International Polity - Current Affairs for February, 2016

International Polity Current Affairs for February, 2016

Month wise coverage of International Polity Current Affairs helps you improve your general knowledge and prepare for all competitive exams like IBPS, Bank PO, SBI PO, RRB, RBI, LIC, Specialist Officer, Clerk, SSC, UPSC, Railway etc. This section is updated daily with the most important events.

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▼ 6+1 Regional consultative mechanism formed to resolve issues in war torn Afghanistan   [02-26-16]

India has received the invitation to be part of a new regional consultative mechanism to weigh in on the critical challenges facing the war-torn nation. The 6+1 group will include India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, the US and China in along Afghanistan. This mirrors the special envoys club, International Contact Group. While Iran is willing, US and Pakistan are currently reluctant.

▼ Ciudadanos enters into agreement with Spain’s Socialist Party   [02-25-16]

This agreement was for supporting the Socialist bid to form a new government. Socialist leader Sanchez can now garner support from Ciudadanos. Conservative Popular Party with 123 seats has said it will vote against Sanches while far left Podemos has said it will do so if he formed a deal with Ciudadanos. The main tangle behind Socialist Party and Podemos is the latter's insistence on allowing the northeastern Catalonia region to hold a referendum on secession. The elections in Spain this time have left to Spain’s most fragmented Parliament in decades, shattering the popularity of left and right wing parties alike.

▼ US and Russia announce plans for Syria ceasefire   [02-24-16]

The ceasefire is to begin on February 27 and in a joint statement, the 2 nations held that agreement will not apply to 'Daesh', also known as the Islamic State (IS), 'Jabhat al-Nusra', or other terrorist organisations designated by the UNSC. Any group engaged in conflicts in Syria will indicate to Russia or the US their commitment to and acceptance of the terms for the cessation of hostilities by no later than 12.00 (Damascus time) on February 27, said the joint statement issued by the State Department.

▼ US Presidential nominees gear up for Super Tuesday   [02-24-16]

This year’s Super Tuesday will be held on 1st March 2016. This is a Tuesday in months of February or March when largest number of states hold primary elections. This represents the candidate’s first test of national electability. Those who win become party’s candidate for presidential elections. These are elections in each State within the two major parties, but usually paid for by the State and run by State election officials. Registered voters from each party vote to nominate one among the several candidates to represent the party in the presidential race. Each party has a certain number of delegates from that State who will be attending its national convention, where the final selection of the candidate happens. The percentage of votes won by a candidate in a State Primary translates into the percentage of delegates from that State who will vote for that candidate at the national convention.

▼ Hillary Clinton wins Nevada Caucus, Trump takes South Carolina   [02-24-16]

Caucuses recently won by democratic and republican candidates have Clinton and Trump leading the race. These caucuses are conducted by political parties themselves with registered members of that party in a city, town or county gathering to express support for a candidate. The combined recommendations of a political party’s state Caucuses determine its nominees for State or national offices. Usually held between months of February and June, it is sometimes combined with Primary Elections. Only 14 states are holding the caucuses in 2016 namely: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories (American Samoa, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

▼ Jeb Bush ends campaign for presidency   [02-22-16]

Republic leader Jeb Bush ended his campaign for presidency on 20th February 2016 following a loss in the South Carolina caucus. Bush ended his campaign even as another Republican candidate Donald Trump won the caucus and much acclaim. For the Democrats in Nevada, Hillary Clinton triumphed over Bernie Sanders.

▼ Faustin Archange Touadera appointed president of Central African Republic   [02-22-16]

Touadera won nearly 62% of the votes with arch rival Anicet-Georges Dologuele, a former banker nicknamed “Mr Clean” who had won the first round on December 30 securing 37% of the votes. He was the last premier of the ex-president Francois Bozize who was ousted from power in 2013.
Faustin Archange Touadera, is also a former maths teacher and progressive thinker.

▼ Deal to give UK special status reached   [02-22-16]

David Cameron has announced that deal has been reached to give UK special status in the EU. Deal gives Britain special status within the EU and provides impetus for tough new restrictions on access to UK welfare system for EU migrants. The new deal also provides a 7 year emergency stoppage of in work benefits for EU migrant workers and cuts in child benefit for children residing overseas.

