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November 08, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
1. Agonising wait ends as Biden wins presidency in deeply divided US
• Democrat Joe Biden captured the US presidency on November 7, 2020 as voters narrowly rebuffed Republican incumbent Donald Trump`s tumultuous leadership and embraced Biden`s promise to fight the coronavirus pandemic and fix the economy in a divided nation.
• Winning the battleground state of Pennsylvania`s 20 electoral college votes gave the former vice president more than the 270 he needed to triumph, prompting all major TV networks to declare him victor after four days of nailbiting suspense following the Tuesday election
2. PM terms `radical Islamism` enemy of France
• French Prime Minister Jean Castex on November 7, 2020 lamented the killings of three people killed by a knife attacker in Nice and named `radical Islamism` as an `enemy` for the country.
• `We know the enemy, it has not only been identified, but has a name, it`s radical Islamism,` Castex told a memorial service in Nice, recalling that the city had already paid a `heavy toll` when 86 people were killed in a 2016 truck ramming attack against a crowd on France`s July 14 national day.
• Radical Islamism is `a political ideology which distorts the Muslim religion by twisting its scriptures`, he added.
• `Every time it`s France that`s in the sights, is the target of terrorism,` Castex said.
3. China signs contracts to buy commodities from 15 countries including Pakistan
• China’s State Development and Investment Corp has announced that it has signed procurement contracts with 20 foreign companies during the ongoing third China International Import Expo being held in Shanghai.
• The purchase covers more than 20 kinds of commodities including grain, fruit, textiles and chemical products from 15 economies such as Pakistan, Cambodia, Indonesia and South Africa, according to China Daily on November 7, 2020
4. UAE relaxes Islamic laws to `boost tolerance`
• The United Arab Emirates announced on November 7, 2020 a major overhaul of the country`s Islamic personal laws, allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, loosening alcohol restrictions and criminalising honour killings.
• The broadening of personal freedoms reflects the changing profile of a country that has sought to bill itself as a westernised destination for tourists, fortune-seekers and businesses despite its Islamic legal code that has previously triggered court cases against foreigners and outrage in their home countries
5. Former TV presenter among three killed in Kabul bombing
• A former Afghan television presenter and two other civilians were killed in a Kabul bombing on November 7, 2020, in an attack officials blamed on a group linked to the Taliban.
• Yama Slawash was killed when a bomb attached to his vehicle exploded near his home in the Afghan capital, police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz told journalists.
• The murder of Siawash comes amid a rise in violence across the country even as the Taliban and Afghan government engage in peace talks in Qatar to end the country`s grinding war
6. World Town Planning Day 2020
• World Urbanism Day or more explicitly, “World Town Planning Day,” is celebrated on November 8, every year
• Historically, it was established in 1949 by Professor Carlos Maria Della Paolera from University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
• The concept of world urban planning day has been reformed from a day to a week in which every day, a new aspect of urbanisation is marked and pondered upon. One of those days is known as “World Urbanism Day”.
7. Turkey fires central bank governor
• Turkey fired the governor of its central bank and replaced him with a former finance minister, according to a presidential decree published on November 7, 2020 in the official gazette, after the Turkish lira reached record lows.
• Naci Agbal was named as the new governor and no reason was provided in the decree for why his predecessor — Murat Uysal — was replaced after just 16 months in the job.
• Uysal was given the role after disagreements between the previous governor, Murat Cetinkaya, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over cutting interest rates.
8. Spending time in nature good for mental health: Study
• Taking a stroll in nature is good for people struggling with their mental health, but the benefits are hindered if a person is instructed to do so by their doctor or loved ones.
• So-called ‘green prescriptions’ are becoming increasingly popular as GPs use Mother Nature to help people struggling with depression, anxiety and other issues.
9. Babar leads Pakistan to easy win over Zimbabwe in first T20
• Captain Babar Azam hit a fluent half century and spurred Pakistan to a six-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 international at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on November 7, 2020.
• Babar proved yet again why he is one of the top batsmen in white ball cricket as the right-hander made 82 off 55 balls, while reaching his 15th half century in Twenty20 Internationals as Pakistan eased to 157-4 in 18.5 overs for a 1-0 lead in the three match series.
• Mohammad Hafeez scored 36 off 32 balls and together with Babar shared an 80-run stand as fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani finished with 2-26
10. Noted author, intellectual Haidar Abbas Gardezi dies
• Noted author, intellectual and PPP leader Syed Haidar Abbas Gardezi died after brief illness on November 7, 2020.
• He was the son in law of noted political leader Syed Qaswar Gardezi and brother in law of Syed Muzaffar Hussain Gardezi, Syed Aun Abbas Gardezi, Dr. Ali Raza Gardezi, and Mango Growers Association (MGA) Multan president Syed Zahid Hussain Gardezi. Late Haidar Abbas Gardezi is survived by a widow and three daughters.
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