Day by Day Current Affairs (March 30, 2019)

March 30, 2019
National Current Affairs

1. Pakistan, China warns against politicizing UN anti-terrorism regime

• Pakistan has warned that politicising the UN counterterrorism machinery would only compromise the integrity of the regime, as China also warned against `forcefully moving` a resolution in the UN Security Council.
• Speaking in a Security Council debate on `Preventing and Combating the Financing of Terrorism` on March 29, 2019, Pakistan`s Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that current structures like FATF and the 1267 Sanctions regimes should not be used as political tools by some to advance their geopolitical goals.
• `There is also a need to make these institutions more inclusive of the wider membership in their decision-making processes,` she added.
• On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing that `forcefully moving` a resolution directly in the UNSC undermined the authority of the UN anti-terrorism committee.


2. Ex-IB chief Ijaz made federal minister

• Former chief of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Brigadier (Retd) Ijaz Ahmed Shah MNA has been inducted as Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.
• President Dr. Arif Alvi on March 29, 2019 accepted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s request to appoint Ijaz as the federal minister for parliamentary affairs
• He was elected MNA on PTI ticket from NA-118, Nankana Sahib-II in the last general elections held last year.
• The national security adviser’s position has been lying vacant since the PTI came to power.
• Ijaz Shah had served as Director General of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) from 2004 to 2008 in the government of former President General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf.


3. World Bank suspends water resource development project for Balochistan

• The World Bank on March 29, 2019 suspended the Integrated Water Resources Management and Development project for Balochistan over lack of progress in management and funds disbursement.
• In a statement, the WB offered to work with the Balochistan government over the next 30 days to restructure the scope and governance arrangements to more realistically deliver sustainable water management to the province.
• On June 28, 2016, the bank had approved a $200 million credit to strengthen the Balochistan government`s initiative for community-based water management for irrigation in the province.
• The project was designed to boost farmers` incomes through a new irrigation infrastructure and improved on-farm management and rangeland management. An associated objective was building the province`s capacity for long-term water resources planning.


4. Revised disaster response plan launched

• National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on March 29, 2019 launched National Disaster Response Plan in collaboration with Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre the under Pakistan Resilience Partnership.
• The target of NDRP 2019is to mitigate damages from natural disasters. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Engineer Ali Mohammad Khan said the government was well cognisant of the threats and challenges posed by climate change and impending disasters.


5. Ex-CJP Jillani wins exceIIence award for promoting justice

• Former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, who is officiating as an ad hoc judge at the International Court of Justice in The Haque, has been awarded `International Justice Excellence Award` for promoting justice at home and around the world.
• The ceremony to give the award was held at the International Institute for Justice, Netherlands. Mr Jillani was decorated for his outstanding contribution to the elevation of the principles of justice in Pakistan and the international community.
• Mr. Jillani came to prominence as the 21st chief justice of Pakistan for his landmark judgment on a Suo Motu notice on the Sept 22, 2013 bomb attack on a Peshawar church in which 81 people died.


March 30, 2019: International Current Affairs

6. Fears of no-deal BREXIT rise as MPs sink May`s proposal

• Lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May`s BREXIT deal for a third time on March 29, 2019, sounding its probable death knell and leaving Britain`s withdrawal from the European Union in turmoil on the very day it was supposed to quit the bloc.
• The decision to reject a stripped-down version of May`s divorce deal has left it totally unclear how, when or even whether Britain will leave the EU, and plunges the three-year BREXIT crisis to a deeper level of uncertainty.
• Within minutes of the vote, European Council President and summit chair Donald Tusk said EU leaders would meet on April 10 to discuss Britain`s departure from the bloc.
• A succession of European leaders said there was a very real chance Britain would now leave without a deal, a scenario that businesses fear would cause chaos for the world`s fifth-biggest economy.


7. KSA frees three women’s rights activists

• Saudi Arabia has temporarily released three of the women’s rights activists held in custody for almost a year, state media has said, following a court hearing in which the detainees alleged torture and sexual harassment during interrogation.
• The announcement by the SPA news agency on March 29, 2019 did not identify the three women but several reports named them as blogger Eman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Youssef, a retired lecturer at King Saud University, and academic Rokaya al-Mohareb.


