Competitive Exams: International Current Affairs 2008 (Part 1 of 2)

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Hillary Clinton nominated as Secretary of State in Obama cabinet 1st Dec 2008

Hillary Clinton has been nominated as the Secretary of State in the Obama Cabinet. President Clinton expressed his deep pride for his wife being chosen for this job.

Army Chiefs call for polls rejected by Somchari Nov 27 2008

Political uncertainty continues to loom over Thailand with protestors continuing three siege at Bangkok international airport. This goes on despite the Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat rejecting Army chief Anupong Paochinda's Proposal of getting over the crises by holding general elections. Flights have been gravely affected leaving passengers stranded at airport being unable to board the flight.

ID card scheme in UK for non European foreign nationals Nov 26, 2008

The british government has put forward as scheme of biometric identity cards. This would be for non-European foreign nationals starting with students and foreign spouses of British citizens. The required people must be in possession of it within 3 years.

One hundred and one Indian prisoners have been released by Pakistan Nov 26, 2008

As a good will gesture Pakistan has released one hundred and one Indian prisoners mostly fishermen. With the talks of home secretary Madhukar Gupta and his Pakistani counterpart Syed Kamal Shah lead to this decision by the Pakistan government.

President elect Barack Obama faces a economic challenges: Nov 26, 2008

Barack Obama the president elect of US introduced his economic team recently. Timothy F. Geithner has been nominated as Treasury Secretary and Lawrence H. Summers to head the White House economic concil. Obama's economic policy would be focused for middle class families and financial markets. Christina Romer is nominated for White House Council of Economic Advisers chair, Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary, Lawrence Summers as head of the National Economic Council.

Neel Kashkari-an Indian American to look over the financial crises of Wall Street (7th October 2008).

The finanacial catastrophe in the Wall street leading to global turmoil will be looked upon. Sure will it be, but that by an Indian American. Neel Kashkari the guy is set to prove his mettle and expert tackling. Just 35, he is the Assistant Secretary for International Affairs in the Department of Treasury, as the interim head for its new office of financial stability, which includes the troubled Asset Relief Program. It is seeing over this $700 billion problematic situation, threatening the US economy.

He has served in the Bush administration at Tier Two cabinet levels. If his appointment is confirmed he would be looking over the Treasurury's effort to buy sick areas and deal with them amicably, buying bad loans, and other upset securities.

Kashkari has bachelor's degree in engineering from University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign. He has masters in aeorospace engineering. Having worked in R&D Principal investor at the company TRW in Redondo Beach, California, he has worked upon a technology for NASA on James Webb Space Telescope, to be replaced for Hubble. It is scheduled to be launched in 2013.

Hillary Clinton a possible official as Secretary of State (22nd Nov September 2008)

Global market heads towards recovery (19th September 2008)

Global markets are recovering now. European stocks opened with considerable margin following a day profiatable trading on Wall Street. The stock market in asia showed considerable recovery.

All this happened after the news spread of the package of up to $247 billion to be invested at money markets from the U. S federal reserve, European Central Bank, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada and the Bank of Japan. The swelling upto $180 billion in fund availability is for getting away with the financial crises and ensure profitable business.

The bankruptcy of prominent U. S brokerage Lehman Brothers, a Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, AIG has dampened of their confidence by the investors.

Serious financial crises and the world economy (18th September 2008)

The most reputed and stable financial institutions of America have collapsed. Because of this, it has effected economy globally. Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, American International Group AIG have gone in financial crises. This happened because of bad mortgage finance and real estate investments. Both Lehman and Merrill Lynch ventured into real estate with great risk and got caught up in financial problem.

With Lehman's stock tumbling sharply, other firms backed off from doing business with it. This is a serious financial crises and desperate measures are being taken to get out of it. Lehman has decided to curb its trading and filed for bankruptcy. Merrill Lynch has agreed to sell itself on Sunday to Bank of America for roughly $50 Billion. Lehman Brothers a securities firm, filed for bankruptcy and tried to liquify its assets, because of no buyer. It has decided to curb its trading operations and so on. As concerned to AIG (American International Group), its problem arose with its one unit dealing in complex debt securities and derivatives. That unit is a cause of loss which is more, than the profit margin from its other units functioning profitably. It's credit scores were lowered by credit rating agencies, making it to seek multibillion dollar investment in order to survive. American International Group AIG had to take help from federal Reserve.

