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 15, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Pakistan to observe black day today
• As Indian forces further tightened the strict clampdown in held Kashmir ahead of its independence day, a black day will be observed across Pakistan and on both sides of the Line of Control on August 15, 2019 to protest against the brutalities and human rights abuses in India-held Kashmir.
• The decision to mark India`s independence day as black day was taken at the National Security Committee meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, last week in the wake of the Indian move to revoke Article 370 that gave occupied Kashmir an autonomous status and to split the held Valley into two territories.
• Anti-India rallies followed by protest demonstrations in all towns and cities of Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control will be the day`s highlight, an AJK government spokesman told APP on Wednesday. In Mirpur, a procession to be taken out from district courts premises will pass through major streets of the city.
2. Russia asks Pakistan to bilaterally resolve Kashmir dispute with India
• Russia on August 14, 2019 asked Pakistan to bilaterally resolve its dispute with India over Occupied Kashmir.
• This message was given to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi when he telephoned his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to apprise him of heightened tensions between Pakistan and India after the latter revoked autonomous status of the occupied territory through a presidential order. Mr Qureshi`s outreach was part of the diplomatic efforts aimed at garnering support at the United Nations Security Council, whose president has been requested by Pakistan to convene an emergency session for deliberating on the escalation in the situation after the Indian move.
• Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council. Although there has lately been improvement in relations between Moscow and Islamabad because of regional developments, Russia still remains a strong Indian ally and had supported Indian position after it annexed Occupied Kashmir last week.
3. Google celebrates Pakistan I-Day with doodle
• Google, a search engine, on August 14, 2019 celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day by dedicating a Khyber Pass doodle on its homepage.
• Pakistan’s 72nd Independence Day is being celebrated on August 14, 2019 also as Kashmir Solidarity Day to express full support to innocent people of Held Kashmir. The doodle, illustrated by guest artist Melissa Crowton, shows historic Khyber Pass of Peshawar. The Bab-e-Khyber has come to symbolise the historic passage between East and West, connecting Peshawar in Pakistan and Kabul in Afghanistan.
4. Pakistan earns only $1b from IT exports
• The Pakistan Business Forum (PBF) has said the IT sector can help the country increase export earnings, create jobs, reduce unemployment and fight corruption.
• The President of PBF Omar Shahid Butt said that Pakistan earns around one billion dollars through IT exports while the size of the Indian IT market stands at $181 billion while their exports are $137 billion.
5. Pakistan loses major cement market share in Afghanistan
• Pakistan has been losing major share of its market in Afghanistan to Iranian cement, as the high energy cost has made the cement more expensive.
• Rejecting the massive increase in gas and electricity rates, which had been notified for implementation from July under an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, the industry stakeholders said the cost of doing business continued to increase manifold, leading to constant decline in exports and high trade deficit.
• The government had announced an increase in electricity prices by Rs1.50 per unit and gas prices by up to 168.36% last month, which was severely damaging the industry.
6. Ejaz Sanjrani made aide to CM
• Ejaz Sanjrani, the younger brother of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, has been appointed special assistant to the chief minister of Balochistan with immediate effect.
• The appointment of Mr Ejaz was announced through an official notification issued on August 14, 2019, a closed holiday.
• It said that `in exercise of the powers conferred by the rule 6(3) of the Balochistan Government Rules of Business , 2012, the Chief Minister Balochistan has been pleased to appoint Mr Ejaz Sanjrani as Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Balochistan with immediate effect and until further orders`.
August 15, 2019: International Current Affairs
7. India tops world with most internet shutdowns: report
• Of the 196 internet shutdowns documented across the world in 2018, India was responsible for the majority (67 per cent) incidents, according to a report released by Access Now.
• Access Now is an international non-profit advocacy group dedicated to an open and free internet, and the #KeepItOn coalition has been documenting and verifying instances of internet shutdowns since 2016.
• The global coalition noted that governments have been turning to network shutdowns with increasing frequency to quell unrest and suppress the spread of rumours and fake news. In 2018, it documented 196 internet shutdowns which is twice the number it recorded in 2017, and nearly three times the count from 2016.
• As per its findings, India which has retained its top position on the list of the world`s documented shutdowns since 2015 witnessed 134 network suspensions last year.
8. US scientists find how brain cells regulate memories in mice
• The U.S. scientists have mapped a part of the molecular machinery that helps the brain maintain long-term memories, providing new targets against Alzheimer’s disease characterized by memory loss.
• The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, outlined how a protein called CPEB3 primes neurons to store memories that stand the test of time in mouse cells.
• The findings offered a never-before-seen view into one of the brain’s most universal and basic cellular functions.
9. ‘Human-sized penguin’ lived in New Zealand
• The remains of a giant penguin the size of a human have been discovered in New Zealand. The fossilised bones are of an animal thought to have been about 1.6m (5ft 3in) tall, weighing up to 80kg (176lb). It lived in the Paleocene Epoch, between 66 and 56 million years ago.
• The animal, dubbed “monster penguin” by Canterbury Museum, adds to the list of now-extinct gigantic New Zealand fauna. Parrots, eagles, burrowing bats and the moa, a 3.6m-tall bird, also feature.
• “This is one of the largest penguin species ever found,” Paul Scofield, the museum’s senior curator, told the BBC. It was specific to the waters of the Southern Hemisphere, he added.
August 15, 2019: Sports Current Affairs
10. India decorates Abhinandan, others
• The Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots who had entered and dropped a bomb on Balakot in Azad Kashmir have been decorated with medals, Indian media reported on August 14, 2019
• Also, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been awarded Vir Chakra — the third highest gallantry award in the military after the Param Vir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra. IAF pilots have got 13 gallantry awards for the Balakot ‘strike’ saga.
• Among the awardees is Squadron Leader Minty Aggarwal, a female officer. Wing Commander Amt Ranjan, Squadron Leaders R Basoya, P A Bhujade, B K N Reddy and Shashank Singh have been awarded the Vayu Sena medals (gallantry) for their operation.