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International Current Affairs
International Current Affairs July 1st Week 2016
Author : Sandhya
Category : International Current Affairs
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International Current Affairs July 1st Week 2016

1) International Solar Alliance Cell and World Bank Signs Declaration for Promoting Solar Energy.

  • International Solar Alliance signed agreement with World Bank for promoting solar energy globally to mobilizing more than US $1000 billion in investments that will be needed by 2030.
  • Two Programmes of the ISA ``Affordable finance at scale`` and ``Scaling solar applications for agricultural use``, have been launched.
Major areas identified for working jointly include:
 
(1) Developing a roadmap to mobilize financing.
(2) Developing financing instruments including credit enhancement, reduce hedging costs/ currency risk, bond raising in locally denominated currencies etc. which support solar energy development and deployment.
(3) Supporting ISA’s plans for solar energy through technical assistance and knowledge transfer.
(4) Working on mobilization of concessional financing through existing or, if needed, new trust funds.
(5) Supporting RE-INVEST events. In addition, both sides decided to work in other areas and themes as jointly decided. France was represented by H.E Mr. Christan TESTOT, Minister Counsellor and Mr. François-Joseph Schichan, Second Counsellor (Political), French Embassy in India.
 
2) Istanbul Ataturk airport attack.
  • Turkey has observed a national day of mourning after a gun and suicide bomb attack on Istanbul`s Ataturk airport killed 42 people, including 13 foreign nationals.
  • Three attackers began firing at the terminal entrance and blew themselves up after police fired back.
 
3) Obama Signs Bill Easing Access to Government Records.
  • President Barack Obama signed into law measures to give the public greater access to government documents and records under the nearly half-century-old Freedom of Information Act.
  • The new law will require federal agencies to consider releasing records under a ``presumption of openness`` standard, instead of presuming that the information is secret.
  • The law also cuts the number of exemptions agencies may use to block the release of requested information.
  • A website will be created to streamline and centralize information requests to any agency. Agencies currently handle information requests in different ways.
4) IMF warns of repercussions in global economy as after effects of Brexit.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has created ``significant uncertainty`` that will have repercussions not only for the UK and Europe, but also for the global economy.
  • The IMF has encouraged both the UK and the EU to work collaboratively toward a smooth and predictable transition.
  • The uncertainty is likely to dampen growth in the near term, particularly in the UK, but with repercussions for Europe and the global economy.
  • IMF sees the near-term risk for the UK, the EU and the global economy arising mainly from macroeconomic and financial market impact, and a sizable increase in uncertainty, including on the political front.
  • Prolonged periods of uncertainty and associated declines in business and consumer confidence due to Brexit would lead to lower growth.
5) India & Cyprus iron out DTAA issues.
  • India announced an in-principle agreement with the Cyprus government to resolve all pending issues to negotiate a new Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
  • An official level meeting between India and Cyprus took place in New Delhi to finalise the new India Cyprus Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, wherein all pending issues, including taxation of capital gains, were discussed, and in-principle agreement was reached on all pending issues.
 
6) PM Modi to visit four African nations.
  • To strengthen India-Africa ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will undertake his first visit to the ``African mainland`` between July 7 - 11, covering four countries.
  • Mr. Modi will visit Mozambique, where he will hold bilateral talks with President Felipe Nyusi.
  • will visit South Africa where Mr. Modi will meet President Jacob Zuma and other senior African leaders
  • Will visit Tanzania where he will hold bilateral meeting with President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli.
  • Will visit Nairobi, Kenya, where he will address the University of Nairobi.

 

7) US Launches Scholarship Program for Afghan Women.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan launched a program to help advance educational opportunities for Afghan women.
  • Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Promote Scholarship Program will provide aid to 720 Afghan women over the next five years.
  • Recipients will use the scholarships to complete their bachelor`s degrees at private universities in Afghanistan.
  • The scholarship program targets students who have demonstrated strong academic performance and those who are unable to pursue university education because of inadequate funds.
 
8) Saudi to further expand China energy investments.
  • Saudi Arabia is keen on expanding its investments in China’s energy industry.
  • The kingdom and China share interest in crude oil storage, mining, renewable energy and industrial development and there is room to grow bilateral trade in both energy and other hydrocarbons products such as petrochemicals.
  • Both oil giant Saudi Aramco and petrochemicals conglomerate Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic) have joint venture businesses in China and new projects under development.
 
