International Current Affairs | International Current Affairs Month Wise | International Current Affairs From 2009 to 2010

April 2009 International Affairs

· The International Yearbook of Industrial Statistics 2009 of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) ranks India as the fourth leading producer of automobiles, petroleum products, textiles, electrical machinery and apparatus, basic metals, chemicals and chemical products, leather products coke and nuclear fuel after China, USA and Italy.

· On April 2, 2009, leaders of the Group of 20 countries met in London and agreed to a $1.1 trillion (Rs 55 lakh crore) deal to combat the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
· North Korea announced that it had successfully conducted it’s second nuclear test, defying international warnings.
· Nejib Tun Razak sworn in as Malaysia’s sixth Prime Minister in the constitutional monarch’s palace in Kuala Lumpur.
· A 6.3-magnitude earthquake striked Italy – its worst in three decades, killing 289 and leaving some 30,000 homeless.

· Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opened a nuclear fuel plant in Isfahan province and announced the testing of two high capacity centrifuges.

· Russia cancelled 1999 decree that imposed a regime of “anti-terror operation” in Chechnya and formally declared it a zone of peace. It has recalled the tight security regime that has been in force in the region for the past decade.

· France has announced to train a 500-strong Somali battalion to help support the country’s fledging security forces against Islamist militants and pirate gangs.

· South Africa’s long dominant African National Congress has won overwhelmingly in parliamentary elections. Jacob Zuma was re elected as the president.

June-2009 International Affairs

* American House passed climate bill : Climate bill was formulated under American Clean Energy and Security act. According to this bill, green house gases emission should be reduced by 17% in 2020 and by 83% in 2050 when compared to 2005.
*The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) met at Yekaterinburg
SCO is an intergovernmental and inter-state grouping to enhance regional cooperation in a multiple area, where Pakistan holds an Observer status on SCO along with India, Iran, and Mongolia, while China, Russia, Kazakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are full members of the organization.
* BRIC Nations met in Russia.
* European people’s parliament won EU parliament elections.
*WHO declares swine flu as pandemic.
* Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad won in Iran elections.

July-2009 International Affairs

*Susilo Bambang was re elected as Indonesian President.

*Yukayi Amano from Japan was elected as the Director General of IAEA.

* US President Barack Obama said he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are countering “a sense of drift” in relations between their nations with preliminary agreement to reduce the world’s two largest nuclear stockpiles to as few as 1,500 warheads each.

August-2009 International Affairs

* Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) has made Rs.4125crores deal with Spielberg’s Dreamworks Studios to produce 5-6 movies per year.
* Typhoon Morakot has hit Taiwan. The government has claimed at least 500 people dead and a loss of 3 billion dollars.
* China Becomes India’s Largest Trade Partner
China has emerged as India’s largest trading partner, replacing US in 2008-09. Bilateral trade engagement between India and China stood at Rs 1,63,202 crore (nearly $36 billion) in April to February 2008-09, an increase of nearly 7% over Rs 1,52,713 crore in the year ago period. In the same period, bilateral trade between India and the US dipped 7.5% and stood at Rs 1,55,353 crore (approximately $34 billion).
* Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the Supreme Court’s first Hispanic justice and only third female member in the top U.S. court’s 220-year history.

September 2009 International Affairs

* The World report on road traffic injury prevention is the major report being jointly issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank. According to the most dangerous place in the world to travel on roads is in the impoverished East African state of Eritrea and the safest road conditions were found in Marshall Islands.

* The opposition Democratic Party won election defeating Liberal Democratic Party which ruled Japan for 54 years. Yukio Hatoyama will be chosen as the Prime Minister.

* Fiji has been suspended from the Commonwealth after it failed to respond to a demand to begin restoring democracy to the island nation.
* The Group of 20 countries met for two days to focus on the worldwide financial crisis, and plot how to avoid a repeat in the future.
* Irina Bokova, ex foreign minister of Bulgaria was elected as the chief of UNESCO. She is the 1st woman chief of UNESCO.
* According to “Global Times”, among the 60 most influential persons on China, Tagore is in the 11th place and Nehru is in the 19th place.
* Yukiyo Hatoyama, the leader of Democratic party of Japan sworn as the Prime Ministe

October 2009 International Affairs

* Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was re elected as the President of Tunisia consecutively for the fifth time. He has secured 89% votes.