8. Chinese telescope collects more than 11M spectra

• China has released 11.25 million spectra of celestial objects acquired by the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) to astronomers worldwide, according to the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences March 29, 2019.
• As the world’s largest spectral survey telescope, LAMOST marks the world’s first spectral survey project to obtain more than 10 million spectra. Spectra are key for astronomers to read celestial bodies’ chemical compositions, densities, atmospheres and magnetism. Among the released spectra, there are 9.37 million high-quality spectra, which is twice the total number of other astronomic surveys internationally. There are also 6.36 million stellar spectra, creating the largest stellar parameter catalog in the world. Finished in 2008, LAMOST began regular surveys in 2012. The telescope is located in NAOC’s Xinglong Observatory, in north China’s Hebei Province.The telescope can observe about 4,000 celestial bodies at one time. It can also help calculate the age of more than a million stars, providing basic data to study the evolution of our galaxy


9. Earth Hour being marked today

• ‘Earth Hour’ being marked all over the world on 30th March (today).
• People are on the frontlines of climate change. The Earth Hour reminds us that individual and global community actions can prove to be a milestone to transform the climate challenges and protect the generations to come.
• The lights of the Parliament will be switched off between 8:30pm to 9:30pm to show Parliament’s commitment of joining hands with the world for energy conservation, combating climate change and global warming.
• Pakistan’s Vision 2025 considered climate change as one of the top national priorities and provided a sound basis to integrate climate change budgeting into national development planning.


March 30, 2019: Sports Current Affairs

10. Australia win fourth ODI by six runs

• Australia pulled off a sensational last-over, six-run win despite a debut hundred by Pakistan`s Abid Ali and second career century by Mohammad Rizwan in the fourth one-day international in Dubai on March 29, 2019.
• Needing 278 to win, Pakistan came close to their target through Ali`s 112 and Rizwan`s 104 but in the end, the two hundred were in vain as they failed to score the required 17 runs off Marcus Stoinis`s last over.
• The win gives Australia a 4-0 lead with the last match to be played in Dubai on March 31, 2019.

Day by Day Current Affairs (December 08, 2018)

December 7, 2018: National Current Affairs

1. Pakistan wants `proper ties` with US like its relations with China

• Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed his desire to have a proper relationship with the United States akin to Islamabad`s ties with Beijing rather than the one where Pakistan is treated like a `hired gun`.
• The prime minister, in his first interview to The Washington Post after assuming office, said: `I would never want to have a relationship where Pakistan is treated like a hired gun given money to fight someone else`s war. It not only cost us human lives, devastation of our tribal areas, but it also cost us our dignity.
• When asked to elaborate on the ideal nature of relationship that he would like to have with Washington, Mr Khan said: `For instance, our relationship with China is not one-dimensional. It`s a trade relationship between two countries. We want a similar relationship with the US.
• The prime minister explained that the country was not `hedging` towards China, but it was rather Washington`s attitude that had brought a change in the Pakistan-US relationship. He clarified that disagreeing with US policies did not equate to him being `anti-American` when he was asked why he harboured `anti-US sentiments`. `This is a very imperialistic approach: you`re either with me or against me,` he observed.

2. `Only 1pc of the population are tax filers, 70pc of the economy is undocumented`

• Economists and energy experts on December 7, 2018, called for structural, legal and fiscal reforms to bring the country out of the crisis.
• They suggested increasing the tax base, improving the capacity of state institutions, inclusiveness and creating a technology-friendly environment to create jobs and harnessing the talents and skills of the younger generation, who comprise 60pc of the population.
• During a panel discussion on `The Dynamic Global Economy: Fostering the Pakistan Advantage` organised by a public diplomacy initiative, RAABTA, experts attempted to address some of the tricky questions such as population growth, fiscal and financial imbalances, the direction of the government for steering the country out of economic crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout and its impact on the citizens. The discussion was moderated by broadcast journalist Sidra Iqbal.

