International Current Affairs
International Current Affairs July 3rd Week 2016
Category : International Current Affairs
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1) UNESCO announces 9 new World Heritage Sites.

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN cultural agency added nine new sites on its World Heritage List.
  • Decision in this regard was taken at the 40th session of The World Heritage Committee meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. With these inclusions, the recorded sites on the World Heritage now stand at 981 which include both cultural and natural wonders.
9 New World Heritage Sites are:
Old city of Ani (Turkey):
  • It is Turkish province of Kars. Once it had served as the capital of the Armenian kingdom in the 10th century.
Zuojiang Huashan rock art cultural landscape (China):
  • Dates back to the 5th century BC. The landscape straddles steep cliffs in southwest China and represent the only trace left of the Luoyue people. 
Qanat (Iran):
  • They are ancient aqueducts trapped into alluvial aquifer and transported water underground across vast valleys. It helps in sustaining agricultural life and settlements in the arid areas. 
Nalanda Mahavihara (India):
  • It is an archaeological site having remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BC to the 13th century AD. 
Artificial islets of Nan Madol (Micronesia):
  • They are 99 artificial islets made of basalt and coral boulders. They are home to ruins ranging from temple to tombs dating between 1200 and 1500 AD. 
Stecci Sites:
  • Located in Bosnia, central and western Montenegro, southern Croatia and western Serbia. They are medieval tombstones and graveyards carved from limestone; they feature decorative motives and inscriptions.

Ancient Philippi (Spain):
  • It is Greek archaeological site founded in 356 BC by the Macedonian King Philip II. It is located in the present-day region of eastern Macedonia and Thrace.
Antequera Dolmens (Spain):
  • It is comprises of three megalithic monuments as well as two natural mountainous formations. 

Gorham’s Cave Complex (Britain):
  • They are natural sea caves in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. The site provides evidence of Neanderthal occupation over a span of more than 125,000 years.
2) UK PM Theresa May rebuilds cabinet for EU exit.
  • UK PM Theresa May has made key changes in the cabinet, putting Brexit supporters in charge of negotiating the country`s exit from the European Union. 
  • This includes the appointment of former PM candidate Andrea Leadsom as Environment Secretary and former London Mayor Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary.
  • May also sought time from the European Commission to finalise UK`s negotiation strategy.
3) South Korea sets up task force for menu translations.
  • According to reports, the South Korean government has set up a task force to remove `incorrect` translations of Korean dishes from menus.
  • The task force will work on standardised descriptions of Korean cuisine in English, Japanese and Chinese.
  • Korean dishes are sometimes misrepresented - `steak tartare` was reportedly referred to as `six times` in a Korean menu.


4) China to conduct 3-day military drill in South China Sea.

  • China will conduct a 3-day military drill in South China Sea, state-run media quoting the Maritime Safety Agency.
  • An area off the east coast of China`s island province of Hainan will host military exercises.
  • The Agency warned that entry to the exercise area will be prohibited during the exercise.
  • Tensions remain high in the region after the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights to islands in the South China Sea.
5) Morocco seeks to rejoin the African Union.
  • Morocco has formally announced its wish to rejoin the African Union, 32 years after leaving the organisation. The request was made at the recent African Union summit, hosted in Rwanda.
  • Morocco had left the African Union (AU) protesting its recognition of the independence of Western Sahara, an area which Moroccans describe as their country`s "southern provinces".
  • Morocco is the only African country which is not an AU member.
  • To rejoin the AU, Morocco will have sign and ratify the body’s Constitutive Act, after which a majority vote by member states will determine its admission.
6) Russian PM suspends Deputy Sports Minister Yury Nagornykh named in doping report.
  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev suspended Deputy Sports Minister Yury Nagornykh from his office. He was suspended after his name occurred in a report on the doping of Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
  • As per reports, the suspension will last until the investigation into the World Anti-Doping Agency`s (WADA) report on the involvement of Russian state officials in the doping scandal is over.
7) North Korea fires three ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan.
  • North Korea has fired three ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast.
  • According to US and South Korean military officials the missiles were launched from the western city of Hwangju.
  • The first two were believed to be short-range Scuds while the third was a mid-range Rodong or Nodong.
  • US and South Korea would deploy an anti-missile system to counter the North`s threats.
8) India, Malaysia to cooperate on combating ISIS.
  • India and Malaysia have agreed to "proactively" engage in combating the "menace" of ISIS activities.
  • In a delegation-level meeting with the visiting Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Dato Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi New Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh
  • The two sides also discussed issues like Extradition Treaty and the circulation of fake Indian currency notes.


