• Current Affairs , 14 December 2019

    • December 14, 2019
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1. Delhi Dialogue-XI 
    2. PM Modi to review progress of Namami Gange project 
    3. Six coal mines marked for end-use under allotment process
    4. BJP approaches EC against Rahul Gandhi’s rape remarks
    5. Nirbhaya’s mother moves SC opposing review plea of convict
    6. Prime Minister meets with Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of People’s Majlis of Maldives
    7. Mike Pompeo warns Iran of ‘decisive response’ if US interests are harmed in Iraq
    8. Chile starts identifying remains of plane crash victims
    9. 15 Indian-origin politicians elected to House of Commons in UK
    10. US and China reach trade agreement calling for structural reforms & tariff concessions
    • British PM Boris Jhonson wins General Elections in UK
    1. EU warns of ‘challenging’ timeframe for UK trade deal
    2. Indonesia Foreign Minister arrives to India on 2-day visit
    3. FIH unveils new world ranking system for 2020
    4. U-17 women’s football: India lose 0-3 to Sweden

     

     

     

    NATIONAL NEWS

     

     

    • Delhi Dialogue-XI 

     

     

     

    • Delhi Dialogue-XI got underway at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi . The theme for this year’s Delhi Dialogue is Advancing Partnership in Indo-Pacific.
    • Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that this theme is very timely as the Indo- Pacific concept has gathered momentum.
    • He said that in recent years, nations have recognized that there is a certain inevitability about the Indo-Pacific concept.
    • He said that the notion of shared maritime space is not new. The Minister added that goods, ideas, and services have been shared by these nations throughout history. Mr Muraleedharan hoped that the discussions in the Dialogue will yield a rich harvest of ideas.
    • Delivering the keynote address, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said, it is not the time for nations to compete against each other but to collaborate with each other.
    • She said, promotion for maritime cooperation for ASEAN and India in Indo-Pacific region is not an option but a necessity. She highlighted that both India and ASEAN have common concerns and interests in the shared ocean. The Indonesian Foreign Minister added that both India and ASEAN share the same vision to maintain peace and stability in the region. 

     

    • PM Modi to review progress of Namami Gange project 

     

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Kanpur city of Uttar Pradesh today. He will chair a meeting of the National Council for Ganga and will review the progress of the Namami Gange project aimed at cleaning river Ganga.
    • Later after the meeting PM Modi is also scheduled to cruise on the Ganga river to asses changes achieved under Namai Gange in past few years.
    • Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Uttarakhand and Union Ministers, including Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, senior central and state officers will also attend the meeting.
    • Under Namami Gange project 13 out of 16 major drains in Kanpur have been completely tapped and the sewage and industrial effluent have been diverted.
    • PM Narendra Modi will chair the first meeting of National Ganga Council at the Chandrashekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology here. He will review the progress of work done and deliberate on aspects of cleaning the Ganga. Apart from Chief Ministers of 3 states several Union ministers, including Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, senior central and state officers will be attending the meeting.
    • After the meeting, PM  accompanied with Union ministers, and chief ministers of the three states will reach Atal Ghat near Ganga Barrage and review the work done to clean the river on a cruise  It is expected that PM might take selfie at the newly created selfie point at the complete stoppage of Seesmau nullah which was the largest drain falling in river Ganga.
    • The 128-year old drain was a major contributor to the river’s pollution. UP CM Yogi Adityanath also took his first selfie while inspecting the site 2 days back. Under Namami Gange project 13 out of 16 major drains in Kanpur have been completely tapped and the sewage and industrial effluent have been diverted. 

     

    • Six coal mines marked for end-use under allotment process

     

    • The Coal Ministry has said that it is considering allotment of six coal mines that have been marked for end-uses like power, iron and steel and sale of coal.  
    • The ministry said in a release that applications were received in the case of six out of 15 coal mines, for which it had initiated the auction process for various specified end-uses like Power, Sale of Coal and Iron & Steel.
    • It said, on the basis of evaluation of applications received in the allotment process, mines are under consideration for the allotment.
    • The mines will add over 5 million tonnes coal per annum to the country’s coal output besides reducing the dependence of industries on imported coal.

