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WORLD IN FOCUS July ‘August 2011

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Corruption touching Rs 3 trillion in Pakistan: While Pakistan has greatly compromised its independence for the sake of a few billion dollars of foreign aid and corruption is rising at an alarming rate, the Transparency International has revealed that during the three years of PPP rule the menace has cost the nation more than Rs 3,000 billion only in selected areas.

Gilani reiterates talks offer to exiled Baloch leaders: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has reiterated his offer of dialogue to exiled Baloch nationalist leaders and said that negotiations are the only way to resolve issues.

Pasha assured of greater Pak role in Afghan talks: During the ISI chief’s meetings in Washington, senior US officials have assured Pakistan of a greater role in the Afghan reconciliation process.

According to diplomatic sources, intelligence cooperation, reconciliation in Afghanistan and the dispute over visas dominated the talks during Lt-Gen Shuja Pasha’s one-day stay in the US capital.

The two issues highlighted by the media ‘restoration of US military aid to Pakistan and the release of a Pakistani helper of the CIA’ were not discussed.

Pakistan offers to help India in blast probe: Pakistan on July 16 offered to assist Indian investigations into the Mumbai triple bombing that left 19 dead.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik, during a telephonic conversation with his Indian counterpart P Chidambaram, expressed the confidence that the culprits would be unmasked and brought to book.

Gas pipeline to reach border next year: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Tehran was hopeful of completing its section of the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline by the end of next year.

Construction of the pipeline to export Iranian gas to Pakistan is under way, and we hope it will reach the frontier by the end of 2012’ he said of the multi-billion-dollar project after a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari.

Asif proposes Islamabad-Tehran currency swap accord: President Asif Ali Zardari proposed a currency swap agreement between Pakistan and Iran to further strengthen bilateral trade and economic ties between the two brotherly countries.

He made this proposal in his meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Hina takes oath as foreign minister: Hina Rabbani Khar took oath as 26th minister for foreign affairs.

Acting President Farooq H Naek administered the oath to Hina at a simple ceremony held at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Navy inducts drones into fleet: A day after the crash of one of its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), the Pakistan Navy inducted the first squadron of Uqab-II UAVs into its fleet during a ceremony held at PNS Mehran airbase, Karachi.

The indigenously-developed UAVs are equipped with advanced equipment and sensors and can successfully be employed in support of Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO) in the coastal areas.

Equipped with GPRS-based navigation system, the UAVs have a maximum speed of 150 miles per hour and a range of 150km with four hours endurance time.

Congress panel rejects Pakistan aid cut-off: A US Congress panel rejected a proposal to cut off all aid to Pakistan but lawmakers and a military officer urged renewed pressure on it.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee easily blocked an amendment to a spending bill that would have banned any assistance to Pakistan in the wake of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the country.

Malik proposes Saarc body for policing: Interior Minister Rehman Malik emphasised the need for coordinated and concerted efforts by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) to combat terrorism and money laundering.

Auditors detect tax evasion of Rs. 209b: Auditors have unearthed tax evasion and irregularities of more than Rs. 209.797 billion in 50,000 cases over the past few years. The office of the Auditor General of Pakistan in its audit report for the year 2010-11 for indirect taxes has unearthed irregularities of Rs.198.686 billion.

Pakistan says no to Indian hegemony: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said Pakistan is a sovereign state, it wants friendly relations with all neighbouring countries, including India and it will not accept hegemony of any country in the region.

Pakistan role in the region is by no means inferior to India.’

Mullen sees difficult time in Pak-US military ties: While assuring Pakistan that its ties with the United States were not on the verge of breaking, the US military chief acknowledged that military-to-military relationship between the two countries was passing through a difficult time.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Foreign Press Centre that America’s military-to-military ties with India, however, were ‘going very well’.

Majeed sworn-in as AJK premier: Senior parliamentarian Chaudhry Abdul Majeed of the People’s Party AJK was sworn-in as 11th prime minister of Azad Kashmir on July 26.

Pakistan, India to enhance trade, ease visa regime: The Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers ushered in a new era of ties between the nuclear-armed rivals and agreed to fight militancy and boost trade and travel, a step forward in reducing tension in the region.

