Current Affairs for IAS Exams – 08 January 2016

Current Affairs for IAS Exams – 08 January 2016


India identified handlers of Pathankot attack in Pakistan

  • India has identified the four handlers of Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e- Mohammad (JeM), who were in touch with the six terrorists.

  • India has shared the telephone numbers and the identity of the handlers with Pakistan and has asked it to act on these individuals.

  • Those identified by the Indian agencies are JeM founder Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf Asghar, Ashfaq Ahmed and Kashim Jaan.

  • While Azhar oversaw the operations, his brother Asghar and two others were in touch with the terrorists.

  • India has also given the details of two types of Pakistan- made drugs — Neuro Bedoxine and Dicloran — found on the bodies as evidence.

  • The government also decided to constitute a high-level committee to study the gaps in security along the Pakistan border, especially on the Punjab frontier.

  • It is through a riverine stretch in the Bamiyal sector of Gurdaspur district that the terrorists involved in the Pathankot attack as well as the July 27 attack on the Dinanagar police station are believed to have sneaked into Indian territory.

  • Experts of the Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee have been tasked with finding solutions to detect intrusions from a riverine route.

  • India awaits “prompt and decisive” action from Pakistan against the perpetrators of the Pathankot attack, the government said, for the first time linking the action to Foreign Secretary talks between the two countries scheduled for January 15.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passes away

  • Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away of multiple organ failure, after a prolonged illness, and was buried with state honours in his home town of Bijbehara.

  • In the evening, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders met Governor N.N. Vohra to assure him about the continuation of the government under the leadership of Mr. Sayeed’s daughter Mehbooba Mufti.

  • The BJP, the ally of the PDP, said that while no discussion on the succession had taken place, there was “in principle” no objection to Ms. Mehbooba’s name.

Sell off in global markets after China devalue its currency

  • China’s surprising move to peg the yuan at its lowest value against the U.S. dollar since 2011, triggered a selloff in global markets, bringing alive the fears of competitive devaluation among emerging economies.

  • Indian stock indices fell sharply and the rupee hit a three-week intraday low of 66.96 a dollar as foreign funds continued their exodus from emerging markets.

  • The 30- share Sensex flirted with a 19- month nadir during the day, before closing 554.50 points lower at 24,851.83.

  • The government sought to reassure the markets that the depreciation of the yuan is par for the course as it becomes increasingly market-linked following its induction as a reserve currency by the IMF.

  • Trading in the Chinese equity market was suspended within minutes as the benchmark index breached the 7 per cent circuit limits.

  • This led to all the leading Asian indices losing ground.

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U.S. and China come close over North Korea

  • The U.S. said it considered the latest nuclear explosion carried out by North Korea a matter of national security, and declared that it would stand steadfast in its alliance commitment to South Korea.

  • North Korea has repeatedly threatened the U.S. and has described the latest nu- clear test a response to “U.S. aggression.”

  • Mr. Kim, unlike his late father, is not particularly sensitive to Chinese concerns. However, though its influence over the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is diminishing, China remains a crucial player which can calm the situation.

  • The U.S. is also exploring new sanctions and considering strengthening the existing sanctions against.

  • The U.S. also said it was open to talking to North Korea in the Six Party format.

  • The talks, started in 2003 but aborted in 2009, involved China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Russia, and the U.S. Washington wants the talks to restart but with a predetermined objective of dismantling the nuclear apparatus of North Korea and also hopes China will take the initiative.

  • North Korea has been unwilling to accept that. U.S. has ruled out any review of the U.S. position on this.

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Bears dominate the market due yuan’ devaluation

  • Global shares tumbled for a sixth day on Thursday and oil prices slid to levels not seen since the early 2000s, after China guided the yuan lower and Shanghai shares tumbled by 7 per cent, igniting fears of competitive devaluations across Asia.

  • Less than half an hour after the market opened, Chinese stock trading was suspended for a second time this week.

  • Brent crude prices skidded over 5 per cent to an almost-12- year-low of $32.16, with worries over weaker demand from China adding to a persistent drag on prices caused by oversupply and near-record output levels.

  • European stock markets followed Asia lower, with the pan- European FTSEurofirst 300 index down 2.3 per cent and the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX index falling 2.5 per cent.

  • The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the yuan midpoint rate at 6.5646 a dollar, 0.5 per cent weaker than the previous day’s fix.

  • That was the biggest decline between daily fixings since August and the eighth day in row the PBOC had set a lower guidance rate.

  • Spot yuan fell to 6.5956 to the dollar, its weakest since February 2011. Offshore yuan rates hit a record low of 6.7600 to the dollar, before erasing its losses after suspected intervention by authorities.

  • The 30-share benchmark Sensex lost 554.50 points, or 2.18 per cent, to fall below the psychological 25,000 mark. It ended the day at 24,851.83 after hitting a low of 24,825.70 during intra-day trades.

  • The rupee was also under pressure as foreign funds continue to exit emerging markets and move toward safer assets.

  • The currency lost 11 paise to close the day at 66.93 a dollar as compared with the previous close of 66.82.

Further slide in the oil prices (Register and Login to read Full News..)

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Sources: Various News Papers & PIB

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