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December 04, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. UK agency accepts tycoon`s £190m offer after investigations
• The United Kingdom`s National Crime Agency (NCA) has accepted an offer of a staggering £190 million from the family of property tycoon and businessman Malik Riaz after a month-long investigation into property and accounts connected to them.
• In a press release issued on December 3, 2019, the agency named Mr Malik Riaz Hussain and said the settlement included a UK property, namely 1 Hyde Park Place, London, W2 2LH, valued at approximately £50 million as well as funds in the frozen UK bank accounts of Mr Riaz`s family.
• It described Mr Riaz as a Pakistani national whose business is one of the biggest private sector employers in Pakistan, and said that his family owns large property developments in Pakistan and elsewhere.
• In a short statement posted to Twitter following the NCA announcement, Mr Riaz said: `Some habituals are twisting the NCA report 180 degrees to throw mud at me. I sold our legal & declared property in the UK to pay 190m £ to Supreme Court [of] Pakistan against Bahria Town Karachi
2. Ex-Fata forests to be owned by communities
• The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa forest department has planned to designate natural forests in the merged tribal districts, formerly known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, as Guzara Forests to be owned by the respective communities, while their management role will lie with the department.
• Forests in other districts of the province, especially Hazara and Malakand, have been divided into three categories including reserved forests that belong to the government, and protected forests, where the local communities have the maximum rights, and Guzara Forests, which are 100 per cent owned by the communities.
• Unlike other districts of the province, forests in merged tribal districts will be designated as Guzara Forests
• The department had recommended to the government to put all forests in tribal districts in the category of Guzara Forests
3. This decade is set to be hottest in history, says UN
• This decade is set to be the hottest in history, the United Nations said on December 3, 2019 in an annual assessment outlining the ways in which climate change is outpacing humanity`s ability to adapt to it.
• The World Meterological Organisation said global temperatures so far this year were 1.1 degrees Celsius (two degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial average between 1850-1900.
• That puts 2019 on course to be in the top three warmest years ever recorded, and possibly the hottest non-El Nino year yet.
• Man-made emissions from burning fossil fuels, building infrastructure, growing crops and transporting goods mean 2019 is set to break the record for atmospheric carbon concentrations, locking in further warming, the WMO said
4. Trump, Macron and Erdogan in three-way clash at Nato summit
• US President Donald Trump launched a blistering attack on France`s criticism of NATO strategy as `brain dead` on December 3, 2019, but French leader Emmanuel Macron doubled down and turned his fire on Turkey.
• The three-way battle overshadowed the buildup to the alliance`s 70th anniversary summit in London, threatening to derail efforts to show unity in the face of Russia and China.
• Macron had tried to shake up the agenda of the meeting by demanding a review of NATO strategy, but Trump who arrived boasting that he had forced members to boost defence spending hit back hard
5. Finland PM resigns, but coalition expected to survive
• Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne resigned on December 3, 2019 after losing the support of the coalition partner Centre Party, though the governing alliance is expected to stay in power to avoid a snap election.
• A Social Democrat who has headed the centre-left five-party government since June, Rinne handed his resignation to President Sauli Niinisto, who asked the government to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new government has been appointed, the presidency said.
• `All of the governing parties have confidence in me, except the Centre Party.
• When I was told why they no longer have confidence in me, I made the decision to resign,` Rinne said
6. China and Russia, not Muslim militants, pose threat to US, says Pentagon
• China and Russia, and not Muslim militants, pose the greatest threat to America`s global interests, warned US military chief Gen Mark Milley in a report by the Pentagon on the US defence strategy, released on December 3, 2019.
• Separately, in an interview to a news agency, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper played down the militants` role in Afghanistan, saying that future troop withdrawals from the country were `not necessarily` linked to a deal with the Taliban.
• `Long term, China is the only existential threat to the United States. Russia, with its nuclear arsenal, is the existential threat today,` Gen Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staf f, was quoted in the Pentagon report
7. Huawei to shift research to Canada
• Chinese tech giant Huawei, facing US criminal charges and economic sanctions, is planning to relocate its telecommunications research from the United States to Canada, founder Ren Zhengfei said in an interview published on December 3, 2019.
• The company is also considering building new factories in Europe to make fifth-generation or 5G equipment.
• The pivot comes as Washington steps up pressure on allies to ban Huawei components from 5G networks, warning that it may be used by Beijing for spying or hacking
8. Ronaldo crowned Italian leagues` player of the year
• Cristiano Ronaldo was named the Italian leagues player of the year following his debut season at Juventus.
• Ronaldo was at the Gran Gala del Calcio in Milan to collect his prize, instead of attending the Ballon dOr ceremony in Paris where he was third in the voting for best player in the world.
• The Juventus forward turned up about an hour before the main award was announced, arriving more than two hours after the other guests, and waited outside in the car until the moment came for him to go on stage to pick up the prize for his place in the team of the season
9. Messi claims record sixth Ballon d`Or
• After becoming the first six-time winner of the Ballon d`Or, Lionel Messi said he`s far from finished
• While the 32-year-old Messi won his sixth Ballon d`Or, United States captain Megan Rapinoe won her first.
• Messi has received the Ballon d`Or previously in 2009, 2010, 2011,2012,and2015.
• Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was second in the polling this year, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who shared the record of five Ballon d`Ors with Messi until Monday. It is the first time since 2010 that Ronaldo has f ailed to rank in the top two.
• Messi`s and Ronaldo`s 10-year grip on the award organised by France Football magazine was ended last year by Luka Modric.
• But Messi was back on top of his game over the past 12 months.
• He scored 36 times last season en route to a 10th La Liga title. His goals in La Liga also made him the top scorer in Europe`s biggest leagues, earning him the Golden Shoe award.
10. Pakistan win more golds in karate, shooting
• Pakistan have taken their gold medal tally to four at the ongoing South Asian Games in Nepal as the their karatekas continued to impress while the shooting team also bagged a gold medal in team rifle event. On the other hand, the men`s shooting team took first place in the men`s 3-position team rifle event.
• According to the latest results, Saadi Ghulam Abbas won the gold medal in the men`s 75kg karate event.
• The shooters trio of Ghufran Adil (1152 pts), Agib Latif (1135 pts) and Zeeshan Shakir (1134 pts) excelled in the rifle event and were on song with some great marksmanship
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