international - 2019 FEBRUARY

February 1

2019 - International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements
The United Nations announced 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements to highlight its first publication in 1869.
The periodic table as we know it today was first designed by the Russian scientist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev.
The announcement by the United Nations will help to raise the profile of how chemistry can provide solutions to global challenges in agriculture, education, energy and health.

UNSC adopts resolution to extend sanctions against Central African Republic (CAR) for another year
Resolution 2454, adopted unanimously yesterday by the 15-member council, decides to renew the sanctions regime - an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze till January 31, 2020.
It also decides to extend the mandate of the panel of experts, which helps the Security Council with the implementation of the sanctions, until February 29, 2020.

February 2

Russia to Follow U.S. in Abandoning Nuclear Weapons Treaty
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country will follow US example and withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty within 6 months.
He added that Russia will design new intermediate-range weapons.
The arms control agreement prohibits the production or testing of ground-launched cruise missiles with a range of approximately 300 to 3,400 miles.

February 3

USAID assistance in the West Bank and Gaza has ceased: U.S. official
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has ceased all assistance to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
The halt was requested by the Palestinian Authority but is certain to bring further hardship to people in the already deprived territories.
The deadline also sees the end of about $60 million in U.S. aid for the Palestinian security forces, whose cooperation with Israeli forces helps maintain relative quiet in the West Bank.

Presidential election to be held in El Salvador
Presidential election will be held in El Salvador, with four candidates contesting the post.
Incumbent President Salvador Ceren cannot run for a second consecutive term under the country's legislation. Over 5.2 million citizens have registered to vote.
To win in the first round, a candidate must secure over 50% of the vote.
Otherwise, a run-off will be held on March 10, 2019 with two top candidates facing each other. The president is elected for a five-year period.

Landmark visit of Catholic Church head Pope Francis, Al Azhar Grand Imam At-Tayyeb to UAE
The three day-visit of the two religious leaders will see their participation in the Human Fraternity Conference which is being organized in Abu Dhabi.
In this interfaith dialogue, other religious leaders, scholars, and cultural figures, including representatives of the Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh faiths will take part in the deliberations.

February 4

Observer Research Foundation named 'highest ranked' Indian think tank
According to the global report named “2018 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report”, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) has been marked as India’s highest ranked think tank.
In the ''Think Tanks with the Most Innovative Policy Ideas category'', ORF has ranked eighth position.
A think tank or policy institute is a research institute and organization that performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture.

February 5

The Chinese Lunar New Year is being celebrated around the world with lanterns, performances, decorations and food.
Chinese New Year has a varying date in the period January 21 to February 20. Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday, February 5 in 2019, and on Saturday, January 25 in 2020.
People are bidding farewell to the Year of the Dog in the 12-year Chinese astrological cycle and welcoming the Year of the Pig with hopes of happiness and good fortune.
2019: A year of the Pig will start on February 5th. 2020: A year of the Rat will start on January 25th.

February 6

UAE to build church, mosque named after Saint Francis and Grand Imam
A new church and mosque will be constructed in Abu Dhabi in honour of the historic visit of Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif, Dr. Ahmad Al Tayyeb to the UAE.
They will serve as beacons to uphold the values of tolerance, moral integrity and human fraternity in the UAE.
UAE had also granted 55000 square meters of land for the construction of a Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi.

February 7

Macedonia signs accord to join NATO
Macedonia signed an accord to join NATO to become the 30th member of the US-led alliance.
According to the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the admittance of a new member highlighted that all European nations who meet the entrance criteria could join the regional alliance. However, Moscow has continually rejected NATO's position, saying that by taking in Balkan members, the alliance is undermining security in the region.
The Macedonia-NATO accord follows a deal with Greece ending a 27-year-old dispute over Macedonia's name. The accord must now be ratified by allied governments.

