international - 2019 JANUARY

January 1

France to introduce tax on global internet, technology firms
The finance minister of France Bruno Le Maire announced that France will introduce its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1.
France has been pushing hard for a new so-called 'GAFA tax' - named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon - to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.
About France:
President: Emmanuel Macron
Capital: Paris
Currency: Euro

January 2

India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear installations
India and Pakistan exchanged for the 28th consecutive year a list of their nuclear installations under a bilateral agreement that prohibits them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.
The two countries also exchanged details of civilian prisoners and fishermen lodged in each other’s jails.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) India handed over to Pakistan lists of 249 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 98 fishermen in its custody.
Pakistan gave India lists of 54 civilian prisoners and 483 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or are believed-to-be-Indians.
About Pakistan:
President: Arif Alvi
Prime Minister: Imran Khan
Capital: Islamabad
Currency: Pakistani rupee

January 4

Trump Signs Asia Reassurance Initiative Act Into Law
U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which passed the U.S. Senate earlier in December.
According to the White House, the act establishes a multifaceted U.S. strategy to increase U.S. security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region.
Specifically, the ARIA will authorize $1.5 billion in spending for a range of U.S. programs in East and Southeast Asia and develop a long-term strategic vision.
About US:
President: Donald Trump
Capital: Washington, D.C
Currency: Dollar

January 5

Pakistan abolishes visa on arrival for Afghans
Pakistan abolished the long-standing facility of visa on arrival for Afghan nationals.
The Immigration Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency cited increased security risks from the western border as a reason for the move.
The move to restrict Afghans came as Pakistan has already decided to issue ‘on-arrival’ visas to citizens of 24 other countries to increase tourism and investments.
About Afghanistan:
Capital: Kabul
Currency: Afghani
President: Ashraf ghani

Five nations assume charge as Non- permanent members of UN Security Council.
These five countries will hold a two-year term in the Council with effect from 1st January 2019.
This will be the Dominican republic’s first time on the Security Council.
They will fill the seats vacated by Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands and Sweden on December 31, 2018, after serving a two-year term on the 15-member Security Council.
About UNSC:
Head quarters: New York

January 6

Pakistan declares Panj Tirath Hindu religious site as national heritage
The announcement which stated that a fine of 2 million Pakistani rupees and five years imprisonment to be awarded to anyone found guilty of damaging the historic site was made under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Antiquities Act of 2016.
Panj Tirath, which got its name from the five pools of water present there, also contains a temple and a lawn with date palm trees.
The five pools of the heritage site now come under the ambit of Chacha Yunus Park and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
About Pakistan:
Prime minister: Imran Khan

New Nepal law requires children to deposit money in parents’ bank account
The Nepal Government is set to introduce a law which makes it mandatory for the children to deposit 5 to 10% of their income into the bank accounts of parents to ensure their wellbeing.
The government will present a bill on the amendment to the Senior Citizens Act, 2063 (2006)with such a provision.
The main objective of the proposed Bill is to ensure the security of senior citizens.
About Nepal:
Capital: Kathmandu

U.N. calls for probe into Bangladesh elections
The United Nations called for an independent and impartial investigation into the election in Bangladesh in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina won a third straight term amid accusations of violence and voting irregularities.
Hasina's Awami League (AL) party won 96% of seats in Bangladesh's parliamentary elections.

Under new law, Saudi women to be notified of divorce via text message
Women in Saudi Arabia will be notified by text message if they are divorced under a new law designed to protect them from having their marriage ended without their knowledge.

The new law, that came into effectwas seen as a way to end secret divorces and ensure women are fully aware of their marital status so they can protect rights such as alimony.
The move comes as Crown PrinceMohammed bin Salman has started to give women more rights in the conservative kingdom, which included lifting a ban on women driving last year.

January 7

Iran approves anti-money laundering bill to ease foreign trade
Iranian council known as the Expediency Council approved an anti-money laundering bill to ease trade.
Iran has been trying to implement standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental organisation that underpins the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
Iran is alone with North Korea on the FATF’s blacklist - although the Paris-based organisation has suspended counter- measures since June 2017 while Iran works on reforms.
About Iran:
Capital: Tehran.

