International Current Affaris - February 2016
- The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the “Zika” virus and its suspected link to birth defects an international public health emergency, a rare move that signals the seriousness of outbreak and gives countries new tools to fight it.
The Zika virus was first identified in 1947 in Uganda, and for years lived mostly in monkeys. But 2015 - May in Brazil, cases began increasing drastically.
The World Health Organization has estimated that almost four million people could be infected by the end of the year.
- India and Brunei have signed three Memoranda of Understandings to co-operate in the fields of health, defence and youth affairs & sports on February 2nd.
These Memoranda of Understandings were signed the representatives of both the countries in presence of the visiting Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari at capital Bandar Seri Begawan.
- The world’s longest three-rope cable car system was inaugurated in Vietnam’s Lao Cai province, with a total length of 6,292.5 meters. The system was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s longest three-rope cable car route, and also the world’s biggest height gap between its departure and arrival stations of 1,410 meters.
- India and Sri Lanka sign two three Memoranda of Understandings on 6th February. And have reviewed the progress made in their bilateral ties discussing various issues, including fishermen, a major irritant in the relations, as the two countries signed Memoranda of Understandings in education and health sectors.
- Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the Rise of Digital India Exhibition in Colombo on 7th February. The exhibition was a part of Sangam - The Festival of India in Sri Lanka 2015-16.
This exhibition showcases the initiative of Indian government to take the benefits of Information Technology (IT) to the common man. The exhibition is a part of 6 month long Festival of India celebrations in Sri Lanka.
- Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe has declared on 7th February that a state of disaster in rural areas hit by a severe drought, as more than a quarter of the population face food shortages.
- An estimated 2.4 million people are now in need of food aid, more than a quarter of the population. And the agricultural sector has been the worst affected, with cotton and tobacco farmers also bracing themselves for disaster.
- On February 9th for the first time, border troops of India & China have held their first joint tactical exercise codenamed Sino-India Cooperation - 2016 in Chushul-Moldo in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sino-India Cooperation 2016 is mainly focused on joint actions coordinated to tackle the aspects of disaster relief and humanitarian aid.
- President of United States Barack Obama has unveiled a cyber-security national action plan to boost security awareness amid of growing risks from new technologies.
Obama in his budget request has asked for 19 billion US dollars for cyber-security efforts.
- The 7th edition of India, Seychelles joint military exercise LAMITYE - 2016 on February 16th has begun in Victoria, Seychelles.
The 14 day exercise has been conducted at Seychelles Defence Academy (SDA), Victoria till February 28, 2016.
- Colombia Government, United Nations and the members of international community launched a new Multi-Donor Trust Fund of the United Nations for Post-Conflict on 17th Feb.
It will especially support to conflict-affected areas in the lead-up to and aftermath of possible peace agreements with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army.
- The World Bank has offered $150 million on 18th February in financing immediately available to help combat the Zika virus outbreak in affected Caribbean countries and Latin America.
- China is to ban foreign firms from “online publishing” under new rules issued, as the country increasingly seeks to minimize Western influence.
This New rules effect from March will ban foreign companies from publishing online content without approval from a regulator.
- Faustin Archange Touadera has won the 2016 Presidential election of Central African Republic (CAR).
Provisional results showed Mr. Faustin Archange Touadera received almost 63% of the votes, defeating his opponent Anicet Dologuele who gains just over 37%.
- Pakistan’s Parliament building in Islamabad became the first in the world to completely run on solar power from 23rd Feb.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a simple ceremony switched on solar-powered building of the parliament in capital Islamabad.
- Ministry of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology and a consortium of top UK research institutions signed Memorandum of Understandings for establishment of a joint India-UK collaboration programme in crop science.
The aim of the agreement is to enhance collaborative research, support capacity building and promote knowledge exchange to develop resilience in food security.