9) China to expand its railway network to 150,000 kms by 2020.

  • China will expand its railway network to 150,000 kms (93,200 miles) by 2020, including 30,000 km of high-speed rail 
  • The plan will mean a 24 percent increase in the length of China`s railway network from 2015 and a 58 percent expansion in high-speed rail. 
  • The high-speed rail system will reach 38,000 km by 2025.
10) US Republicans nominate Donald Trump for president.
  • The Republican National Convention formally declared that Donald Trump is the party`s nominee for the US Presidential elections.
  • Trump secured the nomination after beating 16 other candidates, and winning the Republican vote in 38 of the 50 states.
  • He is expected to face the presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton in the elections scheduled for November this year.
11) India, US agree to deepen cooperation in maritime sector.
  • India and the United States have agreed to deepen the scope of cooperation in the maritime sector with the American ports evincing keen interest in comprehensive port-led development, especially the ambitious Sagarmala programme.
  • 150 projects under this programme have the potential of mobilizing USD 50-60 Billion of infrastructure investment and another USD 100 Billion of investment for promoting industrial growth.
  • The Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari during his recent visit to the USA; held wide-ranging discussions with the representatives of Harbor Department of the City of Long Beach.
12) Cabinet approves a MoU signed between India and the Swiss Confederation for cooperation in skill development.
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post-facto approval for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of the Swiss Confederation for cooperation in skill development.
  • The MoU was signed during the visit of a delegation led by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to Switzerland.
  • The MoU broadly focuses on capacity building and exchange of best practices in the area of skill development.
  • The MoU will establish a framework for bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of skill development and will formalise and deepen this partnership.
13) Turkey declares three-month state of emergency after a failed military coup.
  • Turkey has declared three-month state of emergency after a failed military coup to overthrow the democratically elected government.
  • Announcement in this regard was taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a meeting with Cabinet ministers and top security advisers in Ankara.
  • Three-month state of emergency was declared as measure to counter threats to Turkish democracy. The emergency allows officials to set curfews, issue search and arrests warrant and restrict gatherings.
  • The 2016 military coup in Turkey was attempted against the ruling Justice and Development Party Government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. However it failed to overthrow ruling democratically elected government and ended one day later.
  • The coup was carried out by a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces under a council calling itself the Peace at Home Council. It had attempted to seize control of several key places in Istanbul, Ankara and elsewhere across the Turkey.
14) India, Bangladesh have inaugurated Petrapole checkpost.
  • The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the Petrapole Integrated Check Post (ICP) through video-conferencing. Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee also participated from Kolkata in the video-conference.
  • The Petrapole ICP will enable greater economic integration and significantly improve the connectivity between India and Bangladesh.
  • Petrapole-Benapole is an important land border crossing for India-Bangladesh trade. More than 50 per cent of the India-Bangladesh trade passes through Petrapole.
  • The Petrapole ICP will provide better facilities for effective and efficient discharge of functions such as security, immigration, customs, quarantine, etc. while also providing support facilities for smooth cross-border movement of persons, goods and transport.
  • Petrapole ICP will be the second ICP on the India-Bangladesh border after the Agartala ICP at the Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) land border.
15) Madeira international airport to be named after Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • The international airport in Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo`s hometown, Madeira, is set to be renamed after the footballer.
  • The announcement, made in recognition of Ronaldo’s achievements and contributions to football, was made by Miguel Albuquerque, President of the regional government.
  • The 31-year-old already has a bronze statue, a museum and a hotel named after him in Funchal - his birthplace and the capital of Madeira.
  • Ronaldo led the national team to its maiden European Championship title in July.
16) Russian adventurer FedorKonyukhov breaks world hot air balloon record.
  • Russian adventurer, FedorKonyukhov, has broken the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the Earth in a hot air balloon in just over 11 days.
  • Konyukhov, 64, who set off from Western Australia`s Avon Valley, has gone past the point he needed to fly over to break the record.
  • Konyukhov has broken the 14-year-old record set by American adventurer Steve Fossett.
  • Fossett is the only other person to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon, which he completed in 13-and-a-half days.