Showing posts with label World News 2011. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World News 2011. Show all posts

Saturday, June 23, 2012

International Current Affairs 2011 Part-1

Current Affairs [December 2011]
$300m stake in Twitter bought by Saudi prince
  • Saudi prince and billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who is an investor in world’s top companies, also bought a $300 million stake in the fast-growing microblogging site Twitter. By this move the Prince has gained another foothold in the media industry of the world.
Alwaleed is a nephew of the Saudi king and he has a personal net whose worth was estimated by Forbes magazine in March this year and is just some points below $20 billion. Not only this Alwaleed also owns a 7 per cent stake in News Corp and he further plans to start a cable news channel in his homeland.
The stake in the Twitter was bought jointly by Alwaleed and his Kingdom . He also owns a Co investment firm and that the stake was bought after months of negotiations with the sites company. Following the stake buying the shares in the Prince Kingdom jumped to 5.7 percent in stock and trade market in Saudi Arabia.
Microsoft goes a sort of social type
  • The renowned tech company Microsoft has also brought itself in the scene of social media and all this was done in a low key affair. Microsoft also owns a small stake in the Facebook.
the site that has been introduced is made just for students who wants to share interesting discoveries over the internet and the site looks like a composition of both Facebook and Google +.
Though only certain universities have access to this site, the site is a blend of functions like web browsing, search functions and networking and it also includes an interesting feature named “video party”.
Hotline launched by the US for detained immigrants
  • In order to help the detained immigrants a telephone hotline was launched by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement department. This hotline will allow the detained immigrants detained in their country to help them know their rights and to allow them to report cases if they are being treated unfair by other peoples.
The phone number can be used by detained immigrants. The move was launched as the US officials feels that the immigrants they may be US citizens or they may be victims of crime.To ensure that such people who are in custody are properly notified about their rights. The US department guarantees that the phone line is made available 24 hours a day and will be having many interpreters in several languages so as to employee effective communication between the immigrants and the concerned authorities.
US blames Pak for NATO air strike being carried by them
  • As another blow to the already weakened relationship between the US and the Pakistan was announced when the US blamed the Pakistani officials for the NATO strike carried out by them. Be it the aggressive approach towards Pakistan or their tactical need in Afghanistan, all the hopes were laid down to rest when the Pentagon said that the respect all rules engagement and international law of conflict hinting to the NATO strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
Further the Washington even named the incident an act of war. An official said that-“the Pakistani soil misbehaved that led the NATO to strike back. And such response is continued then they will again shot back.
Pentagon spokesman captain John Kirby further said that they have delivered the report regarding the same to Pakistan’s general Kayani in Islamabad by a US officer in charge. The officer is going to explain every detail of the findings to the general.
Hearing for the suspected WikiLeaks leaker concludes
  • The hearing for the WikiLeaks leaker was concluded in a US court. The leaker was a US Army intelligence analyst. He was accused of leaking secret classified files to the WikiLeaks website which gave enemies complete access to government secrets. However the defence lawyer of the accused said that his client has done no crime.
The lawyers from both the sides made several arguments at the hearing in order to decide whether Bradley Manning who is a Private First Class person should be court-martialed for the charges held against at him. The charges include aiding the enemy and wrongfully causing intelligence reports to be published on the Internet that caused furore and a mess for the government.
The prosecution held 22 criminal charges against the accused further saying that the massive release of documents by the accused had caused harm to national security.

Current Affairs [November 2011]
50bps cut on reserve ratio by china
  • China’s bank –People’s Bank of China (PBOC) decreased the reserve ratio for banks by 50bps. This move was taken to support China’s economy as economical growths are getting down in other parts of the world.
Before the announcements on the cuts were made reserve ratio was recorded 21.5%. This is the first such blow on the major monetary loosening by the PBOC since Dec 2008. Not only this the PBOC had earlier raised the RRR 6 times this year and even raised lending limits more than 5 times since the year 2010.The last RRR increase was recorded on June 20th this year.
Unemployment rate drops to 8.6% leading the U.S economy to add 120,000 new jobs
  • In the U.S the unemployment rate dropped to 8.6% which lead to the addition of 120000 new jobs all over the country. This percentage was the lowest to be recorded in the last two years as announced by the Department of Labor.
In October this year the rate was 9%. As the U.S employers added 120000 new jobs this proved to be a significant improvement by the gain of 80000 jobs as compared to last month record.
Although this is still not a good news because if compared with the past 3 months the economy has added only an average of 114000 net jobs every month which is hardly enough to go by the population growth.
At present America still have 14 million jobless people, the economy needs to bulk up the job addition by 250,000jobs a month to bring down the unemployment rate substantially.
Ex-Taliban to attend Afghan talks despite US disapproval
  • Ex-members of Taliban are going to attend the Bonn conference to be held in Germany for the topic about the future of Afghanistan after the year 2014.
