CM KCR dissolved Telangana Assembly
- Telangana Cabinet passed the resolution to dissolve first Legislative assembly of Telangana State.
- Governor has accepted the recommendation of Chief Minister but asked him and his council of ministers to continue in office as a caretaker government
- The Legislative Assembly of Telangana currently consists of 119 elected members and one nominated member from the Anglo-Indian community. And, it has 17 Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament) constituencies.
- CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao is from TRS, and Congress is the major opposition party in Telangana.
Supreme Court Decriminalised Gay Sex
- A five-judge Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Deepak Mishra, by the unanimous decision today decriminalised Section 377 making gay sex legal in India.
- In 2013, the SC had overturned Delhi HC's 2009 judgement which had decriminalised sex between consenting adults of the same gender.
- Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay are some of other countries with this provision.
India-US 2+2 Dialogues
- After being canceled twice in the last 14 months, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held the 2+2 dialogue with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis.
- Both countries signed the long-pending Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will enable India to access advanced technologies from the US.
- India-US to set up hotline between External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister with their American counterparts.
- An Indian liaison officer will be deployed at the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), in charge of US naval operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the oil-rich Gulf countries.
- USA reiterated its endorsement for the quest of India's NSG membership and agreed to speed up the process (Beijing is blocking India's entry saying India has not signed NPT).
- Meeting also included topics like H1B visa, terrorism from Pakistan, maritime security, strategic defence partnership etc.
North America Free Trade Agreement
- U.S. and Canada pulled back from a standoff regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- US NAFTA is a trilateral arrangement between US, Canada and Mexico. US has been accusing provision of agreement for the trade deficit with Mexico and American job loss, so wants to renegotiate the agreement with Mexico, but Canada is opposing.
- US and Mexico have reached an agreement for a new deal but Canada is refusing to sign; thus the threat of excluding Canada out NAFTA raised.
- In the new agreement, Canada is concerned about the protection of its Dairy, Movies, Media industries and also mechanism to settle trade disputes (US removed chapter 19 related to anti-dumping and countervailing duties before the committee but Canada wants to retain it).
- Canada is the major export destination of as many as 36 US states, thus taking a tough stance against Canada is not going to be viable for US Congress, no matter what President Trump says.
- Currently, negotiations are to continue.
One-Liners for Preliminary Tests
- Rupee hits a new low, breaches 72 marks for the first time.
- Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), a PSU, has bagged order worth Rs. 9,200 crore for supply of seven Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) systems to Indian Navy.
- Asian Games gold-medallist Saurabh Chaudhary shattered the world record to claim the junior 10m air pistol gold at the ISSF World Championships.