* The 15th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits were held on 23-25 October 2009 in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand. Cha-am Hua Hin declaration on strengthening cooperation on education to achieve an ASEAN caring and sharing community was released. 7th India – ASEAN meeting too was held. The next summit will be held at New Delhi.

* Senior Environment Officials of SAARC met in New Delhi. The meeting has decided to start 50 environment centers in Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan to study Climate Change.

* International Diabetes Federation (IDF) World 20th Diabetic Congress was held at Montreal, Canada. It warned India that 9% of the population would suffer with diabetes by 2033. Currently India is in the first place with 50.8 million diabetic patients followed by China. It also said that 258 million people (7% of the population) in the world are diabetic patients.

* World Health Summit took place in Berlin from October 14th to 18th. Modern diseases like asthma and obesity were concentrated. 700 members from 60 countries participated in this summit.

* Iran’s Nuclear Talks with USA, UK, China, Russia, France and IAEA was held in Vienna.

* Maldives Cabinet held the world’s first underwater meeting to highlight the danger posed to low-lying nations by global warming.
* Bosnia, Lebanon, Gabon, Brazil and Nigeria will join UN Security Council from January 2010 for a period of 2 years.
* The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that 105 million more people are suffering from hunger as a result of the current economic crisis. Ensuring food security in a time of crisis is the theme of this year’s World Food Day, marked on October 16th. Among them 642 million people are from Asia Pacific region and 265 million from Sub Sahara region.
*Angela Merkel was re-elected as the Chancellor of Germany. She forms the government with her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and Social Union and Free Democratic Party.
Iran test fired Shaheb-3 and Sajjal missiles with a range of 1300 to 2000km. They can carry payload of 100kgs.
* The 10-member countries and observers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, met in Beijing. They pledged to work together on combating terror and improving financial co-operation among Asian nations to combat the financial crisis.
* Greek socialists achieved resounding win in elections. George Papandreou-led Pasok swept elections with 43% of vote after five years of New Democracy government.
* UNDP has announced Human Development Index (HDI) rankings for the year 2009. Norway (.971) stood first followed by Australia and Iceland. India (.612) dropped to 134th rank from 128th (2008). USA was ranked 13th (12th in 2008) and China 92nd (99th in 2008).

November 2009 International Affairs

* Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) appealed for a day-long worldwide hunger strike against chronic hunger. According to FAO statistics, 1.02 billion people live in chronic hunger. The FAO has also launched an online anti-hunger petition on Hunger Summit will be held at Rome, Italy from 16th to 18th November, 2009.

* The National University of Defence Technology (NUDT) unveiled China’s fastest supercomputer. The supercomputer named Tianhe, meaning Milky Way, will do more than 1 quadrillion calculations per second (one petaflop) at peak speed.

* China offered billions of dollars of concessional loans to Africa and pledged to contribute significantly to the continent’s skilled human resources base.

* A meeting of G20 Finance Ministers was held in Scotland. They failed to reach an agreement on funding climate change.

* The U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has launched a campaign in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to mobilise people around the world to take part in a drive to stop the pandemic of violence suffered by women.

* 55th Golf World Cup was won by Italy in Shen Jen, China.

* Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) took place at Port of Spain. The Commonwealth Climate change Declaration has been agreed by the 53 Heads of Commonwealth countries.

* China has announced that it would cut carbon intensity to 40-45 per cent of 2005 levels by 2020.
U.S. proposed 17 per cent reduction below 2005 levels by 2020.

* International Conference of Jurists 2009 on International Terrorism started in New Delhi. It was organized by International Council of Jurists, All India Bar Association, All India Senior Advocates Association and Indian Council of Jurists.

* Unfriend was declared as word of the year 2009 by New Oxford American Dictionary. It is defined as to remove someone as a friend on a social networking site.

* India was ranked 84 with score of 3.4 out of 180 countries, by Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2009. New Zealand, Denmark and Singapore were ranked top 3 in low levels of corruption.

* APEC 2009 summit was held in Singapore. Global financial crisis, free trade etc were discussed at the summit.

* Iceland has claimed the top spot of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2009. India has been ranked 114th out of 134 countries measured.

December 2009 International Affairs

* Nepal’s Ministerial meeting was held at Kaala Pathar near Everest Himalayas. PM Madhav Kumar and his 23 ministers participated in the meeting. This meeting was held to convey the affects of Himalayas’ melting to their country to the world countries.

* Hyderabad has hosted 62nd World Association of Newspapers (WAN IFRA 2009). The 63rd meeting will be held at Beirut, Lebanon.

