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November 25, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. PTI’s Sultan Mahmood defeats PML-N candidate in Mirpur by-poll
• Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (AJK Chapter) Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry won by-election for Mirpur LA-III seat of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly defeating nearest rival, ruling PML-N candidate on November 24, 2019.
• According to unofficial results announced by the Returning Officer Civil Judge Mian Naeem Ullah at a news conference in his office here Sunday night, PTI’s nominee Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, former prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, bagged 17,673 votes while his nearest rival PML-N’s Chaudhry Sohaib Saeed obtained 14,813 votes. Sultan won the election with a margin of 2,860 votes, according to unofficial result.
• Muhammad Shafiqueur Rehman, the candidate of Tehreek-e-Labaik AJK, remained third in the election as he secured 1,393 votes, said unofficial result
2. Pashto dept established in Loralai varsity
• Established as a sub-campus of the University of Balochistan in 2009 and elevated to the status of a varsity in 2012, the University of Loralai has added another feather to its cap by introducing Pashto language department.
• A ceremony was organized on the campus, which is the third general university in the province and the first one in Zhob division, on November 23, 2019.
• The University of Loralai had started its academic activities initially with the departments of Management Sciences, Computer Science and Commerce. Later in 2014, it started offering admissions to Education department. In recent years, the university also established departments of sociology, social work and English language.
3. `One in three women faces physical, sexual violence`
• One in three women and girls worldwide experiences physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner.
• Only 52pc of married women freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care.
• These observations have been made by the United Nations on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women being observed on Monday.
• The day this year aims at highlighting the theme of `Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape` The day will mark the launch of 16 Days of Activism that will conclude on Dec 10 which is the Human Rights Day. Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in the world but remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.
4. Queen Maxima arrives today
• Queen Maxima of the Netherlands will arrive here November 25, 2019 on a two-day visit in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate (UNSGSA) for Inclusive Finance for Development.
• During the visit, Queen Maxima will call on President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan besides holding meetings with a range of stakeholders from public and private sectors.
• Queen Maxima will attend the launch of the Micro Payment Gateway, an initiative of the State Bank of Pakistan aimed at reducing the costs of small payments and boosting digital transactions to benefit people and promote financial inclusion
5. Resolution urges US Congress to oppose use of force in Kashmir
• A resolution introduced in the US House of Representatives urges Congress to for bid any use of force against civilian populations in India-held Kashmir, either by governmental or nongovernmental actors.
• The resolution, moved by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, also urges Congress to `oppose and condemn the use of pellet shotguns and rubber bullets as a crowd control method in any case`.
• Tlaib, a Democrat from the 13th district of the state of Michigan, is a Palestinian Arab and a leading human rights campaigner. Tlaib was among the first US lawmakers to condemn India`s Aug 5 decision to annex Kashmir and urges India to reconsider its decision, stop human rights violations and respect basic rights of the Kashmir issues she also raises in this resolution.
6. Bolivia`s interim president signs off on new elections
• Bolivia`s interim President Jeanine Anez signed off on new elections on November 24, 2019, in a key step towards ending weeks of unrest and turning the page on Latin American leftist icon Evo Morales.
• At least 32 people have been killed in violence that erupted after a disputed election on Oct 20, with blockades causing severe fuel and food shortages in La Paz and other cities.
• Congress on November 23, 2019 gave the green light for a new vote without Morales, Bolivia`s first indigenous president who had been seeking a fourth term after ruling the poor but resource-rich Andean country for nearly 14 years.
• Morales claimed victory in last month`s elections that opposition groups said had been rigged, triggering weeks of violent street protests.
7. Israel set to become first democracy to expel HRW staffer
• Israel is set to become the first democracy to expel a Human Rights Watch employee, its executive director Ken Roth said on November 24, 2019, denouncing the upcoming deportation of one of his staffers.
• US citizen Omar Shakir, the New York-based rights group`s director for Israel and the Palestinian territories, is to be deported from Israel on Monday over his alleged support of a boycott of the country.
• The expulsion, upheld by the supreme court, would make Shakir the first person to be expelled from the country under a controversial 2017 law allowing the deportation of foreigners who support a boycott of Israel, according to authorities
8. China sends two BeiDou satellites
• China sent two satellites of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 8:55 a.m. November 23, 2019.
• Launched on a Long March-3B carrier rocket and the Yuanzheng-1 (Expedition-1) upper stage attached to the carrier rocket, the two satellites have entered their planned orbits. They are the 50th and 51st satellites of the BDS satellite family.
• The two medium earth orbit satellites are also network satellites of the BeiDou-3 system.
• The launch was the 319th mission for the Long March series carrier rockets.
9. Google tackles black box problem with Explainable AI
• There is a problem with artificial intelligence. It can be amazing at churning through gigantic amounts of data to solve challenges that humans struggle with. But understanding how it makes its decisions is often very difficult to do, if not impossible.
• That means when an AI model works it is not as easy as it should be to make further refinements, and when it exhibits odd behaviour it can be hard to fix. But at an event in London this week, Google’s cloud computing division pitched a new facility that it hopes will give it the edge on Microsoft and Amazon, which dominate the sector. Its name: Explainable AI.
• To start with, it will give information about the performance and potential shortcomings of face- and object-detection models. But in time the firm intends to offer a wider set of insights to help make the “thinking” of AI algorithms less mysterious and therefore more trustworthy
10. Australia wrap up innings win despite Babar, Rizwan heroics
• Australia duly wrapped up victory over Pakistan by an innings and five runs in the First Test in Brisbane on November 24, 2019 but they were forced to wait until late on day four by a magnificent rearguard action from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.
• The hosts needed only seven wickets on Sunday to ensure they would take a 1-0 lead to Adelaide Oval for the second and final match of the series but Babar`s second Test century and 95 from Rizwan stalled their march to victory.
• The pair were finally dislodged after a 132-run partnership and the Australian fast bowlers finished the job with the second new ball, dismissing the last four batsmen for 30 runs to maintain Australia`s remarkable 31-year unbeaten run at the Gabba
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