Sri Lankan war crimes horrific: U.N. report – (International Relation)
- A long-awaited United Nations report has urged Sri Lanka to establish a special court to try the “horrific” abuses committed by the authorities and the rebels in the last phase of the country’s civil war.
- The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL), which released the report in Geneva on Wednesday, called upon Colombo to create the proposed court through specific legislation by integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators.
Only biodegradable Ganesha idols can be immersed : NGT – (Environment)
- With the festive season round the corner, the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday passed a series of directions to make sure Yamuna is not choked with hazardous chemicals.
- It further said that, “the DDA, the municipal corporations, police and Administration of NCT of Delhi would fully co-ordinate with each other to ensure compliance of these directions”.
Greenpeace gets relief in FCRA case – (Enviornment)
- In a breather to Greenpeace India Society, the Madras High Court on Wednesday granted an interim stay on a Home Ministry order, which cancelled the Foreign Contributions (Regulations) Act, 2010 registration given to the international NGO.
- The plea filed by Greenpeace India’s Executive Director Vinuta Gopal referred to three earlier instances when the Centre had passed adverse orders, which were eventually ordered against by various courts and further claimed the Home Ministry has taken recourse to the “draconian and thoroughly unconstitutional” provisions of the FCRA, 2010.
Outdoor air pollution killed 0.65 million Indians in 2010: study – (Environment)
- Of the 3.3 million premature mortality worldwide in 2010 caused by outdoor air pollution, about 0.65 million deaths took place in India. These deaths were in adults older than 30 years and in children younger than five years.
- India has the second highest premature deaths caused by outdoor air pollution. With 1.35 million deaths annually, China ranks number one in the world.
India, Cambodia sign two MoUs – (International Relation)
- Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Wednesday signed two Memorandums of Understanding — on tourism, and on the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Initiative — with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen following a session of delegation-level talks.
- The Mekong-Ganga MoU related to five ‘quick impact projects’, one of which was a $50,000-grant to Cambodia for the upgradation of an Entrepreneurship Development Centre. The other four projects included two in healthcare, especially to do with malaria, one on agriculture and one on women’s empowerment. The tourism MoU was aimed at boosting tourist movement between the two countries.
Reform eludes UN Security Council – (International Relation)
- The positions of China, Russia and the U.S. have cast a gloom on the G-4. Those of Russia and the U.S., in particular, came as a shock to India which believed it had the support of these countries on UNSC permanent membership.
- The framework document adopted at the General Assembly did not break the impasse on reforms, but brought some clarity as to who was on which side. It also became clear that any plan to introduce a substantial draft resolution in the next session would be futile.
- India and the G-4 have exhausted all the arguments in favour of expansion and they have to be more and more inventive in promoting their proposals. They have already made a compromise on the veto. The next step will be to accept anything less than permanent membership.
Time to reform the UNSC – (International Relation)
- The adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of a resolution to use a framework text as the basis of discussions on Security Council reforms is a welcome step forward.
- As India’s Ambassador to the UN, Asoke Mukerji, said, this is the first time in the history of the intergovernmental negotiation process that a decision on UNSC reform has been adopted by means of an official document.
- This also indicates that most countries in the General Assembly support a restructuring of the UNSC. Meaningful reform of the Security Council is overdue.
Obama’s Pivot to Asia shaping Xi Jinping’s upcoming U.S. visit – (Intenational Relation)
- President Barack Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” doctrine, and China’s activism in the South China Sea are looming over President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States next week.
- The four-day visit, also high on economic content will start on September 22, the Chinese foreign ministry announced on Wednesday. But, behind the scenes, a back-and-forth is in full flow between the two countries to attain a psychological high ground, ahead of the visit.
RBI allows 10 companies to set up small finance banks – (Economics)
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted ‘in-principle’ approval for 10 companies to set up small finance banks.
- The approval will be valid for 18 months to enable the applicants to comply with the requirements.