UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 28-May-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Trump offers to mediate between India and China

  2. Hong Kong 'no longer autonomous from China' – Pompeo

  3. Why can't private hospitals treat patients free, Supreme Court asks Centre

  4. External attacks on Cloud accounts up 630% amid Covid-19: McAfee 

  5. Explained: Why the present heatwave in North India is unusual


TRUMP OFFERS TO MEDIATE BETWEEN INDIA AND CHINA

Why in news?

  • US President Donald Trump on Wednesday offered to mediate between India and China over their “raging border dispute,” in another wild swing at diplomatic intervention in the region. 


Highlights:

  • The US President’s offer, dismissed or ignored in both China and India, surprised most observers given its timing – coming when Washington’s own ties with Beijing are fraught.

  • Both Indian and Chinese analysts took a dim view of Trump’s offer, some viewing it as ploy to sell more U.S arms to India.

  • Chinese analysts see it differently, accusing India of trying to change the status quo with border incursions, believing Beijing is in the international doghouse because of the coronavirus pandemic. 


Source : TOI ( https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/as-trump-offers-to-mediate-between-india-and-china-beijing-counsels-restraint/articleshow/76041022.cms )


HONG KONG 'NO LONGER AUTONOMOUS FROM CHINA' - POMPEO

Why in news?

  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Congress that Hong Kong no longer merits special treatment under US law.


Highlights:

  • The declaration could have major implications for Hong Kong's trade hub status and is likely to anger Beijing.

  • "No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground," he said in a statement.

  • It follows Beijing's plan to impose a controversial new security law on the territory.

  • The security law was "only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms

  • Until now the US has given Hong Kong - a global financial and trading hub - special status under US law. The provision dates from when the territory was a British colony and gives it favourable trading terms.

  • But since last year this status has been conditional on the US secretary of state regularly certifying that Hong Kong maintains sufficient autonomy from mainland China.

  • It could jeopardise billions of dollars worth of trade between Hong Kong and the US and could dissuade people from investing there in the future.

  • It would also hurt mainland China, which uses Hong Kong as a kind of middleman for transactions with the rest of the world. Mainland companies and multinational firms use the territory as an international or regional base.


Source : BBC ( https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52824839 )


WHY CAN'T PRIVATE HOSPITALS TREAT PATIENTS FREE, SUPREME COURT ASKS CENTRE

Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked why the private hospitals, given land free of cost by the government, cannot treat Covid-19 patients for free. It questioned the central government if there is any impediment in obligating such private hospitals with the treatment of coronavirus patients.


Highlights:

  • They have been given land either free of cost or at a very nominal cost. These private charitable hospitals should treat them for free.

  • The bench asked Mehta to identify such private hospitals, which have been allotted land on the ground of charity, and submit its views after a week. 

  • The petition by Sachin Jain had regretted that private hospitals are trying to make a fortune out of the national pandemic, and hence there must be a regulation. He claimed private hospitals were charging between Rs 10-12 lakh from Covid-19 patients even though the treatment did not even involve any surgery.


Source : Hans India ( https://www.thehansindia.com/news/national/why-cant-private-hospitals-treat-patients-free-supreme-court-asks-centre-624847 )


EXTERNAL ATTACKS ON CLOUD ACCOUNTS UP 630% AMID COVID-19: MCAFEE

Why in news?

  • With the increased use of Cloud services and collaboration tools, such as Cisco WebEx, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack during the Covid-19 pandemic, external attacks on Cloud accounts grew 630 per cent from January to April, said a report from cybersecurity company McAfee on Wednesday.

Highlights:

  • Most of these external attacks targeted collaboration services like Microsoft 365, and were large-scale attempts to access Cloud accounts with stolen credentials, said the study titled "Cloud Adoption & Risk Report – Work-from-Home Edition". 

  • Cybercriminals are adept at adjusting their strategies and are now focusing their efforts to exploit the sudden acceleration in cloud adoption.

  • Based on anonymised and aggregated data from more than 30 million McAfee MVISION Cloud users worldwide between January and April, the report revealed significant and potentially long-lasting trends that include an increase in the use of Cloud services, access from unmanaged devices and the rise of Cloud-native threats.

  • Use of Cloud collaboration tools increased by up to 600 per cent, with the education sector seeing the most growth as more students are required to adopt distance learning practices, said the study. 


Source : Hans India ( https://www.thehansindia.com/technology/tech-news/external-attacks-on-cloud-accounts-up-630-amid-covid-19-mcafee-624792 )


EXPLAINED: WHY THE PRESENT HEATWAVE IN NORTH INDIA IS UNUSUAL

Why in news?

  • For the past five days, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra have been experiencing severe to very severe heatwave conditions. 


Highlights:

  • A heatwave spell generally lasts for a minimum of four days. On some occasions, it can extend up to seven or ten days. The longest recorded heatwave spell, in recent years, was between 18 – 31 May 2015.

  • The current heatwave spell commenced on May 22 and is likely to continue till May 29. Heatwave conditions occurring in May have been observed to last longer, as the season reaches its peak this month. 

  • Heatwaves are common over the Core Heatwave Zone (CHZ) — Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, West Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Vidarbha in Maharashtra, parts of Gangetic West Bengal, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, as categorised by India Meteorological Department.

  • Since the event of severe heat has emerged immediately after the passing of Cyclone Amphan, experts confirm its role in leading to the present heatwave spell.

  • All the moisture, that was otherwise built during the thunderstorm and rainfall, got gradually depleted from over vast areas as the storm advanced towards West Bengal and Bangladesh between May 16 and 20.

  • It has now triggered dry north-westerly winds to blow over Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra causing severe heatwave.


Source : Indian Express ( https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/heatwave-north-india-summer-temperature-weather-6429318/ )



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