Today Current Affairs 30th December 2017

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Former football star George Weah elected as Liberia's president. The closest rival of Mr. Weah was his opponent Joseph Boakai. Mr. Weah won the elections with more than 60% of the vote. He succeeded Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first elected female president, in Liberia's first democratic handover in decades.

International Affairs: The US embassy in Turkey announced it is resuming normal visa services for Turkish citizens, saying Turkish authorities fulfilled assurances no local staff would be detained or arrested for performing their duties. But Turkey swiftly denied having granted such assurances in the affair that has tested relations since the two local employees of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul were held on suspicion of ties to last year's failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan. The United States suspended visa services at its missions in Turkey in October and Turkey reciprocated.

Himachal Pradesh Jai Ram Thakur allotted portfolios to his council of ministers. Notably, BJP registered a comfortable win in Himachal Pradesh after winning 44 seats of the state's 68 seats. He has been allocated Irrigation and Public Health, Horticulture and Sainik Welfare departments and Kishan Kapoor is given a charge of Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and Election. He has given Education, Parliamentary Affairs and Law and Legal Affairs.

The Union Government has inked Loan agreement with World Bank for $40 Million IBRD Credit for “Uttar Pradesh Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project”. The objective of UP Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project is to increase tourism-related benefits for local communities in targeted destinations. This main tourist and pilgrimage attractions are Agra, Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana and Govardhan in Braj region.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Jordanian counterpart Ayman Al Safadi held a bilateral meeting in New Delhi and discussed deepening bilateral ties across multiple sectors. Mr Safadi discussed steps to set up a robust agenda for deepening and diversifying areas of cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, defence and security and people-to-people contact.

Nirmala Sitharaman launched a start-up incubation center called the Centre for Entrepreneurship Opportunities and Learning (CEOL) in Mangaluru, Karnataka. She has allocated Rs. 1.5 crore from her MPLAD (Member of Parliament's Local Area Development) scheme for the development of CEOL. She represents Karnataka as an MP in the Rajya Sabha.

China successfully tested its first photovoltaic (solar) highway based on home-grown technology in country’s eastern Shandong province. With this, China became the second country in the world to construct a photovoltaic highway. China’s photovoltaic highway is constructed using solar panels which have a thin sheet of transparent concrete on top of them, protecting the surface.

Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO announced to launch 31 satellites, including India's Cartosat-2 series earth observation spacecraft, in a single mission onboard its Polar rocket on January 10.  The mission will be the first Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) mission after the unsuccessful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1H in August this year. The mission's main payload would be India's Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite.  PSLV-C40 will be used for the launch from the spaceport in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota.The mission would be a combination of 28 nanosatellites from foreign countries, including Finland, US and one micro and nanosatellite from India along with one Cartosat satellite.

India’s ace chess player Viswanathan Anand won the World Rapid Chess tournament title in Saudi Arabia by beating Russia’s Vladimir Fedoseev 2-0 in a two-game tie-break. Saudi Arabia hosted the world chess tournament for the first time. The women’s title was won by China’s Ju Wenjun. Dronavalli Harika was the best-placed Indian, finishing 19th.

Cryptocurrency dealer 'Pluto Exchange' announced the launch of India’s first mobile application for transacting in virtual currencies. The Pluto Exchange mobile app offers a solution to the coordination problem between payment processors, financial gateways and banks.  The app would permit a range of transactions, including payments, remittances, business-to-business commerce, supply chain finance, asset management and trading.

Markets regulator SEBI stated that cross-holding in credit rating agencies (CRAs) will be capped at  10 percent and also decided to raise the minimum net worth requirement to Rs 25 crore from the current Rs 5 crore. Also, the board of Sebi has approved a slew of measures for tightening the financial and operational eligibility of the promoters of CRAs, besides greater disclosure requirements for them.