international - 2015 JUNE

June 1

Beijing has imposed China’s toughest ban on indoor smoking.
Beijing has imposed China’s toughest ban on indoor smoking in a major step to deal with a looming health crisis.
Beginning, smoking will be prohibited in all indoor public places, including offices, shopping malls and airports.

June 2

Muslim Woman Denied Job Over Head Scarf Wins in Supreme Court in US.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim woman who sued for discrimination after being denied a sales job at age 17 at an Abercrombie & Fitch Co(ANF.N) clothing store in Oklahoma because she wore a head scarf for religious reasons.
The Supreme Court had to decide whether Elauf was required to ask for a religious accommodation to allow her to wear the scarf in order for the company to be sued under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which among other things bans employment discrimination based on religious beliefs and practices.

Tobacco Firms Ordered to Pay $12.5 Billion to Smokers in Canada.
Units of British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco ordered to pay damages to Quebec smokers.
British American Tobacco is the No.2 international cigarette company.

Taslima moves to US after threats from radicals.
Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has been relocated to the US from India after death threats by Islamists radicals from her country where three secular bloggers were hacked to death.
Taslima has decided to leave India. For the indefinite future, to preserve her life, she will need to stay in the United States.
About:
Taslima is from Bangladesh has been living in exile since 1994 in the wake of death threats by Muslim fundamentalist outfits. She is now a citizen of Sweden.

June 3

India and US Signed a New 10-Year Defence Framework Pact.
India and the US signed a new strategically important 10-year defence framework pact envisaging joint development and manufacture of defence equipment and technology including jet engines, aircraft carrier design and construction.
India and the United States have finalized two project agreements for joint development of Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources and the Next Generation Protective suits for chemical and biological warfare Ensembles.
The Framework also recognises the transformative nature of the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

India, Belarus ink 6 agreements to boost co-operation.
The signed agreements are
Roadmap for India-Belarus Cooperation: for strengthening bilateral relations and co-operation in the field of trade, culture and other areas.
Protocol to amendment: To amend the agreement between two countries for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Property (Capital) of September, 1997.
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Standardization and Information Support: It was signed between Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus.
MoU for cooperation on Broadcasting: It was signed between Prasar Bharati (PB) and the National State Television and Radio Company of the Republic of Belarus (Beltele radio company).
MoU on Bilateral Cooperation between the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Ministry of Finance of Belarus.
MoU for Manufacturing and Marketing of Light Industry Goods (concern Bellegprom): It was signed between the Union Ministry of Textiles of India and the Belarusian State.
About Belarus:
Capital: Minsk
Currency: Belarusian ruble
President: Alexander Lukashenko
Prime Minister: Andrei Kobyakov

June 4

USA Freedom Act Passes.
The Senate passed the USA Freedom Act by 67-32, marking the first time in over thirty years that both houses of Congress have approved a bill placing real restrictions and oversight on the National Security Agency’s surveillance powers.
The Bill ends a system exposed by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. The spy agency collected and searched records of phone calls looking for terrorism leads but was not allowed to listen to their content.
The new law would require companies such as Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc, to collect and store telephone records the same way that they do now for billing purposes.

India joins the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Information.
The new global standards has wide in scope and oblige the treaty partners to exchange wide range of financial information from institutions from their country. In order to implement these standards in India necessary legislative changes will be made in section 285BA of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Apart from India 5 other nations including Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Indonesia and New Zealand also have joined it. Now the total number of countries agreeing to exchange information automatically in accordance with MCAA has gone up to 60.
It will be also instrumental in getting information about assets of Indians held abroad and their beneficial owners. Thus, it will directly help the Government to curb tax evasion and deal with the menace of black money stashed abroad.

250 laid-off at Disney, replaced with Indian H1-B workers: NYT report.
Entertainment firm Walt Disney has lay off about 250 employees and replaced them with Indians holding H1-B visas, raising new questions on how outsourcing companies are using the temporary visas to bring immigrants into technology jobs in the US, according to a media report.
H-1B immigrants work for less than American tech workers, because of weaknesses in wage regulations. The savings have been 25 per cent to 49 per cent in recent cases, he told lawmakers.

