December 2020

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (December 18, 2020) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (December 18, 2020) for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik
WELCOME TO CSS TIMES DAY BY  DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS, YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR UP-TO-DATE AND DAILY TOP CURRENT AFFAIRS 2020 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

December 18, 2020: National / International Current Affairs


1. Foreign loans surge by 45pc in five months of fiscal

• Pakistan`s foreign loan inflows have jumped by almost 45 per cent to about $4.5 billion in first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period in the last fiscal.
• With the loans taken in the five months, the country has received a total of about $23.6bn in foreign loans during tenure of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government (since July 1, 2018), according to data on Foreign Economic Assistance compiled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.


2. Cabinet approves Rs5 billion loan for acquiring riverfront land

• The Punjab cabinet on December 17, 2020 approved extension of the lease of state land in Cholistan and Rahim Yar Khan on previous rates to the UAE president.
• The cabinet`s 39th meeting presided over by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar was of the view that the initiative of extending lease would further strengthen ties between Pakistan and the UAE.
• The meeting gave approval in principle of Rs5 billion loan to the Ravi Urban Development Authority for acquiring the land.


3. Serene Air allowed to operate flights to Saudi Arabia, UAE

• The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has granted permission to private airline Serene Air to operate flights to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
• The permission was granted by the Aviation Division to Serene Air after approval by the federal cabinet.
• The private airline will start its flights for Jeddah, Riyadh, Dubai and Sharjah in January 2021.


4. UNGA adopts Pakistan-sponsored resolution on self-determination

• The United Nations General Assembly has approved a Pakistan-sponsored resolution that reaffirms the right to self determination for peoples subjected to colonial, foreign and alien occupation.
• The 193-member body adopted the resolution by consensus on December 17, 2020 afternoon when it also considered other human rights issues.
• The resolution `Universal realisation of the right of peoples to self-determination` clearly stating that self-determination is a fundamental right of all peoples including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination


5. SAPM Amir Dogar given status of State Minister

• Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar has been give the status of minister for state with immediate effect.
• A notification issued December 17, 2020 said, “in exercise of the powers conferred by the Rules 15(1)(g), read with item serial No. IA of Schedule-VA of the Rules of Business, 1973, the Prime minister has been pleased to confer the status of Minister of State to Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs with immediate effect.”


6. Punjab govt, banking consortium sign Rs100b power generation accord

• Punjab Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar chaired the ceremony of signing Rs100 billion financing agreement between the Punjab Thermal Power (Pvt) Ltd. of 1263 megawatt capacity and a consortium of six banks at a local hotel on December 17, 2020 to generate ten billion units every year.
• GSA and PPA agreements have been signed despite slackness in business activities due to corona onslaught, he maintained. The Punjab Thermal Power Plant was speedily completed and electricity would be generated by the end of 2021, he said. Also, the Chief Minister said that 80 per cent work had been completed on RLNG-based Punjab Power Plant in Trimmu as installation of 93-kilometres long gas pipeline and 48-kilometres long transmission line projects had been completed.


7. Saudi Arabia kicks off coronavirus vaccination campaign

• Saudi Arabia kicked off a three-phase Covid-19 vaccination programme December 17, 2020, with the health minister among those inoculated after the first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived in the kingdom.
• Along with Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah, a woman in a wheelchair and another man were among the first to be administered the vaccine at a centre in Riyadh, an AFP photographer reported.
• “This is the beginning of the end of the crisis,” Rabiah told reporters.


8. Snow blankets north-eastern US, breaks records

• The first major snowstorm of the season left north-eastern United States blanketed in snow, setting records in some areas.
• A regional airport in Williamson made history, the National Weather Service said, reporting 24.7inches of snow.
• Forecasters said that was the most snow in that location from a single storm on record, breaking the previous record of 24.1 inches set there in Jan 1964


9. France’s Macron tests positive for Covid-19

• French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for Covid-19 on December 17, 2020, the presidency said, adding that he would now self-isolate for the next week.
• He is one of several world leaders who have contracted Covid-19, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump.
• Macron was tested after the “onset of the first symptoms” and will now, in accordance with national regulations, “self isolate for seven days. He will continue to work and carry out his activities remotely,” his office said in a statement


10. Spain`s parliament votes to legalise euthanasia

• Spain`s parliament voted December 17, 2020 to approve a bill that will allow physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia for long-suffering patients of incurable diseases or unbearable permanent conditions.
• The bill, which was backed by the left-wing coalition government and several other parties, passed in a 198-138 vote. The conservative Popular Party and the far-right Vox party voted `No`


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Shahzad F. Malik

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