International Current Affairs November 2015 (Part 4)

Pacific Rim Nations Agreed to Historic Trade Agreement

  • A dozen Pacific-rim nations i.e., Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Darussalam, Japan, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia and New Zealand, agreed to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement on October 5, 2015.
  • The agreement would cut trade barriers on items ranging from cars to rice, setting-up a potentially contentious ratification vote before a skeptical US Congress. These dozen Pacific-rim nations covers about 40% of the world economy.
  • The TPP agreement will pave way creation of a new economic bloc with reduced trade barriers between the 12 nations involved. It helps to the farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers by eliminating more than 18000 taxes that various countries put on our products.

Governing Coalition Won Portugal Elections

  • In Portugal, governing centre right coalition led by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho has won the country’s general election on October 4, 2015. The coalition leads with about 39%, followed by the Socialists on just under 32%. The election was seen as a referendum on 4 years of spending cuts and austerity measures undertaken by the centre right coalition government.
  • Presently, Portugal is among five Eurozone nations referred as PIIGS nations which are economically weaker following the 2008 global financial crisis. 5 PIIGS Eurozone nations are Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

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Extreme Poverty Fell Below 10% for First Time in 2015

  • The World Bank report released by Bank President Jim Yong Kim in Washington, US projected that the number of people living in extreme poverty will fall below 10% of the global population in 2015 for the first time ever.
  • World Bank estimated that just over 700 million people are living below the poverty line in 2015. The numbers come as World Bank has updated the international poverty line for the first time since 2008 to keep up with inflation.
  • The new global poverty line is S 1.90, up from the former $ 1.25. Currently, United Nations (UN) defines poverty based on the World Bank’s income measure. UN recently announced its aim to end extreme poverty by 2030 as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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More Girls Die than Boys in India in Under-5 Age Group UN Report

  • According to a United Nations (UN) report, India is the only country where more girls die than boys in the under-5 age group. It was published in October, 2015 in a UN Report titled ‘The World’s Women 2015’. India is among the countries with the largest surplus of men.
  • At 93, the country has the lowest sex ratio in under-5 mortality i.e., 93-boys die before age five for 100 girls that die by that age. Although sex-selective abortions have been illegal in India since 1996, the law has had “little effect so far on the sex ratio at birth”.
  • Overall, men outnumber women in eastern Asia, Southern Asia, Oceania, and Western Asia, according to that report. Globally, life expectancy of women has continued to rise, reaching 72 years, while it has gone up to 68 for men.
  • Regarding employment, estimates reveal that globally only 50% of women of working age are in the labour force, compared to 77% of men. This gender gap in labour force participation remains especially large in South and West Asia and North Africa.

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Mansi Agarwal
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