June 5

India and Netherlands inks several agreements.
Signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Netherland Mark Rutte in New Delhi following discussions on various issues related to the region and the world between the two leaders.
Agreement on setting up Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism and Manufacturing of dredgers at the Cochin Shipyard. Measles and Rubella Vaccine in India, with transfer of technology from Netherlands.
Agreement on developing coastal roads and metro lines in India and setting up a Joint Working Group on Skill Development. Agreement on developing joint pilot projects for an electric vehicle ecosystem in India and setting up centres of excellence in areas like horticulture and animal husbandry in India.
Singapore bans Nestle’s instant noodles after rollback in India.
Singapore authorities have now ordered local importers to temporarily suspend of the sale of Nestle’s Maggi noodles imported from India after reports about high lead content being found in this popular instant snack in India.

June 6

India-Bangladesh ratify land deal, Modi announces $2 billion line of credit to Dhaka.
India has formalized the 40-year-old Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Dhaka.
The two nations signed a raft of agreements and India announced a “$2 billion line of credit” to Bangladesh in an effort to deepen bilateral ties.
Unanimously approved a Constitution Amendment Bill to give full effect to the Land Boundary Agreement of 1974 with Bangladesh and the related 2011 Protocol.
Under the agreement, the countries will exchange territories, with 111 enclaves being transferred to Bangladesh and 51 to India.
About Bangladesh:
Capital: Dhaka
Official languages: Bengali
President: Abdul Hamid
Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina

June 7

LAC differences may stall India-China CBMs.
The China-India track on a possible new round of confidence-building measures (CBMs) is expected to see a contest between New Delhi’s insistence on the clarification of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Beijing’s focus on the elaboration of a “code of conduct” among border troops.
Diplomatic sources that the resumption of the clarification of the LAC, which was publicly raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his China visit last month, is one of the core objectives of the CBM process.
It was formally documented in the peace and tranquility accord that was signed in 1993 in the backdrop of friction such as the one caused during the wan dung incident of 1986 in Arunachal Pradesh. Neither side wanted a repeat of such an eventuality.

Modi, Hasina exchange 1971 memories.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Dhaka, seen as historic, brought back memories of the 1971 war of liberation.
Mr. Modi presented Ms. Hasina a memento depicting the helm of INS Vikrant, the Indian naval ship which played a major role in the war. He handed over an audio recording of the historic speech of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, founding father of Bangladesh, at Brigade Maidan in Kolkata on February 6, 1972, and a set of DVDs of parliamentary debates and a transcript of the Land Boundary Agreement.
Ms. Hasina gave Mr. Modi a photograph of the signing of the historic instrument of surrender of the 93,000 Pakistani military men to the India-Bangladesh Joint Command in Dhaka on December16, 1971. She handed over a map of the Indian Special Economic Zone in Bangladesh and a replica of the 1,320-MW Maitree Super Thermal Power Project at Rampal.
INS Vikrant played the most crucial part in shortening the war, cutting off the reinforcements sent from the then West Pakistan to the East.

June 8

Adani, Reliance sign deals for power generation in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh signed two MOUs with the two major Indian companies, Adani and Reliance to set up 4,600 MW power plants in the country.
Adani Power will invest $2.5 billion to set up a coal-based power plant with a capacity of 1,600 MW.
The Reliance Power will invest $3 billion to set up an imported liquefied natural gas.

India imposed anti-dumping duty for certain stainless steel products imported from China, Malaysia and South Korea.
The finance ministry of India imposed anti-dumping duty for some stainless steel products imported from China, Malaysia and South Korea.
This is done to protect the interests of domestic suppliers who were affected badly by such imports. The duty has been levied for five years. The stainless steel industry is plagued with imports from countries like Malaysia, Korea and Japan under the Free Trade Agreement.

