International Current Affairs
October 3rd week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : International Current Affairs
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1) Singapore Airlines to start world`s longest direct flight; will fly non-stop to US for 19 hours.
  • Singapore Airlines has finalized an aircraft deal with Airbus that will enable it to operate the world`s longest direct flight between Singapore and New York covering 8700 nautical miles over 19 hours.
  • The airline announced that it had signed an agreement to be the launch customer for A350-900ULR, a new ultra-long-range variant of the Airbus A350 aircraft, enabling the resumption of non-stop flights between Singapore and the US in 2018.
  • Under the agreement, seven of the 67 A350-900 on firm order would be upgraded to the ultra long range version.
About Singapore
  1. Capital: Singapore City
  2. Currency: Singapore Dollar
  3. President: Tony Tan
  4. Prime minister: Lee Hsien Loong
2) Iranian Parliament approves nuclear deal.
  • Iranians Parliament passed a bill supporting the government in implementing a nuclear deal with world powers, state news agency IRNA, in a victory for the government over conservative opponents of the deal.
  • Some lawmakers have opposed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that President Hassan Rouhani’s government reached with world powers on July 14, and vote removes a major obstacle to putting the agreement into practice.
  • However, the bill insists that international inspections of military sites under the nuclear pact should be approved by a top Iranian security body, leaving the possibility that disagreements could still arise.
About Iran;
  1. Capital: Tehran
  2. Currency: Iranian rial
  3. Supreme leader: Ali Khamenei
  4. President: Hassan Rouhani
3) India plans big project along Bangladesh border.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Security cleared a massive infrastructure project for the Bangladesh border. Projects worth Rs. 4,400 crore were cleared by the CCS headed by PM Narendra Modi, but no announcement was made by the government.
  1. The Cabinet Committee on Security cleared a massive infrastructure project for the Bangladesh border.
  2. Projects worth Rs. 4,400 crore were cleared by the CCS headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but no announcement was made by the government.
  3. Cross-border migration has been high on the agenda of the NDA government and it was one of the major poll issues before it came to power. The Border Security Force intercepted 1,731 Bangladeshi nationals trying to cross over to India.
  4. The CCS has cleared around 200 km of fencing along the border. Sanction has also been given to construct a 400-km road in the border areas.
About Bangladesh:
  1. Capital: Dhaka
  2. Founded: March 26, 1971
  3. Currency: Bangladeshi taka
  4. President: Abdul Hamid
  5. Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
3) Pakistan and Russia signed agreement to build 1,100 kilometre Gas Pipeline.

  • Pakistan and Russia have signed a major agreement to build a 1,100 kilometre gas pipeline from Lahore to Karachi at an estimated cost of $2 billion.
  • It is expected that this cooperation will take ties between the two Cold War-era adversaries “to a new levelâ€Ã?.
  • Russia will invest $2 billion in the project, the first phase of which is expected to conclude by December 2017 with the completion in 2018.
  • The project will be implemented in compliance with BOOT model (Build Own Operate Transfer). The pipeline will be owned and operated by the manufacturer for 25 years. After that the pipeline will be handed over to the Pakistan government.
About Pakistan:
  1. Capital: Islamabad
  2. Founded: August 14, 1947
  3. Currency: Pakistani rupee
  4. Prime minister: Nawaz Sharif
  5. President: Mamnoon Hussain
About Russia:
  1. Capital: Moscow
  2. Currency: Russian ruble
  3. President: Vladimir Putin
  4. Prime minister: Dmitry Medvedev

4) China, Indonesia signed 5.5 billion US dollars deal to build high-speed railway in Indonesia.

