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Iran says it launched a military satellite into orbit Amidst tension with the US, Iran today said that it had successfully launched its first military satellite into orbit. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) reported that the first military satellite “Noor”, which means the light was successfully put into orbit. The satellite was launched from a three-stage carrier Ghased and was placed in 425-km orbit.
COVID-19: China announces additional USD 30 million grants for WHO China announced an additional 30 million US Dollar grant to the World Health Organization, days after Beijing expressed serious concern over US President Donald Trump's decision to freeze the funding for the global health agency over its handling of the COVID-19 crisis. The grant will be in addition to the 20 million US Dollars provided by China earlier to the WHO. He said China will always support the Genev
Pakistan receives USD 1.39 billion emergency loan from IMF to deal with the Coronavirus crisis Pakistan has received an emergency loan of 1.39 billion US Dollars from the International Monetary Fund to boost its foreign exchange reserves in the wake of the further economic downturn due to the Coronavirus crisis. Earlier, Pakistan requested the global money lender for a low-cost, fast-disbursing loan under its Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to deal with the adverse economic impact of COVID-
The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen urges Emirates-backed southern separatists to honour the RIYADH peace deal Part of: GS-II- International issue (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) A Saudi-led coalition involved in a years-long war in Yemen urged Emirati-backed southern separatists to honour the terms of a Riyadh peace deal and return control of the port city of Aden to the country's internationally recognized government. The statement by Saudi Arabia comes after the separatists' Souther
Yemen crises Part of: GS-II- International issue (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries, has been devastated by civil war. Here we explain what is fuelling the fighting, and who is involved. How did the war start? The conflict has its roots in the failure of a political transition supposed to bring stability to Yemen following an Arab Spring uprising that forced its longtime authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh
Ethnic clashes in the Central African Republic In the Central African Republic, 25 people were killed and 51 others injured in clashes in the northeast part of the country. Between armed groups in Ndele led to the deaths of several civilians. Humanitarian workers, however, said that members of the Popular Front for the Rebirth of the Central African Republic (FPRC) had clashed in Ndele the previous day. FPRC last year split into two factions: the Runga ethnic group on one side
UAE affirmed its commitment to achieving a political solution in Libya Part of: GS-II- International issues (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) The United Arab Emirates has affirmed its commitment to achieving a political solution in Libya and called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) emphasized the UAE's support for a political solution to end the ongoing Libyan crisis in line with the outcomes of the Berlin
Trump says crisis ‘worse than Pearl Harbor’ or 9/11 Part of: GS-II- International issues (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) President Donald Trump said that fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic has hit the United States harder than Pearl Harbor in World War II or the 9/11 attacks. “We went through the worst attack we’ve ever had on our country. This is really the worst attack we’ve ever had,” he told reporters at the White House. The surprise Japan
Baltic travel bubble The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have opened their borders to one another, creating a coronavirus "travel bubble". Anybody arriving from outside the zone however must self-isolate for 14 days. This is the first "travel bubble" in Europe since nations began shutting their borders earlier this year in response to the coronavirus outbreak. European Union officials are now trying to encourage other countries to end restriction
No answers yet for Somalia As Somalia grapples with the staggering challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, chances are that the June 8 public hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Somalia’s maritime dispute with Kenya will be deferred yet again. The public health emergency also raises a question mark on the general elections scheduled for later this year, especially as the nation seeks to restore universal suffrage after five decades. Maritime disput
Korean war Context On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi paid rich tribute to the brave hearts who sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of peace on the Korean Peninsula. Korean crisis Since its current leader, Kim Jong-Un, took power in 2011, North Korea has ramped up its efforts to build a long-range nuclear missile capable of hitting targets around the globe. In a show of force aimed at di
