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All India Radio News Summary: 18 and 19 MARCH 2018

All India Radio News Summary: 18 and 19 MARCH 2018

  1. Leaders of Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia’s Prime Minister today called on North Korea to end its nuclear programme.

Leaders also urged United Nations countries to fully implement sanctions.

  • The call at the end of a two-day special ASEAN summit held in Sydney, Australia.
  • It is the first time Australia has hosted the ASEAN summit.
  • The joint statement, called Sydney Declaration, was addressed by current ASEAN Chairman and Prime Minister of Singapore and Australian Prime Minister.


  1. Two-day informal World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting at New Delhi

The meeting provides an opportunity to engage in free and frank discussions on global trade issues with the hope that it will lead to political guidance on some major issues.

  • This informal meeting of WTO ministers, without a pre-announced agenda, is aimed at facilitating an exchange of views on various challenges facing the multilateral trading system.
  • The meeting will provide an opportunity for ministers to explore in greater detail the options on different issues for re-invigorating the WTO.
  • This is the second WTO mini-ministerial meeting being hosted by India, after the first one in 2009.
  • The meeting assumes significance after the collapse of WTO Buenos Aires ministerial talks in December last year.
  • The meeting will strive to find a permanent solution to the food stock-holding by WTO member countries.
  • Under the WTO norms, a member-country’s food subsidy bill should not exceed 10 per cent of the value of production. India has been seeking amendment to this formula. 


  1. Russian President Vladimir Putin stormed to victory in the presidential election

Russian President Vladimir Putin stormed to victory in the presidential election, giving him another six years in power.

  • Putin, who has ruled Russia for almost two decades, won more than 75 per cent of the vote according to preliminary results.
  • The Kremlin pushed for high turnout to give greater legitimacy to Putin’s historic fourth term.
  • The election came with Russia facing increasing isolation on the world stage over a spy poisoning in Britain and a fresh round of US sanctions.


  1. Brexit

The UK and EU agreed on a large part of the agreement that will lead to the orderly withdrawal of the UK.

  • The two sides had agreed on a transition period, calling the announcement a decisive step.
  • The transitional period is set to last from 29th March, 2019 to December 2020, and is designed to smooth the path to the future permanent relationship.
  • There was agreement on the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU after Brexit.


  1. India and the European Union (EU) have signed an agreement on sharing earth observation data

India and the European Union (EU) have signed an agreement that will enable them to share earth observation data from each other’s satellites.

  • The Copernicus programme provides a wide range of applications like climate change, land, ocean and atmosphere monitoring as well as support in forecasting, management and mitigation of natural disasters.
  • Under this arrangement, Indian Space Research Organisation ISRO will share data from its earth observation satellites.
  • The European Commission will provide India with free, full and open access to the data from the Copernicus Sentinel family of satellites using high bandwidth connections from data hub to data hub.
  • This will provide both the sides, the data on climate change, weather forecast and natural disasters.