September 2020

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (September 01, 2020) for CSS, PMS


September 01, 2020: National / International Current Affairs

1. Islamabad, Kabul vow to address challenges plaguing ties

• As bilateral meetings between Pakistan and Afghanistan under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) resumed on August 31, 2020, both sides vowed to make the best of this engagement framework for addressing the challenges that keep plaguing their ties.
• `The two sides reiterated their commitment to optimally utilise APAPPS to deliberate on all key issues, effectively address common challenges, and pursue new opportunities,` a statement issued by the Foreign Office said after the APAPPS second review meeting in Kabul earlier in the day.
• Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood led the Pakistani delegation comprising senior officers at the talks. The Afghan side was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab

2. 15 full-fledged depts created for south Punjab secretariat

• The Punjab government has created 15 full-fledged administrative departments in the newly-established south Punjab secretariat but without a proper transition plan in place.
• The Punjab finance department on August 31, 2020 created 77 new posts of administrative secretaries, additional secretaries and deputy secretaries for the secretariat and soon afterwards notified posting of 10 secretaries offering them maximum functional autonomy.
• The Punjab government had already allocated 35 per cent of its provincial budget for south Punjab and ring-fenced it.
• The posting of secretaries came as a surprise as the move would bifurcate the jurisdiction of already serving secretaries` departments. The plan of deciding respective secretaries` jurisdiction is reportedly yet to be prepared

3. PIA not to file appeal against flights suspension

• Amid the aviation crisis, the Pakistan International Airlines management has decided not to lodge an appeal against the European Union Aviation Safety Agency`s (EASA) suspension of the PIA flights to and from the EU member states as the two-month deadline for filing the appeal expired on Aug 30.
• The decision was taken in the wake of a scheduled visit to Pakistan of the International Air Transport Association`s (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) team on Sept 7 to assess the operational management and control systems of the PIA. According to sources, the IATA designated safety audit team is expected to stay here for five days.

4. 90pc countries faced disruption to health services amid Covid-19

• The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that people in 90 per cent of the countries faced disruption to essential health services since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
• In its survey `Rapid assessment of continuity of essential health services during the Covid-19 pandemic`, the WHO said that the low and middle-income countries had reported the greatest difficulties.
• `Most countries reported that many routine and elective services have been suspended, while critical care such as cancer screening and treatment and HIV therapy has seen high-risk interruptions in low-income countries,` it said in a statement.

5. Lebanon designates new PM as Macron visits

• Lebanon`s under-fire leaders on August 31, 2020 designated a new prime minister, diplomat Mustapha Adib, to tackle the country`s deep political and economic crisis, hours before French President Emmanuel Macron was due to visit.
• Mustapha Adib, 48, Lebanon`s former envoy to Germany, gave a televised speech acknowledging the `need to form a government in record time and to begin implementing reforms immediately`.
• He vowed to resume talks with the International Monetary Fund for assistance as Lebanon faces its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war and was traumatised by Beirut`s deadly August 4 explosion

6. Indian army reports escalation on China border

• The Indian Army on August 31, 2020 reported an escalation in its months old standoff with Chinese troops, but a spokesman in Beijing claimed routing talks were underway over the disputed border.
• The Hindu quoted the Indian Army as accusing Chinese troops of carrying out aggressive moves to change the status quo on the South Bank of Pangong Tso, claiming the attempts had been thwarted.
• `On the night of August 29/30, 2020, PLA troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo,` the Army said in a statement

7. US-Israeli delegation lands in Abu Dhabi on historic flight

• A US-Israeli delegation, led by White House adviser Jared Kushner, arrived on August 31, 2020, on the historic first commercial flight from Tel Aviv to mark the normalisation of ties between the Jewish state and the UAE.
• In another breakthrough, Saudi Arabia allowed the flight to cross its airspace, halving what would otherwise have been a long trip around the Arabian peninsula.
• `This is the first time this has ever happened. I would like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for making that possible,` Kushner, US President Donald Trump`s son-in-law.

8. Qatar introduces major changes to labour law

• Qatar has introduced major changes to its labour market and has ended the requirement for migrant workers to obtain their employers` permission to change jobs, thus becoming the first country in the region to adopt non-discriminatory minimum wage.
• The new law, coupled with the removal of exit permit requirements earlier in the year, effectively dismantles the `kafala` sponsorship system and marks the beginning of a new era for the Qatari labour market. Under the new law, announced on Aug 30, migrant workers can now change jobs before the end of their contract without first having to obtain an NOC from their employers

9. Twitter complied with 35pc legal requests from Pakistan in 2019

• According to the latest biannual transparency report, micro blogging website Twitter has started complying with content removal requests from Pakistan a marked departure from previous years of non-compliance.
• The total compliance rate, released for the first time by the company, refers to the percent-age of requests where Twitter took a specific action to remove content (e.g, Tweet or account withheld, Tweet removed, or an account was suspended) in response to a legal demand.
• The company has released its latest transparency report for the period of July-December 2019 with a comprehensive Twitter Transparency Centre

10. Former Indian president Mukherjee dies at 84

• Former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee, a veteran powerbroker once described in leaked US diplomatic cables as `the ultimate Congress Party fixer`, died on Monday at the age of 84, his family said. He died of multiple organ failure after being admitted to hospital weeks ago, having also contracted coronavirus.
• The Bengal-origin politician was a protege of former premier Indira Gandhi and was a member of her cabinet when she suspended democratic rights in the infamous `Emergency` of 1975-77.
• Mukherjee`s star waned after Gandhi`s assassination in 1984 when he was a rival to her son and heir Rajiv Gandhi for leadership of the Congress party

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