International Current Affairs - 2020

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.

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Ebola emerges again in Congo

Health officials in Eastern Congo recently documented the first relapse of current Ebola epidemic. The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has so far infected more than 3,300 people and killed more than 2,200 since the middle of 2018, making it the second-worst on record.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), this recent relapse happened in Aloya district where a motorcycle taxi operator is said to have come into contact with 33 people is potentially the cause of 11 new confirmed Ebola cases in past week.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a rare but deadly virus which was first identified in 1976 by researchers sent to investigate an ailment that was killing victims in a remote part of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The researchers team named the condition after the local Ebola river.

Ebola causes Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates. Ebola is triggered by a virus- probably picked up from an infected bat or non-human primate – that causes blood vessels to leak and can end in organ failure and death. Ebola has killed more than 11,000 people between 2013 and 2016.

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Manuel Marrero Cruz appointed as Cuba’s first PM in more than 40 years

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has appointed Manuel Marrero Cruz as the country’s first prime minister in more than four decades (40 years). Marrero Cruz who was named prime minister for a five-year term, has served as Cuban tourism minister for 16 years. He is an architect by trade and has helped boost Cuba’s economy by making tourism one of the engines of growth.

Key Highlights

History: The post of prime minister was scrapped in 1976 by the then-revolutionary leader and Cuba’s last prime minister Fidel Castro. In December 1976, Fidel Castro took the title of president of the State Council, which replaced the posts of president and prime minister. This makes Marrero Cruz first appointed Prime Minister of Cuba since 1976.

New Constitution: In February 2019, Cuban voters approved a new constitution to replace 1976 Soviet-era charter enacted under Fidel Castro. The Prime Minister’s post was reinstated under the rules of this newly passed constitution for communist-run island. However, under the new constitution, the Communist Party still remains the only political party allowed in Cuba, as well as it remains the guiding force for all government policy.

Apart from Prime Minister, Deputy prime minister and other members of the Council of Ministers were also appointed. Diaz-Canel remains head of state and Raul Castro remains the first secretary of Communists and the real power remains in the hand of the two. The prime minister will manage day-to-day operations but will still report to president.

However, Critics highlights that any such changes are purely cosmetic as the Cuban Communist Party and military remain the only two real decision-making institutions in country.

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