World in Focus (DEC-19 JAN-20) International


World in Focus (DEC-19 JAN-20) International 


Dec 16: Chinese President Xi Jinping reposed trust in Hong Kong’s beleaguered leader Carrie Lam and told her that she had Beijing’s “unwavering support”.

Dec 16: Jean-Paul Delevoye, the French government official whose controversial pension reform plans have triggered nationwide strikes, resigned.

Dec 17: The Geneva-based World Economic Forum released its Global Gender Gap Report 2020 according to which women may have to wait 257 years for equality at work.

Dec 17: The two-day Global Refugee Forum started in Geneva with a call for a more equitable response to refugee crisis.

Dec 17: South Korean President Moon Jae-in appointed Chung Sye-kyun—a six-term lawmaker and former commerce minister—his country’s prime minister.

Dec 17: Australia’s Ellyse Perry bagged the prestigious Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year and was also named the Women’s ODI Player of the Year. She also bagged the T20I Player of the Year trophy for the second year running.

Dec 18: Jewher Ilham, the daughter of jailed Uighur intellectual Ilham Tohti, received European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize awarded to her father.

Dec 18: Europe’s CHEOPS planet-hunting space telescope left Earth and moved into orbit. The telescope will measure the density, composition and size of planets beyond our Solar System—known as exoplanets.

Dec 19: Belgium were crowned FIFA’s Team of the Year for the second straight time.

Dec 20: Beijing loyalist Ho Iat Seng was inaugurated as China’s chief executive in Macau.

Dec 21: Mexico’s Julio Cesar Martinez won the World Boxing Council flyweight title.

Dec 21: France’s competition watchdog fined Google €150 million ($167m) for abusing its power over the treatment of advertisers.

Dec 21: Turkey’s parliament approved a security and military deal with Libya’s UN-supported government.International-22

Dec  21: The US created a full-fledged US Space Force within the Department of Defence, with an aim to meet a mounting 21st-century strategic challenge from Russia and China.

Dec 22: Preliminary results of Sept. 28 presidential election in Afghanistan were released according to which the incum­bent President Ashraf Ghani won a slim majority of votes.

Dec 23: A secondary circuit for Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor became operational as part of its redesign under the 2015 nuclear deal, the country’s atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi announced.

Dec 23: Russian President Vladimir Putin opened a railway bridge that links annexed Crimea to southern Russia.

Dec 23: Algeria’s powerful military chief Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, died at age 79.

Dec 24: Travis Kalanick, a co-founder of Uber, announced his exit from the company’s board of directors.

Dec 26: Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that a more than two-year block on access to online encyclopaedia Wikipedia in the country was a violation of freedom of expression.

Dec 27: Russia put its first Avangard hypersonic missiles  into service, becoming the first country to put into combat service intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with hypersonic weapons that can travel 20 times faster than the speed of sound.

Dec 27: China launched Long March 5 rocket, one of the world’s most powerful rockets, carrying a Shijian 20 test satellite payload in a major step forward for its planned mission to Mars in 2020.d

Dec 27: Iran, China and Russia began joint naval drills in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.

Dec 28: The UN General Assembly adopted a $3.07 billion operating budget which, for the first time, includes funding for the investigation of war crimes in Syria and Myanmar.

Dec 30: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handpicked Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat was appointed India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

Dec 31: Germany shut down Philippsburg Nuclear Power Plant, one of its seven remaining nuclear power plants, as part of a planned phase-out of atomic energy production by the end of 2022.

Dec 31: Britain’s Prince William launched a multi-million pound prize to encourage the world’s greatest problem-solvers to find answers to Earth’s environmental problems.

Jan 01: Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan was named the Arab world’s most influential leader of 2019.

Jan 01: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un declared an end to moratoriums on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and threatened a demonstration of a “new strategic weapon” soon.

Jan 02: Former US Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was appointed the new chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland.

Jan 02: Taiwan’s chief of the general staff, Gen Shen Yi-ming, died in an air force helicopter crash in mountainous terrain outside


Jan 02: Turkey’s parliament passed a bill approving a military deployment to Libya aimed at shoring up the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

Jan 02: The secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdul Latif al-Zayani, was appointed foreign minister of Bahrain.

Jan 03: A US drone strike in Baghdad killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian commander who headed Al- Quds Force, foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Jan 04: China appointed Luo Huining the director of its liaison office, which represents the central government in semi-autonomous Hong Kong, in place of Wang Zhimin.

Jan 05: Iraq’s parliament called on US and other foreign troops to leave amid a growing backlash against the US killing of Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Jan 05: Kane Tanaka extended her record as the world’s oldest person by celebrating her 117th birthday.

Jan 05: A Bangladesh court ordered the arrest of former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and 10 others on charges that they embezzled nearly half a million dollars.

Jan 05: Canterbury Kings batsman Leo Carter emulated the likes of Gary Sobers and Yuvraj Singh by smashing six sixes in an over, during a Super Smash Twenty20 match in Christchurch.

Jan 06: Australia crushed New Zealand by 279 runs, and swept the three-Test series.

Jan 06: Countries bordering the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden formed a new group, the Council of Arab and African States bordering the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden and signed the Council’s Charter.

