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December 05, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Pakistan ranks fifth on global climate risk index
• The Global Climate Risk Index`s latest report has placed Pakistan on the fifth spot on the list of countries, which remained most affected by climate change during the past two decades.
• According to the Global Climate Risk Index annual report for 2020, which was released by think tank German watch on December 4, 2019, Pakistan lost 9,989 lives, suffered economic losses worth $3.8 billion and witnessed 152 extreme weather events from 1999 to 2018.
• Based on this data, the think tank concluded that Pakistan`s vulnerability to climate change is increasing.
• The data also indicates that the government, as well as the world, are not taking enough measures to cope with the challenges and risks that climate change poses to Pakistan.
2. NAB’s additional prosecutor general quits
• Additional Prosecutor General (APG) National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Syed Nayyar Abbas Rizvi quit his job on December 4, 2019 after working for the bureau for ten months.
• Mr Rizvi, who was appointed on Feb 13 for a three-year term, cited personal reasons for leaving the anti-graft watchdog.
• “It is time to me for move on; revert back to my private practice and attend to my personal matters that require attention than ever before for which I seek your blessings with the request that my resignation be accepted,” he wrote in his resignation letter addressed to NAB Chairman retired justice Javed Iqbal
3. More than 80pc of Punjab health facilities lack anti-rabies vaccine
• Stray dogs have killed 11 people and injured 3,034 in Punjab during the last 10 months, says an official report.
• Even more disturbing is the fact that anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) is not available at 1,732 (83 per cent) of the total small and major public sector hospitals of the province.
• The report covers the dog-bite deaths and injuries that occurred from Jan 1 to Oct 31, 2019 (i.e 304 days).
• A summary to the effect has been sent by the Special Branch Punjab to Chief Minister Usman Buzdar with a special note `crisis of both drug`s shortage and dog-bite incidents is deepening in Punjab particularly due to painful deaths and life-time psychological issues the victims and their families were suffering`
4. UK agency takes possession of tycoon`s property in London
• A day after news of British authorities accepting £190 million settlement offer from the family of Malik Riaz made international headlines, the National Crime Agency (NCA) which spearheaded the investigation into the real estate magnate`s assets in the United Kingdom issued a statement which contradicted his stance on the sale of the Hyde Park flat in question.
• A day earlier, Mr Riaz tweeted that he sold his UK property in order to fund the Supreme Court-mandated offer in the Bahria Town Karachi case.
• Mr Riaz had said: `I sold our legal & declared property in UK to pay 190M £ to Supreme Court Pakistan against Bahria Town Karachi
5. US credits reforms for strengthening of Pakistan`s economy
• The United States has credited Pakistan`s reform efforts and the programme it has signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Moody`s recognition of the country`s economic stability.
• Earlier this week the New York based international credit rating agency raised Pakistan`s economic outlook from negative to stable on the back of the country`s reforms supported by the IMF programme.
• `Pleased to see that Moody`s Inv Svc has revised Pakistan`s credit outlook to stable, thanks to Finance Ministry Pakistan`s reform efforts and IMF programme,` said head of the US State Department`s South and Central Asia Bureau, Alice Wells
6. Indian cabinet approves contentious nationality bill
• India`s cabinet signed off on Wednesday on legislation that stands to give citizenship to certain religious minorities but not Muslims, in what critics say is a fresh attempt to sideline the 200-millionstrong Islamic community.
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), reelected in a landslide in May, has long been accused of following a `Hindutva` agenda favouring officially secular India`s majority Hindus.
• The amendments to the six-decade-old Indian Citizenship Act, approved by Modi`s cabinet on December 4, 2019, could go before the lower house of parliament as soon as this week
• The bill would grant nationality to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians, Jains and Parsis fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan even without any documentation.
7. US to restart talks with Taliban in Qatar
• The US negotiator on Afghanistan would shortly resume talks with the Taliban and seek efforts toward a ceasefire, officials said on December 4, 2019, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted diplomatic efforts that could end America`s longest war.
• Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul to meet President Ashraf Ghani, a senior Afghan official said, less than a week af ter Mr Trump visited Afghanistan and gave his blessing for a return to negotiations.
• The State Department said that Mr Khalilzad, a veteran US negotiator who was born in Afghanistan, would head to Qatar to meet the Taliban after his meetings in Kabul
8. Google founders Larry, Sergey step back from top roles
• Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have announced they are stepping down from top roles at the online giant’s parent company.
• They will leave their respective roles as Alphabet’s chief executive officer and president but remain on the board. Google’s CEO SundarPichai will become Alphabet’s CEO too, a statement said.
• Alphabet was created in 2015 as part of a corporate restructuring of Google, which Mr Page and Mr Brin famously founded in a California garage in 1998.
• The parent company was intended to make the tech giant’s activities “cleaner and more accountable” as it expanded from internet search into other areas such as self-driving cars. The pair moved from Google to Alphabet when it was formed – saying they were making the jump to focus on st arting new initiatives
9. Karatekas win six golds as Pakistan move up third in SAG
• Pakistani karate players on December 4, 2019 displayed superb skills and techniques and helped the country grab third slot in the ongoing 13th South Asian Games being held in Kathmandu, Nepal.
• Pakistan is currently at third position with 8 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze medals, while hosts Nepal is occupying top position followed by mighty Indians in the second place. Overall, Pakistani karate athletes managed to grab six gold medals so far in the event. On the fourth day, Noman Ahmed won gold medal in -50kg, while Pakistan female karate team consisting of Nargis, Kulsoom, Sana Kausar and Sabira also clinched gold medal in team event.
10. Former England cricket captain Willis dies aged 70
• Former England captain and fearsome pace bowler Bob Willis has died aged 70.
• Willis, who captained his country between 1982 and 1984, played in 90 Test matches with his most memorable performance taking eight for 43 in the Australian second innings of the third Ashes Test in 1981.
• Willis finished his Test career with 325 wickets, which puts him fourth onthe all-time list of England wicket-takers behind James Anderson, Botham and Stuart Broad
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