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International Current Affairs
International Current Affairs November 4th Week 2017
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International Current Affairs November 4th Week 2017

 1. Road-map for Talanoa Dialogue prepared at Bonn UN Climate Change Conference.

The UN climate conference concluded here on Saturday with countries putting in place a road-map for `Talanoa Dialogue` — a year-long process to assess countries` progress on climate actions. The Conference also made progress on framing rules for implementing the Paris Agreement and brought the rich nations on board to walk the talk on their pre-2020 commitments.

The negotiations were supposed to end by Friday evening but differences over the issue of finance (contributions from rich nations to help developing countries adapt to challenges of climate change) dragged it till Saturday morning with negotiators working overnight to finalise the outcome of the Conference.

The compromise was reached when countries agreed to discuss it in special stocktaking sessions to review progress towards emissions cuts and delivering on climate finance in immediate term.

Though the negotiators still have to do a lot of works on finalising the rules which would be adopted during next Conference of Parties (COP24) in Poland in 2018, the Bonn conference (COP23) gave them a sense of what they need to do when it comes to bring money on table and raise ambition to achieve the climate goal of keeping the global average temperature rise within 2 degree Celsius by the end of this century and make efforts to keep it below 1.5 degree Celsius.

2. Qatar the Richest Country in the World Per Capita.

Based on the per capita income of its people, Qatar has been named the world`s richest country as per the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report.

The per capita GDP (gross domestic product) of Qatar is over Rs. 81 lakh.

With per capita GDP of over Rs. 38 lakh, the United States is at No. 12. India, with a GDP of over Rs. 4 lakh per person, is not even in the top 100.

The Top 3 Countries in the list are

Qatar- GDP of Rs. 81 lakh per person.

Luxembourg- GDP of Rs. 70 lakh per person.

Singapore- GDP of Rs. 60 lakh per person.

3. Women`s Youth World Boxing Championship Begins in Guwahati.

In 54 kilogram category , Shashi Chopra will play against Uzbek opponent while in 60 kg category Mizoram`s Vanlalhriapuii will bout against Korean player.

On the other hand, Astha Pahwa will take on opponent from Bulgaria in 69 kg. India sent a strong 10 members contingent in the event. Nearly 200 players from over 30 countries have taken part in the event.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal has inaugurated the event Sunday evening in presence of office bearers from AIBA and Boxing Federation of India.

India`s girls will be looking to improve on their eight-medal show in the Balkan Youth International Boxing Championships in Sofia last month. With the home crowd backing them, the ten girls would be looking to show the best in the world that they are not far behind.

Team India, camping in Guwahati for more than two weeks, is confident of a good show. Close to 200 participants from 38 countries will be seen in action in this knockout tournament.

The preliminaries will take place from November 19 to 22, the semi-finals on November 24 and 25 and the finals on November 26.

4. Forty Second International Congress of Military Medicine Begins.

A six-day conference on military medicine, being attended by delegates from 80 countries, began here today and will deliberate on a host of issues, including terrain specific military medical support.

The 42nd World Congress of the International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM) is taking place in India for the first time.

The congregation will deliberate on a broad range of issues, including terrain specific military medical support and protection of health in a military environment, the defence ministry said in a statement.

There will be panel discussions on women in combat, medical disability benefits, veterans` health and health screening of new recruits.

The ICMM is an international inter-governmental organisation set up in 1921 with its secretariat at Brussels and currently has 112 nations as members.

The five-day event is being organised for the first time in India, and is the largest medical conference ever organised by the AFMS (Armed Forces Medical Service), the ministry said.

The theme of this 42nd World Congress is `Military Medicine in Transition: Looking Ahead`.

Besides the foreign delegates, around 300 Indian delegates comprising Armed Forces medical, dental, nursing and veterinary Officers are participating in it.

Top Indian scientific institutions, MoD, Ministry of Health, the United Nations and the International Committee of Red Cross are also represented at the Congress.

5. World Fisheries Day is celebrated as November 21 across the world.

World Fisheries day is celebrated every year on November 21 throughout the world by the fisherfolk communities. Fishing communities worldwide celebrate this day through rallies, workshops, public meetings, cultural programs, dramas, exhibition, music show, and demonstrations to highlight the importance of maintaining the world`s fisheries..

A recent United Nations study reported that more than two-thirds of the world`s fisheries have been overfished or are fully harvested and more than one third are in a state of decline because of factors such as the loss of essential fish habitats, pollution, and global warming.

