Current Affairs International - 17 March 2016

1. The World Consumer Right Day was observed on 15th March across the world to raise global awareness about consumer rights. This marks the day in 1962 when former USA President John F Kennedy addressed the US Congress on the issue of consumer rights. The 2016 theme on World Consumer Rights Day is "antibiotics off the menu".

2. Denmark has been ranked as the world's happiest country, while Burundi is ranked as the least happy nation, as per the fourth World Happiness Report released on 16th March. Denmark topped the list in the first report, in 2012, and again in 2013. Denmark is followed by Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. At the bottom of the list, Burundi was preceded by Syria, Togo, Afghanistan, Benin, Rwanda, Guinea, Liberia, Tanzania and Madagascar.

3. Sushila Karki, the senior most of the judges in the Nepal-s Supreme Court has been nominated for Chief Justice Post by the judicial council chaired by the Prime Minister, K P Oli. Post this, she will become Nepal-s first Women Chief Justice. She will succeed Current Chief justice, Kalyan Shreshtha who will retire soon.

4. Malaysian Actress Michelle Yeoh has been appointed as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador. In her new role, she will focus on raising awareness and mobilising support for the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She is well known internationally for her roles in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. She was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in 2000 for her movie Hidden Dragon.

At the same time, American actress Ashley Judd was also appointed by the United Nations as their latest Goodwill Ambassador. Beside acting career of more than two decades, she is well known for her global humanitarian efforts and political activism.

5. United States Central Bank the Federal Reserve has kept its interest rate unchanged during its monetary policy review meeting announcement yesterday due to impact of the global slowdown and turmoil in world markets. The Fed Reserve has also cut its outlook for the US economy and gave a picture that is less bullish than many had expected for the American economy.

The Federal Reserve also announced that it will probably raise rates later this year in small increments if USA economic growth and job market outlook improves.

6. The London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) and Deutsche Boerse have announced their merger this week which will create one of the world-s largest exchange companies with a combined value of about 21 billion pounds. As per the agreement, LSE shareholders will own 45.6% of the new holding company, while Deutsche Boerse shareholders will own 54.4%.

7. The United Nations (UN) has suspended Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova as Goodwill Ambassador of the organisation after she was tested positive with banned drug, as announced by New York based UN Development Programme (UNDP). She had announced earlier this month that she tested positive for a drug called meldonium, at the Australian Open earlier in January 2016.

8. Television magician Paul Daniels passed away. He was 77. He was suffering from brain tumor.  He is famous for his television series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran on the BBC from 1979 to 1994.

9. The Man Booker Prize-winning British author and art historian Anita Brookner passed away this week. She wrote more than 25 books and won the Booker Prize for fiction in 1984 for her novel Hotel du Lac. She was the first woman to be the Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Cambridge from 1967 to 1968.