Current Affairs in Short: 14 March 2018
In a sudden move, US President Donald Trump fired his secretary of state, Rex W Tillerson, extending a shake-up of his administration, 14 months into his tumultuous presidency. CIA Director Mike Pompeo was named as Tillerson’s successor.
1. Trump fires Rex Tillerson as secretary of state
• US President Trump on March 13, 2018 fired his secretary of state, Rex W Tillerson, naming CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his replacement.
• The President also named Gina Haspel to become the CIA's first female director.
• Tillerson had a series of public rifts with the White House since he was appointed last year.
• The Deputy Secretary of State, John J Sullivan would be taking over all the responsibilities from Tillerson till Pompeo formally takes charge.
2. Noted film and television actor Narendra Jha passes away
• Noted film and television actor Narendra Jha passed away on March 14, 2018 following a heart attack. He was 55.
• The actor best is known for his performances in films such as Raees, Kaabil and Haider.
• Jha began his acting career on TV with hit shows like Shanti, Ithihass, Captain House.
• The actor gradually moved to films but continued his hold on the small screen, appearing in Shyam Benegal’s Samvidhaan, comedy show Begusarai and Chhoona Hai Aasmaan.
• He played Shahid Kapoor’s father in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider and bootlegger Musa Bhai in Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raees. He was set to appear in Prabhas-starrer Saaho.
3. Remove cars in disuse from roads, else face auction: Greater Chennai Corporation
• The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) on March 14, 2018 set a deadline for owners of disused vehicles including cars left on city roads, saying that they will be auctioned by police, if not removed within the next 15 days.
• The GCC Commissioner D Karthikeyan said parking vehicles on the road sides and street corners posed hindrance to the public, hit traffic flow and also led to health hazards as these become a breeding spot for mosquitoes.
• He said people should come forward to voluntarily remove vehicles in disuse from roadsides.
4. Bidya Devi Bhandari re-elected President of Nepal for second term
• Nepal’s first woman President Bidya Devi Bhandari was re-elected for a second term in office with an overwhelming majority on March 13, 2018.
• The Left alliance candidate defeated her opponent Kumari Laxmi Rai from Nepali Congress with more than a two-thirds majority, as she secured 39,275 votes while Rai was able to gather just 11,730 votes.
• The 56-year-old had become Nepal’s first woman President in 2015.
• Before that, she was elected twice in the country’s parliamentary elections in 1994 and 1999.
5. Haryana Government to set up committee to find solution for Yamuna’s polluted water
• The Haryana government announced on March 14, 2 018 that it would be setting up a committee to find a solution to polluted water flowing in the Yamuna river, which is affecting four districts of the state.
• The committee led by State Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Om Parkash Dhankhar, will discuss the issue with the Delhi government and the Centre.
• The Chief Minister was responding in the Haryana Assembly during Zero hour to the issue of quality of water in Okhla Barrage and effulents entering Yamuna from 37 polluted channels in Delhi.
6. WWII bomb prompts evacuation of 23,000 in Italian town
• At least 1,000 troops were dispatched on March 13, 2018 to help evacuate part of the seaside town of Fano in Italy after a World War II bomb was spotted at a construction site.
• According to the national statistics institute, the town has population of over 60,000, among whom 23000 were evacuated.
• The bomb was found to have been manufactured in the UK. In case of detonation, it could cause damage within a radius of 1,800 metres.
• To be on the safe side, a hospital and railway station falling within the bomb’s 1800 metre radius were also evacuated and train services were halted.
• Military explosives specialists would be extracting it from its position and then setting it off at the sea.
7. Delhi Metro’s Pink Line connecting DU's north-south campuses opens
• The 20-km-long stretch of Delhi Metro's Pink Line, connecting the north and south campuses of the Delhi University, was opened for the public on March 14, 2018.
• The 12-station section was formally flagged off by Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from the Metro Bhawan.
• Passenger services on the stretch will begin from 6 pm onwards from both Majlis Park and Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus stations simultaneously.
• The Pink Line has three interchange stations, Azadpur with Yellow Line, Netaji Subhash Place, with Red Line and Rajouri Garden with Blue Line.
8. No flight to operate from Chandigarh airport from May 12-31
• No flight will operate from the Chandigarh International Airport between May 12 and 31 as second phase of the runway repairs will be undertaken then.
• The first phase of the runway repair was carried out from February 12 to 26 during which the airport had remained shut for all flights.
• Post completion of the second phase of runway re-carpeting/repair work in May, the runway length will increase to 10,400 feet from earlier 7,200 feet.
• This upgradation of the runway would facilitate long haul flights from Chandigarh to destinations like United States, Canada, Europe, UK and other places.