Trump nominates US treasury diplomat David Malpass to head World Bank
In the USA, President Donald Trump has nominated senior Treasury official David Malpass as the next chief of the World Bank.
He would replace Jim Yong Kim as the president if voted by the Directors of the World Bank Group.
According to Trump, Malpass was eminently qualified for the position. In his current capacity as the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 62-year-old Malpass oversees the working of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Work permit mandatory for Indian workers in Nepal
Nepal government has made it mandatory for Indian citizens who come to work in Nepal’s industries and other institutions to possess necessary work permits.
The Department of Labour and Occupational Safety, had issued a letter to all its labour offices across the country to finalise the actual number of Indian workers working in different sectors in Nepal.
Thousands of Indian workers are working in Nepal without necessary work permit in different industrial areas, hotels and construction sites, among others.
As Nepal shares an open border with India, the government does not have actual data on number of such Indian citizens working in Nepal.

February 8

India Pavilion inaugurated at 69th Berlin International Film Festival
The India Pavilion at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) 2019 was inaugurated by Director European Film Market, (EFM) Matthijis Wouter Knol.
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry, is participating in the Berlin International Film Festival being held from 7th – 17th February, 2019 at Berlin, Germany.
The poster of IFFI 2019 was also inaugurated by the dignitaries during the inaugural ceremony.
According to the MrKnol, Director, EFM (European Film Market), the stakeholders of EFM would actively consider participating in the Golden Jubilee year of IFFI.
He also underlined that the participation would pave a way forward for a more proactive interaction between the Indian stakeholders & the Industry with the organizers of Berlinale in future.

Thailand makes Siamese fighting fish national aquatic animal
Thailand named the tiny, eye-catching ,colourful fin plumaged Siamese fighting fish as its aquatic animal with a aim to boost the conservation and breeding of the same.
Siamese fighting fish is the native of Mekong basin of Thailand and is mostly found in the Chao Phraya river in Thailand.
The Siamese fighting fish was registered as intangible cultural heritage in 2013.
Its designation as Thailand’s national aquatic animal could help boost both conservation efforts and commercial breeding.
Its bright colors make the fish popular in home and office aquariums, while the aggression between males makes them popular with gamblers.
The fish is the first national aquatic animal to be designated. Elephants are, of course, the kingdom’s national animal.

February 9

US approves sale of two missile defence systems for Air India One
According to the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), The Trump administrations approved purchase of the two systems known as Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCAM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS) for an estimated cost of $190 million.
According to the Pentagon, the sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship.
The purpose of the LAIRCM programme is to protect large aircraft from man-portable missiles.

2018 fourth warmest year in continued warming trend, according to NASA, NOAA
According to the independent analysis by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earth’s global surface temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest since 1880.
According to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) here, global temperatures in 2018 were 0.83 degrees Celsius warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) analysis found 2018 global temperatures were 0.79 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average.

February 10

Asian Development Bank (ADB) debuts in offshore Philippine peso bond market
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised 5.2204 billion Philippine pesos ($100 million) from a new issue of local currency bonds in the international market.
Currency-linked bonds are denominated in the local currency but settled in US dollars.
The bonds pay a fixed interest rate of 5.25% and have a final maturity of 4 years.
The proceeds of the bonds will support ADB’s growing local currency operations in the Philippines and help to reduce foreign exchange risk for ADB’s borrowers.
According to the ADB Treasurer Mr. Pierre Van Peteghem, ADB is delighted to support the capital markets in the Philippines where ADB is based.
The bonds were fully placed with institutional investors in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. JP Morgan acted as sole lead manager.

INS Trikand participates in exercise Cutlass Express 2019
INS Trikand, a front-line warship of the Indian Navy, participated in a multinational training exercise ‘CUTLASS EXPRESS – 19’ held from 27 Jan to 06 Feb 19.
The aim of the exercise was to improve law enforcement capacity, promote regional security and progress inter-operability between the armed forces of the participating nations for the purpose of interdicting illegal maritime activity in the Western Indian Ocean.
During the exercise, Naval, Coast Guard and Marine Police personnel from a number of East African countries were jointly trained by mentors from USA, India, and Netherlands, with support of international organisations like the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Combined Maritime Force (CMF) and European Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR).

