August 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (August 26, 2021) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (August 26, 2021) for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

August 26, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. ECC okays import of sugar, wheat

• The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on August 25, 2021 approved import of 200,000 tonnes of sugar and 400,000 tonnes of wheat and Rs24.555 billion supplementary grant for procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
• The meeting, presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, waived duties on import of spray drones from China.
• The ECC approved import of 200,000 tonnes of sugar with immediate effect through the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) out of an already approved quantity of about 600,000 tonnes for strategic reserves to contain price hike. The meeting was told that 100,000 tonnes of sugar had already been imported while tenders for another 200,000 tonnes had to be cancelled due to higher international prices that worked out at about Rs102-103 per kg

2. Pakistan reports highest Covid death toll since May

• As the country records the highest number of casualties since May 3, health authorities are considering announcing alternatives to Actemra which is given to critically-ill Covid-19 patients.
• In another development, Saudi Arabia has added Sinopharm and Sinovac to its first of approved vaccines for inbound travellers.
• On the other hand, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Senator Sherry Rehman lashed out at Pakistan Tehreeki-Insaf (PTI) government for once again increasing prices of life-saving drugs

3. Barrister Sultan takes oath as 10th president of Azad Kashmir

• Pakistan Tehreeki-Insaf (PTI) regional president Barrister Sultan Mahmood took oath as president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on August 25, 2021, replacing former diplomat Sardar Masood Khan after the expiry of his stipulated constitutional five-year term.
• Mr Mahmood, who had returned in July 25 elections from LA-III, Mirpur-3, was elected as the territory`s next constitutional head by 34 members of the AJK Legislative Assembly, 32 from the PTI and two from the allies, on Aug 17.
• The oath was administered to him by AJK Chief Justice Raja Saeed Akram

4. FM discusses Afghan situation with Uzbek, Tajik leadership

• Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that peace in Afghanistan would bring stability to the region, promote trade and facilitate people-to-people linkages.
• During a meeting with his Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov on August 25, 2021, he said it was therefore important that neighbours of Afghanistan coordinated closely on the situation in the war-torn country.
• Mr Qureshi, who was in Tashkent on the second leg of his four-nation tour, discussed with Mr Kamilov the regional security, particularly the evolving situation in Afghanistan.

5. Arab League, OIC decry Algeria-Morocco diplomatic fallout

• The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League and Saudi Arabia called for `dialogue` on August 25, 2021 to resolve arguments between neighbouring Algeria and Morocco.
• Algeria said it had cut diplomatic relations with Morocco because of `hostile actions`, following months of resurgent tensions between the North African rivals.
• The OIC `called for dialogue to resolve any possible differences`, a statement from the Jeddah-based organisation, said on August 25, 2021.
• Saudi Arabia called on both nations `to prioritise dialogue` to help `achieve security and stability,` a foreign ministry statement read

6. Gunman kills four in attack near French embassy in Tanzania

• A gunman killed three police Officer and a private security guard on a rampage through a diplomatic quarter of Tanzania`s main city Dar es Salaam on August 25, 2021, before being shot dead while holed up in a guardhouse at the French embassy`s gate.
• Videos on the internet, apparently filmed by onlookers from buildings across the street from the French embassy, showed the gunman inside the guardhouse.
• He exchanged fire at very close range with police and men who appeared to be embassy guards

7. WB follows IMF, US in stopping aid to Afghanistan

• The World Bank announced on August 25, 2021 that it was suspending aid to Afghanistan following the Taliban`s takeover of the country earlier this month.
• The World Bank has committed more than $5.3 billion for development projects in Afghanistan. The bank-administered Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund also has raised more than $12.9 billion for the country.
• `We are deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and the impact on the country`s development prospects, especially for women,` a World Bank spokesperson said in a statement

8. Turkish troops leave Kabul, abandoning hopes for airport

• Turkey said on August 25, 2021 it had started pulling troops out of Afghanistan, apparently abandoning plans to help secure Kabul`s strategic airport.
• The Taliban have asked Turkey for technical help to run Kabul airport after the departure of foreign forces but insist that Ankara`s military also withdraw fully by the end-August deadline, two Turkish officials said. But President Tayyip Erdogan`s government has said for months that it could keep a presence at the airport if requested. After the Taliban seized control of the country Turkey offered technical and security assistance at the airport.
• Ankara had been hoping to gain a foothold in Kabul after the US troop withdrawal is completed on Tuesday

9. Putin, Xi agree to jointly combat Afghanistan `threats`

• Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed on August 25, 2021 their countries would step up efforts to counter `threats` emerging from Afghanistan following the Taliban`s takeover, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the international community must maintain dialogue with the group if it wanted to protect `improvements made` in the country during two decades of Nato deployment there.
• According to the Kremlin, during a telephone call the Russian and Chinese leaders `expressed their readiness to step up efforts to combat threats of terrorism and drug trafficking coming from the territory of Afghanistan

10. LED streetlights lead to decline in insect population: study

• Streetlights particularly those that use white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) not only disrupt insect behaviour but are also a culprit behind their declining numbers, a new study carried out in southern England showed on August 25, 2021.
• Artificial lights at night had been identified as a possible factor behind declining insect populations around the world, but the topic had been under-researched.
• To address the question, scientists compared 26 roadside sites consisting of either hedgerows or grass verges that were lit by streetlights, against an equal number of nearly identical sites that were unlit

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Shahzad F. Malik

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