Today’s Current Affairs February 26

February 26, 2020

Front page

Violence and arson roil Delhi for the third day: death toll climbs to 13

Large scale violence, arson and loot continued unabated in large parts of north east Delhi as rampaging mobs continued to set fire to shops, pelt stones, and attack both civilians and police. Nearly 136 civilians and 57 policemen were injured as mobs used country-made firearms to attack whoever came their way. Later in the day, curfew was imposed in some parts and shoo-at-sight orders were issued to curb the marauding mobs.

Trump ready to mediate, but mum on CAA

President Trump said that he was always ready to mediate in the Indo-Pak conflict in order to bring about a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue. However, on the issue of the contentious CAA issue, he chose to remain silent leaving it to the wisdom of the Indian leadership under Modi.

Bihar passes anti-NRC bill in the Assembly

Bihar, where BJP shares power with Nitish Kumar’s JD (U) passed a bill against the National Citizenship Register (NRC). However, the step fell far short of condemning all the three steps that activists describe as discriminatory and sinister.

Good words used .. Sinister, Contentious

CWMA  drops discussion on Mekdatu dam

The fifth meeting of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) didn’t discuss the Mekadatu Dam issue in the face of stiff opposition of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

National

Melania Trump spends time with kids in the ‘Happiness’ class in Delhi

Taking time off from her busy schedule, the First Lady spent some pleasant time with kids in a ‘Happiness Class’  of a Delhi school.

Trump urges Indian corporate to invest billions of dollars in the U,S, to foster strong bilateral relations.

Rajya Sabha election on March 29

However, the party-wise position is not likely to change, but some parties could induct new younger faces discarding the old ones.

Gun-shots galore in Delhi’s troubled areas.

Anti-social elements had a field day today in north-east Delhi as they roamed the streets wielding their country-made pistols and firing indiscriminately. Most of the deaths are beleved to be due to such use of weapons. Even the Delhi police Havildar was found to have died due to gun shots. The post mortem report showed that the bullet was embedded in his right shoulder and was taken out.

CBSE students in and around Delhi’s troubled area worry about their exams

After clamping down of curfew and the pervasive fear of mob violence, students cant venture out to reach their examination centers. Not writing the examination could mean the lss of one academic year for them. They have made frantic calls to the Home Minster to come to their rescue.

SC to hear Shaheen Bagh matters

The Apex Court will hear the plea of the Shaheen Bagh protesters for safety and those of Wajahat Habibullah, and Bahadur Abbas Naqvi.

EAC defers nod for new Parliament complex

The Expert Appraisal Committee has postponed giving its clearance to the proposal to have a new parliament building, citing pending cases in Delhi High Court. The idea of building a new complex appears to have stirred a hornet’s nest considering the fact that architects, environment groups and city planners have jumped into the fray by their own suggestions, ideas and objections. Some of these are in sharp contrast to each other and are bound to cause controversies.

Good words and phrases used .. To stir a hornet’s nest, Jump into the fray

Five SC judges fall victim to H1N1 attack

The schedule of hearing of cases has gone haywire after five judges affected by the virus sought leave. There might be more such cases among other judges and advocates. The Chief Justice is speaking to the Bar Council chief to find a way out of the crisis.

Kerala government bans breweries and pubs, but allows toddy

The government of Kerala feels allowing production and sale of toddy could generate thousands of jobs in the rural sector. Allowing pubs and breweries could look fashionable for the urban landscape, but contribute little for the social good.

KSRTC hikes bus fare by 12%

The move might bring immediate relief to the Corporation reeling from increase in operational expense, but is bound to hit the passengers, especially from poor classes, hard.

HC wants calculation of cost for the damage caused by vandals during Mahadayi and DKS protests.

The Karnataka High Court has asked the government to compute the cost of destruction of public property by vandals during the two agitations. It intends to levy punitive fines on those who were behind the acts.

Good words and phrase used .. Punitive, Toddy, Go haywire

Administrative reforms in Karnataka is on the anvil

A five-member cabinet sub-committee has been formed to work out the modalities. Some departments may be merged, number of cadres reduced, and excess staff redistributed. All these are expected to spur efficiency and prune cost.

Good words and phrases used .. On the anvil, Spur, Prune

Acceding to Trump’s demands might choke farm sector to death, fears Sitaram Yechury

The CPI(M) leader says that if India bows to U.S. pressure to allow import of American dairy products, it will spell doom for the Indian farmers who can never match the prices of imported products. Thus, hundreds and thousands of poor farmers will lose their means of living.

Good words used .. Accede, Spell doom

International

Hosni Mubarak, the deposed and disgraced president of Egypt dies at 91

Hosni Mubarak ruled Egypt for thirty long years before he was deposed by angry agitators during the Arab Spring. Mubarak was a despot, but he managed to maintain a semblance of stability in Egypt. He tolerated no dissent, and smothered his detractors with an iron feast. After he was dethroned in 2011, he spent long years in jail for rampant corruption and nepotism during his rule.

