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November 26, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Pakistan has sovereign right to make any decision on CPEC: US
• Pakistan has a sovereign right to decide its future with regard to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), says the US ambassador.
• `US Assistant Secretary Alice Wells` comments on CPEC were meant to generare a debate; however, it is Pakistan`s sovereign right to decide its future (in thisregard). We do not expect everyone to agree with us or agree with every aspect of her speech,` US Ambassador to Islamabad Paul W.
• Talking to reporters after visiting the historic Wazir Khan Masjid to review the ongoing restoration work under the `US Ambassador`s Fund for Cultural Preservation`, Mr Jones said there should be plenty of debate and discussions on her [Ms Wells`] speech
2. Major shuffle brings in new army CGS, SPD chief
• Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza was on November 25, 2019 named as the army`s next Chief of General Staff (CGS) in a major reshuffle that also brought in Lt Gen Nadeem Zaki Manj as new Director General of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), which is the custodian of nuclear arsenal.
• The reshuffle in the army was caused by promotion of Gen Nadeem Raza as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee last week and retirement of Lt Gen Sarfraz Sattar after being superseded. Gen Raza was prior to his promotion serving as CGS, while Gen Sattar was posted as SPD director general.
• Two major generals were also promoted to fill in the vacancies created due to promotion of Gen Raza and retirement of Gen Sattar.
• Gen Mirza will be the 34th CGS of the army.
• The post of CGS is considered as the most influential one within the army after that of the army chief. The CGS is assigned operational and intelligence matters at the General Headquarters with the directorates of Military Operations and Military Intelligence falling under his purview
3. Dutch queen arrives as UN representative
• Queen Maxima of the Netherlands arrived on November 25, 2019 on a two-day visit as a United Nations special representative.
• She was received at the Nur Khan Air Base by senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives of the Netherlands Embassy. Queen Maxima is visiting Pakistan in her capacity as the UN secretary general`s special advocate 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. She will also attend the launch of 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.
• Queen Maxima as UN secretary general`s special advocate since 2009 has been actively engaged worldwide in promoting access of individuals and enterprises to financial services at a reasonable cost, with the aim of creating economic and social development opportunities. She earlier visited Pakistan in February 2016.-APP Ehsaas launching Prime Minister Khan will launch on Tuesday (today) the much-anticipated Ehsaas programme in the presence of Queen Maxima, adds Our Staff Reporter
4. Princess Sara of Jordan arriving today (November 26, 2019)
• The World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations announced on November 26, 2019 that Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan will arrive in Islamabad on Tuesday on a four-day visit to Pakistan.
• In her role as a special adviser to the WFP on maternal and child health and nutrition, Princess Zeid will use the visit to highlight the importance of scaling up nutrition with focus on children and women.
• She will visit a number of WFP supported nutrition projects and see firsthand how WFP is supporting the government in addressing malnutrition, particularly stunting that affects 12 million, or two-thirds of children, in Pakistan.
• She will be accompanied by officials of the Islamic Development Bank
5. Pak navy chief attends Saudi maritime forum
• Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi attended first Saudi International Maritime Forum – 2019 (SIM Forum – 2019) held in Riyadh during his official visit to Saudi Arabia.
• The admiral also addressed the forum, participated the second session as guest of honour, called on commander Royal Saudi Naval Forces and held interactions with his naval counterparts from various countries. ‘Saudi International Maritime Forum – 2019’ was the first multinational naval event organized by Saudi Royal Naval Forces. The forum included series of lectures and panel discussions.
6. Trump fires navy chief over handling of SEAL case
• The chief of the US Navy on Sunday criticised Donald Trump after being sacked in a dispute over an elite SEAL commando whose demotion for misconduct was reversed by the president.
• Richard Spencer was ousted as Navy Secretary, a civilian position, in a case that has fueled reports of anger among US military leadership over Trump`s interference in discipline cases.
• `I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principles of good order and discipline, Spencer said in a stinging letter published by US media.
7. Turkey tests Russian missile defences despite US threats
• Turkey began testing on November 25, 2019 its Russian missile defence system ,local media reported, despite repeated calls from the United States that it could lead to sanctions.
• Planes, including F-16 fighter jets, circled the Murted military base in Ankara province to test the newly acquired S-400 system and train Turkish operators, news agency DHA reported.
• Turkey`s acquisition of the S-400 in July was met with consternation by its Nato allies.
• The US argues there is a risk that sensitive technological information could be leaked if it is used alongside Western equipment such as the new F-35 jet
8. Qatar, Kuwait to join US-led naval coalition
• Qatar and Kuwait have told the United States that they will join a US-led naval coalition in the Gulf which was established in response to a series of attacks on oil tankers.
• The coalition, based out of Bahrain and known as the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), was formed after a series of attacks earlier this year heightened the risk of disruption to Gulf oil exports shipped through the Strait of Hormuz. The United States blamed the attacks on Iran, which Tehran denied.
• `Qatar and Kuwait have already told us they are going to join, so it is just a matter of time,` said US Army Colonel John Conklin, chief of staff of the coalition
9. Uber loses licence to operate in London
• Uber will not be granted a new licence to operate in London.
• The regulator said the taxi app was not “fit and proper” as a licence holder, despite having made a number of positive changes to its operations. Uber originally lost its licence in 2017 due to safety concerns, but was granted a 15-month extension.
• The firm says it will appeal against the decision and can continue to operate during that process. It had received an additional two-month extension in September which expired on Sunday. Uber has faced resistance from regulators and traditional taxi services in a range of countries after being dogged by controversy for a number of years.
10. Nadal delivers glory for Spain as Davis Cup starts new era
• Spain`s talisman Rafael Nadal sealed a sixth Davis Cup title for his country on November 24, 2019 when they beat Canada 2-0 in the final of the revamped event.
• After a week of relentless tension and late-night heroics it was perhaps asking too much for the first final in the Davis Cup`s new guise to deliver a classic and so it proved as Spain became the last nation standing of the 18 who assembled in Madrid.
• With Spain`s King Felipe watching on, the 33-year-old Nadal fought off Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6(7) to give Spain their first title since 2011.
• If any player deserved to get his hands on the famous old trophy again it was Nadal after he worked overtime all week, of ten into the small hours, to win all eight matches he played.
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