The World Fisheries Day helps in highlighting the critical importance to human lives, of water and the lives it sustains, both in and out of water. Water forms a continuum, whether contained in rivers, lakes, and ocean.

Fish forms an important part of the diets of people around the world, particularly those that live near rivers, coasts and other water bodies. A number of traditional societies and communities are rallied around the occupation of fishing.

This is why a majority of human settlements, whether small villages or mega cities, are situated in close proximity to water bodies. Besides the importance of water for survival and as a means of transportation, it is also an important source of fish and aquatic protein.

But this proximity has also lead to severe ocean and coastal pollution from run-off and from domestic and industrial acticities carried out near-by. This has led to depetion of fish stocks in the immediate vicinity, requiring fishermen to fish farther and farther away from their traditional grounds.

Besides, overfishing and mechanization has also resulted in a crisis - fish sticks are being depleted through `factory` vessels, bottom trawling, and other means of unsustainable fishing methods.

Unless we address these issues collectively, the crisis will deepen. The World Fisheries Day helps to highlight these problems, and moves towards finding solutions to the increasingly inter-connected problems we are facing, and in the longer term, to sustainable means of maintaining fish stocks.

6. Tencent Becomes First Chinese Tech Firm Valued over $500 Billion.

Powered by a 69 percent jump in the quarterly net profit of CNY 18 billion or $2.72 billion has helped push the market capital of Tencent to about CNY 3.38 trillion at the time of writing.

This amount of market capital has also helped the company become the first technology firm from China to be valued over $500 billion mark. In perspective, the second company in the list is Tencent’s rival Alibaba with a market capital of about $474 billion.

Crossing the $500 billion mark now places the 19-year-old company Tencent in the same league as that of Microsoft, Facebook, Alphabet, Apple and Amazon. As pointed by TechCrunch in their report, this makes the 2004 IPO of the company stand at about $1 million. The report also points out that the market capital of the company has tripled after it reached the $150 billion mark in March 2014 to cross Intel.

Two primary reasons for the growth of Tencent can be attributed to its messaging app WeChat and its gaming ventures. WeChat is the top ‘social service’ in China while the company is growing in other ventures like gaming on mobiles and desktops. Money earned from its Honour of Kings, Clash of Clans and League of Legends games is a constant source of revenue for the company.

With so much market capital, the company is not shying away from investing in other companies or outright buying them as mentioned in the report.

Tencent has invested in some of the major India-based startups to propel their growth. According to a report by Mint, the company started investments in Indian companies from August 2015 where it invested about $90 million in Practo. One year after the first investment, Tencent invested about $175 million in messaging app Hike along with another $55 million in Practo in August 2016.

7. India and Russia join hands to provide visa free entry for flight crew members.

India and Russia have joined their hands and signed a pact for giving visa free entry to the crew members of chartered and scheduled flights in both the nations.

The agreement will facilitate visa free entry, stay and exit of crew of aircraft of the designated airlines as well as other aircraft companies operating chartered and scheduled flights in the respective territories on reciprocal basis. This ease has made the relationship between the two nations more concrete. And also it will be a hassle free duty for crew members as well.

Background:

Visa requirements for crew members are administrative entry restrictions imposed by the countries for the pilot or a member of the crew during a transit. The crew visas are associated with the request for permission to enter a country for a short duration and perform the predefined duties in the given areas, distinct from actual formal permission for an alien to enter and remain in the country. Validity of transit visas for crew members is usually limited by short terms such as several hours to 10 days depending on the size of the country and the circumstances.

9. Conference of Commanders of Eastern Air Command commence in Shillong.

New Delhi/Shillong, Nov 21 (UNI) A two-day conference of all Commanders of Eastern Air Command commenced on Tuesday at Shillong, where issues pertaining to security are being discussed. 

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa interacted with the Commanders and exhorted them to put in efforts to upgrade the operational infrastructure and capability of eastern zone. 

He also stressed on the importance of leadership, team building and discipline, which are pivotal in pursuit of achieving the operational goals. 

During the conference, the Air Chief Marshal awarded Trophies to the Commanders for achieving excellence in the fields of Operations, Maintenance and Administration. 

Air Force Station, Chabua was awarded the `Pride of EAC` Trophy, for standing best in overall performance and Air Force Station, Laitkor Peak was awarded the `Best Non-Flying Station`.

