International Polity - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Which EU country’s military leader and head of armed forces resigned on 19th July 2017?
- Published on 20 Jul 17

a. Germany
b. Italy
c. Spain
d. France
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: France

Explanation:
French leader Emmanuel Macron faced the biggest crisis of his young presidency on Wednesday following the resignation of the head of the armed forces.

Macron had rebuked him for criticising defence spending cuts.

The row between Mr. Macron and General Pierre De Villiers blew up last week when the chief of staff told a parliamentary committee that he would not allow the armed forces to be harmed by the government’s plans to slash 850 million euros from this year’s budget.

Mr. Macron, 39, slapped down the 60-year-old, five-star General, telling the army top brass at their annual summer party “I am the boss” and that he deeply regretted that the budget dispute had been dragged into the “public sphere.”

General De Villiers, who had been in the job for three years, said he felt he had no choice but to stand down.

“I no longer feel able to ensure the sustainability of the model of the armed forces that I think is necessary to guarantee the protection of France and the French people,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Macron named 55-year-old General Francois Lecointre, currently the top military adviser to the Prime Minister, as his replacement.

At a weekly Cabinet meeting, the President hailed General de Villiers for his “remarkable service” and promised to hike the defence budget again in 2018, government spokesman Christophe Castaner said.


2)   Who has been appointed the CJ of Nepal w.e.f 16th July 2017?
- Published on 19 Jul 17

a. Sushila Karki
b. Gopal Prasad Parajuli
c. Padam Baidik
d. Ram Prasad Sithaula
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gopal Prasad Parajuli

Explanation:
The name of acting Chief Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli was unanimously endorsed on July 16 by the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee (PHSC) for the post of Nepal's Supreme Court Chief Justice. Parajuli was summoned by the PHSC at its meeting today to conduct the hearing.

Nepal’s President Bidhya Devi Bhandari appointed him to the post, which he will continue to head till April 28 next year.

A 39-point judiciary reform plan was presented by Parajuli during the meeting.

Parajuli’s name was sent to the PHSC for hearing by the Constitutional Council on June 29. P

Parajuli, the senior-most Justice at the Supreme Court, has taken up the responsibility of acting Chief Justice since June 7, this year after the retirement of then Chief Justice Sushila Karki on June 6.

After being sworn in as Nepal’s new chief justice has pledged to make justice delivery fast and less expensive in the country.

Parajuli, 61, was administered the oath of office by President Bidya Devi Bhandari at Rastrapati Bhawan in Sheetal Niwas.

He had taken charge of the Supreme Court as the acting chief justice on June 7 when Sushila Karki, the first female chief justice of the country, retired.


3)   British saw its first ____ woman MP elected to the Home Affairs Select Committee in UK's Parliament on 18th July 2017.
- Published on 19 Jul 17

a. Sikh
b. Parsi
c. Muslim
d. Hindu
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sikh

Explanation:
Britain’s first woman Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill was elected to Home Affairs Select Committee in the UK Parliament.

She will be one of 11 MPs on the cross-party home affairs committee.

The Home Affairs Select Committee is an influential cross-party panel in the UK Parliament that examines the workings of the Home Office.

It investigates the spending, policy and administration of the ministerial department. The committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry within the remit of the home office.

Previous inquiries have looked at extremism, immigration, hate crime, asylum, drugs, human trafficking, prostitution, extradition, counter-terrorism and the police.

It publishes reports and the Government must respond to its recommendations.

Labour party MP Yvette Cooper was recently elected unopposed as chairman of the committee.

Earlier it was chaired by Keith Vaz, Britain’s longest-serving Indian-origin MP, who had stepped down in September 2016.

Preet Kaur Gill had won the Edgbaston seat for the Labour party in the June 2017 snap general election.

She also has been chosen to lead the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs, which promotes the interests of Sikhs in Britain.

Gill’s whose family is from Jamsher, in Jalandhar, Punjab.

