International Current Affairs
August 4th Week 2015 current affairs
Category : International Current Affairs
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1) South, North Korea reach agreement to defuse crisis.
  • South and North Korea have reached an agreement to defuse a crisis that had pushed the two rivals to the brink of armed conflict recently.
  • In this regard both nations have issued a joint statement which includes series of measures.
Key facts
  1. North Korea has expressed regret and publicly apologised over mine blasts which had occurred in demilitarized zone between both countries.
  2. The mine had seriously injured two South Korean soldiers on border patrol.
  3. In retaliation for the mine blasts, South Korea had resumed loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts into North Korea.
  4. But in joint statement it has agreed to halt loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts into North Korea.
  5. Both countries also agreed to work towards resumption of reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War in September 2015. They also agreed to hold official talks in either capital city Seoul or Pyongyang at a date to be decided.
2) India, Nepal ink MoU on Raxaul-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline.
  • India and Nepal have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of Raxaul-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline.
  • This pipeline will be the first of its kind project between two neighbouring countries in the SAARC region in the oil and gas sector.
  • The MoU was signed by Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and his Nepali counterpart Sunil Bahadur Thapa (Nepal’s commerce and supplies minister) in Kathmandu.
About Raxaul-Amlekhgunj pipeline:
  1. It will be constructed by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on behalf of Indian Government at a cost of 200 crore rupees.
  2. It will connect supply depot at Raxaul (Bihar) in India to Nepal Oil Corporation’s Amlekhgunj receiving terminal. It will also include re-engineering and construction of the Amlekhgunj Depot and allied facilities.
  3. This pipeline will cover total distance of 41 km, off which only 2 km will be in India and 39 km in Nepal.
  4. Nepal government will buy petroleum products from IOC for at least 15 years in return for the funding this pipeline.
3) India, Egypt ink two MoUs (Memorandum of Understandings).
MoUS were signed during the visit of Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Egypt in Egypt in the field of Tourism, Scientific and Technical.
Signed MoUs are:
  1. MoU on Cooperation in the field of Tourism.
  2. MoU Scientific and Technical Cooperation.
4) India, Australia ink MoU to deepen education ties.
  • India and Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of education, research and training.
  • MoU was signed by Union Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD) Smriti Irani and her counterpart Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education and Training of Australia.
  • MoU seeks to intensify existing partnerships between both countries in higher education & research, including professional and technical education, vocational education, schools and training. It also seeks to open up new and innovative areas of cooperation.
  • It was signed after the 3rd meeting of the Australia-India Education Council (AIEC) which was held in New Delhi.
5) Serbia, Kosovo agreed to implement 2013 Brussels Agreement.
  • Kosovo and Serbia agreed to implement the 2013 Brussels Agreement paving the way for normalizing the relations between both the countries.
  • The First agreement of principles governing the normalisation of relations or more famously known as the Brussels Agreement was reached between both the countries under the mediation of the European Union on 19 April 2013 in Brussels, Belgium.
I. Serbia:
Capital: Belgrade
Currency: Serbian dinar

II. Kosovo:
Capital: Pristina
Currency: Euro
6) India-Seychelles pact to curb black money.
  • India inked a taxation agreement with the Seychelles for allowing exchange of information to curb tax evasion and avoidance and is looking at strengthening maritime security ties and cooperation on blue economy with the island nation.
  • The agreement was signed after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Seychelles President James Alix Michel who is on three days visit to India.
Other Five MoUs Agreements signed are:
  1. Presentation of Navigational chart related to Aldabra Island
  2. Air Services Agreement
  3. MoU to provide one Dornier Maritime Aircraft
  4. MoU for Cooperation in agricultural research and education
  5. Protocol on framework of cooperation in the field of Blue Economy
7) Kazakhstan to host IAEA nuclear fuel bank to assist non-proliferation.
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Kazakhstan signed an agreement to locate the first internationally-controlled bank of low-enriched uranium in the ex-Soviet nation to ensure fuel supplies for power stations and prevent nuclear proliferation.
  • The agreement on establishing the bank was signed by Yukiya Amano, director general of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, and Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov. The bank will be governed by Kazakhstan`s laws but fully managed and operated by the IAEA.
  • IAEA estimates the cost of the bank at $150 million, which includes the procurement of low-enriched uranium (LEU) and its work for the first 10 years.
About International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):
Established: July 29, 1957
Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
Head: Yukiya Amano


8) India loses solar case against US at WTO (World trade Organisation).

  • India has lost solar case against United States at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of WTO has ruled that, India’s requirement of only domestic solar equipment’s for its ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) is inconsistent with the international trade norms.
  • This is second case India has lost at WTO against US. Earlier in June 2015, WTO had ruled against India’s ban on import of poultry meat, eggs and live pigs from US is inconsistent with international trade norms.

9) Highest mountain of North America Mt McKinley renamed as Denali.

  • The highest mountain of North America was renamed as Denali instead of its existing name Mt McKinley by US President Barack Obama.
  • This designation will now recognize the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska Natives.
  • The historic change came during Obama`s three-day presidential trip to Alaska. It is the latest bid by the President to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to improve relations between the federal government and the nation’s Native American tribes.

About Denali:

  1. Denali designated Mount McKinley from 1917 until 2015 by the United States government is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,237 feet (6,168 m) above sea level.
  2. It is the third most prominent peak after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the U.S. state of Alaska, Denali is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.

10) Pakistan bans Islamic State militant group.

  • The Islamic State or Daesh has been banned in Pakistan.
  • Pakistan has banned the Islamic State militant group that has overrun vast stretches of Iraq and Syria after repeatedly denying the dreaded outfit’s presence within its territory.
  • Decision was taken on recommendation of the Foreign Office, which regularly updates the Pakistan government about international militant groups banned by the United Nations.

About Why Pakistan is concerned about IS militant group?

  1. The UN banned group is believed to have gained a strong foothold in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  2. Following the death of Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, the IS has become powerful in Afghanistan overtaking its weaker contenders Taliban and al-Qaida.
  3. Even some top Taliban militants joined IS and under their leadership the group has fought pitched battles with Taliban inside Afghanistan.
  4. In Pakistan, several graffiti and banners (known as Daesh in Arabic) supporting IS, have been often appeared which had raised security concerns.

11) Migration crisis: EU ministers to meet in two weeks to find solution.

  • European Union interior and justice ministers are due to meet in two weeks to find a solution to the escalating migration crisis.
  • According to the Guardian, the ministers will meet in Brussels to find measures to cope with the migration crisis.
  • A statement from the home affairs ministers of Germany, France and Britain said they had asked the Luxembourg presidency to arrange a meeting of justice and interior ministers within the next two months.
  • The three countries emphasised the necessity to find an immediate solution to the increasing migration problem.