  • China and Indonesia signed a 5.5 billion US dollars deal to build the first high-speed railway in Indonesia following the victory of Beijing in winning the construction project by beating Tokyo.
  • Japan was long expected to build the railway but China entered the contest in 2015, and Tokyo`s bid was rejected in September 2015 after a chaotic bidding process that infuriated the Japanese companies.
Highlights of the Deal
  1. The high-speed railway line will connect the Indonesian capital Jakarta with the mountain-fringed city of Bandung, some 160 kilometres (100 miles) away.
  2. State-owned China Development Bank will provide 75 per cent of the funding, with the rest coming from the Chinese railway company and Indonesian consortium.
About Indonesia:
  1. Capital: Jakarta
  2. Currency: Indonesian rupiah
  3. P.M: Joko Widodo
About China:
  1. Capital: Beijing
  2. Currency: Renminbi
  3. President: Xi Jinping
5) US to extend military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2016.
  • United States has announced to extend its military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2016 as per shift in policy to further cooperate for fighting terrorists.
  • It was confirmed by US President Barack Obama by announcing that around 5,500 troops will be present in Afghanistan when he leaves office in 2017.
  • Originally all except a small embassy-based force were due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2016.
  • Earlier in January 2015, joint US-NATO led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat mission in Afghanistan ended and was replaced by NATO Training and Support mission.
About Afghanistan:
  1. Capital: Kabul
  2. Currency: Afghan afghani
  3. President: Mohammad Ashraf Ghani 
6) Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay elected as non-permanent members of UNSC.
  • United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) elected Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay to serve as non-permanent members on the UN Security Council (UNSC).
  • These members will serve the UNSC for two-year terms beginning on 1 January 2016 until 31 December 2017.
  • Egypt and Senegal will replace Chad and Nigeria from Africa Group, Japan will replace Jordan to represent Asia-Pacific Group, Uruguay will replace Chile to represent Latin America and Caribbean States Group and Ukraine will replace Lithuania to represent Eastern European Group.
  • The Western European and Others Group did not contest for any seats in 2015, as its two seats (currently held by New Zealand and Spain) are up for election every even calendar year.
New Composition of UNSC:
Five permanent Council members: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States with each wielding veto power.
Non-permanent members until end of 2016: Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela.
Non-permanent members until end of 2017: Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay.


7) Malaysia proposed to invest 30 billion US dollars for urban development in India.

  • The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) of Malaysia proposed to invest 30 billion US dollars in urban development and housing projects in India.
  • The redevelopment of New Delhi Railway Station adjoining area as a mini-smart city is proposed to be taken up with an investment of about 24 billion US dollars.
  • CIDB also proposed to take up a Green City Project at Garhmukhteshwar in Uttar Pradesh involving housing and Ganga cleaning projects with an investment of about 4 billion US dollars.
  • The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) of the Union Ministry of Urban Development will be associated with these projects.
  • Australian Government re-approved Carmichael Coal Mine Project to be built by Adani Group.
  • Australian Government gave its nod to Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project, one of the world’s largest coal projects, backed by Adani Group.
  • However, the approval granted is subject to 36 of the strictest conditions in Australian history.
Some of the Conditions imposed on Adani:
  1. Protect and improve 31000 hectares of southern black-throated finch habitat.
  2. Implement advice from Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development.
  3. Fund 1 million Australian dollars for a research to improve conservation of threatened species over 10 years.
About Carmichael Coal Mine Project:
  1. The Carmichael coal mine is a thermal coal mine in the north of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, Australia.
  2. First proposed in 2010, the entire project will be built by Adani Mining, a wholly owned subsidiary of India`s Adani Group, with an investment of approximately 16.5 billion Australian dollars.
  3. The project will excavate and transport about 60 million tonnes of coal a year for export, mostly to India, for 60 years.
8) US, Spain ink new accord to cleanup nuclear accident site at Palomares
  • United States and Spain have reached an in principle agreement to clean up land at Palomares site (in Spain) contaminated by plutonium radiation from undetonated US nuclear bombs.
  • The binding clean up deal was finalised in Madrid during US Secretary of State John Kerry official visit to Spain. Under the agreement, US will remove the soil contaminated by nuclear radiation at Palomares.
  • In January 1966, a US B-52 bomber plane carrying 4 nuclear bombs had crashed off the coast of Spain over the Mediterranean Sea. It was one of the most serious nuclear accidents of the Cold War era.
  • The plane had crashed after it had collided with a tanker plane during mid-air refuelling. Of these 4 nuclear bombs, 3 fell around Palomares and a 4th was found on the sea bed.
About Spain:
  1. Capital : Madrid
  2. Currency : Euro
  3. Prime Minister : Mariano Rajoy
Russia and United States sign memorandum on air safety over Syria.

The United States and Russia have signed a memorandum of understanding that establishes air safety measures so pilots from the two countries steer clear of each other as they conduct separate bombing campaigns.
The memorandum contains a number of rules and restrictions aimed at preventing incidents between American and Russian plans, Deputy Defense Minister, Anatoly Antonov, according to Ria-Novosti.
The United States is leading a 60-plus member coalition targeting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria and has been carrying out frequent raids for more than a year.
Russia also claims to be targeting ISIS and other terrorists but the Pentagon says it is hitting non-ISIS rebels fighting government forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
About Syria:
  1. Capital : Damascus
  2. President : Bashar al-Assad
  3. Currency : Syrian pound
  4. Prime minister : Wael Nader al-Halqi