international - 2018 DECEMBER

December 1

Australia Becomes First Country to Move Against Orphanage Trafficking
Australia has become the first country in the world to recognize 'orphanage trafficking' as a form of modern slavery.
 Children from smaller countries are recruited in orphanages in the West for the purpose of profit through foreign aid.
 According to the US State Department, many orphanages use the children to raise funds by forcing them to perform shows for or interact and play with potential donors to encourage more donations’.
 As per estimates, 80% of children living in the world's orphanages have at least one living parent.

US, Mexico and Canada signed a new USMCA trade deal
US President Donald Trump, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau signed the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
USMCA will govern over a trillion dollars worth of trade among the three countries.
They signed an authorization for the deal in Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summits. 

EU sets goal to be ‘climate neutral’ by 2050
The European Union urged government, businesses, citizens and regions to join it in an ambitious plan to cut emissions and make the bloc carbon neutral by 2050.
According to Canete, if Europe retains its current targets it will only reduce net carbon emissions by 60% by mid-century, not enough to meet the bloc’s pledges under the 2015 Paris climate accord.
As per the European Union, this target can be achieved by using Solar and Wind Energy for electricity generation.
Climate Neutrality means the emissions are to be balanced by methods of removing warming gases from the atmosphere by planting new forests or through carbon capturing technologies.

December 2

India’s chairmanship of Kimberley Process, from January 2019, announced in the 15th KPCS 2018 plenary session held in Brussels, Belgium
India took over the chairmanship of Kimberley Process from EU during the four-day 15th Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) Plenary 2018 that was held in Brussels, Belgium, from 12th - 16th November 2018.
The chairmanship of the KPCS for India would be operation from January 2019.
And the next Intercessional session is slated to be held in India as Chair.
Botswana and the Russian Federation will serve as Vice-Chair during the period of 2019 - 2020.

UK amends weapons bill to ensure right to possession of kirpans by Sikhs
The UK government has confirmed an amendment to a new weapons bill going through the Parliament to ensure that it would not impact the right of the British Sikh community to possess and supply kirpans, or religious swords.
The Offensive Weapons Bill 2018 completed its various readings in the House of Commons and has moved to the House of Lords for approval.
The bill involves a new offence of possessing certain offensive weapons in public and places new restrictions on the online sales of bladed articles and corrosive products.

December 3

Sushma Swaraj to visit UAE (United Arab Emirates)
India and the UAE enjoy strong bonds of friendship, which are founded on millennia-old cultural, religious and economic interaction between the two regions.
With nearly US $50 billion bilateral trade, the two countries are one of the largest trade partners for each other and have made robust investments bilaterally.
The UAE is the sixth-largest source of our oil imports and hosts a 3.3 million-strong Indian Community.

December 4

Sri Lankan court issues order blocking Rajapaksa from acting as PM
Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal has issued an interim order preventing Mahinda Rajapaksa from functioning as prime minister and holding cabinet meetings.
The order is a blow to the former president’s attempt to hold the prime minister’s office and forms the latest twist in Colombo’s political turmoil.
Judge Preethi padman Surasena said the stay was issued as ‘irreversible damage could be caused if Rajapaksa continued to function as Sri Lanka’s prime minister.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated Chabahar port
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated a newly-built extension to the country's main Arabian Sea outlet.
The strategic Chabahar Port on the Gulf of Oman, which more than triples its capacity and poses a challenge for a port under construction in neighboring Pakistan.
The $340 million project opens up a new strategic transit route to Afghanistan and Central Asia for India through Iran, bypassing Pakistan. 

December 5

US re-established 'Permanent Diplomatic Mission in Somalia' for first time in 27 years
The United States re-established a 'permanent diplomatic presence' in Somalia for the first time in 27 years.
The United States has been handling its diplomatic mission to Somalia from the capital of neighbouring Kenya since 2013.

