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October 18, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Flood damage survey complete in 46 districts of Balochistan, KP
• The National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) on October 17, 2022 announced that a joint survey of damages caused by the catastrophe has been completed in 46 districts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
• A meeting of the NFRCC, held with Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal in the chair, was informed that out of the 46 districts where the damage survey has been completed 20 are in KP while 26 fall in Balochistan.
• The survey is still ongoing in 22 districts of Sindh, six of Balochistan, 13 of KP and two districts of Punjab.
• It was informed that the number of teams conducting the survey to be increased so that the exercise could be completed as early as possible
2. With turnout at 35pc, FAFEN finds by-polls peaceful
• With only 35 per cent of the registered voters turning out on the election day, by-elections in eight National Assembly and three Punjab Assembly constituencies remained peaceful.
• However, there were scattered instances of irregularities primarily concerning unchecked campaigning inside and around polling stations, Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) said on October 17, 2022.
• Overall, the voter turnout remained low compared to the general elections of 2018. The male turnout declined from 57.3 per cent in the general election to 39.5pc in the by-election, while the female turnout dropped from 45pc to 29.7pc
3. Life expectancies diverged in Covid`s second year: study
• There was a dramatic divergence in the average life expectancy of people in different global regions during the second year of the pandemic, a study found on Monday, as higher vaccination rates helped some nations recover far more quickly than others.
• Because governments have counted Covid statistics in different ways, researchers have sought to give a clearer picture of the pandemic`s true impact by measuring a country`s total number of annual deaths from all causes and comparing it to the number from before the pandemic.
• Last year, researchers at Oxford University`s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science said that in 2020 the pandemic caused the biggest decrease in life expectancy since World War II.
• But in 2021, a `sudden divergence appears,` said Ridhi Kashyap, a professor of demography at Oxford and coauthor of the latest study, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour
4. NATO holds `routine` nuclear drill amid Russia tensions
• NATO on October 17, 2022 launched its regular nuclear deterrence drills in western Europe, after tensions soared with Russia over President Vladimir Putin`s veiled threats in the face of setbacks in Ukraine.
• The 30-nation alliance has stressed that the `routine, recurring training activity` which runs until October 30 was planned before Moscow invaded Ukraine and is not linked to the current situation.
• It will involve US B-52 long-range bombers, and up to 60 aircraft in total will take part in training flights over Belgium, the United Kingdom and the North Sea.
• NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has rejected any calls to scrap the drill after Putin ratcheted up his nuclear rhetoric as his troops lose ground in Ukraine.
5. Lahore Master Plan approved
• Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi has approved Lahore Master Plan-2050 besides giving nod to `one-window` facility for expatriate Pakistanis in the housing schemes of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA).
• Presiding over the LDA governing body meeting on Monday, the chief minister stated that because of the one-window facility, overseas Pakistanis would be able to purchase plots from the LDA in a day, adding they would also get the plots transferred in their name the same day.
• He also directed to the officials concerned to execute Shahdara plan as soon as possible so that its construction work could be launched.
• Consultant Mr David gave a detailed briefing on the Lahore Master Plan-2050 at the meeting that also discussed economic development, regional strategy and other issues