WELCOME TO CSS TIMES DAY BY DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS, YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR UP-TO-DATE AND DAILY TOP CURRENT AFFAIRS 2019 FOR PREPARATION OF CSS, PMS, BANKING, NTS, RAILWAYS AND ALL COMPETITIVE EXAMS. “DAY TO DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS” BASICALLY IS TOP 10 NEWS SUMMARY ON CURRENT HAPPENINGS OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE FOR ALL EXAMINATIONS
August 11, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Pakistan urges US to ‘do more’ on Kashmir
• Pakistan called on the Trump administration to do more to help ease tensions after India revoked autonomy in the disputed Muslim-majority state of Kashmir, a decision that has inflamed tensions between the two Asian powers.
• “The US could do and the US must do more to help defuse this situation and to perhaps inject some more sanity on the Indian side, “Asad Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, said in Washington.
• “We would expect that from all our friends. It really is a question of principle.” Pakistan’s always strained relations with its neighbour are being put to a new test after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ended seven decades of autonomy for the disputed state of Kashmir. Kashmir, in the Himalayas, has been divided between India and Pakistan since independence from British rule, and is claimed by both. Two of the nations’ three wars were fought over the territory.
• The US so far has largely held off from taking a stance on India’s action. Asked Thursday about India’s move, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said only that US policy toward Kashmir hasn’t changed and that the US is “incredibly engaged in southeast Asia.”
• Pakistani envoy to US Asad Khan says India’s move makes disputed area a prison. Criticises tepid response from Washington
2. Plastic bags banned in ministry
• Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari announced a ban on the use of plastic bags in his ministry.
• The announcement was made during a meeting between Zulfikar Bukhari and Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul who visited the ministry to launch plastic bag free drive there.
• Pakistan is set to become the 128th country to ban the use of plastic bags on August 14 to check pollution by non-recyclable waste.
3. Former parliamentarian Sarfaraz Khan passes away
• Former parliamentarian Sarfaraz Khan has passed away. He was 97.
• He was elected as the Member National Assembly (MNA) in 1967. Later he joined the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and was elected as Senator in 1977.
• He also won the National Assembly election on the PPP ticket in 1991 from Mardan district. He later quit the PPP and joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
4. Capt. (R) Saif Anjum called back as Punjab LG secretary
• A senior bureaucrat has been brought back as secretary of the local government of Punjab less than a month after he was transferred.
• Capt. (R) Saif Anjum was made secretary irrigation department after he was moved from the local government, which is politically and administratively the most important department, as his minister in charge wanted him to be transferred.
• According to the official, when Saif Anjum was moved away, Irrigation Secretary Javed Qazi was given his position. After his restoration, Javed Qazi has gone back as the irrigation secretary.
August 11, 2019: International Current Affairs
5. Russia wants Kashmir resolved through Simla, Lahore pacts
• Expressing serious concern over the deteriorating situation in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK), Russia has asked Pakistan and India to resolve the issue through political and diplomatic means on a bilateral basis in accordance with the provisions of Simla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999.
• The situation in the IHK deteriorated after India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 withdrawing the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
• “Moscow expects that India and Pakistan will not allow aggravation of the situation in the region due to the change by Delhi in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia said in a response to questions.
6. US financier Epstein commits suicide in prison: US media
• Disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein has committed suicide in prison while awaiting trial on charges that he trafficked girls as young as 14 for sex.
• Epstein, a convicted sex offender who befriended numerous politicians and celebrities over the years, hanged himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre, The New York Times and other media said, quoting officials.
• His body was found around 7:30am on August 10, 2019 and taken to a hospital in New York, added the reports.
• The 66-year-old`s death comes just over two weeks after he was found unconscious in his cell with marks on his neck after an apparent suicide attempt.
7. Russian nuclear agency confirms role in rocket test explosion
• Russia’s nuclear energy agency has said an explosion that caused radiation levels to spike in the Arkhangelsk region was caused by an accident during a test of an “isotope power source for a liquid-fuelled rocket engine”.
• In a statement released, Rosatom said five of its employees had died as a result of the accident and three more were being treated for burns.
• The statement was the first confirmation that the agency was involved in the incident, which briefly drove radiation levels up to 20 times their normal levels in the nearby city of Severodvinsk.
8. Chinese, US scientists develop smart nighttime color-changing film
• Scientists in China and the United States developed a thin film that can shine brightly and change color at night, which could be used to make road signs to benefit drivers and pedestrians.
• The study published on August 9, 2019 in the journal Science Advances described the energy-efficient, cost-effective color-reflecting film that is brilliantly visible from multiple angles when lit by white light.
• The film is made of polymer microspheres laid down on the sticky side of an ordinary transparent tape. When white light shines on the film at night, some observers can see a single, stable color reflected back, while others see changing colors, depending on the angle of observation and whether the light source is moving.
9. Iran unveils ‘overhauled’ air defence system
• Iran unveiled a new air defence system on August 10, 2019 it says is capable of detecting missiles and drones at a range of 400 kilometres, ISNA news agency reported.
• The “Falagh” is a locally overhauled version of the imported “Gamma” surveillance radar, the semi-official news agency said, in an apparent reference to a Russian-made system of that name.
• The unveiling comes at a time of rising tensions with the United States, which have escalated ever since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions.
• Iran shot down a US Global Hawk drone with a surface-to-air missile in June for allegedly violating its airspace, which the United States denies.
10. NASA calls on students to submit proposals for Moon, Mars missions
• Young minds are being called on to contribute to humanity’s future space exploration, as NASA calls for proposals from students for the agency’s upcoming mission to the moon.
• The Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concept – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition is now open and accepting applications from undergraduate and graduate students to develop innovative concepts for NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to land humans on the moon in 2024, as well as the future exploration of Mars.
• “This year’s RASC-AL competition directly addresses the agency’s goals for the Artemis program: returning humans to the moon with the intent to prove concepts for sustainably exploring Mars,” Douglas Craig, manager of strategic analysis for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) division at NASA headquarters in Washington, said in a statement.