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International Current Affairs April


INTERNATIONAL
China, Russia, Pakistan discuss Afghanistan situation
Officials from China, Russia and Pakistan on 3 April 2013 held talks on the issue of coordination between their positions on Afghanistan.The officials from three nations  backed  the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that is grouping to play a great role in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO Forces in 2014. These talks were held to enhance coordination. The talks followed a similar meeting India, China and Russia held in Moscow recently, reflecting the delicate balancing act — and increasingly complicated regional dynamics — as different countries look to push their interests in the lead up to 2014.
Malaysia PM Dissolves Parliament
On 3 April Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has dissolved the Parliament ahead of a general election.This dissolution will pave the way for the 13th general election.The elections have to be held before June 2.The Barisan Nasional coalition that has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957 is expected to face a stiff challenge in the polls from the opposition three-party Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Pact).
Tammam Salam named as Lebanon new Prime Minister
On 6 April well-known Sunni lawmaker Tammam Salam has been named Lebanon’s new prime minister , after receiving overwhelming parliamentary support.His appointment comes after previous prime minister Najib Mikati resigned and effectively brought down his Hezbollah-dominated government.
China, Australia Signed Direct Currency Exchange Agreement
On 10 China and Australia have signed a currency swap agreement in a bid to promote bilateral trade and investment.The agreement makes the Australian dollar the third major currency to directly trade in China’s mainland foreign exchange market, after the US dollar and the Japanese yen.Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard discussed bilateral security issues with China’s President Hu Jintao.
China Pledges $548 million Aid To Cambodia
On 10 April China has pledged $548 million in aid to Cambodia for infrastructure and irrigation systems.Agreements covering $500 million in soft loans and $48 million in grants were signed during Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen .
Nepal Peace Process Ends
On 13 April Nepal’s much delayed peace process with end of the decade long civil war has finally reached conclusion.Though the peace process had started on 2006, the Special Committee was formed in 2008 to oversee the army integration process.The last meeting of the cross-party Special Committee decided to accept application of 47 Maoist combatants to quit the Nepal Army training.
Nicolas Maduro Wins Venezuelan Presidential Election
Nicolas Maduro,Socilist Party member who became Hugo Chavez’s protege, was declared the winner of Venezuela’s presidential election on 14 April 2013.Maduro secured 50.8% of votes  while opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski won 49.0%.Maduro got 3 lakhs votes of majority than Henrique.
New Zealand Approved Gay-Marriage Bill
On 17 April New Zealand’s parliament has approved the bill to legalise same-sex marriage.New Zealand has become the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so. No other country in the Asia-Pacific region allows gay marriage.Cheers and applause ring out in parliament building after 77 of 121 members vote to allow gay couples to wed.New Zealand is now the 13th country to legalise gay marriage.
U.S Senate Rejects Gun Control Bill
On 18 April The US Senate has rejected a strong gun control bill.US Senators supported the measure with just 54-46 votes , falling short of the 60 votes required to pass the amendment.The legislation was considered the best hope for gun control sought by President Obama in the wake of the mass shooting at Newtown Elementary School last year.Among them, a vote to ban assault weapons was rejected by 40 votes to 60, while a measure to limit the size of gun clips received just 46 votes in its favor.
US House of Representatives Passed CISPA
On 18 April The US House of Representatives has passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA).The aim of CISPA is to fight with the cyber threats, by enabling the law enforcers to get access to the web data.This is the second time Cispa has been passed by the House.Senators threw out the first draft, saying it did not do enough to protect privacy.Senators had earlier rejected the first draft of this bill on the grounds that it wasn’t providing enough for protecting the privacy.
Napolitano Re-elected as Italy’s President
On 21 April  Italy’s Parliament re-elected Giorgio Napolitano as the Italy’s President for second 7-year term .Giorgio Napolitano will be the first Italian president to be re-elected to serve a second term.He got 738 votes, far more than the 504 needed for victory.More than 1,000 national and regional lawmakers had convened to elect the next Italian president, with the overwhelming majority of them ultimately backing Napolitano.The People of Freedom party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi got second place in Italy elections.He is the first President of Italy to have been a member of the Italian Communist Party and the first to be elected to a second term as President.Giorgio Napolitano is the 11th President of the Italian Republic since 2006.
Horacio Cartes Elected as Paraguay’s new President
On 22 April Businessman Horacio Cartes of the Colorado Party has been declared Paraguay’s new president.The electoral board announced that Cartes had 46.1 percent of the vote and his main rival Senator Efrain Alegre of the ruling Liberal Party 36.9 percent.The conservative Colorados held Paraguay’s presidency for 60 years until leftist former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo was elected in 2008.
French Parliament Approved Gay Marriage Law
On 23 April France parliament approved a new law to allow gay marriage. Parliament passed the bill by 331 votes for and 225 against.France has become the 14th country to allow gay marriage..
UK Approved Caste Discrimination Bill
On 25 April Britain has outlawed caste discrimination, after the House of Lords voted for legal protection to be given to the most vulnerable, mainly in the Indian and Sikh communities.The UK now looks set to become the first country in Europe to outlaw discrimination based on caste.
Cuba and Venezuela Signed 51 Cooperation Projects
On 28 April Cuba and Venezuela have signed at Havana accords for 51 joint projects worth two billion U.S. dollars.At the close of 13th Cuba-Venezuela Intergovernmental Meeting , Cuban President Raul Castro and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the deals for projects in such areas as education, health, sports, cultur, food production, construction, transport, communications, energy and support of social missions.Havana and Caracas agreed to jointly invest two billion dollars to develop these projects and also signed a memorandum to establish a bilateral medium- and long-term economic agenda.The investment also covers joint ventures in vital and strategic economic areas in both countries.
Pakistan court bans Musharraf from contesting polls for life
A four-judge bench of the Peshawar high court headed by chief justice Dost Muhammad Khan imposed the life  ban while dismissing Musharraf’s appeal challenging the rejection of his nomination papers for May 11 general election.The lifetime ban was imposed because Musharraf had abrogated the Constitution twice and detained judges during the 2007 emergency.