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China to launch world's 1st Quantum satellite

China will launch its first experimental quantum communication satellite in July.
•    Its communications cannot be intercepted.
•    It will be the first quantum communication through a satellite in the world.
•    Quantum communication boasts ultra-high security as a quantum photon can neither be separated nor duplicated. 
•    It is hence impossible to wiretap, intercept or crack the information transmitted through it.
•    The CAS’s project includes launch of a satellite and building of four ground stations for quantum communication and one space quantum teleportation experiment station. 
•    Chinese scientists have taken five years to develop and manufacture the first quantum satellite. 
•    It will be transported to Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in June.
•    Upon completion, the satellite will be able to establish quantum optical links simultaneously with two ground bases thousands of kilometers apart. 
•    Chinese scientists have taken five years to develop and manufacture the first quantum satellite. 
•    It will be transported to Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in June, CAS said. 

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International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2016 observed with theme honouring Our Heroes

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2016 was observed on 29 May 2016 with the theme Honouring Our Heroes.
•    The day offers a chance to pay tribute to the Blue Helmets’ invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour more than 3400 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 128 in 2015.
•    On the other hand, the UN Postal Administration (UNPA) also issued a set of six new stamps for the occasion.
•    Honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
•    Pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage.
•    The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was so designated by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 57/129, on 11 December 2002.
•    It was designated after an official request of the Ukrainian Peacekeepers Association and the Government of Ukraine to the UN General Assembly.
•    The day was first celebrated in 2003.
•    The date, May 29, marks the anniversary of the creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in 1948 to monitor the ceasefire after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which was the first ever UN peacekeeping mission.

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China has signed two agreements with Sudan, its close ally in Africa to build 600-megawatt (MW) atomic reactor.

China signed agreements on 23 May 2016 with Sudan to build 600-megawatt atomic reactor.
The agreements were signed during a three-day visit to Sudan by a Chinese delegation led by Nur Bekri.
He is head of the National Energy Administration and deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission.
•    State-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) signed two agreements with Sudan on nuclear power development which includes building a 600-megawatt atomic reactor.
•    The agreements may involve a blueprint for nuclear power development in the next ten years for Sudan and building the first nuclear power station in Sudan.
•    China already had a nuclear cooperation with Pakistan as it has built several nuclear power reactors and is currently building two 1100 mw reactors in Karachi.
•    The contract value or the type of nuclear technology to be used for the reactor was not disclosed.
•    Chinese nuclear companies are making huge inroads in global nuclear markets, including Britain and Argentina.

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Barack Obama became first incumbent US president to visit Hiroshima Memorial

Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, where he called for a "world without nuclear weapons" during his remarks at the city's Peace Memorial Park.
•    In the Hiroshima museum's guest book before his speech, the President wrote that he hoped the world will "find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons
•    Obama’s visit, the first to Hiroshima by a sitting U.S. president, comes as an acknowledgement from the American leaders towards the suffering of the estimated 140,000 killed during the bombing on Aug. 6, 1945.
•    That figure includes 20,000 Koreans who had been forced by the Japanese military to work in the city for the imperial war machine.
•    Hiroshima Peace Memorial commonly called the Atomic Bomb Dome, in Hiroshima, Japan, is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
•    The ruin serves as a memorial to the people who were killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945.

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The Asian highway linking India, Myanmar and Thailand has been put into service.

•    Myanmar Vice President U Nyan Tun, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and Chairman of the Kayin National Union General Saw Mutu Sae Po attended an inaugural ceremony of the service on 22nd May 2016, Xinhua reported.
•    With the 25.6-km-long section becoming operational, travel time between Thinggan Nyenaung and Kawkareik will be reduced from three hours to 45 minutes.
•    The construction of the Asian highway section started in 2012 with the assistance of Thailand.
•    The Asian highway runs from Moreh in India to Thailand's Maesot via Myanmar's Tamu, Mandalay and Myawaddy.
•    The section, also part of the East-West economic corridor of the Greater Mekong Subregion, will not only enhance trade between Myanmar and Thailand, but also contribute to better links among people in the region.
•    A cornerstone laying ceremony was also held at Myawaddy on Sunday for the building of Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Bridge No.2 to link Thailand's Maesot with Myanmar's Myawaddy.