Both Pakistan and India decided to continue the dialogue process to resolve all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir through consultation and with the goal of improving bilateral relations. Both foreign ministers discussed all issues confronting the two countries and announced that ‘Pak-India relations are on the right track.

Both foreign ministers reviewed the status of bilateral relations and expressed satisfaction over the holding of meetings on the issues of counter-terrorism (including progress on Mumbai trial); narcotics control; humanitarian issues; commercial and economic cooperation; Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Proejct; Sir Creek; Siachen; peace and security including CBMs; Jammu and Kashmir; and promotion of friendly exchanges of ministers.

Yaqoob elected AJK president: Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan of People’s Party AJK was elected president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir by two-thirds majority on July 29.

Zero gas supply for CNG sector in winter season: Get ready! There will be no gas for CNG stations at all in the winter season meaning that 31,80,000 CNG-run vehicles will be forced to use alternate fuels such as motor spirit (petrol) and diesel particularly in December, January and February. About 40-50 million people, who daily travel on the CNG-run vehicles, will be exposed to massive hike in transport fares when the vehicles will use petrol and diesel in the winter season.

ISI chief asked US to stop drone strikes: After years of pussyfooting, Pakistan has finally asked the United States to stop the CIA-run unmanned air strikes in its tribal areas.

According to diplomatic sources, Mr Pasha told acting CIA Director Michael J. Morell that the raids had become a major source of embarrassment for the Pakistani government as it was blamed for failing to stop a foreign power from killing its own citizens.

SHO, ASI, ex-CCPO responsible for killings: The committee constituted by IG Balochistan to probe Kharotabad incident has recommended holding fresh inquiry, sacking and trial of SHO Fazlur Rehman and ASI Raza and former CCPO Dawood Junejo under Criminal Act.

Fata to have political parties, hints PM: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani indicted in the National Assembly on August 3 that the government would extend the Political Parties Act to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) to allow formation of political parties in the troubled region.

Hashmi wants Punjab divided into four provinces: Senior PML(N) leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi has asked the leadership of his own party to announce division of Punjab into four provinces.

Mr Hashmi, who had almost been sidelined by the leadership because of his open criticism of policies of the party, said that new provinces had become need of the hour with the increase in population. He did not elaborate geographical locations of the new provinces, but it is believed that he was referring to the ongoing debate in media and political circles that Punjab should be divided into South Punjab, Bahawalpur, Central Punjab and Potohar provinces.

Oxfam says Pakistan facing food crisis, high prices: High and volatile food prices in Pakistan contribute to violence and unrest as nearly 120 million of the total population is forced to spend 50 to 70 per cent of their income on food.

Oxfam’s latest survey, published on August 3, include Pakistan amongst the 21 nations facing food crisis due to high and volatile food prices. The survey also says 36 per cent of the people in Pakistan are undernourished. ‘Nearly two-thirds (120 million) of the population spends between 50 and 70 per cent of their income on food, making them vulnerable to rising prices’ the survey reports about Pakistan.

Govt de-notifies five PCO judges on SC order: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on August 7 de-notified the PCO judges of Lahore and Sindh high courts in pursuance of the decision of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council.

Peru with 195 units tops of most provinces in world: Though the ongoing debate for creation of new provinces in Pakistan may well be part of the diversion tactics being used by the incumbent government to distract the public attention from more serious issues like unchecked inflation, worsening law and order, surging unemployment, poor governance, soaring poverty and the accountability of the corrupt elements by the courts, the issue has certainly triggered a heated discussion all round the country.

Going through the official profiles of around 100 countries of the world, it has transpired that while the South American nation of Peru has 195 provinces, its landlocked neighbour Bolivia has 112 and Italy has 110 territorial administrative divisions. Next on the list of countries with most member of provinces are the Philippines (82), Turkey (81), Thailand (77), Oman (63), Vietnam (58) and Chile (54).

Sindh LG system ordinance takes effect: An ordinance reviving the Local Government System of 2001 in the entire Sindh province, signed by Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan has come into force and shall be deemed to have taken effect from July 9.