9) Paris bans old cars off streets to curb pollution.
  • Paris has banned cars that were registered before October 1997 from its streets during weekdays (Mondays to Friday), starting July 1.
  • Paris also provides an "ecological bonus" to buyers of low-pollution vehicles.
  • Drivers who ignore the ban will face fines of €35 (£32), with the fine set to rise significantly from the end of 2016.
  • Air pollution, largely caused by fuel emissions, kills 48,000 people each year in France and around 3.7 million worldwide, according to France’s public health agency.
  • Norway is planning to ban petrol- and diesel-fuelled cars from 2025 and several European cities are testing anti-pollution or anti-congestion measures.
 
10) UN Declares That Internet Restrictions Violate Human Rights.
  • The UN Human Rights Council passed a non-binding resolution which condemns violations, including arbitrary detention and torture, against anyone expressing themselves on the internet.
  • The UNHRC also called on all nations to halt attempts to restrict access to information online.
  • It noted that online privacy is essential to realise the right to freedom of expression. 
11) China`s yuan hits new 5-1/2 year low.
  • China`s Yuan touched a new 5-1/2 year low against the dollar for the second consecutive session.
  • The Yuan hit 6.6642 soon after the open due to a heavy bout of dollar buying in the market. That level was the weakest since December 2010.
  • The latest China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) data showed that the index for the Yuan’s value based on the market`s trade-weighted basket stood at 94.88 last week, the lowest on record.
 
12) World`s tallest bonfire set ablaze in Norway.
  • Residents of a Norwegian coastal town stacked wood into a 156-foot-tall tower to break the record for the world`s tallest bonfire.
  • The fire was fueled by more than 30,000 pallets.
  • The tallest bonfire recorded in the Guinness World Records was lit on April 30, 2007, in Boštanj, Slovenia and stood 142 feet tall.
 
13) Cyprus set to ink new tax treaty with India.
  • India and Cyprus are poised to sign a new tax treaty which, like in the case of a similar pact with Mauritius, will shut the doors on investors using loopholes in the bilateral agreement to avoid paying taxes in India.
  • The new agreement will enable Indian authorities to tax capital gains on investments routed through Cyprus; it will also lead to the removal of the Mediterranean island nation from an Indian government blacklist on which it was placed for not providing financial information sought by India.
  • India will get the right to tax capital gains from sale of shares on investments made by Cyprus-based companies after 1 April 2017.
 
14) Dong Energy to build world`s cheapest offshore wind farms.
  • Danish offshore wind farm operator Dong Energy is to build two offshore wind farms off the Dutch coast where it has pledged to produce the world`s cheapest offshore wind energy.
  • The projects would be built for €72.70 ($80) per megawatt-hour, significantly below the group`s 2020 target of bringing costs below €100 per megawatt-hour over the life of a project.
  • The Borssele 1 and 2 wind farms would be built 22 kilometres off the Dutch province of Zeeland and would be completed by mid-2020.
  • Experts estimated the price for the projects would be €87 per megawatt-hour.
  • The previous record was held by Sweden`s Vattenfall, which last year won a tender for a wind park off Denmark for €103 per megawatt-hour excluding grid connections.
 
15) German defence needs to spend billions to rebuild munition stocks –source.
  • Germany needs to spend 14 billion euros ($15.48 billion) on replenishing its badly depleted stockpile of munitions as part of a broader plan up to 2030 to upgrade military equipment after years of decline.
  • Germany sought to invest about 130 billion euros ($143.74 billion) over the next 15 years on modernising equipment to enable the army to better fulfill its missions abroad.
  • The report prepared by the ministry in March concluded that additional spending was needed to beef up supplies of equipment and munitions.
 
16) Sri Lanka to set up special court to probe war abuses.
  • Sri Lanka’s government plans to set up a special court by next year to hear allegations of abuses during the country’s decades-long civil war.
  • The government has finalized a bill to establish a permanent and independent Office on Missing Persons, which is seen as an essential component of the truth-seeking process.
  • The war ended in 2009 after government troops defeated Tamil Tiger rebels who fought to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils.
  • According to UN estimates, up to 100,000 people were killed in the 26-year war, but many more are feared dead, including up to 40,000 civilians in the final months of the fighting.  

 

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