1. Will impose 5% tariff on all Mexican imports from June 10: Trump
• In a surprise announcement that could compromise a major trade deal, President Donald Trump announced that he is slapping a 5 per cent tariff on all Mexican imports, with effect from June 10.
• This move is aimed at pressurising the country to do more to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants trying to cross the US border.
• This move is aimed at pressurising the country to do more to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants trying to cross the US border.
• President Trump had earlier declared a national emergency to tackle what he claims is a crisis at the US southern border.
• the percentage will gradually increase up to 25 per cent until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.
• The decision showed the administration going to new lengths and looking for new levers, to pressure Mexico to take action even if those risk upending other policy priorities, like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, USMCA.
• This trade deal is the cornerstone of Trump’s legislative agenda and beneficial to his reelection effort.
• Trump has accused the Mexican government of failing to do enough to halt the flow of asylum-seekers from countries including El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
• But the sudden tariff threat comes at a peculiar time, given how hard the administration has been pushing for passage of the USMCA, which would the North American Free Trade Agreement.
• In late March, Trump threatened to shut the entire US-Mexico border if Mexico didn’t immediately halt illegal immigration. Just a few days later, however, he backed off the threat, saying he was pleased with steps Mexico had taken in recent days.
2. Antonio Guterres terms India very valuable partner of UN
• UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described India as a very valuable partner of the United Nations and that he looks forward to working with the new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
• Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General has said this at the daily press briefing on Guterres’ message for Prime Minister Modi as he was sworn-in as India’s Prime Minister for a second five-year term.
• Haq said UN Secretary-General Guterres has worked very closely with Prime Minister Modi, including on the issue of climate change.
• The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), charged with ensuring international peace and security, accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its charter. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations and international sanctions as well as the authorization of military actions through resolutions – it is the only body of the United Nations with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. The council held its first session on 17 January 1946.
• Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created following World War II to address the failings of a previous international organization, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace. In its early decades, the Security Council was largely paralyzed by the Cold War division between the US and USSR and their respective allies, though it authorized interventions in the Korean War and the Congo Crisis and peacekeeping missions in the Suez Crisis, Cyprus, and West New Guinea. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, UN peacekeeping efforts increased dramatically in scale, and the Security Council authorized major military and peacekeeping missions in Kuwait, Namibia, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
3. Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, to head UN peacekeeping operation in South Sudan
• The commandant of the Indian Army Infantry School, Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, has been appointed the commander of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the second biggest peacekeeping operation.
• UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced that Mr Tinaikar will succeed Lieutenant General Frank Kamanzi of Rwanda who will complete his assignment.
• Mr Tinaikar will command over 16,000 peacekeepers, about 2,400 from India, in UNMI.
• The mission was created in 2011 when South Sudan gained inde ..
• Tinaikar has previous experience in the area from the time he served in the peacekeeping mission in Sudan before the the South’s independence.
4. International Day of UN Peacekeepers observed
• The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was observed on 29 May 2019.
• The objective is to pay tribute to the invaluable contribution by the uniformed and civilian personnel and to honour more than 3,800 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while rendering peacekeeping services.
• The theme this year is “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace”.
• he International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, 29 May, offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilians personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour more than 3,800 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 98 last year.
• The theme for this year’s Day is “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace” to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary when for the first time the Security Council explicitly mandated a peacekeeping mission (UNAMSIL in Sierra Leone) to protect civilians.
• Over the past 20 years, protection of civilians has increasingly been at the heart of UN peacekeeping. Today, more than 90% of our peacekeepers serving in eight peacekeeping operations — in Abyei and Darfur, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali and South Sudan – have protection of civilians’ mandates. These peacekeepers put themselves in harm’s way to protect civilians from violence every day.
• The first UN peacekeeping mission was established on 29 May 1948, when the Security Council authorized the deployment of a small number of UN military observers to the Middle East to form the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
• Since then, more than 1 million men and women have served in 72 UN peacekeeping operations, directly impacting the lives of millions of people, protecting the world’s most vulnerable and saving countless lives. From Cambodia to El Salvador, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste, and elsewhere, UN peacekeeping has helped countries move from war to peace.