The ordinance marks the demise of the controversial commissioner system which the PPP-led government claimed to have introduced to serve the people better.

Pakistan seeks ‘new chapter’ in India ties: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told the National Assembly that Pakistan sought to open a ‘new chapter’ in relations with India through renewed peace talks, over which the government promised a debate in the next house session.

The eight points the two sides have agreed to take up are: counter-terrorism; economic and commercial cooperation; the construction of Wullar Barrage, that Pakistan thinks will affect the flow of Jhelum river from Indian-held Kashmir, the disputed Siachen glacier in Kashmir; the dispute over maritime boundary at Sir Creek; peace and security, including confidence-building measures; the dispute over the Jammu and Kashmir state; and promotion of friendly exchanges.

She listed four objectives of resuming the dialogue with India and her India visit: ensuring ‘uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue’ ensuring ‘a conducive environment’ by looking at the relationship between the two countries in a friendly rather than a hostile perspective, finding solutions to ‘all issues’ and, in this context, remaining engaged with India.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia agree to promote global peace: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia agreed to enhance cooperation and boost their ties in a comprehensive manner and to work closely to promote the cause of global peace and tolerance among different religions and espouse the universal values of humanity and brotherhood.

Prime Minister Gilani highly appreciated the contribution of King Abdullah to promote interfaith harmony. A broad consensus was reached on enhancing Pakistan-Saudi Arabia partnership based on comprehensive cooperation. Modalities and mechanism for this purpose were also discussed.

Bali bombing suspect extradited to Indonesia: Umar Patek ‘one of Indonesia’s most wanted terror suspects and allegedly involved in the Bali bombings of 2002 that left more than 200 people dead’ was extradited to Indonesia, sources said.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Japan quake makes 2011 costliest year: Japan’s earthquake in March is set to make 2011 the costliest year to date for natural disasters, reinsurer Munich Re said on July 12, although the number of deaths globally is relatively low so far.

Total global losses from natural disasters for the first six months alone were $265 billion, easily exceeding the $220 billion recorded for the whole of 2005, previously the most expensive year to date, the German firm said.

The 9.0-magnitude quake on March 11, the strongest ever registered in Japan, caused losses of 210 billion euros, making it the costliest natural catastrophe on record, surpassing even Hurricane Katrina in the United States in 2005.

Terror revisits Mumbai; three blasts kill 21, injure 150: At least 21 people were killed and nearly 150 injured by a series of blasts in busy localities of Mumbai on July 13 evening.

While officially India had not blamed any terrorist outfit for the attacks, Mumbai police suspect the Indian Mujahideen ‘a banned domestic organisation accused of carrying out several other blasts in Indian cities over the past three years’ to be behind the latest attacks on the country’s commercial hub.

Afghanistan’s worst security breaches: Here is a list of the most high-profile security breaches in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001:

Sept 2002: Afghan President Hamid Karzai escapes an assassination attempt when his car was fired upon in the southern province of Kandahar.

Jan 2008: Eight people died in an attack on Kabul’s five-star Serena Hotel while a delegation of Norwegian officials, including the country’s foreign minister, was staying there.

April 2008: Karzai escaped unhurt as militants fire guns and rockets at a military parade he was attending.

June 2008: Around 1,000 prisoners escaped from a Kandahar jail when the Taliban used a truck bomb to blow open the gates.

July 2008: About 41 people were killed and scores injured when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

February 2009: About 26 people died in near-simultaneous attacks on the buildings of the prisons directorate and justice and education ministries in Kabul.

October 2009: At least 17 people died in an attack outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul, just over a year after a much bigger bombing at the same location.

December 2009: Seven CIA operatives were among eight people killed in a suicide attack at their base in Khost, eastern Afghanistan, carried out by a Jordanian triple agent who had been escorted on site.

April 18 2011: Three soldiers were killed when an insurgent dressed in Afghan army uniform opened fire inside the Defence Ministry, but was killed before detonating his suicide vest.

April 25 2011: About 500 Taliban prisoners escape overnight from Kandahar jail in a daring breakout’ the second from the prison in three years.

June 2011: Taliban militants storm a top Kabul hotel, the Intercontinental, sparking a fierce battle involving Afghan commandos and Nato troops that killed 21, including the nine attackers.