3. SBP to issue Rs50 coin for anti-graft day

• The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on December 7, 2018 said it will issue a commemorative coin of Rs50 from Monday, Dec 10, to mark the International Anti Corruption Day.
• On Oct 31, 2003, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the convention against corruption and designated Dec 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day to raise public awareness about it.
• The government has now authorised SBP to issue Rs50 commemorative coin which will be available through exchange counters of all the field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation from Dec 10

4. Two new SECP commissioners appointed

• The federal cabinet on December 7, 2018 issued notification for the appointment of two new commissioners at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
• According to the Finance Division notification, the federal government has appointed Executive Director/ Spokesperson SECP Aamir Khan and Farrukh H Sabzwari as commissioners in SECP for a period of three years with immediate effect.
• Following the new appointments, the number of commissioners now stands at five, completing the commission.
• Mr Khan has extensive experience spanning almost 30 years covering banking, capital markets, structuring of financial solutions/products, leading national initiatives, business transformation, and regulatory reform. Since 2012, he has been serving as an executive director at the SECP.

5. Ban on hiring of doctors lifted

• The Punjab government allowed the health department on December 7, 2018 for ad hoc appointment of doctors and paramedics.
• According to a notification of Services and General Administration Department, regulations wing, the cabinet, in its meeting held on Aug 31, had decided to impose a ban on all recruitments from BPS-01 to BPS-16 in all administrative departments except on the posts from BPS-17 and above which fell under the preview of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC).

December 8, 2018: International Current Affairs

6. Over half of global population now online: UN

• Some 3.9 billion people are now using the Internet, meaning that for the first time more than half of the global population is online, the United Nations said on December 7, 2018.
• The UN agency for information and communication technologies, ITU, said that by the end of 2018 a full 51.2 per cent of people around the world will be using the Internet.
• `By the end of 2018, we will surpass the 50/50 milestone for Internet use,` ITU chief Houlin Zhou said in a statement.
• `This represents an important step towards a more inclusive global information society,` he said, adding though that `far too many people around the world are still waiting to reap the benefits of the digital economy.` He called for more support to `technology and business innovation so that the digital revolution leaves no one offline.

7. China prepares mission to land spacecraft on moon`s far side

• China was preparing to launch a ground-breaking mission to soft-land a spacecraft on the largely unexplored far side of the moon, demonstrating its growing ambitions as a space power to rival Russia, the European Union and US.
• With its Chang`e 4 mission, China hopes to be the first country to ever successfully undertake such a landing. The moon`s far side is also known as the dark side because it faces away from Earth and remains comparatively unknown, with a different composition from sites on the near side, where previous missions have landed.
• If successful, the mission scheduled to blast off aboard a Long March 3B rocket will propel the Chinese space programme to a leading position in one of the most important areas of lunar exploration.

8. Australia passes new data encryption laws

• Australia has passed controversial laws designed to compel technology companies to grant police and security agencies access to encrypted messages. The government says the laws, a world first, are necessary to help combat terrorism and crime.
• However critics have listed wide-ranging concerns, including that the laws could undermine the overall security and privacy of users.
• The laws were rushed through parliament on its final day of the year. The Labor opposition said it had reluctantly supported the laws to help protect Australians during the Christmas period, but on December 7, 2018 it said that “legitimate concerns” about them remained.
• Cyber-security experts have warned the laws could now create a “global weak point” for companies such as Facebook and Apple.
• Australia already has laws which require providers to hand over a suspect’s communication to police. This may already be possible if a service provider uses a form of encryption that allows them to view a user’s message.

9. Tool designed to track steps of cells’ development

• Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis have developed a new tool described as a “flight data recorder” for developing cells, illuminating the paths cells take as they progress from one type to another.
• Using the flight data recorder, the researchers performed experiments that uncovered some surprising details about the specific routes taken by cells that successfully completed their flight paths.
• The technique harnesses the natural properties of a virus that inserts tiny DNA “barcodes,” called “CellTags,” into each cell. As the cells divide, their unique barcodes are passed down to all their descendant cells. The CellTagging technique keeps track of which cells share common ancestors and how far back that common ancestor is found in the lineage. The researchers found that if a certain gene, called Mettl7a1, was turned on in cells, they were three times as likely to successfully reprogram compared with cells in which this gene is inactive. Another interesting finding was that the cells that were not successful in their reprogramming didn’t just end up all over the map. They appeared to converge at the same dead end, tending to revert back to look like the original cell type. The tool could reveal cellular “reprogramming” routes that might involve reverting skin cells back to different types of stem cells that could then mature into a new liver or other vital organ.
• Among many potential uses, the tool also could be applied in cancer research, recording the wrong turns normal cells might take to develop into tumors, according to the researchers.