• Today, in 14 peacekeeping operations on four continents, it deploys more than 88,000 military and police personnel — from 124 Member States — nearly 13,000 civilian personnel, and 1,300 UN Volunteers. Despite the size and breadth of its operations, peacekeeping’s budget is less than one half of one percent of global military spending. Peacekeeping has clearly proven to be a solid investment in global peace, security and prosperity.
• Last year, the Secretary-General launched a new initiative, “Action for Peacekeeping (A4P),” calling for refocusing peacekeeping with realistic expectations; making peacekeeping missions stronger and safer, and mobilizing greater support for political solutions and for well-structured, well-equipped, well-trained forces. Over 150 Member States and regional organizations endorsed the ‘Declaration of Shared Commitments’ for A4P demonstrating a high level of support for the initiative.
5. Action plan formulated to reduce infant mortality rate in J&K
• The Jammu and Kashmir Government has formulated a comprehensive action plan to reduce the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) to a single digit by the year 2020 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
• the Health and Medical Education Department prepared the action plan with technical support from Norway-India Partnership Initiative teams.
• A requirement of Rs 154.47 crore has been worked out for the implementation of the Strategies to reduce IMR.
• The action plan enlists the community and health facility-based interventions which include birth preparedness, home-based newborn care, Mothers Absolute Affection (MAA), Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight, Universal Immunisation Programme etc.
6. International Everest Day: 29th May
• International Everest Day was observed on 29 May.
• Nepalese Tenzing Norgay and New Zealand’s Edmund Hillary had climbed the Mt Everest on this day in 1953, as the first humans to achieve the feat.
• Nepal decided to observe the day as International Everest Day since 2008 when the legendary climber Hillary passed away.
• The day is celebrated with memorial events, processions, and special events in Kathmandu and the Everest region.
• Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon is an international high altitude adventure sports event held from Mt Everest Base Camp, crisscrossing the high sherpa trails of Khumbu valley, according to the Marathon’s official website. The Marathon celebrates the historical ascent of Mt Everest by Late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953.
• A total of 223 trail runners participated in the event, out of which there were 158 foreigners including the British Envoy Richard Morris and 65 Nepalis, according to the Coordinator of the Marathon, Shikhar Pandey.
• Suman Kulung ranked first in the marathon today completing the race in three hours 47 minutes and 16 seconds. The second and third positions were taken by Kapilder Buda and Ram Kumar Raj Bhandari. They completed the race in three hours 36 minutes 10 seconds and three hours 58 minutes respectively.
• The 2019 Marathon is the 17th edition of this event. Runners from all over the world can participate in their desired categories — 60-km Extreme Ultra, 42-km Full Marathon, and 21-Km Half Marathon.
• The event was attended by the Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Manjeev Singh Puri, among others.
7. Saudi Arabia lifts the export ban on fruits and vegetable from Kerala
• Kerala’s fruits and vegetable exporters have heaved a sigh of relief following the lifting of the export ban by Saudi Arabia after the Nipah virus attack last year.
• Kerala has received a communication in this regard from the Saudi Arabian authorities that has led to the commencement of direct exports from the state.
• With the lifting of the embargo, Kozhikode airport was alone handling 20 tonnes of fruits and vegetables per day valued at $50,000 to various destinations in Saudi.
• A similar proportion has also been moving from the other two airports of Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram to Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah airports.
• With the lifting of the embargo, he said Kozhikode airport was alone handling 20 tonnes of fruits and vegetables per day valued at $50,000 to various destinations in Saudi. A similar proportion has also been moving from the other two airports of Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram to Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah airports. Currently, mangoes such as Alphonso, Banganapalle are the major items in the export basket, followed by banana and pineapple.