Her father, Daljit Singh, had moved and settled in the UK in 1962.


4)   Which country's former president was convicted on corruption charges on 12th July 2017?
- Published on 13 Jul 17

a. Brazil
b. Spain
c. Mexico
d. Venezeula
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Brazil

Explanation:
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was found guilty of corruption and money laundering on July 12, 2017 and sentenced to almost 10 years in prison.

This is the highest-profile conviction yet in the sprawling graft investigation that has jailed dozens of Brazil’s elite.

The decision by Judge Sergio Moro was widely expected, even by Silva’s own defense team, but was still stunning.

The charismatic leader left office on Dec. 31, 2010, with sky-high popularity and is credited with pulling millions of Brazilians out of poverty and turning Latin America’s largest nation into an important player on the world stage.

Brazil’s first working class president will remain free while an appeal is heard, but he is now also the country’s first ex-president to be convicted in a criminal proceeding at least since democracy was restored in the 1980s.

In many quarters, the man known to Brazilians simply as Lula remains revered both for his economic policies and his role in fighting for democracy during the country’s dictatorship.

The 71-year-old has been considered a front-runner for next year’s presidential election.

The case is part of the huge “Operation Car Wash” corruption investigation centred on state-run oil giant Petrobras that has led to the convictions of dozens of business executives and politicians, and threatens current President Michel Temer.

Silva was accused of receiving a beachfront apartment and repairs to the property as kickbacks from construction company OAS.

Silva never owned the apartment, but prosecutors argued it was intended for him.

Prosecutors also alleged that OAS paid to store Silva’s belongings, but Judge Moro dismissed that part of the case.

Silva also faces charges in four other cases.

Judge Moro said he did not order Silva’s immediate arrest because the conviction of a president is such a serious matter that he felt the former leader’s appeal should be heard first.

The case now goes before a group of magistrates. If they uphold the conviction, Brazilian law says Silva would be barred from seeking office.

In addition to sentencing Silva to 9 1/2 years in prison, Judge Moro also ruled that the politician should be barred from public office for 19 years.

Silva’s presidency coincided with an economic boom fuelled by high commodity prices and he used the profits to fund generous social programs that made him a hero among Brazil’s poor.

He left office with popularity ratings of up to 87 per cent and Brazilians elected his hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff, to succeed him.

But a subsequent fall in commodity prices and economic mismanagement by Silva and Ms. Rousseff led Brazil’s economy to implode.


5)   Which country's PM won the confidence vote by an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly on July 4, 2017?
- Published on 07 Jul 17

a. Italy
b. Germany
c. Spain
d. France
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: France

Explanation:
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe overwhelmingly won the confidence vote in the National Assembly on 4 July 2017.

Philippe won the vote in France’s lower house of parliament by a huge margin, 370-67.

He not only had the backing of President Emmanuel Macron’s party that has a wide majority after a landslide victory last month but he also got votes from centrist allies and some even from the conservative lawmakers.

The country’s national audit office reported last week that France’s budget deficit could reach 3.2 percent above the EU limit for the 10th consecutive year in 2017 if no measures are taken.

To resolve the same, Philippe pledged to bring the country’s budget deficit under the European Union limit of 3 percent this year without raising taxes.

He further pledged to stop increasing the number of state employees and to make the government focus on its main priorities and to stop spending money on policies that don’t deliver results.

The French PM also detailed the government’s agenda in the next months and years, from health to education and job policies.

He notably wants to raise the price of a cigarette pack from current 7 euros ($8) to 10 euros ($11.35).

He has also promised to push for labour reform that aims to boost job creation, as unemployment in France has been hanging around 10 percent for years.

