December 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (December 03, 2021) for CSS, PMS

Written by Shahzad F. Malik

December 03, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. `Mini-budget` with adjustments worth Rs600bn finalized

• The government on December 2, 2021 finalised a `minibudget` involving fiscal adjustments and expenditure cuts worth about Rs600 billion as part of an understanding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cool down the over-heating economy.
• The steps will serve to reverse the effects of the federal government`s `pro-growth budget` for Fiscal Year 2022 adopted only five months ago, according to some analysts.
• The steps are being described as the `prior actions` that will pave way for submission of Pakistan`s request to the IMF board for approval in the middle of January.
• The board`s approval will ensure the release of $1bn for the country.

2. Circular debt rising by Rs35bn a month

• With gas shortfall estimated to peak closer to one billion cubic feet per day in January, the ministry of energy on December 2, 2021 reported the power sector circular debt at Rs2.419 trillion at the end of October, rising at the rate of about Rs35 billion per month.
• This was the crux of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) presided over by Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar.
• An official statement said the petroleum division of the energy ministry presented projected natural gas supply and different policy options for the management of gas supply from the management side for the winter months December 2021 through March 2022

3. Call for more oxygen plants as Omicron spreads across world

• As Omicron, the most virulent variant of Covid-19 to date, has reached five continents Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and America the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on December 2, 2021 suggested installation of more oxygen plants in various parts of the country with focus on farflung areas facing logistical issues.
• According to an NCOC statement, the forum discussed epidemic curve chart data, national vaccine strategy and disease prevalence across the country and asked the provinces to speed up the vaccination process in the wake of the rising cases of Omicron variant across the world.
• `The NCOC called upon the provinces to speed up the vaccination process amid the rising trend of Omicron variant across the globe as vaccination is the only way to prevent the spread of new Covid19 variant

4. 67 countries reach `historic` deal on trade in services

• A group of 67 countries, including the United States, China and EU members, reached a deal at the World Trade Organisation on December 2, 2021 on facilitating trade in services.
• The countries, which account for just over a third of all WTO members but represent 90 percent of global trade in services, concluded the accord after four years of negotiations.
• WTO chief Ngozi Okonjo-lweala hailed the deal as `historic`, pointing to estimates that it would lower the costs associated with the services trade by as much as $150 billion each year.

5. Taliban, Myanmar junta condemn move to deny their envoys seats at UN

• Myanmar`s junta and the Taliban authorities of Afghanistan on December 2, 2021 slammed the United Nations for denying their chosen representatives seats at the world body.
• The committee responsible for approving nominations of ambassadors met on Wednesday but deferred a decision over rival claims to the seats for both countries, diplomats said.
• The deferral keeps in place envoys appointed to the UN by former governments in both nations before they were toppled by a coup in Myanmar in February and the Taliban`s takeover in Afghanistan in August.
• `This decision does not reflect the reality on the ground and existence of our country,` Myanmar junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun said

6. World Bank backs using $280m in frozen funds for Afghanistan

• The World Bank`s board has backed transferring $280 million from a frozen trust fund to two aid agencies to help Afghanistan cope with a brewing humanitarian crisis after the US withdrawal.
• The 31 donors to the World Bank-administered Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) must approve the transfer before the funds could flow to the World Food Programme and Unicef, the sources said.
• The donors were expected to meet on Friday, the sources said.
• The World Bank board met informally on Tuesday to discuss transferring up to $500 million of the $1.5 billion in the ARTF to humanitarian aid agencies, people familiar with the plan said.

7. Israel didn`t probe shootings that killed 200 Palestinians, says report

• Rights groups said on December 2, 2021 that Israel failed to investigate shootings that killed more than 200 Palestinians and wounded thousands at protests along the Gaza frontier in recent years, strengthening the case for the International Criminal Court to intervene.
• The Israeli military rejected the findings, claiming the `mass riots` organised by Gaza`s Hamas rulers were aimed at providing cover for cross-border attacks. The military said alleged abuses were thoroughly investigated, with soldiers held accountable.
• Beginning in March 2018, Gaza activists organised weekly protests that were initially aimed at highlighting the plight of Palestinian refugees from what is now Israel, who make up three-fourths of Gaza`s population of more than two million people

8. Erdogan removes finance minister as Turkey`s lira crashes

• Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed a new treasury and finance minister on December 2, 2021 after the previous one stepped down as the country`s currency has tumbled to record lows.
• Erdogan named deputy minister Nureddin Nebati to the post, according to an announcement published in the Official Gazette. It said Lutfi Elvan asked to be pardoned from the job and that his request was accepted.
• His resignation comes as the Turkish lira has been plummeting to successive all-time lows over concerns about the government`s economic policy. The lira`s plunge follows a series of cuts in borrowing costs despite soaring consumer prices that have made it difficult for people to buy food and other products.
• The Turkish currency has lost about 40pc of its value since the start of the year

9. Twitter shuts down `propaganda accounts in six countries

• Twitter said on December 2, 2021 it had shut down nearly 3,500 accounts that were posting pro-government propaganda in six countries, including China and Russia.
• The vast majority of the accounts were part of a network that `amplified Chinese Communist Party narratives related to the treatment of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang`, Twitter said in a statement.
• China faces accusations of human rights violations against the ethnic minority in the northwestern province.
• Aside from 2,048 accounts linked to the pro-Beijing campaign, Twitter also shut down 112 accounts connected to a company named Changyu Culture, linked to Xinjiang`s regional government.

10. US and Iran voice pessimism about revival of nuclear deal

• The United States and Iran both sounded pessimistic on December 2, 2021 about the chances of reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, with Washington saying it had little cause for optimism and Tehran questioning the determination of US and European negotiators.
• `I have to tell you, recent moves, recent rhetoric, don`t give us a lot of cause for … optimism,` US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in Stockholm, saying he could judge in a day or so if Iran would engage in good faith.
• Blinken made the comments after Iran provided the European powers who are shuttling between US and Iranian officials in Vienna with drafts on sanctions removal and nuclear commitments, as world powers and Tehran seek to reinstate the tattered pact

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About the author

Shahzad F. Malik

Shahzad Faisal Malik is the administrator of and is responsible for managing the content, design, and overall direction of the blog. He has a strong background in Competitive Exams and is passionate and sharing information with others.
Shahzad Faisal Malik has worked as a Graphic Designer/Content Creator at CSSTimes in the past. In his free time, Shahzad Faisal Malik enjoys watching Cricket, writing blogs for different websites and is always on the lookout for new and interesting content to share with the readers of this website.
As the website administrator, Shahzad Faisal Malik is dedicated to providing high-quality content and fostering a welcoming and engaging community for readers. He looks forward to connecting with readers and hearing their thoughts and feedback on the website.

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