The Afghan governments list of invitation to the meeting is being viewed as a crucial step to hammer out the country’s future but regarding the invitation to the former members of Taliban the U.S officials have backed out of the meeting.
The organizations former ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef along with other members of the delegation has already reached France to discuss in advance about the agenda of the meeting.
Regarding the meeting the US ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker said that there is no place for the involvement of former Taliban members to attend the meeting in order to decide the future of the troubled country.
British PM weighs in on euro-zone changes
  • German drive for swift change for the European Union’s treaty. This treaty is a sign of the difficulty that the leaders will face while transforming Europe to save the euro. In the meeting both the countries France and Germany are going to decide to reach to a solution of reaching a consensus that states that all euro zone economies are required to be bounded more closely if they want the euro to survive as a single currency. This means that changing the European treaty to give Brussels powers in order to punish spendthrift euro states.
Current Affairs [October 2011]
Unemployement rates down in U.S
  • New employees added by the U.S were less than what was expected but the latest data on job employement showed that unemployement rates in the U.S went down which gave U.S President Barack Obama a new boost to fight against un-employement. In Octobar itself payrolls for non-farm organisations were up by 8000, making a jump on the payrolls amount in September.Analysts have said that though the employement rate will evolve rapidly, but the pace at which the growth will depend is still slow to keep pace with the country’s population.
Libyan dictator Gaddafi captured and killed
  • Libyan rebels captured toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi in his home town Sirte after taking control over his home town and consequently killed him in bid to take revenge for all the haunting massacre he performed. Though the initial reports claimed that Col Gaddafi was wounded when he was caught but later reports confirmed that he was killed by bullet shots forged into his head. A video showed that Gaddafi before being killed was severely wounded, beaten and mocked by the rebels and that after he died his body was taken on for display to the nearby locals. Even his son Mo’tassim were killed in crossfire when he was trying to escape and that the bodies of both Col Gaddafi and Mo’tassim were buried on an unknown desert location in order to prevent their graves from converting into a shrine by any remaining follower of the dictator. After the news of Gaddafi’s assassination broke out wild celebrations were performed in the city that is being secured by the NTC forces.
Industrial growth improving
  • The industrial production of India expanded but less than what was expected in the August month giving more evidences of Asia’s third largest economy’s industrial development slowdown.Industry expert say that the reason for slowdown is the soaring interest rates and high inflation ratio in the country.The growth lagged by 4.1 percent as compare to the growth in the August month but there was only slight improvement in the growth that was calculated in the month of July.
Delivery of arms to Taiwan by U.S moving at snail’s pace
  • Reports say that the transfer of U.S arms to Taiwan is moving at a very slow pace in contrary to what was expected. The chief for the U.S –China ties that slowdown is affecting several major weapons system transfer.The 2011 annual report showed that only 4 out of 60 Hawk helicopters for e.g. were placed in mid October even though the U.S administration informed the makers of the planned sale meant for Taiwan.The lag between the transfer of important and sophisticated weapons to Taiwan may lead to rise of question about the lack of urgency either on the U.S side or Taiwan’s side or for both.
Punjab militancy being revived by ISI
  • As suggested by the U.S reports , the Inter- Services Intelligence of Pakistan is continuing its activities to create instability in India. ISI is a spy agency which has close links with the Islamic terrorist organisation, is now focusing on Khalistani extremist groups to train them and to send them to create terrorism in the Punjab province. In the month of October the terrorist group Lashkar- e – Taiba which is being backed by the ISI agency joined hands with the Khalistani extremist groups Babbar Khalsa to make terror strikes in the Indian state Punjab and in its capital city New Delhi. Their previous attempt of attack was foiled by the security personnel when they caught a huge cache of explosive from a car in Ambala city.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai spoke up in a news conference
  • Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai spoke during a news conference in Kabul about the so called reality check imposed on him as said by U.S secretary of state Hillary Clinton during her visit to Afghanistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that as said he will be cooperating with neighbouring country Pakistan on both the topics related to war and economic development. He further said that he considers its neighbouring country Pakistan as his twin brother and that he will be by Pakistan’s side whenever the former needs any sort of assistance.
7.2 Richter scale earthquake hits Turkey
  • An earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale hit Turkey killing a number of people on 23 October. As per the reports approximately 93 people died in the Van province and around 45 died in the Erics district. As the rescue operation is going on it is said that the death toll will rise a more bodies will be evacuated from the debris. The earthquake depth was 20 kilometres with its epicentre 16 kilometre away from the Van city’s north east region. Not only this after the massive earthquake the eastern part of Turkey was struck by a series of powerful jolts with their centre in the north of Van that made things more worse than ever. After 7.2 , the Turkish region experienced two more jolts measured 6 and 5.6 on the Richter scale. Scientists say that turkey is prone to earthquakes as it lies in the major geological fault lines.
