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January 25, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
1. UK upgrades travel advisory for Pakistan
• The government on January 24, 2020 welcomed review of British travel advice for Pakistan saying it would strengthen bilateral ties and improve people-to-people contact between the two countries.
• Prime Minister Imran Khan said: `This is great news as it will address two most important economic issues facing Pakistan today: employment and our current account deficit, by bringing in tourism and investment which in turn will provide employment opportunities especially for our youth` Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while commenting on the development, tweeted: `Pakistan; Land of peace and progress with incredible natural beauty, warmth & hospitality. This change in travel advice is encouraging, the first major update to the UK`s travel advisory to Pakistan since 2015. This will further strengthen Pak-UK relations.
• Welcome to Pakistan! British High Commission in Islamabad earlier announced that the travel advice for Pakistan had been updated reflecting the improved security situation in the country. `Today`s announcement is the result of a comprehensive review of UK travel advice for Pakistan, based on a wide-ranging assessment of the country`s security situation. This is the first major update in the travel advice since 2015,` it added
2. Army chief inaugurates electronic warfare lab
• Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on January 24, 2020 inaugurated Electronic Warfare (EW) and Ground Surveillance Radar (GSR) testing laboratories at the National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC), Haripur.
• The COAS visited the NRTC and lauded the role and efforts of the staff over the last three years. He assured his full support to the NRTC in its innovative initiatives, says an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release issued here on Friday.
• The NRTC has developed EW equipment and GSR radars for armed forces.
3. Portfolios allotted to new ministers in Balochistan Cabinet
• Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind, who was inducted into the Balochistan cabinet on January 24, 2020, has been allotted the portfolio of secondary education and colleges, technical and higher education.
• Earlier, the portfolio of secondary education was being looked after by Haji Mohammad Khan Lehri, who is working as adviser to the chief minis-ter. Last week, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani withdrew the portfolio from Mr Lehri, who has now been given charge of labour and manpower department.
• Metha Khan Kakar, who also took the oath as minister with Mr Rind, has been given the portfolio of environment as well as livestock and dairy department (L&DD). Previously, as adviser to the chief minister, he was looking after the L&DD.
• With the new inductions, the strength of the cabinet reached 14.
4. Pakistani delegation leaves for Egypt
• Pakistan`s top industrialists, businessmen, traders and stakeholders from business and civil community left on a seven-day tour of Egypt.
• The group comprises 34 industrialists and 35 businessmen. Moreover a high court judge and three media persons are also part of the group.
• Egyptian Ambassador in Islamabad Ahmed Fadel Yacoub saw the group off at the embassy.
• Due to its historical and cultural importance, 10 million tourists visited Egypt in 2019 alone.
5. Pakistan launches first electric vehicle
• Adviser to PM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said on January 24, 2020 that introduction of electric vehicle (EV) Policy will help promote country`s transport sector in the coming years.
• Addressing a launch ceremony of the country`s first fully electric three-wheeler vehicles, he said the EV policy had been framed after incorporating consultations from all stakeholders.
• The event `Showcasing Pakistan`s First Fully-Electric Three-Wheel Vehicle` was organised by the Ministry of Climate Change in collaboration with the Board of Investment and Sazgar Engineering Works Limited
6. China quarantines 41m people in 13 cities to contain virus
• Chinese authorities rapidly expanded a mammoth quarantine effort aimed at containing a deadly contagion on January 24, 2020 to 13 cities and a staggering 41 million people, as nervous residents were checked for fevers and the death toll climbed to 26.
• While the World Health Organisation (WHO) held off on declaring a global emergency despite confirmed cases in half a dozen other countries, China expanded its lockdown to cover an area with a total population greater than Canada`s.
• A range of Lunar New Year festivities have been cancelled, while temporary closures of Beijing`s Forbidden City, Shanghai`s Disneyland and a section of the Great Wall were announced to prevent the disease from spreading further.
7. Trump attends anti-abortion rally as Democrats wrap impeachment case
• US President Donald Trump addressed the country`s biggest annual anti-abortion rally on January 24, 2020 as members of the Senate sat in judgment just blocks away at his impeachment trial.
• `Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House,` Trump told thousands of anti-abortion campaigners at the `March for Life` on the National Mall.
• `When it comes to abortion,` the Republican president said, `Democrats have embraced the most radical and extreme positions
8. 34 US troops suffered traumatic injuries in Iranian strike: Pentagon
• Nearly three dozen US troops suffered traumatic brain injuries or concussion in this month`s Iranian air strike on a military base in Iraq, the Pentagon said on January 24, 2020.
• `Thirty-four total members have been diagnosed with concussions and TBI (traumatic brain injury), Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters.
• President Donald Trump had initially said that no Americans were injured in the strike on the Ain al Asad base in western Iraq on the night of January 7-8 although authorities later reported that 11 troops were injured
9. China plans to build hospital within 10 days in Wuhan
• China is rushing to build a new hospital in a staggering 10 days to treat patients at the epi centre of a deadly virus outbreak that has stricken hundreds of people.
• The facility in the central city of Wuhan is expected to be in use by Feb 3 to serve a rising number of patients infected by the deadly coronavirus that has left at least 26 people dead and millions on lockdown in an effort to curb its spread.
• Dozens of excavators and trucks were filmed working on the site by state broadcaster CCTV.The hospital would have a capacity of 1,000 beds spread over 270,000 square feet, the official Xinhua news agency said
10. Returning Malik inspires Pakistan to victory against BD
• Shoaib Malik showed exactly why he was recalled to the Pakistan side for the Twenty20 series against Bangladesh.
• In the first game of the series at a half-empty Gaddafi Stadium on January 24, 2020, the veteran all-rounder smashed a solid half-century and carried Pakistan to a five-wicket victory over the visitors to the delight of the home crowd.
• Malik, who scored 58 not out off 45 balls with five fours for his eighth Twenty20 fifty, was brought back into the team after Pakistan lost six of seven completed T20s in 2019 without him and need to beat Bangladesh 3-0 in the series to retain their world number one ranking
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