April 2018 Current Affairs Study Material

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Iran bans Banks from using Cryptocurrencies

Iran banned the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by its banks and financial institutions. As per the central bank of Iran, the ban was necessary since all cryptocurrencies have the capacity to be turned into a means for money-laundering and financing terrorism and in general can be turned into a means for transferring criminals’ money.

US senate approves Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State

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The US Senate voted to approve former CIA director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, after a bruising battle by Democrats against President Donald Trump’s nominee.

Mario Benitez elected as Paraguay’s president

Conservative former senator Mario Abdo Benítez has been elected as the president of Paraguay. Benitez garnered 46.44% of the vote, compared with 42.74% for his main rival Efrain Alegre.

6 Countries suspend Membership in UNASUR Regional Bloc

Bolivian Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni has announced that Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru had decided to temporarily leave the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), given differences over choosing the secretary general of the group.

Cuba gets its first non-Castro President

Cuba has selected First Vice President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez as the sole candidate to succeed Raul Castro as president of Cuba. Miguel is the first leader outside the Castro dynasty to lead the country since the 1959 revolution. Raul Castro will remain head of the Communist party, designated by the constitution as “the superior guiding force of society and the state”.

Kyrgyzstan Parliament names Mukhammedkaliy Abylgaziyev prime minister

Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament named Mukhammedkaliy Abylgaziyev Prime Minister after his nomination by the Social Democratic party which leads the ruling coalition. Abylgaziyev, previously chief of staff in President Sooronbai Jeenbekov’s office, replaced Sapar Isakov whose cabinet lost a no-confidence vote.

US senate narrowly confirms Trump’s new NASA Chief

Jim Bridenstine, a congressman from Oklahoma, US Navy veteran and former pilot, was confirmed on a 50-49 vote and will become the 13th administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) seven months after Trump named him to lead the agency.

Swaziland King changes his country’s name to ‘Kingdom of eSwatini’

Swaziland’s King Mswati III, Africa’s last absolute monarch officially changed the name of his country to the ‘Kingdom of eSwatini’. Accordingly, the country, a member of the Commonwealth, will now be known by its historic name of eSwatini, a Swazi language name that stands for ‘place of the Swazi’.

Armenia’s Parliament voted to appoint former President Serge Sargisyan as PM

Armenia’s parliament has voted to appoint the country’s former President Serzh Sargsyan as prime minister, despite pressure from tens of thousands of protesters who accuse him of a power grab. Members of parliament voted 77-17 in favour of Sargsyan’s appointment, as demonstrators rallied in the capital, Yerevan, and several other cities for a fifth day against the move.

France announces 50 Million Euro Humanitarian aid for Syria

France will contribute 61.9 million dollars toward urgent humanitarian aid for Syria. The funds will be allocated to NGOs and U.N. agencies working on the ground in Syria, including the U.N. office for humanitarian affairs.

Pakistan SC disqualifies Nawaz Sharif from public office for life

The Supreme Court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif as the President of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) under Article 62 of the constitution. The verdict was delivered unanimously by a five-judge bench led by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar. It came against cases involving determination of time duration for disqualification of a lawmaker under the Constitution.

Bangladesh ends Reservation in Government Jobs

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has decided to scrap the quota system in government services after thousands of students marched across the country in protest against a controversial policy of setting aside jobs for special groups.

UAE approves law on equal wages for men, women

The Cabinet of United Arab Emirates (UAE) has approved the issuance of law on Equal Wages and Salaries for men and women. The new law will ensure equal pay for men and women working in the country. It will provide women with equal opportunities as partners in the UAE’s development.

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