SC transfers Kathua gang rape and murder case to Pathankot
• The Supreme Court on May 7, 2018 vacated the stay on the trial of the Kathua gang rape and murder case and transferred it outside Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab.
• The SC bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed that the trial in the case should be held in-camera and ordered that the trial be fast-tracked and conducted on a day-to-day basis to avoid any delay.
• The top court stated that the trial will be in accordance with the provisions of Ranbir Penal Code, applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.
• It also said that the trial must be fair to the accused as well as the victim's family.
• It also ordered continuation of security to the family members of the victim, family friends and lawyer representing them and directed translation of statements and records of the case from Urdu to English.
12th informal meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers held in Manila
• The 12th informal meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers was held on May 4, 2018 in Manila, the capital of Philippines on Friday on the sidelines of the 51st Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB).
• The meeting was attended by the Finance Ministers/Heads of Delegations from all SAARC member states and was chaired by Nepal’s Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada.
• According to a press statement issued by the SAARC Secretariat, Khatiwada underscored the need of concerted efforts to attain the objective of South Asian Economic Union as desired by the leaders of SAARC.
• The Finance Ministers/Heads of Delegation briefed the meeting about the current status of economic progress achieved by their countries. They also appreciated ADB for its contribution in economic growth of SAARC countries.
India finishes on top in South Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Colombo
• India on May 6, 2018 finished at the top in the South Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Colombo with 20 gold, 22 silver and 8 bronze medals. The Indian junior athletes also registered five new meet records.
• In girls' triple jump, Priyadarshini Suresh grabbed the gold medal with a record of 12.90 metres, while in girls' javelin throw Sanjana Choudhary bagged the top honours with a record of 48.08.
• In boys’ shot put, Ashish Bhalothia set a new record and won the gold medal with an effort of 18.53 metres.
• Triple jumper Kamalraj Kanagaraj also contributed to India's gold medal tally with a record jump of 15.96 metres.
• While hosts Sri Lanka finished second behind India, Pakistan finished third. Overall, athletes from seven nations took part in the event.
• The Indian juniors will next represent the nation at the 18th Asian Junior Athletics Championships to be held in Gifu, Japan from June 7.
SC to hear plea to restrain MPs making statements on judges’ removal in July
• The Supreme Court has said that it would hear a plea seeking to restrain members of Parliament (MPs) from making public statements on the removal of a judge of the higher judiciary without there being any such notice in Parliament in the third week of July.
• The ruling was made by a bench of judges comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan.
• The bench, while saying that there was no urgency in hearing the matter now, observed that Rajya Sabha Rules also prohibits such statements by Parliamentarians without there being any such notice in the House.
• The bench was hearing a plea filed by an NGO, which sought to lay down guidelines or modalities regulating procedure to be followed by MPs, who wish to initiate the proceedings for the removal of a judge of the Supreme Court or a high court.
Lebanon conducts first general election in nine years
• The polling stations opened in Lebanon on May 6, 2018 for the country's first parliamentary election in nine years, a period marked by stretches of political paralysis and war in neighbouring Syria.
• The unofficial results are expected to start coming in and a formal tally is expected to be announced in the coming days.
• The election law makes it illegal to publish forecasts of how the parties will perform.
Gagan Narang, Pooja Ghatkar win silver medal in 10m air rifle event
• Olympic medalist Gagan Narang made a fine comeback to the 10m air rifle event as he along with Pooja Ghatkar won the mixed team silver medal in the Grand Prix of Liberation international shooting competition in Pilsen, Czech Republic on May 6, 2018.
• The Indian pair, having topped the qualification with 833.2 points, with Pooja shooting 413.5 and Gagan 419.7, came close to overtaking Jurate Cesynaite and Karolis Girulis for the gold, before missing the target by 1.3 point.
• Nivetha and Amanpreet Singh claimed the mixed air pistol silver after having topped qualification with a score of 775.
• Earlier in the tournament, Mihika Poore bagged the women's air rifle gold while a day before that, Nivetha Paramanantham clinched the gold medal in the women's air pistol after topping the qualification.
Australia pledges cash to help save the Koala
• Australia on May 7, 2018 unveiled a US $34 million plan to help bring its koala population back from the brink, following a rapid decline in the furry marsupial's fortunes.
• The Australian Koala Foundation estimates there may be as few as 43,000 koalas left in the wild, down from a population believed to number more than 10 million prior to European settlement of the continent in 1788.
• Studies show a 26 per cent decline in the koala population in New South Wales over the last 15-20 years.
• The state lists the species as ‘vulnerable’, while in other parts of the country they are effectively extinct.
• Under the Aus $45 million plan, thousands of hectares will be set aside to preserve the bear’s natural habitat.
• The funds will be used to tackle diseases ravaging koala populations, including chlamydia, which causes blindness, infertility and death in the species.
EU carbon emissions rose in 2017: Eurostat
• European Union (EU) carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels increased in 2017, according to statistics office Eurostat.
• Carbon emissions in the EU were up 1.8 percent from 2016, Eurostat said, with a double-digit increase in Malta and Estonia.
• While Finland and Denmark showed the sharpest declines, emissions in Germany -the bloc's largest economy and still dependent on coal for 40 percent of its electricity, showed little change.
• The EU has been vocal about trying to save the Paris Agreement on climate change after the United States said it would withdraw from the deal.
• The Paris agreement seeks to limit rise in the planet's average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
• The EU aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, with a 60 percent drop by 2040.