December 8, 2018: Sports Current Affairs

10. New Zealand crush Pakistan to win Test series

• Debutant Will Somerville grabbed three key wickets to guide New Zealand to their first away series win over Pakistan in 49 years with a crushing 123-run win in the third and final Test on December 7, 2018.
• The off-spinner took 3-52 and was aided by fellow spinner Ajaz Patel`s 3-42 as Pakistan came up well short after being set a daunting 280-run target in 79 overs.
• They crumbled to 156 in 56.1 overs on a weary pitch at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
• The victory gave New Zealand a 2-1 series win after they had taken the first Test by a narrow four-run margin at the same venue. Pakistan bounced back with an innings and 16-run win in the second Test in Dubai.
• New Zealand`s last away series win against Pakistan was a 1-0 victory in matches played in Pakistan in 1969-70.
• It was New Zealand`s fifth Test series win in their last six played since November 2016. They beat Pakistan, Bangladesh, the West Indies and England all at home with the single loss came against South Africa.

Richard Benaud Quiz

(This quiz is about Australian Test cricketer Richard Benaud also known as Richie Benaud.)

1. Where did Richard Benaud make his Test debut?
a) Sydney
b) Durban
c) Salisbury
d) Wellington

2. Against which country did Richard Benaud make his Test debut?
a) South Africa
b) England
c) West Indies
d) India

3. Where did Richard Benaud score 122 in a Test Innings?
a) Calcutta
b) Dacca
c) Madras
d) Johannesburg

4. Where did Richard Benaud make his debut as Test captain?
a) Sydney
b) Brisbane
c) Lahore
d) Lord’s

5. What was the result of Brisbane Test in 1960 for Australia?
a) Win
b) Loss
c) Draw
d) Tie

6. How many Tests did Richard Benaud captain?
a) 18
b) 34
c) 28
d) 26

7. How many Test wickets did Richard Benaud take?
a) 236
b) 307
c) 252
d) 248

8. When was Richard Benaud’s My Spin on Cricket published?
a) 2005
b) 1961
c) 1983
d) 1998

9. Which book of Richard Benaud was published in 2010?
a) A Tale of Two Tests
b) Willow Patterns
c) Over But Not Out
d) The Hottest Summer

10. Which of the following is true of Richard Benaud?
a) First Test cricketer to hit a triple century
b) First Test cricketer to score 2,000 Test runs and take 200 Test wickets
c) First Test cricketer other than wicketkeeper to take six catches in a Test
d) First Australian captain to win Ashes

Richard Benaud Quiz Questions with Answers

 

 

Cover of My Spin on Cricket

1. Where did Richard Benaud make his Test debut?
a) Sydney

2. Against which country did Richard Benaud make his Test debut?
c) West Indies

3. Where did Richard Benaud score 122 in a Test Innings?
d) Johannesburg

4. Where did Richard Benaud make his debut as Test captain?
b) Brisbane

5. What was the result of Brisbane Test in 1960 for Australia?
d) Tie

6. How many Tests did Richard Benaud captain?
c) 28

7. How many Test wickets did Richard Benaud take?
d) 248

8. When was Richard Benaud’s My Spin on Cricket published?
a) 2005

9. Which book of Richard Benaud was published in 2010?
c) Over But Not Out

10. Which of the following is true of Richard Benaud?
b) First Test cricketer to score 2,000 Test runs and take 200 Test wickets

Nagpur Cricket Test 2010 Quiz

1. How many runs South Africa had scored when it lost two wickets in first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) 0
b) 72
c) 6
d) 24

2. How many runs did South Africa score in first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) 320
b) 558/6 decl.
c) 329/8 decl.
d) 494

3. Who conceded 140 runs and did not take any wicket in South Africa’s first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) Amit Misra
b) Ishant Sharma
c) Irfan Pathan
d) Yusuf Pathan

4. How many runs did India score in first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) 644
b) 480
c) 233
d) 644/9 decl.

