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India, Japan, U.S. plan joint air exercise
India, Japan and the U.S. are set to elevate the bilateral ‘Cope India’ air exercise to a trilateral format. The three countries already conduct naval war games under the expanded Malabar naval exercise.

Fines fail to deter stubble burning
Between September 27 and October 14, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) imposed Rs. 8,92,500 as fines .

The Centre and the States — Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh — have in several meetings through the year declared a “zero tolerance” policy on the burning of stubble for farmers, which, according to various studies, contributes anywhere from 17% to 78% to the particulate matter-emission load in the city during winter.

RBI opposes move for independent Payments Regulatory Board
In a dissenting note to the Inter-Ministerial Committee for finalisation of amendments, the RBI said, “There is no case of having a regulator for payment systems outside the RBI.” The Watal Committee had recommended the establishment of the PRB within the overall structure of the RBI. “Since banks are regulated by the RBI, a holistic regulation by RBI will be more effective and not result in increased compliance costs,” it said.

Turkey to host four-nation summit on Syria crisis
A summit between the leaders of Turkey, France, Germany and Russia will be held in Istanbul this month to discuss the conflict in Syria and efforts for a lasting solution to the war in the Arab country, a Turkish official said on Friday. Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said.

Rwanda announces ‘gender-balanced’ Cabinet
Two days after Ethiopia announced one of the world’s few “gender-balanced” Cabinets with 50% women, Rwanda has done the same.

Rwanda joins a handful of countries, mostly European, where women make up 50% or more of ministerial positions, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women.