According to the associated Press, this is reported to be the biggest collapse of an investment bank after Drexel Burnham Lambert 18 years ago. The whole question is of its after effects on the American economy and global economy like in Asian market and elsewhere.

The desperate need of these tumbling financial giants for buyers, series of deals and grouping and regrouping of other companies to counter financial worsening still does not give much respite from the situation. In India, people rushed to pull their shares of favourable price fearing they may lose more in collapsing sectors. This affected in loss in already wobbly situation. Realty and metal stocks have suffered big loss. Below 3761 is a danger sign. The major losers were Ranbaxy Laboratories (-5.44%), Satyam Computer (-4.52%), DLF (-4.21%), Jaiprakash Associates (-4.11%), Bharti Airtel (-3.82%) and ICICI Bank (-3.59%). Only Tata motors (1.24%) and State Bank of India (0.19%) made profit.

In other asian countires like Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea stock market dipped more than 5 percent in morning trade.

As for now, the financial situation is very grave and has deteriorated because bulk of the investors have pulled their money all of a sudden and have invested in other places like treasury bills. Cost of borrowing has increased and federal bank is trying to relax its rules to avert the situation to the possible extend. The effect of all this would be more unemployment due to job cuts, less salary, high lending rates affecting the already weak housing market and so on:

Zardari becomes President of Pakistan (9th September 2008)

Asif Ali Zardari is the new Pakistani president after Pervez Musharraf. The widower of Benazir Bhutto and son in law of Late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto is the co-chairman of Pakistan's People Party (PPP). He was elected with big majority. The leader of the House in the Senate Mian Raza Rabbani hailed his election and talked about the balance of president's power and the Judiciary. The leader also mentioned of the government's agenda in strengthening of law and order and restoration of Judges.

Georgia snaps diplomatic ties with Russia (30th August 2008)

Georgia has snapped its diplomatic ties with Russia. It moved for new propagation for EU and support from United States to pressurize Moscow to withdraw its troops. With the shutting off the diplomatic ties with the Russian federation, the Russian diplomats would have to leave Georgia. This was said by Deputy Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze.

For the hundreds of thousands of Georgians living in Russia, consular relations nevertheless would be maintained as decided. The Human Rights Commissioner, Thomas Hammarberg mentioned of emptiness and large scale damaging situation of the ethnic Georgian villages in the region. The new satellite images give a different picture of havoc and ethnic cleansing against the Georgian population of South Ossetia which are denied by Russia.

Barack Obama, McCain and the American elections (30th August 2008).

Barack Obama has been nominated for the American President post against McCain. McCain is the nominee from the Republican side. The vice presidential candidate of Obama is Joe Biden who is a senior senator from Delware.

The vice presidential candidate of McCain is Sarah Palin who is the governer of Alaska. Her sudden emergence into the limelight for vice presidential nomination has surprised many. Both sides claim of having the best mind on their side and best strategist for steering America into new course for a better future.

Beijing Olympics close with a dazzling show (25 August 2008)

With new records and new histories, the Beijing Olympics ended with a grand spectacle. Magnificent fireworks were displayed with nearly 90, 000 people in the stadium in the form of Bird's nest.

A delegation from London including the flamboyant soccer star David Beckham, was present. Gordon Brown the Prime Minister of Britain and London mayor too were present. The Olympic flag was handed over to the London mayor by Beijing Mayor Go Jinlong.

The economic power of China was displayed as it had invested more than $40 billion in hosting Olympics. China got most of the gold medals and United States lead overall tally of medals.

There were some serious untoward incidents as the attack on Beijing tourist site when U. S volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon's father-in-law was fatally stabbed by a Chinese man who committed suicide after. China had taken measures to bring air pollution under control and media too did not display vivid widespread health concerns as foreigners had been attending the games. The menus of the restaurants had been modified keeping in view of tourists and as a whole the communist nation had shown smooth handling of logistics throughout the Olympics.