Current Affairs Global - 2 May 2014

1. South Korea's Pohang University of Science and Technology topped the list for the third consecutive year while second position is retained by Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, as per the annual evaluation of the world's top 100 universities under 50 years of age. UK and Australia saw the most number of representatives with 14 institutions each followed by USA (8), Spain (7), France and Germany (6 each), Canada (5) and Taiwan (4).


2. The US Federal Reserve provided strong assessment of the US economy and announced another cut of USD 10 billion in its massive bond-buying stimulus. The Fed announced it would reduce its monthly bond purchases to $45 billion from $55 billion, which means its aggressive bond buying program will end in October this year. Fed is also expected to hike interest rates when US employment rate stabilizes below 6.5%.


3. The US economy created 288,000 jobs in April, which was much higher than expectations and was the strongest monthly job creation since January 2012. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% in April compared to 6.7% witnessed in the earlier month. It is the lowest unemployment rate since September 2008, when Lehman Brothers- collapsed.


4. US pharma major Pfizer-s third attempt to acquire AstraZeneca failed as AstraZeneca has rejected its offer of USD 106 billion today. This is the third time that AstraZeneca has rejected Pfizer-s offer and the second in less than a week. Pfizer had made an offer of USD 100 billion earlier before increasing the offer recently.


London-based AstraZeneca said the financial and other terms described in the proposal are inadequate and substantially undervalue the company. AstraZeneca-s products include drugs to treat cancer, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.


5. Ford Motor promoted Mark Fields to chief executive officer from chief operating officer effective from 1st July this year as current CEO Alan Mulally retires from the second-largest US automaker. Fields, who has been with the company for 25 years, will also replace Mulally on the board.


Alan Mulally, Current Chief Executive Officer of the Ford Motor Company since 2006, was credited with turning around the once-troubled automaker company. Ford returned to profitability under Mulally and was the only American major car manufacturer to avoid a bailout fund provided by the government.