International Polity - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev has appointed whom as the first Vice President?
- Published on 23 Feb 17

a. Mirban Aliyev
b. Mehriban Aliyev
c. Heydar Aliyev
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mehriban Aliyev

Explanation:
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev appointed his wife Mehriban Aliyev as the First Vice President of the country.

The position was created after a constitutional referendum in September, 2016.

According to Azerbaijan’s constitution, the First Vice President takes over the country’s presidency if the president is unable to perform the duties.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has appointed his wife Mehriban as his deputy, further entrenching the power of the family in what one opposition leader denounced as a first step to establishment of an absolute monarchy.

Ilham Aliyev assumed the presidency of the oil and gas exporter in 2003 after the death of his father Heydar, whose rule stretched back into Soviet times.

Mehriban herself hails from one of the most wealthy and influential families in the country, the Pashayevs.

Ilham Aliyev's hold on power was tested in 2016 when low prices for Azerbaijan's main export, oil, hit the currency and pushed up prices for staple goods like flour. However, oil prices have recovered and the currency has stabilised.

Mehriban Aliyev, 52, is a member of parliament and a UNESCO goodwill ambassador. But her most prominent role until now has been as head of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and her official title will be First Vice President, a post that was created last year following a referendum on constitutional changes.

The revised constitution does not specify what duties the first vice president has.

European institutions and rights bodies have accused the Azeri authorities of curbing free expression and preventing fair elections.

Azeri officials deny those accusations, saying Aliyev's rule has brought prosperity and stability to a country located in an area, the southern Caucasus, that has seen several conflicts since collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Azerbaijan: Know More

  • Capital: Baku
  • Code: +994
  • Currency: Azerbaijani manat
  • Official language: Azerbaijani
  • Continent: Asia, Europe


2)   US President Trump has named whom as new NSA?
- Published on 21 Feb 17

a. HR McMaster
b. Michael Flynn
c. Keith Kellog
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: HR McMaster

Explanation:
US President Donald Trump on 20th Feb 2017 named Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster as his new National Security Adviser, the post left vacant after Michael Flynn's resignation.

Trump called him a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.

Acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg, a retired three-star general will move from the post.

Robert Harward, a retired vice admiral and former Navy SEAL, reportedly turned down Trump's offer of the job last week over concerns that he would not be able to bring in his own team to staff the National Security Council.

National Security Agency: Know More

  • Headquarters: Maryland, United States
  • Founder: Harry S. Truman
  • Founded: 4 November 1952
  • Motto: "Defending Our Nation. Securing The Future."


3)   Pakistan's senate passed which landmark bill, the first personal law for Hindus in the country?
- Published on 20 Feb 17

a. Hindu Marriage Bill 2017
b. Hindu Succession Bill 2017
c. Hindu Marriage and Succession Bill 2017
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hindu Marriage Bill 2017

Explanation:
Pakistan’s Senate (upper house) has unanimously passed landmark The Hindu Marriage Bill 2017 to regulate marriages of minority Hindus in the country.

It is first personal law for Pakistani Hindus, applicable in Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

The bill is deals with marriage, registration of marriage, separation and remarriage, sets minimum legal age of marriage at 18 years for both boys and girls in the minority Hindu community.

The bill will help Hindu women get documentary proof of their marriage.

Pakistan: Know More

  • Capital: Islamabad
  • Currency: Pakistani rupee
  • President: Mamnoon Hussain
  • Population: 182.1 million (2013) World Bank
  • Prime minister: Nawaz Sharif


4)   Which government won the motion of confidence with just 5 votes?
- Published on 17 Feb 17

a. Irish
b. Scottish
c. British
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Irish

Explanation:
The Government has won its motion of confidence in the Dáil by just five votes - 57 to 52, with 44 abstentions - after a series of terse exchanges between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin.

Fianna Fáil abstained in the vote.

Sinn Féin, Labour, Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit, Independents4Change, Social Democrats, Green Party and Independents Michael FitzMaurice, Mattie McGrath and Michael Collins voted against the Irish Government.

The Government’s confidence motion was in response to a Sinn Féin motion of no confidence in the Coalition.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny sharply attacked Sinn Féin as the Dáil debate on the motion kicked off.

Sinn Féin tabled the motion over the handling of sex crime allegations against Irish police whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

The party accused the government of covering up "who knew what and when."

