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May 10, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Governor removed despite president`s resistance
• The federal government, in a late night announcement, notified that Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema has ceased to hold office on the advice of the prime minister sent to the president on April 17 and reinforced on May 1.
• A hectic day that eventually concluded with the issuance of a notification by the Cabinet Division, President Dr Arif Alvi earlier rejected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif`s advice to remove the Punjab governor dampening the PML-N`s hopes that the office will be vacated in a day or two.
• Dr Alvi rejected the prime minister`s summary using Article 101(3), which says the governor shall hold the office `during the pleasure` of the president (for as long as the president pleases)
2. New `more virulent` Covid variant detected in Pakistan
• Pakistan on May 09, 2022 reported its first case of a new and more transmissible variant of Covid-19 with the authorities advising people to resume wearing masks in crowded places and get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.
• This sub-variant of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was reported in a man who had arrived in Islamabad from a foreign country and had tested positive at the airport, said an official of the Ministry of National Health Services, wishing not to be quoted. All those whom the person came in contact with have been quarantined.
• University of Health Sciences (UHS) Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Akram said while the new variant was more transmissible, it was less virulent
3. Ashtar makes it to top law office again
• President Dr Arif Alvi on May 9, 2022 approved the appointment of Advocate Ashtar Ausaf Ali as Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP).
• This will be his second stint as the country`s top law officer he had served as the AGP during the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government.
• The post had been lying vacant since the resignation of Khalid Javed Khan last month.
• A summary for the appointment had been forwarded to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on May 7.
• After the prime minister`s approval, the summary was forwarded to President Alvi, who approved it
4. Profit rates on savings schemes increased
• Amid higher policy rate of the of the central bank`s and recent surge in cut-off yields of secondary market coupons, the Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) on May 9, 2022 increased profit rates on all national savings schemes.
• The new rates would be applicable to deposits and saving certificates/investments made with effect from May 10.
• The State Bank of Pakistan had increased its discount rate by 250 basis points to 12.25pc on April 7 and since then cutoff yields on treasury bills and Pakistan Investment Bonds have touched a record 15pc. Inflation measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI) peaked to a two-year high of 13.4pc in April
5. Half of Afghanistan facing acute hunger, warns study
• Nearly half of Afghanistan`s population are facing acute hunger, warned a UN-backed report published on May 9, 2022.
• `High acute food insecurity persists across Afghanistan, as a combination of a collapsing economy and drought is depriving nearly 20 million Afghans of food, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).
• The analysis was conducted in January and February by IPC partners, which include the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), sister agency the World Food Programme (WFP), and UN-backed NGOs.
• The report places about 6.6 million people, out of a population of 40 million, in its emergency (IPC 4) category and 13 million in crisis or phase 3 category. The report points out that the UN and other agencies have provided a significant amount of humanitarian food assistance but `Afghanistan`s food security situation remains highly concerning`