Daily Current Affairs for 08th July 2023

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Yemen Issue

Why in NEWS

The Saudi ­led war in Yemen completed eight years, a diplomatic delegation from the kingdom reached Sanaa airport for talks with its Houthi enemies.

The two sides agreed to a six­ month truce, to be followed by talks over three months to agree on a two ­year “transition” period when the details of the Yemeni state that would emerge after the war would be finalised.

Background of Yemen crisis

  • Saudi Arabia, leading a coalition of some Arab forces, had initiated military operations on March 26, 2015, to prevent the Houthis, a Shia militia representing the marginalised Zaidi community and aligned with Iran, from taking control of Yemen, with which the kingdom shares a porous 1,400­km border.
  • The war has ground to a stalemate, with the Houthis controlling the capital and the principal port, Hodeidah.
  • The coalition(led by Saudi) control the sea and the sky and large parts of the south.

Recent shift in Yemen Crisis

  • The Saudi-­Iran accord brokered by China in March provided this opportunity
  • The Houthis are also reluctant to engage with the eight­ members Saudi ­supported Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) that heads the internationally ­recognised Yemeni government.

Competing Interests of Saudi and UAE

  • The Southern Transitional Council (STC), a United Arab Emirates (UAE)­backed movement based in Aden, wants the southern provinces that constituted the former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY), an independent communist country from 1967 to 1990, to once again become an independent state.
  • The UAE’s control over ports in south Yemen, Eritrea and Somaliland, as also the island of Socotra in the Gulf of Aden and Perim Island at the mouth of the Bab al­ Mandab, has a dominant geopolitical and commercial position in the western Indian Ocean.
  • Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is seeking a united Yemen so that it can assert influence over the south Yemeni provinces of Hadhramaut and Al­ Mahra.
  • Hadhramaut shares an 800­km border with the kingdom, while Al­ Mahra could provide an oil pipeline to Saudi Arabia to the Indian Ocean, bypassing the Strait of Hormuz.
  • Hence, the kingdom has sponsored its own Hadhramaut National Council that rejects the independence agenda of the STC and is content with autonomy in a united Yemen.

Iran’s Interests

  • Iran may be expected to maintain ties with the triumphant Houthis, retain its influence in Yemen, and even consolidate its presence in the Red Sea.


Hence, despite the cessation of hostilities in the war ­ravaged country, rivalries between the diverse Yemeni factions and the competing interests of regional powers will ensure that peace and stability will remain a long way off.


Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank

Why in NEWS

The China­ based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said there was “no evidence” it was dominated by Beijing’s ruling Communist Party, as it released a review into explosive claims made by a former executive.

About AIIB

  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a new international development bank that provides financing for infrastructure projects in Asia.
  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank headquartered in Beijing.
  • Like other development banks, its mission is to improve social and economic outcomes in its region, Asia, and beyond.


  • The bank opened in January 2016 and now has 105 approved members worldwide, as of Jul. 30, 2022.
  • India, China, Pakistan, France, Sri Lanka, Germany are some of its members.
  • The AIIB is capitalised at approximately USD 100 billion, of which about 75% is financed by regional members and the remainder by non-regional members.


  • The bank’s priorities are projects that promote sustainable Infrastructure and to support countries that are striving to meet environmental and development goals.
  • The bank funds projects linking countries in the region and cross-border infrastructure projects for roads, rail, ports, energy pipelines and telecoms across Central Asia and maritime routes in South East and South Asia and the Middle East.
  • The bank’s priorities also include private capital mobilization and encouraging partnerships that stimulate private capital investment such as those with other multilateral development banks, governments, and private financiers.



Why in NEWS

Recently, France has seen lot many protests and violence in Paris. Unlike their European counterparts, the immigrants who entered post WW2, mostly from North Africa and West Asia, refused to integrate with the French social order and insisted on maintaining their distinct identity.

It is that “French-ness” that sections of the new wave of immigrants refuse to adhere to.

What is Multiculturalism?