▼ US President Obama imposes new sanctions against North Korea   [02-22-16]

US President Barack Obama has signed legislation imposing fresh sanctions against N Korea in response to nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang. The bills impose mandatory sanctions on those helping N.Korea in its nuclear and missile programmes, human rights violations and cyber attacks. Expanded sanctions aim to deny N.Korea money needed to deliver long range missiles and develop miniaturised nuclear warheads.

▼ Imran Abdulla, leader of Opposition in Maldives sentenced to 12 year imprisonment   [02-19-16]

Imran Abdulla, another Opposition leader in the Maldives and chief of the Ahdaalath Party has been sentenced to 12-year-long imprisonment. This follows the conviction of former president M. Nasheed for having allegedly ordered the arrest of the chief judge of the Criminal Court and sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment. UK and US governments have issued a protest at the judgement.

▼ Ehud Olmert becomes first Israeli premier to be sentenced and imprisoned   [02-16-16]

Israeli former PM Ehud Olmert has started serving a 19 month prison sentence for bribery as well as justice obstruction. He is the first Israeli premier to be imprisoned and capping a years-long legal saga that forced him to resign in 2009 amid the last serious round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Olmert was convicted in March 2014.

▼ Australia’s PM announces second major Cabinet reshuffle   [02-15-16]

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has announced a Cabinet reshuffle following the resignation of three ministers on account of scandals and retire at elections due within months. This is a second major reshuffle for the Australian PM since he came to power in September. The transition has led to the emergence of younger political leaders.

▼ NATO and EU sign cyber defence agreement    [02-12-16]

NATO and the European Union have signed an agreement for improving cooperation in cyberdefence. Technical agreement was signed in NATO HQ and both NATO and EU having 22 member countries in common will enhance cooperation in the area of defence related fields. In a statement, the EU said the new agreement will facilitate information-sharing to improve cyber incident prevention, detection and response at both the EU and NATO. EU has also been participating in Cyber defence exercises of NATO with objectives of progress in the EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework, which has set cooperation with NATO as one of its five priorities.

▼ Harinder Sidhu appointed High Commissioner to India by Australia   [02-12-16]

Australia on 11th February 2016 announced the appointment of Indian origin Harinder Sidhu as the next High Commissioner to India. Ms Sidhu is an Indian origin citizen who has worked as a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and has been also serving as First Assistant Secretary of the Multilateral Policy Division, previously serving overseas in Moscow and Damascus. Australia began its first maritime exercises for bilateral cooperation with India in 2015. Currently, 450,000 people of Indian descent are residing in Australia.

▼ Hindu Marriage Bill approved in Pakistan   [02-10-16]

For the first time in decades, the Hindu minority community in Pakistan will have a marriage law. The parliamentary panel has approved the Hindu Marriage Bill. National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice approved the final draft of the bill. 5 Hindu lawmakers were specially invited for this draft. After making amendments in that minimum age of marriage is 18 and law is applicable for the whole nation, the bill was unanimously adopted by the committee.

▼ DGCA signs grant agreement with USTDA   [02-10-16]

Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India and United States Technical Development Agency has signed a grant agreement for Indian Aviation Safety Technical Assistance Phase 2 in New Delhi. USTDA will partially fund the project along with TWG or The Wicks Group and GoI. In 2014, USTDA in coordination with FAA offered DGCA assistance under the USTDA Grant agreement project for addressing FAA IASA findings and restoring category 1 status to the nation.

▼ North Korea defies international warnings to launch long range rocket   [02-8-16]

N. Korea defied global warnings to launch a long range rocket that UN and others called for as banned because it could strike the US mainland. Rocket was fired from the west coast of N.Korea and tracked by S. Korea. This follows the nation’s disputed claims to have tested a hydrogen bomb. This has been considered a further provocation by Seoul and its allies.

▼ Haiti leaders to install caretaker government   [02-8-16]

Haitian leaders have taken the decision for installing a caretaker government for taking over from President Michel Martelly who left office without an elected successor. The agreement was reached prior to his stepping down.

▼ China and Iran sign 17 documents for bilateral cooperation   [02-1-16]

China and Iran have signed 17 documents and letters of intent for promoting bilateral cooperation. Agreements were signed in Tehran during the visit of the Chinese president Xi Jinping. Agreement covers numerous areas such as energy, finance, investment, communications, culture, judiciary and science and technology. This is the Chinese president’s first trip since sanctions were lifted on Iran. During the early January 2016 months, USA, EU and Japan lifted oil as well as financial sanctions under the JCPA/Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action also known as the Vienna agreement. This was the first trip by a Chinese head of the state in 14 years.