February 11

Hindi included as third official court language in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi has decided to include Hindi as the third official language used in its courts, alongside Arabic and English, as part of a move designed to improve access to justice.
According to the The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), it has extended the adoption of interactive forms of statement of claims filed before courts by including Hindi.
Relations between India and UAE have been on the upswing in the last few years, especially after the high-level visits which have helped in strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries.

AMAN 19 naval exercise commences in Karachi
The five-day Multinational Maritime Exercise "AMAN-19" commenced in Karachi with the slogan “Together for Peace”.
Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi was the chief guest of the opening ceremony.
The flag of 46 countries including Pakistan were hoisted and the contingents of Pakistan Navy presented a march-past.

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa to be on four-day visit to Bangladesh
He will meet the Chiefs of the three Defence Services and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
According to an official release, the Air Chief will also visit operational and training units of Bangladesh Air Force.
According to the Ministry of Defence,The visit of the IAF Chief is part of the bilateral goodwill visit to a SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nation.

Red Cross calls for total ban on nuclear weapons
The Red Cross called for a total ban on nuclear weapons, warning of the growing risk that such arms could again be used with devastating effect.
The International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies launched a global campaign to raise awareness about the rising nuclear threat facing the world.
The campaign aims to encourage people to lobby their governments to sign and ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which has so far been signed by 70 nations and ratified by 21.
The campaign comes after the United States and Russia announced to abandon the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

February 12

US President signs executive order to prioritize research & development in Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The plan, called the American AI Initiative, follows big investment pledges from China and other countries intended to advance and apply AI technology in fields ranging from war fighting to health care.
The order directs federal agencies to make government data and computing resources more available to AI experts while maintaining security and confidentiality.
The order also calls on agencies to protect civil liberties, privacy and American values in applying AI technologies, and to help workers gain relevant skills through fellowships, apprenticeships, training programs and computer science education.

February 13

PM Modi to visit Korea on February 21-22, 2019
According to the External Affairs Ministry, Modi will be conferred with the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize at a ceremony.
The visit will provide an important occasion for the two countries to review the recent developments in bilateral relations.
The two sides will exchange views on regional and international issues of common interest with the objective of further strengthening the Special Strategic Partnership.

Rodrigo Duterte wants to rename the Philippines ‘Maharlika’
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has proposed changing his country’s name to Maharlika in an effort to move past its colonial history.
Mr Duterte’s call echoes a push by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to call the country Maharlika, which means nobility in English.
The Philippines was a Spanish colony for 350 years and was named after King Philip II.

February 14

Hungary to give life tax exemption to women with 4 children
According to the Hungary's anti-immigration prime minister, the government is greatly increasing financial aid and subsidies for families with several children.
They include a lifetime income tax exemption for women who give birth to at least four children.
For women, who have atleast four children, a subsidy of USD 8,825 will be given for the purchase of a seven – seat vehicle.

February 15

The End Of NASA's Opportunity Rover Mission Captured By Brazilian Artists
According to the NASA, its Opportunity Rover mission is complete after the rover failed to respond despite repeated trials since August 2018.
The space agency inferred that a planet-encircling dust storm cut off communications with Opportunity on June 10, 2018, disabling its solar panels from storing power.
The robotic rover, which wandered the surface of the red planet for over 15 years, was launched by NASA in July 2003 as a part of its Mars Exploration Rover program.
It is survived by NASA's Curiosity rover, which is now the only active robot on Mars.

WHO, ITU unveil new int'l standard for hearing-safe audio devices
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 50 percent of people aged 12 to 35 years, or 1.1 billion young people, are at risk of hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud sounds.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) issued a new international standard for the manufacture and use of personal audio devices, including smartphones and audio players, to make them safer for listening.
The standard was developed under WHO's "Make Listening Safe" initiative, which seeks to improve listening practices especially among young people, both when they are exposed to music and other sounds at noisy entertainment venues and as they listen to music through their personal audio devices.

