International Current Affairs
International Current Affairs April 3rd Week 2018
Category : International Current Affairs
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 1. World Haemophilia Day is observed on 17 April.

World Haemophilia Day is recognized worldwide on 17th April every year to increase awareness of haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. It was started by the World Federation of Haemophilia (WHF). This is a critical effort since with increased awareness comes better diagnosis and access to care for the millions who remain without treatment. The international community started observing WHD in 1989 and April 17 was chosen to recognize Frank Schnabel’s – the founder of WHF’s birthday.

World Haemophilia Day is aimed at raising awareness about haemophilia and other bleeding disorders. It also helps to raise funds for patients who cannot afford haemophilia treatment as well as attract volunteers for the World Federation of Haemophilia.

As per the reports, Haemophilia affects approximately 400,000 people worldwide, many of whom are not fully aware of their condition or are not getting the treatment they need. Because a relatively small percentage of the world’s population suffers from haemophilia, many people are not aware just how serious this condition is and how much more difficult and dangerous it makes the lives of those who have it. And this is where World Haemophilia Day comes in.

World Haemophilia Day Theme for 2018

The theme for 2018 is sharing knowledge. The bleeding disorders community is filled with the first-hand knowledge and experience needed to help increase awareness, as well as to improve access to care and treatment.


2. World Heritage Day is observed on 18 April.

World Heritage Day is an annual event celebrated on 18 April with an aim to preserve heritage and recognize the efforts of all relevant organizations in the field.

In 1982, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) announced, 18 April as the "World Heritage Day", approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983, with the aim of enhancing awareness of the importance of the cultural heritage of humankind, and redouble efforts to protect and conserve the human heritage.

At present, Italy leads with 53 sites followed by China with 52 sites. In India, there are 36 sites that have been declared as World Heritage. From Kaziranga in Assam to the Valley of Flowers National Parks in Uttarakhand, India has a range of parks, monuments, wildlife sanctuaries, religious structures and mountains in the list.


3. UK Joins International Solar Alliance To Mark Narendra Modi Visit.

The United Kingdom on Monday joined the India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA) ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four-day visit to Britain. At an event held at the London Stock Exchange as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 (CHOGM), Britain formally announced its membership of the alliance, which aims to raise $1 trillion of private and public finance to provide affordable and sustainable energy for all by 2030.

The UK’s partnership will involve providing expertise and advice to the alliance, but no monetary contributions. The Department for International Development (DfID) said its partnership of ISA, which it described as Modi’s flagship climate treaty, is aimed at giving over 1 billion of the world’s poorest people access to cheap, clean, and renewable energy.

“Without India’s leadership, the alliance would not have come so far and so fast. By increasing access to solar energy, millions more babies will now be delivered safely, millions of farmers will be able to grow more crops and better support their families, and millions more children can be better educated,” said UK international development secretary Penny Mordaunt.

“Partnering with like-minded countries and businesses who share the UK’s commitment to delivering clean, affordable energy will help end poverty while also delivering benefits for the UK by opening up business opportunities for UK renewable energy and green finance companies,” she said.

The DfID minister championed the UK’s world-leading innovation and expertise—including from the City of London, the leading global centre for green investment finance—that will enable the alliance to deliver more effective programmes and help more of the world’s vulnerable people.

DfID highlighted that ISA has already brought together over 60 countries who have pledged to increase solar power that will ensure homes remain lit, children can be educated in schools, health facilities can provide life-saving treatment, and businesses have access to vital mobile and internet services.

“The signing of this treaty is a momentous occasion for the UK and demonstrates our continued commitment to providing the very best of British expertise to the renewable energy sector. With the UK joining the International Solar Alliance, the lives of almost a billion of the world’s poorest people, across the Commonwealth and beyond, will be changed for the better,” Mordaunt said.

The UK said its support for ISA will be to develop solar water pumping projects, where farmers can use cheaper solar power—rather than diesel pumps—to water their crops. UK expertise will also help increase the number of “mini grids” supplying power to remote areas that cannot be reached by the main electricity grid.