Vietnam and Indian signed a total of 6 agreements
  • Vietnam and India have signed a total of six agreements that included joint oil exploration in South China Sea. The agreement was signed during the Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to India. The agreement included the following things: Friendship pact Oil exploration in South China Sea The Extradition Treaty between the two countries Cooperation in sports and tourism Not only this both the countries also signed a Security Dialogue between their home ministries. And both the countries have decided to increase their trade target by 8 million dollars by the year 2015. The present trade target is around 2.8 million U.S dollars. And both the countries discussed the situation regarding the Oil exploration on the South China Sea.
Current Affairs [August 2011]
Zardari nods to cooperate with China
    • Pakistan will cooperate with China to overcome terrorism and secessionism, cited Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani President. Zardari repeated Pakistan’s pledge to get rid of extremism and he promised China of his nation’s full cooperation in overcoming terrorism and secessionism, reported Associated Press of Pakistan. The Pakistani president landed in China in late August to be present at the first China-Eurasia Expo to be hosted by Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, in the first week of September. He alleged Pakistan denounces terrorism in all its types and appearances and will not relax on any attempt to get rid of it. Zardari also talked about his daughters were on board with him on the trip, which is a testimony of the relationships between the two nations existing since generations. He further talked about the upcoming trip of Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to China later on this week to be present at the International Political Conference and assumed it demonstrates Pakistan and China were making efforts to fortify relations and ultimately deep-rooting their international polity.
United States downgraded to AA+
  • The United States parted company with its respected AAA credit rating for the first time in seven decades after being downgraded by Standard & Poor’s. The country’s credit rating was cut to AA+ following S&P alleged the conciliation made by Congress and President Obama in early August to slash expenditure and enhance the liability upper limit “doesn’t meet the level, in our view, would be essential to even out the government’s standard-term debt dynamics.” The agency was frank in its evaluation. Its statement read: “We downgraded the 70-year long AAA rating of the United States since we think that the protracted storm over increasing the constitutional liability upper limit and the associated monetary policy debate point out that additional upcoming development surrounding the increase in public expenditure, particularly on privileges, or coming to an agreement on generating income is less probable than we formerly understood and will stay put to a arguable and intermittent procedure,” the ratings firm believed.
Current Affairs [July 2011]
Death toll rises in Syria
  • Death toll rises in Syria on the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad in the city of Hama. The military tanks pounded the city creating scenes like that of 1982 massacre. Human rights activists said that the assaults killed at least 24 civilians, included 10 in Hama. All this happened when the troops with the help of tanks tried to control the people. This violent attack led to the death of total 134 people throughout Syria in just 3 days. 90 of the people died only in Hama.
  • The government said that they have also lost more than 500 soldiers and security officials in the violent revolt. The condition of Hama prompted many Syrians to show and demonstrate solidarity from the start of Ramadan. Syria has been facing international wrath for its harsh measures.
War will continue even if NATO stops bombings-Gaddafi
  • Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has said that the war will go on even if the NATO team stops bombing. This has left no room for diplomacy from the Gaddafi’s camp in order to stop the five month long conflict. Do not even think that after all the sacrifices we have made or our sons, brothers have made by sacrificing their lives we will stop fighting. Nothing sort of it will happen said the Libyan leader.
  • The rebels and the western forces have continued pressure on the leader even as the holy month of Ramadan began. The NATO has continued its bombings forcing the loyalist of the leader to give up. Also the rebels have seized up half of the country but they continue to loose the ground against the trained Gaddafi forces. Regardless of the fact that whether the NATO stops bombing or not the Gaddafi government will continue its fight till Libya is liberated said the Libyan leader.
Hina Rabbani khar appointed as Pak’s new Foreign Minister
  • Hina Rabbani Khar was appointed as Pakistan’s new foreign minister. Khar ,34, is the youngest minister to accept the post. This came as a big surprise for the people. Khar was elected twice to the national assembly during Musharrafs’ reign in 2002 and during Benazir’s stint in the year 2008. She never went public to win campaign. Since she belongs to a political family it is said that for any years the seat was with held by her father Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar and she gives her winning credit to her political father.
  • Rabbabi offers hope to a number of women in Pakistan not in terms of their lifestyle but in terms of their way to choose their lives. We have in the past few years the evolvement of women in Pakistan. The list includes the likes of Fatima Jinnah to Benazir Bhutto, Asma Jahangir, Sherry Rehman and now Hina Rabbani Khar. Now women are rejecting the roles that many men try to cast them in. Since her appointment as the foreign minister of Pakistan Khar has been continuously criticised because to is too young to handle foreign affairs of Pakistan and that she holds a degree in hospitality management and she even has a degree in economics. But with a country with young population Khar seems to be making place for herself.
George Best’s ex wife blames phone hacking scandal for his death 
  • Ex wife of late footballer George Best claimed that the phone hacking scandal lead to Best’s death. During the investigation police found out that Best,59 died from multiple organ failure in 2005 and that his phone was hacked by Glenn Mulcaire who is a private investigator. Alex Best a fomer model and former wife of Best reportedly has said that the phone hacking lead to increased pressure on her former footballer husband which resulted in his death.
