2/25/13 General Awareness Updates – August 2012
General Awareness Updates – August 2012
Persons in News
Bujar Nishani has been elected the new President of Albania.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud has died, aged 78. His 76-year-old brother, Prince Salman, was
appointed as the next heir to King Abdullah, who is thought to be 89.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified Yusuf Raza Gilani from his post as the prime minister of Pakistan.
In February this year, Pakistan SC summoned Mr Gilani to charge him with contempt of court over his refusal to ask
Switzerland to investigate President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also the head of the ruling Pakistan People Party, for money
Mr Gilani told the court he would never think of violating judicial orders, but said he could not write the letter because the
head of state he enjoyed immunity under the constitution.
The allegations against Mr Zardari date back to the 1990s, when he and his late wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto,
are suspected of using Swiss bank accounts to launder an estimated U.S.$12m allegedly paid in bribes by companies seeking
customs inspection contracts. The Swiss shelved the cases in 2008 when Mr Zardari became president.
Mr Gilani was succeeded by Raja Parvez Ashraf, a stalwart of the ruling PPP, as Pakistan’s 25th Prime Minister as the
country struggled to come out of its latest political crisis.
The 61-year-old Mr Ashraf, a staunch loyalist of the Bhutto family, was pitched forked into the hot seat after the original
choice Makhdoom Shahbuddin faced an arrest warrant. But the new leader himself is dogged by corruption charges relating
to his tenure as power minister.
Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s former president, and Habib al-Adli, his interior minister, were sentenced to life in prison for their
role in the brutal suppression of protesters in last year’s uprising. Six security chiefs were acquitted. Mr Mubarak and his two
sons were cleared of separate corruption charges. But thousands protested in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, as anger grew that no
one had been convicted of actually carrying out the killings.
Mohamed Morsi Isa al-Ayyat won the historic post-Hosni Mubarak presidential polls in Egypt, beating his rival and former
Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq to become the country’s first freely elected President. Mr Morsi won the presidential run-off
with 51.73 per cent of the vote.
Mr Morsi has been a leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had been banned under the Hosni Mubarak regime for
its radical Islamist ideology. In 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood floated the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) to fight elections
to the Egyptian parliament.
A military court in Tunisia sentenced toppled president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali to 20 years imprisonment in absentia on
various charges including incitement to murder. Mr Ben Ali, who is exiled in Saudi Arabia, was found guilty of “inciting
disorder, murder and looting”, the court said in its verdict over the deaths of four youths, shot dead in the town of
Ouardanine in January 2011.
Four protesters were shot dead in the eastern coastal town as they tried to prevent the flight of Mr Ben Ali’s nephew Kais,
a day after the dictator Ali flew out of the country on January 14.
Mr Ben Ali faces countless trials and has already been sentenced to more than 66 years in prison on a range of other
charges including drug trafficking and embezzlement. He and his wife are the subject of an international arrest warrant, but
Saudi authorities have not responded to Tunisian extradition requests.
A military prosecutor is also seeking the death penalty against the former president over a similar incident which saw at
least 22 people killed in pro-democracy protests in the towns of Thala and Kasserine in late December 2010 and January
2011. The weeks of protests that started in December 2010 toppled one of the most tightly controlled regimes in the Arab
world and also set off a wave of protests which became known as the Arab Spring and is still sweeping the region.
Elinor Ostrom, the first and only woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics, has died, aged 78. She won the Nobel Prize in
2009 for her work on resource sharing. She shared the prize, officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic
Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, with University of California economist Oliver Williamson, who also studied the way
economic decisions are made outside markets.
Britain celebrated the 60th year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign with a four-day extravaganza that included a flotilla of 1,000
boats on the River Thames, a star-studded concert in front of Buckingham Palace and a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s
2/25/13 General Awareness Updates – August 2012
Cathedral. Queen Elizabeth II assumed the monarchy in 1952.
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