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International Current Affairs
International Current Affair Feb 4th Week
Author : Sandhya
Category : International Current Affairs
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International Current Affair Feb 4th Week

1) Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $72 million for cancer death linked to the talcum powder.

  • Missouri state court of United States ordered Johnson & Johnson Company to pay 72 million dollars.
  • Missouri ruled against the company in a suit claiming that its well-known baby powder had caused cancer to a consumer.An Alabama woman, who died from ovarian cancer.
  • In a verdict, jurors in the circuit court of St. Louis awarded the family of victim, 10 million dollars as actual damages and 62 million dollars as punitive damages.
  • US lawyers claimed that this verdict as the first of its kind by a U.S. jury to award damages over the claims.
  • Johnson & Johnson faces several hundred lawsuits claiming that it, in an effort to boost sales it failed to alert the consumers about the hazardous effects of talc-based products for decades.
About USA :
Capital: Washington, D.C
Currency: US Dollar
President: Barack Obama
2) Cuba sending 9,000 soldiers to fight Zika virus.
  • Cuban President Raul Castro announced that he is dispatching 9,000 soldiers to help keep the Zika virus out of Cuba.
  • Cuba`s fight to prevent the arrival of the virus had been hampered by "the inadequate technical quality" of efforts against the mosquito, insufficient work to clean up areas where the mosquito propagates and poor weather conditions.
  • Cuba prides itself on its system of free, neighborhood-level health care.
  • Which has included intensive efforts to limit the Aedes aegypti mosquito that also carries the tropical diseases dengue and chikungunya.
  • Those efforts include door-to-door fumigation of homes and offices by young army recruits and civilian workers who are supposed to maintain a careful record of places.
  • They have fumigated (disinfect or purify (an area) with the fumes of certain chemicals).
  • The military is widely perceived as more effective and disciplined than Cuba’s civilian state workers, who earn about $25 a month on average.
About Cuba :
Capital: Havana
Currency: Cuban peso
President: Raul Castro
 
3) Pakistan’s parliament becomes first in world to run entirely on solar power.
  • Pakistan’s Parliament building located in national capital Islamabad became the first in the world to completely run on solar power.
  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a simple ceremony switched on solar-powered building of the parliament in capital Islamabad.
  • The project to run parliament building on solar power is a venture supported by Pakistan’s close ally and strategic partner China.
  • Pakistan’s parliament officially termed as Majlis-e-Shoora in Urdu.
  • It is the federal and supreme legislative body of Pakistan. It is a bicameral legislature that consists of the Senate (upper house) and the National Assembly (lower houses).
About Pakistan:
Capital: Islamabad
Currency: rupee
President: Mamnoon Hussain
Prime minister: Nawaz Sharif

4) Oil price plunges after Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi rules out production cuts.
  • Oil fell below $33 per barrel after Saudi Arabia ruled out production cuts.
  • Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi ruled out any production cuts, restating the kingdom`s rationale for maintaining output was that demand would absorb excess crude that has crushed prices over the past 20 months.
  • Big oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia have proposed to freeze output at January levels, which were near record highs.
  • Iran preparing to add 500,000 barrels a day to global supplies now that nuclear sanctions have been lifted, the Saudi position has only hardened.
  • The freeze announcement helped firm up oil prices because it signified that Saudi Arabia and Russia, the two biggest exporters, were at least talking despite their opposing political positions in Syria and elsewhere.
 
About Saudi Arabia :
Capital: Riyadh
Currency: Saudi riyal
King: Salman
 

 

5) India, UK sign MoU on biotechnology, crop science.
  • Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology and a consortium of top UK research institutions signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for establishment of a joint India-UK collaboration programme in crop science.
  • The aim of the agreement is to enhance collaborative research, promote knowledge exchange, and support capacity building to develop resilience in food security.
About Agreement:
  1. The agreement contemplates the establishment of a joint Indo-UK Plant Science Centre in India.
  2. It foresees joint projects focusing on the fundamental science underpinning yield enhancement, disease resistance and drought resistance.
  3. Research into crop re-breeding; and the translation of fundamental research into sustainable agriculture practice.
  4. The collaboration will help in growing the partnerships of both the countries in translational and applied research.
About UK :
Capital: London
Currency: Pound sterling
Prime minister: David Cameron
 
