December 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (December 09 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS


December 09, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. Pakistan, Russia ties in a big boom

• Russia is set to expand ties with Pakistan and engage in trade and business worth billions of dollars.
• A 64-member delegation headed by Minister for Trade and Industries for the Russian Federation Denis V Manturov is visiting Pakistan. The delegation will be in Pakistan until December 11 to attend an Inter-Governmental Commission.
• Senior government officials told that agreements were being signed between the two countries to enhance cooperation to the highest levels.
• The new Pak-Russia deal is expected to amount $9 billion under which Islamabad would purchase heavy and medium fighter jets, medium and short-range air defence systems, tanks, combat helicopters, and warships.
• Russia is expected to provide financial assistance worth $1 billion for the rehabilitation and upgrading of Pakistan Steel Mills project

2. Provinces forego uplift plans, return Rs202bn to Centre

• The four provinces jointly provided a whopping cash surplus of Rs202 billion to the Centre during the first quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal year to help meet its fiscal targets committed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
• This means the provinces did not utilise more than one-fourth (25 per cent) of the funds for the welfare of their citizens made available to them under their total revenue share out of the federal divisible pool. In doing so, the provinces over-performed in extending the cash surplus to the federal government as their cumulative refund to the Centre amounted to Rs202bn (almost 48pc) in a quarter against an annual target of Rs423bn set for the financial year 2019-20.
• Fiscal data released by the finance ministry showed that the cumulative revenues available to the four provinces in the first quarter amounted to Rs791bn. This included their joint share of Rs612.5bn out of federal revenues and about Rs104.5bn worth of provincial taxes

3. Pakistan-Iran forces jointly conduct border patrolling

• Security forces of Pakistan and Iran have conducted another joint patrolling of the border between the two countries near Taftan town of Chagai district.
• Dozens of soldiers belonging to Levies Force and Frontier Corps from Pakistan`s side and the Border Security Force of Iran participated in the patrolling. They carried their national flags.
• The joint patrolling commenced from border pillar number 76 and ended at number 88 near Taalap area.
• The officials of the two sides shared their experiences with each other

4. US bill slams Indian restrictions in Occupied Kashmir

• The United States has come up with support to Pakistan on the Kashmir issue as Islamabad helped Washington to re-engage Afghan Taliban into peace talks.
• The ruling Republican Party and the opposition Democratic Party introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives asking India to end the restrictions on communications and mass detentions in occupied Kashmir and preserve religious freedom for all residents.
• Resolution number 745 was introduced by Democrat lawmaker Pramila Jayapal and Republican lawmaker Steve Watkins.
• The bill observed that it had been more than four months now since political leaders, including three former chief ministers, were detained in Jammu and Kashmir, following the revocation of Article 370 under the Constitution that gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir

5. Documents show Japan army`s role behind WWII sex slaves

• Japan`s army during World War II asked the government to provide one sex slave forevery 70 soldiers, according to historical documents reviewed by Kyodo News service that highlight the state role in the so-called comfort women system.
• The 23 documents were gathered by Japan`s Cabinet Secretariat between April 2017 and March 2019, including 13 classified dispatches from the Japanese consulates in China to the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo dating back to 1938, according to Kyodo.
• The sex slaves issue has been a source of a painful dispute between South Korea and Japan.
• The women were from Korea, Taiwan and Australia, the Philippines as well as Japan.
• In 1993, then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, the government spokesman, apologised for the comfort women system and acknowledged the Japanese military`s involvement in taking women against their will.

6. N. Korea conducts `important test` at once-dismantled site

• North Korea said on December 8, 2019 that it carried out a very important test at its long-range rocket launch site that it reportedly rebuilt after having partially dismantled it at the start of denuclearisation talks with the United States last year.
• The announcement comes amid dimming prospects for a resumption of negotiations, with the North threatening to seek a new way if it fails to get major US concessions by years end. North Korea has said its resumption of nuclear and long-range missile tests depends on the United States.
• Saturday`s test at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground will have an important effect on changing the strategic position of (North Korea) once again in the near future, an unidentified spokesman from the Norths Academy of National Defence Science said in a statement, carried by the country`s official Korean Central News Agency

7. Saudi restaurants no longer need to segregate women and men

• Women in Saudi Arabia will no longer need to use separate entrances from men or sit behind partitions at restaurants in the latest measure announced by the government that upends a major hallmark of conservative restrictions that had been in place for decades.
• The decision, which essentially erodes one of the most visible gender segregation restrictions in place, was quietly announced on December 8, 2019 in a lengthy and technically worded statement by the Municipal and Rural Affairs Ministry.
• While some restaurants and cafes in the coastal city of Jiddah and Riyadh`s upscale hotels had already been allowing unrelated men and women to sit freely, the move codifies what has been a sensitive issue in the past among traditional Saudis who view gender segregation as a religious requirement. Despite that, neighboring Muslim countries do not have similar rules.

8. Polio returns to haunt Malaysia after 27 years

• Malaysia has reported its first polio case in 27 years, health authorities said on December 8, 2019, announcing a three-month-old baby had been diagnosed on Borneo island.
• The Malaysian health ministry`s director-general, Noor Hisham Abdullah, said the baby from Tuaran in eastern Sabah state had been admitted into intensive care after experiencing fever and muscle weakness.
• `The patient is currently undergoing treatment in an isolation ward and is in a stable condition but needs respiratory support,` Noor Hisham said, adding that the infant was diagnosed on December 6, 2019.
• Polio is a highly infectious viral disease which has no cure and can only be prevented with several doses of oral and injectable vaccines. It affects the nervous system and spinal cord and can be fatal in rare cases.

9. Suu Kyi to defend Myanmar in UN court`s hearing on Rohingya genocide

• Myanmar leader and Nobel peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi departed on December 8, 2019 for the UN`s top court in The Hague to defend the country against charges of genocide of its Rohingya Muslim minority.
• Suu Kyi was pictured smiling as she walked through the airport in the nation`s capital, Naypyitaw, flanked by officials, a day after thousands rallied in the city to support her and a prayer ceremony was held in her name.
• Demonstrations are planned throughout the coming week, with hearings set for Dec 10 to 12, and several dozen supporters are also bound for The Hague, in the Netherlands, to cheer Suu Kyi on

10. Inam, Tayyab, Dastagir brothers and handball team add to Pakistan`s gold rush

• Star wrestler Inam Butt, squash player Tayyab Aslam, weightlifters Nooh Datagir Butt and his brother Hanzala, and the handball team won gold medals at the South Asian Games on Sunday, taking Pakistan`s tally up to 29.
• Inam overcame Nepal`s Summit Kumar in the 92kg final, having been down 4-6 in the first round.
• Inam`s compatriots Mohammad Bilal and Umair Butt won silver medals; both losing to Indian opponents in the finals of the 61kg and 86kg respectively.
• In the squash court, Tayyab Aslam swatted aside India`s Harindar Pal Singh in the men`s squash final. Tayyab lost first set8-11, but bounced back strongly to win next three sets 11-3, 11-8 and 11-8.

Day by Day Current Affairs (December 09 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

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