International Current Affairs June 2016

International Buddhist Conference Held in Nepal

  • A two-day international Buddhist conference to mark the 2560th birth anniversary of Lord Buddha concluded in Nepal on May 20, 2016.
  • Theme of the conference was “Lumbini, Nepal | the birth place of Lord Buddha the fountain of Buddhism and world peace”.
  • The main objective of the event was to highlight Lumbini as birth place of Lc Buddha and to establish Lumbini as centre for interfaith and peace dialog well as developing Nepal as the cent world peace.

100 Years of the Sykes-Picot Agreement Completed

  • May 19, 2016 marks the 100 years since the signing of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the secret Anglo-French pact reached during the First World War that proposed splitting the Middle-East up into zones of foreign control.
  • It is also known as the Asia Minor agreement, Sykes-Picot defined the borders of the modem States of Syria and Iraq, handing the former over to the French and the latter over to the UK. The impact of the agreement is still being felt today.
  • Most recently, the Islamic State militant group has made the elimination of the borders defined by Sykes-Picot a crucial part of its propaganda.
  • The agreement was concluded in secret partly because it represented a betrayal of promises the British government had already made to Hussein bin Ali, the sharif of Mecca.
  • The Arab leadership, under the command of Sharif Hussein, was promised complete independence following the war, in exchange for supporting the allies against the Ottomans.

World’s First Robot Lawyer Hired by US Firm

  • The world’s first artificial intelligence lawyer has been employed by a law firm in the USA on May 16, 2016, which will use the robot to assist its various teams in legal research.
  • The robot called ROSS is built upon Watson, IBM’s cognitive computer. With the support of Watson’s cognitive computing and natural language processing capabilities, lawyers can ask ROSS their research question and the robot reads through the law, gathers evidence, draws inferences and returns highly relevant, evidence-based answers.
  • It also monitors the law around the clock to notify users of new Court decisions that can affect a case.

USA Unveiled First Federal Methane Regulations

  • The USA unveiled the first federal regulations on methane on May 12, 2016. It aimed at reducing emissions from new oil and gas operations.
  • Methane is a key component of natural gas, and it is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in terms of fueling global warming.
  • It is the second most common greenhouse gas emitted in the USA as a result of human activities, with nearly one-third of its emissions coming from oil production and the production, transmission and distribution of natural gas.
  • The new rules extend to methane from hydraulically fractured oil wells and equipment j that was not regulated in 2012.

Kenya Closed World’s Biggest Refugee Camp

  • On May 11, 2016, the Kenyan government decided to close Dadaab refugee camp, which has hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and is often referred to as the world’s largest camp.
  • The decision was taken because it harbours some of Somalia’s al-Shabab Islamic extremists and is a conduit for smuggling weapons.
  • Earlier, the Kenyan government announced it intends to close Dadaab as well as Kakuma, a refugee camp housing 190000 people, mostly South Sudanese fleeing civil war.
Updated: July 5, 2016 — 11:36 am

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