Bi-annual talks between Indian and Bangladeshi border forces begin in New Delhi
• The bi-annual talks between the Indian and Bangladeshi border forces began in New Delhi on September 3, 2018.
• While the Director General of Border Security Force (BSF) KK Sharma represented the Indian side, the Director General of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Major General Md Shafeenul Islam lead the Bangladeshi side in the talks.
• The talks are aimed at increasing bilateral cooperation in checking trans-border crimes such as smuggling of drugs and narcotics, cattle lifting and gun running across the international border between the two countries.
• This is the 47th DG-level conference between the two sides since it began in 1975. The last DG-level talks were held in April 2018 in Dhaka
India, Singapore launch next round of free trade agreement review
• India and Singapore on September 1, 2018 launched the next round of review for their existing free trade agreement with a view to further boost bilateral trade and investments between the countries.
• The review round of the free trade agreement, officially known as the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement was launched by Union Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu and Singapore Minister of Trade Relations S Iswaran in Singapore.
• The launch of the review signals further deepening of business, economic and trade collaboration between the two countries.
• The Union Commerce Minister during his stay in Singapore also participated in the 15th ASEAN Economic Ministers-India Consultations. In the meeting, India reaffirmed the need for review of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement.
Fourth International Ayurveda Congress inaugurated at Netherlands
• The 4th International Ayurveda Congress (IAvC) was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik in Netherlands on September 1, 2018.
• The Congress aims to focus on promotion and propagation of Ayurveda in Netherlands and its neighboring countries of Europe.
• The AYUSH Minister is on a four-day visit to the Netherlands, leading a delegation comprising senior officials from the Ministry of Ayush including the Pharmacopoeia Commission of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy.
• He said the intention of the government is to bring convergence and synergy between traditional medicine, modern medicine and modern sciences for scientific validation of ayurveda concepts and development of research and development based drugs.
India, ADB sign loan agreement to improve state highways in Karnataka
• India and Asian Development Bank have signed 346 Million dollar loan agreement to improve over 400 kilometers of state highways in Karnataka.
• The loan agreement for the Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project was inked between Joint Secretary in the Finance Ministry Sameer Kumar Khare and Country Director of ADB's India Resident Mission Kenichi Yokoyama.
• The project will help enhance connectivity and access to economic centres across 12 districts in Karnataka.
• The state highways are a key link to population and economic centres and the continued development of the state highway network in Karnataka will foster inclusiveness and sustain economic activities.
Egypt's President ratifies law to monitor social media users
• Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ratified a law granting authorities the right to monitor social media users in the country as part of tightening internet controls.
• The development will allow the state's Supreme Council for Media Regulations to place people with more than 5,000 followers on social media or with a personal blog or website under supervision.
• The council will also be authorised to suspend or block any personal account which publishes or broadcasts fake news or any information violating the law, violence or hatred.
US military to cancel 300 mn aid to Pakistan over failure to take actions against terror groups
• The US military has decided to cancel 300 million dollars aid to Pakistan over its failure to take decisive actions against terror groups.
• The move, which needs to be approved by the US Congress, is part of a broader suspension of aid announced in January.
• US President Donald Trump since assuming office has been tough on Pakistan over its inaction against terror groups.
• Trump in August 2017 unveiled his new South Asia policy and asked Pakistan to do more against such groups.
• Further, in January 2018, the US suspended more than 1.15 billion dollar security assistance to Pakistan, accusing it of harbouring terror groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network and showing unwillingness to take decisive actions against them.
UN Chief calls for end to violence in Libya
• The United Nations chief, Antonio Guterres has called for an end to violence in Libya in accordance with a UN-brokered ceasefire agreement.
• At least 39 people have been killed and over 100 injured in five days of clashes among rival militias in suburbs south of Tripoli.
• A statement from Secretary-General's office said that Guterres urged all parties to immediately cease hostilities.
• In a joint statement Britain, France, Italy and the United States have said they warned those who tamper with security in Tripoli or elsewhere in Libya.
• The Libyan capital has been at the center of a battle for influence between armed groups since the fall of Dictator Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi in 2011.
Sakshi Choudhary clinches gold medal at World Youth Boxing in Budapest
• Former junior world champion boxer Sakshi Choudhary clinched the gold medal in the women’s 57 kg category at the World Youth Boxing in Budapest on August 31, 2018. She beat Croatia’s Nikolina Cacic to attain the top position.
• Other Indians Manisha and Anamika settled for silver medals in the 64 kg and 51 kg categories.
• Earlier, Indian boxers Jony and Astha Pahwa joined Bhavesh Kattimani, Ankit Khatana, Neha Yadav and Sakshi Gaidhani in settling for bronze medals after semifinal losses in various weight categories.
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