Norway PM Erna Solberg arrives in Delhi for three-day visit
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in New Delhi.
She will hold talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on a host of issues.
During her visit, Solberg will deliver the inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue and address India-Norway Business Summit.
About Norway:
Capital: Oslo

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Taro Kono will arrive in Delhi today on a 3-day visit to India.
He will also attend the India Japan Friendship Forum.
Australian Foreign MinisterMarise Payne will also be on a three-day visit to India.
About Japan:
Capital: Tokyo

Australian Foreign Minister Ms Payne visits India to widen Indo-Pacific partnership
Payne will address the Raisina Dialogue on how Australia and India can work together and with regional partners to deliver a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
General Angus Campbell, Chief of the Australian Defence Force, will also participate at Raisina.
About Australia:
Capital: Canberra

New Nepal law requires children to deposit money in parents’ bank account
The Nepal Government is set to introduce a law which makes it mandatory for the children to deposit 5 to 10% of their income into the bank accounts of parents to ensure their wellbeing.
The main objective of the proposed Bill is to ensure the security of senior citizens
It talks about the responsibility of the children to take care of their elderly parents.
But the law is being formulated to make it mandatory for the children to make a financial contribution to the care of their parents.

January 8

Egypt opens West Asia's largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital
Egypt has opened West Asia's largest cathedral in its New Administrative Capital, 45 kilometres east of Cairo.
President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated the newly-built Cathedral of Nativity.
Sisi called it a historic and important moment for Egypt.
About Egypt:
Capital: Cairo

China passes law to make Islam 'compatible with socialism'
China has passed a new law that seeks to "Sinicize" Islam within the next five years, the latest move by Beijing to rewrite how the religion is practised.
According to the China's main English newspaper, Global Times, that after a meeting with representatives from eight Islamic associations, government officials "agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion''.
The newspaper did not provide further details or the names of the associations that agreed to the decree.
About China:
Currency: Renminbi

North Korea's Kim Jong Un Visits Beijing Amid US-China Trade Talks
The trip comes as Chinese and U.S. officials held a second day of trade talks and as Kim prepares for a second possible meeting with President Donald Trump.
The visit is likely to be an opportunity for the two countries to discuss North Korea’s plans for another meeting with Trump

January 9

China passed law to sinicize and make Islam compatible with socialism
China passed law to make Islam compatible with socialism and ‘sinicize’ it within next five years.
China passed law to sinicize and make Islam compatible with socialism. The law was passed after Chinese government officials met representatives from eight Islamic groups.
In 2018, China held over a million people of the ethnic Uighur and Muslim minorities in prison in the Xingjian region.
About China:
Capital - Beijing
Currency: Renminbi

January 10

EUNODC to launch Global Report on Trafficking in Persons in Vienna
UN office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released a latest Global Report on ''Trafficking in Persons'', which reveals that the number of human trafficking victims around the world is on the rise while armed groups and terrorists are trafficking women and children to generate funds and recruit.
This report shows that human trafficking is on the rise with sexual exploitation of victims the main driver. Children now account for 30% of those being trafficked, and far more girls are detected than boys.
Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most prevalent form in European countries, whilst in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, forced labour is the main factor driving the illicit trade.
About United Nation office on drugs and crime (UNODC):
Headquarters: Vienna, Austria

January 11

First India-Central Asia Dialogue to be held in Uzbekistan
The first India-Central Asia Dialogue will be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on January 12 and 13, 2019 and will be co-chaired by External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj and the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, Abdulaziz Kamilov.
The Foreign Minister of Afghanistan will participate in the dialogue as a special invitee for the session dedicated to connectivity issues in the region, while the Foreign Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan will represent their respective countries at the event.
The participants of the conference will also deliberate on developing viable connectivity options between India and Afghanistan and Central Asia to further facilitate trade and economic activity in the region.
About Uzbekistan:
Capital: Tashkent

Venezuela President Maduro sworn in for second term.
NicolásMaduro has been sworn in for a second term as Venezuela's president, despite international criticism that his re-election was illegitimate.
The May 2018 polls were marred by an opposition boycott and vote-rigging claims.
The US and 13 other countries in the Americas said last week that they would not recogniseMrMaduro's presidency.

