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January 29, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
1. PEMRA proposal to regulate online content services rejected
• A total of 19 organisations and 36 prominent individuals have rejected a Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) proposal to regulate internet television and over-the-top (OTT) content services.
• The critics described the proposal as an attempt to gag voices that have disappeared from mainstream electronic media and turned to internet television, also known as web TV.
• The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Aurat March Karachi, Bolo Bhi, Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development (IRADA), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and the People`s Commission for Minorities Rights are among the organisations, while prominent individuals include Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Abid Saqi, rights activist Tahira Abdullah and journalists Nasir Zaidi, Adnan Rehmat, Asma Shirazi and Badar Alam
2. Special drive against poliovirus type 2 being launched today
• The government is launching a three-day special vaccination campaign on Wednesday to scale up children`s immunity in districts, which risked vaccine derive poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2) after detection of cases a fortnight ago.
• TheVDPV2waseradicatedworldwide in 1999 due to which the vaccine was withdrawn from the polio vaccination programme in 2016.
• However, after emergence of back to back cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the government requested the world health agency to make supplies of the vaccines available to be administered to the children from where cases were reported.
3. Senate committee clears GI Bill
• The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce on January 28, 2020 approved the much-awaited Geographical Indications (GI) Bill which aims to protect commercial heritage of the country`s products.
• The Senate committee led by its chairman Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi will now present the bill before the Upper House of the parliament for its consent. The Bill will then be forwarded to the National Assembly for its deliberations.
• The law was pending for the last 19 years due to differences between large lobbies leading to failure of market place regulation. The Ministry of Commerce has been working on the GI law since 2000. The draft has been vetted many times by the authorities concerned but no action was taken by the previous government.
4. Pakistan organising two-day trade conference in Kenya
• The Pakistan government will organise a two-day trade conference in Kenya in a major trade outreach to Africa.
• The first Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference, hosted jointly by the ministries of commerce and foreign affairs would be held in Nairobi on Jan 30-31, the Foreign Office announced on January 28, 2020.
• Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and the adviser for commerce, textiles, industry, production and investments, Abdul Razzak Dawood, will speak at the inaugural session of the conference.
5. Netanyahu formally charged with graft after dropping immunity bid
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on January 28, 2020 formally charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, the justice ministry said, shortly after the embattled politician dropped his request for parliamentary immunity.
• The indictment came as Netanyahu was in Washington for a meeting with President Donald Trump for the unveiling of a long-awaited US peace plan.
• Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit presented the charge sheet to the Jerusalem district court, where Netanyahu will face trial for corruption over gifts and favourable media cover age received in return for regulatory and financial benefits
6. Libya`s unity govt claims downing `UAE drone`
• Libyan unity government forces said on January 28, 2020 they had downed an Emirati-supplied drone used by eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar`s forces in the country`s west, as three schoolchildren were reported killed in a Tripoli rocket attack.
• The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) said its `anti-aircraft defences` downed the drone east of Misrata, Libya`s third largest city.
• The health ministry later said three children, aged between nine and 12, were killed in a rocket blast on a road near a school in the Hadhba al-Badri district of southern Tripoli
7. UK approves restricted 5G role for China`s Huawei
• Britain on January 28, 2020 gave the green light to a limited role for Chinese telecoms giant Huawei in the country`s 5G network, in a decision it said was necessary for developing its future digital economy but one that left the United States `disappointed` after it called for a total ban.
• Even though London decided that `high risk vendors` would be excluded from Britain`s `sensitive` core infrastructure, a US official insisted there was `no safe option for untrusted vendors to control any part of a 5G network,` which offers almost instantaneous data transfer.
• Washington has banned Huawei from the rollout of the fifth generation mobile network because of concerns that the firm could be under the control of Beijing, an allegation it strongly denies
8. Trump proposes Palestinian state with capital in eastern Jerusalem
• US President Donald Trump on January 28, 2020 proposed creation of a Palestinian state with a capital in eastern Jerusalem, dependent on Palestinians taking steps to become self-governing, in an effort to achieve a peace break-through in their decades of conflict with Israel.
• Senior administration officials, briefing Reuters on the plan the president announced at the White House, said that under Trump`s proposed Middle East peace plan the United States will recognise Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank.
• In exchange, Israel would agree to accept a four-year freeze on new settlement activity while Palestinian statehood is negotiated.
• `Today, Israel has taken a giant step toward peace, Trump said as he announced the plan at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side, saying he also sent a letter about it to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
9. Asif crowned national snooker champion
• Punjab`s Mohammad Asif Toba stunned Shadab Baig to clinch the Jubilee Insurance Masters National Snooker Championship 2020 here at the Pakistan Sports Complex on January 28, 2020.
• The veteran player, in a lopsided final, tamed Sindh`s Shahdab 5-1, with a game score of (70-18, 72-19, 59-57, 57-48, 22-67, 53-39).
• The seventh seed Asif remained dominant throughout the fixture and did not allow second seed Shadab, who had made it to the final after defeating top seed Shahid Shafiq, to settle.
10. India won`t play Asia Cup in Pakistan: BCCI
• The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is clear that while it has no problem with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hosting the 2020 edition of the Asia Cup -set to be a preparatory ground for the World T20 in Australia -the venue needs to be a neutral one as travelling to the neighbouring country isn`t an option at present.
• Speaking to IANS news agency, a BCCI official said that the hosting rights is not an issue and it is just a case of picking a neutral venue as the Indian team wouldn`t be travelling to Pakistan for the T20 tournament that will see the top Asian teams in action.
• `The question isn`t about the PCB hosting the tournament. It is about the venue and as things stand now, it is quite clear that we would need a neutral venue. There is no way that an Indian team can visit Pakistan to even participate in a multi-nation event like the Asia Cup. If the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is ok with an Asia Cup minus India then it is a different ball game. But if India is to participate in the Asia Cup, then the venue cannot be Pakistan,` the BCCI official remarked
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