Sgt McCabe and now retired John Wilson previously alleged there was corruption with the Republic of Ireland's driving licence penalty points system.

The Garda (Irish police) commissioner denied telling journalists that Sgt McCabe was facing sex crime allegations.

The claim against Nóirín O'Sullivan was made by Irish Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin in the Dáil (Irish parliament).


5)   The half brother of which country's leader was assassinated in Malaysia?
- Published on 15 Feb 17

a. North Korea
b. South Korea
c. Japan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: North Korea

Explanation:
The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been assassinated in Malaysia.

The agency quoted a Seoul government source as saying Kim Jong-Nam was killed on 13th Feb 2017.

The 45-year-old was poisoned by two unidentified female agents using poisoned needles at an airport in Kuala Lumpur.

Kim Jong-Nam was once considered heir apparent but fell out of favour with his father Kim Jong-Il following a botched attempt in 2001 to enter Japan on a forged passport and visit Disneyland.

He has since lived in virtual exile, mainly in the Chinese territory of Macau. Kim Jong-Un took over as North Korean leader when his father died in December 2011.

Kim Jong-Nam, known as an advocate of reform in the North, once told a Japanese newspaper that he opposed his country's dynastic power transfers.

Kim's case would be the highest-profile death under the Kim Jong-Un regime since the execution of the leader's uncle Jang Song-Thaek in December 2013.

Kim Jong-Nam: Know More

  • Born: 10 May 1971, Pyongyang, North Korea
  • Died: 13 February 2017, Sepang District, Malaysia
  • Education: Kim Il-sung University


6)   Who resigned from the Trump administration after winning a post as NSA?
- Published on 15 Feb 17

a. Michael Flynn
b. Nikki Haley
c. Ajit Pai
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Michael Flynn

Explanation:
Michael Flynn, a former military general who helped to shape President Donald Trump’s foreign policy views, resigned as the National Security Adviser (NSA) on 13th Feb 2017.

Mr. Flynn, in his resignation letter, admitted to giving incomplete information to the Vice-President on his phone calls with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. while he was the NSA-designate.

U.S. intelligence agencies wiretapped the incoming NSA’s conversations with the Ambassador, and the episodic media leaks of its content and follow-up actions were responsible for his resignation,

Flynn's resignation was on the grounds that he misled vice-president Mike Pence, who apparently took the NSA's word that he did not discuss the sanctions issue with the Russian ambassador to US during Trump administration's transition phase.

Pence supported Flynn on television shows based on his assurance, but it transpired that the embattled NSA, already at sea in the tumultuous early days of the administration, had erred.

Flynn will go down in history as the NSA with the shortest stint- just 24 days-in a job whose average tenure is two and half years.

Another retired general, Keith Kellogg, was designated the interim national security adviser, and he along with two other former military brass, Gen David Petraeus and former Vice Admiral Bob Harward are being considered for the post.


7)   Career diplomat __________ is Pakistan's first woman foreign secretary.
- Published on 14 Feb 17

a. Tamima Janjua
b. Tehmina Janjua
c. Tamima Abdul Basit
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Tehmina Janjua

Explanation:
Career diplomat Tehmina Janjua was on 13th Feb 2017 appointed as Pakistan's first woman foreign secretary.

Foreign Office said that Janjua will replace outgoing foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

Tehmina Janjua will assume the post of Foreign Secretary in the first week of March 2017, Pakistan's foreign office said.

Earlier local media reports had named Pakistan high commissioner to India Abdul Basit as the front-runner for the coveted post.

She was presently serving as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva.

Janjua is a seasoned diplomat with a career spanning over 32 years.

She holds Master's degrees from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad and Columbia University, New York.

She has rich experience of working in bilateral and multilateral domains both at Headquarters and Missions abroad, FO said.

She also served as Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during 2011.

Janjua served as Ambassador of Pakistan to Italy from December 2011 to October 2015.

At present she is serving as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva since October 2015.


8)   North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into which sea in Feb 2017?
- Published on 13 Feb 17

a. Japan Sea
b. South China Sea
c. Red Sea
d. Caspian Sea
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Japan Sea

Explanation:
North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea early on 12th February 2017.

This is the first such test since U.S. President Donald Trump was elected, and his administration indicated that Washington would have a calibrated response to avoid escalating tensions.

The test was likely to have been of an intermediate-range Musudan-class missile that landed in the Sea of Japan, according to South Korea’s military.