January 12

Swaraj on 2-day visit to Uzbekistan; to attend first India-Central Asia Dialogue
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj left for a two-day visit to Uzbekistan to attend the first India-Central Asia Dialogue which is expected to focus on a plethora of regional issues including enhancing connectivity to war-ravaged Afghanistan.
About Uzbekistan:
Capital: Tashkent

Guatemala unilaterally terminate the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) agreement
Mr. Guterres recalled the important contribution to the fight against impunity made by the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which was set up in 2006 at the invitation of the government.
The mandate of the Commission is scheduled to end on 3 September, 2019 and the United Nation expects the Government of Guatemala to ''entirely fulfill its legal obligations''.
About Gautemala:
Capital: Gautemala city
Currency: Gautemala Quetzal
Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu
President: Jimmy Morales

January 13

Bill to terminate Pakistan designation as major non-Nato ally introduced in US Congress
An influential US lawmaker has introduced a legislation in Congress to terminate the designation of Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally.
The resolution has been sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee for necessary action.
It states, for future re-designation, the US president needs to certify to the Congress that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations that are contributing to significantly disrupting the safe haven and freedom of movement of the Haqqani Network in the country.

January 14

Macedonian parliament agrees to change country's name to Republic of North Macedonia
Macedonia's parliament passed an amendment to the constitution to rename the country Republic of North Macedonia, in line with an agreement with Greece to put an end to a 27-year-old dispute.
The countries struck the deal on the new name, but Macedonia will start using it only after the parliament in Athens also ratifies the agreement.
Eighty-one deputies in the 120-seat parliament voted in favour. Representatives of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, who opposed the agreement with Greece, boycotted the vote.
About the Republic of Macedonia:
President: Gjorge Ivanov

January 15

Macedonia to be known as the Republic of Northern Macedonia
Macedonia’s parliament passed an amendment to the constitution to rename the country as Republic of North Macedonia,on a mutual agreement with Greece to put an end to a 27-year rivalry.
The agreement was reached between Greek prime minister AlexisTsipras and his Macedonian counterpart ZoranZaev.
The language of the country would be referred to as Macedonian and its people known as Macedonians
The use of the name “Macedonia” is disputed between the southeastern European countries of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, formerly a state within Yugoslavia.
About Macedonia
Capital: Skopje
Currency: Macedonian denar

January 16

India-Myanmar begin Army exercise for UN peacekeeping
The second India-Myanmar bilateral Army exercise 'IMBEX 2018-19' commenced at Chandimandir military station.
The aim of this joint training event is to train the Myanmar delegation for participation in UN peacekeeping operations.
The exercise includes participation of 15 officers from Myanmar Army and 15 officers from Indian Army who shall jointly train for over a period of six days.
About Myanmar:
Capital: Naypyidaw

Brexit vote: British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leaving withdrawal from E.U.
May sustained the heaviest parliamentary defeat of any British Prime Minister in the democratic era after the deal was rejected by a majority of 230.
The Brexit deal, rejected by the British Parliament, includes both the Withdrawal Agreement on the terms on which Britain leaves the European Union (EU) and a Political Declaration for the future relationship.
Trade and security are the two main components of the Political Declaration.

January 17

Palestine takes reins at UN group
Palestine has taken over chairmanship of the UN's Group of 77, a bloc of mainly developing nations, from Egypt for 2019.
The G77 group was originally founded by 77 members in 1964 but has expanded to 134 mainly developing nations - more than two-thirds of the UN's 193 member states.
The decision to elect Palestine as the 2019 Chair of the G77 was taken in September 2018 by the foreign ministers of the Groups’ member states.
About Palestine:
Capitals: Ramallah, East Jerusalem.

January 18

14th Global Risks Report, the 2019 edition, was released by World Economic Forum Released
The World Economic Forum released its 14th edition of annual Global Risk Report 2019 ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.
The report’s findings are based on the annual Global Risks Perception Survey, which asks the Forum’s network of business, government, civil society and thought leaders to gauge the risks facing our world.
It was done in partnership with: Marsh McLennan Companies and Zurich Insurance Group.