5. Who scored 109 runs in India’s first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) Yuvraj Singh
b) Gautam Gambhir
c) Murali Vijay
d) Virender Sehwag

6. Who had the bowling figures of 16.4-6-51-7 in India’s first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) More Morkel
b) Dale Steyn
c) Paul Harris
d) Wayne Parnell

7. How many runs did India score in second Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) 319
b) 558/6 decl
c) 229
d) 306

8. Who scored 100 runs in India’s second Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) Subramanian Badrinath
b) Rahul Dravid
c) Sachin Tendulkar
d) Wriddhiman Saha

9. How many wickets did Dale Steyn take in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) 10
b) 12
c) 8
d) 6

10. What was the result of Nagpur Test 2010?
a) Draw
b) Tie
c) India won by 8 wickets
d) South Africa won by an Innings and 6 runs

 

Nagpur Test 2010 Quiz Answers

1. How many runs South Africa had scored when it lost two wickets in first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
c) 6

2. How many runs did South Africa score in first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
b) 558/6 decl.

3. Who conceded 140 runs and did not take any wicket in South Africa’s first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) Amit Misra

4. How many runs did India score in first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
c) 233

5. Who scored 109 runs in India’s first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
d) Virender Sehwag

6. Who had the bowling figures of 16.4-6-51-7 in India’s first Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
b) Dale Steyn

7. How many runs did India score in second Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) 319

8. Who scored 100 runs in India’s second Innings in Nagpur Test 2010?
c) Sachin Tendulkar

9. How many wickets did Dale Steyn take in Nagpur Test 2010?
a) 10

10. What was the result of Nagpur Test 2010?
d) South Africa won by an Innings and 6 runs

Triple Centuries In Test Cricket Quiz

1) Who was the first cricketer to hit a triple century in a Test and create a record for highest number of runs by an individual in a Test Innings?
a) Andrew Sandham
b) C. B. Fry
c) Jack Hobbs
d) Leary Constantine

2) Who broke the previous record by scoring 334 runs in a Test Innings?
a) Donald George Bradman
b) Hanif Mohammed
c) Michael Colin Cowdrey
d) Vijay Samuel Hazare

3) How many runs were scored by Leonard Hutton to create a new world record?
a) 302
b) 336
c) 337
d) 364

4) Who could not complete his triple century against South Africa in a Test Innings and remained 299 not out as the last batting partner was run out?
a) Lawrence Rowe
b) Sunil Gavaskar
c) Donald George Bradman
d) Peter May

5) Who broke Leonard Hutton’s record by scoring 365 not out?
a) Rohan Kanhai
b) Clive Lloyd
c) Conrad Hunte
d) Garfield Sobers

6) How many runs were scored by Brian Charles Lara when he overtook the previous record that had stood for 36 years 1 month and 16 days?
a) 373
b) 375
c) 374
d) 371

7) Who broke Brian Charles Lara’s record by scoring 380?
a) Kim Hughes
b) Matthew Hayden
c) Ricky Ponting
d) Adam Gilchrist

8) Brian Charles Lara was back again to claim the world record to his name. How many runs did he score?
a) 381
b) 384
c) 390
d) 400 not out

9) Who of the following has not hit two triple centuries in Tests?
a) Brian Charles Lara
b) Donald George Bradman
c) Walter Hammond
d) Virender Sehwag

10) Who batted 970 minutes when scoring 337 runs?
a) John Edrich
b) Hanif Mohammad
c) Robert Simpson
d) Anthony Greig

Triple Centuries In Test Cricket Quiz Answers

1) Who was the first cricketer to hit a triple century in a Test and create a record for highest number of runs by an individual in a Test Innings?
a) Andrew Sandham

2) Who broke the previous record by scoring 334 runs in a Test Innings?
a) Donald George Bradman