10. Donald Trump and Putin Agree to Support UN in Syrian Peace Process.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Tuesday to support the U.N. effort to "peacefully resolve" the nearly seven-year-long Syrian civil war.

The White House said the two leaders talked for more than an hour and stressed the importance of ending the humanitarian crisis in which millions of Syrians have been displaced from their homes. Trump and Putin said the displaced Syrians should be allowed to return and "the stability of a unified Syria free of malign intervention and terrorist safe havens" should be ensured.

Trump talked by phone with Putin a day after the Russian leader held discussions in Russia with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad about a political resolution to the civil war, which has killed 400,000 people.

The White House said Trump and Putin "affirmed the importance of fighting terrorism together throughout the Middle East and Central Asia and agreed to explore ways to further cooperate in the fight against ISIS, al-Qaida, the Taliban and other terrorist organizations."

In addition, they discussed ways "to implement a lasting peace in Ukraine," where pro-Russian separatists have been fighting troops loyal to Kyiv, and how to keep international pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear weapon and missile development programs.

The Kremlin said Tuesday that it had called Assad to the Black Sea resort of Sochi for talks with Putin about Russia`s peace proposals for Syria, ahead of Putin`s summit Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

11. Victoria becomes first Australian state to legalise euthanasia.

Victoria has become the first Australian state to legalise voluntary assisted dying, or euthanasia, for the terminally ill, ABC News said in a report on Wednesday (Nov 29).

Following over 100 hours of debate across both houses of parliament and two all-night sittings, lower house MPs ratified the amended bills, giving patients the right to request a lethal drug to end their lives from June 2019.

ABC News said the bill will now go to the governor for royal assent.

The landmark legislation passed the upper house 22 votes to 18 last week after a number of amendments, which had to be approved by the lower house to be enshrined in law.

The changes included halving the timeframe for eligible patients to access the scheme from 12 months to six months to live.

Sufferers of some conditions, such as motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis, can request a lethal dose even if they have been given up to a year to live.  

"The implementation of the bill ... will give people hope and compassion, and that a good death will in fact be possible for people who are currently enduring difficult, difficult ends of life," Victoria`s Health Minister Jill Hennessy said outside the state legislature in Melbourne after the lower house approved a law that had already cleared the upper house.

Many countries have legalised euthanasia, including Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and some states in the United States, although the Australian government opposes it.

The Australian Medical Association opposes physician-assisted suicide, arguing that better palliative care can address pain and other symptoms of distress.

The remote Northern Territory, which does not hold Australian statehood, became the first jurisdiction in the world to legalise euthanasia in 1995, but the laws were overturned by the federal government in 1997.

12. Mumbai to host 15th Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation films.

30 November 2017 Current Affairs: Mumbai is to host the 15th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for Documentary, Short and Animation films from 28th January to 3rd February 2018.

The Mumbai International Film Festival will be inaugurated on 28th January 2018, at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai. It is organized by the films Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B).

The Organizing Committee of MIFF is headed by the Secretary, I&B and consists of eminent film personalities, documentary makers and film critics.

The Award money for the Lifetime Achievement award has also been doubled to Rs 1 million. All together cash awards of Rs 5.8 million will be given away during MIFF 2018.

13. China hosts Inter-Governmental Meeting of Asia and Pacific Decade for Persons with Disabilities.

The High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Midpoint Review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities (2013-2022) will be held from 27 November to 1 December in Beijing, with countries set to agree on the future policy direction for building disability-inclusive societies in the region.

Asia and the Pacific is home to 690 million persons with disabilities, one in every six persons, and this number is expected to rise due to population ageing, natural disasters, chronic health conditions, road traffic injuries and poor working conditions. Persons with disabilities are among the most marginalized groups in the region. They are more vulnerable to poverty and unemployment, and their potential to contribute to economic and social development in societies remains unlocked.

Organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in cooperation with the China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF), the meeting will provide a platform for countries to promote disability-inclusive development and support the realization of rights of persons with disabilities. It will review baseline data on progress made in the implementation of the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia-Pacific, and demonstrate how disability-inclusive development will help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Over 30 countries will participate, including ministers and senior officials, as well as representatives from UN agencies and civil society organizations. The senior officials segment will be held from 27 to 29 November, in preparation for the ministerial segment from 30 November to 1 December.


 

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