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November 01, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
1. Two law firms shortlisted to fight for Pakistan`s Basmati
• Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to pick one of the international law firms shortlisted for fighting Pakistan`s case in the European Union to protect the country`s long-grain aromatic Basmati rice after India applied for `an exclusive` GI (Geographical Indications) tag for the brand name.
• Both Pakistan and India had earlier in the late 1990s and the early 2000s jointly won the legal battle against an attempt of Texas-based company, RiceTec, to patent Basmati rice in the United States. After losing the battle, the company named its rice brand as Texmati
2. Constitutional amendment bill: Dual nationals to be allowed to contest election conditionally
• The government has finally moved a constitutional amendment bill in the National Assembly to allow dual nationals to contest elections and to hold open Senate polls as opposed to the present system of secret ballots.
• The government has gone ahead with the move despite the fact that it lacks the requisite two-thirds majority in parliament.
• According to the bill, an elected dual national has to renounce their foreign citizenship before taking oath as a federal or provincial legislator.
• For this purpose, the 26th Constitutional Amendment Bill seeks to change Article 63(1)(c). The amendment says a person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of parliament, if he “in case of dual citizenship does not provide as a conclusive proof the certificate of renunciation of citizenship of a foreign state before taking oath.” It substitutes “if he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state.”
3. World Justice Project 2020: Pakistan slips down in absence of corruption, rule of law index
• Pakistan fell four places down in the global ranking of “Absence of Corruption” factor whereas the country’s overall ranking in the rule of law index for the year 2020 has dropped by one position as compared to the previous year, detailed report of the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2020 reveals.
• The World Justice Project (WJP) measures rule of law performance in 128 countries and jurisdictions across eight primary factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice. The Index is the world’s leading source for original, independent data on the rule of law. The WJP’s Rule of Law Index (RLI) 2020 reflects that Pakistan secured 0.39 score and placed the country on 120th position in the world ranking. Whereas in 2019 Pakistan’s ranking was 117 and its total score was 0.39. In 2019 the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law report included 126 countries in its report however, it added two new countries in its 2020 report
4. Centre launches WhatsApp number for complaints as infections surge
• With the arrival of the 2nd wave and continued ‘wide scale violation’ of the Covid-19 SOPs, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has decided to seek citizens’ help for SOPs compliance by launching a WhatsApp number for registration of Covid-related violations.
• Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar in a tweet on Saturday said, “If you come across any violation of Covid-19 SOPs like non-wearing of mask, non-adherence to social distancing, overcrowding at public places, etc, please take and brief account of violation and sent it to 03353336262 along with location name, tehsil, date and time and event.
5. Scientists make electrifying diamond find
• Diamond could conduct electricity like metals when it is deformed to strains at the nanoscale, according to predictions from a study by an international team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.
• Using computer simulations, the team, which also includes researchers from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), Russia, has shown as an early proof-of-concept that mechanical strain applied to nanoscale diamond needles could reversibly alter their geometry and hence their electrical properties, giving them a metal-like conductivity at room temperature and pressure.
6. Berlin`s much-delayed new airport welcomes first flights
• Berlin`s new international airport officially opened on October 31, 2 020 nine years late, massively over-budget and in the middle of a virus-induced air transport crisis.
• The first flights operated by low-cost pioneer EasyJet and German national carrier Lufthansa touched down at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) around 2pm after flying in from nearby Tegel Airport and Munich respectively. Many Germans had almost given up on the airport after years of delays and spiralling costs which saw the f acility finally open nine years late.
7. Iraq Kurdish ex-governor dies in US
• Former Kirkuk governor Najmeddin Karim, who was forced to quit for organising a referendum in defiance of Iraq’s federal government and wanted for corruption, died on October 31, 2020.
• Aged 71, Karim passed away at dawn in a hospital in the United States. He held both Iraqi and US citizenship
8. Sean Connery, the `original` James Bond, dies at 90
• Sean Connery, the charismatic Scottish actor who rose to international superstardom as the suave secret agent James Bond and then abandoned the role to carve out an Oscar-winning career in other rugged roles, has died. He was 90.
• Connery`s wife and two sons said he died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family in the Bahamas, where he lived. Son Jason Connery said his father had been unwell for some time
9. Senior journalist Salim Asmi passes away
• Senior journalist and former editor of daily Dawn Saleem Asmi passed away on November 1, 2020. He was 84.
• Asmi was born on November 29, 1934, in Jhansi but he spent his formative years in Delhi. After Partition, his father migrated to Pakistan and settled in Hyderabad, where he completed his school education. Later, the family moved to Karachi and Asmi did his Masters in English literature from the University of Karachi.
10. Shaheen, Wahab help Pakistan down spirited Zimbabwe in first ODI
• Shaheen Shah Afridi and Wahab Riaz grabbed nine wickets between them as Pakistan held off a spirited Zimbabwe comeback, inspired by Brendan Taylor`s brilliant century, to secure a 26-run victory in the first One-day International at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on October 30, 2020.
• Chasing 282, Zimbabwe staged a superb fight back on the back of Taylor`s 11th one-day ton and youngster Wesley Madhevere, who shared a defiant 119-run partnership after the visitors had been struggling at 115-4.
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