International Current Affairs March 2017
World’s Largest Battery Storage Plant Set-up in USA
- Tesla inaugurated a massive battery storage facility in the California desert — the biggest of its kind on Earth, on January 31,2017.
- Each component, comprised of 16000 lithium-ion battery cells, is meant to suck-up power from the grid by day and then feed it back in as demand surges.
- It would not really accelerate and begin to penetrate the electric grid or the transportation world for a while to come.
Seven New Countries Joined BEPS Agreement
- Seven jurisdictions (Lithuania, Gabon, Hungary, Indonesia, Malta, Mauritius and the Russian Federation) have signed a tax cooperation agreement, the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for Country-by-Country Reporting (CbC MCAA), to enable automatic sharing of country-by-country information on January 30,2017.
- It aims to boost transparency by Multi National Enterprises (MNEs), allows signatories to bilaterally and automatically exchange country-by-countiy reports, as part of Action-13 of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) Action Plan.
- The agreement helps ensure that tax administrations obtain a better understanding of how MNEs structure their operations, while also ensuring that the confidentiality and appropriate use of such information is safeguarded.
Donald Trump Banned 7 Nations from Entering USA
- US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to temporarily ban visas for refugees belonging to seven Muslim-majority countries namely as Trump Bans 7 nations from Entering USA on Security Issues Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia. Sudan. Syria* and Yemen on January 28, 2017.
- The decision aims at protecting USA from the entry of foreign terrorists to keep the nation safe. The ban is not aimed at restricting Muslim countries from entering USA.
Read Also – National Current Affairs
Donald Trump Signed Executive Order to Pull out of TPP Trade Deal
- US President Donald Trump fulfilled a campaign pledge by signing an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on January 23, 20)7.
- Trump’s executive order on TPP was largely symbolic since the deal has not been ratified by a divided US Congress. Trump’s pick to be Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and now requires confirmation from the full Senate.
USA Lifted Sanctions against Sudan
- The USA lifted some sanctions on Sudan in response to what he calls ‘positive actions’ by the country’s government on January 15. 2017. They include ceasing hostilities in Darfur, improving humanitarian access, ending negative interference in South Sudan, ‘enhancing cooperation on counterterrorism’, and ending the threat of the Lewd’s Resistance Army,
- The sanctions were first implemented because the Sudan government failed to end a brutal civil war with rebels in then-southern Sudan, which continued for over two decades.
- In addition, during the 1990s, terrorist leader Osama bin Laden lived in Sudan, under the knowledge of the Sudanese government.
Hong Kong Withdrawn Visa-free Facility for Indians
- Hong Kong- 4 special administrative region of China, has withdrawn the visa-fire facility for Indians who will have to complete a pre-arrival registration on January 21, 2017.
- Indian nationals must apply For and successfully complete pre-arrival registration online before they can visit or transit the HKSAR visa-free (if seeking to enter the HKSAR during transit).
- Pre-arrival registration is not required for Indian nationals in direct transit by air and not leaving the airport transit area.
- A Pre-Arrival Registration is normally valid for a six month period’or until the expiry date of the Indian passport linked to it, whichever is earlier.
Also Read – Economy and Banking Current Affairs
Russia-US Drafted Resolution in Support of the Syria Ceasefire
- A Russia-US draft resolution in support of the Syria ceasefire circulated at the UN Security Council, on January 3, 2017.
- The draft endorses the planned cessation of hostilities in Syria, setting the starting time for the ceasefire, as planned.
- Syria has been mired in dvil war since 2011, with the country’s government fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups, including Islamic State (Oaesh), which is outlawed in many countries including the USA and Russia.
- The ceasefire does not apply to Daesh, or other terrorist organisations in Syria, such as Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front).
India and France Signed Pact on Maritime Information Sharing in Indian Ocean Region
- India and France has signed White Shipping agreement to enable information sharing on maritime traffic and maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) on January 24, 2017.
- The White Shipping Agreement will be implemented over the next few months enabling Navies of India and France to coordinate their roles in stabilising Indo-Pacific region, persons familiar with the developments indicated. It will enhance Indo-French maritime security cooperation in the region.
- The Indo-French dialogue also emphasised on Freedom of Navigation in IOR and Pacific in the backdrop of China’s territorial claims and dominance in the South China Sea region territories in the region include Mayotte, besides military bases in UAE and Djibouti.
Pakistan Approved Hindu Marriage Hill
- After decades of delay and Inaction, the Hindu minority community in Pakistan will soon have a marriage law as a Parliamentary panel has unanimously approved the Hindu Marriage Bill on January 3, 2017.
- The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Monday passed the final draft of Hindu Marriage Bill 2015, where five Hindu lawmakers were spedally invited.
- The Committee adopted the bill unanimously after making two amendments to fix the minimum age of the marrying male and female at 18 and making the law applicable to the whole country.
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