  • Multiculturalism basically refers to cultural diversity.
  • To be more specific, it is the co-existence of diverse religious, ethnic or cultural groups within a society.
  • People in a multicultural community retain, celebrate, pass down and share their unique cultural ways of life, traditions, behaviour, languages, and art.
  • The concept of multiculturalism can describe an area with a mixed ethnic community where multiple cultural groups and traditions exist (e.g. New York City) or a single country within which multiple cultures exist (ex: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc.).
  • In sociology, multiculturalism is a result of either a natural (e.g. immigration) or artificial process (through legislative decrees like in the case of French Canada and English Canada) and can occur on a large national scale or a smaller scale within communities.

Multiculturalism vs Pluralism

  • The main difference between multiculturalism and pluralism is that multiculturalism doesn’t have a dominant culture, but pluralism has a dominant culture. 
  • Both multiculturalism and pluralism are phenomena of cultural diversity.
  • Multiculturalism refers to the co-existence of diverse religious, ethnic or cultural groups within a society.
  • In contrast, cultural pluralism refers to a phenomenon where minority groups participate fully in the dominant society, but while maintaining their cultural differences.


Cluster Munitions

Why in NEWS

The US has decided to send cluster munitions to Ukraine to help its military push back Russian forces entrenched along the front lines.

What are Cluster Munitions?

  • A cluster munition is a bomb that opens in the air and releases smaller “bomblets” across a wide area.
  • The bomblets are designed to take out tanks and equipment, as well as troops, hitting multiple targets at a time.
  • In previous conflicts, cluster munitions have had a high dud rate, which meant that thousands of the smaller unexploded bomblets remained behind and killed and maimed people decades later.
  • The US last used its cluster munitions in battle in Iraq in 2003, and decided not to continue using them as the conflict shifted to more urban environments with more dense civilian populations.

Is using them a war crime?

  • Use of cluster bombs itself does not violate international law, but using them against civilians can be a violation.
  • As in any strike, determining a war crime re- quires looking at whether the target was legitimate and if precautions were taken to avoid civilian casualties.
  • A convention banning the use of cluster bombs has been joined by more than 120 countries, which agreed not to use, produce, transfer or stockpile the weapons and to clear them after they’ve been used.


Brain eating amoeba

Why in NEWS

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy in Kerala’s Alappuzha district has died due to a rare infection caused by Naegleria fowleri or “brain-eating amoeba” after a week of high fever and rapid deterioration in his vitals.

The teen used to bathe in a stream, which is the likely source of the amoeba.

What is Brain eating Ameoba?

  • The single-cell organism can be seen only under a microscope, and is found in warm freshwater environments such as lakes, rivers, and springs.
  • It survives on bacteria in the sediment in lakes and rivers.
  • It may be found even in swimming pools and water bodies in entertainment parks, especially if they are poorly maintained and not well-chlorinated.
  • It cannot survive in saline conditions, and is therefore not found in seawater.

Infection in humans

  • The amoeba enters the body through the nose and travels to the brain, and diving or jumping into a river or lake can force water up the nose.
  • Infection leads to a severe and usually fatal brain infection known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
  • Although the amoeba is vulnerable in its maturing or trophozoite phase, as a cyst it becomes resistant to its environment.
  • Unlike trophozoites, which are killed rapidly by refrigeration, cysts can survive extreme cold.

Prevention and treatment

  • The infection does not spread from person to person.
  • Preventive measures are
    • Avoiding warm freshwater bodies with inadequate chlorination
    • Using nose clips, and using sterile water for nasal cleansing rituals can help reduce the risk of contracting Naegleria fowleri infection.
  • The amoeba causes inflammation and destruction of brain tissue.
  • Symptoms include severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, seizures, and hallucinations.
  • As the infection progresses, the patient can slip into coma and ultimately die.
  • The US CDC recommends treatment with a combination of drugs that often includes amphotericin B, azithromycin, fluconazole, rifampin, miltefosine, and dexamethasone.
  • Miltefosine, the newest of these drugs, has been shown to kill Naegleria fowleri in the laboratory, and has been used to treat three survivors.

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