• Kerala ships around 150 tonnes of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis to various gulf countries and of this, the consignment to Saudi alone was 30-40 tonnes. With the easing of restrictions, exporters are now looking at increasing the quantity of exports to 200 tonnes this year. “We are receiving more export enquiries from European countries, Japan, New Zealand, Korea etc especially for the shipments of fruits.
• It may be recalled that all the Gulf nations had imposed the ban in May last year following Nipah virus outbreak. Though all the GCC nations later lifted the restrictions within two months, Saudi Arabia had continued, forcing the horticulture exporters here to approach the Centre to resolve the crisis.
• Baby John, Executive Director, Pineapple Growers and Processors, Vazhakkulam pointed out that Kerala’s pineapple exports to gulf nations was minimal at 150-200 tonnes per month valued at Rs 60 lakh. The higher airfreight charges are making pineapple exports unviable. To cater to the surging export demand, he suggested a shift in pineapple cultivation to MD 2 varieties, which has got long shelf life and wide acceptance in the overseas markets. Kerala is still cultivating Mauritius varieties, which has lower shelf life.
8. Record 78 women MPs elected to 17th Lok Sabha
• Record 78 women candidates have been elected to the Lok Sabha in the recently held general elections.
• According to the Election Commission, the number has grown from the previous 62 women who were elected to the 16th Lok Sabha in 2014.
• In the country’s first general elections in 1951, twenty-four women were elected to the Lower House, and since then, the number has been increasing.
• The highest-ever number of women have been elected in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
• Out of 542 MPs who will take oath as members of the lower house in the next few days, 78 are women with Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal leading at 11 each.
• A total of 724 women candidates contested from across the country with Congress fielding the maximum women at 54 followed closely by BJP at 53.
• With over 14 per cent female MPs, the 17th Lok Sabha will have the highest number of women candidates since 1952. In 16th Lok Sabha, 64 women had won, while 52 women were elected to the 15th Lok Sabha.
• A Bill for 33 per cent representation for women in legislatures in pending in Parliament.
• As many as 27 out of 41 sitting women MPs, including Sonia Gandhi, Hema Malini and Kirron Kher, retained their seats in Lok Sabha polls, but the likes of Smriti Irani and Pragya Thakur stole the show with their victories over their more renowned rivals.
• Irani emerged as a giant-slayer — this time scripting a historic win by dethroning Rahul Gandhi in the Congress’ home turf Amethi. Controversial BJP candidate from Bhopal and terror-accused Thakur won against former chief minister Digvijay Singh.
• Other prominent names to enter Parliament are DMK candidate from Thoothukkudi Kanimozhi Karunanidhi and BJP’s Rita Bahuguna, who won from Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad constituency.
• Locket Chatterjee, Bengali actress-turned-politician from the BJP, won in Hooghly constituency.
• Among the other parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) fielded 24 women candidates, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) 23, the CPI(M) 10, the CPI four, while the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) fielded one woman candidate.
9. Gaganyaan Programme
• Indian Air Force has signed an MoU with ISRO for crew selection and training for the prestigious Gaganyaan Programme.
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address last year, had announced the launch of Gaganyaan – India’s maiden human spaceflight programme by 2022.
• This programme will provide a unique micro-gravity platform in space for conducting experiments and test for future technologies.
10. Goa celebrates its statehood day
• Goa celebrates its statehood day on 30 May.
• 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.
• On Goa Statehood Day today, President Ramnath Kovind, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha extended her heartfelt wishes to the people of the state. Several other leaders also wished the people of Goa on this historic day. On this day in 1987 when Goa became the 25th State of the Indian Union.
• PM Modi tweeted, “On Goa Statehood Day, my greetings to the people of Goa. Goa epitomises harmony, brotherhood and progressive values. The state has made a rich contribution to India’s progress. May Goa continue developing in the times to come.”
• Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had on Wednesday said, “May 30 is a memorable day in the glorious history of Goa, as it was on this day in 1987; we became a full-fledged state of Indian Union.”
• Earlier, Governor Mridula Sinha had extended her heartfelt wishes to the people on the occasion of Goa Statehood Day.