July 2011: President Karzai’s younger brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai was assassinated in his home by a long-serving commander of his family’s personal protection force.

Thousands flee after volcano erupts in Indonesia: A series of eruptions at an Indonesian volcano have thrown rocks, Iava and ash hundreds of metres into the air and forced thousands of people to flee, officials said.

Mount Lokon on Sulawesi island burst into life and continued to spew ash and searing gas into the air well into the morning, prompting more than 4,500 residents to head to safety.

US spacecraft set to enter giant asteroid’s orbit: After its nearly four-year trek, Nasa engineers are expected to confirm that the US spacecraft Dawn has entered the orbit of Vesta, one of the largest asteroids in the solar system.

Foreign troops hand over Bamiyan to Afghan police: International military forces in Afghanistan handed over control of a peaceful province in the centre of the country to Afghan police on July 17, taking another step in a transition that will allow foreign troops to withdraw in full by the end of 2014.

Bamiyan province is one of seven areas going to Afghan security control this month in a first round of the transition.

Thailand, Cambodia ordered to pull out troops: The United Nations’ highest court on July 18 ordered Thailand and Cambodia to pull their soldiers out of a newly defined demilitarised zone around a disputed temple, and to revive talks to resolve the decades-old conflict.

Sovereignty over the ancient, stone-walled Hindu temples Preah Vihear, Ta Moan and Ta Krabey and the jungle of the Dangrek Mountains surrounding them has been in dispute since the withdrawal of the French from Cambodia in 1950s.

Nepal measures Everest to settle height confusion: Nepal has begun a project to re-measure Mount Everest in an attempt to end confusion about the exact height of the world’s tallest peak, a government spokesman in Kathmandu said on July 19.

Everest, which straddles Nepal and China, is generally thought to stand at 8,848 metres after an Indian survey in 1954, but other more recent measurements have varied by several metres.

Iran claims downing US drone over N-site: Iran has shot down an unmanned US spy plane over its Fordu nuclear site, a state-run website reported on July 20, a day after it confirmed it was installing a new generation of advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges.

Chinese submarine conducts deepest ever manned dive: China’s submarine conducted the country’s deepest manned dive ever on July 21 in the latest milestone for China’s deep-sea ambitions as it seeks to exploit the vast resources of the ocean floor.

The Jiaolong undersea craft ‘named after a mythical sea, dragon’ reached 4,027 metres below sea level in a test dive in the northeastern Pacific, the State Oceanic Administration said in a statement.

Climate change threatens world security: Climate change is generating an ‘unholy brew’ of extreme weather events that threaten global security, the UN chief said as the Security Council recognised the issue’s potential effect on world peace.

Achim Steiner, director of the UN Environment Programme, cited a worst-case scenario prediction that temperatures will rise four degree Celsius by 2060 while the sea level will rise one meter (3.3 feet) over the next century.

Nato hands control of Mazar-i-Sharif to Afghans: Nato troops on July 23 handed control of Afghanistan’s northern capital Mazar-i-Sharif to local forces amid rising security fears just days after it was hit by a deadly bombing.

Mazar-i-Sharif is the sixth of seven areas to transition to Afghan control, but critics say the timetable is politically motivated and scepticism is running high over Afghan abilities to ward off a trenchant Taliban insurgency.

TNA sweeps polls in Sri Lanka’s north: Citizens in Sri Lanka’s old war zone voted for local leaders for the first time in at least a dozen years, in a poll marked by intimidation, vote-buying and scepticism by the mostly Tamil electorate of any kind of post-war political change.

Soldiers remained on the streets across the north, as they have since the May 2009 end of a 26-year war between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who fought for a separate state for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which was once considered to be a proxy of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), has swept elections to 20 local bodies in the north Sri Lanka districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.

Draft law okayed to end Baath monopoly: Syria’s government, under massive pressure to reform or quit, has adopted a draft law allowing for new political parties to operate alongside the ruling Baath party.

Bangladesh award for Indira: Former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi was honoured posthumously by Bangladesh for helping the country with
independence in 1971.