December 6

India signed agreement with Iran to pay crude bill in rupee
India signed an agreement with Iran to pay for crude oil it imports from the Persian Gulf nation in rupees.
Indian refiners will make rupee payments in a UCO Bank account of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC).
These funds would be earmarked for settling payments for exports of Indian goods to Iran.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed following the US letting India and seven other nations to keep buying Iranian oil despite sanctions were reemployed on the Islamic state in November.

Pakistan will soon impose a 'sin tax' on cigarettes and sugary
Pakistan will soon impose a 'sin tax' on cigarettes and sugary beverages and that fund would be diverted to the health budget, Minister for National Health Services Aamer Mehmood Kiani.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was committed to increasing the health budget by five per cent of GDP.

December 7

India, Peru signed agreement for co-operation and mutual assistance in Customs Matters
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 80th Session of the Policy Commission meeting of the World Customs Organisations (WCO) which was held in Mumbai.

December 8

UNO launched new framework to strengthen fight against terrorism
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has launched a new framework to combat the scourge of international terrorism and coordinate efforts across the peace and security, humanitarian, human rights and sustainable development sectors. 
Termed the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, the framework is an agreement between the UN chief, 36 organizational entities.
The International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) and the World Customs Organisation, to better serve the needs of Member States when it comes to tackling the scourge of international terrorism. 
About UNO:
Secretary - General: Antonio Guterres.

Second Largest Ebola Outbreak Spreads In Congo
The second-largest Ebola outbreak in history has spread to a major city in eastern Congo. Butembo, with more than one million residents, is now reporting cases of the deadly hemorrhagic fever.
The outbreak declared in August is second only to the devastating West Africa outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people a few years ago.
The Ebola virus spreads via bodily fluids of those infected, including the dead.
About Congo:
President: Joseph Kabila
Currency: Congolese Franc
Capital: Kinshasa

December 9

Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launches world’s largest Arabic audio library in Dubai
Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, launched the Dubai Audio Library, The largest Arabic audio library in the world.
The first book uploaded to the Dubai Audio Library, Zayed Diwan, is a collection of 87 poems written by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
The library will provide 300,000 books in Arabic and more than 10,000 volunteers will convert Arabic books into digital format and edit them before uploading them to the website.
About Dubai:
President: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham
Capital: Dubai

December 10

Legislation allowing foreign blue-collar workers to ease labour shortage from April 2019 approved by Japanese Parliament
Workers in the first category will be allowed in for five years if they have a certain level of skill and some proficiency in Japanese andWorkers with a higher level of skills would qualify for the second visa category and would eventually be allowed to apply for residency.
After the passing of the legislation, 345,150 blue-collar workers will be allowed in the next 5 years. The initial numbers considered for this was 500,000.
About Japan:
Capital: Tokyo.
Currency: Japanese yen.
President: Shinzo Abe

December 11

President Kovind Embarks On 4-Day Visit to Myanmar
President Ram Nath Kovind and first lady Savita Kovind left for a 4-day visit to Myanmar. During his stay, the President will visit capital Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon, and interact with his counterpart U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
The president will also hold a high-level delegation meeting. Myanmar is a country where India’s ‘Act East’ and ‘Neighbourhood First’ policies intersect.
Myanmar is the only ASEAN member state that is both a land and maritime neighbour of India.
About Mayanmar:
Capital: Naypyidaw
Currency: Burmese kyat.
President: Win Myint

Air Force Chief On 5 Day Visit to Japan
 Air Force Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa left on a five-day goodwill visit to Japan. 
During his visit, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa will call on Japanese Minister of Defence Takeshi Iwaya, Chief of Staff of Japan Air Self Defence Force General Yoshinari Marumo, Chief of Staff, Joint Staff Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano.
About Japan:
Capital: Tokyo.
Currency: Japanese yen.
President: Shinzo Abe

