International Current Affairs - 2019

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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Russia launches 1st Arctic train service

Russia has launched first Arctic train service running from St. Petersburg station headed to Norway. The inaugural trial journey of first tourist train traveling through Russia’s Arctic region and on to Norway will be a 11-day trip with 91 passengers aboard.

Key Highlights

  • Journey: The train is named ‘Zarengold’ (means ‘The Tsar’s gold’ in German). It is complete with two restaurant cars will travel along route from Saint Petersburg through Petrozavodsk (historic town of Kem) and Murmansk.
  • The tourists will get off the train at Murmansk (largest city north of Arctic Circle) and will continue by bus to Kirkenes in Norway before ending their journey with a boat trip to Oslo (Norway’s capital) or by air to island of Spitsbergen, the largest and only permanently populated island of Svalbard archipelago located in northern Norway.
  • Time: The whole trip will take 11 days in total and allow passengers to discover areas in Arctic region which are difficult to access by other means.
  • Aboard: The inaugural test journey is being undertaken by tourist belonging to seven countries including the United States, Germany, Norway and Russia.

Way Forward

  • The train is expected to run twice by 2020 and four times in 2021.
  • As global warming is breaking up the glaciers in Arctic region, Russia tries to foresee new trading routes and opportunities in it. With this new advancement in connectivity Russia hopes to become top economic and military power in Arctic region.

 

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Prayuth Chan-ocha elected as new Prime Minister of Thailand

National Assembly of Thailand (Thailand’s Parliament) elected 2014 coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as Prime Minister after military-backed party that nominated Prayuth won 2nd-highest number of seats in House of Representatives (lower house of Thailand’s Parliament) in a general election held in March 2019.

Key Highlights of Thailand Election

  • Prayuth was elected for a second term by a margin of 500 to 244 votes against his opponent Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of Future Forward party.
  • Prayuth was candidate of military-backed Palang Pracharath party that won 115 seats (in 500-member House of Representatives) against its rival, Pheu Thai party that won 136 seats is associated with self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
  • His candidature was also supported by 11 small political parties in Thailand to form next government in Thailand.
  • Palang Pracharath party is seen as a proxy for Thai military, which seized power in a 2014 coup. Prayuth Chan-Ocha who was coup leader also served as prime minister in military government before becoming a candidate to run for office of head of an elected government.
  • Prayuth did not run for office in Thailand’s election that concluded in March 2019. The constitution enacted under military junta headed by him does not require that Prime Minister comes from Parliament.
  • Although the formation of new government headed by Prayuth Chan-Ocha will finally return Thailand officially to civilian rule but it will be done under a new political system enacted led by junta Prayuth and its appointees.
  • His appointment will become official when it is endorsed by recently crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand.

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