Sonia Gandhi, Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law and the head of the ruling Congress party, accepted the Bangladesh Freedom Honour from President Zillur Rahman at a reception in Dhaka.

Japan women remain world’s longest-lived: Japanese women remained the world’s longest-living last year, although their average life expectancy edged down slightly to 86.39 years, the government said, on July 27.

Indian cabinet approves new anti-corruption bill: India’s cabinet approved a new anti-corruption bill on July 28 that aims to create a powerful new ombudsman tasked with investigating endemic graft in the public sector.

Under the proposed law, citizens would be able to approach the ombudsman with complaints about corrupt officials, including federal ministers and senior bureaucrats who are shielded under India’s current laws.

Turkish military chiefs quit after rift over trial: The chiefs of staff of Turkey’s military stepped down on July 29 as tensions dramatically increased over the arrest of dozens of officers accused of plotting to overthrow the government.

The resignation of Turkey’s top general, Isik Kosaner, and its navy, army and air force commanders came hours after a court charged 22 suspects, including several generals and officers, with carrying out an Internet campaign to undermine the government. The commanders asked to be retired.

Scandal-tainted Indian chief minister quits: The chief minister of a southern Indian state who is accused of being at the centre of a $3.6 billion mining fraud resigned.

B. S. Yeddyurappa, 68, head of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka informed reporters about his resignation in the state capital city, Bangalore.

Chidambaram says Indian terrorists behind Mumbai blasts: The Indian government has said there are indications of the involvement of an ‘Indian terror module’ in last month’s serial blasts in Mumbai, even as the opposition accused the Centre of being soft in its approach towards terrorism.

It is for first time that the government has hinted at the involvement of a homegrown terror group in the three explosions in India’s financial hub.

Indian govt introduces anti-corruption bill: The Indian government introduced on August 4 a new anti-corruption bill in parliament, which activists have criticised for exempting the prime minister from the scrutiny of a powerful new ombudsman.

French court orders probe against IMF: A French court on August 4 ordered an investigation into new IMF chief Christine Lagarde’s role in a $400 million arbitration deal in favour of a controversial tycoon.

Investigators will open an inquiry this week into possible charges of ‘complicity to embezzlement of public funds’ and complicity to forgery’ prosecutors said.

Extreme weather cost $32 billion to US: Extreme weather across the United States, from huge floods to deadly tornadoes, has led to $32 billion in economic losses so far this year, the director of the National Weather Service on August 4.

The country has experienced severe weather throughout 2011, from the record spring rainfall that overwhelmed rivers already swollen from the melting of heavy winter snows, to the searing summer heat now affecting many states.

$2.5trn wiped off global stocks in a week: World stocks fell for an eighth day but US stocks gained ground on August 5 after a dizzying descent that wiped $2.5 trillion off the value of global equities this week and brought back memories of the 2008 financial crisis.

Ukraine arrests ex-PM Tymo-shenko: Ukraine placed ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko under arrest for contempt of court, in a dramatic twist to her stormy trial on charges of abuse of power.

US Seals chopper attacked by Taliban: A military helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan, killing 31 US special operation troops, most of them from the elite Navy Seals unit that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, along with seven Afghan commandos. It was the deadliest single incident for American forces in the decade-long war.

The Taliban claimed they downed the helicopter with rocket fire while it was taking part in a raid on a house where insurgents had gathered in the province of Wardak.

US loses top credit rating: For the first time in history, the United States has had its credit rating downgraded by a notch, from triple A to double A plus, causing predictions that it would affect economies around the world.

We have lowered our long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to ‘AA+’ from ‘AAA’ and affirmed the ‘A-1+’ short-term rating’ the world’s leading credit rating company Standard and Poor’s announced.

Soon after the announcement, China called for a new stable global reserve currency, saying that the US only had itself to blame for its troubles.

The US, however, rejected the criticism, saying that S&P analysis contained a $2 trillion error.

New Thai PM takes office with unity pledge: Thailand’s new Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on August 8 officially took office with a vow to reunite the troubled nation after years of turmoil following the overthrow of her fugitive brother. Yingluck, a 44-year-old political novice, was elected as Thailand’s first female premier in a parliamentary vote but had to complete formalities, including official approval by King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Turkey issues arrest warrants for seven senior military officers: A Turkish court issued arrest warrants for seven active generals and admirals pending trial over an alleged plot to overthrow the Islamist-rooted government, Anatolia news agency said.