December 12

Israel becomes a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
Earlier Israel became an observer to the FATF in February 2016 and in 2000 the Israel was blacklisted by the organization and was removed from the list in 2002, but now has become the group’s 38th member.
The FATF membership will tag Israel as an attractive country for international investment and improve the status of the Israeli financial sector and its ability to operate in the global economy.
About financial task force:
Headquarters: Paris, France
President: Marshall Billingslea

December 13

India signs ascension pact to the 30-member Trans Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN) at Italian Naval Headquarters in Rome, Italy.
This agreement was signed by CMDE KM Ramakrishna.
The T-RMN consists of 30-member countries and is led by Italy.
This agreement will give India an access to the information on ships passing through the Indian Ocean Region that will help in keeping tabs on the security forces.
India already has bilateral White Shipping Agreements with 36 countries.
About Italy:
Capital: Rome
Currency: Euro
President :Sergio Mattarella

Japan chooses Chinese character for ‘disaster’ to define year 2018
Japan selected the Chinese character for ‘disaster’ as its defining symbol for 2018, a year that saw the country hit by deadly floods, earthquakes and storms.
The people of Japan vote for the Chinese character they think embodies the key events of the previous 12 months. 20858 people out of 193,214 chose the character ‘disaster’.
In the same month, 150 people died due to heat wave and 80000 people were hospitalized.
About Japan:
Capital: Tokyo.
Currency: Japanese yen.
President :Shinzo Abe

December 14

Overview of Defence Minister NirmalaSitharaman’s 5-day visit to the United States
Defence Minister NirmalaSitharaman concluded her 5-day visit to the United States at the invitation of the US Secretary of Defence, James N Mattis.
On her visit, Sitharaman,defence minister of India, was accorded with the Armed Forces Enhanced Honours Cordon, a red-carpet welcome, during her maiden visit to the US.
She was accompanied by US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster on her official visit.
The whole visit revolved around the US-India Defence partnership.
About United States:
President: Donald Trump
Currency: US Dollar
Capital: Washing ton

Bilateral Annual Haj 2019 Agreement between India and Saudi Arabia Signed at Jeddah
Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Government of India Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi,  and Haj andUmrah Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Bentensigned bilateral annual Haj 2019 agreement between India and Saudi Arabia at Jeddah.
Naqvi, that the Saudi Arabia Government has always played active and effective role to ensure safety and better facilities to Indian Haj pilgrims. It is a part of strengthened bilateral relations of the two countries.
India-Saudi Arabia relations have achieved newer heights under the leadership and guidance of Saudi Arabia King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and Prime Minister of India ShriNarendraModi. Both the countries share strong cultural, historical, economic and political relations.
About Saudi Arabia:
Capital: Riyadh
Currency: Saudi riyal
President: Salman bin Abdulaziz Al

December 15

Nepal government bans Indian currency notes above Rs 100
New Indian note of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations were banned as the Nepal government has not yet legalised them in the market.
The move can affect the Indian tourist and Nepali people working in India, who carry the currency in Nepal for transaction.
About Nepal:
President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari
Prime Minister: Kadhga Prasad Oli
Currency: Nepalese rupee
Capital: Kathmandu

December 16

India announces $1.4 billion aid to Maldives
India announced a $1.4 billion package for the Maldives to meet its immediate budgetary as well as some medium-term requirements. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the package that includes soft loans after talks with visiting Maldives President Ibrahim Solih in New Delhi.
The Maldives is weighed down by some $3 billion in debt to China and the country is looking to India and Saudi Arabia, besides others, for help.
Here are 4 agreements that were signed during the state visit of Maldives President Ibrahim Solih:
(1) Agreement on the Facilitation of Visa Arrangements
(2) MoU on Cultural Cooperation
(3) MoU for Establishing Mutual Cooperation to Improve the Ecosystem for Agribusiness
(4) Joint Declaration of Intent on Cooperation in the field of Information & Communications Technology and Electronics.
Maldives Capital - Male, Currency - Maldivian rufiyaa.

