November 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (November 02 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS


November 02, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. Pakistan to take up projects for Chinese funding in JCC talks

• Pakistan will take up new projects for Chinese financing and investment to expand the $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) when officials of the two countries meet here on Nov 6 as part of the Joint Cooperation Committee`s (JCC) annual consultations.
• Minister for Planning and Development Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar said that Pakistan for the first time would formally engage with Chinese authorities during the JCC meetings to start negotiations on $9bn Main Railway Line (ML-1) and D.I. Khan to Zhob Motorway project of the CPEC`s western route.
• The road project was now the only missing link in the Islamabad to Quetta motorway network which would be completed in about three years, Mr Bakhtyar said

2. First-ever winter contingency plan ready

• The Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has made the first-ever winter contingency plan as the province faces a range of natural hazards in the winter season.
• The natural hazards mentioned in the plan include flashfloods, seismic activity along the mountainous north and west, landslides, and prolonged spells of droughts in the arid zones of the province.
• Secretary of the relief and rehabilitation and settlement department Mohammad Abid Majeed told Dawn that natural disasters caused massive losses to people`s life and livelihoods, which retarded economic growth.
• `Under this contingency plan, the department would make efforts to minimise the losses likely to be caused by the natural disasters,` he said

3. SBP launches National Payment Systems Strategy

• State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir launched the National Payment Systems Strategy (NPSS) in an event held November 1, 2019 at its headquarters in Karachi.
• President of the World Bank, David Robert Malpass was the chief guest at the event that was attended by key stakeholders including regulators, government entities, banks, telcos, Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs), Payment System Operators (PSOs) and Payment Service Providers (PSPs) and other Fintechs.

4. Saudi Arabia agrees to increase Pakistan’s labour quota

• Saudi Arabia has agreed to a request by Pakistan for an increased share of the labor force in the multi-billion dollar New Taif City development.
• The Saudi labor minister told that Pakistani manpower will play a big part in the project, and that his leadership also asked for this.
• Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have formed working groups to develop procedures for this transfer of manpower.

5. Situation in held Kashmir unsustainable, says Merkel

• The conditions in which the people of occupied Kashmir are living are unsustainable and must be improved, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters accompanying her on a trip to New Delhi where she held talks with India`s prime minister.
• She said she would raise the matter with Narendra Modi later on November 1, 2019 evening, adding that while she was aware of India`s position regarding the former state, she wanted to hear Modi`s plans for restoring calm to the disputed region.
• `The situation for the people there is currently not sustainable and must improve,` Merkel said.
• The region has been convulsed by protests against New Delhi`s decision to revoke the mainly Muslim area`s political autonomy

6. ILO stops using funds from tobacco firms for charitable causes

• The UN labour organisation has agreed not to renew controversial funding from tobacco companies for charitable programmes, but has left the door open to cooperating with the industry on future projects.
• The International Labour Organisation`s (ILO) governing body finally reached a compromise on the issue of the UN agency`s ties to the tobacco industry, in a bid to end years of acrimonious debate on the issue.
• The ILO has long been under fire for partnerships with several of the world`s biggest tobacco companies on charitable programmes in a range of countries, which expired last year.

7. Turkey begins joint patrol with Russia in northern Syria

• Turkey started joint patrols with Russia in northern Syria on November 1, 2019 to verify whether Kurdish forces have withdrawn from a key border zone in compliance with a deal reached between Ankara and Moscow.
• The patrols follow an agreement they signed in the Black Sea resort of Sochi last week which gave Kurdish forces 150 hours to withdraw from a band of territory along Syria`s border with Turkey, in a process that Russia said was now complete.
• The patrols add to the complicated mix of forces operating along the frontier, including US troops who patrolled an eastern section on Thursday for the first time since US President Donald Trump said last month his country`s troops were withdrawing.

8. N Korea test-fires new multiple rocket launcher

• North Korea confirmed November 1, 2019 it conducted its third test-firing of a new “super-large” multiple rocket launcher that it says expands its ability to destroy enemy targets in surprise attacks.
• The latest launches extended a months long streak of weapons displays by the North, which continues to use a standstill in nuclear negotiations to advance its military capabilities while pressuring Washington for concessions.
• Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency described the tests a day after the South Korean and Japanese militaries said they detected two projectiles launched from an area near the North Korean capital traveling more than 321 kilometers (200 miles) cross-country before landing in waters off the North’s eastern coast.

9. China rolls out ‘one of the world’s largest’ 5G networks

• China’s mobile operators have made 5G services available to consumers, as the country seeks to become a global technology leader.
• State-owned carriers China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom unveiled their 5G data plans on October 31, 2019.
• It comes as Beijing and Washington have been embroiled in a power struggle over trade and technology.
• South Korea, the US and the UK have all rolled out their next generation 5G networks this year.
• 5G is the fifth-generation of mobile internet connectivity. It promises much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections.

10. Spain offers to host climate summit in Madrid

• Just a day after the President of Chile said his country could no longer hold the world’s annual climate conference, Spain has offered to host it in Madrid.
• The critical meeting, called COP25, was due to take place in Santiago for two weeks from 3 December. Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said his government needed “to prioritise re-establishing public order” after serious anti-government protests.
• Spain’s offer will be considered by the UN’s climate body next week. The Spanish government said it considered multilateral action on climate change to be a priority for the UN. The annual Conference of the Parties (COP) is usually an important moment for taking stock of where the world stands on climate change.
• Costa Rica, the other frontrunner, withdrew because of the costs involved in hosting.

Day by Day Current Affairs (November 02 2019)

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