Current Affairs Global - 15 May 2014

1. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Norwegian general Major Gen. Kristin Lund to command a United Nations peacekeeping force. With this, she will be the first woman to lead a UN peacekeeping force. She had served in Lebanon, the first Gulf War, Bosnia and Afghanistan. 

She will replace Chinese Major General Chao Liu on Aug. 13 as commander of about 1,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Cyprus, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced on 12th May.  Cyprus has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south since 1974 and talks have resumed to reunite the Mediterranean island.

2. National University of Singapore tops the chart among 250 universities ranked by QS Asia Pacific University Rankings in 2014, followed by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and University of Hong Kong. The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and Mumbai were the only two institutions from India which are ranked at 38th and 41st respectively, only Indian entries in the top 50 in the Asia-Pacific region. Five other IITs feature in the top 100 while Delhi University is placed at the 81st position.

3. Eurozone economic growth stood unchanged at 0.2% in the first quarter (Jan-Mar) of 2014 compared to previous quarter. This growth rate was slightly lower than analysts- expectations and shows that euro zone economy lost its growth momentum.

Euro zone-s largest economy Germany witnessed GDP growth of 0.8% in the same quarter while French economic growth stood at 0% and Italy-s economy contracted by 0.1%. Spain's economy grew by 0.4% in the first quarter.