December 17

Australia recognized West Jerusalem as capital of Israel
Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their Capital and this dispute is not resolved yet.
USA under the leadership of Donald Trump had already recognized the disputed city as the Capital of Israel.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also clarified that Australia will recognize the future state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital when the city’s status is determined in a peace deal.
About Australia:
Prime Minister: Scott Morrison
Capital: Canberra
Currency: Australian dollar

December 18

UAE President declares 2019 as ‘Year of Tolerance’
United Arab Emirates (UAE) President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared 2019 to be the ‘Year of Tolerance’ to highlight UAE as the Global Capital of Tolerance, instilling the values of co-existence and peace in local, regional and international communities
The Year of Tolerance will focus on ‘Five Pillars’.
First one aims to deepen the values of tolerance and co-existence among cultures and peoples by concentrating on teaching the youth on the values of tolerance.
The second pillar will focus on solidifying the UAE as the global capital for tolerance, via a series of projects with dialogue between various cultures and civilizations
About UAE (united Arab Emirate):
President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
Prime Minister: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

UN Members adopt the global refuses
The UN member states voted in favour of the Global Compact on Refugees, affirming international solidarity and cooperation for refugee protection and host community development.
The Global Compact on refugees received 181 votes in favour in the 193-member assembly, days after a UN conference in Morocco adopted a similar compact on migration.
The United States and Hungary were the only two nations that voted against the agreement, while 181 countries voted in favour and the Dominican Republic, Eritrea and Libya abstained.

December 19

India, Nepal, Bhutan plan joint task force to protect wildlife
The governments of India, Nepal and Bhutan are actively considering having a joint task force for allowing free movement of wildlife across political boundaries and checking smuggling of wildlife across the Kanchenjunga Landscape, a trans-boundary region spread across Nepal, India and Bhutan.
The developments comes up after forest officials and representatives of non-government organization of the three countries visited parts of the landscape and later held a meeting at Siliguri in north Bengal.
According to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a regional knowledge development and learning centre, 1,118 sq km of riverine grassland and tree cover were lost in the landscape between 2000 and 2010. 74% of the area was converted into rangeland and 26% to agricultural land.
About Nepal:
Currency: Nepalese rupee
Capital: Kathmandu
Prime Minister: Khadga Prasad Oli

December 20

New Zealand to phase out plastic shopping bags from July 1, 2019
New Zealand government announced regulations for mandatory phase-out of single-use plastic shopping bags with effect from July 1, 2019.
The phase out will apply to all new plastic shopping bags with handles that are made of plastic up to 70 microns in thickness.
New Zealand has recently become a signatory to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, a global pledge to address the root causes of plastic pollution.
About New Zealand:
President: Jacinda Ardern
Capital: Wellington
Currency: New Zealand Dollar

Nevada become the first state in the US With an overall female majority in its legislature
Nevada became the first state in the US with an overall female majority in its legislature when county officials in Las Vegas appointed two women to fill vacancies in the state assembly.
The appointments of the Democrats Rochelle Thuy Nguyen and Beatrice ‘Bea’ Angela Duran to two Las Vegas-area legislative seats give women 51% of the 63 seats in the legislature.
About US:
President: Donald Trump
Currency: US Dollar
Capital: Washing ton

December 21

India fifth-most deadliest place to be a journalist, Afghanistan worst Reporters without Borders (RSF)
India fifth-most deadliest place to be a journalist, Afghanistan worst based on the annual worldwide round-up of deadly violence and abusive treatment of journalists was released by Reporters without Borders (RSF).
The most Deadliest Place for Journalist is Afghanistan, 15 journalists were killed in 2018.
About Afghanistan:
President: Ashraf Ghani
Capital: Kabul
Currency: Afghan afghani

