International Current Affairs
International Current Affairs August 2nd Week 2016
Category : International Current Affairs
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1) Japan records biggest current account surplus since 2007.

  • Japan recorded the largest current account surplus in the first half of this year since 2007 with reduced imports amid lower crude oil prices and rising revenue from tourism. 
  • The current account balance which quantifies the international trade of goods, services and investments in and out of the country, marked a surplus of 10.63 trillion yen ($104 billion) in the period of January to June, up 31.3% from a year earlier.
  • Japan has been highly dependent on energy imports since Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, which led to shutdown of most commercial reactors in the country with heightened safety concerns from the public.

2) Russia, Turkey agree to restore ties after diplomatic rift. 

  • Russia and Turkey agreed to work toward restoring full relations but rebuilding trade tied will be time consuming.
  • The agreement was reached at a meeting between the President Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Saint Petersburg.
  • The two countries will restore their yearly bilateral trade target of 100 billion dollars and will speed up the resumption of charter flights from Russia to Turkey.
  • The Turkish is ready to build a natural gas pipeline with Russia and negotiate a deal to construct Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. 
  • The two agreed to meet later to seek common ground over how to resolve the crisis in Syria. 
3)  India, US push for $30 million energy storage research initiative.
  • India and the US have agreed on a $30 million public-private five-year research initiative for a joint research on smart grid and energy storage technology. 
  • Under the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research (PACE-R), the US Energy Department (DOE) and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) will each commit $1.5 million per year for five years to the expanded research effort, subject to congressional appropriations.
  • The US and Indian private sectors will match the respective government commitments, resulting in a combined $30 million public-private research investment over the next five years.
  • In 2009, the two countries launched Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) to support research and deployment of clean energy technologies. 


4) UN to issue stamp to mark M.S. Subbulakshmi`s birth centenary.

  • United Nations to honor the legacy of Indias carnatic music legend M.S. Subbulakshmi, the UN will issue a stamp to mark her birth centenary coinciding with the celebrations of Indias 70th independence day.
  • India’s Independence Day will be commemorated at the world body’s headquarters this year as Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman will enthral U.N. diplomats and international dignitaries at a special concert in the U.N. General Assembly hall on August 15.
  • Mr. Rahman will be the second Indian artist after Subbulakshmi to perform at the iconic U.N. hall, which is the usual platform for global leaders to address the world.
5) US declares state of emergency in Puerto Rico over Zika epidemic.
  • US government declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico as a result of a Zika epidemic.
  • The Caribbean island of about 3.5 million people has recorded 10,690 laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika, including 1,035 pregnant women, but the actual number of infections with the mosquito-borne virus is likely higher.
  • The declaration allows the US Department of Health and Human Services to award grants, access emergency funds and temporarily appoint personnel where needed, among other things.
  • The public health emergency declaration is a tool for the federal government to provide fresh support to Puerto Rico`s government to tackle the outbreak and grants access to certain federal funds.
  • Federal government had shifted $81 million in funds from other projects to continue work on developing vaccines to fight Zika.
6) Sri Lanka, China sign tripartite pact to construct mega port city.
  • Sri Lanka and China have finally signed a tripartite agreement to proceed with the construction of a Financial City Center in capital Colombo.
  • With the signing of the agreement, the Colombo Port City Development Project was newly renamed as the Colombo International Financial City
  • The USD 1.4 billion Port City project which initially began construction in 2014 under the former government was suspended in 2015 by President Maithripala Sirisena`s government due to environmental concerns.
  • The project which has now been expanded to 269 hectares under the new tripartite agreement will include central parks and beaches for the public.