February 2020

Day by Day Current Affairs (February 24 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS


February 24, 2020: National / International Current Affairs

1. Pakistan closes border with Iran over virus fears

• In view of deaths caused by novel coronavirus in Iran, Pakistan has temporarily closed its border with the neighbouring country and decided not to allow anyone to cross into Pakistan without strict screening at Taftan and four other entry points in Balochistan.
• `We have closed all the five entry points Taftan, Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur and Washuk at the border with Iran on Sunday,` provincial Home Minister Ziaullah Langove said, adding that the step had been taken as a precautionary measure since deaths had been reported in Iran due to outbreak of coronavirus in Qom and other areas.
• However, the Iranian government has said that it had not put any restriction on travel to Iran from Pakistan and its border was open at the Iranian side. `We are granting visa to deserving people, including pilgrims, who are applying for it,` a spokesman for the Iranian consulate in Quetta said.

2. 2019 was tough for journalists, politicians, activists: report

• The year 2019 was tough for media and journalists as not only efforts were made to gag the media but also seven journalists were killed and many others came under attacks and injured.
• Rights activists and politicians were forced off the air on TV channels. Around one million websites were blocked, according to a report prepared by an NGO.
• The review of legislative, legal and judicial developments on freedom of expression, right to information and digital rights showed the government onslaught on civil liberties had employed a combination of conservative policy proposals and liberal administrative overreaches.
• The annual report, Coercive Censorship, Muted Dissent: Pakistan Descends into Silence, was unveiled by the Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development (IRADA) on Saturday.

3. WB intends to fund Ecosystem Restoration Initiative

• The World Bank (WB) has shown desire to provide $188 million to fund the upcoming Ecosystem Restoration Initiative to implement the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami and Recharge Pakistan project.
• The $188 million fund will be placed under the already existing National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) as it already has a framework and mechanism in place for quick and efficient disbursement.
• NDRMF is already financing projects through funding from the Asian Development Bank, said a press release issued here on February 23, 2020.
• The Ecosystem Restoration Initiative will finance afforestation projects such as the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami and also focus Recharge Pakistan, e-vehicles, marine life and blue economy, biodiversity and land degradation, provision of early warning radars and ecotourism

4. PIA suspends flights to Beijing till March 15

• The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to suspend its flights to Beijing till March 15 because of novel coronavirus that has left nearly 2,500 people dead in China.
• The national flag carrier operates its Islamabad-Beijing-Tokyo flight twice a week.
• The airline had decided to suspend its flights due to coronavirus, the operation would be resumed keeping the situation in view.
• Earlier, Pakistan had suspended its flight operation to and from China on Jan 30 for three days

5. Iran records lowest turnout in elections since 1979

• Iran on February 23, 2020 reported its lowest turnout in a general election since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, after a poll in which half of the candidates were barred.
• The final results of the vote were due to be released two days after it was held on the heels of the confirmation of novel coronavirus cases in the country.
• Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced the participation rate was 42.6 per cent the lowest in four decades.

6. US to lay out case against Assange at extradition hearing

• The US government and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will face off on February 23, 2020 in a high-security London courthouse, a decade after WikiLeaks infuriated American officials by publishing a trove of classified military documents.
• A judge at Woolwich Crown Court will begin hearing arguments from lawyers for US authorities, who want to try Assange on espionage charges that carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.
• The extradition hearing follows years of subterfuge, diplomatic dispute and legal drama that have led the 48-yearold Australian from fame as an international secret-spiller through self imposed exile inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to incarceration in a maximum-security British prison

7. Time long overdue to end human misery in Afghanistan, says UN official

• More than 10,000 civilians were killed or injured in Afghanistan in 2019, continuing a decade-long streak of violence that has caused over 100,000 civilian casualties, says a UN report while urging all parties to stop fighting.
• The 100,000 civilian casualties recorded since 2009, include more than 35,000 killed and 65,000 injured. Thirty percent of the casualties were children, says the report released in New York on Saturday by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
• The United Nations started documenting the Afghan war in 2009.
• The report points out that the Taliban, Afghan national security forces and pro-government armed groups, all continue to recruit and use children.

8. Pope gives thumbs-down to Trump`s Mideast peace plan

• Pope Francis on February 23, 2020 warned against `inequitable solutions` to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump`s Middle East peace proposal.
• Pope Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he travelled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
• `The Mediterranean region is currently threatened by outbreaks of instability and conflict, both in the Middle East and different countries of North Africa, as well as between various ethnic, religious or confessional groups,` Pope Francis said

9. United down Qalandars after nail-biting encounter

• Islamabad United came out fighting to clinch a one wicket victory over Lahore Qalandars after a nail-biting finish in their match on February 23, 2020 night before a lively crowd at the Gaddafi Stadium.
• Chasing a difficult target of 183, United managed to score the winning run with only one ball to spare and after losing nine wickets, thanks to the pair of Muhammad Musa and Ahmed Safi Abdullah.
• They began their eventful partnership when the total was 163-9, exactly 20 runs behind the target and with 17 balls remaining. Musa held his nerves, cracking two boundaries in the 18th over off Shaheen Afridi, who took four wickets for only 18

10. Azam on song as Quetta return to winning ways

• For the second time in four days since the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 started, Quetta Gladiators owed Azam Khan huge debt after the youngster produced another wonderful innings as the holders completed a resounding win over Karachi Kings at the National Stadium on February 23, 2020.
• Playing their third fixture in the short span, Quetta swiftly returned to winning ways a day after Peshawar Zalmi had humbled them on a pitch where chasing any total over 150-plus was never going to be easy. But Azam, the burly 21-year-old son of Quetta head coach Moin Khan, was oozing with confidence after Ahmed Shehzad holed out in the deep to leave his team in considerable bother at 55-3 at the start of the ninth over.

Day by Day Current Affairs (February 24 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS

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