Former strongman of Gaza poisoned Arafat: Fatah: Loyalists of the Palestinian president have accused a rival of poisoning the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in an apparent effort to discredit him politically.

Top officials of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party issued a report on August 7 contending that former Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan sent poison disguised as medicine to Arafat while he was in a Paris hospital.

Violence spreads to new areas in London: Riots spread to new areas of London on August 8 in a third night of violence as hooded youths torched cars and buildings, hurled missiles at police and looted shops, in the worst unrest in the British capital for decades.

Tsunami caused Manhattan-sized iceberg in Antarctica: The tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 propagated waves that hit an ice shelf in Antarctica 13,000 kilometres away, smashing parts of it into huge icebergs, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

On March 12, ESA’s Envisat Earth-monitoring satellite spotted icebergs that had broken from the Sulzberger ice shelf, and on March 16, the pieces were seen floating into the Ross Sea, it said.

The largest berg measured about 9.5 kms by 6.5 kms, making it slightly bigger in surface area than Manhattan, and had a likely depth of about 80 metres.

Taliban who shot down US helicopter killed: A US F-16 fighter jet killed Taliban militants who brought down an American helicopter in Afghanistan on August 6, killing 38 soldiers, the commander of US and coalition forces in Afghanistan said on August 10.

Twenty-five of those killed in the copter crash were members of an elite US commandos unit which eliminated Osama bin Laden in a daring raid inside Pakistan on May 2. Others included five US crew members, seven Afghan soldiers and one interpreter.

China launches first aircraft carrier: China launched its first aircraft carrier for a maiden run on August 10, a step likely to boost patriotic pride at home and jitters abroad about Beijing’s naval ambitions.

The carrier ‘left its shipyard in Dalian Port in northeast Liaoning province to start its first sea trial’ said the official Xinhua news agency, describing the trip as a tentative test run for the unfinished ship. The aircraft carrier, which is about 300 metres long, ploughed through fog and sounded its horn three times as it left the dock, Xinhua said on its military news micro-blog.

SPORTS

England rout India in 2,000th Test: England completed a 196-run win over the world’s top-ranked side India on July 25 at Lord’s after James Anderson cut through their middle order with five for 65.

Lochte smashes world record, Magnussen grabs 100m freestyle title: Ryan Lochte became the first swimmer to break a long course world record since controversial polyurethane swimsuits were banned last year while James Magnussen ended a far longer Australian wait at the world championships on July 28.

Lochte, pushed every stroke of the way, managed to hold off compatriot and Olympic champion Michael Phelps in the men’s 200 metres individual medley and break his own record in one minute and 54.00 seconds.

Pakistan down India to lift U-16 Soccer Cup: Pakistan lifted the title in style after inflicting a 2-1 defeat on arch-rivals India in the inaugural South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Under 16 Championship held at the Dashrath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu.

UNO

The UNO is an association of sovereign states bound by a Charter (Constitution) to maintain international peace and security. It is the world’s largest international organisation; a successor to the league of Nation.

UN Charter
On June 26, 1945, the delegates of 50 countries at San Francisco (USA) signed the United Nations Charter (Constitution).

Foundation Day of the UNO
The UNO formally came into existence on October 24, 1945 when governments of China, France, and the United Kingdom, the former USSR, the United States and a majority of other states ratified the UNO Charter. October 24 is celebrated as the United Nations Day throughout the world.

First Regular Session of the UNO
The first regular session of the UNO was held in London in January 1946 and Trygve Lie (Norway) was elected the first Secretary General of the UNO.

Headquarters of the UNO
These are located on the First Avenue, UN Plaza, New York City, and United States of America.

Aims and Objectives
1.     To maintain peace and security in the world
2.     To work together to remove poverty, disease and illiteracy and encourage respect for each other’s rights of basic freedom.
3.     To develop friendly relations among nations.
4.     To be a centre to help nations achieve these common goals.

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