     

    • BJP approaches EC against Rahul Gandhi’s rape remarks

     

     

    • A BJP delegation today approached the Election Commission over the reported remarks of senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on rape incidents.
    • The delegation led by Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani met the commission and demanded the strongest action against Mr Gandhi.
    • Talking to reporters after the meeting, Ms Irani alleged that Mr Gandhi has used the rape incident as a political tool.
    • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also slammed Rahul Gandhi over his reported remarks.
    • Addressing a press conference in New Delhi today, she termed Rahul Gandhi’s statement as horrendous.
    • Reacting to BJP’s demand for an apology, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi told reporters outside the Parliament that he has simply made a point and will never apologize.

     

    • Nirbhaya’s mother moves SC opposing review plea of convict
    • The mother of the 2012 Delhi gangrape-murder victim Nirbhaya today moved the Supreme Court to oppose a review plea by one of the four men sentenced to death in the case.
    • Akshay Kumar’s plea, seeking review of the apex court’s 2017 verdict giving him capital punishment, is scheduled to be heard by a three-judge bench on December 17th.
    • Meanwhile, a Delhi court will hear on Wednesday a plea seeking issuance of death warrants against the four people convicted in the Nirbhaya gang rape-and-murder case.
    • Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora today deferred the matter till 18th of December noting that the review petition of one of the convicts was pending before the Supreme Court for Tuesday.
    • The court was hearing a plea of Nibhaya’s parents seeking to expedite the process to execute the convicts. The court informed the accused about the next date of hearing and adjourned the matter.
    • One of the convicts Akshay Kumar’s plea, seeking review of the apex court’s 2017 verdict giving him capital punishment, is scheduled to be heard by a three-judge bench on 17th of December.

     

     

     

     

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. Prime Minister meets with Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of People’s Majlis of Maldives

     

    •  Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of People’s Majlis of The Maldives, who is on a visit to India at the joint invitation of the Chairman,Rajya Sabha,  and the Speaker, Lok Sabha, called on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
    • Welcoming Speaker Nasheed, Prime Minister noted that engagement between the two Parliaments is a key component of the vibrant India-Maldives relationship and expressed confidence that this visit will help consolidatebridges of friendship between the two sides.
    • Recalling his last visit to Malé in June this year, when he also addressed the People’s Majlis, Prime Minister lauded the continued strong leadership of Speaker Nasheed to the cause of deepening and strengthening democracy in Maldives. Prime Minister reaffirmed India’s commitment to continue to work closely with the Government of the Maldives for a stable, prosperous and peaceful Maldives wherein the aspirations of the friendly Maldivian are fulfilled.
    • Speaker Nasheed thanked the Prime Minister for his continued support for a stronger India-Maldives relationship since the formation of the new Government in The Maldives last year. He also thanked Prime Minister for the development cooperation initiatives undertaken in The Maldives for the welfare of the Maldivian people. He reaffirmed his unwavering support to the ‘India First’ policy of the Government of Maldives and noted that the visit of the Parliamentary delegation will help further strengthen the fraternal bonds and friendly relations between the two countries.

