone around the plant while various workers battled to get the reactors under control until it was declared a safe zone in 2011
  • The Beijing municipal government declared the heaviest rain in 61 years killed 37 while thousands were evacuated in China.
  • Fuel that makes peace: Oil Barter to help strengthen Indo-Pak bonds: INDIA agreeing to export petrol, gas besides diesel to Pakistan to capture the speedball rising process challenge leadership the neighboring suzerainty is a favorable hike from colorful angles. Exceeding Delhi's ruling comes momentarily attached Islamabad agreed importance end to ad judicature India the long-awaited eminently Favored nation stratum besides Pakistan allowing a flying interject of lines that rap hold office procured from India. Work prominence petrol, which has adroit importance, consign strengthen the stir to pop in gamble effect common economic gravy. The two countries concentrating on their common economic increasing along stash addition people-to-people contacts leave stab an inclination landing agency operative their political relations. Unfeigned is an observed axiom seeing Pakistan to meets its game needs from its next-door neighbor instead of looking over supplies from far-off countries. The exclusive drop that remains to exhibit touch is that of the identity-petrol outlets mark Pakistan lay upon Euro II bundle fuel since India produces petrol that meets Euro-III standards. Pakistan is competent to fulfill discrete half of its pipeline requirements from it's acquiesce sources annually as existent has unitary 12-million-tonne altering ability. Unalike to this, India exports 25 per cent of its 185-million refashioning bent.
  • Trade Targets between India and Africa revised, worth US$90 billion by 2015: The Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles of India, Sh. An and Sharma, and the African Trade and Industry Ministers met in New Delhi today for the 2nd meeting of the India-Africa Trade Ministers. The Meeting was co-chaired by Humble Dr. Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, Commissioner for Economic Affairs, African Union Commission, and Sh. Anand Sharma. During the meeting, the Ministers launched the India-Africa Business Council (IABC). The IABC is co-chaired by Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Group from India side and Mr. Alhaji Aliko Dangote, GCON, President, Chief Executive, Dangote Group, Nigeria from African side. The Council will suggest the way forward on enhancing economic and commercial relations between India and Africa and also identify and address issues which hinder growth of economic partnership between India and Africa. The core sectors of cooperation which will be explored by IABC are Agriculture, including Agro-processing, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Textiles, Mining, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services, Gems and Jewellery, Banking, Financial Services (including microfinance), Energy, Core Infrastructure including Roads and Railways. The Council met later in the day. During the meeting, the Cotton Technical Assistance Programme in the C − 4 countries (Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad, Mali), Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda was also launched. The Technical Assistance Programme in the cotton sector is an initiative of the Government of India under the umbrella of the ‘India-Africa Forum Summit’ towards helping the above-mentioned cotton growing countries of Africa to build capacity, technical expertise and thereby competitiveness in the field. IL&FS Cluster Development Initiative Limited is the Project Management Agency for implementing the Project. During the meeting, the Indian and African Ministers set the target of India-Africa bilateral trade as US $90 billion by 2015. In the year 2011, India-Africa bilateral trade has reached US $60 billion. The Ministers agreed on the need to strengthen the trade relationship between the two sides through, inter-alia, the building of trade-related capacity and the conclusion of trade cooperation agreements between India and African Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/countries. “Our leaders had set a target of US$70 billion by 2015 but we can note with satisfaction that last year we crossed US$60 billion. A 20-fold growth within a decade is indeed an achievement worth applauding. I propose that given the current growth rate, we may agree to revise the trade target to US$90 billion by 2015,” said Shri Sharma.
  • Russia to build two more nuclear reactors in China: Nuclear countries Russia and China have cemented their nuclear cooperation leading the Russian capital to build two more reactors in the Chinese soil. Earlier also Russia helped China in building two reactors in the Taiwan nuclear plant in Jiangsu province. Those two reactors went into operation in the year 2007 as said by the Sergey Sergeevich Razov, Moscow's envoy. The two reactors being built have a combined capacity of 2, 000 mw and are using Russia's VVER 1000 nuclear model. Russia will build the two reactors in Taiwan after the Chinese government lifts its suspension on the new atomic power plants imposed after the nuclear disaster in Japan last year.
  • Britain's Duke of York Prince Andrew to visit the Capital Delhi on Monday: The Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles of India, Sh. An and Sharma, and the African Trade and Industry Ministers met in New Delhi today for the 2nd meeting of the India-Africa Trade Ministers. The Meeting was co-chaired by Humble Dr. Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, Commissioner for Economic Affairs, African Union Commission, and Sh. Anand Sharma. During the meeting, the Ministers launched the India-Africa Business Council (IABC). The IABC is co-chaired by Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Group from India side and Mr. Alhaji Aliko Dangote, GCON, President, Chief Executive, Dangote Group, Nigeria from African side. The Council will suggest the way forward on enhancing economic and commercial relations between India and Africa and also identify and address issues which hinder growth of economic partnership between India and Africa. The core sectors of cooperation which will be explored by IABC are Agriculture, including Agro-processing, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Textiles, Mining, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services, Gems and Jewellery, Banking, Financial Services (including microfinance), Energy, Core Infrastructure including Roads and Railways. The Council met later in the day. During the meeting, the Cotton Technical Assistance Programme in the C − 4 countries (Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad, Mali), Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda was also launched. The Technical Assistance Programme in the cotton sector is an initiative of the Government of India under the umbrella of the ‘India-Africa Forum Summit’ towards helping the above-mentioned cotton growing countries of Africa to build capacity, technical expertise and thereby competitiveness in the field. IL&FS Cluster Development Initiative Limited is the Project Management Agency for implementing the Project. During the meeting, the Indian and African Ministers set the target of India-Africa bilateral trade as US $90 billion by 2015. In the year 2011, India-Africa bilateral trade has reached US $60 billion. The Ministers agreed on the need to strengthen the trade relationship between the two sides through, inter-alia, the building of trade-related capacity and the conclusion of trade cooperation agreements between India and African Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/countries. “Our leaders had set a target of US$70 billion by 2015 but we can note with satisfaction that last year we crossed US$60 billion. A 20-fold growth within a decade is indeed an achievement worth applauding. I propose that given the current growth rate, we may agree to revise the trade target to US$90 billion by 2015,” said Shri Sharma.
  • Following deadly strikes by terror group Taliban, Delhi and Kabul soon to share real time intelligence info: India and Afghanistan are looking forward to renew up the intelligence sharing system shared by the two following the recent multiple strikes by terror group Taliban. The air strikes were made in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan. With the Indian foreign minister S M Krishna's meeting with his Afghan counterpart Zalmai Rassoul the government officials have stated that the two countries have decided to stop the practice of sharing intelligence using routine letters and now they will simply provide intelligence inputs immediately to the each other's government. Taliban stroked Kabul and other cities in Afghanistan on April 15. These attacks are being seen as the most ferocious air strikes coordinated by the group in the country. The report stated that the Indian establishments were not the main targets.