March 2020

Day by Day Current Affairs (March 01, 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS


March 01, 2020: National / International Current Affairs

1. US, Taliban clinch historic deal for Afghan peace

• The United States signed a landmark deal with the Taliban on February 29, 2020, laying out a timetable for a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan within 14 months as it seeks an exit from its longest-ever war.
• Washington`s chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar inked the accord at a gilded desk in a conference room of a luxury hotel in the Qatari capital as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo witnessed the signing ceremony. However, many fear that talks between multiple Afghan sides over the next months after the US agreement with the Taliban can be far more complicated.
• Addressing the peace deal signing ceremony, Secretary Pompeo called on the Taliban to honour their commitments to sever ties with the jihadist groups. He called on the Taliban to `keep your promises to cut ties with Al Qaeda`.

2. US needs Pakistan`s help for Doha deal`s implementation, say officials

• The United States will need Pakistan`s `continued support and effort` to implement the Afghan peace deal signed in Qatar on February 29, 2020, US officials said.
• Briefing journalists in Washington on how this agreement would be implemented, two senior administration officials said most governments in the world, including Iran, had the same objectives in Afghanistan and `nobody wants to see the return of the Taliban Islamic Emirate`.
• Asked if Pakistan `will have a seat at the table` in the post agreement negotiations for shaping a future set-up in Afghanistan and for maintaining peace in the war-ravaged country, one of the officials said: `No one thinks it`s (the agreement) perfect, and we`re going to need continued support and effort by Pakistan to help move forward on implementation of the agreement

3. WB to give $36m for improving health, education services

• The World Bank will provide $36 million to Balochistan to help improve the quality of health and education services in four of its districts, it has been learnt.
• The financial assistance consists of a credit of $21m and a grant of $15m.
• The World Bank is expected to approve the financing of the Balochistan Human Capital Investment project by the end of April.
• The project will be addressing development barriers affecting both health and education sectors in Quetta, Chagai, Pishin and Killa Abdullah districts.
• The two-pronged approach will improve utilisation and quality of critical public services that support the accumulation of human capital

4. Turkey asks Russia to step aside in Syria

• Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on February 29, 2020 that he had asked President Vladimir Putin for Russia to step aside in Syria and leave Turkey to deal with Syrian government forces alone, after 34 Turkish soldiers were killed this week.
• Government forces, backed by Russian air power, have waged a major assault to capture the northwest province of Idlib, part of the last remaining territory held by rebels backed by Turkey.
• Syrian and Russian warplanes on Saturday kept up air strikes on the Idlib city of Sarageb, the Syrian Observatory war monitor reported. The strategic city sits on a key international roadway and has been a flashpoint of fighting in recent days.

5. Luxembourg becomes first country with free public transport

• Luxembourg on February 29, 2020 became the first country in the world to offer free public transport, as the small and wealthy EU country tries to help less-well-off workers and reduce road traffic.
• Some cities elsewhere have already taken similar, partial measures. But the transport ministry said it was the first time such a decision covered an entire country.
• The free transport, flagged as `an important social measure`, affects approximately 40 per cent of households and is estimated to save each one around 100 euros ($110) per year.

6. First death by coronavirus in US confirmed

• US President Donald Trump moved to quell fears about the novel coronavirus after the first death on US soil was confirmed February 29, 2020.
• The US fatality occurred in Washington State`s King county, which includes Seattle, a city of more than 700,000 people, said health officials.
• The victim was not immediately identified, but Trump told reporters that the victim was a woman in her late 50s.
• `We`ve taken the most aggressive actions to confront the coronavirus,` he added. `Our country is prepared for any circumstance

7. Malaysia`s Mahathir loses race for PM office

• Malaysia`s Mahathir Mohamad lost a power struggle on February 29, 2020 with a little known ex-interior minister to be the country`s new leader in a shock twist that will return a scandal plagued party to power.
• Muhyiddin Yassin`s surprise victory not only sidelines Mahathir, who had been the world`s oldest premier at 94, but also dashes the hopes of Anwar Ibrahim of becoming leader any time soon.
• A royal statement said Muhyiddin was chosen by the king, who appoints the country`s premiers after deciding who commands most support from MPs, following the collapse of a reformistruling coalition last week.

8. Walkouts as Polanski wins best director at French Oscars

• Roman Polanski won best director for `An Officer and a Spy` at a fractious ceremony for the French Oscars, the Cesars, that ended in walkouts and recrimination in Paris February 29, 2020.
• The entire French academy had been forced to resign earlier this month amid fury that the veteran wanted in the US for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977 had topped the list of nominations.
• Protesters chanting `Lock up Polanski! tried to storm the theatre where the ceremony was being held before being pushed back by police firing tear gas.

9. Watson`s knock in vain as Quetta succumb to Rossouw blitz

• A swashbuckling century by Rilee Rossouw backed by fine bowling from pacer Bilawal Bhatti and Imran Tahir guided Multan Sultans to a fantastic victory over defending champions Quetta Gladaitors by 30 runs in a high-scoring match at the packed to capacity Multan Stadium on February 29, 2020.
• Multan Sultans now lead the points table with eight points in the 5th HBL Pakistan Super League.
• Chasing a daunting winning target of 200, the Gladiators ought back valiantly led by seasoned campaigner Shane Watson who blasted a brilliant 80 but lost steam and ended up at 169 for seven in 20 overs.

10. Rossouw hits fastest ton in PSL as Multan beat Quetta

• Rilee Rossouw smashed the fastest-ever Pakistan Super League century against Quetta Gladiators at Multan Cricket Stadium on February 29, 2020.
• Rossouw completed his century in the last over off 43 balls and bettered Islamabad United batsman Cameron Delport’s previous record of a 49-ball hundred in the PSL, made against Lahore Qalandars at Karachi last year

Day by Day Current Affairs (March 01, 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS

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