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International Current Affairs July 4th Week 2017
Author : Admin
Category : International Current Affairs
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International Current Affairs July 4th Week 2017

1. US House of Representatives passes Bill on defence co-operation with India.

 
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The United States House of Representatives has passed an amendment to National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2018, a $621.5 billion defence expenditure bill to advance defence cooperation with India.

India related amendment in the bill was adopted by a voice vote in the House by 344-81. Now, NDAA needs to be passed by the US Senate before it can be sent to US President Donald Trump to sign into law.

The India-related amendment in NDAA 2018, requires the US Secretary of Defence, in consultation with the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between US and India.

The amendment asks the State Department and Pentagon to develop a strategy to addresses common security challenges, the role of US partners and allies in India-US defence relationship, and role of the defence technology and trade initiative. It also asks them to address issues to advance communications interoperability and security memorandum of agreement and the basic exchange and cooperation agreement for geospatial cooperation.
 
2. US Navy tests world’s first Laser Weapons System.
us navy tests worlds first laser weapons system
 
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United States Navy successfully tested the world’s first-ever active Laser Weapons System (LaWS). In the test, the LaWS deployed aboard the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship was able to destroy a drone in flight and moving targets on the Persian Gulf. USS Ponce is first ship in the world to be deployed with such advanced weapons system.

LaWS operates within an invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is absolutely silent and incredibly effective. It strikes are extremely accurate, silent and invisible. It is primarily intended to take on drones, aircraft, and small vessels that could be used in an attack.

The system has special materials that release photons at the speed of light. It silently hits the target, burning it to a temperature of thousands of degrees. It can even target a single component of an enemy target and disable or destroy it as necessary. Each strike of the system travels 50,000 times the speed of an incoming ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile).

It is a very versatile weapon that can be used against a variety of targets in air or surface targets or ground-based targets. Its precise nature can also limit collateral damage in wartime. Its cost per use is approximately $1 per shot. The system requires electrical power and a three-man team. US is also developing second generation LaWS system which is believed to be intended to take on faster targets such as incoming missiles.
 
3. US imposes new sanctions against Iran over ballistic missile program.
us imposes new sanctions against iran over ballistic missile program
 
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The United States has imposed new economic sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile programme and for contributing to regional tensions.

Under the new sanctions, the US Department of Treasury targeted 16 entities and individuals from Iran citing them as illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity. Those sanctioned mainly targets Iran for developing drones and military equipment, producing and maintaining boats, and procuring electronic components.

The sanctions were imposed day after US certified that Iran is complying with the 2015 Nuclear Deal and it will continue to receive nuclear-related sanctions relief. This was the second time, Trump administration certified Iran’s compliance to 2015 Nuclear Deal.

The 2015 Nuclear Deal was a preliminary framework agreement signed between Iran and P5+1 countries (United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, China- plus Germany) and the European Union in July 2015. The deal is also called as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) or Vienna agreement.

The deal aims to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions. Under it, Iran has agreed to give up its most advanced centrifuges and use only its oldest models. But it still allows Iran to continue enrichment in lower quantities for civilian purposes such as power plants.

As part of the deal Iran has agreed to reduce its stockpile of uranium by 98%. Under this deal, Iran could keep 300 kg enriched uranium for the next 15 years and it will get rid of extra uranium by shipping it to Russia. The deal also sets up a comprehensive inspections regime that gives inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) extraordinary and robust access to Iranian nuclear facilities.

Under this deal, global economic sanctions imposed over Iran nuclear programme will be removed. However sanctions related to other aspects of Iran’s behaviour, such as ballistic-missile programme, human-rights issues, support of terrorism and its will not be affected.

 4. President inaugurates Bicentenary Celebration of Paika Rebellion.

president inaugurates bicentenary celebration of paika rebellion
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President Pranab Mukharjee inaugurated the bicentenary (200th) celebration of Paika Rebellion (1817) of Odisha organised by the Union Ministry of Culture in New Delhi.

Paika rebellion predates the 1857 Revolt i.e. first war of independence. Many scholars, researchers and historians have opined that the Paika Rebellion of 1817 was India’s first organized armed rebellion against British Raj (then British East India Company rule).

Paiks were the traditional landed militia of Odisha, used to perform policing functions. They owned rent-free land that was given to them for their military service to Kingdom of Khurda. However they were forcefully usurped their land rendering them landless by the policies of British East India Company.

They were also subjected to repressive land revenue policies and humiliation by the British. At that critical juncture, Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar, the military chief of the King of Khurda, led army of Paikas forcing the East India Company forces to retreat.

During the rebellion, the Paikas had attacked British symbols of power, setting ablaze policestations, administrative offices and treasury during their march towards Khurda, from where the British fled. The Paikas were supported by the rajas of Kujang, Kanika, Nayagarh and Ghumusar and zamindars, village heads and ordinary peasants.

The British were initially taken aback and then tried to regain lost ground from the rebelling Paikas. Many a battle ensued with some victories to the rebel Paiks but the British finally managed to defeat them within three months. Widespread suppression followed with killing and imprisonment of many Paiks.

Some Paik rebels fought a guerilla war till 1819 but were captured and killed. Baxi Jagabandhu was finally arrested in 1825 and died in captivity in 1829. At present, Paika Bidroha enjoys a cult status in Odisha but unfortunately it has received less attention at the national level than it should have got.

 

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