Dual Currency in Cuba As per the latest devaluation plan announced in December by President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the CUP’s artificial one-to-one parity with the U.S. dollar has been removed. The currency will instead trade at 24 pesos to the greenback and the CUC will be phased out in six months. The CUP is in circulation in the domestic economy and serves as the principal medium by which goods are priced and wages paid. A dual domestic currency During the turmoil in C
Comparison between Hongkong and USA Capitol Protests As a pro-Trump mob swarmed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the comparisons drawn to the storming of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) complex on July 1, 2019, were immediate. The two historic moments marked days when protest movements breached the hearts of their respective governments. But that is where the similarities ended. Beyond this superficial level, the differences between the two were numerous. #joinourtel
Uganda Political crisis Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s 76-year-old leader who has been in power since 1986, won another five-year term in the January 14 presidential election, but the contested result has pushed the country into its worst political crisis in decades. According to Uganda’s Electoral Commission, he won nearly 59% of the vote, while his main rival, Robert Kyagulanyi, a pop musician better known by his stage name Bobi Wine, secured 34%. Mr. Wine has alleged voter
COVAX Program Ghana has become the first country in the world to receive a shipment of coronavirus vaccines under the COVAX program. Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. It is led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and others. It wants to vaccinate roughly 20% of the population in the 92 A
Concept of Product Graduation in EU's Generalized System of Preferences Product graduation is a concept that applies when average imports of a product from a beneficiary country exceed 17.5% of EU-GSP imports of the same product from all beneficiary countries over 3 years. India’s exports such as textiles, inorganic and organic chemicals, gems and jewellery, iron, steel and their articles, base metals and automotives are out of the ambit of EU-GSP benefits now.
Covid-19 Vaccine Passport What is a Covid-19 vaccine passport? A vaccination pass or passport is documentation proving that the individual has been vaccinated against Covid-19. As more people are inoculated, there will likely be aspects of public life in which only people who have been vaccinated are allowed to participate. In order to travel internationally, government and health authorities will need to know if you have been vaccinated or have tested negative f
US-Afghanistan Doha Peace Talks The U.S Secretary of State has confirmed the US intention to fully withdraw all forces from Afghanistan as per the Doha Agreement. About Doha Agreement: In 2020, the United States signed a historic deal with the Taliban. aiming to end the 18-year-war in Afghanistan The deal was signed in Doha (Qatar) and thus termed as Doha Agreement. The key features of the Doha agreement are: Troops Withdrawal: The US will withdraw its troops from
2021- Raisina Dialogue The Prime Minister delivered a video address at the Inaugural Session of the Raisina Dialogue. About Raisina Dialogue: Raisina Dialogue is an annual multilateral conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation have been jointly organizing it since 2016. The conference discusses cooperation on the most challenging international policy matters. It involves a variety of global policymakers in
The US imposed sanctions on Russia The United States announced sanctions against Russia on Thursday and the expulsion of 10 diplomats in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin’s U.S. election interference, a massive cyberattack and other hostile activity. President Joe Biden’s broadside against Russia came the same week as he offered to meet President Vladimir Putin for their first summit. In an executive order, Mr Biden widened restrictions on U.S. banks tradi
Cuba after the Castros Introduction The retirement of Raul Castro as the first secretary of Cuba’s ruling Communist Party brings to an end the six-decade-long rule of the “historic generation”, who, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, captured power in 1959 through an armed revolution. Background Fidel remained at the helm of affairs in the island, in the face of growing hostility from the U.S. until he fell sick in 2006. In 2008 later, he handed the p
G7 and its agenda on the Global Minimum tax regime Introduction The G7 countries seek to overcome internal differences and strengthen their economic and geopolitical bond to face multiple challenges from fighting COVID-19 to tackling the rise of China About G7 Formed in 1975 in the aftermath of the 1973 Oil Crisis, the G7 then collectively produced 70% of the world’s GDP, a number that has dropped to 40% now The G7 became the G8 with Russia’s admission into the