Jan 07: The Iranian Parliament approved a bill designating the entire US military and Pentagon terrorist organisations.

Jan 07: Spain’s parliament narrowly confirmed Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez as prime minister for another term.dd

Jan 07: The leader of Austria’s conservatives Sebastian Kurz was sworn in as the world’s youngest democratically-elected leader.

Jan 07: Russian President Vladimir Putin met Syria’s Bashar al-Assad during an unprecedented visit to Damascus.

Jan 07: Nasa said that its planet hunter satellite TESS had discovered an Earth-sized world within the habitable range of its star, which could allow the presence of liquid water. The planet, named “TOI 700 d”, is relatively close to Earth—only 100 light years away.

Jan 08: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin inaugurated a new gas pipeline linking their countries.

Jan 08: Cambridge selected Sumbul Siddiqui, a Muslim woman who immigrated to the US from Pakistan as a child, to be mayor in an apparent first for Massachusetts.

Jan 08: Iran launched a massive missile strikes on US bases in Iraq.

Jan 08: A Ukrainian passenger plane crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.

Jan 08: Peter Kirstein, a British computer scientist who was widely recognized as the father of the European internet, died. He was 86.

Jan 09: US President Donald Trump’s administration announced sweeping changes to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to speed up the construction of highways, airports and pipelines.

About the law

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1970, all major infrastructure projects must be subject to environmental impact assessment by relevant agencies. NEPA was the US’ first major environmental law and designed “to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony,” and has proved an obstacle to the current administration’s efforts to accelerate fossil fuel extraction. The Environment Protection Agency raised an objection to the Keystone XL pipeline, planned to bring oil from Canada to the US, during a NEPA review under the Obama administration, with the former president canceling the project as a result — only for it to be revived under Trump. The administration doesn’t have the power to change the act of Congress, but, as it has previously done for the Endangered Species Act.


Jan 09: Britain’s parliament finally approved Brexit, allowing it to become the first country to leave the European Union.

Jan 10: The US State Department approved the sale of up to 12 F-35 fighter jets and related equipment to Singapore  at an estimated cost of US$2.75 billion.

Jan 10: US lawmakers adopted a measure aimed at reining in President Donald Trump’s ability to take military action against Islamic Republic of Iran.

Jan 10: A British female news presenter, Samira Ahmed, who was paid one-sixth of the fee earned by a male presenter on a similar show, won her discrimination case against the BBC.ccc

Jan 10: India’s Supreme Court stated that the internet ban in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir without limiting it to a particular duration is not only a violation of the telecom rules, but also of freedom of speech and expression granted by the constitution.

Jan 10: India thrashed Sri Lanka in the third Twenty20 International to clinch the series 2-0.

Jan 10: Cricket legend Shane Warne’s “baggy green” cap sold at an auction for more than Aus$1 million (nearly $700,000), with all funds going to help victims of bushfires in Australia.dasf

Jan 11: The European Parliament declared that jailed Catalan separatist Oriol Junqueras is no longer an MEP, stripping him of the immunity his supporters hoped would see him freed.

Jan 11: China officially opened operations of the world’s largest radio telescope, which it will use for space research and help in the hunt for extraterrestrial life.

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, is the size of 30 football fields and has been hewed out of a mountain in the southwestern province of Guizhou. It is also known by the name “Sky Eye” in China.

Jan 11: Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, one of the Middle East’s longest serving rulers who maintained the country’s neutrality in regional struggles, died.

Jan 11: Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, a cousin of late Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said, became his successor.

Jan 11: Governor Greg Abbott of Texas became the first governor in the United States to refuse to accept refugees under an executive order requiring local jurisdictions to actively opt in to the federal resettlement programme.

Jan 11: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen won a landslide election victory.

Jan 12: Portuguese motorbike rider Paulo Goncalves died after a crash in the Dakar Rally.

Jan 12: Karolina Pliskova defeated Madison Keys to win the Brisbane International.

Jan 13: West Indies defeated Ireland by five wickets to complete a 3-0 sweep of their ODI series.

Jan 13: Lebanon paid outstanding dues it owed the international body after it lost voting privileges because it was behind on payments.

Jan 14: Scientists created what they claim were the first “living robots”: entirely new life-forms created out of living cells.

Jan 14: David Warner and Aaron Finch put on the highest partnership for any wicket against India.xcxc

Jan 14: The southern Indian state of Kerala became the first to legally challenge the new citizenship law that has triggered nationwide demonstrations. In a petition to the Supreme Court, the state government said the law violates the secular nature of India’s constitution, and accused the government of dividing the nation along communal lines.

Jan 14: Three EU countries—Britain, France and Germany—launched a process charging Iran with failing to observe the terms of the 2015 deal.

Jan 15: The US House of Representatives voted to send two formal charges against President Donald Trump to the Senate—abuse of power for asking Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and of obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and documents sought by Democratic lawmakers.bvc

Jan 15: Russia’s government, led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, resigned after President Vladimir Putin proposed a shake-up of the constitution.

Jan 15: Pope Francis named Francesca Di Giovanni, 66, as the first woman to hold a high-ranking post in the Secretariat of State.

Jan 15: Ben Stokes was named the International Cricket Council player of the year.




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