Russia USA pulled out of the Intermediate - Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with
The Russian government announced USA’s withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
The treaty aimed to end arms race between USA and USSR during cold war and to ensure some strategic stability in Europe.
Under this treaty, all the nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges of 500 – 1,000 km or (short-range) and 1,000 – 5,500 km (intermediate-range) were banned.
It also banned the development, testing and possession of short and medium-range ground-launched nuclear missiles having ranged between 500 - 5,000 km.
About Russia:
Capital: Moscow.
Currency: Russian Ruble.
President: Vladimir Putin

December 22

Pakistan rejected Punjab’s land swap demand to make Kartarpur as a part of India
Pakistan has turned down the demand from the Indian side for a land swap between the two countries to make Kartarpur a part of India.
It’s a gesture for Sikh minority community made on their request to provide a visa-free corridor to facilitate visit to a religious shrine.
The decision to open the Kartarpur corridor was taken at the state-to-state level and the Indian government was fully involved.

December 23

Burundi Named Gitega as New Capital
Burundi declared the small central city of Gitega the country’s new political capital, in line with a presidential promise, made a decade ago.
A government spokesman named Gitega while also stating that the previous capital Bujumbura, on the north-eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, would in future function solely as the country’s economic centre.
About Burundi:
Capital: Gitega
Currency: Burundian franc

Tsunami in Indonesia Killed Over 280, With No Warning or Quake
Indonesia - the rock band was playing its second song of a set when a wave nearly 10 feet high burst through a backdrop behind the stage, crashed into the drummer, his drum set and the other musicians, and swept the stage into the audience.
At least 280 people were killed as waves smashed into houses, hotels and other beachside buildings along Indonesia's Sunda Strait.
In a disaster that followed an eruption and possible landslide on Anak Krakatau, one of the world's most infamous volcanic islands.
About Indonesia:
Currency: Indonisaian Rupiah
Capital: Jakarta

December 24

NABCB Accreditation Secured Recognition in Asia- Pacific Region
The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), India’s national accreditation body, has secured equivalence for its accreditation programme for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) Certification Bodies in Asia- Pacific region.
NABCB is the third accreditation body in the Asia Pacific Region to become internationally equivalent in the region, the other two being the accreditation bodies of Hong Kong and Mexico.

December 25

India take over operations of Iran’s strategic Chabahar Port, can bypass Pak on way to Afghanistan
Indian firm India Ports Global Limited formally took over the operations of Chabahar's Shaheed Behesti port in Iran, which opens a trade route between India and central Asia bypassing Pakistan.
The company opened its office following the first meeting of the follow-up committee for implementation of the trilateral Chabahar Agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan.
About Iran:
Capital: Tehran
Currency: Iranian Rial

December 26

Italy’s Mount Etna erupts, closing Sicily’s Catania Airport
Italy’s Mount Etna which is Europe’s highest and most active volcano erupted causing temporary closure of Catania Airport on the Sicily’s eastern coast.
According to the national institute for geophysics and vulcanology (INGV) the earthquake happened in the middle of the night and was only one kilometre deep. The epicentre was located in north of Catania.
Richter Magnitude scale or Richter’s scale is a device invented by Charles F. Richter to measure the strength of Earthquakes.
Mount Etna is an active strato volcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Metropolitan City of Catania, between the cities of Messina and Catania.
About Italy:
Capital: Rome
President: Sergio Mattarella
Currency: Euro

Japan announced International Whaling Commission (IWC) withdrawal to resume commercial whaling
The Japanese government officially announced to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC), enabling Japan to pursue commercial whaling in its adjacent waters, including its Exclusive Economic Zone.
Japan will resume commercial whaling in July 2019 and the whaling area will not include the Antarctic Ocean or the Southern Hemisphere.
The move came more than three months after the global body for the conservation of whales rejected a Tokyo-led proposal to lift a 32-year ban on the commercial hunting of the ocean mammals.
About Japan:
Capital: Tokyo
Currency: Japanese yen
Prime minister: Shinzo Abe

December 27

Thailand moved to legalize medical marijuana and another drug
Thailand's legislature has agreed to amend the country's drug laws to allow the licensed medical use of marijuana, as well as kratom, a locally grown plant traditionally used as a stimulant and painkiller.
Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to take such action, which is also under consideration in neighboring Malaysia.
New Zealand's government earlier enacted a law liberalizing the medical use of marijuana, which had previously been tightly restricted.
About Thailand:
Capital: Bangkok.
Currency: Thai bhat.
President: Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun
Prime Minister: Prayut Chan-o-cha.