India, Netherlands sign MoU for development of Measles- Rubella Vaccines.
The MoU was signed under ‘Make in India’ initiative of Union government in the presence of the Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte during his visit to India.
The vaccine will be manufactured by Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Corporation Ltd (BIBCOL) at its plant at Chola, Uttar Pradesh.
Translational Vaccinology (INTRAVACC) a government-based institute of Netherlands will provide technical support for the development of vaccine.
INTRAVACC institute is part of Netherlands’ Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. It is internationally renowned for vaccine development and has a long history in technology transfer.
BIBCOL is a Central Public Sector Unit (CPSU) under the Department of Biotechnology of Union Ministry of Science & Technology.
About Netherlands:
Capital and largest city: Amsterdam
Currency: Euro, United States Dollar
Official languages: Dutch
Prime Minister: Mark Rutte

June 9

Indian army hunts militants in Myanmar in rare cross border strike.
India's army attacked separatist rebels just over the border with Myanmar a rare cross-border strike its resolve to fight terrorism beyond the country's borders.
The mountainous northeast which borders China, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, is home to dozens of insurgent groups fighting for autonomy or secession from India.
The NSCN-K, or the National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Khaplang, aims to create a sovereign state for the Naga people in Myanmar and India.
About
For decades, soldiers have been deployed in the region but they are not known to have crossed borders even though the military says rebels have sanctuaries in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
This cross-border operation is not new for Indian Army as in past it has carried out such operations. In April-May 1995, Operation Golden Bird was launched as an India-Myanmar joint operation along the Mizoram border which killed almost 40 militants.
About Myanmar:
Capital: Naypyidaw
Currency:  Burmese kyat
President:  Thein Sein

June 10

26 African countries create TFTA: Cape Town to Cairo free-trade zone.
African countries have signed a historic The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) that facilitates creation of Africa’s largest free-trade zone.
This free-trade zone will cover 26 countries in an area from southernmost tip of African continent i.e. Cape Town (South Africa) to Cairo (Egypt) in the north.
The pact was signed in Egypt will intent to ease the movement of goods across 26 member countries which represent more than half the continent’s GDP.
About
TFTA pact combines existing three trade blocs among the African nations viz
(a) Southern African Development Community (SADC).
(b) East African Community (EAC).
(c) Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
It will remove trade barriers on most goods, making them cheaper and stimulating $1 trillion worth of economic activity across the region of more than 600 million people.
Thus bolster intra-regional trade by creating a wider market that will increase investment flow and enhance regional infrastructure development.
The pact will then be officially unveiled at the upcoming 25th summit of the African Union in South Africa. After adopting it will need parliamentary ratification from all member nations.
India, Australia, Japan Hold First Ever Trilateral Dialogue.
India, Japan and Australia held their first ever high-level trilateral dialogue in New Delhi. The talks were attended by Indian foreign secretary S. Jaishankar, Japanese vice foreign minister Akitaka Saiki and Australian secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Varghese.
Maritime security was on the agenda, including freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and trilateral maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The countries also discussed the prospects for greater economic cooperation.

June 11

India to attend Donors’ Conference in Nepal.
India will send a high-level ministerial delegation to the Donors’ Conference in Kathmandu Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his Nepalese counterpart, Sushil Koirala, Mr. Modi’s participation in the meet, aimed at raising funds for rebuilding the earthquake-hit mountain kingdom.
It has already set up a $2 billion fund for reconstruction and rebuilding, with preliminary estimates indicating that the costs could be five times higher.
It will be held in June 25th at Katmandu.
About: Nepal
Capital: Katmandu
Currency: Nepalese Rupee
Prime Minister: Sushil Koirala
President: Ram Baran Yadav

June 12

US opens probe against Indian IT giants TCS, Infosys for H1B visa violations.
United States (US) government has opened an investigation against two of the biggest Indian Information Technology (IT) outsourcing companies for possible violations of H1-B visa rules. The two IT giants are Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys.
The investigation is being carried by US Department of Labour for against both companies for possible violations of rules for visas for foreign technology workers under contracts they held with an electric utility Southern California Edison.
Srilanka’s Cabinet approves 20A with 237 parliamentary seats.
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the 20th amendment to the constitution increasing the number of seats in Parliament to 237 from 225.
The 237 seats include 145 MPs from First-Past-the Post (FPP) system while the rest consists of the Proportional Representation (PR) system and the National List.
Parties representing upcountry Tamils or Indian Tamils including constituents of the newly-formed Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA).

