August 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (August 21, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS


August 21, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. Pakistan to move ICJ over Kashmir issue

• Pakistan has decided to invoke the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the issue of `genocide` and human rights violation in India occupied Kashmir following New Delhi`s unilateral decision to change the special constitutional status of the held valley.
• `An in-principle decision to approach [the ICJ] at earliest has been taken, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a private news channel on August 20, 2019.
• `We are examining our legal options and [now] we believe that we have a solid case regarding genocide in Occupied Kashmir that can be taken up there [ICJ].
• But when Mr Qureshi was asked by ARY TV whether Islamabad would take up the matter of human rights violation in India held Kashmir or New Delhi`s decision to revoke the valley`s special status before the ICJ, he replied that the law ministry would provide legal details in this regard.
• A Reuters report said that a decision by the ICJ would be advisory only. However, if India and Pakistan agree beforehand, the ruling will become binding.

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2. Three reviews to determine Pakistan`s place on FATF list

• Three separate evaluations currently in progress will determine Pakistan`s possible exit from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by the mid of October.
• Asia Pacific Group the regional affiliate of the FATF was currently conducting in Canberra (Australia) five year mutual evaluation of Pakistan`s progress on upgrading its systems in all areas of financial and insurance services and sectors.
• This round is not directly linked to Pakistan`s performance on its highest level commitments with the FATF on money laundering and terror-financing, but its assessment report can indirectly impact the country`s position to move out of the grey list. The assessments, represented from Pakistan by State Bank of Pakistan Governor Baqir Reza, will conclude on Aug 23.
• Pakistan has submitted its compliance report on 27-point action plan committed with the FATF to the APG, which is reviewing its compliance on about seven areas mostly relating to financial and insurance services and facilities as part of an ongoing five-year review cycle.

3. South Asian chapter of Women in Global Health launched

• Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar on August 20, 2019 launched the first Women in Global Health (WGH) chapter in South Asia.
• Women were 70pc of global health workforce but they held only 25pc of senior and leadership roles.
• `The percentage is even less in Pakistan and there is a recognised need for introducing gender sensitive workplace policies for attracting and retaining female health workforce in the labour market. This is critical for achieving the government`s commitment to universal health coverage.
• Dr Nishtar also revealed that out of the103 million women in Pakistan, nearly 60 million were in an economically productive age. However, the percentage of women in the labour workforce is only 22.54pc.
August 21, 2019: International Current Affairs

4. China, Russia condemn US missile test

• Russia and China warned on August 20, 2019 that a new US missile test had heightened military tensions and risked sparking an arms race, weeks after Washington ripped up a Cold War-era weapons pact with Moscow.
• The US and Russia ditched the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty this month after accusing each other of violating the accord.
• Washington said the agreement also tied its hands in dealing with other powers such as China.
• The US Department of Defence announced on Monday it had tested a type of ground-launched missile that was banned under the 1987 INF agreement, which limited the use of nuclear and conventional medium-range weapons.

5. Confiscated Beijing skyscraper sold via online auction

• A Beijing skyscraper confiscated from a fugitive Chinese billionaire was sold in an online auction on August 20, 2019 for 5.18 billion yuan ($734 million), the latest twist in a salacious saga dating back to before the 2008 Olympic Games.
• The spectacular 40-story Pangu Plaza, which dominates the area next to the Bird`s Nest Olympic stadium that was the centre piece of the Beijing Games, went on sale for 24 hours on the auction site of Chinese internet giant Alibaba.
• More than 145,000 internet users followed the auction, but only two bids were cast with the winner snapping up the property for little more than its reserve price.
• The buyer was YuCheng Zhiye, a Beijing based property development and management company, according to the auction site.

6. Facebook launches tool to let users control data flow

• Facebook, under pressure to ramp up privacy rules across its platform, said on August 20, 2019 it was rolling out a tool allowing users to control data that it receives from other apps and websites about their online activity.
• The new tool is to give clients access to their so-called “off-Facebook activity” — fed back to Facebook with the aim of targeting advertisements — and give them the option of deleting it.
• “Off-Facebook Activity lets you see a summary of the apps and websites that send us information about your activity, and clear this information from your account if you want to,” it said in a statement.
• “This is another way to give people more transparency and control on Facebook,” it said.

7. Music legend Khayyam dies at 92

• Legendary music composer Khayyam who passed away at 92 in a Mumbai hospital on August 20, 2019 would have continued to announce himself as Sharmaji were it not for friendly poets he respected who prompted him to come clean.
• Two reasons are cited for his reluctance to say who he really was. First, his original name Mohammed Zahur Hashmi would have been a tad unwieldy for a music director in the company of Naushad, S. D. Burman, O.P. Nayyar or Shankar-Jaikishan.
• But easily the real reason for the grudging interest in claiming his own identity was his conservative Muslim Punjabi family for whom music was taboo.
• That was in 1953, and a song penned by Jafri Shaam-i-gham ki qasam spurred him to instant fame.

8. Singapore to begin public test of driverless buses

• Singapore will next week begin a public trial of driverless buses that can be booked with an app, part of ambitions to roll out autonomous vehicles across the city-state.
• Well-organised and high-tech, Singapore has become a test bed for self-driving vehicles, developing homegrown technology and inviting foreign companies to trial their own.
• Four driverless mini-buses will follow a 5.7km route on the resort island of Sentosa from August 26 to November 15 for the public trial, said ST Engineering, the Singaporean company behind it.

9. NASA confirms ocean moon mission

• Scientists working on an audacious mission to the ocean world of Europa can proceed with the final design and construction of the spacecraft, NASA says. The Europa Clipper mission will target the ice-encrusted moon of Jupiter, which is considered a prime target in the search for life beyond Earth.
• Below its icy shell, Europa is thought to hold a 170km-deep body of water. This could have the right conditions for biology. Due to launch in 2025, the Europa Clipper mission has now passed a stage called Key Decision Point C, a crucial marker on the road to the launch pad.
• “We are all excited about the decision that moves the Europa Clipper mission one key step closer to unlocking the mysteries of this ocean world,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’S science mission directorate.

August 21, 2019: Sports Current Affairs

10. Samir lifts USTA $20,000 Alpaso Open title

• Pakistan Davis Cup player Samir Iftikhar kept the country’s flag high in the USA by winning men’s singles title of USTA $20,000 Elpaso Open held at Elpaso Tennis Club Texas.
• Samir crushed Theodore Mcdonald 6-3, 4-1 (retried). The Pakistani Davis Cupper displayed superb form in the entire championship losing only 11 games in 64 men’s draw and on the other hand, Mcdonald, who had won three-set battle against fifth seed Warren Fulgenzi 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 in the semifinals, couldn’t match the superb display of tennis by Pakistani tennis ace.
• Samir, after winning the first set 6-3, took an impressive 4-1 lead, when after 20 points baseline rally, Mcdonald suffered cramp and had to retire. Samir bagged the coveted title with 4,000 USD winner purse while the runner-up received USD 2,000. According to Tayyab Iftikhar, father of Samir, Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah Khan has lauded the performance of Samir and also congratulated him on his outstanding performance and title triumph.

Day by Day Current Affairs (August 21, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

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