International Current Affairs
International Current Affairs March 1st Week
Category : International Current Affairs
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1) Reformist-backed candidates in Tehran sweep to election victories.
  • Final results for the Tehran constituency in twin Iranian elections show a sweeping victory for reformist-backed candidates in the race for parliament and the assembly of experts.
  • Results showed seats being shared three ways between Mr. Rouhani’s reformist and moderate allies, conservatives and independents.
  • The candidates took all but one seat in the assembly a powerful clerical body responsible for appointing the next supreme leader and enjoyed a clean sweep of all 30 seats allocated to Tehran in the 290-seat Iranian parliament.
  • The returns were shaping up as a strong signal of public support for last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
  • In contrast, 15 of 16 members of the Assembly’s list in Tehran headed by Mr. Rouhani and his top ally Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a two-term former President.
About Iran :
Capital: Tehran
Currency: Iranian rial
President: Hassan Rouhani
2) China navy launches first self-propelled floating dock.
  • China’s navy has launched its first self-propelled floating dock, giving it the ability to repair warships far from the coast.
  • The dock, the Huachuan No. 1, would enable the navy to return damaged ships to fighting capability “in very rapid time” and was designed to be sent into combat zones.
  • The ship`s launch marks a further breakthrough in shifting repairs to our military`s large warships from set spots on the coast to mobility far out at sea.
  • The use of the dock means that ships with minor damage will not have to be taken out of service, while those with severe damage will not have to return to a shipyard.
  • The dock can handle cruisers, destroyers and submarines, but not aircraft carriers, and cope with waves up to 2 meters (6.6 ft) high.
  • Beijing has invested billions developing its homegrown weapons industry to support its growing maritime ambitions in the disputed South China Sea.
  • China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year.
About China :
Capital: Beijing
Currency: Renminbi
President: Xi Jinping
3) MoUs with Japan and Russia in the various fields of Railways.
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised of the following Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs).
  • Ministry of Railways have signed MoC/MoUs for technical cooperation in the rail sector with various foreign Governments(Japan & Russia) and National Railways.
  • The identified areas of cooperation include high speed corridors, speed raising of existingroutes, development of world class stations, heavy haul operations and modernization of rail infrastructure.
About MoC/MoUs:
  1. The MoC signed between Ministry of Railways (MoR) and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan on technological cooperation in Rail Sector.
  2. The MoU signed between Ministry of Railways and Joint Stock Company ``Russian Railways`` on technical cooperation in railway sector.
  3. The MoU signed between Research Design & Standards Organization (RDSO) and Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI), Japan on technological cooperation in railway sector.
4) UNSC approves tough sanctions against North Korea.
  • The United Nations Security Council voted to impose a broad array of sanctions against North Korea Because of that nation`s recent nuclear test and missile launch.
  • The sanctions will result in all cargo going to and from the country being inspected, while 16 new individuals and 12 organizations have been blacklisted.
About Sanctions:
  1. All countries must inspect cargo in all airports and sea ports destined for and coming from North Korea.
  2. Ban or severe restrictions on exports of iron and iron ore, coal, gold, titanium and rare earth minerals from North Korea and prohibits the supply.
  3. Ban on aviation fuel exports to North Korea, including kerosene-type rocket fuel.
  4. UN member states will expel North Korean diplomats engaged in smuggling or other illegal activities.
  5. Countries working in North Korea’s financial and banking sector are obliged to freeze assets of companies and other entities linked to its missile and nuclear programmes.
About North Korea :
Capital: Pyongyang
Currency: North Korean won
President: Kim Jong-un
5) South Korea passes first Anti-terror Bill.
  • South Korea’s Parliament has passed the country’s first anti-terror bill that was first proposed 15 years ago in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in US.
  • Among total 300 parliamentary seats of the National Assembly, only 156 lawmakers voted in favour of country’s first anti-terrorism legislation.
About Anti-terror Bill:
  1. Allow National Intelligence Service (NIS) to collect personal information, conversation and location in mobile phones from suspected terrorists.
  2. Intelligence agencies including NIS will report to the Prime Minister before they exercise their new power.
  3. Prime minister headed committee will decide anti-terror policies to be formed, as well as an anti-terror centre under the committee to manage related policing authorities.
  4. Those found guilty under this law can face capital punishment of life imprisonment or over 10 years’ incarceration and those who join a foreign terrorist group can face over 5 years imprisonment. 