The launch marks the first test of Trump’s vow to get tough on an isolated North Korean regime that last year tested nuclear devices and ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate in violation of United Nations resolutions.

The latest test comes a day after Trump held a summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe called the launch “absolutely intolerable” and said North Korea must comply with UN Security Council resolutions.

China is North Korea’s main ally but has been frustrated by Pyongyang's repeated provocations,.

It also bristles at pressure from Washington and Seoul to curb the North and its young leader, Kim Jong Un.

China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump and his aides are likely to weigh a series of possible responses, including new U.S. sanctions to tighten financial control.

There may also be an increase in naval and air assets in and around the Korean peninsula and accelerated installation of new missile defence systems in South Korea, the administration official said.

Trump has pledged a more assertive approach to North Korea but given no clear sign of how his policy would differ from Obama’s so-called strategic patience.

This is part of a show of force in response to the new U.S. administration’s hard-line position against the North.

A South Korean military source said the missile reached an altitude of about 550 km.

While Seoul initially said the missile was probably a medium-range Rodong, it later said the launch was likely of a Musudan, which is designed to fly up to 3,000-4,000 km.

The North attempted eight Musudan launches last year.

Only one of those launches - of a missile that flew 400 km in June - was considered a success by officials and experts in South Korea and the United States.

Once fully developed, a North Korean ICBM could threaten the continental United States, which is about 9,000 km from North Korea.


9)   Who has been elected the new president of Germany?
- Published on 13 Feb 17

a. Martin Schulz
b. Joachim Gauck
c. Frank-Walter Steinmeier
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Explanation:
Billed as Germany's "anti-Trump", centre-left former foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was elected on 12th Feb as the new ceremonial head of state.

The 61-year-old regularly polls as Germany's most popular politician.

He will represent the EU's top economy abroad and act as a kind of moral arbiter for the nation.

His Social Democrats (SPD) hope the appointment will boost their fortunes.

Their candidate Martin Schulz, the former European parliament president, readies to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in September elections.

Steinmeier received 931 of 1,239 valid votes after Merkel's conservatives, lacking a strong candidate of their own, agreed to back him to replace incumbent Joachim Gauck, 77, a former pastor from ex-communist East Germany.

The vote was held in Berlin's glass-domed Reichstag building by a special Federal Assembly, made up of national lawmakers and electors sent from Germany's 16 states.

Though the trained lawyer is usually measured in his speech, in the thick of last year's US election campaign Steinmeier labelled Donald Trump a "hate preacher".

As Steinmeier has prepared for the new post, which he assumes on March 19, he has vowed to serve as a "counterweight to the trend of boundless simplification.”

He is calling this approach "the best antidote to the populists".

A policy wonk by nature, Steinmeier served as advisor and then chief of staff to Merkel's predecessor, the SPD's Gerhard Schroeder.

In 2009, Steinmeier ran against Merkel and lost badly, only to return years later to serve in her cabinet.

Steinmeier is well known in the world's capitals, but his appointment worries some in eastern Europe, who see him as too soft on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Having Steinmeier move into the presidential Bellevue Castle in Berlin has emboldened the SPD.

For Germany's SDP, Steinmeier's election is a prelude to something bigger to come: a victory in September's elections against Merkel, according to some analysts.


10)   Which Latin American country has decided to issue a decree curbing immigration in Feb 2017?
- Published on 06 Feb 17

a. Mexico
b. Cuba
c. Argentina
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Argentina

Explanation:
In place with immigration restrictions put in place by the Trump administration, President Mauricio Macri has issued a decree curbing immigration to Argentina.

His government declaring that newcomers from poorer countries in Latin America bring crime.

The measures announced by Macri made it much easier to deport immigrants and restrict their entry, prompting comparisons to President Trump.

Argentina's president, the son of an immigrant, has echoed some of Trump's "America First" theme, making it clear that his "first concern" should be "caring for Argentines, caring for ourselves."

"We cannot continue to allow criminals to keep choosing Argentina as a place to commit offenses," Macri said.

His decree has also rekindled criticism of his ties to Trump, whom he calls a friend.

Argentina Government

  • Government: Federal presidential constitutional republic
  • President: Mauricio Macri
  • Vice President: Gabriela Michetti
  • Legislature: Congress
  • Upper house: Senate
  • Lower house: Chamber of Deputies


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