1. Government officials had inputs about Easter Sunday attacks
• Sri Lanka’s head of State Intelligence Service (SIS) has said that government intelligence and defence officials were aware of intelligence inputs about Easter Sunday attacks but nothing was done to prepare for it.
• SIS head Sisira Mendis told a parliament select committee yesterday that his office received a letter on April 7 containing details of a possible bomb threat and he brought it to notice of defense secretary next day.
• He said that he went to both the head of defence and the nation’s police chief but no one followed up with his request to prioritize the threat.
• Mr. Mendis said it was never the main point for discussion among the officials with the power to act on the threat.
• Sri Lankan government has accepted the failure to act on inputs from Indian intelligence about possible attacks.
• The country’s defence secretary was removed and police chief sent on compulsory leave following the attacks which killed 258 people including 45 foreigners.
• Police chief Pujith Jayasundara, who was sent on compulsory leave filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court against the decision.
• Mr. Jayasundera pointed out that the decision was totally unconstitutional and said that the President had no authority to send him on compulsory leave as per the police ordinance and the existing law.
2. US-UAE defense agreement comes into force
• The United States and the United Arab Emirates have announced that mutual defence cooperation agreement (DCA) has come into force, amid increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran.
• A joint statement said yesterday that the DCA will enhance military coordination between the United States and the United Arab Emirates, further advancing an already robust military, political, and economic partnership at a critical time.
• It said the United States and the United Arab Emirates share a deep interest in promoting prosperity and stability in the region.
• The DCA will advance that interest by fostering closer collaboration on defence and security matters and supporting efforts by both nations to maintain security in the Gulf region.
• US national security advisor John Bolton was in Abu Dhabi yesterday, meeting his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
• This came on the eve of emergency Arab and Gulf summits called by Saudi Arabia to discuss the stand-off and ways to isolate Tehran.
3. Nepal PM arrives in Delhi to attend PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony
• Prime Minister of Nepal, K P Sharma Oli is arriving in New Delhi this afternoon to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swearing-in ceremony.
• He will be accompanied by his spouse and high-ranking government officials.
• Mr. Oli will also have a meeting with Prime Minister Modi on Friday.
• In line with Government of India’s focus on its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, leaders of BIMSTEC Member States have been invited for the Swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
4. Indian writer wins USD 100000 global book prize
• Indian writer Annie Zaidi was announced as the 2019 winner of Nine Dots Prize.
• The 100,000 US dollars award is a prestigious book prize created to award innovative thinking that addresses contemporary issues around the world.
• Mumbai-based Zaidi, a freelance writer won for her entry ‘Bread, Cement, Cactus’ – combining memoir and reportage to explore concepts of home and belonging rooted in her experience of contemporary life in India.
5. Scott Morrison sworn in as Australia’s Prime Minister
• Scott Morrison has been sworn in as Australia’s Prime Minister, 11 days after retaining the position in the country’s general election.
• He was sworn in by Queen Elizabeth’s official representative in Australia, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, at a ceremony in the capital, Canberra. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was also sworn in.
• Morrison’s revamped Cabinet, which includes a record seven women, and Australia’s first Aboriginal federal Cabinet member had also taken the oath.
6. Iran ready to talk to Gulf countries amid tension with US
• Iran is ready to engage in a dialogue with the Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to address the issue of escalating tensions with the United States in the Arabian Gulf, authorities said yesterday.
• Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi made the remarks during his visit to Qatar where he met foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Doha.
• Qatar’s foreign ministry, in a statement, said both sides expressed their concern about escalations and problems in the region.
• Tensions have risen between Iran, on one side, along with the US and its Gulf allies, on the other.
• Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton arrived in the UAE yesterday before talks scheduled for .
7. Fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi to be produced before court in London
• Fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi will be produced before a court in London as he fights his extradition to India in Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case.
• He is set to be produced from custody before Judge Emma Arbuthnot for the first case management hearing in the case, during which a broad timeline is expected for his extradition trial.
• Nirav Modi was arrested by Scotland Yard officers on an extradition warrant from a Metro Bank branch in central London as he attempted to open a new bank account in March this year and has been in prison since.
• During subsequent hearings, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that Nirav Modi was the “principal beneficiary” of the fraudulent issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) as part of a conspiracy to defraud PNB and then laundering the proceeds of crime.
• Nirav Modi’s legal team, led by solicitor Anand Doobay, have repeatedly asserted that the Indian authorities must present a “perfectly paginated” set of documents in support of the case against their client.
