International Polity - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Greece has moved from Grexit to ________.
- Published on 11 Sep 17

a. Grinvent
b. Grinvest
c. Grinnovate
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Grinvest

Explanation:
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed his belief that the government has managed to change the international community's view on Greece.

The PM was noting that the image of Grexit has been replaced with 'Grinvest'.

In the first half of 2017 the economy growth rate has totalled 0.8 percent, adding that it was expected to rise to 2 percent by the end of year.

In 2017, direct investments have been the highest in a decade, while in 2017 the situation would be even better.

In the first four months the flow of direct investments had totalled 1.4 billion euros ($2.2 billion).

The growth of tourists inflow among positive achievements, saying that it provided nearly 20 percent of revenue and almost 1 million jobs.

The significant increase in unemployment and restoring of agricultural products exports after Russia's embargo, imposed in 2014 as a retaliatory measure to the Western sanctions was also stressed.

Since 2010, when the Greek debt crisis erupted, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the EU Stabilization Fund and the International Monetary Fund agreed on three loan programs for Greece amounting to 326 billion euros ($344.6 billion).

This was in exchange for wide-ranging economic reforms in the country.

Greek economy is turning around and will no longer be under the supervision of the country's creditors in 2018.


2)   Which countries developed a two plus two ministerial dialogue in Aug 2017?
- Published on 21 Aug 17

a. India and China
b. India and US
c. India and Pakistan
d. Indian and Bhutan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: India and US

Explanation:
India and the US are reworking a key dialogue framework in place since 2015.

This is in a bid to shift bilateral ties to a higher strategic plane.

The India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, once described by the US State Department as the "signature mechanism for advancing the United States’ and India’s shared priorities," is to be replaced

Now, there will be a dialogue in which the foreign and defence ministers will participate.

The shared priorities include job creation, improving the business and investment climate and sustaining a rules-based global order.

The two countries will have a separate dialogue on commercial issues, which will not include the foreign ministers.

Till last year, trade and commercial issues were discussed in the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue and the Trade Policy Forum.

The first Strategic and Commercial Dialogue was held in 2015 in Washington and the second in New Delhi last year.

It was seen as an elevation of the US-India Strategic Dialogue in place since 2009 and which focused on regional security, economic cooperation, defence, trade and climate challenges.

The new "two plus two" ministerial dialogue was announced in Aug third week in a White House readout of a telephone call between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This is on the eve of India completing 70 years as an independent country on 15 August.

The leaders resolved to enhance peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region by establishing a new 2-by-2 ministerial dialogue that will elevate their strategic consultations.

The new dialogue format will involve the Indian foreign minister and the US secretary of state as well as the Indian defence minister and the US defence secretary.

The US has strategic consultations in this format with key partners and allies including Australia, Japan and the Philippines.

India has had a dialogue in the two-plus-two format with Japan with secretaries or senior-most bureaucrats from the foreign and defence ministries engaging each other.

Background

  • Interestingly, the announcement of the new two-plus-two dialogue to "enhance peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region" comes against the backdrop of a spike in tensions between India and China.
  • The Asian giants engaged in a military face-off on the Dokalam plateau in Bhutan.
  • It also comes amid reports of American disenchantment with China.
  • This is over its inability to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.


3)   Which terror outfit in Aug 2017 has been declared as foreign terrorist organisation by US?
- Published on 18 Aug 17

a. Hizbul Mujhahideen
b. Indian Mujahideen
c. SIMI
d. Lashkar e Taiba
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hizbul Mujhahideen

Explanation:
The Hizbul Mujahideen was designated as a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO) by the US State Department on 16th Aug 2017.

The development comes nearly a month after the terrorist outfit’s chief Syed Salahuddin was labeled a specially designated global terrorist.

Established in 1989, the Hizbul Mujahideen is one of the oldest and the largest militant groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir.

Among other consequences, all of HM’s property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group.

3 Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014, explosives attack in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people.

Through UNSC, New Delhi has been pushing for a ban on Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and its chief Syed Salahuddin, but has been vetoed by China.


4)   Who became the new foreign ministry of Sri Lanka on 15th Aug 2017?
- Published on 16 Aug 17

a. Ravi Karunanayake
b. Ranil Wickremsinghe
c. Tilak Marapana
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Tilak Marapana

Explanation:
Tilak Marapana of the United National Party (UNP) assumed charge as Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister on Aug 15 2016, following his predecessor Ravi Karunanayake’s resignation last week.

Mr. Karunanayake stepped down, after being linked to a controversial businessman who has been accused of a key role in a bond scam at the country’s Central Bank.

Denying any wrongdoing, the ex-Minister said he was resigning to protect the government and the UNP that he was part of.

Mr. Marapana is the third Foreign Minister since the Maithripala Sirisena-Ranil Wickremesinghe combine formed government two and a half years ago.

In May, Mr. Karunanayake replaced Mangala Samaraweera, currently Finance Minister, in a Cabinet reshuffle.