* USA and BRIC countries signed an agreement in Copenhagen on carbon reduction. According to this agreement, rise in temperatures should be restricted to 2 degree centigrade, immediate release of 30 billion dollar for environment help to poor countries. This would be raised to 100 billion dollar by 2020. And carbon dioxide emissions will be monitored.

* Iran successfully test-fired an improved version of its Sejil 2 medium-range missile with a range of 2000km.

* Bolivian President Evo Morales called on world leaders to hold temperature increases over the next century to just 1°C. Mr. Morales also demanded rich countries pay climate change reparations and proposed an international climate court of justice to prosecute countries for climate “crimes”.

* Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati are among the four Indians named in the Financial Times list of ’50 People Who Shaped the Decade’. NRI billionaire Lakshmi Mittal and India-born Pepsico Chief Indra Nooyi are the other two Indians in the league of 50, which among others also features Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden and US President Barack Obama.

* global poll of 10,000 travellers found that the Eiffel Tower is the World’s Favourite Landmark. St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Rome and India’s Taj Mahal, came second and third place respectively. Three American icons – the Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty – made up the remainder of the top six spots.

* China carried out Death Sentence of a Britain Citizen, Akmal. He would be the first citizen of a European country to be put to death in China in 50 years.

January 2010 International Affairs

* The Chinese government’s official growth figures released shows 8.7 growth in 2009. China is now on course to overtake Japan as the world’s second largest economy, while Japan’s official GDP figures are yet to be released.
* India is ranked 123rd in the 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) in pollution control and natural resources management. Iceland was ranked 1st in EPI.
* Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa defeated the opposition consensus candidate and former Army Chief, retired General Sarath Fonseka in the presidential election. This is the second term for the Srilankan president Rajapaksa.
* The world’s largest aluminium producer, UC Rusal became the first Russian firm to list in Hongkong and Paris stock exchanges.
* The International Monetary Fund projected the India’s economic growth rate to be 7.7 percent for 2010.
* The group of four major emerging economics Brasil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) expressed their intention to communicate information on their voluntary mitigation actions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This decision was taken at the second ministerial level meeting of the BASIC group of countries in New Delhi.
* China and Japan have been added to the 39 non-traditional export markets identified by the Union Government as part of series of new incentives to encourage Indian exporters to explore non – traditional business avenues.
* Billionaire Sebastian Pinera was elected Chile’s president with the victory over ex-president Eduardo Frei.
* India is the 88th best place to live, according to the 2010 quality of Life Index published by travel magazine International living.
* A 7.0 magnitude powerful earthquake rocked Haiti, killing possibly over one lakh people.
* China, the world’s largest producer of gold is set to overtake India as the metal’s biggest consumer for the first time in history. China’s consumption of gold is estimated as 450 tonnes in 2009 where as India’s consumption forecast is 380 tonnes.

February 2010 International Affairs

* China has denied claims by Google, the internet Giant, that it had faced cyber attacks targeting the E – mail accounts of several Chinese human right activists. American investigators have reportedly traced the attacks to two Chinese universities.
* Pakistan joined 52 other Asian States to endorse India’s candidature for non – permanent membership of the UN Security Council. Out of 128 votes needed to get the seat, India already has 122.
* Japan and Australia pledged to help countries with atomic energy programmes to stay clear of the nuclear-weapons path in the realm of “3S”. The “3S” relate to nuclear non-prolife ration-related safeguards, safety and security.
* A diplomatic battle between Britain and Argentina is underway over oil exploration around the Falklands as a rig hired by British companies is to begin drilling off the coast of the remote archipelago. Geologists think the territory, over which the two countries fought a war in 1982, could hold up to 60bn barrels of oil.
* Octogenarian Tinoo was set free by the Myanmar’s military rulers and will lead the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) as long as Nobel peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest.
* The European Union member states have decided to temporarily withdraw preferential tariff benefits known as GSP+ granted to Sri Lanka from August on the ground that they are “significant shortcomings” in the implementation of three U.N. human rights conventions.
* The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) at Shamshabad, Hyderabad was declared the World’s Best Airport under the 5 to 15 million passengers category by Airports Council International (ACI). This is the first time that an Indian airport will be featured among the top airports of the world.
* International Conference on Biodiversity in relation to food and human security was held in Chennai.
* Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while declaring the country to be a ‘nuclear state’ said, Iran had produced a first stock of 20 percent enriched uranium for its nuclear programme and was capable of enriching it to 80 percent.
* Ukraine’s Opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych narrowly beat Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in the presidential election.
* The Secretary – General of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Anders Fogh Rasmussen Said that, NATO’s troubles in Afghanistan showed it were vital to boost ties with nations like China, India and Pakistan and transform the alliance into a global security hub.
* An Australian mining firm Resource House has signed a record $60 – billion deal to supply 30 million tonnes of coal every year to China Power International Development (CPI) for the next 20 Years. The deal is the biggest – ever export contract in Australia’s history with the energy – hungry china.
* The last Bo speaking person on earth, an 85-year old Andamanese woman named Bo Sr, was dead. The Bo are believed to have existed for 65,000 years, making them the descendants of one of the oldest human cultures.
* A landmark deal between Northern Ireland’s two major political parties, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein, removed the last hurdle to granting full autonomy to the province envisaged in the 1998 Good Friday agreement that brought decades of sectarian violence to an end. The deal paves the way for transferring policing and justice powers from the central government in London to the provincial administration in Belfast.