4. Bisket Jatra Being Celebrated In Nepal.

The Jatra begins four days before the start of new year. It is believed that the festival started during Malla dynasty.

In Nepal the famous Bisket Jatra is being celebrated in Bhaktapur and other parts of Kathmandu valley. The nine day annual festival marks beginning of Nepali new year.

The Jatra begins four days before the start of new year. It is believed that the festival started during Malla dynasty.

There are many legends associated with the Jatra. According to a myth who soever marries local princes dies on the very first night of the marriage.

Later a brave young man married the princes. In the night two snakes attacked him and young man killed them.The main attraction of Bisket Jatra is chariot procession of Lord Bhairavanath.

The three story chariot is taken out in the streets of Bhakatapur and there is a tug of war between people from upper and lower city to pull the chariot on their side.

Thousand of visitors from various parts of Nepal and a large number of foreign tourists gather at Bhaktapur to see this thrilling event.On the eve of Nepali new year a huge linga ( a pole) is erected and two long pieces of cloth hanged upon it to represent the dead snakes.

Next day the pole is pulled down and Nepali new year officially commences. A number of festivals celebrated in Nepal throughout the year but people eagerly awaits for Bisket Jatra.


5. Swaziland King Changes Country`s Name To `Kingdom Of ESwatini`.

The king of Swaziland has announced that his country`s name has changed to eSwatini. The declaration by King Mswati III on Thursday was made during celebrations marking the monarch`s birthday as well as 50 years of independence from British colonial rule.

"I would like to announce that Swaziland will now revert to its original name," the king said at a packed sports stadium in Manzini, the country`s second city, AFP news agency reported.

"African countries on getting independence reverted to their ancient names before they were colonised. So from now on the country will be officially be known as the Kingdom of eSwatini," he added.

The tiny landlocked nation in southern Africa gained full independence in 1968, after being a British protectorate since the early 1900s. But unlike some countries, it did not change its name.

Meaning "place of the Swazi", eSwatini is the Swazi language name for the country. The name Swaziland angered some citizens as it is a mix of Swazi and English.

The move has been mooted for several years, with legislators considering the issue in 2015. Mswati III has used the new name in previous official speeches.

Absolute monarchy

1. The king, who was crowned in 1986 aged 18, rules by decree in a country widely seen as Africa`s last absolute monarchy.

2. Since 1973, Swaziland`s monarchy has banned political parties from participating in elections, although they are allowed to exist.

3. To run for political office, candidates stand as independents and if elected, they must be approved by the king in order to become a member of parliament.

4. The country, which has a population of about 1.3 million people, suffers the highest HIV rate in the world, with 27 percent of adults infected.

5. The name change could mean that the country`s constitution is re-written, and could bring changes for the Royal Swaziland Police Force, the Swaziland Defence Force and the University of Swaziland. 


6. EAM Sushma Swaraj Left For China On 4-Day Visit For SCO Meet.

Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj departed from New Delhi on Saturday morning for her six-day visit to China and Mongolia to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, which has been scheduled for April 24. She will meet her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Sunday. She will proceed to Mongolia after spending four days in China.

On Wednesday, China had said that its relations with India have seen “great strides” and the upcoming Swaraj’s visit will further enhance “political trust” between the two countries. “We believe Swaraj’s visit will further enhance political trust between the two countries and elevate the China-India strategic cooperation partnership,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said.

Talks between Swaraj and Yi will take place in order to take forward attempts by both countries to reset ties strained by last year’s 73-day Doklam military standoff as well as a host of other issues. Both the leaders will exchange views on bilateral ties, international and regional issues of mutual concern. Swaraj is also scheduled to take part in the Foreign Ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on April 24 besides meeting Chinese Hindi scholars and students.

Swaraj and Wang will be meeting for the first time after his elevation last month as the State Councillor, which makes him the top diplomat in the Chinese hierarchy. Wang will hold the dual posts of the State Councillor and Foreign Minister.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Niramala Sitharaman is also scheduled to attend the SCO summit on April 24.

These are the first SCO meetings after India and Pakistan were admitted into the eight-member group in which China and Russia play an influential role. The events will be attended by the respective Ministers from Pakistan. SCO consists of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also due to attend this year’s SCO summit to be held in the Chinese city of Qingdao in June.