Palestine has taken over the chairmanship of G77 (Group of 77) from Egypt.
G77 is a coalition of 134 developing nations at the United Nations.
The chairmanship of the G77 is based on the system of geographical rotation.
2019 was Asia’s turn and the Asian group had unanimously endorsed Palestine. Egypt was representing the African Group of countries.

The United States will begin the process of the withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on February 2, 2019.
The US will begin its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia on February 2, 2019, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Andrea Thompson told NATO officials in Brussels.
Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the treaty – originally signed by the United States and Russia in 1987 – comes after negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Thompson claimed that Russia is in breach of the treaty, and that Moscow’s 9M729 missile system violates the terms of the agreement.

January 19

France activates emergency plan for no-deal Brexit
The French government activated its contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit.
Five decrees that will cover different aspects of Britain-France ties will be issued within three weeks.
France had already planned on recruiting extra customs staff and veterinary inspectors.
About France:
Capital: Paris

India and Mongolia sign pact in art and culture.
The Embassy of Mongolia and International Chamber of Media and Entertainment Industry (ICMEI), India have further strengthened the relationship between India and Mongolia by signing a MoU in the field of art and culture.
The MoU will enable the two countries to work together on different segments including print, radio, television, cinema, animation, Performing and Fine Arts, tourism, hospitality, education, environment, solar energy, skill development, PR events and advertising, Fashion and Design, and Journalism.

January 20

Nepal's Central Bank Announced ban of Indian Notes Above Rs. 100
Nepal’s central bank has banned the use of Indian currency notes of Rs. 2,000, Rs. 500 and Rs. 200 denominations, a move that could affect Indian tourists visiting the Himalayan nation where Indian currency is widely used.
Nepal Rastra Bank issued a circular prohibiting Nepali travellers, banks and financial institutions from holding or carrying and trading Indian bank notes higher than Rs 100.
The central bank said in its circular letter that Indian currency of 200, 500 and 2,000 denominations cannot be carried and used for trading.
About Nepal:
Capital: Kathmandu

Mauritius PM Pravind Kumar Jugnauth arrived in New Delhi
Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth has reached New Delhi on a week-long visit to India.
During his visit, he will meet Prime Minister NarendraModi and take boat ride followed by Ganga Aarti.
India is Mauritius largest trading partner and has been the largest exporter of goods and services to Mauritius since 2007.
Eight Indian Public Sector Enterprises are currently functioning in Mauritius.
About Mauritius:
Capital: Port Louis

Palestine took over the Chair of the Group of 77 (G-77) for 2019 from Egypt
Prior to this, Egypt was the previous Chair of the bloc which is a coalition of 134 developing countries, along with China.
The decision to elect Palestine as 2019 Chair of the G77 was taken in September 2018 by the foreign ministers of the Groups’ member States.
About G77:
It was established in 1964 by 77 developing countries in Geneva.
The Chairmanship, which is the highest political body within the organizational structure of the Group of 77, rotates on a regional basis (between Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean) and is held for one year.

January 21

MHA tweaks travel norms: Indians over 65, under 15 can use Aadhaar to visit Nepal, Bhutan
According to a Home Ministry communiqué, Aadhaar cards are now valid travel documents for Indians under 15 and over 65 travelling to Nepal and Bhutan.
Indians other than those in the two age brackets will not be able to use Aadhaar to travel to the two neighbouring countries, for which no visas are needed.
Indian citizens going to Nepal and Bhutan don’t need a visa if they have a valid passport, a photo identity card issued by the government of India or an election ID card issued by the Election Commission.

January 22

Indians biggest supporters of International aid: WEF global survey
Indians have emerged as the biggest supporters of international aid, with a global public opinion survey putting India on the top when it comes to people expecting their nation to help other countries.
South Asian Countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh exhibit widespread support for international aid leaving behind European countries.
Pakistan and Indonesia are on the second position with 94% of the people’s affirmative replies.
About Indonesia:
Capital: Jakarta

India among the most trusted nations globally: 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Report
China topped the Trust Index among both the informed public and the general population segments.
India was at the 2nd place in the informed public category and 3rd place in the general population category.
In terms of trust in companies headquartered in each market, the most trusted are those from Switzerland, Germany and Canada.