6) New York gets world’s most expensive train station at 9/11 site.
  • 14 years after the tragic 9/11 attacks, New York is set to welcome the world`s most expensive train station at the same place.
  • It has been named World Trade Center Transportation Hub.
  • The station was constructed at whooping cost of 3.85 billion dollars making it most expensive station in the world.
  • It has been designed by the Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava who has called it a gift of love to the city.
  • The station space measures 107 metres (350 feet) long by 35 metres (115 feet) at its widest point.
  • The station building is called Oculus and made up of steel ribs and glass laid out in elliptical shape, reaching for the sky like wings of a bird.
  • It is expected eventually to serve more than 2 lakhs commuters daily.
About USA
Capital: Washington, D.C.
Currency: United States Dollar
President: Barack Obama
7) India files trade complaint against US over temporary work visas.
  • India has filed a complaint in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the US decision to impose high fees on temporary working visas.
  • US had imposed fees on certain applicants for L-1 and H-1B categories of non-immigrant temporary working visas into the country.
  • US measure is inconsistent with the global norms and it would impact Indian IT professionals as it makes Indian IT companies less competitive in that market.
  • These measures appear to be ``inconsistent`` with the terms, limitations and conditions agreed under the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services).
  • India has asked for consultations with the US under the aegis of the WTO to resolve the issue.
  • The request for consultations is the first step in a dispute at the dispute settlement system of the WTO.
About USA :
Capital: Washington, D.C.
Currency: United States Dollar
President: Barack Obama 
8) UK military to join Nato refugee patrols in Aegean Sea.
  • The Royal Navy is sending a ship equipped with a team of Royal Commandoes to assist with the Nato mission in the Aegean Sea.
  • It was aimed at tackling people smugglers.
  • The prime minister announced that the Royal Navy was deploying the amphibious landing ship RFA Mounts Bay as the first UK contribution to the Nato.
  • The vessel, which carries a Wildcat helicopter, will join naval vessels from Germany, Canada, Turkey and Greece as part of Nato’s first intervention in the migration crisis.
  • The announcement came several hours after another boat carrying people sank with the loss of 25 lives including at least three children. Fifteen people were rescued after the boat capsized near the Turkish resort of Didim.
  • European leaders come under increasing political pressure at home to stem the flow of refugees and migrants.
  • Turkey hosts more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees, and has warned that tens of thousands more who have fled a Syrian government advance on Aleppo were seeking to join them.
About UK :
Capital: London
Currency: Pound sterling
Prime minister: David Cameron
9) Philippines to seize N. Korean cargo ship under U.N. sanctions.
  • A North Korean ship has been seized by the Philippines as part of strict new measures against the rogue state.
  • The Jin Teng is one of 31 ships operated by North Korean firm Ocean Maritime Management, which is subject to an asset freeze and sanctions.
  • The Philippines government it will impound the Jin Teng and eventually deport the crew.
  • The Jin Teng was sailing under a Sierra Leone flag. Pyongyang reacted to sanctions by firing six short-range missiles into the sea.
  • Leader Kim Jong-Un later ordered that the country’s nuclear weapons should be ``ready for use`` at any time.
10) South Korea, US begin exercises as North Korea threatens attack.
  • South Korean and US troops began large-scale military exercises in peninsula an annual test of their defences against North Korea
  • The 8-week long drill will involve about 300000 South Korean troops and 15000 US personnel.
  • These are being conducted near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas and off the eastern coast of South Korea.
  • Drills will include ground, air, naval and Special Operations components apart from the computer-simulated training.
  • North Korea has warned South Korea and US of indiscriminate and pre-emptive nuclear strikes if the two allies go further with the drills.
About North Korea :
Capital: Pyongyang
Currency: North Korean won
Prime minister: Kim Jong-un
11) U.K. visa fees set to increase.
  • The decision by the British government to increase visa application fees across-the-board.
  • It was a major impact on migrants from India - the country from where a large segment of entrants seeking to live and work in the U.K. come.
  • The increase in fees ``linked most closely to economic growth`` such as those offered to workers and students will increase by 2 per cent, as will tourist visas.
  • Settlement, residence and nationality fees will be increased by 25 per cent; while optional premium services offered by the Home Office such as the super premium service and priority visa services overseas will be increased by 33 per cent.
  • According to a report from the Office for National Statistics, of the top 10 nationalities who were granted entry clearance visas (that excludes visitor and transit visas) to the U.K.