7. Prince Charles To Succeed His Mother Queen Elizabeth II As Head Of Commonwealth.

Prince Charles will succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth, as the head of the Commonwealth. The decision was made by Commonwealth leaders on at Windsor Castle on Friday.
"I am deeply touched and honoured by the decision of Commonwealth Heads of State and Government that I should succeed The Queen, in due course, as Head of the Commonwealth," Prince Charles said in a statement. "Meanwhile, I will continue to support Her Majesty in every possible way, in the service of our unique family of nations."
The news comes just one day after Queen Elizabeth publicly backed her son Prince Charles as her successor.
While Prince Charles is the hereditary heir of 16 countries in the Commonwealth, he was not guaranteed to be chosen as the symbolic leader of the entire organization, a group which is made up of 53 countries, primarily former British colonies.
"It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations and will decide that one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949," the Queen said on Thursday.
Thursday evening, President of Ghana suggested that the Queen would be winding down her duties as leader of the Commonwealth, making her backing of Prince Charles as her successor all the more significant.
"We’re led to to understand that she’ll be winding down her duties as Head of the Commonwealth. This toast thus takes on an added significance, for it falls upon me to express the depth of our collective regret that she will no longer automatically be present at proceedings," he said at the banquet at Buckingham Palace, according to royal correspondent Rebecca English.
8. PM Narendra Modi Held Talks With German Chancellor, Returns India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had a “wonderful meeting” with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and discussed multiple aspects relating to bilateral cooperation as well as other global issues with her.
Modi met Merkel during a brief stopover in Berlin after wrapping up his visit to the UK where he attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and held a series of bilateral meetings with world leaders. It was the third and last leg of Modi’s three-nation tour to the UK, Sweden and Germany.
“Had a wonderful meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel. We discussed multiple aspects relating to India-Germany cooperation as well as other global issues,” Modi tweeted.
The two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen India-Germany cooperation, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, adding that Modi’s visit “demonstrates India’s mutual desire to strengthen the strategic partnership“.
“Further cementing a cherished friendship! PM @narendramodi warmly welcomed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery ahead of the bilateral meeting,” Kumar said in a tweet.
The visit demonstrates the commitment by the two countries to maintain the momentum of high level exchanges, according to Indian officials.
It was the first meeting between the two leaders since Merkel began her fourth term as German chancellor last month. Modi’s meeting with Merkel comes after German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s trip to India last month, which focused on boosting economic and strategic ties between the two countries.
Germany is India’s largest trade partner in the European Union bloc.
In 2016-17, the bilateral trade turnover was USD 18.76 billion, with India exporting goods worth USD 7.18 billion to Germany and importing German products worth USD 11.58 billion, according to German media.
9. PM Modi`s 3-Nation Tour Of Europe: Important Highlights.
With an agenda of strengthening India`s engagement with the West Asian and the Gulf region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will start his visit to Palestine, UAE and Oman today. 
The Prime Minister`s visit to Palestine assumes importance as it comes at a time when India and Israel are moving closer. Narendra Modi visited Israel last year in July becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the country. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reciprocated the gesture by visiting India in January this year. 
Narendra Modi will be the first Indian prime minister to visit Palestine. In a facebook post, the prime minister said,"I look forward to strengthening India`s growing and important ties with West Asia and the Gulf region through the visit." 
The Prime Minister will transit through Jordan. He will meet King Abdullah II of Jordan on February 9. From there he will take a chopper and reach Ramallah in West Bank where he will meet the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. 
Modi will visit the UAE from February 10-11. Modi said that the Gulf country is an important strategic partner. 
"I will be discussing our progress in these areas and more in my meetings with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi," Modi said in his post, according to PTI. 
After his UAE visit, Modi will travel to Oman in the final leg of his visit from February 11-12. Describing the country as a close maritime neighbour with whom India enjoys excellent ties, Modi will meet the Sultan of Oman and other top leaders. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also interact with business leaders in Oman with an objective to further strengthen India` economic ties with Oman.