June 13

China freight train opens new trade route to Europe.
China launched a freight train service between its northeastern city of Harbin and Europe opening a new trade route.
The train left Harbin, capital of the Heilongjiang province, carrying 49 containers of domestic goods such as electronic products and auto parts estimated at $3 million (about Rs. 20 crore) from northeast and north China.
About freight train:
During the 9,820 km journey, the train will pass Russia and Poland before reaching its destination of Hamburg in Germany.
Several Chinese cities such as Chongqing, Chengdu, Changsha, Hefei, Yiwu and Suzhou have launched similar freight train services to Europe.
China Seeks Maritime Deal With Bangladesh.
China has approached Bangladesh to sign a pact on Blue economy and maritime cooperation in the Bay of Bengal.
The signing of a deal on maritime cooperation that involves capacity building, joint research and study and training.
About China:
China Capital: Beijing
Currency: Yuan, Renminbi
President: Xi Jinping
Premier: Li kequiang

June 15

Spain passes law awarding citizenship to descendants of expelled Jew.
Spain’s lower house of parliament has approved a law that eases the path to citizenship for descendants of Jews who were forced to flee the country five centuries ago during the Inquisition.
The measure aims to correct what Spain’s conservative government calls the “historic mistake” of sending Jews into exile in 1492, forcing them to convert to Catholicism or burning them at the stake.
This law says much about who we were in the past and who we are today and what we want to be in the future: an open, diverse and tolerant Spain, the justice minister, Rafael Catala.
About Spain
Capital: Madrid
Currency: Euro
Monarch: Felipe VI
Prime Minister: Mariano Rajoy
Magna Carta: leaders celebrate 800th anniversary of the Great Charter.
United Kingdom (UK) celebrated 800 years of signing of Magna Carta.
The celebrations to observe signing of 8 century year old historic document which had laid foundation for modern democratic society was led by Queen Elizabeth II.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron also joined the queen to mark the celebrations.
About Magna Carta:
The document had written promises between King John and his subjects mentioning that the king will govern England and deal with its people according to the customs of feudal law.
Carta is a Latin word which in English means Great Charter. It is the most important document of England signed at Runnymede alongside the River Thames in the English county of Surrey.
Originally known as “the Charter of Runnymede”, it became known as Magna Carta two years later, when it was reissued by John’s son, Henry III.

June 16

RTA of UAE included four Indian languages into its driving tests.
Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of United Arab Emirates (UAE) decided to include four Indian languages to offer knowledge tests and lectures to aspirants who appear for driving test in the country.
The four Indian languages included along with three other languages are Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Bengali. The other three are Chinese, Russian and Persian.
At present, RTA of UAE conducts tests in three languages – English, Urdu and Arabic.
U.N. envoy hails 19th amendment.
The 19th Constitutional Amendment, envisaging the dilution of powers of the Executive Presidency and other constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka, has come in for appreciation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
The Sri Lankan government to “consult broadly” with all political parties, civil society, and victims and their families to ensure full national support and ownership of the processes.
Russia to get 40 new ICBMs this year.
Russia’s military this year alone will receive over 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of piercing any missile defences for a blunt reminder of the nation’s nuclear might amid tensions with the West over Ukraine.
Over 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of penetrating any, even the most technologically advanced missile defence systems, will join the nuclear forces in the current year.