February 16

India, Sweden ink security protection agreement
According to the Swedish embassy, Stepping up their defence ties, India and Sweden signed a security protection agreement that will enable the two countries to share classified information with each other.
The agreement was signed during Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's visit to the Nordic country.
Sitharaman also met Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and her Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist.
Since 2009, Sweden and India have had a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the area of defence, and they conducted a number of bilateral meetings, most recently in December 2018 in New Delhi.

India Withdrawn ‘Most Favoured Nation’ Status from Pakistan
Most Favoured Nation status is given to an international trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between all partner countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
India had granted the status to Pakistan in 1996, a year after WTO’s formation.
Just a day after at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel lost their lives in a dastardly suicide bombing attack in Pulwama, the Indian government has withdrawn "Most Favoured Nation" or MFN status accorded to Pakistan.
According to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Ministry of External Affairs will initiate all possible steps to ensure complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan, which is expected to have a hand in the attack carried out by terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Sushma Swaraj leaves on 4-day visit to Bulgaria, Morocco and Spain
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj embarked on a four-day visit to Bulgaria, Morocco and Spain.
Mrs. Swaraj will visit to Bulgaria on the first leg of the tour where she will meet with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the country.
The two leaders will discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.
In Morocco, She will interact with her counterpart Nasser Bourita. The visit will provide an opportunity to hold in-depth discussions on various issues. Several MoUs are also expected to be signed during the visit.
In Spain, Mrs Swaraj will hold a bilateral meeting with her counterpart Josep Borrell Fontelles to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual concern.
The Spanish government will also confer upon Mrs Swaraj the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit for India's swift response through Operation Maitri in rescuing 71 Spanish nationals from Nepal in 2015 in the wake of the disastrous earthquake.

EU, Germany reject US call to leave Iran nuclear deal
Germany’s foreign minister slammed US President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade measures as creating a “lose-lose” situation and defended Europe’s attempts to keep a nuclear deal with Iran alive after the unilateral American withdrawal.
Germany has rejected an appeal by US Vice President Mike Pence for Europeans to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal and isolate Tehran.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas defended the 2015 agreement under which Iran drastically scaled back its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.

February 18

Schools in France to replace 'mother and father' with 'parent 1 and 2' under controversial same sex amendment
According to the Supporters of the change, it will stop discrimination against same sex parents but critics argue it ''dehumanises'' parenthood, is ''ugly'' and could lead to rows over who gets to be ''parent 1''.
The new terms are being introduced following changes to the country's education laws passed by President Emmanuel Macron's majority REM party this week that also make school attendance mandatory for three-year-olds.
The move is aimed at ending discrimination against same-sex parents.

Sushma Swaraj’s 4-days visit to Bulgaria, Morocco and Spain during the visit
Swaraj met the deputy prime minister and foreign minister on her first leg to Bulgaria.The two leaders discussed bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.
She paid floral tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the South Park in Sofia. The statue was unveiled last year by President Kovind along with his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev to mark the celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary.
In the second leg of her tour, she visited Kingdom of Morocco.
The visit is in "pursuit of India's objective of enhanced engagement with the Kingdom and will provide an opportunity to hold in-depth discussions on bilateral, regional and global issues.
In Morocco, she interacted with her counterpart Nasser Bourita. She also met King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, Saad Dine El Otmani, Head of Government, and Habib El Malki, President of the Chamber of Representatives, Parliament.
Three MoUs for cooperation in the areas of counter terrorism, housing and human settlements and youth matters were signed during the visit.
Sushma Swaraj arrived in Spain on last leg of 3-nation tour. She held a bilateral meeting with her counterpart Josep Borrell Fontelles to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual concern.
The Spanish government conferred upon Swaraj the prestigious Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit by the Spanish Government for India's swift response through Operation Maitri in rescuing 71 Spanish nationals from Nepal in April 2015 in the wake of the disastrous earthquake.

February 19

NITI Aayog CEO-led Indian delegation to Saudi Arabia pitches for trade cooperation
A High-Level Indian delegation led by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant to Saudi Arabia has called for bilateral cooperation with the Gulf nation in sectors like energy, food processing, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure.
Invest India Grid was launched in Saudi Arabia during the workshop, which would be setting up a dedicated team for facilitating Saudi investments in India.
NITI Aayog and Saudi Centre for International Strategic Partnerships (SCISP) agreed to provide continuing momentum to the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership.

