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News in Short

News in Short - 13-May-2021

Saudi announces aid for Pakistan

Date: 13 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Saudi Arabia has announced 118 humanitarian projects worth over USD 123 million for cash-strapped Pakistan in food security, health, education and water during Prime Minister Imran Khan's two-day visit, according to a report.
  • The assistance was announced in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The kingdom has provided medical and preventive aid worth over USD 1.5 million to combat the pandemic.
  • The aid will help in achieving the desired interests and goals, and contribute to developing the political, military, diplomatic, economic, commercial, developmental and cultural coordination and cooperation fields.

China’s population growth slows to lowest in decades

Date: 13 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • China’s once-in-a-decade population census has recorded a slowing population growth rate that will likely see China’s population overtaken by India’s by as early as 2025.
  • The seventh census noted 12 million babies were born last year, the lowest number since 1961, during a four-year famine unleashed by Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward policy.
  • The slowing growth rate is a consequence of China’s stringent family planning rules over decades - known as the “one-child policy”.
  • China loosened family planning rules and allowed couples to have two children in in 2016, but that has failed to mark a boom amid changing lifestyles and declining preferences.

PM Modi’s G7 visit cancelled

Date: 13 May 2021 Tags: India & World
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not attend the G7 summit in the United Kingdom next month, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • The announcement came days after External Affairs Minister Jaishankar returned from London where he had gone to participate in a ministerial meeting of the G7.
  • The visit to Cornwall, U.K., for the summit was scheduled to be the first major trip to the west by Prime Minister Modi who has not travelled beyond South Asia in recent months.
  • His last visit was to Bangladesh in March to mark the half-century of its independence. Mr. Modi also cancelled his visit to Portugal for the E.U.-India Leaders Meeting held virtually on May 8.

Moody’s lowers India’s growth projections

Date: 13 May 2021 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • Moody’s Investors Service sharply scaled down this year’s growth projection for India to 9.3% from its earlier estimate of 13.7%, citing the negative impact of the second wave.
  • The severe second wave of COVID-19 infections will slow the near-term economic recovery and could weigh on longer-term growth dynamics.
  • The agency expects a wider general government fiscal deficit of about 11.8% of GDP in 2021-22, instead of its previous estimate of 10.8%.
  • In Moody’s view, India’s policy effectiveness has been lower than some international surveys suggest, even though it considers India's legislative and executive institutions, civil society and judiciary to be relatively strong.

Hamas launches air strikes on Israel

Date: 13 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Twenty people were killed amidst fresh airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. Hamas, an extremist group controlling the Gaza Strip, fired a barrage of rockets into the Israeli territory.
  • Later, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) confirmed bombing Hamas targets in retaliation. Many civilians were injured on both sides.
  • The recent clash is triggered by Palestinians' growing fear of 'forced eviction' from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in east Jerusalem.
  • The conflict turned bloody last Friday after Israeli Law enforcers and Palestinians clashed at the Al Aqsa Mosque complex. The skirmish led to more than 200 Palestinian and over 17 Israeli fatalities.