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Malyaysian women weave world's longest Rug

•    The rug was created as a symbol of local culture and tradition, as the Kayan people from Borneo are well known for being skilled rattan mat weavers.•    It was organised by a local women’s organisation called Peng Doh Belaga.
•    The entire rug was expertly hand-woven by women from all over Malaysia, before the individual pieces were gathered and joined together.
•    Guinness World Records adjudicator Rishi Nath confirmed that the enormous mat had broken the previous record - a 797.51 m long rug manufactured in Sweden in 2010.
•    The women began constructing the rug in January this year, and over the past five months they have been filmed for a documentary called ‘Mat Weaver's Tale’. 
•    The film follows their record-breaking journey and celebrates the region’s heritage of mat weaving.

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Erdogan ally to be new Turkish Prime Minister

Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to become its new leader and prime minister, paving the way for a constitutional overhaul that would allow the president to extend his powers.
•    Binali Yildirim, the sole candidate for prime minister, received votes from all 1,405 delegates at a party congress. 
•    Later Mr. Erdogan gave Mr. Yildirim the official mandate to form a government.
•    The previous Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, abruptly stepped down on May 5 after a public rift with Mr. Erdogan.
•    Mr. Yildirim, 60, is expected to play a subservient role to the president, and to push forward a series of constitutional amendments that would allow Mr. Erdogan to establish an all-powerful presidential system.
•    Party leaders announced that the new government would work in harmony with the president to realize central goals for Turkey’s future.
•    Sentiments expressed at the party congress have been echoed by pro-government columnists, who have called for “obedience” to the “chief” since Mr. Davutoglu’s resignation.

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India and Slovenia sign Protocol amending India-Slovenia Double Taxation Avoidance Convention

India and Central European country Slovenia signed a protocol in second week on May 2016 to amend an existing double taxation avoidance treaty in Ljubljana. This new agreement will curb tax avoidance and tax evasion.
•    The protocol was signed by Indian ambassador to Slovenia Sarvajit Chakravarti, and Slovenian Finance Minister Dusan Mramor on behalf of Slovenia.
•    This agreement will widen the scope of the existing framework of exchange of tax related information.
•    The framework is likely to help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries.
•    It will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes.
•    Slovenia, formerly a part of erstwhile Yugoslavia, attained Independence in 1991. India recognized Slovenia on 11 May 1992.
•    Soon after recognition, the then Foreign Minister of Slovenia Dimitrij Rupel visited India on 18 May 1992.
•    Slovenia opened its resident mission in New Delhi on 1 August 2002. While, India opened its resident Mission in Ljubljana in February 2007.

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US House of Representatives gave nod to bolster defense ties with India on par with NATO

On 20 May 2016 The US House of Representatives gave its nod to a bipartisan legislation to improve defence ties with India.
In this regard, an amendment to the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) was approved by the House. The amendment is dubbed as ‘Enhancing Defence and Security Co-operation with India’.
•    The legislation, once approved by the Senate and the President, will bring the country’s bilateral relations with India on par with its NATO allies and Israel.
•    It seeks to promote greater defence trade and encourage additional military cooperation between the United States and India.
•    The legislation is primarily aimed at easing restrictions on sale of defence equipment and technology transfer to India.
•    It encourages the executive branch to designate an official to focus on US-India defence cooperation.
•    It will facilitate the transfer of defence technology and maintain a special office in the Pentagon dedicated exclusively to the US-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
•    On the bilateral front, the legislative approval is an important milestone in the US-India relations as it addresses one of the tricky issues of defence technology transfer and sale.
•    The legislation will give enough leverage to the executive branch of the US Government in dealing with India. For India, it encourages the government to authorize enhanced military planning with the USA.
•    The future missions of mutual interest will be such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter piracy, and maritime domain awareness.

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Tsai Ing-wen sworn-in as first women President of Taiwan

Tsai Ing-wen was sworn-in as the President of Taiwan on 20 May 2016. With this, she became the first woman to hold the post in Taiwan.
•    Before being presented the official seal, 59-year-old, Tsai swore the presidential oath in front of national flag. She succeeded outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou.
•    Tsai has said she will preserve the status quo in relations with China, but that Beijing must respect Taiwan's democracy.
•    Earlier in January 2016, Tsai led the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to a landslide win in parliamentary and presidential elections.
•    This is the only second time that DPP has won an election in Taiwan. The Kuomintang (KMT) has been in power for most of the past 70 years.
•    The DPP has traditionally leaned towards independence from China, and its victory has led to a cooling of cross-straits relations. China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province, which it has threatened to take back by force if necessary.

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