Cairn issue explained What is the issue about? The dispute started in early 2014 when Indian tax authorities started questioning Cairn Energy requesting information on the group’s reorganization in the financial year 2006-07. This escalated, and by 2015, the authorities had sent the company a draft assessment order, assessing in the process that there was a principal tax amount of $1.6 billion that was due. The year in reference, 2006-07, was one in which big corporate changes
Global Minimum Corporate Income Tax The US Treasury Secretary has urged the world’s 20 advanced nations to move in the direction of adopting a global minimum corporate income tax. What is the Global Minimum Corporate Tax Rate? It is a type of corporate tax. Under this, If a company moves some of its operations to another country having low-tax jurisdiction, then the company have to pay the difference between that minimum rate and whatever the firm paid on its overseas earnin
Meeting of Education Ministers of E9 Countries Recently, a consultation meeting of Education Ministers of E9 countries was held on the theme ‘E9 initiative: Scaling up digital learning to accelerate progress towards SDG4’. Major Highlights The United Nations (UN) is spearheading a global initiative on digital learning and skills for all, targeting marginalized children and youth and aiming to close the digital divide and drive rapid chan
From revolution to oligarchy in Nicaragua Context: "From revolution to oligarchy in Nicaragua" is an important topic for UPSC GS Paper 2 and Prelims. Nicaraguan President ‘won’ a fourth term in an election that lacks legitimacy. If one were to emerge in 2021 out of a time capsule hidden in 1979 and were to meet Daniel Ortega, the person would scarcely believe that he is the same man 42 years later. Mr. Ortega got “re-elected” as Pre
Organisation Of Turkic State and India- Turkey Relations Organization of Turkic states is an intergovernmental organization which was framed in 2009 with the aim of promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic state. It is constructed on four main themes of common history, common language, common identity, and common culture. Recently in the Istanbul Summit the organization has been renamed as the Organization of Turkic State from Turkic Council. MEMBERS: The foun
14th BRICS Summit BRICS nations have supported diplomacy and dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, where three of its members China, India, and South Africa have abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine. What is BRICS? BRICS consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. It was launched at a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, and China in the year 2006. In 2010 BRIC turned into BRICS, with
PGII to counter China's Belt and Road Initiative In the recent G7 summit in Germany, the ambitious Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) was unveiled, with the aim of collective mobilization of $600 billion by 2027 for transparent investment in infrastructure projects in developing and middle-income countries. It’s a G7 initiative to counter China’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative which the West considers China’s strategy to
48th G7 SUMMIT IN GERMANY The summit was held in BAVARIAN ALPS Germany from June 26th to 28th 2022. PT POINTER G7 48TH Summit was held under the presidency of Germany at BAVARIAN ALPS. Member Countries: US, Canada, France, UK, Germany, Italy, and Japan. BAVARIAN ALPS: It is a collective name for several mountain ranges of the Northern Alps within the German state of Bavaria. ALPS: Young fold mountain is present in 8 countries (
Garuda Shield as deterrence against Chinese Encroachment On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the United States, Indonesia, and other nations are participating in joint military drills. About Since 2009, Garuda Shield has been a yearly military exercise. The 2022 edition will be the biggest one due to the participation of numerous other nations, including Australia and Japan. A total of more than 5,000 personnel from the US, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, and Singapore are part
China blocks India’s Bid China has obstructed efforts by India and the US to add Pakistan-based terrorists to the UN Security Council's 1267 list of terror organisations. Major Points: Terrorist groups and individuals: India offers a list of terrorists connected to Al Qaeda and ISIS for the UN Security Council to consider. The 1267 list of terrorists linked to Al Qaeda and ISIS included key members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), including Talha Saeed, the son of
India votes against Russia's UN Security Council resolution on bioweapons. India has voted against a UN Security Council resolution sponsored by Russia that accuses the US and Ukraine of engaging in "military biological activities" in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). Prior to this resolution, India had recently abstained from another UN Security Council resolution that sought to invalidate Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian territories. &nbs
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