  • HShe said that Best was an alcoholic and that when a person is subjected to tremendous pressure then they ultimately turn to alcohol for some relief. But Best had so many problems related with alcohol such that with the increasing pressure and alcoholic problem finally lead to his death.
China to launch safety campaign after the severe train crash 
  • After facing public wrath and outrage China’s rail minister ordered a two month safety campaign and has apologized for the accident which killed around 39 people in the country’s Zhejiang province. This is the deadliest rail accident in the province of China after the year 2008. Beijing sacked three of its rail officials even before the investigation began.
  • China’s rail minister has said that the safety campaign will extend till September and that the campaign will focus mainly on the operation involving high speed trains. China’s government is trying hard to calm down the people after the accident by taking various measures as possible.
Current Affairs [June 2011]
Pravakar Sahoo – China leave India trailing
  • As compared to India, China is very antagonistic in the Bangladesh market. Except for price competition of Chinese goods, the friendly approach of Chinese sellers and executives at the customs is a reason to smile for traders in Bangladesh. When China comes into this scene Visa has never been a problem; China attracts ventures from Bangladesh to chip in showings for improved data on Chinese goods.
  • Chinese sellers are all set to spruce up well-known goods on the demand of Bangladeshi importers to provide to the price responsive local marketplace of their South Asian neighbors. Plus, Chinese industry corporations deal with transportations, trade intricacies, and over and over again take notes on grievances. In a good number of industries, China is prepared for expertise transmit, while our very own Indian industries are yet to be. The country is not only playing with their business connections, but now has only a negligible investment presence in Bangladesh.
Trades between India and Canada to reach $15 Billion:
  • EEPC India with a purpose to accomplish considerable increase in trade for manufacturing goods and services prepared a colloquium on being involved in business transactions with Canada. Talking on the colloquium the Joint Secretary Department of Commerce, Shri Arvind Mehta said, “Bearing in mind the fact, that China now has a widespread existence in Canada this episode could share the accomplishments on different added steps employed by the Government of India all through this year”.
  • The official further talked about the cut rate and uniqueness of the Indian producers will be of immense assistance to Canada as it is currently counting those countries that are a step ahead of NAFTA for trade development. The Consul General of India, Mrs. Preeti Saran in addition was present at the event. Even as conveying her important lecture she was buoyant that these events can direct to our targeted growth in trade involving the two nations.
  • Acting High Commissioner, Mr. Mario-Ste-Marie, and High Commission of Canada in New Delhi was as well in attendance. EEPC INDIA through the backing of Indian High Commission at the Canadian Capital and Canadian High Commission in the Indian Capital are arranging the second season of the famous show in Toronto, “India Show”. “India Show” Toronto, Canada is being prepared at most appropriate time with this year being confirmed as the “Year of India in Canada” by Dr. Manmohan Singh, respected Prime Minister of our country and Mr. Stephen Harper, his Canadian opposite number. This came in the light of Mr. Harper’s visit to India in November 2009
Healthy Rankings for India on Global Stage:
  • II, Confederation of Indian Industry and INSEAD examine on ranking countries on innovation, known as GII, Global Innovation Index was revealed in Geneva, Switzerland for the current year. The whole examination is a once a year attempt to evaluate dissimilar enablers for policy makers and added share holders such as trade and foundations to assess their dealings and impacts in comparison with additional countries in order that they can employ valuable measures. Formed about 4 years ago, GII examines they way nations influence their running surroundings to excite improvement outcomes. Five posts make up the innovation effort sub-index and these include foundations, research and development in the human resource department, socio-economic infrastructure, market advancements and trade advancements. The innovation production sub-index is made up of two pillars: creative outputs and scientific outputs.
  • In the overall innovation Index, the country has ranked 62 for the year 2011 when evaluated against the position in the year 2010 of 56. Switzerland has been the leader of all these countries, climbing from 3rd in the GII for the year 2010, 2nd and 3rd positions are respectively held by Sweden and Singapore. Six countries from the EU make up the Top 10 list and it also takes in Hong Kong, the United States of America as well as Canada which are 4th, 7th and 8th. The only emerging economy that reached the Top 30 ranks in GII was China at 29.
  • Dr. Naushad Forbes, Chair of the CII Innovation Council 2011-12 and Director of Forbes Marshall, said “At present there is some buzz about innovation in the entire world in all types beginning from commerce to government to civilization. Following the current economic decelerate the spotlight has swung evidently towards the budding regions not just with respect to a thriving possible market but also an attractive place for economical innovations.
