Another bomb cyclone over the North Atlantic
(GS-I: Important Geographical phenomenon)
Another violent bomb cyclone is grazing north just west of Ireland and UK with violent, hurricane winds and major waves.
Thanks to still a very powerful southern lobe of the Polar Vortex aloft, the North Atlantic is yet to produce more dangerous storms this week.
What is a Bomb Cyclone?
“Bombogenesis is the technical term. ‘Bomb cyclone’ is a shortened version of it.”
It is a mid-latitude cyclone that intensifies rapidly.
It has low pressure at its center, weather fronts and an array of associated weather, from blizzards to severe thunderstorms to heavy precipitation.
Generally, a bomb cyclone happens when atmospheric pressure in the middle of the storm drops at least 24 millibars over 24 hours, quickly increasing in intensity. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.
Why is it called a bomb?
Most cyclones don’t intensify rapidly in this way. Bomb cyclones put forecasters on high alert, because they can produce significant harmful impacts.
Things you should know about a bomb cyclone:
What exactly is a polar vortex?
It is described as a whirling cone of low pressure over the poles that is strongest in the winter months due to the increased temperature contrast between the polar regions and the mid-latitudes, such as the US and Europe.
The polar vortex spins in the stratosphere.
Usually, it forms a wall that protects the mid-latitudes from cold Arctic air.
When the vortex weakens, the stratosphere warms sharply in an event known as sudden stratospheric warming, in just a few days, miles above the Earth’s surface.
The warming weakens the polar vortex, shifting its location somewhat south of the pole or, in some instances, ‘splitting’ the vortex up into ‘sister vortices’.
Can Turkey use the Montreux Convention to block Russian warships?
(GS-II: Important International institutions)
Turkey is set to implement the Montreux Convention, an international convention on naval passage through two of its strategic straits, which would allow them to limit the movement of Russian warships between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.
On what grounds can such limitations be announced?
In the event of a war, the pact gives Ankara the right to regulate the transit of naval warships and to block the straits to warships belonging to the countries involved in the conflict.
Turkey’s foreign minister said that the situation in Ukraine had become a war. This declaration authorises Ankara to activate the Montreux Convention and ban Russian war vessels from entering the Black Sea through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits.
Significance of the move and its implications on Russia:
The Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, also known as the Turkish Straits or the Black Sea Straits, connect the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea via the Sea of Marmara.
It is the only passage through which the Black Sea ports can access the Mediterranean and beyond.
Over three million barrels of oil, about three per cent of the daily global supply, mostly produced in Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan, pass through this waterway every day.
The route also ships large amounts of iron, steel, and agricultural products from the Black Sea coast to Europe and the rest of the world.
Challenges before Turkey now:
Russia’s location on the Black Sea complicates the situation.
Article 19 of the treaty contains an exception for the countries on the Black Sea that can effectively undermine Turkey’s power in blocking the Russian warships entering or exiting the Black Sea:
“Vessels of war belonging to belligerent powers, whether they are Black Sea Powers or not, which have become separated from their bases, may return thereto,” it says.
That means warships can return to their original bases through the passage and Turkey cannot prevent it.
About Montreux Convention:
The Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits, often known simply as the Montreux Convention, is an international agreement governing the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits in Turkey.
Signed on 20 July 1936 at the Montreux Palace in Switzerland, it went into effect on 9 November 1936 and addressed the long-running Straits Question over who should control the strategically vital link between the Black and Mediterranean Seas.
International Court of Justice (ICJ)
(GS-II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate)
Ukraine has filed an application before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), instituting proceedings against the Russian Federation concerning “a dispute relating to the interpretation, application and fulfilment of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” (the “Genocide Convention”).
What’s the issue?
Ukraine has accused Russia of falsely claiming that “acts of genocide have occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of Ukraine”, and of using that as a pretext to recognise the independence of these regions and of going to war against Ukraine.
ICJ was established in 1945 by the United Nations charter and started working in April 1946.
It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, situated at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).
Unlike the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (USA).
It settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions in accordance with international law, on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. These organs vote simultaneously but separately.
In order to be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies.
In order to ensure a measure of continuity, one third of the Court is elected every three years and Judges are eligible for re-election.
ICJ is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French.
The 15 judges of the Court are distributed in following regions:
Independence of judges:
Unlike other organs of international organizations, the Court is not composed of representatives of governments. Members of the Court are independent judges whose first task, before taking up their duties, is to make a solemn declaration in open court that they will exercise their powers impartially and conscientiously.
Jurisdiction and Functioning:
ICJ acts as a world court with two fold jurisdiction i.e. legal disputes between States submitted to it by them (contentious cases) and requests for advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by United Nations organs and specialized agencies (advisory proceedings).
Only States which are members of the United Nations and which have become parties to the Statute of the Court or which have accepted its jurisdiction under certain conditions, are parties to contentious cases.
The judgment is final, binding on the parties to a case and without appeal (at the most it may be subject to interpretation or, upon the discovery of a new fact, revision).
The Genocide Convention:
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) is an instrument of international law that codified for the first time the crime of genocide.
According to the Genocide Convention, genocide is a crime that can take place both in time of war as well as in time of peace.
The Genocide Convention was the first human rights treaty adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9 December 1948 and signified the international community’s commitment to ‘never again’ after the atrocities committed during the Second World War.
The definition of the crime of genocide, as set out in the Convention, has been widely adopted at both national and international levels, including in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Rome Statute established four core international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. Those crimes “shall not be subject to any statute of limitations”.
Importantly, the Convention establishes on State Parties the obligation to take measures to prevent and to punish the crime of genocide, including by enacting relevant legislation and punishing perpetrators, “whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals” (Article IV).
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
(GS-I: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues)
Veer Savarkar was born on May 28, 1883, at Bhagur village of Nashik district in Maharashtra and died on February 26, 1966, in Mumbai.
Things you should know about Veer Savarkar:
Formed a youth organization- Mitra Mela. This organization was put into place to bring in national and revolutionary ideas.
He was against foreign goods and propagated the idea of Swadeshi.
He championed atheism and rationality and also disapproved orthodox Hindu belief. In fact, he even dismissed cow worship as superstitious.
He also Worked on abolishment of untouchability in Ratnagiri. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar also compared his work to Lord Buddha.
Organizations/institutions he was associated with:
He was a president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943.
When congress ministries offered resignation on 22nd oct 1939, Hindu mahaasabha under his leadership cooperated with Muslim league to form government in provinces like Sindh, Bengal and NWFP.
In Pune, Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”.
He joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party.
He founded the Free India Society. The Society celebrated important dates on the Indian calendar including festivals, freedom movement landmarks, and was dedicated to furthering discussion about Indian freedom.