Good words used .. Nepotism, Detractor, Semblance, Despot, Depose, Disgraced

COVID-19 afflicts more than 80,000 worldwide

The viral infection seems to have reached all nooks and corners of the world, although to varying intensities. China continues to be worst-hit with nearly 76000 cases out 80,000 being from it alone.

China jails Swedish book-seller for 10 years sparking furious reaction from Sweden

Gui Minhai is a Chinese-born Swedish citizen, who had long been in the crosshairs of Beijing for her profession – selling of books that portray Chinese leadership in bad light. She used to operate from Hong Kong. She was arrested by Chinese police while travelling with a group of Swedish diplomats in a local train. Stockholm (capital of Sweden) has summoned the Chinese ambassador to its foreign ministry office to express its displeasure over the arrest.

Good words and phrases used .. To be in the crosshars of someone, Portray

Finance

Oil refineries want government to levy a cess on BSVI oil

The Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have asked the government to levy a cess on automotive fuel. Through this, they hope to recover the Rs.35000 they have invested in the upgradation of their refineries to produce BSVI grade fuel.

Indian crude oil importers make hay while the Sun shines

They contact China-bound crude oil tankers, and negotiate a price cut of $3 to $5 dollars a barrel before buying off the whole tanker load of oil.  For certain grades of crude oil, the Indian companies are able to get a price as low as $49 a barrel. The gobal price of crude has fallen from $70 a barrel to $55 a barrel due to the coronavirus threat.

India hopes to seal a trade deal with the U.S sooner than expected, says Piyush Goel

The trade deal with the U.S. has remained a pipe dream for India. Nonetheless, the Indian Commerce Minister, Piyush Goel has expressed the confidence that the elusive deal will come to fruition sooner than later.

Good words used .. Pipe dream, Elusive, Fruition

—————————————.————————–

Comprehension passage

Read the following writing and answer the questions that follow.

———————————————–.———————

In his heart, Zeyad Salim remains convinced that Hosni Mubarak’s ignominious ouster in 2011 was richly deserved. Still, the street vendor also wishes that the longtime autocrat had never been removed. Like many Egyptians on Tuesday, Salim had mixed emotions about Mubarak’s passing.

“I know that people revolted against him for all the right reasons,” the 24-year-old said. “But after living under our current conditions, I think people have more appreciation for him.”

“If Mubarak was a thief, then what do you call the ones who came after him?”

——————-Answer to Q1—————-

 

 Across Egypt, emotions ran the gamut in the wake of the death of Mubarak, 91, in a Cairo hospital after surgery. There were relief and muted glee that the man who had repressed the Arab world’s most populous nation for three decades, and who was ousted in 2011 during the massive Arab Spring uprisings that rocked the region, was dead.

 

There were also sadness and grief. Some Egyptians called him a father figure and a war hero for his role in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Others were indifferent to his death, for Mubarak had been ailing and sidelined for years.

 What they collectively evinced, however, was that they viewed his passing through the prism of today’s Egypt — and that has improved the former autocrat’s image even among some of his staunchest detractors.

————————————–Answer to Q2————-

Today, Egyptians are living under another authoritarian leader, President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, whose regime is widely considered more repressive than Mubarak’s. And the vast majority of Egyptians are worse off than they were under Mubarak’s own erratic economy.

 

“Mubarak will be remembered by Egyptians in probably a very polarizing fashion,” said H.A. Hellyer, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London and a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. “For his fans, he was a war hero, but the regime Mubarak built meant repression and economic dysfunctionality. And that all led to the 2011 revolutionary uprising, which ultimately led to his ouster.

—————————-Answers to Q3——————–

 

 “That’s Mubarak’s legacy: the uprising and the factors that led to it. The uprising is over, but the factors remain and have intensified.”

On Tuesday, Egypt’s military, which deposed Mubarak in 2011 amid the populist revolt, referred to the former air force officer as a war hero in a tweet. A military funeral is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon prayers at el-Mosheer Tantawi mosque, one of Cairo’s most well-known mosques. Sissi, a former military general himself, announced three days of mourning for Mubarak. 

Even as the military planned a glorious send-off, state-run and pro-Sissi media noted that Mubarak’s regime was marked by corruption, wasteful spending and failed infrastructure projects, and that he manipulated the constitution and elections in his favor.

—————————-Answer to Q4—————————-

Questions ..

  1. Who is Zeyad Salini? Why does she not feel very bitter about Hosni Mubarrak after the latter’s death?
  2. After Mubarrak’s death, why do some people feel
  3. A little happy and relieved
  4. A little sad and nostalgic
  5. A bit indifferent
  6. Why do Egyptian loathe Abdel Fatah al-Sissi? What were the plus and minus points of Hosni Mubrrak?
  7. How will Egypt bid good bye to Hoshni Mubarrak?

[Answers will be posted tomorrow.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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