  • Analyzing this swing is vital to identify in what we are moving forward, GII is an initial spot to do that and undeniably on the correct path Roland Berger Professor of Business and Technology at INSEAD, Soumitra Dutta, and editor of the examination believes that innovation is dangerous to motivating development in both developed and budding economies, particularly for the period of a time when the worldwide economy is current recovering from past plummets. Except for CII, the year 2011 the added three knowledge allies in Global Innovation Index are the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), Booze & Company and Alcatel-Lucent
Current Affairs [May 2011]
Most wanted deadly terrorist Osama Bin Laden Dead
    • The most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden was finally gunned down by the US troops in alliance with CIA agents. The deadly terrorist was killed in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. This city of Pakistan houses at least 5, 00,000 people that includes a Pakistani military base and a military academy. After Osama refused to surrender he was shot dead by the US military troops. News of his death spread like wild fire and the Americans relieved to joy.
    • In the light of this news a Pakistani parliamentary training centre was attacked by two suicide bombers which killed 80 people and wounded more than 120 people. All this attack was announced as retaliation for the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
    • Following the attacks the Taliban took the responsibility and even condemned the Pakistani government from failing to stop the US military raid.
IMF head arrested for sexual assault:
    • IMF (International Monetary Fund) head Dominique Strauss Kahn was arrested for sexually assaulting a maid at a Manhattan Hotel. Dominique who’s also a political figure in France was taken into custody at Kennedy International Airport. His arrest aroused a mixed sense of disbelief, anger and embarrassment among the masses in France. Dominique had a well formed reputation among the political Supremes.
    • Dominique was even considered as the next best candidate for presidential seat after the Nicolas Sarkozy. Following his arrest Strauss has resigned as the Managing Director of IMF. On may 19th Strauss was indicted with multiple charges like attempted to rape, sexual abuse amongst others.
Floods leads to massive Evacuations Along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers : 
    • Heavy rains have caused severe flooding in the regions of Ohio valleys and Mississippi. All the regions like Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri and Arkansas are flooded heavily and have been evacuated leaving people to leave their home and move towards higher planes for shelter. The engineers and disaster control management team have been working on how to lower the river level in order to stop further destruction. As per the sources the flooding water in the river of Mississippi is flowing at a massive speed nearly 17 million gallons a second. And the river level has risen above the danger level that is to 56.3 feet which is 13 feet above the danger level. Flood control department is deciding to open the portion Morganaza Spillway but it has its own danger effect that is it will flood the other areas’.
French nationals to sue sarkozy over crimes in Libya:
    • Two French lawyers have said that they are planning to sue French President Nicolas Sarkozy against the Humanity crimes over the military campaign in Libya that was led by NATO. Jacques Verges and Roland Dumas two of the French lawyers have decided to represent the families of the victims during the military campaign. It was said that the military campaign that was initiated as a means to protect the civilians was in fact responsible for their killings. The two lawyers said the military campaign as an inhuman assault against the common man and a sovereign country, and that they have decided to defend the victims of the military campaign.
    • It was said that the two lawyers have decided to defend the victims of the NATO bombings because they themselves saw the aftermath consequences of the bombings when they visited Libya.
    • Though the western government has denied any civilian casualties caused during the NATO bombings, Verges and Dumas have said that they had seen several such casualties at various such hospitals and there are almost 20,000 such victims.
Pakistan gets Chinese aid against the US raids.
    • After the killing of the deadly terrorist Osama Bin Laden, US have accused Pakistan Government for harbouring the deadly terrorist for many years. Now by doubling its military attacks on Pakistan the US wants to enter into the sphere that’s influenced by the Chinese Government. But in retaliation to the Obama Administration the Chinese government has again lend a helping hand towards Pakistan by providing air arsenal and even warned the US government that any sort of attack on Pakistan would considered as an inhuman and unfriendly attack on the Chinese government too.
    • The Chinese government has clearly said that any attack on Pakistan will be considered as an attack against China which will not be tolerated. This is the 1st such blunt ultimatum for the US government after the Soviet warning during the crisis in Berlin in the year 1958-1961. This indicates the danger of war between the two countries Pakistan and the US.
    • China’s support has been a critically important for the Pakistani government and this relation is not seen as good for the US and the Indian government as it has been said that: “If the US and the Indian government continues to put pressure on the Pakistani government, then Pakistan officials can say that we are not alone our friend China is Behind us. We have a super power nation as our friend”.
Death toll rising at fast pace and the massive unrest continues to grow
    • The Syrian protests have entered their tenth week and thousands of protestors came to the streets all over the country after the Friday prayers. In order to keep police and the security forces at bay the protest this time were held during the nights over the weekends. As per the reports at least two people were killed during the army operation in Rastan away from the city of Homs. Even many activists called the day for massive demonstration against the brutal torture and killing of a 13year old boy named as Hamza-al-Khatib.
    • As per the reports from the local media 32 soldiers and some police personnel were also injured during the clashes and 3 police men lost their life. Also a policeman’s son was among the ones who were killed during the clashes between the protestors and the forces.
    • As the reports around 143 soldiers, police men and security forces have lost their lives from the day the unrest began in the country and more than 1000 people have been killed during the clashes and almost 10,000 arrested.
    • In the midst of the clashes the Interior Minister Ibrahim al Shaar has announced that he is going to listen to the complaints of the civilians in person.