• Goa became a full-fledged state on May 30, 1987. Goa, which was liberated from the Portuguese on December 19, 1961, which was until then a union territory.
11. P S Golay sworn-in as Sikkim Chief Minister along with 11 Cabinet ministers
• Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, SKM President Prem Singh Golay (Tamang) took oath as the New Chief Minister of Sikkim.
• Governor Ganga Prasad administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mr. Golay and his council of ministers at Paljor Stadium in Gangtok.
• Along with Mr Golay, 11 cabinet ministers were also administered the oath.
• The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), which has ruled the State for 25 years, won 15 seats.
• He succeeds Pawan Chamling of the SDF, who has the record of being the longest serving Chief Minister of the country, having won five consecutive terms for a little over 24 years.
• Governor Ganga Prasad administered the oath of office to Mr. Golay at a grand ceremony at the Palzor Stadium in Gangtok.
• Eleven other MLAs were sworn in as Ministers, including Kunga Nima Lepcha, the acting president of the SKM who won from two seats; Arun Uperti, the MLA from Airthang; and Sonam Lama, who won from Sangha, a seat reserved for monks.
12. Four new Delhi High Court judges take the oath
• Four new Delhi High Court judges, including a woman judge, were sworn in, taking the working strength of the court to 40.
• Justices Talwant Singh, Rajnish Bhatnagar, Asha Menon and Brijesh Sethi were administered the oath by Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajendra Menon.
• The Delhi High Court has an approved strength of 60 and faces a shortage of 20 judges.
• Including Justice Menon, there are eight woman judges in the Delhi High Court.
• The judges were appointed by President Ram Rath Kovind after their names were approved by the government. All four newly appointed judges were judicial officers in Delhi district courts prior to their elevation to the High Court.
• In October last year, Justices Jyoti Singh, Prateek Jalan, Anup Jairam Bhambhani and Sanjeev Narula were sworn in as High Court judges.
• According to the new roster of the High Court, Justice Brijesh Sethi will sit in a Bench headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon, Justice Asha Menon will sit with Justice S. Muralidhar, Justice Talwant Singh with Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar with Justice Vipin Sanghi.
13. Ajay Devgn’s father Veeru Devgan passes away
• Ajay Devgn’s father, Veeru Devgan passed away due to cardiac arrest in Mumbai.
• The late director was suffering from breathing problems after which he was immediately admitted to the Surya Hospital, Santa Cruz.
• The veteran director choreographed action scenes in more than 80 Hindi films including ‘Hindustan Ki Kasam’ where his son played the lead against Amitabh Bachchan.
• He was an Indian stuntman, action choreographer and film director in Bollywood.
• Veeru Devgan, who rarely made public appearances, was last seen at the special screening of Total Dhamaal in February 2019.
14. SC stays Maharashtra govt decision for 10% quota in PG Medical courses for 2019-20
• The Supreme Court today stayed Maharashtra government’s notification granting 10 per cent quota in admissions for the academic year 2019-20 to post graduate medical courses for students of Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) across all classes.
• Hearing a plea, the top court said, rules of the game can not be changed when the game is on.
• It pointed out that the admission process for PG Medical courses in Maharashtra for 2019-20 started long before the 10 per cent quota for EWS came into force by 103rd Constitutional amendment and subsequent notification by the state.
• A vacation bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose said 10 per cent EWS quota cannot be granted at the cost of others unless additional seats are created by the Medical Council of India (MCI). The admissions for the 2019-20 academic year close on Friday.
15. Saurabh Chaudhary wins 10m Air Pistol after beating his own World record
• In ISSF shooting World Cup, in Munich Germany, India’s Saurabh Chaudhary has won 10m Air Pistol Gold beating his own World Record.
• The 17-year-old Chaudhary scored 246.3 bettering his previous best of 245 points that were set in New Delhi World Cup Shooting in February this year.
• Chaudhury has already secured a berth for the Tokyo Olympics.
• Also, India’s Rahi Sarnobat won the gold in 25m pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Munich.
• She also sealed a quota place for India in the event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.