- Brunei, a small Southeast Asian nation, has announced the enforcement of a strict Sharia law, under which those found guilty of adultery or gay sex would be subjected to death by stoning from April 3, 2019. The harsh Islamic law had been put on hold for four years amidst heavy criticism.
2. Venezuela has barred opposition leader Juan Guaido from holding public office for 15 years. The opposition leader, who had invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency, was recognized by many nations including the United States as the country’s rightful interim ruler, as against current President Nicolas Maduro.
3. BCCI’s newly appointed ombudsman, Retired Justice D K Jain will now also serve as the cricketing body’s ethics officer till such a time that someone permanent is appointed to the post. In its 10th status report filed on October 28, 2018, the COA had requested the Supreme Court to appoint an ethics officer in addition to an ombudsman for looking into the matters of conflict of interest.
4. The International Olympic Committee’s executive board on March 27, 2019, recommended adding breakdancing, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games when the full membership meets in June. Though breakdancing would be new in the Summer Games, the other three are already confirmed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics lineup.
5. Germany has extended an embargo on weapons exports to Saudi Arabia by six months from March 31 to September 30, 2019. The ban was instituted in October 2018 in retaliation to journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in the same month.
6. The US, supported by France and the UK, has directly moved a draft resolution in the UN Security Council to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. The move comes two weeks after China put a hold on a proposal to blacklist Azhar. This is the first time that the three countries have moved a draft resolution directly in the Security Council to designate Azhar.
7. Miniratna Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) came out with its first Initial public offering (IPO) on March 29, 2019. The state-owned company will not receive any proceeds from the offer as the Central Government is selling around 12 percent of its stake in the company. After the IPO, the Government’s stake in RVNL will be pegged at 88 percent.
8. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on March 28, 2019, unanimously passed the first-ever resolution to suppress the funding of terror groups worldwide. The resolution directs the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), set up in 2017, to implement a global counter-terrorism strategy to play a leading role in identifying ways to suppress terrorist financing.
9. The World Theatre Day is observed every year on 27 March to draw attention to the power of the stage. The day was established in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), an international organization for performing arts.
10. Actor Ranveer Singh, who earned applauds for his rapping skills in “Gully Boy”, came out with his independent music record label ‘IncInk’. Ranveer teamed up with filmmaker Navzar Eranee to launch the label.
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