Coping with Migrant Crisis: France's Challenge

  • Besides this, the French government will soon be outlining new measures to handle Europe’s migrant crisis.
  • It is seeking a balance between helping refugees and controlling illegal immigration.
  • The government also wants to reduce the asylum application procedure from 14 months now to 6 months and be able to deport those who are not granted asylum.
  • In an effort to fight rising terrorism, the country’s military budget next year will increase spending on defence to 2 percent of GDP by 2025.
  • Further, Edouard Philippe said that by choosing to vote for Macron, French voters have showed that they are attached to the European Union and the euro.
  • They want a more concrete, less fussy and more protective Europe.
  • Macron’s leading competitor Marine Le Pen, who lost her presidential bid to him, on the other hand, said that his economic plans would produce very tough consequences to buying power for French citizens.


6)   Who is the Indian American named the new US ambassador to Peru?
- Published on 30 Jun 17

a. Krishna R Rai
b. Krishna R Urs
c. Krishna R Ali
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Krishna R Urs

Explanation:
U.S. President Donald Trump has appointed an Indian-American named Krishna R Urs as the new US Ambassador to Peru.

Krishna R Urs is a career service American diplomat who has served at seven US embassies as well in several senior leadership positions in Washington, DC.

At present, he is serving as Charge d’ Affaires of the US Embassy in Madrid, Spain.

Earlier, he has also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs and Chief US Government Aviation Negotiator at the Department of State (2010 to 2014)

Krishna R Urs has specialisation in economic issues and has extensive policy experience in the Andean region of South America.

He had earned his MS from the University of Texas and a BS from Georgetown University.


7)   Who has been appointed the Romanian PM on 26th June 2017?
- Published on 29 Jun 17

a. Mihai Tudose
b. Klaus Iohannis
c. Sorin Grindeanu
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mihai Tudose

Explanation:
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on 26 June 2017 appointed Social Democrat Mihai Tudose as the Prime Minister and mandated him to form a new government.

Tudose was officially validated as proposal for the Prime Minister office by the National Executive Committee convention of the main ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD).

Tudose now has 10 days to win over Romania’s parliament with a vote of confidence in his proposed cabinet and policy programme.

Tudose was one of the potential candidates for Prime Minister brought forward by the majority coalition led by the Social Democratic Party to succeed Sorin Grindeanu after the latter was dismissed by a motion of no confidence adopted in Parliament by his own party.

Mihai Tudose: Know More

  • Born on 6 March 1967, Mihai Tudose is a Romanian politician, deputy in the Parliament of Romania, Minister of Economy in the ousted Grindeanu Cabinet and the Prime Minister-designate of Romania.
  • On 26 June 2017, the majority coalition nominated him for the position and President Iohannis designated him as the PM of the country.
  • He is expected to take office on 29 June 2017.


8)   What does MoDem stand for in the context of French parliamentary elections?
- Published on 21 Jun 17

a. Moderate Democrats
b. Democratic Movement
c. Model Democrats
d. Democratic Moderates
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Democratic Movement

Explanation:
French President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche has won a clear parliamentary majority in the 2017 legislative elections, just weeks after his own presidential victory.

With nearly all votes counted, Macron’s En Marche alongside its Democratic Movement (MoDem) allies, has won more than 300 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly.

The party was formed just over a year ago on 6 April 2016 and around half of its fielded candidates have little or no political experience.

The La République en Marche along with MoDem has surpassed the required the 289-seat mark to control the National Assembly, delivering a huge blow to traditional parties on both the left and right.

The winning margin is however, lower than expected, with the total turnout hitting a record low, down by about 42% from 2012.

The conservative Republicans and their allies could form a large opposition block with 125-131 seats, which in comparison to the last parliament is down from 200.

Though Marine Le Pen’s far right political party - the National Front (FN) - performed worse than expected by getting just 8 seats in comparison to their expected 15, Pen won a seat in the parliament for the first time representing Henin - Beaumont town.

The Socialist Party (PS), which was in power since the past 5 years along with their ally the Radical Party of the Left (PRG), are looking set to get only 41-49 seats, their lowest tally ever.

The defeat has led the Socialist party leader - Jean-Christophe Cambadelis- who lost in last week’s first-round vote, to announce his retirement from the post.