3) How many runs were scored by Leonard Hutton to create a new world record?
d) 364

4) Who could not complete his triple century against South Africa in a Test Innings and remained 299 not out as the last batting partner was run out?
c) Donald George Bradman

5) Who broke Leonard Hutton’s record by scoring 365 not out?
d) Garfield Sobers

6) How many runs were scored by Brian Charles Lara when he overtook the previous record that had stood for 36 years 1 month and 16 days?
b) 375

7) Who broke Brian Charles Lara’s record by scoring 380?
b) Matthew Hayden

8) Brian Charles Lara was back again to claim the world record to his name. How many runs did he score?
d) 400 not out

9) Who of the following has not hit two triple centuries in Tests?
c) Walter Hammond

10) Who batted 970 minutes when scoring 337 runs?
b) Hanif Mohammad

Donald George Bradman Quiz

Donald Bradman practises his drive, 1936.
Donald Bradman practises his drive, 1936. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Donald George Bradman Quiz Questions

(This quiz is about Test cricketer Donald George Bradman, popularly known as Don Bradman.)

1) How may runs did Donald George Bradman score in his first Test?
a) 214 and 100 not out
b) 336
c) 309 not out
d) 18 and 1

2) What happened after Donald George Bradman played his first Test?
a) He was made captain.
b) He was made vice captain.
c) He got an award.
d) He was dropped for the next test.

3) How many Test centuries did Donald George Bradman hit?
a) 12
b) 16
c) 19
d) 29

4) How many Tests did Donald George Bradman play?
a) 40
b) 52
c) 96
d) 125

5) How many Test triple centuries did Donald George Bradman hit?
a) None
b) One
c) Two
d) Three

6) Who devised Bodyline to prevent Donald George Bradman from scoring runs?
a) Peter May
b) Douglas Jardine
c) Leonard Hutton
d) Michael Smith

7) What was Donald George Bradman’s Test aggregate in 1930 England series?
a) 586
b) 974
c) 774
d) 1008

8) Where did Donald George Bradman score 309 runs in a day in a Test?
a) Birmingham
b) Leeds
c) Manchester
d) Liverpool

9) What was Donald George Bradman’s batting average in the Test series against India in 1947-1948?
a) 100
b) 178.75
c) 188
d) 200

10) What was Donald George Bradman’s score in his last Test innings?
a) 334
b) 112
c) 56
d) 0

Donald George Bradman Quiz Questions with Answers

Don Bradman

Don Bradman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1) How may runs did Donald George Bradman score in his first Test?
d) 18 and 1

2) What happened after Donald George Bradman played his first Test?
d) He was dropped for the next test.

3) How many Test centuries did Donald George Bradman hit?
d) 29

4) How many Tests did Donald George Bradman play?
b) 52

5) How many Test triple centuries did Donald George Bradman hit?
c) Two

6) Who devised Bodyline to prevent Donald George Bradman from scoring runs?
b) Douglas Jardine

7) What was Donald George Bradman’s Test aggregate in 1930 England series?
b) 974

8) Where did Donald George Bradman score 309 runs in a day in a Test?
b) Leeds

9) What was Donald George Bradman’s batting average in the Test series against India in 1947-1948?
b) 178.75

10) What was Donald George Bradman’s score in his last Test innings?
d) 0

Originally posted 2017-02-24 22:34:58.

Day by Day Current Affairs (August 29, 2018)

