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Current Affairs in Short: 30 April 2019

A mini-marathon titled 'run to vote' was held on April 28 in Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir's Ladakh region which is going to polls in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 6.

Apr 30, 2019 17:10 IST
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First Air India flight requiring no "additional fuel" takes off

• In a first, an Air India flight landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad from New Delhi on April 29, 2019 without provision for additional fuel which was hitherto necessary to carry in case of flight diversion.
• It was the first flight in the country that flew without carrying any additional fuel.  The same procedure is expected to be implemented over a period of time for all the 15 Air India flights that travel to Hyderabad.
• According to a release issued by the national carrier, regulations require that every aircraft has to carry enough fuel to fly to the destination and also to an alternative airport in case of flight diversion. This was resulting in a lot of dead weight to be carried if there is no diversion.
• However, the release stated that provisions exist in the regulations to dispatch flights without an alternate, without compromising on safety issues. This requires the destination airport to be equipped with two runways and good weather condition.

UN conference to consider plan to minimise plastic waste

• Over 180 countries have opened a UN-backed conference on waste and hazardous chemicals amid hopes that it could produce a sweeping agreement toward minimizing generation of plastic waste, which has formed a gigantic mass of litter floating in the ocean.
• The two-week conference, which began on April 29, also involved discussions over a proposal issued in 2018 by Norway, which aims to improve management of plastic waste flows between countries.
• If approved, the proposal would require 186 countries who have agreed to the Basel Convention on hazardous waste to take steps toward those goals.
• The participants are also expected to consider a ban on perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) that has been blamed for increased cancer risks.

Run to vote mini-marathon held at Leh

• A mini-marathon titled 'run to vote' was held on April 28, 2019 in Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir's Ladakh region which is going to polls in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 6.
• The objective of the marathon was to promote voter awareness and educate the target population about EVM and VVPAT.
• It was organised by the nodal officer of Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation Programme (SVEEP) of Election Commission.
• Brand Ambassador of Jammu and Kashmir Election Authority Sana Dua, along with District Election Officer of Leh, Avny Lavasa and general observer Alkesh Kumar Sharma flagged off the marathon from NDS stadium in Leh and it was culminated at Leh main Bazaar amidst a gathering of huge crowd.
• All the district officers, religious and social heads, teaching fraternity and students participated in the mini marathon.

Ukraine's President rejects offer by President Putin to provide passports to Ukrainians

• Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed an offer by Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide passports to Ukrainians and pledged instead to grant citizenship to Russians who suffer under the Kremlin's rule.
• The Russian president had said on Aoril 27 that Moscow was considering plans to make it easier for all Ukrainians to obtain Russian citizenship, after it earlier moved to grant passports in the country's separatist east.
• Zelensky, a comedian who won Ukraine's presidential election last week, responded to Putin's offer by releasing a statement on Facebook. In his  post, Zelensky warned Russia not to talk with Ukraine in the language of threats or military or economic pressure.
• He previously called for more international sanctions against Moscow in response to Russia providing citizenship to residents of Ukraine's separatist east.

Raheem Sterling named 2019 FWA footballer of the year

• Raheem Sterling has been named the 2019 footballer of the year by the Football Writers' Association (FWA).
• The Manchester City and England forward topped the poll of the 400-strong FWA membership as a clear winner, with 62 percent of the votes. It was more than 100 votes ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk.
• Prior to this, Sterling lost out to Van Dijk in the race for the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) award, but was announced PFA young player of the year.

Pentagon to send 320 more troops to US-Mexico border

• The US Defence Department has announced that it would deploy around 320 additional troops to the southern border with Mexico to support immigration officials.
• The troops, set to deploy until the end of September, will add to around 2,900 active duty military and 2,000 National Guard members currently posted to the border.
• The troops would assist with transporting migrants, monitoring the welfare of migrants in custody and providing heating and meals.
• In recent months, thousands of migrants have arrived in Mexico, primarily Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence at home. President Donald Trump has described them as a threat to national security.

Nirmala Sitharaman attends SCO Defence Ministers' conclave at Bishkek

• The Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers' conclave was held at Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan on April 29, 2019.
• During the conclave, ways to further boost defence and security cooperation among the member countries in the wake of evolving security challenges in the region were discussed.
• India was represented by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who held bilateral meetings with her Chinese and Russian counterparts and Chief of General Staff of Kyrgyz Armed Forces. Key bilateral defence issues, including defence co-operation, were discussed.
• India became a full member of the SCO in 2017. India is keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure, which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.

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