March 2010 International Affairs

* China stood first in implementing death sentence in the world, according to the report given by Amnesty International.

* Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced plans for a “New Economic Model (NEM),” raising prospects of a fair deal for all racial groups.

* During a session at the Arab League summit in Libya, the Arab leaders called for a review of the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to create a definitive plan for eliminating nuclear weapons development. These countries view Israel and Iran’s nuclear programmes with alarm, and have repeatedly called for an agreement to ban nuclear weapons from the region.

* The Former interim Prime Minister of Iraq, Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiyah formation has secured the maximum number of seats in Iraq’s March 7th parliamentary elections, narrowly edging out the State of Law grouping led by incumbent Premier Nouri al-Maliki.Out of the 325 seats, National Iraqi List (“Iraqiyah”) of Mr. Allawi secured 91. Mr. Maliki’s State of Law grouping got 89.

* India joined the world to celebrate Earth Hour, from 8.30 to 9.30 p.m. on 27th march 2010 organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The event is the largest global campaign on climate change with over one billion people around the globe joined the campaign, involving more than 6,000 cities and towns, to turn off lights in show of support for action on climate change.

* The Agriculture Ministers of the BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China have adopted a Moscow Declaration where they identified four areas for quadripartite cooperation
1. To set up a common database of production and consumption of farm products in their respective countries to facilitate comprehensive analysis of food security and coordinate formation of national grain reserves.
2. The four countries to jointly draw up a BRIC food security strategy for vulnerable sections of the population and share experience in providing food for the poor.
3. To mitigate the impact of climate change on food security and adapt farming to the changing climate.
4. To promote cooperation and exchanges in farm technology and innovation.

* The United States and Russia have concluded a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) which include reduction by about one third the nuclear weapons that the two countries would deploy and a significant reductions in missiles and launchers and putting in place a strong and effective verification regime.