February 20

Saudi Arabia joins International Solar Alliance, signs framework agreement
SaudiArabiasigned the framework agreement of the International SolarAlliance (ISA) becoming the 73rd country to join the India-led renewable energy organization which now has a total of 122 members.
The signing of the agreement took place after a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In the delegation-level talks, the two sides discussed key areas of mutual interest such as trade and investment, renewable energy, defence, nuclear and space, civil aviation, counter-terrorism, community welfare as well as regional challenges.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Riyadh’s decision to join the alliance, which was launched by PM Modi at the India Africa Summit ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Mahatma Gandhi Scholarships awarded to 150 Sri Lankan students
Sri Lanka's1 50 students from all 25 districts were awarded the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi scholarships for study in India.
Sri Lankan Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu gave the scholarships at a special ceremony in Colombo.
The minister appreciated the assistance provided by India, including for the new trilingual school in Polonnaruwa and SaraswathyCollege in Kandy. He also thanked India for providing training to teachers in Sri Lanka.
According to the High commissioner of India,India has recently launched a new Portal titled “StudyinIndia” and more than 25000 seats are earmarked in Indian Institutions for foreign students. He expressed hope that Sri Lankan youth would make full use of the opportunities in India.

PM Modi to embark on two-day visit to South Korea
The visit is a part of the growing High-Level exchanges between the two countries. Prime Minister Modi will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
South Korea has become a very important partner in India’s economic modernization. In the last two years, bilateral trade has grown from 15 to 21 billion dollars and is targeted to reach 50 billion dollars by 2030.
Many big Korean companies are operating in India and joining in national initiatives like Make in India, Smart India and infrastructure projects.
Defence and strategic cooperation between India and Korea is also growing after the New Southern Policy of South Korea.
Prime Minister will be conferred with the Seoul Peace Prize in recognition of his dedication tointernational cooperation, global growth and human development.

February 21

Nepal: Month-long Festival of India begins in Kathmandu
In Nepal, a Month-long 'FestivalofIndia' began in Kathmanduto familiarize the new generation of the country about the similarities between the two countries.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation RabindraAdhikari and Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri jointly inaugurated the event.
According to the Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri, Buddhism has been established as a major religion in both the countries as Lord Buddha was born in Nepal and attained enlightenment in India.
This festival was organized by the IndianEmbassy and Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, is being held in Kathmandu and other major cities of Nepal from February 19th to March 21st.

Trump Signs Directive to Create a Military Space Force
The Space Force just took a big step from sci-fi-sounding dream toward reality.
President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-4 (SPD-4)ordering the Pentagon to establish the Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States military, to go along with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
According to the Trump administration, it plans to usher in the force by 2020. But the legislation, Space Policy Directive, will have to be approved by Congress, which could be an uphill battle with the House of Representatives now controlled by Democrats.

Trump Launched Global Campaign to Decriminalize Homosexuality
Homosexuality is illegal in more than 70 countries, including eight countries where it is punishable by death.
The US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, hosted LGBT activists from around Europe.
He outlined a strategy that was believed to include working with global organisations such as the United Nations and European Union to decriminalise homosexuality worldwide.

February 22

Australian mammal becomes first to go extinct due to climate change
A small brown rat of bramble cay melomys species lived on a tiny island off northern Australia becomes the world’s first mammal to have become extinct due to “human-induced climate change”.
The Australian government has officially listed the Bramble Cay melomys as extinct.
Extreme high water levels and damaging storm surges, including its sources of food include the reason behind its Extinction.

Taiwan unveils Asia's first draft law on same-sex marriage
Taiwan proposed a draft law to allow same-sex marriage in Asia’s first such bill, but the legislation was criticised by rights activists and conservative groups amid a heated debate over marriage equality.
Voters opposed marriage equality in a series of referendums late last year, defining marriage as between a man and a woman and asking for a special law to be enacted for same-sex unions.
The draft law unveiled by cabinet would give same-sex couples similar legal protections for marriage as heterosexuals, but marriage in civil law would remain defined as between a man and woman.