January 23

India signed 11 MoUs worth $9.5 million with Afghanistan
The MoUs signed will involve the construction of classrooms, orphanages, health clinics, canal protection walls and enhancing economic opportunities for women.
The projects will be developed in seven provinces of Afghanistan- Balkh, Ghor, Herat, Kabul, Bamyan, Badghis and Kapisa.
These projects which are part of 577 community-based Small Development Projects (SDP) are being funded by India from 2005-2021 and worth $120 million.
About Afghanistan:
President: Ashraf Ghani

Facebook Backs University Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethics Institute With $7.5 million
Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany will collaborate with this project which aims to explore fundamental issues affecting the use and impact of AI.
Initial funding will be provided by Facebook but the the institute will look for other funding opportunities for additional partners and agencies in the coming years.
AI is poised to have a profound impact on areas like climate change and healthcare but it has its risks.
About Facebook:
Facebook India Head: Ajith Mohan

January 24

Venezuela's Maduro Breaks Off Diplomatic Ties With US
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that he is breaking off diplomatic ties with the United States after his American counterpart Donald Trump recognized Opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country's interim President.
Nicolas Maduro gave all US diplomatic staff in Venezuela 72 hours to leave the country.
The Venezuelan President accused the US government of attempting a coup d'etat.
About Venezuela: Capital - Caracas

Coast guards of India, Japan undertake disaster control exercise in Yokohama
Indian and Japanese Coast Guards started disaster search and rescue exercises off the cost of Yokohama in Japan.
ICGS Shaunak is the main Indian Coast Guard Ship taking part in the drills.
Rajendra Singh, Chief of Indian Coast Guard and his Japanese counterpart Shuichi Iwanami reviewed the drills.
About Japan: Prime Minister - Shinzo Abe

January 25

The Global Commission on the Future of Work calls for fundamental changes in health at work
WHO in collaboration with international labour organisation(ILO) to for a global committee to work and implement the fundamental changes in health at work.
WHO with the support of ILO and OECD implemented the five-year ‘Working for Health’, global action plan that woud ensure the necessary workforce for universal health coverage and stimulating economic growth.
WHO welcomes the recommendation of the Global Commission to establish a Universal Labour Guarantee that includes a set of basic working conditions, such as adequate living wage, limits on hours of work and safe and healthy workplaces.

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in India
He met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and both leaders held talks on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.
Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa is the Chief Guest at the 70th Indian Republic Day Parade.
He is the 2nd President of South Africa after Nelson Mandela to be the Chief Guest at the parade.
About South Africa: Currency - South African rand

January 26

Angola lifts ban on homosexuality
The African nation of Angola has decriminalised homosexuality after the parliament removed the "vices against nature" provision.
The government has also banned discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation.
The recent changes followed Angola’s parliament adopting its first new penal code since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and removed the provision, inherited from its Portuguese colonizers.

Southern Philippines backs Muslim self-rule in landslide result
People in the Muslim-majority southern Philippines have voted by a landslide to create a new autonomous region covering five provinces and three cities, a result the government hopes will bring peace to a war-torn part of the country and address issues that lure recruits to Isis-inspired groups.
The election commission declared the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite “ratified”, four days after the vote was held. Almost 1.6 million voted yes, while 250,000 voted no.
Another vote will take place on 6 February to allow more towns and villages to join the autonomous region.

BSNL, French firm join hands to offer data services through SMS
State-run telecom firm BSNL has partnered with French company Be-Bound to offer data connectivity through SMS in areas where there is no Internet connectivity or signal breaks.
Both the companies signed business partnership agreement to jointly market the service in India.
The technology will be embedded in mobile apps. The app will send command to Be-Bound server in case it does not get data connectivity for SMS-based connectivity.

January 27

India gifts 30 ambulances, 6 buses to Nepal on Republic Day
India donated 30 ambulances and six buses to Nepal and extended its support to the country in achieving prosperity.
India's gesture came as it marked 70th Republic Day.
India's Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri handed over keys of the ambulances and buses to the recipient organizations amidst celebrations in Indian Embassy premises, Katmandu.

