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General Awareness

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General Awareness - Top Stories

09 May 2019

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Asia Bibi Leaves Pakistan

  • Asia Bibi, a Christian woman acquitted by the Supreme Court in a blasphemy case in 2018, left Pakistan.
  • Her counsel, Saiful Malook, confirmed that Bibi had left Pakistan and reached Canada. While US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that Bibi is free and has been reunited with her family, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to say if she is in Canada, citing "sensitive privacy issues and security issues.
  • The allegations against Bibi were made in June 2009 when she was labouring in a field and a row broke out with some Muslim women she was working with.

Iran Rolls Back Part of Nuclear Pact

  • Iran said that it had started scaling back parts of its commitments under its 2015 nuclear deal on Wednesday and threatened to do more if world powers did not protect it from U.S. sanctions, a year after Washington pulled out of the pact.
  • President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran would move on to resuming high level uranium enrichment if the remaining signatories - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia - did not make good on promises to shield its oil and banking sectors in the next 60 days.
  • France`s defence minister said that he wanted to keep the nuclear deal alive but warned Iran it could face more sanctions if it did not honour its part of the deal.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

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Rollback of Toll Tax in South Kashmir

  • Several bodies of traders and transporters as well as the political parties in the Valley asked the National Highways Authority of India to roll back the decision to impose toll tax in south Kashmir.
  • The NHAI has set up a toll post at Kachkoot Fee Plaza in Sangam and imposed Rs. 85 as tax, in the first ever such measure in the Valley for light motor vehicles.

Flipkart Launches Online Grocery Store

  • In a view to capture a large market share of the online grocery segment, leading e-commerce player Flipkart launched its online grocery store Flipkart Supermart in Mumbai.
  • The Walmart-owned company had started its online grocery business a year and a half ago and is present in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi.
  • It has set up a fulfillment centre in Bhiwandi for groceries. It offers 10,000 products, including 600 to 700 of its private labels.

Softbank to Raise Stake in Yahoo Japan

  • Japanese telco SoftBank Corp. said that it would spend $4 billion to up its stake in Yahoo Japan Corp. and turn the internet company into a subsidiary, a move that would help boost its profit by 24% this year.
  • The telco would buy 456.5 billion yen ($4.2 billion) worth of new shares to be issued by Yahoo Japan, increasing SoftBank Corp.'s stake to 45% from 12%.
  • With that addition, SoftBank Corp., which listed in December in Japan's largest-ever initial public offering, forecast its operating profit would rise to 890 billion yen in the current financial year through March 2020.

SPORTS

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Esha-Akull Pair Wins Silver

  • India's Esha Singh and Akull Kumar topped qualification but were beaten by 5.4 points for the gold in junior mixed air pistol event by the German pair of Jan Luca Karstedt and Vanessa Seeger in the International Shooting Competition.
  • It was the second mixed medal for Esha, after the one she won recently with Anmol Jain in Plzen, Czech Republic.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

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Re-poll in 13 Booths

  • The Election Commission has ordered re-polling in 13 polling booths in various districts across the State on May 19. On the same day, by-polls to four Assembly constituencies are to be held.
  • Besides the eight polling booths in Dharmapuri district and one each in Cuddalore and Tiruvallur districts where re-polling had been recommended, two polling booths in Theni district and one in Erode district would also go for re-polling.

Stick to July 31 Deadline for Final NRC

  • The Supreme Court asked Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) Co-ordinator Prateek Hajela to act with "wise discretion" while dealing with people who had failed to appear for scheduled hearings on their objections filed against exclusion from the draft NRC.
  • Mr. Hajela reported to a Special Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton F. Nariman that objections' hearings have started but objectors are not appearing in most cases.
  • The Chief Justice told Mr. Hajela to take whatever action was necessary in the cases of the absentee 'objectors'. The decisions taken should be free and fair, keeping the law in mind. "But whatever you do, do it by July 31".

Can Back Rahul for PM

  • Chief Minister and the Aam Aadmi Party's national convener Arvind Kejriwal said that he would support Congress president Rahul Gandhi as prime ministerial candidate if the latter backed full statehood for Delhi.
  • As per Mr. Kejriwal, whichever party forms the next government, excluding the BJP, will have AAP's support only if it supports AAP on the issue of full statehood for Delhi.

No Talks of Pact with KCR

  • As per senior BJP leader Muralidhar Rao, the Bharatiya Janata Party has not held any discussions on a post-poll alliance with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi or the YSR Congress as the party was confident of winning a clear majority and forming a government at the Centre.

Re-polling in One Polling Booth in Puducherry

  • The Election Commission of India declared "void" the polling held in the second phase at polling station no-10, Kamaraj Nagar assembly segment of the Puducherry Parliamentary constituency.
  • The EC issued an order saying that the re-polling will be held on May 12 between 7 am to 6 pm.

ART AND CULTURE

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Yakshagana Melas to End This Month

  • Yakshagana melas (touring troupes) in the coastal belt will wind up their 'tirugata' (tour) of the 2018-19 season this month, starting from May 11, with 15-year-old Edneer mela deciding to close down after this season's performances. The belt has more than 40 melas. Unlike in the 2017-18 season, Yakshagana performances during the current season were peaceful without interference from Election Commission officials while enforcing the poll code for the Lok Sabha elections.
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