International Current Affairs

Latest International Current Affairs 2019 with news summaries and current events in International developments, geopolitical, organizations, groupings and fora related updates for India and world with all important national news updates and events for the year 2019.

Indian-origin men win Heinz Awards in US

Indian-origin men, Professor Abraham Verghese and Mr. Sanjeev Arora are among the five recipients who won the 19th Heinz awards 2013 and will be honored in Pittsburgh on April 3, 2014. Each winner will receive a cash award of $250,000 each as well as a medallion inscribed with an image of late US senator John Heinz.

19th Heinz Awards – 2013: Category and its’ recipients

  • Arts and humanities – Professor Abraham Verghese, a doctor and author based at Stanford University Medical School, USA was given the award in recognition of his best-selling authorship. In his first book, ‘My Own Country’, he wrote extensively about AIDS in rural areas of Tennesse. He belongs to Kerala.
  • Public policy – Dr. Sanjeev Arora, professor of medicine at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, was recognized for revolutionizing community healthcare using video conferencing technology. He belongs to Kota, Rajasthan.
  • Environment – Professor Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota where he has conducted research on the global environment and how to improve the efficiency of food production.
  • Human condition – Mr. Salman Khan, founder of online Khan Academy in Mountain View, Calif., an educational nonprofit that offers free tutorials and exercises to students around the world.
  • Technology, the economy and employment — Leila Janah (an entrepreneur based in San Francisco, USA) was honored for founding the nonprofits Samasource and SamaUSA that uses an Internet to train and employ people in impoverished communities around the world. 

About Heinz Awards

  • Established in 1993 by Ms. Teresa Heinz, the chairwoman of the Heinz Family Foundation in honor of her late husband, Senator H. John Heinz III, the Pennsylvania Republican.
  • Headquarters:Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (separate from the international food company).
  • Annually awarded by the Heinz Family Foundation.
  • The Heinz Awards celebrates the accomplishments and spirit of the Senator by recognizing the extraordinary achievements of individuals in the areas of greatest importance to Senator John Heinz, who died in a midair aircraft collision in 1991.
  • Awards recognize outstanding individuals for their contributions in five areas:  Arts and Humanities, Environment, Human Condition, Public Policy, and Technology, the Economy and Employment.

German Chancellor Ms. Angela Merkel awarded Israel’s highest civilian honor

The German Chancellor Ms. Angela Merkel awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction (Israel’s highest civilian honor) by the President of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres. She was awarded with this medal for her firm commitment to the security of Israel along with her fight against anti-Semitism and racism in particular through education.

About Presidential Medal of Distinction (Israel’s highest civilian honor)

  • The medal features the North Star (to symbolize the (“right path”) and a seven-branched menorah or Jewish candelabrum – the symbol of Israel – inscribed with the phrase “From his shoulders and upward,” from the Book of Samuel 9:2.
  • Open to Israeli citizens and non-citizens.
  • Awarded every year by the President to a person for his/her extraordinary contribution to the country.
  • Past recipients of the medal: U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra director Zubin Mehta, human rights activist Elie Wiesel, etc.

Note: Anti-Semitism is a hostile belief or behavior towards Jews as a religious or racial group and the term was coined in 1879 by the German agitator, Wilhelm Marr to designate the anti-Jewish campaigns underway in central Europe at that time. The person who holds the position of ant-Semitism is known as anti-Semite.