August 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (August 12, 2021) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (August 12, 2021) for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

August 12, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. Duration between two doses reduced to 28 days

• The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on August 11, 2021 decided to reduce the maximum duration for the second dose from 42 to 28 days after getting assurance from Gavi that around six million doses of Covid-19 vaccine were likely to arrive in a week.
• It also decided to permit only fully vaccinated people to travel by air from Sept 1 onwards and keep vaccination centres open on Independence Day and closed on Muharram 9 and 10.Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan has written a letter to the United Kingdom, expressing concern over retaining Pakistan on the `Red List` and moving some other countries to the `Amber` or `Green` lists.

2. Remittance loyalty programme approved

• The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on August 11, 2021 approved the National Remittance Loyalty Programme (NR LP) envisaging incentives for overseas Pakistanis to sustain positive trajectory of remittances.
• `The NRLP will offer incentives/rewards to overseas Pakistanis for sending remittances to Pakistan based on point`s accumulation structure,` said a summary presented by Incharge Secretary Finance Yousaf Khan to the ECC on the basis of a proposalal ready approved by the prime minister on July 2, 2021. The scheme would cost the exchequer about Rs13.1 billion this year.

3. Pakistan, Iraq to form mechanism for political consultations

• Pakistan and Iraq on August 11, 2021 agreed on setting up a mechanism for political consultations between the two countries and early convening of a body that steers bilateral cooperation.
• This was agreed during Iraqi Foreign Minister Dr Fuad Hussein`s two-day visit to Pakistan.
• A memorandum of understanding on `Bilateral Political Consultations` was signed by the two sides after their delegation-level talks at the Foreign Office

4. Ye named ADB`s country director for Pakistan

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has appointed Yong Yeas its new Country Director for Pakistan.
• ADB announced that Mr Ye will lead the bank`s operations in Pakistan and manage its resident mission in Islamabad.
• He will also oversee the implementation of ADB`s new country partnership strategy, 2021-25, which focuses on improving economic management, building resilience, and boosting competitiveness and private sector development.

5. Chinese court convicts Canadian for spying, jails him for 11 years

• A Chinese court on August 11, 2021 jailed Canadian businessman Michael Spavor for 11 years for spying, a sentence swiftly condemned by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as `unacceptable and unjust.
• Spavor was detained in 2018 along with compatriot Michael Kovrig on what Ottawa has said are politically orchestrated charges after Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on a US extradition warrant.
• Relations between the two countries have hit rock bottom, with China also accusing Canada of politicising legal cases

6. Sudan agrees to hand over Bashir for war crimes trial

• Sudan will hand longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court along with other officials wanted over the Darfur conflict, Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi said on August 11, 2021.
• Bashir, 77, has been wanted by the ICC for more than a decade over charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Sudanese region.
• The `cabinet decided to hand over wanted officials to the ICC, Mahdi was quoted as saying by state media, without giving a time frame

7. WHO mass-testing three potential Covid-19 drugs

• The World Health Organisation on Wednesday announced major international trials of three drugs to find out whether they improve the condition of hospitalised Covid-19 patients.
• Artesunate, imatinib and infliximab will be tested on thousands of volunteer patients in more than 600 hospitals in 52 countries.
• `Finding more effective and accessible therapeutics for Covid-19 patients remains a critical need,` said WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

8. Taliban could take Kabul in 90 days: US intelligence

• Taliban fighters could isolate Afghanistan`s capital in 30 days and possibly take it over in 90, a US defence official said on August 11, 2021 citing US intelligence, as the resurgent militants took control of an eighth provincial Afghan capital.
• The official said that the new assessment of how long Kabul could stand was a result of the rapid gains the Taliban had been making around the country as US-led foreign forces leave.
• `But this is not a foregone conclusion,` the official added, saying that the Afghan security forces could reverse the momentum by putting up more resistance

9. US wants neighbours not to recognise `imposed` govt in Afghanistan

• The United States wants Afghanistan`s neighbours not to recognise any Afghan government that`s imposed by force.
• The demand made at a news briefing at the US State Department preceded a meeting of the Troika Plus nations in Doha on Wednesday. The group includes the United States, Russia, China and Pakistan to find a political solution to the decades-old war in Afghanistan.
• US State Department`s spokesperson Ned Price told the briefing that at the Doha talks, the participants would press for a reduction in the violence, a ceasefire and a `commitment by the part of these regional and broader governments and multilateral and international institutions not to recognise any government that is imposed by force`.

10. Hawks qualify for playoffs as Stallions suffer second loss in two days

• Rawalkot Hawks were guaranteed a playoff berth in the Kashmir Premier League as they maintained their unbeaten run after defeating Bagh Stallions by five wickets in Muzaffarabad.
• The Shahid Afridi-led side chalked up their third win in fourth matches the other being a washed out against Kotli Lions last Sunday at the Muzaffarabad Cricket Stadium after they overhauled the Stallions` total of 156-9 with 10 deliveries to spare.
• Kashif Ali led the chase by striking 54 from 40 balls with the aid of five boundaries and a six after Ahmed Shehzad (27 off 18) and Bismillah (33 off 19) added 56 in 32 balls for the opening stand

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Shahzad F. Malik

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