Fear grows as EU suspends all aid to Syria
  • Almost 100 of people are about to lose their jobs as the EU has decided to cut down on all major aids to the Syrian government. Tishreen newspaper was quoted as saying that though the Syrian government will be affected by the aid cancellation but the common man will suffer the most as they will be on the verge to lose their jobs. It is said that in order to loosen up the stability of the Syrian government the stopping of aid is one such step by the European government.
  • Meanwhile the G-8 has announced support of around 40bn for the Arab countries. This support is meant in order to help the Arab countries to move towards a better Democratic government policy. Half of the sum from the 40bn support will be spent for the Tunisian and the Egyptian government reform.
  • Russian premier Dmitry Medvedev was quoted as saying that the Russian government is not going to back EU states and the US at the security council meet.
Current Affairs [April 2011]
Oscar Nominated Director killed in Libya
    • Two veteran journalists including Oscar nominated Director Tim Hetherington were killed in the town of Mistrata on 13/4/2011 while covering the battles between the rebels and the Libyan government forces. Tim (40) was nominated this year for codirecting the Afghanistan war story Restrepo in Best Documentary category. Chris Hondros, a New York-based photographer for Getty Images, was also killed. His work has appeared in many famous magazines and newspapers all around the World and has been awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal, which is one of the most prestigious awards for War Photography. Two other journalists Guy Martin and Michael Christopher Brown, who were freelancing for several large publications were also wounded.
Japan Atomic Crisis Reaches Chernobyl Level as Radiation Climbs
    • Japan’s nuclear safety agency has raised the severity level of the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant from level 5 to level 7 which ranks it on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. It doesn’t mean it’s as bad as Chernobyl but it’s still a negative development nonetheless. There have been only two level-seven incidents in nuclear history: the Chernobyl catastrophe 25 years ago in the Ukraine and now Fukushima, on the east coast of Japan. The disaster in Ukraine spewed debris as high as 9 kilometers into the air and released radiation 200 times the volume of the combined bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a 2006 report commissioned by Europe’s Green Party. The March 11 earthquake, the nation’s strongest on record, and tsunami left about 27,500 dead or missing, according to Japan’s National Police Agency. Japan was struck by two earthquakes stronger than magnitude 6 again on April that hindered recovering efforts as workers were temporarily evacuated.
Kate marries Prince William 
    • Prince William second in line to the throne married his long time girlfriend Kate Middleton at a service in London’s West Minister Abbey on 29/4/2011. The pair exchanged in the presence of close to two thousand guests while the rest of the World watched it live on television. It was the most eagerly awaited and anticipated wedding since the Charles and Diana wedding. Middleton looked beautiful in her ivory and white satin dress with lace sleeves and shoulders, designed by Sarah Burton of the Alexander McQueen fashion house. The crowds cheered when the newly weds travelled in an open carriage on their way back to the Buckingham Palace from the abbey. Hundreds of thousands of people appeared in front of the palace to witness the kiss between the newly weds from the balcony while street parties where held across the United Kingdom to cheer the royal couple. The wedding was watched by close to two billion people across the globe. The couple will be known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge following their marriage.
Osama Bin Laden killed in Pakistan 
    • The worlds most dreaded terrorist Osama Bin Laden has been shot dead by American Navy Seals on 2/5/2011 after he was found to be staying in relative luxury in a house just few hundred meters away from a Pakistani military academy in Abbotabad. Bin Laden was shot in the face and chest when the American forces sprung a surprise attack and the whole mission was performed without the consent or the knowledge of Pakistan. Obama, in his address to the nation shortly before midnight, thanked the Americans who have toiled in pursuit of bin Laden and applauded those who carried out the successful mission in Pakistan. “For over two decades, bin Laden has been Al Qaeda’s leader and symbol,” Obama said. “The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda.” This comes as a real embarrassment to the Pakistani government which has been maintaining for many years now that Osama was not there in Pakistan. And to find him holed up in a facility just yards away from a prestigious military academy which is also just a couple of hours away from Islamabad poses many tough questions regarding Pakistani’s commitment to fighting terror. The US government had further declared that they would carry out such operations again in the future if the need arises. The US is already mulling over whether they should sanction further aid to Pakistan unless they come up with satisfactory answers regarding how Osama was found where he was. This is a serious intelligence lapse and does not auger well for the country that is already reeling under various problems that threaten the very fabric of the nation. It remains to be seen how the nation will cope with the allegations.
Syria lifts emergency rule
  • Syria’s government approved lifting the country’s nearly 50-year-old state of emergency on 19/4/2011 in an effort to satisfy the one of the key demands of the anti government protestors. But the government also issued a stern warning to call of the protests against President Bashar Assad’s hard line rule. Assad the previous week had told his cabinet to remove the state of emergency – in place since his Baath Party took power in March 1963 – but added that such a move would give protesters no more reason to take to the streets. This could give Assad further pretext to move against any further marches or rallies. The Syrian population how ever shows no signs of letting down after being inspired by the successful revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt. Most of Syria’s 23 million people were born or grew up under the strict control of the state of emergency. Assad hard line rule means strict control over the media, allowing eavesdropping on telecommunications and permitting arrests without warrants from judicial authorities.