Russia bans smart phones for soldiers over social media fears
Russia's parliament has voted to ban soldiers from using Smart Phones while on duty, after their social media use raised issues of national security.
The bill forbids military personnel from using a phone with the ability to take pictures, record videos and access the internet.
Soldiers also cannot write about the military or talk to journalists.
Phones with basic calling and messaging facilities could still be used, but tablets and laptops would also subject to the new ban.

February 23

Bashir declares year-long state of emergency across Sudan
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declared a nationwide state of emergency and dissolved the government, in an effort to quell weeks of demonstrations that have rocked his iron-fisted rule of three decades.
Omar al-Bashir term ends in 2020 and he has repeatedly promised over the years not to make new runs for the presidency.
Demonstrations first erupted in the farming town of Atbara, but the rallies swiftly mushroomed into a major challenge to Bashir’s rule stretching back three decades.

February 24

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) condemns Pulwama attack, keeps Pak in 'Grey' list for failing to stop terror financing
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) condemned the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir, which led to death of 40 CRPF jawans and decided to keep Pakistan in the ‘grey’ list owing to continued funding of terrorist groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamat-ud-Dawa.
Given the limited progress on action plan items due in January 2019, the FATF urged Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan, particularly those with timelines of May 2019.

February 25

Afghanistan begins export to India via Chabahar port
Afghanistan has begun exports to India through Iran’s Chabahar port, as the landlocked country turns to overseas markets to improve its economy.
According to the President Ashraf Ghani, Chabahar port is the result of healthy cooperation between India, Iran and Afghanistan and with the opening of the Chabahar route, Afghanistan’s exports will increase to two billion dollar from the current one billion dollar in the next year.
According to the Officials, 23 trucks carrying 57 tonnes of dried fruits, textiles, carpets and mineral products were dispatched from Zaranj to Chabahar port to be shipped to Mumbai.

Ceremony in Tokyo marks 30 years of Emperor Akihito's reign in Japan
In Japan, a ceremony was held in Tokyo to celebrate 30 years of Emperor Akihito's reign, with the attendance of the Imperial couple.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Speaker and President of both chambers of the Diet and foreign ambassadors to Japan also attended the event.
Emperor Akihito is schedule to abdicate on April 30 and Crown Prince Naruhito's accession is set on May 1.

February 26

Indian Air Strike Destroys Terror Camp In Pakistan, Upto 350 Terrorists Killed
Indian Air Force (IAF) jets destroyed the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan's Balakot in the strike carried out by 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets.
The JeM camp was run by the terror group's chief Masood Azhar's brother-in-law Yusuf Azhar.
A very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers and senior commanders were eliminated in the strike.
This air strike is the 1st time Indian Air Force has been used in Pakistan-controlled airspace after the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

February 27

France is working on a proposal to ban chief of the UN-proscribed Jaish-e Muhammad (JeM) Masood Azhar after it assumes the Presidency of the powerful UN Security Council in March.
The rotating monthly Presidency of the 15-nation UN Security Council (UNSC) will go from Equatorial Guinea to France on March 1, 2019.
The Pakistan-based JeM claimed the responsibility of the heinous suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14 in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were martyred, sparking outrage in India.
Following the incident, India bombed and destroyed JeM's biggest training camp in Balakot in Pakistan's restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 80-km from the Line of Control , killing a "very large number" of terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action.

February 28

Mauritius Scores Win over Britain in Diego Garcia Decolonisation
Mauritius has won a case against Britain at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) involving decolonisation of the strategically important island of Diego Garcia, which is home to a US military base.
According to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Britain must give up to Mauritius control of the Chagos Archipelago where the Indian Ocean military base is located on the Diego Garcia island.
According to the opinion issued in The Hague by the court’s majority that included Judge Dalveer Bhandari of India, the decolonisation of Mauritius “was not lawfully completed” when it attained independence because Britain carved away the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius and retained control of it.