North America Current Affairs - 2019

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US Air Force General Tod Wolters appointed as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander

The United States Air Force General Tod D. Wolters was sworn in as top military officer of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), at NATO’s military headquarters in Mons, southern Belgium.

Tod D. Wolters

  • Service: He is a former US pilot who has served as commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Air Forces in Africa. He has also served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • He will succeed U.S. Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti to become new Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) for a term of two to three years.
  • He will also be a commander of U.S. forces in Europe.

Supreme Allied Commander Europe

  • A SACEUR is commander of NATO’s Allied Command Operations (ACO). He is based at SHAPE in Casteau, Belgium.
  • He also heads Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). SHAPE is ACO’s headquarter.
  • SACEUR is second highest military position within NATO. In terms of precedence It is only after Chairman of NATO Military Committee.
  • Importance: NATO’s SACEUR post has always been held by an American military officer.
  • A SACEUR position is dual-hatted i.e. one who serves as SACEUR also holds role of Commander of United States European Command.
  • It is one of most challenging and most important military positions in world.

NATO

  • It is an intergovernmental military and political alliance based on North Atlantic Treaty (also known as Washington Treaty) signed in 4 April 1949. It is also known as North Atlantic Alliance. It consists of 29 independent member countries across North America and Europe.
  • It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium and Headquarters of its Allied Command Operations in Mons, Belgium.
  • Importance: It constitutes a system of collective defence by which its independent member states agrees for mutual defence in response to any attack on any member by any external party.

Month: Categories: International

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Air Pollution Raises Diabetes Risk

A study in China has shown that Air pollution raises diabetes risk in China. The findings of the study were based on the data collected from over 88,000 people across 15 provinces, estimating their exposure to PM2.5 based on satellite data from 2004 to 2015.

The study was conducted by researchers from Fuwai Hospital in Beijing and Emory University in the US and was published online by journal Environment International.

Findings of the Study

  • Long-term exposure to harmful smog particles increases the risk of diabetes, The study provides evidence for a link between the country’s air pollution and the disease.
  • Increased prosperity has resulted in changing diets and lifestyles, along with an air pollution crisis that the World Health Organization estimates causes over a million premature deaths every year.
  • The risk of diabetes rose by about 16 per cent for an increase of 10 microgrammes per cubic metre in long-term PM2.5 particle exposure.
  • Similar studies in North America, Europe, Hong Kong and Taiwan have shown links between air pollution with diabetes.

Unites Nations study published in 2017 noted that China is facing the largest diabetes problem in the world with around 11 per cent of its population suffering from metabolic illness. It is expected that the sustained improvement of air quality will help decrease the diabetes epidemic in China.

Month: Categories: Science & TechnologyUPSC

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