US Launched Biggest NATO Airborne Drills
- The US military has launched the largest North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) airborne drills in Europe since the end of the Cold War, to enhance ‘security and stability’ in the region. About 5000 soldiers from 11 NATO member States are participated.
- Swift Response 15, the simultaneous, multinational airborne operations’ started in the second week of August, 2015 and will end on September 13, 2015.
- It is the largest Allied airborne training event on the continent since the end of the Cold War.
- High point of the exercises was on August 26, when NATO airplanes dropped more than 1000 paratroopers at Hohenfels training area in Germany.
- However, after a short break NATO is set to stage another major exercise, Trident Juncture 2015, which is to take place in Spain, Italy and Portugal late September.
Read Also – Economy and Banking Current Affairs September 2015 .
Egypt Imposed Strict Anti-terrorism Laws
- Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has approved stringent new counter-terrorism laws to fight growing insurgency in the country.
- Under the new laws being introduced on August 17, 2015, trials for suspected militants will be fast-tracked through special courts. Anyone found guilty of joining a militant group could, face 10 years in prison.
- Anyone financing terrorist groups will also carry a penalty of life in prison (25-year term). Anyone inciting violence or creating websites deemed to spread terror messages will carry sentences of five to seven years.
- In this regard journalists can be fined between 200000 and 500000 Egyptian pounds ($ 25550-$ 63870) for contradicting official accounts of militant attacks.
China and Pakistan Signed Deals to Beef-up CPEC Project
- China and Pakistan signed 20 more agreements worth $ 1.6 billion at the CPEC Forum held at Karamay city in Xinjiang province bordering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to implement the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), project on August 12, 2015. In this forum both countries also issued the Karamay Manifesto.
- A total of 51 agreements were signed during Xi’s visit of which 30 are linked to the strategic corridor, regarded as the biggest connectivity project between the two countries after the Karakorum highway built in 1979.
- 3000 km strategic CPEC project is brainchild of China and is part of its ambitious six economic corridors conceived under Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. The two countries pledged to boost, bilateral economic development through energy and power projects, and will also cooperate in education and ‘ health care.
Japan Restarted Nuclear Power Station
- Japan restarted one of its nuclear reactors i.e., Sendai Nuclear Power Station for the first time on August 11, 2015 after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Since then, new safety requirements were introduced. Thus, the country ended a nearly two- year period when all the nation’s reactors had been offline.
- Japan has 43 operable nuclear reactors. All had been shut since September, 2013 and efforts to restart some of them have faced repeated delays as their operators struggled to comply with stricter regulations introduced after the March, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant.
- So far, only five have passed the main layer of scrutiny by nuclear regulators.
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