International Current Affairs of July Month 2015 for IBPS SSC Railway candidates
The USA Removed Cuba from List of State Sponsors of Terrorism
- The USA has formally dropped Cuba from the list of State sponsors of terrorism on May 29, 2015. The announcement came as the officials of both the countries met in the last week of May, 2015 in Washington DC for a fourth round of talks.
- Now, countries which included on the list are only Iran, Sudan and Syria. They are banned from US arms and exports sales as well as from US economic assistance in addition to a wide variety of additional financial restrictions.
- The USA added Cuba to the terorist list in 1982, citing Havana’s role in supporting leftist insurgents in Latin America, 90% of World’s Chemical Weapons Destroyed.
- As per the world’s chemical watchdog, 90% of the global chemical weapons stockpile has been destroyed till March 28, 2015. The stockpiles include caches containing chemicals needed to make deadly nerve agents like sarin.
- The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) called it as a ‘major milestone’. Around 65000 metric tonnes of declared chemical weapons, mostly from USA and Russian arsenals, have now been destroyed.
- This 90% also includes total of 1300 metric tonnes of chemical weapons removed from Syria in 2014. The remaining stockpile is underway in phase of destruction and is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2020 and 2023.
United Nations Adopted Resolution on Protection of Journalists in Conflict Zones
- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously, adopted a resolution on the protection of journalists in conflict zones on May 28, 2015 as a measure as the number of deaths and kidnappings of media professionals continues to rise.
- The Security Council resolution condemned such attacks and warns parties to conflicts, including governments and armed groups, that they should take all reasonable steps to protect journalists.
- In the last decade, 700 media workers were killed in the field or because of their profession. 66 journalists were killed’in 2014 and 25 more have died since January, 2015.
Nebraska became 19th US State to Abolish Death Penalty
- The legislature of the US State of Nebraska has approved abolishing the death penalty on May 27, 2015. This approval comes as a 30-19 vote, i.e., a sufficient majority to avert a veto attempt by Governor Pete Ricketts.
Independent State Senator Ernie Chambers has been leading
- the fight to abolish capital punishment in Nebraska for 40 years, and the senators who supported him, many of whom belong to a new generation of Republicans.
- With this decision, Nebraska becomes the 19th US State to abolish capital punishment and is the first conservative State to do so in more than 40 years. It is still legal in 31 States, but there are about 10 in which a moratorium on executions has been imposed.
Also Read: Sports Current Affairs August 2015
Russia began Huge Surprise Air Force Drill
- Russia’s military defence has conducted a massive and unexpected four day Air Force exercise as a sign of ongoing tensions over Ukraine on May 26, 2015. In this exercise, 250 aircrafts and 12000 service personnel are involved.
- It is the third major military exercise staged by the Kremlin in the past three months. Russia’s actions in Ukraine and incursions into Western airspace have led to rising tensions with the West. The tests also began on the same day as NATO and some of its partners started an Arctic training exercise.
- NATO’s two-week training exercise in the region will be based in the North of Norway, Sweden and Finland. It will involve 115 fighter planes and 3600 troops from nine countries i.e., from the USA, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands, all NATO members as well as neutral Switzerland.
- The exercise is the second of its kind, following similar tests in 2013. The Defence Ministers of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, along with Iceland’s Foreign Minister, signed a joint declaration in April, 2015 because of Russia’s military aggression as the biggest challenge to European security.
Ireland became First Country to Legalise Same-sex Marriage
- Ireland became the first nation in the world to approve same-sex marriage by a popular vote on May 23, 2015. The Roman Catholic Church was in opposition of this but the new law gained a re-sounding victory for the gay rights movement and placing the country at the vanguard of social change.
- Earlier, the church dominates the education system, and abortion remains illegal except when a mother’s life is at risk, But, the influence of the church has waned amid scandals in recent years, while attitudes, particularly among the young, have shifted.
UNSC Adopted Resolution in Stemming Illicit Misuse of Small Arms
- The UN Security Council (UNSC) has adopted a resolution on May 22, 2015 which is calling for stronger cooperation in Stemming the illicit transfer and misuse of small arms and light weapons, underlining the suffering they have caused to civilians by a vote of nine in favour to none against, with six abstentions.
- In its resolution, the Security Council called on States to consider ratifying the Treaty or accede without delay. The resolution also identifies a wide range of areas for international cooperation which can bolster the recognition.
- The recent entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) laid the foundations for a global framework of arms transfer controls, including for small arms and light weapons and ammunition.
China Sets-up ‘Largest Gold Fund’ for Nations along Silk Road
- China, the world’s biggest gold producer, has set-up a gold sector fund among the 65 involving countries along the routes of the Silk Rpad Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
- About 60 countries have invested in the fund, which will in turn facilitate gold purchase for the Central banks of member States to increase their holdings of the precious metal’.
- China does not have a big say in gold pricing because it accounts for a small share of international gold trade. So; the Chinese government seeks to increase the influence of RMB in gold pricing by opening the domestic gold market to international investors.
- The fund is led by Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) and expected to raise $ 16.1 billion in’itially.«The fund has been set-up in North-West Xi’an city during an ongoing forum on investment and trade. It is also expected to raise an estimated 100 billion Yuan ($ 16.1 billion) in three-phases.
Also Read: Sports Current Affairs September 2015
United Nations Adopted Resolution to Strengthen Relief Efforts in Nepal
- The United Nations (UN) has adopted a resolution on May 15, 2015 that led and co-sponsored by India, calling the international community to urgently assist Nepal and help rebuild the country following the devastating earthquake that killed more than 8200 people.
- The resolution was adopted by consensus at the United Nations during a special 193-member General Assembly session. The UN appealed once again to the world body to help raise $ 423 million over the next three months to meet essential needs of Nepal earthquake survivors.
- India had taken the lead in negotiating the resolution on Nepal that was co-sponsored by 65 other nations including Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Germany, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the UK and the USA.
Canada Planned to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 30% by 2030
- Canada planned to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 amid international efforts to create a new framework for addressing climate change. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced it on May 15, 2015.
- A new international framework replacing the 1997 ‘ Kyoto Protocol is to be discussed at the Paris .conference. The anti-global warming treaty has been largely ineffective because only rich countries were required to limit their emissions. Poorer countries have been reluctant to make commitments in a new framework.
- Harper pulled Canada Out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2011. He said that the accord would not help solve the climate crisis. That dealt a blow to the treaty, which had not been formally renounced by any other country. The USA never signed up.