Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Highlights of major events that took place this week:


Vaccination Programs Won't be Used for Spying: CIA:

Following international outcry from health professionals and a deadly polio epidemic in several countries, the US Central Intelligence Agency has vowed to never again use fake vaccination campaigns, like the one that helped target and ultimately kill Osama bin Laden in 2011, in their secret operations overseas.

Credit Suisse pleads guilty; accepts fine of $2.5bn for assisting in tax evasion:
Credit Suisse has agreed to pay a $2.5bn fine to authorities in the United States for helping Americans evade taxes after becoming the largest bank in 20 years to plead guilty to a US criminal charge. US prosecutors said the bank helped clients deceive US tax authorities by concealing assets in illegal, undeclared bank accounts, in a conspiracy that spanned decades, and in one case began more than a century ago.​

Martial law declared in Thailand:
The head of Thailand’s Army, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, declared a nationwide martial law early Tuesday and urged anti-government and pro-government protesters to stop their movement in order to quickly find a sustainable solution for the country. A military statement urged people not to panic and carry on their usual daily activities, assuring them that it was not launching a coup. The government’s Centre for Administration of Peace and Order was dissolved and replaced by a military - staffed organization. The presence of soldiers on the streets of Bangkok was relatively sparse and life in the city continued normally. In a power struggle that has pitted the Bangkok establishment against an ascendant political movement based in the provinces, politicians and analysts were waiting for signs whether the military would favor one side or the other.


Historic win for NDA as BJP gains clear majority; Modi to be sworn in as Prime Minister:
The BJP-led NDA claimed a landslide victory winning 336 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats defeating the incumbent Congress party by a huge margin in the 2014 Indian elections. The BJP riding on the popularity of its prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi single handedly crossed the 272 mark, the parliamentary majority needed to form the government, winning 282 seats. This is the biggest victory since the 1984 election that Rajiv Gandhi won with 414 LS seats and also the first parliamentary majority by a single party since 1984. The Congress after 10 years in power, won only 44 seats, its worst ever rout, falling short of even the 10 per cent (of the Lok Sabha) required for its leader to get the status of Leader of the Opposition. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which had surprised earlier with its spectacular performance in the Delhi Assembly elections managed to win only 4 seats.

The BJP performed well in traditional Congress bastions and even beat the Congress and regional powers in states such as Assam, Uttar Pradesh, etc. which had previously not favoured the BJP. Mr. Modi throughout his campaign largely steered clear of the hardliner right-wing Hindutva agenda and instead promised good governance and a revival of the economy. An efficient technology-driven campaign along with the Congress’s poor reign riddled with scams and controversies has given the BJP a resounding victory. Mr. Modi, who was formally elected the leader of the BJP parliamentary party and the NDA, will take oath as Prime Minister on May 26.
Jitan Ram Manjhi: Bihar's New CM:
Nitish Kumar, the outgoing Bihar chief minister, has chosen Jitan Ram Manjh, his close confidant, as his successor. The Dalit leader had served as a minister in the previous Congress and RJD governments before joining the JD (U) in 2005.

To read these and more such Current Affairs news, go here


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