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February 2020

Day by Day Current Affairs (February 18 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS

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Written by Shahzad F. Malik

February 18, 2020: National / International Current Affairs

1. UN seeks world`s renewed focus on Afghan refugees

• Top United Nations officials and the Pakistan government on February 17, 2020 urged the world to refocus its attention on Afghan refugees and support efforts for ending the protracted Afghan conflict to facilitate their return.
• The call was made at the `International Conference on 40 Years of Hosting Afghan Refugees in Pakistan: A New Partnership for Solidarity`, which opened here with representatives of nearly 20 countries in attendance.
• UN secretary general António Guterres and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi are also here for participating in the conference, which has been co-hosted by Pakistan and the UNHCR.

2. `Suicide` attack claims eight lives in Quetta

• Eight people two police personnel and a Levies Force man among them were martyred and over 20 others injured in a suicide attack near Quetta district courts and press club on February 17, 2020.
• The suicide bomber had attempted to break through a police barrier and enter a rally, but blew himself up on facing resistance from security personnel, Quetta police chief DIG Abdul Razzak Cheema said, adding that eight people lost their lives and over 20 others were injured in the explosion.
• No one had claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing till late into night.

3. Senate body extends Zainab bill`s jurisdiction throughout country

• The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights on February 17, 2020 decided to extend the jurisdiction of `Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Bill 2020` across the country.
• Earlier, it was limited to Islamabad.
• Moreover, the committee approved setting up of special courts to decide cases regarding missing children in three months.
• The committee also decided to bind an station house officer (SHO) to register the FIR straightaway after receiving a complaint, failing which they would face up to two years` imprisonment or a fine of up to Rs100,000. In case of both, the SHO would lose his job.
• The bill, tabled by Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, was an administrative bill for the rescue and recovery of missing children.

4. Australia to give grant for regional rural project

• The Economic Affairs Division and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) signed an agreement of 1.2 million Australian dollars for rural regional transformation project covering Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Indonesia on February 17, 2020, according to a press release.
• Acting Secretary Economic Affairs Division Ahmad Hanif Orakzai and Chief Executive Officer ACIAR Prof Andrew Campbell signed the subsidiary agreement on `understanding the drivers of successful and inclusive rural regional transformation and sharing experience and policy advice` on behalf of their respective governments.
• The programme, to be completed in three years till 2022, is aimed at to understand the nature, divers and consequences of rural transformation in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Pakistan, stated the press release.

5. British MP leading Kashmir group denied entry into India

• In separate actions, India on February 17, 2020 expressed its frustration over growing international voice in support of people of occupied Kashmir by denying a British legislator entry and summoning Turkish diplomat to lodge protest.
• Debbie Abrahams, a Labour Party Member of Parliament, was unable to clear customs when the Indian visa she presented was rejected after she landed at New Delhi`s Indira Gandhi International Airport, according to an accompanying aide.
• Abrahams, who chairs a parliamentary group focused on the disputed region of Kashmir, and Harpreet Upal, had arrived at the airport on an Emirates flight from Dubai at 9am.
• Abrahams said immigration officials did not cite any reason for denying her entry, but continued to shout that she didn`t have a visa

6. FIR against social media users in occupied Kashmir

• Indian police have registered a general FIR the first of its kind against `various` suspects in occupied Kashmir on the charge of misusing social media, it emerged on February 17, 2020.
• An official of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government condemned the Indian move as `yet another draconian measure` on the likes of mass graves, mass detentions and mass slaughter.
• Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, the senior minister in AJK government, in a tweet claimed it `happens nowhere but in India-occupied Kashmir that an entire population is booked for exercising its right to expression. The world must take note of it.` The FIR was registered by Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone in Srinagar against `various` social media users for `defying government orders and misusing social media platforms`, according to a press release issued by police headquarters in Srinagar.

7. Thailand raises $3.2bn in SG spectrum auction

• Thailand has raised more than $3.2 billion in an auction of 5G licences, as operators race to snap up high-frequency spectrums needed for a commercial rollout of the next-generation technology.
• A subsidiary of Advanced Info Services, the country`s top mobile operator, dominated Sunday`s bidding, securing 23 of the nearly 50 licences up for grabs.
• Governments around the world are rolling out 5G networks, which offer vastly faster mobile internet speeds

8. UAE issues licence for nuclear power plant

• The United Arab Emirates said on February 17, 2020 it has issued a licence for a reactor at its Barakah nuclear power plant, the first in the Arab world, hailing it as a `new chapter`.
• The UAE has substantial energy reserves, but with a power-hungry population of 10 million it has made huge investments in developing alternative power sources including solar.

9. Israeli aircraft flies over Sudan airspace for first time

• An Israeli aircraft has flown through Sudanese airspace for the first time, in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called another example of warming ties with formally hostile states.
• Israel remains technically at war with Sudan, which supported hardline Islamists including, for a period, Al Qaeda during the rule of president Omar al-Bashir.
• Bashir was ousted by the army last April following months of mass anti-government demonstrations.

10. EU agrees on naval mission to stop arms flow into Libya

• European Union foreign ministers agreed on February 17, 2020 to a naval operation to enforce an arms embargo on war-torn Libya, overcoming objections from countries who feared it may encourage new migrant flows.
• The mission will be authorised to intervene to stop arms shipments, EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell said, insisting the vessels would not be `having a promenade` in the Mediterranean.
• The EU hopes to have the operation, focused on the eastern part of the Libyan coast, up and running by the end of March, Borrell said, though many details including the rules of engagement for naval units are yet to be worked out.

Day by Day Current Affairs (February 17 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS

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