World Affairs: Top 10 International News Of This Week

by Shatakshi Gupta
  • Jaswant Singh Birdi, a Sikh councilor of Indian origin, has made history by becoming the first person of his faith to be appointed as the Lord Mayor of Coventry, a city in the UK’s West Midlands. As the Lord Mayor, Birdi will also serve as the President of the City Council and the ceremonial and non-political leader of Coventry. Birdi, who hails from Punjab, India, has been welcomed by the city’s diverse community as a sign of inclusivity and progress.
  • India has launched “Operation Karuna” to help the people of Myanmar who have been affected by Cyclone Mocha, a powerful storm that hit the country recently. Three Indian Navy Ships, namely Shivalik, Kamorta and Savitri, reached Yangon on 18 May with relief material such as food items, tents, medicines, water pumps, generators, clothes and hygiene kits. Cyclone Mocha has been categorized as an extremely severe cyclonic storm by IMD and a ‘super cyclone’ by Zoom Earth, a global weather website.
  • A private flight to the International Space Station (ISS) was conducted by SpaceX on May 21, 2023 in a rocket. The passengers included Saudi Arabia’s first astronaut and a Tennessee businessman who owns a sports car racing team. They were guided by a former NASA astronaut who now works for Axiom Space, the company that organized the 10-day trip. This was the second charter flight by Axiom Space.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the highest honor of Papua New Guinea and Fiji, an unprecedented recognition for a non-resident in the two Pacific island nations. Modi hosted a crucial summit between India and 14 Pacific island nations during his first visit to Papua New Guinea on Sunday to enhance bilateral relations. The Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL), the highest civilian award of Papua New Guinea, was bestowed upon Modi by Sir Bob Dade, the Governor General of Papua New Guinea. Modi was honored for his remarkable contribution to promoting the unity of the Pacific Island nations and championing the cause of the Global South.
  • India and Australia signed important agreements on Migration and Mobility Partnership and setting up of the Green Hydrogen Task Force in a significant development that reflects their growing ties. The MoU was exchanged after a bilateral meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese in Sydney. Prime Minister Albanese expressed the common aspiration of both countries to finalize the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement later this year. The agreement seeks to further boost economic ties and enable greater trade and investment between the two countries. Moreover, Prime Minister Albanese announced the establishment of a new Australian Consulate General in Bengaluru, which will act as a vital link between Australian businesses and India’s flourishing digital and innovation ecosystem.
  • Prime Minister Modi made a historic visit to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on 22 May, where he co-chaired the 3rd Summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC III Summit) with James Marape, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. This was the first time an Indian Prime Minister visited Papua New Guinea. FIPIC was launched in 2014 and includes India and 14 Pacific Island Countries (PICs): Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Niue, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Palau , Nauru and the Solomon Islands, as per a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs.

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  • China is facing a new wave of Corona and is working fast to develop a vaccine against the XBB variant of Corona. This variant is a mutation of Omicron and could cause more than 65 million cases of corona in China every week by the end of June. This was claimed by China’s top respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan at the ongoing 2023 Greater Bay Area Science Forum in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. He said that China is developing 2 new vaccines to combat this variant. Nanshan said that experts had already expected a small wave of corona in late April and early May. According to projections, by the end of May, this variant could lead to about 40 million cases every week in China. The cases will peak in June.
  • The Booker Prize this year has gone to writer Georgy Gospodinov for his novel ‘Time Shelter’. This is the first time a Bulgarian novel has won this award. It was translated into English by Angela Rodel. The author Georgie received the award on Wednesday in London. He also got prize money of 50 thousand pounds, which he will split with Angela Rodale. Time Shelter is about a clinic called “Clinic for the Past”. It helps people with Alzheimer’s to revive their past. Each floor of this clinic recreates a decade for the patient in minutes.
  • The party of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), may be banned soon. Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said on Wednesday – PTI and its chairman Imran Khan have not only assaulted the army but also the country’s dignity. It is being contemplated to ban PTI. Imran was arrested on 9 May on corruption charges. After that, PTI workers attacked several military bases including Jinnah House and Army Headquarters. More than one thousand suspects have been detained in these cases.

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  • The report of ‘Washington Post’ says – Biden administration has only 10 days left. In this time, they have to convince the Republican Party to approve the debt ceiling (the bill for new loans in simple terms). If this does not happen, the government will not be able to make any new payments. This can be called bankruptcy or default technically. This issue is related to the income and expenditure balance. This has been going on in America for 50-60 years. The US government has been spending more than it earns from taxes etc. To cover this expenditure, the US government has been borrowing from all over the world due to its dominance.