The result gives the young French President a strong mandate in parliament to pursue his pro-EU, business-friendly reform plans.

En Marche: Know More

  • President: Catherine Barbaroux (Acting)
  • General Secretary: Richard Ferrand
  • Founder: Emmanuel Macron
  • Founded: 6 April 2016
  • Headquarters: 99, rue de l'Abbé-Groult
  • 75015 Paris
  • Youth wing: Les Jeunes avec Macron
  • Ideology: Liberalism, Social liberalism, Economic liberalism, Pro-Europeanism
  • Political position: Centre
  • National Assembly: 308 / 577


9)   UK and France have announced an anti-terror program which targets terror propaganda on _________.
- Published on 16 Jun 17

a. Religious mosques
b. Websites
c. Religious Text
d. Both a and c
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Websites

Explanation:
The leaders of France and Britain have announced an anti-terror action plan to stop terror propaganda on internet.

The announcement was made by French President Emmanuel Macron after having talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Both the countries agreed that social networks were not contributing enough to weed out extremist elements and put a stop to terror propaganda.

One of the key measures of the action plan would be to prevent the incitement of “hate and terrorism” on the internet.

Both France and UK agreed that more should be done to tackle the terrorist threat online.

The main objective of the action plan is to ensure the internet cannot be used to host the radicalising material that leads to much harm.

The British government has already started working with social media companies to halt the spread of extremist material and poisonous propaganda that aims to corrupt young minds.

British Prime Minister Theresa May also confirmed the cooperation between the two nations by saying that the UK and France will be working together to encourage organisations to do more and abide by their social responsibility to step up their efforts to remove harmful content from their networks.

Though no such parameter has been decided upon as yet, the campaign does explore the possibility of imposing legal penalties against the tech companies that fail to take the necessary action to remove unacceptable content from their social media site.

The United Kingdom recently faced one of the most shocking terror incidents when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at a pop concert by American singer Ariana Grande on 22 May 2017. The incident followed by a knife and van attack in central London that left eight dead.

France has been a constant target for jihadist attacks since 2015.


10)   Which of the following countries have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar?
- Published on 07 Jun 17

a. Saudi Arabia
b. UAE
c. Bahrain
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
Six countries of the Arab region, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Egypt have cut off their diplomatic ties with Qatar.

The countries have all accused Doha for destabilising the region and have declared that they would not be maintaining any diplomatic relations with the nation with immediate effect.

Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh has closed its borders, severed land, sea and air contact with Doha. This step has been taken to protect the national security of the Kingdom from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.

UAE has given Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave the country. Abu Dhabi accused Doha of supporting, funding and embracing terrorism, extremism and sectarian organisations.

Bahrain also announced cutting diplomatic ties citing ongoing attempts to destabilize security in the kingdom. It blamed Qatar’s support for armed terrorist activities and funding linked to Iranian groups to carry out sabotage, for its decision.

Egypt has also closed its airspace and ports for all Qatari transportation. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry in a statement said that it is severing diplomatic relations with Doha because of the continued hostility of its authorities towards Egypt.

The Yemen government also announced snapping ties with Qatar accusing it of working with its enemies of the Iran-aligned Houthi militia.

The Tobruk-based internationally recognized government of Libya also broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar. Foreign Minister Mohammed Dairi stated that Doha has been the main source of supplying weapons to the Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and other armed Islamist groups since 2012 and poses a threat to the national security of the Arab world.


The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels have also expelled Qatar from its alliance. Qatar Foreign Ministry on the hand has expressed regret on the decision of the Arab countries to cut off diplomatic ties.

Qatar: Know More

  • Capital: Doha
  • Dialing code: +974
  • Currency: Qatari riyal
  • Drives on the: right
  • Ethnic groups (2010): 40% Arab; 18% Indian; 10% Iranian; 8.5% Pakistani; 14% Other
  • GDP (PPP): 2017 estimate


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