Current Affairs [March 2011]
Earthquake and Tsunami strike Japan
    • A powerful earthquake of 8.9 magnitude struck Japan on its north eastern coast on 11/3/2011. The earthquake resulted in a massive tsunami that caused wide scale destruction and loss of thousands of lives. Cars, ships and buildings were all swept away by the rampaging waters of the Tsunami which struck about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo. The port city of Sendai in Miyagi prefecture was one of the worst affected. Ten metre waves struck the city deluging everything that was part of it-farmlands, cars, buildings, houses etc. Fires broke out in the city following the deluge. A cluster of two to three hundred bodies were found in one part of this city alone. This is the most powerful natural disaster to have struck Japan in its recorded history and is considered 8000 times more powerful than what struck Christchurch in New Zealand earlier this year.
      As of March 30th 2011 according to official estimates the death toll now stands at 11,257 while another 16,344 people are still missing. Many of the survivors who have been displaced have lost all their property to the Tsunami. More than 173,200 people are living in the 2000 evacuation centres in the 17 prefectures mostly in the northern side of the country. Among the worst affected prefectures which are Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate 146,628 displaced people have been housed in close to 1,245 evacuation centres.
Nuclear Crisis
    • The massive earthquake that struck the north east coast of Japan has resulted in a catastrophic situation at the Fukushima Nuclear power plant. When the earthquake struck they switched off the reactor and where about to use the onsite diesel back up power. The tsunami then struck and the back up power also failed. Hence after losing electric power, that system could not be used. Instead the operators are dumping seawater into the vessel and letting it cool the fuel by boiling. But as it boils, pressure rises too high to pump in more water, so they have to vent the vessel to the atmosphere, and feed in more water, a procedure known as “feed and bleed.” Thousands of people residing in areas close to the plant were evacuated. Over the following days there have been many instance of radiation exposure traced in the vicinity. Radioactive water found in and outside reactor buildings is delaying work to restore cooling functions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Libyan Uprising
    • Having received inspiration from the revolutions of Egypt and Tunisia the next country to vehemently protest against government autocracy is the North African country of Libya. The public are fighting to bring down Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year rule and are demanding new leadership and democratic elections. What actually began as a series of peaceful demonstrations took ugly turns when Gaddafi’s army tried to crush protests by using force eventually turning into an all out civil war in the days to come. In a matter of days the uprising had spread to other parts of Libya and Gaddafi was having trouble retaining control over many parts of the country. Gaddafi a harder nut to crack than Mubarak has continued to be on the offensive and refuses to give up power in spite of all the diplomatic pressure, much to the chagrin of his own country men. On 19/3/2011 a multi-state coalition began a military intervention in Libya to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which was taken in response to the uprising in Libya. The military operations began, with US and British forces firing over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles, the French Air Force and British Royal Air Force[ undertaking sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by the Royal Navy. Air strikes against Libyan Army tanks and vehicles by French jets have since been confirmed. The situation is far from peaceful and remains to be seen what would be the outcome of the situation in the days to come.
Elizabeth Taylor passes away
  • One of Hollywood’s greatest icons Dame Elizabeth Taylor breathed her last on 23/3/2011 due to congestive heart failure. The 79 year old actress has been in the public eye for six decades having won three academy awards and has acted in over 50 films. The Cleopatra star's stunning looks, including her famed violet eyes, earned her fans around the globe and her stormy personal life that included eight marriages received as much press interest as some of her best works. She won two Oscars for her performances in “Butterfield 8”(1960) and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966) and a third Oscar for her humanitarian work in 1993. The actress has also battled many health ailments undergoing as much as 20 surgeries during the course of her life. In her later years she was a spokeswoman for several causes, most notably AIDS research.
Current Affairs [February 2011]
Mubarak resigns, Egypt celebrates
    • The people of Egypt went wild with celebrations after President Hosni Mubarak resigned and handed power to the military on 11th February. For eighteen days thousands of people had taken to the streets all over Egypt demanding the ouster of their autocratic President who had been in power for the past thirty years. One of the key reasons for such public outrage has been widespread poverty, inflation and rampant corruption in the government for many years. Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the anti-government protests burst with joy when the announcement was made. This has been a hard fought struggle for the people of Egypt after many episodes of violence having been reported between the public and Mubaraks forces.
China overtakes Japan as world’s second-biggest economy
    • China has now overtaken Japan as the world’s second-biggest economy. Japan’s economy was worth $5.474 trillion (£3.414 trillion) at the end of 2010, figures from Tokyo have shown while that of China’s economy is closer to $5.8 trillion for the same period. China has been enjoying a manufacturing boom for quite a few years now and it is expected that at its current rate of growth, analysts see China replacing the US as the world’s top economy in about a decade. The US economy is currently almost three times the size of the Chinese economy in dollar terms.
