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News in Short

News in Short - 12-June-2020

Palestine to declare statehood if Israel annexes West Bank

Date: 12 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Palestine has said that it will declare statehood over all of the West Bank and Gaza, with Jerusalem as its capital, and push for global recognition if Israel goes ahead with plans to annex land it occupies.
  • Palestinian leaders have declared statehood in the past, including Yasser Arafat in 1988. In 2012, Palestine gained UN observer state status. However, with the Palestinian territories remaining occupied by Israel, and in the absence of an agreement, there has not been full international recognition.
  • With Israeli forces in control of the Palestinian territories, any declaration of statehood would be largely symbolic. However, the government might hope that growing international unease over Israel’s annexation plans could encourage governments to formally back Palestinian claims.

Lion population in Gir forest increases

Date: 12 June 2020 Tags: Biodiversity
  • India has recorded a 29% increase in the population of Asiatic lions, living in Gujarat’s Gir forests, in the past five years, with their population going up from 523 in 2015 to 674 in 2020.
  • The period also saw a 36% increase in the distribution area of the lions from 22,000 sq km in 2015 to 30,000 sq km in 2020.
  • Currently, Asiatic lions are found in the protected areas and agro-pastoral landscape of Saurashtra, covering nine districts in Gujarat.

BWF cancels Swiss open and European championships

Date: 12 June 2020 Tags: Sports
  • The Badminton World Federation (BWF) cancelled the 2020 Swiss Open and the 2020 European Championships.
  • The BWF, the only world body to announce a packed five-month calendar for 2020, called off the two events due to non-availability of dates.
  • The Swiss Open, scheduled from March 17 to 22, was under the “suspended” category following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Similarly, the European Championship, scheduled from April 21-26, stands cancelled. The right to host the continental championship remains with Ukraine, which has committed to hold the event at Kyiv, from April 27 to May 2, 2021.

DMK MLA J Anbazhagan dies

Date: 12 June 2020 Tags: Obituaries
  • DMK MLA J Anbazhagan died of Covid-19 while undergoing treatment in Chennai. He is the first legislator in the country to fall victim to Covid-19.
  • A three-time MLA, Anbazhagan was elected to the assembly in 2001, 2011 and 2016. He was elected from T Nagar constituency in Chennai in 2001 but moved to Chepauk in 2011 after being defeated in 2006.
  • A bold and senior party functionary, he was the Chennai West District Secretary and he has successfully organised a slew of party events and was close to party chief MK Stalin.

Nile countries resume for talks on water sharing

Date: 12 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Three key Nile basin countries resumed negotiations over a giant $4.6 billion hydroelectric dam that Egypt fears will constrict its water supply.
  • The dispute over what will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam pits Ethiopia’s desire to become a major power exporter and pull millions out of poverty against Egypt’s concern that the dam will curtail its critical share of the river if filled too quickly.
  • Sudan, long caught between the competing interests of Egypt and Ethiopia, had pushed the two sides to resume negotiations, which had been hamstrung since Ethiopia skipped out on the last round of talks brokered by the Trump administration.