Talk of Mr. Maranapana’s appointment earlier sparked criticism from sections in Colombo, who pointed to his 2015 resignation - he was Law and Order Minister then - after he reportedly defended a controversial maritime security company linked to a major corruption case.

In May, Mr. Marapana was brought back into the government as Minister of Development


5)   What does USISPF stand for?
- Published on 07 Aug 17

a. UK India strategic partnership forum
b. US India strategic partnership forum
c. Uzbekistan India strategic partnership forum
d. Ukraine India strategic partnership forum
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: US India strategic partnership forum

Explanation:
Aug 1, 2017 marks the official launch of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), a nonprofit corporation focused on stimulating business relations between the U.S. and India, and enhancing the strategic relationship between the two countries.

USISPF is committed to creating the most powerful strategic partnership between the U.S. and India.

Promoting bilateral trade is an important part of USISPF's work.

USISPF's mission reaches far beyond this. It is about business and government coming together in new ways to create meaningful opportunities that have the power to change the lives of citizens.

USISPF's leadership and Board have been carefully selected based on their unique expertise and strong government and business relationships in both the U.S. and India.

Mukesh Aghi will lead USISPF as President and Gaurav Verma will serve as Chief Operating Officer.

USISPF's Board of Directors will include:

  • Chairman John Chambers (Executive Chairman, Cisco),
  • Vice-Chairs Punit Renjen (Global CEO, Deloitte LLP)
  • Edward Monser (President, Emerson Electric),
Board Members:
  • Indra Nooyi (Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo),
  • Ajay Banga (President & CEO, MasterCard),
  • Ambassador Susan Esserman (Partner, Steptoe & Johnson),
  • Secretary William Cohen (Chairman & CEO, The Cohen Group),
  • Purna Saggurti (Chairman of Global Corporate & Investment Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch),
    Ambassador Frank Wisner (International Affairs Advisor, Squire Patton Boggs).
The launch of USISPF represents a new chapter in the US-India relationship, and a US-India partnership to new heights by prioritizing mutual opportunities that will benefit businesses, governments, and citizens in both countries.

About the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF):
  • USISPF was established in 2017 by a group of industry leaders in both countries who are committed to creating a powerful strategic partnership between the U.S. and India.
  • A non-profit organization, USISPF is focused on driving economic growth, job creation, innovation, inclusion, and entrepreneurship in the U.S. and India.
  • USISPF has a strong presence in the U.S. and India, including in New York, Washington DC, Silicon Valley, Mumbai and New Delhi.


6)   US President Donald Trump has signed new sanctions on which country into law on Aug 2, 2017?
- Published on 03 Aug 17

a. North Korea
b. China
c. Russia
d. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c

Explanation:
US President Donald Trump has signed legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia into law on Aug 2, 2017.

The US Congress voted last week by overwhelming margins for sanctions to punish the Russian government over interference in the 2016 presidential election, annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and other perceived violations of international norms.

Mr. Trump, who has made clear he wanted to improve relations with Russia, reluctantly accepted the new congressional sanctions, which also included Iran and North Korea.

The Bill had enough support in Congress to override a presidential veto.

Mr. Trump’s signing of the Bill followed some conflicting signals from the administration in recent days about the sanctions.

Iran: Know More

  • Iran is an Islamic republic on the Persian (Arabian) Gulf with historical sites dating to the Persian Empire.
  • Extensive marble ruins mark Persepolis, the empire’s capital founded by Darius I in the 6th century B.C.
  • The modern capital, Tehran, is home to opulent Golestan Palace, seat of the Qajar Dynasty (1794 - 1925), plus modern landmarks such as the 435m-high Milad Tower.
  • Capital: Tehran
  • Currency: Iranian rial
  • President: Hassan Rouhani
  • Supreme leader: Ali Khamenei
  • Official language: Persian


7)   American President Donald Trump fired communication director _________ on 31st July.
- Published on 01 Aug 17

a. Anthony Scaramucci
b. Reince Preibus
c. Steve Bannon
d. John Kelly
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Anthony Scaramucci

Explanation:
US President Donald Trump fired his communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, on 31st July 2017 after little over a week in the job because of an obscene tirade.

Mr. Scaramucci’s departure follows one of the rockiest weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency in which a major Republican effort to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system failed in Congress.

Additionally, both his spokesman and previous chief of staff left their jobs.

Scaramucci had been damaged by comments he made to The New Yorker magazine last week in which he attacked then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in profanity-laden terms.

Trump removed Scaramucci on the same day he swore in a new White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine general who is expected to bring more discipline to running what has become a chaotic White House.

Scaramucci was named to the role only 10 days ago.


8)   Which senior PML-N leader is the interim PM of Pakistan following Nawaz Sharif's ouster?
- Published on 31 Jul 17

a. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
b. Shahbaz Sharif
c. Imran Khan
d. Pervez Musharraf
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Explanation:
Senior PML-N leader and former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will run the PML-N government as interim prime minister of Pakistan.

This is until Nawaz Sharif's brother Shahbaz is elected as member of parliament, according to Pakistan media reports.

The Supreme Court Friday disqualified 67-year-old Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal.

