Current Affairs in Short: 7 May 2019
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan later in May 2019. The meeting will also be attended by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
China slams US warships operation in South China Sea
• China claimed to see two US warships sailing near islands in the disputed South China Sea.
• However as per the US, the guided-missile destroyers 'Preble' and 'Chung Hoon' travelled within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands.
• Beijing's territorial claim in the South China Sea region comes amid trade tensions between the two countries.
• China claims South China Sea as its own territory and opposes naval operations in the disputed waters.
• Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have competing claims in the region.
Roger Federer climbs to third in ATP Men's rankings
• Roger Federer rose to third position in the ATP Men's rankings, replacing Alexander Zverev. Federer has won a record 20 Grand Slams.
• Novak Djokovic remains first ahead of Rafael Nadal.
• Japan's Naomi Osaka topped the WTA Women's rankings, ahead of Czech Petra Kvitova and Romanian Simona Halep.
• The largely unchanged top 20 saw Belgian Elise Mertens dropping two places to 20th position.
Sushma Swaraj to attend Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting
• External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan later in May 2019.
• The meeting will also be attended by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
• The two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting will conclude on May 22, 2019, a day ahead of announcement of the Lok Sabha Election 2019 results.
• The meeting assumes significance as it will be held ahead of the planned heads of government meeting in Bishkek on June 14-15, 2019. This meeting is expected to be attended by PM Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart, Imran Khan.
US may propose hike in H-1B visa application fee
• US Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta announced that the Trump administration may propose a hike in the H-1B visa application fee.
• The hike in application fee will be aimed at increasing funding for the expansion of an apprentice programme, which trains American youths in technology related activities.
However, Acosta did not give details of the proposed increase in H-1B filing fee.
• If H-1B filing fees increases, the Indian IT companies, which account for a large number of H-1B applications, are likely to face the additional financial burden.
Mahatma Gandhi should be honoured with Congressional Gold Medal: US lawmaker
• An influential American lawmaker Carolyn Maloney said that Mahatma Gandhi, famously known as Father of Nation, should be honoured this year with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the US, as the world commemorates his 150th birth anniversary.
• Maloney in September 2018 introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives to posthumously present the Congressional Gold Medal to Gandhi in recognition of his promotion of non-violence.
• Gandhi’s principles of non-violence inspired world leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.
• Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King have already received the Medal.