New Zealand earthquake strikes Christchurch, killing at least 148 people
    • A massive earthquake on 22nd Feb has caused massive destruction in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. The 6.3-magnitude earthquake was the second in five months for the city and the death toll continues to increase with the police having confirmed 148 deaths with 200 still missing. The damage caused has been said to be much worse than the 7.1-magnitude quake on 4 September, which left two people seriously injured but no fatalities. The city’s historic cathedral was one of the many buildings that got significantly damaged, while cars lay in a mangled heap under a pile of rubble and roads cracked open with fissures as a result of the tremors. Dazed, bleeding residents could be seen wandering through streets strewn with debris and piles of concrete.
Libyan people take to the streets in their demand for freedom
    • Inspired by the outcomes of Tunisia and Egypt over the past few weeks the people of Libya have also taken out to the streets in their cries for freedom against their autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi. Thousands of people have joined the struggle and there have been continuous reports of frequent clashes with the Muammars loyalists and the protesting public. Scores of people have been reported killed in continuing violence in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, amid escalating protests against Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year rule across the North African nation. With each passing day the leader seems to be losing support from people working in his own government and is also under increasing pressure from International powers to step down.
The Kings Speech Wins Best Picture at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards
  • ‘The Kings Speech’ had a great outing at this years Oscars winning four awards. The film won in the best picture category and its director Tom Hooper received Best Director. Colin Firth received the award for best actor for his central role in Kings Speech while best female actor went to Natalie Portman for Black Swan. ‘The Best Supporting Actor’ and The Best Supporting Actress’ awards were bagged by Christian Bale and Melissa Leo for their performances in film, ‘The Fighter’. Indian musician AR Rahman missed out on his two nominations for his score in ‘127 hours.’
Current Affairs [January 2011]
  • Salman Taseer Killed in Islamabad
    Punjab Governor Salman Tasser was shot dead by one of his own body guards at the Khosar market in Islamabad. Taseer was a member of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party(PPP) and was vocal on a various issues including Pakistans Blasphemy Law. The assassin was Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, a member of Punjab Elite Force who shot the Governor with his weapon and surrendered to the security forces moments after shooting the governor dead. Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters that the killer admitted to killing the Governor over his statement when he called the Blasphemy Law as a “black law”.
  • Iranian plane crash kills 77
    The IranAir Boeing 727 was flying from Tehran with 106 passengers when it came down and crashed near the city of Orumiyeh. With 77 casualties at least 35 people have said to have been injured. According to official reports plane had taken off an hour later than scheduled, and came down because of bad weather conditions. This is the second major crash since 2009 when a plane caught fire mid are resulting 168 deaths. The country has been under international sanctions for years, preventing it from buying new aircrafts or spare parts from the West. Hence as a result the countries civil fleet of aircrafts are in poor condition due to their old age and lack of maintenance.
  • 35 dead at Moscow Airport Blast.
    A suicide bomber carrying a suitcase walked into Moscow’s busy Domodedovo airport and set off a huge explosion Monday, killing at least 35 people and wounding 180. The air was engulfed in a cloud of smoke with body parts and shrapnel strewn all over the place. Hundreds of people were in the loosely guarded area at the time. The blast was the worst terrorist attack since two female suicide bombers from the troubled Dagestan region blew themselves up on Moscow’s subway last March, killing 40 people.
  • Whistleblower Elmer hands over bank data to Wikileaks
    Swiss whistle-blower and former banker Rudolf Elmer has given WikiLeaks information about bank accounts of more than 2,000 prominent individuals who have parked money offshore. Rudolf Elmer once worked in the office of Julius Baer in the Cayman Islands until he was fired by the bank in 2002. The Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer handed over two CDs containing the data to the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, in London on 16/1/2011. However Julian Assange has said the information was unlikely to be published soon and may take a few weeks to process and confirm them.
  • Brisbane Faces Worst Flood Since 1893
    Brisbane faces its worst floods since 1893 as overflowing rivers have begun to engulf the city. Overnight, emergency workers went from door to door in Brisbane helping residents flee to higher ground, with hundreds relocating to evacuation centres. About 2500 businesses are said to be fully affected and another 2500 partially affected. Close to 3000 people are in evacuation centres across the state and 60 schools and almost 90 kindergartens and childcare centres have been severely damaged or are inaccessible. The death toll from the floods disaster has risen to 15 and the many parts of the city have been affected by massive power cuts.
  • Massive Protests Rock Egypt
    Egypt has been rocked by violent protests by demonstrators who have been demanding the ouster of the country’s longtime autocratic president, Hosni Mubarak. Tens and thousandths of people have taken out to streets raising slogans with protests turning violent in many parts of the country. The tension increased today when Mohammed ElBaradei, a former top official at the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency and a high-profile Mubarak opponent was placed under house arrest when he returned to Cairo in his bid to provide a leader for the mass movement.

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