March 2018 Current Affairs Study Material

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Sisi wins second term as Egypt President

Incumbent Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been re-elected to the post for the second time. Sisi won the elections with a brute majority, amassing a massive 92 percent vote share.

New Jersey declares April as Sikh Awareness

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The US state of New Jersey has declared April as ‘Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month’ as part of its effort to promote awareness of the faith. The resolution was adopted unanimously by both the New Jersey House of Representative and the Senate.

Ethiopia’s ruling coalition elects Abiye Ahmed as new PM

Ethiopia’s ruling coalition has elected Abiye Ahmed as new Prime Minister, following the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn last month. Abiye is the chairperson of the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation, one of the four ethnic-based parties in the EPRDF coalition.

UAE is 1st Arab Country to have Nuclear Power

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrated the completion of the first-ever Nuclear Power Plant not only in the country but the whole Arab Gulf Region. The $20 billion Barakah Plant west of Abu Dhabi has been constructed by a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corp in nine years.

Win Myint elected as New President of Myanmar

Myanmar’s Parliament has elected Win Myint as the country’s new President. Myint is considered a close aide of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and has been a speaker in the lower house since 2012.

Martin Vizcarra sworn in as Peru’s New President

Martin Vizcarra has been sworn in as the country’s new president of Peru. Before the appointment, he was Peru’s first vice president and ambassador to Canada. He has replaced Pedro Pablo Kuczynski who has resigned from the post recently.

John Bolton replaces McMaster as US National Security Adviser

The 45th President of USA Donald Trump has announced that the former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton will be the New US National Security Adviser. He would replace present National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

Gulf Shield 1 military exercise of 23 countries held in Saudi Arabia

The Gulf Shield-1 military exercise of 23 countries including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states was held in Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. The one month exercise was largest military drill in region as it saw participation of participation of ground, naval and air forces of participating countries.

USA bans use of Venezuelan Cryptocurrency-Petro

The Donald Trump administration banned all use by Americans of Venezuelan cryptocurrency (Petro) that its introduction is intended to skirt U.S. sanctions. The prohibition applies to all people and companies subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

Nanda Bahadur Pun elected Nepal’s Vice President

Nanda Bahadur Pun has been re-elected as the Vice-President of Nepal for the second term unopposed. Pun has filed candidacy for the post of the Vice President and his candidacy remained unopposed as no candidate came forward to contest with him for the post.

Putin wins historic 4th term as Russian President

Russian President Vladimir Putin stormed to victory in presidential election, giving him another six years in power. Putin, who has ruled Russia for almost two decades, won more than 75% of the vote according to preliminary results.

Li Keqiang re-elected as China’s Prime Minister for second term

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang was re-elected for his second five-year term at the ongoing parliament session. Li is the second ranking leader in China after President Xi Jinping who has emerged as the most powerful leader after Mao Zedong.

Philippines formally withdraws from International Criminal Court

The Philippines formally submitted the Letter of Withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Letter was submitted by Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations Teodoro Locsin Jr. to UN Cabinet Chief Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, a Representative to Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Xi Jinping re-elected China President

Xi Jinping was re-elected as President for a second five-year tenure by China’s rubber-stamp parliament. Xi was also elected as the head of the powerful Central Military Commission, the overall high command of the Chinese military. Wang Qishan has been elected as the new Vice President of China.

Nepal’s Chief Justice removed

Chief Justice of Nepal Gopal Prasad Parajuli was removed by the Judicial Council amid a raging dispute over his multiple birth certificates. The Council removed him stated that as per the available certificates, he should have retired from the post on August 5, 2017.

Divorced Saudi mothers can now retain custody of children

In a historic decision, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allowed the divorced mothers in the country to retain the custody of their children without filing lawsuits, provided there are no disputes between the parents. The announcement was made by the Centre for International Communication. With this decision, the women in the nation would no longer need to go through a lengthy legal battle to retain or win the custody of their children. They would be able to obtain the rights by simply submitting a request at a relevant court.

Bhandari Re-elected as Nepal President

Bidya Devi Bhandari reelected as president of Nepal. Incumbent President Bhandari defeated Nepali Congress leader Kumari Laxmi Rai with an overwhelming majority in the presidential election.

Sebastian Pinera as Chile’s president

Sebastian Pinera was sworn in as Chile’s president. Pinera was re-elected in last November elections and will serve until 2022. According to Forbes magazine, Pinera is the fourth wealthiest man in Chile, with an estimated fortune of $2.8 billion.

WHO steps up fight against tobacco

The World Health Organization has launched new guidelines on the role that tobacco product regulations can play in reducing tobacco demand. The new guide, titled ‘Tobacco product regulation: Building laboratory testing capacity’ was launched at the 2018 World Conference on Tobacco or Health. The laboratory guide has information on how to test tobacco products and what products to test.

Xi Jinping becomes China’s Leader for Life as Parliament abolishes Presidential term-limit

China’s Parliament has abolished the decades-old two-term limit for the President, allowing Xi Jinping to remain as the country’s leader for life. The constitutional changes were passed in Beijing by the annual sitting of the National People’s Congress – the country’s legislature – with the two-thirds majority. Of the 2,964 delegates, only two voted against the change, while three abstained. Earlier, the seven-member Standing Committee – the topmost body of the ruling Communist Party of China – had unanimously approved the amendment. 64-year old Xi Jinping is currently in his second five-year term and due to retire in 2023 under the current two-term system.

Israel-US held joint military drill

US and Israeli had launched the so-called “Juniper Cobra 2018” military drill that simulates a missile attack on Israel. It is the largest combat exercise between Israel and the US. Since 2001, Israeli and US forces have conducted a total of eight Juniper Cobra joint combat exercises, including the most recent exercise in February 2016.

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of human rights award

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was stripped off her human rights award conferred by US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Museum announced that it was withdrawing Suu Kyi’s Elie Wiesel Award, which they had presented to her in 2012. The decision was taken following the ongoing violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority community in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Sri Lanka declares state of emergency

Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency for 10 days, to curb heightening violence targeting the island’s Muslim minority. The development follows days of anti-Muslim attacks in Kandy, located in Sri Lanka’s Central Province. Sri Lanka is the second country in the region to promulgate a state of emergency this year. In February, Maldivian President declared Emergency Rule for a fortnight.

Merkel gets fourth term as Germany’s Chancellor

Germany’s Angela Merkel secured her fourth term as the Chancellor after the Social Democratic party voted in favour of a grand coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. The decision ends almost 6 months of political uncertainty in Germany, the longest time the country has been without a govt in its post-war history. The deal will form her third grand coalition during her time as chancellor.

Pakistan elects first Hindu woman Krishna Kumari Kohli to Senate

Krishna Kumari Kolhi (39) from Sindh province in Pakistan became first-ever Dalit Hindu woman to get elected as Senator, member of upper house (Senate) of Muslim-majority country. She won the election for the reserved seat for women from Sindh province. She is a member of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Her election represents major milestone for women and minority rights in Pakistan. Earlier, PPP had elected first Hindu woman named Ratna Bhagwandas Chawla as senator.

Armen Sarkisian Elected Next Armenian President

Armenian lawmakers elected Armen Sarkisian as the new president of Armenia. He will succeed Serzh Sarkisian. Armen Sarkisian was the ambassador to the United Kingdom. He will assume presidential duties after his predecessor steps down in April 2018. The political shift comes after President Sarkisian in 2015 initiated controversial constitutional amendments to turn the impoverished Moscow-allied country into a parliamentary republic with a powerful Prime Minister.

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