June 17

Sri Lanka Notifies Gazette Notification on 20th Amendment.
The Gazette notification on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which includes the new elections system has been published marking another significant occasion in Sri Lanka’s history.
The introduction of a new elections system with the approval of the 20th Amendment.
According to the 20th Amendment the number of seats in Parliament will increase from 225 to 237.
The Hindu Centre, EU holding essay contest on climate change.
The European Union, in collaboration with the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, has launched an essay competition, #MyClimateMyFuture, on the challenges posed by climate change.
The EU is organising a photo contest also on the subject. Climate diplomacy must for global action against climate change.
Topics for the Essay:
Entries may be submitted before August 16 on one of the following topics: “Climate change in India: challenges and solutions”; “Making India’s growth sustainable”; “Clean development in India: the way forward for towns and cities”.
Japan's Parliament passed a Bill to lower voting age from 20 to 18.
Parliament of Japan (Diet) passed a bill to lower the voting age from 20 to 18. The bill that seeks revision of the public office election law was passed by the House of Councilors (upper house) after being approved in the House of Representatives (lower house).
The legislation will come into effect during the 2016 Upper House Election and will add about 2.4 million new potential voters to Japan’s current voting population of 104 million.
Japan lowered the age of voting from 25 to 20 and gave voting rights to women in 1945 after the World War II.

June 18

Australia to sign free trade agreement with China.
AUSSIES will see the cost of cheap electronics and white-goods fall even lower, driving households into a spending frenzy.
The historic trade deal will mean Australian beef and wine can be more readily exported into China.

June 19

India, Tanzania ink agreements for cooperation in various fields.
India inked six MoUs with Tanzania in various fields including Agriculture, Tourism and Hydrography to expand engagement in different sectors.
The agreements were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Tanzania Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.
The MoUs signed include a loan agreement between Exim Bank and Tanzanian Government on a line of credit for 268.35 million dollars for extension of Lake Victoria pipeline project.
Signed agreements:
MoU on cooperation in Agricultural Statistics, Computer Applications and Bio-informatics: for capacity building in Staff of Tanzania’s EASTC and other African Countries in Agricultural Statistics, Computer Applications and Bio-informatics.
Signatory parties are EASTC and Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Signatory parties are Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS), PSU under the Ministry of Water Resources of Union Government and Government of Tanzania.
France announced ban on earphones for Drivers and Cyclists.
France announced a ban on wearing earphones while driving a vehicle and riding a cycle.
The ban will come into effect from 1 July 2015.
The ban was announced with an aim to reduce deaths due to accidents.
Those found using earphones while driving a vehicle or riding a cycle will be fined 135 Euro (214 US dollar) and lose three license points.
US bans Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs)/ Trans fats by 2018.
No comments United States (US) has announced to curb and eliminate majority of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) commonly called trans-fats from the country’s food supply by 2018.
This decision of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comes after intensive lobbying by health advocates and scientists that artificial oils raise the risk of heart diseases by clogging arteries.
In this regard, US FDA has revoked the status of PHOs as a food additive from current status of safe food product.
About
Background in United States the popularity of Trans fats had soared in the 1940s. Since then it had emerged as a key ingredient in major food products as it was cheap to produce with a long shelf life.
In 2006, the FDA had mandatorily insisted all food manufacturing firms to include trans fat content information on labels of each product. In November 2013, FDA had recognised trans fats as a threat to public health.
WHO also consider Trans fats as toxic for consumption at certain levels.

June 20

Exercise Ajeya Warrior - 2015: Joint exercise between the armies of India and UK.
The term Exercise Ajeya Warrior was in news on as few soldiers of the Indian Army sustained injuries that were in UK to participate in the military exercise.
The soldiers belong to the Kumaon Regiment. Exercise Ajeya Warrior is a joint exercise between the armies of India and UK.
Its aim is to build and promote positive military relations between Indian and UK Army and to enhance their ability to undertake joint tactical level operations in Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorism Environment under the United Nations Charter.
It is held biannually in both the countries, alternatively.
In 2015, the 16 day exercise began at Westdown Camp in Salisbury Plains Training Area, UK.

