Daily Affairs Express:19.05.2019

Today’s Important News

1- US approves missile sales to South Korea, Japan

The sales aim to support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by assisting key allies. They will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

Key Facts:

-The US State Department has approved 94 SM-2 missiles used by ships against air threats, along with 12 guidance systems for a total cost of $313.9 million. The nation also separately approved the sale of 160 anti-air AMRAAM missiles and related guidance equipment to Japan for $317 million.

– The North Korea reportedly last week tested two-range missiles in its second launch in less than a week. In April, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had supervised the test-firing of a new type of “tactical guided weapon”, as per a report by the country’s state media.


2- Government issues drought advisory to 6 southern, western states

-The Union Government has issued a drought advisory to states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu and asked them to use water wisely as water storage in dams is dropping to a critical level.


Water falls under the state list and the advisory recommends states to use it for drinking purpose only till the dams are replenished.


• The water storage level in 91 major reservoirs across the country is monitored by the Central Water Commission.


• Currently, the total water storage available is 22 per cent of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM. The figure was at 24 per cent for the week ending on May 9.


• The situation seems to be grim in western and southern parts of the country.

3- Vande Bharat Express completes 1 lakh running kilometers
Image result for vande bharat express


 It is capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph. It will cut travel time by 15 percent compared to the Shatabdi Express.


 The train has been developed by the Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at an investment of nearly Rs 100 crore.


 It is fully air-conditioned train and is equipped with CCTV cameras.


• It has 16 coaches with Chair Car type configuration with 2 Executive Class Chair Cars and 14 Chair Car

4-  UNDRR confers P.K. Mishra with prestigious Sasakawa Award 2019


The theme of the Sasakawa Award 2019 was ‘Building Inclusive and Resilient Societies’.

Other winners of 2019 Sasakawa Award:

• Sidnei Furtado, Director of Department of Civil Defence, Campinas, Brazil

• Bijal Brahmbhatt, Director of the Mahila Housing SEWA Trust of India

About Sasakawa Award

• The Sasakawa Award is the most prestigious award of the United Nations in the area of Disaster Risk Management.

• Instituted 30 years back, the award is jointly organised by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the Nippon Foundation.


5- Tennis legend Sir Andy Murray receives Knighthood at Buckingham PalaceImage result for 3- Tennis legend Sir Andy Murray receives Knighthood at Buckingham Palace



  • Three-time Grand Slam champion, Sir Andy Murray on May 16, 2019 received the Knighthood by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his services to tennis and charity.
  • Novelist Sir Philip Pullman was also knighted for his services to literature• Broadcaster Chris Packham of BBC received ‘Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)’ medal for his services to nature conservation
  • In his tennis career, Murray gathered a total of 45 career titles; he is the first in Britain to reach 500 ATP match wins and is also the first ever British world number one in the Open Era.
  • Murray is also the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to the UNICEF.

6- India-Botswana hold Foreign Office Consultations in Delhi



• India and Botswana held the third round of Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi on May 15, 2019.
• The Indian side of the delegation was led by Dr. Neena Malhotra, Joint Secretary in East and Southern Africa, Ministry of External Affairs.
• The Botswana side was led by Tapiwa Mongwa, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Affairs of Botswana.
• Both the sides deliberated for cooperation in various sectors such as political, economic, commercial, defence, consular and international cooperation.
• They discussed out the ways to further strengthen the bilateral relations of the countries by expanding cooperation in development projects.
• The next round of Consultations will be convened in Botswana.

7- US, France join UAE to probe into attack of commercial ships


• The United States and France united with the UAE to investigate the sabotage of commercial ships.
• Lately, four commercial cargo ships were sabotaged on May 12, 2019 near UAE’s territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman, east of Fujairah.
• Following the incident, the UAE called on the international community to join hands in preventing such attacks that undermine maritime traffic safety and security.
• The UAE authorities took all the necessary measures, and are currently investigating the incident in cooperation with other local and international bodies.

6- Pakistan decides not to lift airspace ban on India till 30 May


• Pakistan recently announced that it will not lift airspace ban for Indian flights till May 30, 2019.
• The announcement was made following a meeting of top officials of defence and aviation ministries in Islamabad.
• Pakistan closed its airspace completely for Indian flights after Indian Air Force attacked the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot on February 26, 2019.
• Later, on March 27, Pakistan opened its airspace for all flights except for New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

8-  LED lighting can damage eye’s retina: French Agency:


• The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety recently reported that the blue light in LED lighting can damage the retina of eyes and can disturb natural sleep rhythms.
• Therefore, exposure to such an intense and powerful light is photo-toxic.
• It can lead to permanent loss of retinal cells and diminished sharpness of vision.
• The Light-Emitting Diode (LED) technology has lately taken over the general lighting market due to its energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
• LED uses only fifth portion of the electricity, in comparison to a luminescent bulb of comparable brightness.

9- Taiwan Expo 2019 begins in Delhi:



  • • Tien Chung-Kwang, Representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre and TAITRA James CF Huang, Chairman of Taiwan External Trade Development Council, inaugurated the three-day Taiwan Expo 2019 in New Delhi.
    • The expo focuses on green products, health care sector, agriculture, tourism, biotechnology and electrical equipments.
    • Around 150 exhibitors will showcase their products in 230 stalls.
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