6) European Parliament calls for Saudi arms embargo.
  • The European Parliament called on the European Union to impose an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia.
  • Britain, France and other EU governments should no longer sell weapons to a country accused of targeting civilians in Yemen.
  • EU lawmakers voted 359 in favour, 212 against and with 31 abstentions for the formal call for an EU arms embargo.
  • Britain had licensed more than $3 billion of arms sales to Saudi Arabia since Saudi-led forces began military operations in Yemen.
  • Nearly 6,000 people have been killed since the coalition entered the conflict, almost half of them civilians.
  • EU governments to agree to an embargo, following a petition of 750,000 European citizens calling for the suspension of weapon sales.
7) Italian Senate approves gay civil union bill.
  • The Senate in Italy has approved a watered-down bill allowing civil unions for same-sex and heterosexual couples.
  • The motion was backed by a 173-71 vote after a deal was reached to remove a provision allowing gay adoptions and other clauses.
  • The text maintains provisions including the right to a residence permit for foreign partners and to take a same-sex partner`s name.
  • Prime Minister Matteo Renzi put his government on the line for the bill, resorting to a confidence vote in the Senate yesterday to push through the amended text.
  • The bill now needs to go before a vote in the lower house (Chamber of Deputies), and will become an act within two months after being approved.
  • Italy is the only major European country to have so far given no legal rights to same-sex couples.
About Italy :
Capital: Rome
Currency: Euro
President: Sergio Mattarella 
8) European Parliament calls for Saudi arms embargo.
  • The European Parliament called on the European Union to impose an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia.
  • Britain, France and other EU governments should no longer sell weapons to a country accused of targeting civilians in Yemen.
  • EU lawmakers voted 359 in favour, 212 against and with 31 abstentions for the formal call for an EU arms embargo.
  • Britain had licensed more than $3 billion of arms sales to Saudi Arabia since Saudi-led forces began military operations in Yemen.
  • Nearly 6,000 people have been killed since the coalition entered the conflict, almost half of them civilians.
  • EU governments to agree to an embargo, following a petition of 750,000 European citizens calling for the suspension of weapon sales.
About Saudi Arabia :
Capital: Riyadh
Currency: Saudi riyal
King: Salman
9) Ireland PM faces unpalatable alliance as voters ousted coalition.
  • Ireland’s ruling coalition was ousted by voters angry at the country’s uneven recovery, leaving Prime Minister Enda Kenny facing the unpalatable prospect of trying to secure a deal with his biggest rival.
  • The government appeared to be the latest victim of European voters’ growing antipathy to mainstream politics.
  • And perception that Ireland’s poor are not benefiting from the fastest economic growth in Europe.
  • Kenny’s Fine Gael – although even their combined support was set to fall below 50 percent of the vote for the first time.
  • The results echo recent elections in Portugal and Spain, where anger at austerity, perceptions of rising inequality and mistrust of established political elites left parliaments fragmented and parties struggling to form governments.
About Ireland :
Capital: Dublin
Currency: Euro
President: Michael D. Higgins
10) Peru declares emergency after oil spill hits rivers.
  • Peru has declared an emergency three weeks after a major oil pipeline burst affecting two rivers in the country`s northwest.
  • The pipeline spilled 3,000 barrels of crude oil into the Chiriaco and Morona Rivers, which are the main source of water and food for several indigenous communities.
  • The pipeline that spilled the crude oil in rivers is owned by Petro Peru, a state-owned oil company, reportedly used to transport between 5000 and 6000 oil barrels per day.
  • The government has told these communities not to eat fish from the polluted waters.
  • This has been the third oil spill in less than a month and at least eight indigenous communities rely on the rivers for water.
About Peru :
Capital: Lima
Currency: Peruvian nuevo sol
President: Ollanta Humala
 
11) Indo-Seychelles Joint Training `Ex Lamitye` concludes.
  • Exercise ‘Lamitye – 2016’, seventh in the series of Indo-Seychelles Joint Training Exercises, was conducted at Victoria.
  • The aim of joint bilateral military exercise was to improve interoperability between armies of both countries in jointly fighting Counter Terrorism/ Counter Insurgency.
  • Indian contingent was represented by an infantry platoon and representatives from the Special Forces.
  • Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) was represented by the Tazar (Special Forces Unit) and Seychelles Infantry.
  • This edition mainly focused on interoperability in drills related to Counter Insurgency/ Terrorism, along with number of training activities and exercises.
  • Exercise Sea Hunt was also conducted which was culmination of cordon & Search operations in anti-piracy setting enmeshed with hostage rescue operations.
About Seychelles :
Capital: Victoria
Currency: Seychellois rupee
President: James Michel 

 

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