• The 48-year-old has been lodged at Wandsworth prison in south-west London since his third attempt at seeking bail was rejected by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot at the last hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court earlier this month.
8. J&K Government unveils Healthcare Investment Policy-2019
• Jammu and Kashmir Government unveiled Healthcare Investment Policy-2019.
• This follows the State Administrative Council decision taken in this regard on March 08, 2019.
• As per the new Health Care Investment Policy, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir will promote and encourage the private parties and entrepreneurs for setting up healthcare infrastructure in the state by providing subsidies and incentives.
• Accordingly, 30% subsidy on capital investment will be provided for setting up of multi-speciality Hospitals, Super Specialty Hospitals, Medical Colleges, Nursing Colleges and Paramedical Colleges.
• The State Government, as per the policy, may declare a well-defined geographical area having potential and being conducive for development as Medical City to promote medical tourism in the State.
9. Science, Technology Secretary releases four popular science books
• Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Professor Ashutosh Sharma released four popular science books published by Vigyan Prasar in New Delhi.
• The books released are ‘Voyage to Antarctica’ authored by Felix Bast, ‘Story of Consciousness’ by Govind Bhattacharjee, ‘An Autobiography of Moon’ written by Ramesh Shishu and ‘Shambhu Nath De – The discovery of cholera toxins’ by MS Murthy.
• Addressing the gathering, Prof. Sharma said that popular science books serve an important purpose of science communication.He said, these books will inspire the people to understand the scientific temperament.
10. Delhi court allows Congress leader Shashi Tharoor to travel abroad
• A Delhi court allowed Congress leader Shashi Tharoor to travel abroad. Mr Tharoor is accused in a case related to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.
• Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj granted permission to the former Union Minister to travel to United Kingdom and France from June 2 to July 1.
• In his application, Mr Tharoor said, he has to attend and speak at different events in the two countries.
• Earlier, the court, while granting bail in the case, had directed him not to leave the country without its prior permission.
11. Goa celebrates its statehood day
• Goa celebrates its statehood day . It was on this day in 1987 Goa became the 25th state of the Indian Union.
• Before this, Goa, along with Daman and Diu, was a union territory.
• Achieving statehood was a long and cherished dream of the people of Goa, which paved the way to providing a distinct identity to the state.
12. RBI extends RTGS timings
• To facilitate high-value fund transfers, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced an extension of timings for customer transactions through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) by one and half hours from 4:30 PM to 06 PM.
• In a notification, issued from Mumbai yesterday, RBI said that new timing will be effective from 1st June.
• The RTGS is an online fund transfer system, supported by the RBI, which enables money transaction on a real-time basis.
• The minimum amount for the transaction under this system is Rs 2 lakh. There is no upper limit on the value of funds that can be transferred via the RTGS system.
13. ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
• The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 will begin . England will open the tournament at The Oval in London when they will take on South Africa. The match will begin at 3 PM Indian Time.
• Australia will launch their title defence on June 1 against the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier champions Afghanistan in a day/night match in Bristol.
• India, the 1983 and 2011 world champions, will play their first match on June 5 against South Africa at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton.
• Their feature match against arch-rivals Pakistan will be on June 16 at Old Trafford in Manchester.
• The World Cup will span 48 matches in all, of which 45 will make up the group stage. Each team will play nine group stage matches, and the top four will progress to the semifinals, similar to how the 1992 World Cup was held.
14. French Open
• In French Open Tennis, Indo-Japanese pair of Divij Sharan and Shuko Aoyama will play their Mixed Doubles matches in Paris .
• The duo will face Mexico-Ukrainian pair of Santiago González and Lyudmyla Kichenok.
• Three Indians – Divij Sharan, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna – along with their partners, have already advanced to the Round of 32 in Men’s Doubles event. They are scheduled to play their matches .
• In Men’s singles, former champion Roger Federer and 11-time winner Rafael Nadal moved into the third round without dropping a set. Federer needed only one hour 36 minutes to see off Germany’s lucky loser Oscar Otte.
• Spain’s defending champion Nadal defeated Yannick Maden of Germany. Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, seventh seed Japan’s Kei Nishikori, and Swiss former champion Stan Wawrinka also advanced to the next round.
• In women’s singles, E.Svitolina, K.Pliskova and G.Muguruza won their respective round of 64 matches to move to next round.