International Current Affairs 2017

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Italian court convicts scientists who were not able to give earthquake warning

An Italian court sentenced six scientists and a government official 6-year imprisonment on the imagecharges  of manslaughter. The scientists were accused of not being able to give adequate warning of an earthquake that killed more than 300 people in L’Aquila in 2009.

All the convicts who were member of National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, were accused of negligence and malpractice in assessing the danger and informing the city about the risks.

What is the case?

The scientists on National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks were accused of giving "incomplete, imprecise and contradictory" information on the danger a few days before earthquake. They were accused of negligence in evaluating the tremors that preceded L’Aquila earthquake.

As per scientific opinion given by prosecutors, the dozens of lower level tremors seen months before the quake were typical of the kind of preliminary seismic activity seen before major earthquakes. However, Defense lawyers said earthquakes could not be forecasted and even if they could, nothing could be done to prevent them.

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Persons in News: Rajat Kumar Gupta

Two-year jail term to Rajat Gupta

A U.S. court sentenced Rajat Gupta (63), the former Goldman Sachs Director and imageMcKinsey and Company Managing Partner a 2 year jail term.

Who is Rajat Gupta and what is the case?

  • Rajat Kumar Gupta, is an Indian American Businessman. He was global head of McKinsey & Company, the management consulting firm from 1994 to 2003 and a business leader in India and the United States.
  • After his rise in McKinsey, he was known as the “First India-born CEO of a global corporation.
  • Gupta also chaired as corporate chairman, board director or strategic advisor to a variety of large and notable organizations including Goldman Sachs, Procter and Gamble and American Airlines, and non-profits including The Gates Foundation, The Global Fund and the International Chamber of Commerce.

The case:

In 2007 when Gupta was Director of Goldman Sachs, he provided confidential information about the company’s investment plan and earning details, which are considered Non-Public information, to Raj Rajaratnam. He leaked the information of $ 5 billion investment which was to be made by Berkshire Hathaway into Goldman Sachs. Rajaratnam traded on the information and made profits. It was

alleged that Gupta also had some vested interest in Rajaratnam company- Galleon and he also got some benefits through that trading which is considered as Insider Trading- a corporate crime. It was also alleged that Gupta passed on non- public information about Procter & Gamble to Rajaratnam where he leaked info about company’s sale of its assets worth $ 3 billion and about its quarterly earnings which were not made public.

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