The investigation was instrumental in forcing the embattled leader out of office.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has decided to appoint Shahbaz Sharif as prime minister in an informal meeting.

Former petroleum minister Abbasi will be appointed as interim prime minister to run the country until Shahbaz is elected as member of parliament.

The final announcement will be made by Nawaz Sharif in the formal parliamentary party meeting of PML-N which is taking place in Islamabad a day after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court.

Party sources had earlier said that Sharif proposed the name of his younger brother Shahbaz.

But Shahbaz, 65, cannot immediately replace his brother as he is not an MP. In order to become the prime minister, he would have to be elected first.

Hence, Abbasi has been named as interim prime minister who will resign once Shahbaz is elected.

Pakistan has seen such arrangements in the past too. During former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf’s time, politician Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was appointed as an interim prime minister until Shaukat Aziz, who was nominated by Musharraf, got elected by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PMLQ).

Shahbaz Sharif is the son of late Mian Muhammad Sharif and brother of Nawaz Sharif.

Currently, Shahbaz is the chief minister of Pakistan's most populous province, Punjab.

He began his political career as a member of the Punjab Assembly in 1988.

Thereafter, Shahbaz became the opposition leader of Punjab Assembly in 1993.

Earlier, from 1997 to 1999, Shehbaz had held the position of Punjab chief minister.

However, he spent years of self-exile in Saudi Arabia, before returning to Pakistan in 2007.

Along with Shahbaz Sharif, Khawaja Asif, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Ahsan Iqbal, and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan were also in contention to replace Nawaz Sharif.

Nawaz Sharif's decision to step down brought an unceremonious end to his term in power, roughly a year before the scheduled General Election.

Had Nawaz Sharif stayed in power till the scheduled elections, he would have become the first Prime Minister of Pakistan to complete a full five-year term.


9)   Which Asian country's defence minister resigned after cover ups and gaffes at her ministry in July 2017?
- Published on 28 Jul 17

a. India
b. China
c. Japan
d. Pakistan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Japan

Explanation:
Embattled Japanese Defence Minister Tomomi Inada on 28th July 2017 announced resigning, after a series of gaffes, missteps and a cover-up at her ministry that have contributed to a sharp plunge in public support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Ms. Inada (58), an Abe protege who shares his conservative views, had already expected to be replaced in a likely cabinet reshuffle next week that Mr. Abe hopes will help repair his ratings.

Support for the Prime Minister has sunk below 30 per cent in some polls, due to scandals over suspected cronyism and a view among many voters that he and his aides took them for granted.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida would add the defence portfolio to his duties, to eliminate any gap at a time when Japan faces tough security challenges, such as volatile North Korea.

The resignation coincided with a report of an investigation into suspicions that defence ministry officials tried to hide logs showing worsening security in South Sudan.

This is where Japanese troops joined in a U.S.-led peacekeeping operation.

Troop deployment in the dangerous environment violated conditions set for such activities in line with Japan's pacifist constitution.

No Japanese troops have died in combat since World War Two and the growing chaos in South Sudan fuelled concern.

Mr. Abe, who returned to power in December 2012 promising to revive the economy and bolster defence, had until recently been seen as likely to win a third term when his tenure ends in September 2018, putting him on track to be Japan's longest-serving prime minister.

But the ratings plunge is making it more likely that LDP rivals will challenge him for the top party post - and the premiership.

The main opposition Democratic Party, however, has failed to capitalise on Mr. Abe's troubles.


10)   Which is the world’s largest aircraft carrier?
- Published on 25 Jul 17

a. USS Gerald Ford
b. USS Henry Ford
c. USS Enterprise
d. USS Frank Ford
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: USS Gerald Ford

Explanation:
With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald Ford to the Navy on 22nd July 2017.

American steel and American hands have constructed this 100,000-ton message to the world.

Susan Ford Bales is the ship’s sponsor and daughter of the 38th president, whom the ship honours.

Some of the USS Ford’s state-of-the-art systems and technology costs hundreds of millions of dollars.

Construction started in 2009 and was to be completed by September 2015 at a cost of $10.5 billion.

The Navy has blamed the delays and budget overruns on the ship’s advanced systems and technology, including electromagnetic launch systems for jets and drones that will replace steam catapults.

The warship also has a smaller island that sits farther back on the ship to make it quicker to refuel, re-arm and relaunch planes, and a nuclear power plant designed to allow cruising speeds of more than 30 knots and operation for 20 years without refuelling.

The vessel completed sea trials in April but still will go through a battery of tests and workups at sea before becoming ready for deployment, work that is expected to cost nearly $780 million and take more than four years to complete.

Docked at Naval Station Norfolk, the USS Ford eventually will house about 2,600 sailors, 600 fewer than the previous generation of aircraft carriers. The Navy says that will save more than $4 billion over the ship’s 50-year lifespan.

The air wing to support the Ford could add more personnel to the ship, which is designed to house more than 4,600 crew members.

The Ford was built at Newport News Shipbuilding, a giant Navy contractor in Virginia.


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