Blue Opposition Bloc led by Lars Loekke Rasmussen won Denmark’s Parliamentary Elections.
Blue Opposition Bloc led by Lars Loekke Rasmussen of right-wing Venstre party won the parliamentary elections of Denmark. Blue opposition bloc, also called Centre-Right coalition, won 90 seats in the 179-member parliament.
Red Bloc or Centre-Left ruling coalition led by incumbent Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Social Democratic Party won 85 seats. Thorning-Schmidt, the first woman Prime Minister of Denmark, conceding defeat quit as the head of Social Democrat Party.
About Denmark:
Capital: Copenhagen
Currency: Danish Krone
Official Language: Danish
Queen: Margrethe II

June 21

'Peepli Live' scriptwriter Mahmood Farooqui arrested for rape.
The writer of 2010 Bollywood blockbuster Peepli Live has been arrested for allegedly raping a U.S. national in the Capital.
Mahmood Farooqui was sent to a six-day judicial custody after a case of rape was registered against him.
The alleged sexual assault happened in March.

Calcified foetus 'discovered in body of elderly Chilean woman after 50 years inside her body'.
A calcified foetus has been discovered inside the body of an elderly Chilean woman - and doctors think it has been there for 50 years.
X-rays showed a 2 kilo (4.4lb) foetus, thought to have died during pregnancy, inside the woman's abdomen and outside her uterus.
About:
The phenomenon, known as 'lithopedion', occurs when the foetus dies during pregnancy and then calcifies outside the womb.

June 22

Afghan Parliament attacked by Thaliban.
The Taliban launched an attack on the Afghan Parliament, with a suicide car bomber striking at the entrance and gunmen battling police as lawmakers were meeting inside to confirm the appointment of defence minister.
All the six gunmen who attacked Parliament were killed and the gunfire had stopped.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the attack began with a car bomb explosion near the entrance.
Gunmen then attempted to storm the compound but were pushed back by security forces. They took refuge in a nearby building under construction and police surrounded the structure.
China opens Nathu La border post as 2nd route for Kailash-Mansarovar yatra.
China opened the second land crossing in Tibet via Nathu La to allow the first batch of Indian pilgrims undertaking the arduous Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra, in the latest confidence-building measure between the two neighbours.
The opening of the second route through the Himalayan pass of Nathu La in Sikkim, 4,000 metres above sea level, was officially announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China and will allow more Indians to undertake the pilgrimage.
The new route is in addition to the existing Lipulekh Pass, the only route that was badly damaged in the floods in Uttarakhand in 2013.
A total of 44 pilgrims crossed over from the Indian side of the border in Sikkim as the first batch of the annual Yatra through this border route and were warmly welcomed by Chinese officials in Tibet.
Indian nurses in U.K. may face expulsion.
Changes to British immigration rules will force thousands of non-European Union foreign nurses recruited by the National Health Service (NHS) to leave the country in the next two years, threatening to throw the healthcare system into disarray and imposing high financial costs on the NHS.
Of those who will be forced to leave, a significant number are likely to be from India.

June 23

Sri Lanka, China begin joint military training exercise 'Silk Route- 2015'.
Joint military training exercise code named 'Silk Route- 2015' between China and Sri Lanka has begun at Buttala in Central Sri Lanka.
It is three-week long joint military training exercise will be conducted in three phases.
In the first phase of the 2nd joint exercise involves Sri Lankan Army and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China have participated.
This training will focus on weapon handling, live firing, VIP protection study and other warfare and battle skills related fields.

