May 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (May 18, 2021) for CSS, PMS

Shahzad F. Malik
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

May 18, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. Israel launches new strikes on Gaza as death toll surpasses 200

• Israeli air strikes hammered the Gaza Strip pre-dawn May 17, 2021, after a week of violence between the Jewish state and Palestinians left more than 200 people dead as international calls for de-escalation went unheeded.
• Overnight Sunday to Monday, Israel launched dozens of strikes in the space of a few minutes across the crowded coastal Palestinian enclave controlled by Hamas, according to AFP journalists at the scene.
• The strikes caused widespread power cuts and damaged hundreds of buildings, local authorities said. No casualties were immediately reported. West Gaza resident Mad Abed Rabbo, 39, expressed “horror and fear” at the intensity of the onslaught

2. PM`s aide steps down over ring road scam

• As the Rawalpindi Ring Road (RRR) project controversy deepens, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari (Zulfi Bukhari) on May 17, 2021 resigned from his position and Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar rejected giving benefit to a private housing society while offering to quit politics if corruption charges against him in the mega scandal proved.
• According to senior official of the Punjab government, the RRR case has been referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Anti-Corruption Department (ACD) of Punjab for thorough investigations on the directive of Prime Minister Imran Khan after two separate fact-finding reports one from Rawalpindi commissioner and the other from deputy commissioner and additional commissioner landed at PM office

3. Govt to unveil Rs110bn farm package in budget

• With the next general elections in mind, the PTI government will introduce an agriculture reform package worth Rs110 billion in the upcoming budget, besides increasing lending by almost 80 per cent to Rs2.7 trillion to substantially enhance crops` output and farmers` income within three years.
• Flanked by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Chairman of the Prime Minister`s Task Force on Agriculture Jamshed Iqbal Cheema said at a press conference that the Rs110bn package would be implemented in three years and would be financed by the Centre and the provinces on a 50:50 pro rata basis.
• The federal government alone would be allocating roughly Rs25-30bn in the coming budget for first year, Mr Cheema said, adding that the exact amount would be announced once relevant approvals are secured. He said he had presented the plan to the prime minister who first approved it and then appointed him as his special assistant (SAPM) on food security.

4. FM gives call for protests against Israeli atrocities on Friday

• Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on May 17, 2021 used the National Assembly platform to give a call for countrywide peaceful protests against the ongoing Israeli aggression in Palestine on May 21 (Friday).
• Winding up discussion on Israeli atrocities before leaving for Turkey, Mr Qureshi said Prime Minister Imran Khan had agreed to the proposal and he was making the announcement with his (PM) permission.
• The foreign minister said Pakistan and Turkey had decided to move the United Nations against the Zionist atrocities on the Palestinian people, adding that he would be leaving for Turkey after the session where he would also meet Palestinian and Sudanese foreign ministers

5. K2 base camp area gets internet access, phone coverage

• The 4G Base Transceiver Station (BTS) recently installed in Gilgit-Baltistan has been made operational to improve telecommunication services at the K2 base camp area, it emerged on May 17, 2021.
• With the station becoming operational, mobile phone coverage and internet access in the area will prove to be pivotal for mountaineers and trekking groups to stay connected with their families and for assistance in case of any emergency.
• It will also help in weather monitoring and promoting adventure tourism, as in line with government`s vision of promoting tourism across the country, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and telecom operators are focusing on improving telecommunication services in areas full of tourism potential

6. Tarin to head reconstituted Ecnec

• Prime Minister Imran Khan has reconstituted the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) to fill the void created after the exit of former finance minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.
• According to a notification issued by the Cabinet Division, Finance Minister Shaukat Fayaz Ahmed Tarin will be the chairman of the eight-member inter-provincial decision-making body on development.
• All other members of the Ecnec earlier reconstituted in January this year would remain unchanged. They include Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for Industries Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar and Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, representing the federal government

7. Ban on tourism to stay

• The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on May 17, 2021 said that the ban on tourism, already imposed countrywide to contain the spread of Covid-19, will continue till next decision.
• According to a statement issued by the forum, the NCOC will issue necessary instructions accordingly on the issue.
• The NCOC made the announcement in the wake of some media reports that tourists had started visiting some tourist areas during the summer season at a time when schools are closed and 50 percent attendance in offices is being observed to contain the virus

8. Separatist parties agree on new govt for Spanish region

• More than two months after regional elections, Catalonia`s two main separatist parties said on May 17, 2021 they had reached agreement on forming a ruling coalition, heading off the looming threat of another vote.
• The wealthy northeastern region`s separatist parties put aside differences in order to form a government they hope will succeed where a 2017 bid to win the region`s independence from Spain failed.
• Three pro-independence pardes boosted their showing in the February 14 elections including the leftist ERC and the hardline `Together for Catalonia` (JxC), who have ruled in a regional coalition since 2015

9. Gaza rockets part of resistance, says Indian collective

• Rockets fired by Palestinians against Israel are part of a `resistance` which is supported by international law, a group of writers and artistes led by Arundhati Roy and Nayantara Sahgal has declared.
• In a statement, the collective accused Israeli government of killing Palestinian children and blamed Israeli settlers for illegally trying to snatch Palestinian land. The collective, which includes actor Ratna Pathak Shah, Naseeruddin Shah, novelist Githa Hariharan and economist Prabhat Patnaik, said narration of the latest fighting in Gaza should not deprive Palestinians of their `dignity and right to resist`

10. Perfect 10 as Nadal overpowers Djokovic in Rome decider

• Rafael Nadal defeated world number one Novak Djokovic to win a 10th Italian Open title on May 17, 2021 while fellow French Open champion Iga Swiatek whitewashed Karolina Pliskova in just 45 minutes to claim the women`s tournament.
• Second seed Nadal won through 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 in 2hr 49min against the defending champion to match Djokovic`s record of 36 Masters 1000 titles and lay down a key marker two weeks out from the defence of his Roland Garros crown

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Shahzad F. Malik

Shahzad F. Malik

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