 August 29, 2018; National Current Affairs

  1. Cabinet forms six bodies to execute reforms agenda
  • In a move to implement its 100-day plan of `change`, the federal cabinet on August 28, 2018 set up six committees to introduce reforms in different sectors and to carve out a new province from Punjab, besides appointing the Intelligence Bureau (IB) director general and the head of National Counterterrorism Authority (Nacta).
  • The cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, also decided to expedite the process of the merger of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
  • The cabinet decided to appoint Nacta chairman Dr Mohammad Suleman Khan (a grade-22 officer of the police service) as IB director general, while commandant of the National Police Academy Mehr Khalig Dad Lak, also a grade 22 officer, has been appointed as Nacta chairman in his place.
  • Another task force was formed on National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law reforms with main focus to retrieve national wealth laundered to other countries. Another task force constituted on Criminal Procedure Code reforms was asked to give its recommendations within 90 days to address the problems being faced by antiterrorism courts.
  • Other task forces were set up for introducing austerity measures, reforms in civil services /federal government restructuring, civil laws and the health sector.
  • One of the important decisions made in the meeting was that the government would not remove any official working on a contractual basis.
  1. Pakistan, India to begin talks on water disputes today
  • A nine-member delegation led by the Indian water commissioner arrived on August 28, 2018 for talks with their Pakistani counterparts on water disputes on the platform of the Pakistan-India Permanent Indus Commission.
  • Pakistan Water Commissioner Syed Mohammad Mehar Ali Shah welcomed the delegation, headed by Indian Water Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Saxena, at the Wagah border.
  • The two-day deliberations on water disputes will begin on August 29, 2018 (today). The talks will be held at the offices of the National Engineering Services of Pakistan (Nespak) in Lahore.
  • The Indian team was earlier supposed to arrive here for talks in July but the visit was rescheduled in view of the July 25 general elections.
  • The water commissioners of the neighbouring countries are required to meet twice a year and arrange technical visits to projects` sites and critical river headworks.
  • A government official said they would raise their concerns over the construction of 1,000MW Pakal Dul and 48MW Lower Kalnal hydroelectric projects on the River Chenab by New Delhi, ignoring Islamabad`s objections to their designs.
  1. Senate panel okays idea of criminalising enforced disappearances
  • A Senate committee on August 28, 2018 approved the idea of criminalising enforced disappearances.
  • Chairman of the Senate`s Functional Committee on Human Rights Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar gave the Ministry ofHuman Rights a month to engage all stakeholders to draft a bill for criminalising enforced disappearances and making it a punishable offence.
  • The directive came after the Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, retired Justice Javed Iqbal, urged the committee to goforlegalsanctions torecover all missing persons. The meeting was informed that at presentallcases ofenforced disappearances were registered under Section 365 of the penal code which dealt with kidnapping.
  1. FBR gets new chief
  • The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government on August 28, 2018 posted a senior officer of Pakistan Administration Services (PAS), Dr Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan, as chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
  • Mr Khan has also been given the additional post of secretary Revenue Division.
  • The outgoing FBR head, Ms Rukhsana Yasmin, who was posted as the first woman chairperson of the board on July 2 by the interim government, currently awaits directives on her new posting.
  • Dr Jehanzeb has served in Punjab for 10 years. He was serving as the secretary Board of Investment after being transferred by interim provincial government.
  • Previously, he has served as the chairman Planning and Development Board during the PML-N government.
  • PTI has emerged as the third consecutive party after PPP and PML-N to have posted non-tax officers from PAS to head FBR right at the start of their respective terms.
  • The PPP government had posted PAS officers including Sohail Ahmed, followed by Salman Siddique as chairmen FBR, while the PML-N government followed the previous government`s tradition when it posted Tariq Bajwa, a senior officer of PAS as chairman FBR.
  1. `2.2m abortions per year indicate unmet contraceptive demand`
  • A representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on August 28, 2018 said 2.2 million abortions were carried out in Pakistan every year which clearly showed that there was an unmet demand for contraceptives in the country.
  • `Imagine how difficult it would be for a woman in Pakistan to go for an abortion. It shows that she did not want pregnancy but we failed to provide her the contraceptive. It is not acceptable at all and we need to do something to avoid such pregnancies,` Dr Hassan Mohtashami said at the launch of Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS). The survey was conducted by the National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS).
  • Dr Mohtashami said though Pakistan maynot achieve the commitment of family planning by 2020 it was not about an international commitment rather about the health of women.
  • As many as 34pc women were using any kind of contraceptives. The use of modern contraceptives was highest in Islamabad and lowest in Balochistan. The trend of unmet need for family planning has decreased from 31pc (in 1990) to 17pc. Under-five mortality rate is 74 per 1,000 children and the infant mortality rate is 62 per 1,000 live births. Around 66pc children received all vaccines and only four per cent did not get any vaccine.
  1. `Education, health emergency` in Balochistan
  • The Balochis tan government has decided to impose health and education emergency in the province and bring maximum entities in tax net through widening the working of the Balochistan Revenue Authority to increase provincial financial resources for reducing deficit of the current budget.
  • These decisions were made in the maiden meeting of the six-party alliance coalition`s cabinet here on August 28, 2018, which lasted for several hours with Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani in the Chair.
  • The newly inducted minister, Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, announced the decisions after the cabinet meeting.