June 24

India pledges 1 billion dollar aid for Nepal’s reconstruction.
India has pledged an assistance of one billion US dollars to the quake-ravaged Nepal for its massive re-construction programme.
The announcement was made by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the International Donors’ Conference held in Kathmandu, Nepal.
One fourth of the assistance from India will be grant and it will be part of India’s existing bilateral developmental assistance of another one billion dollars over the 5 five years.
About International Donors’ Conference:
The International Donors’ Conference was organised by the Nepalese government to raise funds to re-build the country.
It was attended by several countries including China, Japan and Britain, European Union (UN) besides world agencies like United Nations, World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
On 25th April 2015, Nepal was struck by 7.9-magnitude devastating earthquake. In this natural disaster around 9,000 people were killed and around 23,000 were injured. It had destroyed lakhs of houses.

June 25

Union Cabinet approved signing of MoC between India and Japan on Industrial Property.
The Union Cabinet gave its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO), Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan.
The MoC is aimed at establishing a framework for bilateral cooperation in the field of industrial property (IP) with emphasis on capacity building, human resource development and awareness generation.

US Supreme Court gave nod to subsidies under US Health Care Law in States without health exchanges.
The US Supreme Court ruled that federal subsidies under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), 2010 could be made available to individual States, even if those States did not set up their own insurance exchanges.
The judgment was delivered by a 9-judge bench in the King v. Burwell case with 6-3 division. The bench was headed by the Chief Justice John Robert.
The verdict will benefit 6.4 million people in the 34 states as they are eligible to receive health-insurance subsidies even though those States did not create insurance marketplaces to purchase their policies.
Health insurance marketplaces or health exchanges are organizations set up to facilitate the purchase of health insurance in each state in accordance with the ACA, 2010 or Obamacare.

June 26

U.S. Supreme Court lifts ban on gay unions.
The U.S. Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples had a right to marry anywhere in the country, in a culmination of two decades of litigation over marriage and gay rights.
Gay and lesbian couples already could marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia.
The court’s 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 States, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.
The ruling will not take effect immediately because the Supreme Court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved parliament, paving the way for an early general election.
The president signed a gazette notification dissolving parliament.
The general election was not scheduled for another 10 months.
About Sri Lanka Presidential Election:
Mr. Sirisena defeated incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa in presidential elections held in January.
The president's decision to dissolve parliament came shortly after a spokesman for the United National Party (UNP) said it had formally requested him to do so.
The UNP was the main party behind Mr Sirisena's presidential bid and its leader, Ranil Wickremesingha, is the country's prime minister.
Sri Lankan law dictates that elections be held between 52 and 66 days after the dissolution.
Government sources told the BBC that the election will be held on 17 August.
Sri Lankan election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya is scheduled to hold a news conference where he will announce the dates.

Pakistan seeks U.K. help to probe MQM-India 'link'.
The Pakistan government has requested Britain for assistance in establishing whether India has funded and trained cadre of the Pakistan opposition party, the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM).
“The British High Commission, Pakistan, has received a formal request from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan, which will be sent to the relevant U.K. authorities”.

June 27

India, Thailand sign multiple agreements including double taxation avoidance treaty.
India and Thailand signed a number of important agreements, including the double taxation avoidance treaty, and exchanged instruments of ratification on the extradition treaty inked in 2013, which provides for the legal framework for seeking extradition of fugitive offenders.
The tax treaty provides for the framework to avoid double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes so as to promote bilateral economic cooperation.

June 28

US Supreme Court legalized Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide.
The United States (US) Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the nation in a closely divided ruling by a 5 to 4 vote.
The 28-page ruling was made by Justice Anthony Kennedy and was agreed by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
With this ruling, now the states cannot deny marriage rights enjoyed for thousands of years by opposite-sex couples to gay men and lesbians.
The decision is expected to trigger same-sex marriages in fourteen states that banned the practice.

June 29

India, Thailand ink MoU on Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty.
India and Thailand signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on double taxation avoidance treaty (DTAT).
The MoU was signed during 7th meeting of the India-Thailand Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Apart from DTAT, both nations signed and exchanged instruments of ratification on the extradition treaty inked in 2013. This treaty provides for the legal framework for extradition of fugitive offenders.



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