April 2010 International Affairs

* The World Expo 2010 was held in Shangai in China. 189 countries have attended the event. The Chinese government has spent an estimated $ 45 billion on the Expo, upgrading Shanghai’s infrastructure in a bid to make the city a “world financial capital” by 2020.
* The 16th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation decided to establish an Inter-governmental Expert Group on Climate Change to develop a clear policy direction and guidance for regional cooperation as envisaged in the SAARC Plan of Action on Climate Change. The member-states also resolved to commission a study, for presentation to the 17th summit, on ‘Climate Risks in the Region: ways to comprehensively address the related social, economic and environmental challenges’. It was also decided to plant one crore trees over the next five years to build a “green and happy South Asia.”
* On the sidelines of the SAARC summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Yusuf Raza Gilani, agreed to the resumption of high-level dialogue, which has been disrupted since the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008.
* The 16th summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) started in Thimpu, Bhutan. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa,current head of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, took the chair. Other leaders of the grouping Manmohan Singh of India,Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, Lyonchhen Jigmi Thinley of Bhutan, Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, Madhav Kumar Nepal of Nepal, and Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan attended the summit. For the first time, Bhutan is hosting the summit.
* Chamal Rajapaksa, brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was unanimously elected Speaker of the newly elected Sri Lankan Parliament on its opening day.
* Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari signed into law a landmark constitutional amendment bill that will divest him of his sweeping powers.
* Addressing representatives of over 60 countries and several international organisations, at the start of a two-day conference on nuclear disarmament in Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the suspension of the United States from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and proposed a five-point plan to democratise the global security architecture.
* Russia has launched the construction of the $12-billion Nord Stream pipeline to Europe that would carry up to 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year from Siberian gas fields 900 km over land and 1,200 km under the Baltic Sea from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany.
* Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has unveiled the first model of “third generation” centrifuges that Tehran claims are six times more efficient than the previous variants. Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony in Tehran marking the fourth “national nuclear festival” that 60,000 new generation centrifuges would be installed at the Natanz enrichment plant.
* In the parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa-led ruling alliance won in 120 constituencies of the 180 seats declared in the 225-member House. The main Opposition grouping, led by the United National Party (UNP), bagged only 47 seats.
* The Pakistan National Assembly passed the 18th Amendment Bill that seeks to bring back the 1973 Constitution. The Bill , which proposes 102 amendments to the Constitution , was passed by a two-thirds majority after the House rejected the amendments moved by some members on the abolition of the concurrent list, renaming the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), and removal of the provision for intra-party elections.
* Presidents Barack Obama of the United States and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia signed a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which will reduce their nuclear weapons stockpiles by a third.
* Anti-government protests broke out in Kyrgyzstan and its President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has reportedly left the country and Prime Minister Usenov resigned, clearing the way for the Opposition to form its own government. A “Cabinet of people’s trust” has been headed by Opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva.
* Aid agencies are warning of an impending food emergency in South Sudan. According to them, Akobo, in the eastern region of Jonglei, is now the“hungriest place on earth.”
* A volcano erupted under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, 120 km east of Reykjavik in Iceland shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to leave their homes.
* A 7.1-magnitude quake struck a remote border area in north-west Qinghai province in western China leaving at least 400 dead and more than 10,000 injured. The epicentre of the quake was in Yushu county, in a Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture which borders Sichuan.
* China is building a new airport near Mount Everest, to be called ‘Peace Airport’ in Xigaze prefecture in Tibet.
* The Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) was held in Washington in which 37 of the participating 47 countries are represented at the level of President or Prime Minister. The agenda of the summit was how to physically secure sensitive nuclear materials around the world so that terrorists don’t get hold of them. The next Nuclear Security Summit will be held in South Korea in 2012.
* The President of Poland Lech Kaczynski and a high-level delegation were killed when the president’s Tu-154 passenger jet carrying 97 people crashed as it was approaching a Russian airport in the city of Smolensk.
* Sudan geared up for its first multi-party elections in 24 years, with a 16-million-strong electorate eligible to vote for President, MPs and local representatives.

May 2010 International Affairs

* According to Google’s web traffic data, is most visited website with monthly visits by 540 million people, or slightly more than 35 per cent of the Internet population.
* Nepal political parties UCPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML agreed to extend the term of the Constituent Assembly by one year as part of a crucial deal under which Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal agreed to step down.
* In the midst of heightened tensions, North Korea announced the unilateral scrapping of its pact with South Korea on the prevention of naval clashes between them.
* The annual ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was held in Paris with Economy and Trade Ministers from 40 countries, representing 80 per cent of the world economy attended. India, Russia, Brazil ,China, Indonesia and South Africa have been invited to participate as observers.
* Citing lack of evidence, the Pakistan Supreme Court upheld the Lahore High Court’s decision to release Jama’at-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed from house arrest.
* The world’s most expensive postage stamp “Treskilling Yellow” printed in Sweden in 1857, was sold at auction in Geneva to an international consortium.
* The National Commission co-chaired by Bob Graham and William Reilly was established to investigate the oil spill from British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded on April 20 and has since been spewing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico seriously endangering its marine life and the coastlands of Louisiana.
* The French Cabinet approved a draft law to ban the Muslim full-face veil from public spaces.
* A deal was reached to swap a major part of Iran’s low enriched uranium stocks on Turkish soil for an equivalent amount of uranium enriched to 19.75 percent among Iran, Turkey and Brazil.
* Iran has freed Clotilde Reiss, French lecturer charged with spying following last June’s presidential elections.
* The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned that efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour have slowed down and called for a “re-energised” global campaign to end the practice. In its global report on child labour, the ILO said the global number of child labourers had declined from 222 million to 215 million, or 3 per cent, over the period 2004 to 2008, representing a “slowing down of the global pace of reduction.”
* The Conservative leader David Cameron took over as Prime Minister and his Liberal Democrat counterpart Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister in the Britain’s first post-war coalition government.
* The second Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in which 32 nations attended was held in Abu Dhabi.
* The short film ‘Last of the Tattooed Head Hunters’, on one of North East’s fiercest fighters, Konyak Nagas, directed by Vikeyeno Zao, will be screened at the annual Cannes Film Festival beginning May 12.
* Pakistan said it had successfully tested two surface-to-surface missiles Ghaznavi and Shaheen capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads.
* Britain’s most closely-contested election resulted in a hung Parliament and the defeat for the ruling Labour Party after 13 years in power. The conservative party ended up with 306 seats, 20 short of an outright majority .The Labour party got 258 seats and the Liberal Democrats got 57 seats.
* The four-week nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference was held at the United Nations in New York.
* Sri Lankan President government has decided to pardon journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, who is out on bail after being convicted in August last year under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The pardon coincided with the World Press Freedom Day.
* Iran and Syria have mooted the formation of a regional economic bloc with Turkey and Iraq as their key partners. The two sides felt the move would yield economic benefits and impart political stability and security to the region.

