International Current Affairs
August 1st Week 2015 current affairs
Category : International Current Affairs
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1) Land Boundary Agreement: India, Bangladesh to exchange 162 enclaves.

  • As India and Bangladesh exchange 162 adversely-held enclaves on Friday midnight, New Delhi termed it as a "historic" day which will mark the resolution of a complex issue that has lingered since independence.
  • Bangladeshi enclaves in India and Indian enclaves in Bangladesh shall stand physically transferred to the other country.
  • Under the historic exchange, 51 Bangladeshi enclaves merged with India, while 111 Indian enclaves from West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram merged with Bangladesh.
  • This exchange gave citizenship identity to over 52,000 people of either country, thus giving them access to all legal rights and civic amenities. Earlier people in these enclaves were living a stateless existence for 68 years.
2) Libya: Four Indian teachers `held` in IS zone, 2 freed
  • In a dramatic turn of events, two of the four Indians feared to have been taken into Islamic State custody in the Libyan city of Sirte were released by their captors.
  • The four men - Gopi Krishna Tiruveedula, a professor in computer science, and his colleague Balram from Hyderabad, who are still in custody; and Lakshmikanth and Vijaykumar from Karnataka, who are safe-were all employed as faculty at the University of Sirte.
About Libya:
  1. Capital: Tripoli.
  2. Currency: Libyan Dinar.
  3. Prime Minister: Abdullah al-Thani.
3) Obama to Unveil `Biggest Step Ever` in Climate Fight.
  • President Barack Obama unveil what he called the “biggest, most important step we’ve ever taken” to fight climate change, a sensitive issue central to his legacy.
  • The White House will release the final version of America’s Clean Power Plan, a set of environmental rules and regulations that will home in on the pollution from the nation’s power plants, setting limits on power-plant carbon emissions.
4) Britain, France in New Push to Block Migrants.
  • For Britain and France is a "top priority" to block the onslaught of thousands of migrants seeking passage to England via the Eurotunnel.
  • In a joint statement published in British and French newspapers, British Home Secretary Theresa May and her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, called on other European Union countries and the international community to help curb the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe.
  • The thousands of migrants who have sought passage from Calais, France on trains or trucks into Britain in recent weeks have often made their way there after first landing in Italy and Greece via Mediterranean boat trips from Africa.

5) CERN formally confers its Associate Membership to Pakistan.

  • Pakistan was formally conferred Associate Membership status by European Organisation for Nuclear Research (also known as CERN).
  • The membership was granted after Pakistan formally completed the required internal ratification process. With this, Pakistan became the first Asian country to become member of CERN.
About CERN:
  1. European Organization for Nuclear Research (also known as CERN) is the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.
  2. CERN in French stands for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire.
  3. It has 22 member states. Israel is the first and only non-European country with full membership status.
It is situated in the North West suburbs of Geneva on the France-Switzerland Border.
Established: It was established in 1954.
Main function:
To provide the infrastructure needed for high energy physics research including particle accelerators. It should be noted that, India is currently having observer status in CERN programmes
6) UN sets goal to end poverty by 2030.
  • The 193 member states of the United Nations have reached agreement on a new development agenda for the next 15 years that calls for eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality, improving living standards, and taking action to combat climate change.
  • The draft agreement reached outlines 17 goals with 169 specific targets on issues ranging from ending poverty ``in all its forms everywhere`` to ensuring quality education and affordable and reliable energy, and protecting the environment.
  • The 17 new, nonbinding goals will succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by world leaders 15 years ago.
  • In his final report last month on the Millennium Development Goals, Ban said the effort helped lift more than 1 billion people out of extreme poverty in the last 15 years.
About United Nations:
  1. The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation.
  2. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established on 24 October 1945 following the Second World War to prevent another such conflict.
  3. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The headquarters of the United Nations is in Manhattan, New York City.
  4. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna.
Total Members: 193.
Observer States: 2.
Secretary General: Ban ki Moon.
UN Day: 24th October.

7) India and Mozambique sign MoU in New and Renewable Energy Sector.

  • India and Mozambique have signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen the cooperation in New and Renewable Energy Sector.
  • The agreement was signed during the official visit of Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique to India.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appreciated Mozambique’s support for India’s candidature for a Permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council.
  • Both countries have agreed ways to intensify cooperation in maritime security and ocean economy as both have large coastlines and are linked by Indian Ocean.
Facts About Mozambique:
  1. Mozambique is a country in Southeast Africa.
  2. Maputa is the capital of Mozambique.
  3. Moambican Metical is the currency of Mozambique.
  4. Mozambique is endowed with rich and extensive natural resources.
  5. Mozambique got independence from Protugal on June 1975.
8) Egypt launches Suez Canal expansion.
  • Egypt has unveiled a major extension of the Suez Canal billed by its President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi as a historic achievement needed to boost the country’s ailing economy after years of unrest.
  • The extension deepens the main waterway and provides ships with a 35 km (22 mile) channel parallel to it.
  • The expansion aims to increase the traffic handled by the canal. Egypt’s government hopes the revenues will revive the economy – but analysts have questioned the projections.
  • The unveiling of the $8.5 billion extension has been trumpeted as a historic achievement by pro-government media.
Facts About Suez Canal:
  1. On November 17, 1869, the Suez Canal connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas was officially opened at Egypt’s Port Said.
  2. The canal took more than 15 years to plan and build.
  3. The canal allows ships to travel between Europe and South Asia without navigating around Africa thereby reducing the sea voyage distance between Europe and India by about 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mile).
  4. The canal is owned and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of Egypt.
9) India imposed anti-dumping duty on Vitamin-C imports from China.
  • To safeguard the interest of domestic industries of India, extended anti-dumping duty on import of all forms and grades of Vitamin-C from China for the period of five years.
  • Earlier in 2009 government had imposed the anti-dumping duty which was later extended till June 2015 and now further extended to five more years with the duty of USD 3.74 for per kg of Vitamin-C import from China.
  • This move was taken following the findings of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) which concluded that imports of Vitamin-C have caused injury to the domestic industry.
What is Anti-Dumping Duty?
  1. It is a trade duty imposed by any government on imported products which have prices less than their normal values in their domestic market.
  2. Usually countries initiate anti-dumping probes to check if domestic industry has been hurt because of a surge in below-cost imports.
  3. Anti-Dumping Duty is imposed under the multilateral WTO regime and varies from product to product and from country to country.
Benefits of Vitamin-C:
  1. Ascorbic acid, or vitamin-C, is a potent antioxidant with increasingly diverse uses in health promotion and disease prevention.
  2. Vitamin-C enhances the health-promoting effects of exercise and reduces exercise-induced oxidative damage.