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U.S. President to hold talks with Prime Minister Modi to discuss India`s retaliatory tariffs:

U.S. President Donald Trump said that India’s high tariffs on American products are unacceptable. Trump has asked India to withdraw the tariffs it levied on 28 US goods.

India levied tariffs:

  • Ministry of Commerce has announced to impose retaliatory tariffs on US goods that will be effective from June 16 onwards. 
  • The retaliatory tariffs on 28 goods imported from the U.S. The Ministry initially decided to impose tariffs in 2018. 
  • The decision is ahead of the meeting between Modi and Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan. 
  • The move made by the trade ministry was approved by the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • The tariffs will be applied on $220-290 million worth of goods that are imported from the US, and will have about the same impact as the tariffs imposed by Washington on India in 2018.

Trump becomes 1st sitting US president takes Steps Into North Korea:

On July 1, 2019, US (United States) President Donald Trump became the first sitting president to enter North Korea after briefly crossed the border in the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea. He met North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and agreed to resume stalled nuclear talks.

Key points:

i. Third meeting: This was their third meeting in just over a year on the old Cold War frontier that for decades has symbolized the hostility between their countries, which are technically still at war.

 

ii. Background: They met for the first time in Singapore in June 2018 and second time in Hanoi, Vietnam in February 2019 to improve relations and work towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

 

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US Deploys F-22 Stealth Fighters To Qatar For 1st Time:

 
  • The United States has deployed F-22 stealth fighters to Qatar for the first time, its military said yesterday. The announcement adds to a buildup of US forces in the Gulf amid tensions with Iran.
  • The US Air Forces Central Military Command stated that the Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighters have been deployed to defend American forces and interests. The number of hi-tech planes sent was not specified.
  • Tehran and Washington have been locked in an escalating standoff since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a multi-party 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic republic.
  • Tensions spiked last week when Iran shot down a US drone over sensitive Gulf waters following a series of tanker attacks that Washington blamed on Tehran, which has denied involvement.
  • In May, the US Air Force deployed several nuclear-capable B-52 Stratofortress bombers and an aircraft carrier task force to the Gulf.
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India has signed Rs.200 crore deal with Russia to acquire Strum Ataka:

  • India has signed Rs.200 crore deal with Russia to acquire Strum Ataka. 
  • The anti-tank missile will be added to the fleet of Mi-35 attack choppers of Indian Air Force (IAF). 
  • This deal comes in  wake of an IAF’s attempt to keep itself battle-ready in situations like post-Balakot aerial strikes. 
  • The Strum Ataka anti-tank missile would give an added capability to Mi-35 attack choppers of IAF to take out enemy tanks and other armoured elements.
  • Mi-35s are set to be replaced with Apache gunships being acquired from United States (US) and slated to be delivered from August onwards.

About Emergency clause:

After 14 February Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, emergency powers were given to Indian Defence forces and India started increasing vigil at borders with Pakistan. Under, emergency powers given to three services, they can procure equipment of their choice within 3 month at a cost of about Rs.300 crore per case.

IAF has emerged as front runner in terms of weapon acquisition under emergency procurement, followed by Indian Army. Under emergency provisions IAF has acquired also acquired Spice-2000 stand-off weapon system along with a number of spare and air to air mission.

Asian Development Bank approved $350 Million Loan for Chhattisgarh Road Improvement Project: 

  • Asian Development Bank(ADB) approved $350 million in loans to rehabilitate and upgrade two state highways.
  • There are around 23 major district roads totaling about 850 kilometers in Chhattisgarh. 
  • They improve the connectivity and access to basic services in the state.
  • The overall total cost of the project is $521.69 million. 
  • The state government of Chhattisgarh to provide $171.69 million. 
  • Chhattisgarh is rich in natural resources.
  • It is the largest producer of minerals like coal and iron ore. 
  • The data of 2011 census reveals the poverty levels in the state were at the 38% of the total population. 
  • The number of registered vehicles doubled from 2.1 million in 2009 to 4.8 million in 2016.  
  • ADB extended loan amount of $180 million for 1,700 km state highways and $300 million.
  • This was granted in 2012
  • It covered additional 916 km state highways. 

Ola Electric invests $250million funding from SoftBank:

  • SoftBank invested around $250 million in Ola Electric Mobility. 
  • The electric vehicle unit Ola becomes the newest unicorn from India. 
  • The likes of Flipkart, Zomato, Paytm in the parent company are with the Registrar of Companies.
  • Ola Electric issued 4,326 fully and compulsorily convertible series B preference shares of face value of Rs 10 each having the privileges and preferences.
  • Japanese investor paid a total of Rs 1,725.04 crore (around $250 million)
  • The SoftBank funding was received on Tuesday in light of a special resolution passed by the board of Ola Electric on June 25.
  • Tata Sons` Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata invested an undisclosed amount in Ola Electric.
  • This investment is a part of company`s series-A round of funding, was in Ratan Tata`s personal capacity.
  • Ola Electric announced raising Rs 400 crore in a funding round
  • This is led by Tiger Global and Matrix India.
  • Ola raised $300 million from South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motors along with its affiliate Kia Motors. 
  • As part of the deal, Hyundai plans to introduce its EVs in the cab fleet of Ola by 2021.
  • Ola Electric is currently running several pilots to deploy electric vehicles and charging solutions.
  • The company claimed they would introduce a fleet of 10,000 electric vehicles over the next year.
  • Ola Electric initially established to enable Ola`s electric mobility pilot program in Nagpur in 2017.

 

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