August 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (August 24, 2021) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (August 24, 2021) for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

August 24, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. Consequences if US violates exit deadline: Taliban

• The Taliban have warned there will be `consequences` if the United States and its allies extended their presence in Afghanistan beyond Aug 31, saying that US had already violated its previous May 1 deadline to pull out troops.
• If the US and its allies continued to stay beyond the agreed second deadline, it would be considered `the extended occupation of foreign forces` and there would be consequences. It would then depend on the Taliban leadership how they would react, spokesman Suhail Shaheen told.

2. IMF`s historic funding takes effect, $2.7bn for Pakistan

• The International Monetary Fund`s (IMF) largest-ever allocation of $650 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) became effective on August 23, 2021 and can bring about $2.7 billion of additional funding for Pakistan as well.
• `The largest allocation in history … is a significant shot in the arm for the world,` IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement issued in Washington. `If used wisely, (this is) a unique opportunity to combat this unprecedented crisis.
• The total amount of $650 billion will be distributed among member states in accordance with their quota of the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). The breakup can bring about $2.7 billion to Pakistan, diplomatic sources say

3. FM leaving on four-nation tour for talks on Kabul interim setup

• With Afghanistan at the crossroads, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi leaves on a four-nation tour on August 24, 2021 (today) for consultations on an inclusive interim arrangement in the war-torn country.
• Speaking at a press conference at the Foreign Office here on Monday, the foreign minister said the objective of his visit was to discuss immediate challenges the neighbours of Afghanistan were facing, including the immediate fear of an influx, and evolve a joint strategy to deal with such a situation.
• He said that besides three Central Asian states -Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan he will also be travelling to Iran

4. Pakistan`s Covid death toll crosses 25,000 mark

• Positive cases of Covid-19 continue to emerge in the country as 3,772 new cases and 80 deaths were reported on August 23, 2021. The number of deaths caused by the virus in the country crossed the 25,000 mark.
• Moreover, 46,456,077 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered across the country.
• Data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) showed that the number of deaths has swell to 25,003 11,557 deaths in Punjab, 6,612 in Sindh, 4,797 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 852 in Islamabad, 680 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 335 in Balochistan and 170 in Gilgit-Baltistan. Talking to Dawn, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) secretary general Dr Qaiser Sajjad said that as many as 220 doctors had died due to Covid-19 across the country, with 77 deaths recorded in Sindh

5. Schools` reopening allowed by 30th on condition of vaccination of staff, parents

• A day after announcing that all educational institutions in the province will remain closed until all teachers and staff are vaccinated, the Sindh government showed some leniency on August 23, 2021 by changing the previous orders to `schools that have vaccinated100percentoftheirstaffagainst Covid-19 would be allowed to reopen from August 30`.
• This was stated by Sindh Minister for Education and Literacy Syed Sardar Ali Shah during a press conference here on Monday. Earlier, he met several private schools` representatives, who informed him that more than 80 per cent of the staff at many schools and 100pc at several had already been vaccinated and they are aiming to get all vaccinated within a few days

6. Acting head of central bank named

• The Taliban have appointed an acting head of Afghanistan`s central bank to help ease growing economic turmoil, more than a week after the Islamist movement seized the capital Kabul, a statement said on August 23, 2021.
• Haji Mohammad Idris was named as acting governor of the bank to help bring order to a war-crippled economy, which has been adrift for more than a week with banks closed and many government offices empty.
• He was expected to help organise institutions and address the economic issues facing the population, a statement from Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

7. US VP assures S.E. Asian states of `enduring engagement`

• Vice President Kamala Harris vowed `enduring engagement` in Asia on August 23, 2021, offering reassurances of Washington`s commitment to the region even as the United States completes its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover.
• The hardline Islamists` swift return to power a week ago, and desperate scenes of thousands trying to flee, have cast a shadow over the United States` status as a global superpower.
• But on a visit to Singapore, her first stop on a trip that will also include Vietnam, Harris repeatedly insisted that Washington could be depended on.

8. US sanctions Eritrea over Ethiopia war

• The United States on August 23, 2021 imposed new sanctions over Ethiopia`s deadly Tigray conflict as hundreds of thousands of people face famine conditions under a government blockade the US has called a siege and fighting spreads into other parts of the country.
• The Treasury Department in a statement said the chief of staff of the defence forces of neighboring Eritrea, Filipos Woldeyohannes, was sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act for leading an entity accused of despicable acts including massacres, widespread sexual assault and the executions of boys. The statement again calls on Eritrea to remove its soldiers from Ethiopia`s Tigray region permanently.

9. Iran resumes fuel exports to Afghanistan after Taliban request

• Iran resumed fuel exports to Afghanistan a few days ago following a request from the new Afghan government, which feels empowered by the US withdrawal to buy the sanctioned nation`s oil more openly, an Iranian official said. The price of gasoline in Afghanistan reached $900 per tonne as many Afghans drove out of cities, fearing reprisals and a return to a harsh version of Islamic law the Taliban impose d when in power two decades ago.
• To counter the price spike, the new Taliban asked Iran to keep the borders open for traders.
• `The Taliban sent messages to Iran saying `you can continue the exports of petroleum products`,` Hamid Hosseini, board member and spokesperson of Iran`s Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters` Union, in Tehran, said. The Taliban sent messages to Iranian traders and to an Iranian chamber of commerce, which has close links to the government

10. WHO calls for two-month vaccine booster moratorium

• The head of the World Health Organisation on August 23, 2021 called for a two-month moratorium on administering booster shots of Covid19 vaccines as a means of reducing global vaccine inequality and preventing the emergence of new coronavirus variants.
• WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Hungary`s capital, Budapest, that he was really disappointed with the scope of vaccine donations worldwide as many countries struggle to provide first and second doses to more than small fractions of their populations while wealthier nations maintain growing vaccine stockpiles

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Shahzad F. Malik

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