Sugarcane juice declared ‘national drink’ of Pakistan after Twitter poll
The announcement came after the government conducted a Twitter poll where people were asked to decide on the country’s national drink with two other options -- orange and carrot - besides sugarcane.
According to the poll, 7,616 people or 81% cast their votes favouring sugarcane juice, 15 per cent voted for orange juice while 4 per cent chose carrot.

India, China sign protocol for export of Indian tobacco to Chinese market
India and China signed a protocol to export Indian tobacco leaves to China, which is the largest consumer and producer of the tobacco with over 350 million smokers – the world’s highest.
Quality tobacco on par with international standards is available in India at competitive prices and there is good potential for export of Indian tobacco to China.
The revival of the phytosanitary protocol with China will pave the way for revival of Indian tobacco exports to China and prove economically beneficial to Indian farmers.
About China: Currency - Renminbi

January 28

Nepal, India to set up energy banking system to utilise surplus electricity
Nepal and India have agreed to set up an 'Energy Banking' mechanism that would help the Himalayan country export its surplus electricity to neighbour India during the monsoon season and import power during its lean season in winter.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) stated that in a couple of years, about 4,750 megawatts surplus electricity that would otherwise have remained unused will now be utilised.
Converting the surplus electricity into monetary value would work out to around Nepali Rs one trillion and 79 billion.
About Nepal: Prime minister - Khadga Prasad Oli

January 29

U.S. and Taliban Agree in Principle to Peace Framework
Afghanistan - American and Taliban officials have agreed in principle to the framework of a deal in which the insurgents would guarantee Afghan territory is never used by terrorists, which could lead to a full pullout of American troops in return for larger concessions from the Taliban.
The peace negotiations in Doha, Qatar had previously been described on Saturday by Khalilzadas "more productive than they have been in the past," signaling the first significant shift in the geopolitical stalemate in years.
About United States of America: Capital - Washington, D.C.

Pak delegation arrives in Delhi for Chenab under Indus Waters Treaty project inspection
Pakistan's Indus Commissioner Syed Mohammad Mehar Ali Shah and Indian Indus Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Saxena along with their respective advisers will undertake this tour in Chenab basin of Jammu and Kashmir.
This tour is an obligation imposed on both the countries by the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 between India and Pakistan.
Since signing of the treaty, a total of 118 such tours on both the sides have been undertaken by the commission.
About Pakistan: Prime minister - Imran Khan

January 30

Dubai airport retains top position as world's busiest airport
The UAE's aviation sector continues to scale new heights, with Dubai International maintaining its position as the world's busiest airport for international passengers for the fifth consecutive year while the sector's contribution to the country's economy also grows steadily.
Dubai International (DXB) saw its 2018 passenger traffic increase 1% to reach 89.1 million compared to 88.2 million in the previous year, missing its target of 90.3 million due to a slowdown in Gulf economies amid lower oil prices.
Dubai became the world's busiest airport for international passenger traffic in 2014 when it overtook London's Heathrow Airport.

January 31

Italy, UN, launch Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development
Italian Prime Minister GiuseppeConte has opened a new centre here set up by the government in partnership with the UN to fight climate change and boost sustainable development in Africa.
The major objective is boosting the agricultural sectors and promoting rural development in Africa.
It will help in implementing the goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Agreement to stop depending on fossil fuel and cap global warming.
About Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
Director General: Jose Graziano da Silva.

UK Parliament approves Brexit amendment on replacing Irish backstop
In Britain, lawmakers voted in favor of an amendment in BREXIT plan seeking alternative arrangements to replace the Irish border arrangement known as the Irish backstop.
The amendment calls for the backstop to be replaced with unspecified “alternative arrangements” to avoid the reintroduction of border checks in Ireland.
The backstop is aimed at keeping an open border between European Union-member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland after Brexit.
About United Kingdom: Capital - London

Capacity Augmentation to Successfully Deliver the G20 Presidency
India will preside and host the G20, or Group of 20 nations meeting in 2022.
G20 provides a unique opportunity for India to transform from rule-taker to rule-maker.
India needs to augment its intellectual capacity to be able to deliver inter-disciplinary research on the international monetary system, global financial architecture, global trading system, global climate, energy and sustainability issues.