June 2010 International Affairs

* Nepal’s Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned. The resignation was part of an agreement among the three major political parties,the opposition UCPN (Maoist) and the Nepali Congress and the CPN (UML).
* Taiwan and China signed a historic trade pact “The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA)”, hailed by both sides as a milestone and the culmination of a Beijing-friendly policy introduced by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou after assuming power in 2008.
* Kyrgyzstan voted for a national referendum on a new Constitution. If approved, the Constitution would transform Kyrgyzstan from a presidential to a parliamentary republic, with main powers shifted from a nationally elected President to a Prime Minister chosen by Parliament. This would make Kyrgyzstan the first parliamentary democracy in former Soviet Central Asia.
* The two-day G-20 summit or the meeting of the heads of the world’s major industrialised powers was held in Toronto, Canada.
* India has joined the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) project, the next generation astronomical observatory that will be located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
* Guinea, the West African country is holding in its first free election since independence in 1958.
* Julia Gillard was sworn in as Australia’s first woman Prime Minister after Kevin Rudd was toppled as the leader of the ruling Labour party.
* A 500-kg bronze sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHR) in Winnipeg city.
* According to the findings of the United States Geological Survey, Afghanistan has nearly one trillion dollars in mineral deposits and could become one of the richest in the world.
* Iran and Pakistan finalise gas pipeline project without India to supply 21 million cubic metres of natural gas daily from 2014 to Pakistan.
* The Bangladesh government shut down Bengali daily Amar Desh, citing that it has no authorised publisher. Mahmudur Rahman, owner and acting-editor of the anti-government daily, was arrested on a cheating charge.

July 2010 International Affairs

* The United States Senate passed a historic Wall Street reform bill on financial reforms that will bring greater economic security to families and businesses across the country.
* Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage.
* The U.N. rejected to reopen the probe into the assassination of the former Premier, Benazir Bhutto by a U.N.-appointed three-member headed by Chile’s former U.N. ambassador Heraldo Munoz, as Pakistan had raised objections to the report.
* According to the report by the ‘Janasankhya Sthirta Kosh’ under the Union ministry of health and family welfare, while India’s population grew by 1.4% over the last five years, China saw only a 0.6% population growth for the corresponding period. India’s total population in 2009 was 119.8 crore, China’s 134.5 crore and Pakistan’s 18 crore. While India’s population will increase to 161.38 crore by 2050, that of China will only reach 141.7 crore.
* The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), developed and applied by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative with UNDP support reveals that there are more ‘MPI poor’ people in eight Indian states (421 million in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal) than in the 26 poorest African countries combined (410 million).
* The Chinese government signed a $525-million deal to help Pakistan build two highways namely, 165-km-long highway between Jaglot and Skardu, and a 135-km highway between Thakot and Sazin in the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) region of Gilgit-Baltistan.
* The International Monetary Fund has raised its world economic growth forecast from 4 per cent to 4.5 per cent.
* Ms. Rosa Otunbayeva (59), the first woman President in Central Asia was sworn in Kyrgyzstan.
* Bronislaw Komorowski of Civic Platform party won the Poland’s presidential elections.
* During the sidelines of a summit of the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec) in Astana, Kazakhstan, the three countries Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus signed a declaration to launch a customs union as a first step towards forming a broader EU-type economic alliance of former Soviet states.

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