August 29, 2018; International Current Affairs

  1. Russia to hold biggest exercises since Cold War
  • Russia will next month hold its biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union, Defence Minister Sergei Sholgu said on August 28, 2018, a massive military exercise that will also involve the Chinese and Mongolian armies.
  • The exercise, called Vostok-2018 (East-2018), will take place in central and eastern Russian military districts and involve almost 300,000 troops, more than 1,000 military aircraft, two of Russia`s naval fleets, and all of its airborne units, Shoigu said in a statement.
  • The manoeuvres will take place at a time of heightened tension between the West and Russia, which is concerned about what it says is an unjustified build-up of the Nato military alliance on its western flank.
  • Nato says it has beefed up its forces in eastern Europe to deter potential Russian military action after Moscow annexed Ukraine`s Crimea in 2014 and backed a pro-Russian uprising in eastern Ukraine.
  1. American poet Sonia Sanchez wins $100,000 prize
  • Poet and author Sonia Sanchez has won a $100,000 lifetime achievement prize. The Academy of American Poets announced on August 28, 2018 that Sanchez is this year’s winner of the Wallace Stevens Award. Sanchez, 83, is known for such collections as Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems.
  • Also on August 28, 2018, five young poets received fellowships worth more than $25,000 apiece.
  • On August 28, 2018, the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Magazine announced this year’s winners of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. The poets are Safia Elhillo, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Sam Sax, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, and Paul Tran. With prize money totaling $129,000, each will be given $25,800.
  • The fellowship was started in 1989. Winners must be between age 21 and 31 and the money is meant to give them time to write and study poetry. Work from each of the five winners will appear in the December issue of Poetry Magazine.

August 29, 2018; Sports Current Affairs

  1. Pakistan down arch-rivals India in volleyball, thrash BD in hockey
  • Of the three victories for Pakistan at the Asian Games on August 28, 2018, there was little doubt that the one by the volleyball team was the sweetest.
  • After all this was against arch-rivals India, even if it was a 9-12th place playoff.
  • On a day when the hockey team produced yet another commanding performance, recording their fifth straight win, and the squash team won its third consecutive match, it was the 3-1 volleyball victory over India that was most celebrated.
  • In a contest lasting 100 minutes, Pakistan came back from a set down to win 21-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-23 and will now face China in a 7-10th place playoff.
  • Pakistan closed their Pool `B` campaign in hockey with a perfect record after another big win, thrashing Bangladesh 5-0 to set up asemi-final against Japan on August 30, 2018. Atig Arshad and Mubashar Ali both scored two goals each while Ali Shan added the other goal.
  1. PCB unveils dates of Australia, NZ series in UAE
  • Australia will play their first Test since the infamous ball-tampering saga on the ill-fated tour of South Africa last March when Pakistan host them in the United Arab Emirates in a two-match series from Oct 7 besides three Twenty20 Internationals.
  • New Zealand then arrive in the UAE to take on Pakistan in three Tests, three One-day Internationals, and as many Twenty20 Internationals.
  • According to the schedule announced on August 28, 2018 by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Australia open their tour with a four-day first-class fixture against Pakistan `A` at the ICC Academy in Dubai.
  • Pakistan, who are currently the top ranked side in the shortest format, would be playing six T20 Internationals in the space of 12 days since they also host New Zealand in three matches from Oct 31 to Nov 4.
  • The forthcoming months are probably Pakistan`s busiest in the lead-up to the 2019 ICC World Cup in England because Sarfraz Ahmed`s men kickstart the international season with the Asia Cup in the UAE from Sept 15 before playing Australia and New Zealand.
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