     

     

    • Mike Pompeo warns Iran of ‘decisive response’ if US interests are harmed in Iraq

     

    • After a series of rocket attacks on Iraqi bases, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday warned Iran of a decisive response if United States interests are harmed in Iraq. US has expressed mounting concern about the flurry of attacks on Iraqi bases used by US troops. Two rocket attacks this week targeted a compound near Baghdad International Airport, which houses US troops.
    • Pompeo said Iran must respect the sovereignty of its neighbours and immediately cease its provision of lethal aid and support to third parties in Iraq and throughout the region. Pompeo pinned the blame for the latest attacks directly on Iran’s proxies.
    • Trump administration, which is close to Iran’s adversaries Saudi Arabia and Israel, has been trying to counter Tehran’s influence around the region, including through sanctions aimed at blocking all its oil exports.
    • The US last week imposed sanctions on three leaders of the Shiite paramilitary force Hashed al-Shaabi, accusing them of taking part in the deadly crackdown on nationwide protests.
    • Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, a close ally of Iran who also enjoyed cordial relations with the United States, resigned after the two months of demonstrations in which around 460 people have died. 

     

    • Chile starts identifying remains of plane crash victims

     

    • In Chile, mortal remains of 38 people killed in a military plane crash were flown yesterday to a military base for identification. A total of 39 relatives of 11 crash victims flew from Santiago to Punta Arenas to provide DNA samples.
    • The plane made no emergency signal prior to its disappearance, on Monday evening, indicating the circumstances of the accident were likely abrupt. 21 passengers and 17 crew members were on the plane headed to a base across the Drake Passage in the Antarctic. Debris from the plane was located in a 12 square mile area in the Drake Passage.
    • Authorities say they have not ruled out anything as to the cause of the crash. The Air Force has said that it will investigate a WhatsApp audio message sent by a passenger to relatives that allegedly said the plane was having electrical problems.

     

    • 15 Indian-origin politicians elected to House of Commons in UK

     

     

     

    • In the United Kingdom, 15 Indian-origin politicians have entered the House of Commons in the historic general election held on Thursday. 
    • Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party registered a thumping majority. Indian-origin candidates across both, the ruling Conservative and Opposition Labour parties registered equally strong results of seven wins each. Around a dozen MPs retained their seats alongside some new faces, making the number in the UK’s lower house to 15.    
    • The former UK Home Secretary Priti Patel is likely to remain in Johnson’s top team in the new Cabinet, after her comfortable win.
    • Gagan Mohindra and Claire Coutinho won for the Conservative Party, Navendru Mishra for Labour and Munira Wilson for the Liberal Democrats is among the first-timers.
    • Among other winners are former International Development Minister Alok Sharma, Shailesh Vara, Goan-origin Suella Braverman, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Preet Kaur Gill, Virendra Sharma among others.
    • The far-right Brexit Party, which had fielded a number of Indian-origin candidates, failed to make a dent in the election, which marked the biggest win for the Conservatives since the 1980s. 

     

    1. US and China reach trade agreement calling for structural reforms & tariff concessions

     

    • The US and China have announced the phase one trade agreement, bringing a big breakthrough after over 18-month-long bruising trade war between the world’s two largest economies threatening to roil the global economy.
    • The phase one of the deal requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange.
    • The deal says if China breaks any part of the agreement, the Trump administration has the ability to re-implement tariffs. US negotiators are offering to significantly reduce existing tariffs on Chinese imports worth about 360 billion dollars.
    • In return, China has promised to buy large quantities of US soybeans, poultry and other agricultural products.
    • If the new, higher tariffs had gone ahead, Chinese-made goods such as smartphones, clothing and toys would have become more expensive for Americans just ahead of Christmas

     

    1. British PM Boris Jhonson wins General Elections in UK

     

    • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won the historic UK General Election as his Conservative Party crossed the magic number of 326 required for a majority in the Parliament.
    • Johnson hailed the projected win for his Conservative Party as a powerful new mandate to move forward with his deal to leave European Union, the 28-member economic bloc.
    • The latest projections put the Johnson-led Conservatives at around 363, but the party can safely celebrate its victory as it comfortably crossed over the half-way finish line for the 650-member House of Commons.
    • The Opposition Labour is projected to get 203 seats, a disastrous performance for the party which resulted in leader Jeremy Corbyn announcing that he would be stepping down.
    • The Conservatives have taken a string of former Labour strongholds, with Labour having lost seats in the north of England, Midlands and Wales in areas that voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.
    • The snap election had been called by Johnson in a bid to win a majority for his Conservative Party and break the Commons deadlock over Brexit.
    • The UK’s Indian diaspora today hailed the impressive victory of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the historic General Election.
    • election marking Johnson’s victory has set the UK to leave the European Union (EU) in the New Year.
    • Britain’s first December election in nearly a century was called by Mr Johnson with a central goal to break the deadlock in Parliament over Britain’s impending exit European Union (EU) and diaspora leaders felt this message resonated with the Indian-origin voters alongside the wider electorate.
    • Mr Johnson won the historic election as his Conservative Party crossed the 326-mark required for a majority in Parliament.
    • Lord Rami Ranger, the co-chair of the Conservative Friends of India (CFIN), said that Boris Johnson will deliver Brexit and take the country to the next level.
    • The survey had thrown up an 18 per cent undecided set of British Indian voters, showing a large chunk of diaspora votes up for grabs which seem to have been capitalized by the Tories.
    • The Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) diaspora outfit pro-actively rallied community votes against what it said was the Labour Party’s betrayal of British Indians.
    • Overall, Boris Johnson’s victory is seen as good news for India-UK relations, given his past track record.

     

     

     

    1. EU warns of ‘challenging’ timeframe for UK trade deal

     

    • European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen today warned of the tight timing for securing a trade deal with Britain, hours after Boris Johnson’s Conservatives won a crushing election victory.
    • Ms Von der Leyen said that the time-frame ahead was very challenging following a discussion by European Union leaders on the way forward after Brexit, now expected on 31st of January.
    • Britain’s first December election in nearly a century was called by Johnson with a main goal to break the deadlock in Parliament over Britain’s impending exit European Union (EU).
    • Mr Johnson won the historic election as his Conservative Party crossed the 326-mark required for a majority in Parliament. 

     

    1. Indonesia Foreign Minister arrives to India on 2-day visit

     

     

     

     

    • Foreign Minister of Indonesia Retno L. P. Marsudi arrived in New Delhi this morning on a two-day visit to India. She will meet External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar this evening and will co-chair the 6th India-Indonesia Joint Commission Meeting.
    • Later Ms Marsudi will give her Ministerial Keynote Address at the combined session of 11th Delhi Dialogue and 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue.
    • The Ministry of External Affairs is hosting the events in New Delhi.
    • The theme for this year’s Delhi Dialogue is Advancing Partnership in Indo-Pacific.
    • The theme of Indian Ocean Dialogue is Indo-Pacific: Re-imagining the Indian Ocean through an Expanded Geography.

     

     

    SPORTS NEWS

     

     

    1. FIH unveils new world ranking system for 2020

     

    • The International Hockey Federation (FIH) unveiled a new world ranking system for 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
    • It will come into effect from the first of next month. For a better reflection of current performances, the new ranking will be match-based instead of tournament-based calculation.  
    • The FIH said, the new world ranking system has been launched after 12 months of painstaking research, analysis and testing.
    • It cited numerous restrictions of the tournament-based system for the change.
    • The world body governing hockey also said that the new model removes much of the subjectivity surrounding continental weighing by creating a system which is fair to all.
    • The outgoing world ranking system was in existence since 2003. It was originally devised to allocate teams into pools at tournaments.
    • The old model allowed nations to earn ranking points two to three times per year.

     

     

     

     

    1. U-17 women’s football: India lose 0-3 to Sweden

    • The India U-17 women’s team began the three-nation football tournament on a disastrous note, going down 0-3 to Sweden in the opening match at the Mumbai Football Arena.
    • For Sweden, Maltida Vinberg in 4th minute, Ida Weindenberg in 25th minute and Monica Jusu Bah in 901 minute scored a goal each as they exposed the weaknesses of the Indian team.
    • India will next take on Thailand in the competition on Tuesday.

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