Explained: How attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facility could impact Indian and world economies

Context The Houthis, a rebel Shia group of Yemen that is backed by Iran, bombed the Abqaiq plant as well as the Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia. The attack, executed by drones, meant that Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, had to not only suspend the production of almost 6 Read More …

Explained: Why Russia built a floating nuclear plant; why some are nervous

Context a Russian-built floating nuclear power plant completed its 5,000-km journey along the Northern Sea Route, causing excitement in the energy sector, but sparking fears among environmentalists over the safety of the Arctic region. The ‘Akademik Lomonosov’, is the first such plant to be built in the world. Russia’s floating Read More …

Specially Designated Global Terrorist

Context The United States has designated the leader of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). President Donald Trump signed the executive order on “Modernising Sanctions to Combat Terrorism” on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. SDGTs Read More …

Explained: Joining the dots in the great game in Yemen

Context The over four-year-old war that has devastated Yemen and triggered a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in one of the world’s poorest countries, saw a dramatic new turn over the weekend after a spectacular aerial attack took out two major oil production facilities deep inside Saudi Arabia and sent global crude prices soaring. The Read More …

The Munich Agreement

Context On this day 80 years ago — September 1, 1939 — German troops marched into Poland, triggering the beginning of World War II, the deadliest military conflict in the history of mankind, involving an estimated 100 million people from 30 countries. Great Britain and France, which had assured help Read More …

Taking a ‘Far East’ turn to deepen a friendship

Context Some 48 years ago, when the U.S. and British Navies tried to threaten Indian security during the India-Pakistan war in 1971, the Soviet Union dispatched nuclear-armed flotilla from its Pacific Fleet in support of India. Ever since then, the city of Vladivostok, located in Russia’s Far East, has had Read More …

Henley Passport Index 2018

Context The latest Henley Passport Index ranks India at 86, down five places from 81 in 2018. The index ranks passports based on their power and mobility. Last year, an Indian passport holder had visa-free access to 60 countries; this year, it has access to 58. Henley Passport Index 2019 Read More …

Aden, the war-torn Yemeni port’s deep India connections

Context The Southern Transitional Council, the UAE-backed Yemeni separatist group, said on Sunday that it had taken control over the city of Aden, currently the seat of the Middle Eastern nation’s internationally recognised government. Aden, Yemen’s fourth-largest city, was a part of British India for 98 years, during which time Read More …

The BDS Movement

BDS is a Palestinian-led movement that says freedom, justice, and equality are its guiding principles, and that it “upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity”. On its website, BDS says: “Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian Read More …

Who are BASIC, the climate change alliance whose meeting India just attended?

Context The BASIC countries — a grouping of Brazil, South Africa, India and China — held their 28th Ministerial meeting on Climate Change between August 14 and August 16 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. India was represented by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, who underlined the Read More …