North Korea, South Korea hold groundbreaking ceremony for railway project
South Korean officials attended a groundbreaking ceremony a project meant to modernize North Korea's railways and roads to connect them with the South.
The event at the North Korean border town of Kaesong is one of a number of peace gestures agreed between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and liberal
South Korean President Moon Jae-in as they push ahead with engagement amid a stalemate in larger nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.
About Korea:
President: Moon Jae-in
Currency: South Korean won
Capital: Seoul

December 28

Israel’s parliament approved a law to permit exports of medical marijuana
Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, approved a law to permit exports of medical marijuana.
This made Israel the 3rd country after the Netherlands and Canada, to take its medical cannabis global.
About Israel:
Capital: Jerusalem.
Currency: Israeli new shekel.
President: Reuven Rivlin

December 29

Saudi Arabia to lift travel ban on Lebanon after government formation
Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari, the kingdom will remove the travel ban on Lebanon upon the formation of a Lebanese government.
‘We are working on strengthening Lebanese-Saudi ties in different areas’, Bukhari was quoted by the National News Agency
Bukhari's remarks came during his meeting at the embassy with a delegation from the Lebanese Business and Investment Council headed by its President Mohammad Chahine.
About Saudi Arabia:
Capital: Riyadh,
Currency: Saudi riyal
President: Salman bin Abdulaziz Al

Uzbekistan promotes 2019 as year of investment in backdrop of wider business with India
The President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced 2019 as the ‘Year of Active Investment and Social Development’ in the backdrop of proposed investments from India to boost economy of the Central Asian country, in his annual address to the Parliament.
The President concrete measures will be taken on creating an open economy, radically improving the business environment and investment climate and reducing the state presence in the economy.
About Uzbekistan:
Currency: Uzbekistani som
Capital: Tashkent
President: Shavkat Mirziyoyev

December 30

UNGA adopted Russian resolution on international information security
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted two Russian Resolutions on International Information Security (IIS) and has been backed by India.
This has been done for achieving democratic, inclusive and transparent UN negotiations process on security in the use of information and communication technologies.
The two resolutions are‘Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security’ and ‘countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes’.
These documents are the world’s first code of conduct in the digital paradigm and hence create the foundation for peaceful interaction and to prevent war, confrontation and other aggressive actions.
About United Nations General Assembly:
Headquarters: New York, United States
President: Maria Fernanda Espinosa

Crimea Completed Fence on Border With Ukraine
The state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited the FSB the fence was constructed to prevent ‘attempts by saboteurs and reconnaissance groups to break through’.
The fence was aimed at preventing the smuggling of arms, tobacco, alcohol and drugs to Crimea, representatives of the security agency added.
The fence was equipped with vibration sensors as well as radio-beam sensors with night-vision video cameras.
About Ukraine:
Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia
President: Petro Poroshenko
Capital: Kiev
Germany gives nod to $8 billion tunnel link to Denmark
German authorities gave their approval to an $8 billion Rail and Road tunnel linking Denmark and Germany, despite environmental objections.
The 19 km (11.8 mile) Fehmarnbelt link, connecting the Danish island of Lolland to the island of Fehmarn on the German side, was due to be completed in 2024, but has been delayed by environmental protests in Germany.
Fehmarn is already connected by road to the German mainland, and the new link will greatly speed up road and rail connections from the German cities of Hamburg, Bremen and Hannover to the Danish capital, Copenhagen, and the Swedish city of Malmo.
About Germany:
Currency: Euro
President: Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Capital: Berlin
Prime Minister: Angela Merkel



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