February 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (February 14, 2021) for CSS, PMS


February 14, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. Lahore among world`s worst cities for its air quality

• The city`s Air Quality Index (AQI) once again turned very unhealthy on February 13, 2021 as the US AQI highlighted a score hovering between 208 to 320.
• Lahore is ranked as one of the most atmospherically-polluted city of the world, an official source in the environment department told Dawn.
• Meanwhile, heavy fog blanketed major cities of Punjab, affecting road and air traffic as motorways were closed and several flights can-celled because of low visibility levels

2. Former European Central Bank chief sworn in as Italy`s new PM

• Former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi was formally sworn in as Italy`s new prime minister on February 13, 2021, against the backdrop of the deadly coronavirus pandemic and a crippling recession.
• The appointment of the 73-year-old known as `Super Mario` capped weeks of political instability for the country still in the grips of the health crisis that has killed more than 93,000 people

3. Taliban warn NATO against seeking continuation of war in Afghanistan

• The Taliban on February 13, 2021 warned NATO against seeking a “continuation of war “, as the alliance weighs a planned withdrawal from Afghanistan.
• Defence ministers from the Washington-backed allies are to meet next week to discuss whether NATO’s 10,000-strong mission — mostly carrying out support roles — should stay or go, as Taliban violence rages.
• “Our message to the upcoming NATO ministerial meeting is that the continuation of occupation and war is neither in your interest nor in the interest of your and our people,” the Taliban said in a statement.

4. 200 years after Napoleon defeat, Russia and France bury their dead

• Russia-The remains of French and Russian soldiers who died during Napoleon’s catastrophic retreat from Moscow in 1812 were laid to rest February 13, 2021 in a rare moment of unity between the two countries.
• Officials and descendants of 19th-century Russian and French military leaders gathered for a windswept ceremony in the western town of Vyazma to re-bury the remains of 126 people killed in one of the bloodiest battles of Napoleon’s Russian campaign. The snow fell and a military band played in temperatures of minus 15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) as uniformed pall-bearers carried eight flag-draped caskets at a cemetery in Vyazma, a town more than 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of Moscow

5. Myanmar army suspends laws limiting forces, hunts protest backers

• Myanmar`s junta on February 13, 2021 suspended laws constraining security forces from detaining suspects or searching private property without court approval and ordered the arrest of well-known backers of mass protests against this month`s coup.
• A series of announcements came on the eighth day of country-wide demonstrations against the Feb1 takeover and detention of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, which halted an unsteady transition to democracy that began in 2011

6. US Senate votes to allow witnesses, prolonging Trump trial

• The US Senate voted on February 13, 2021 to allow witnesses at the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, a surprise move likely to prolong the proceedings, even as the top Republican senator said he would vote to acquit the former president of inciting insurrection. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reported decision to vote to acquit means Trump is unlikely to be convicted of the charge of inciting the deadly January 6 assault by his supporters on Congress.
• The Senate reconvened at 10:00 am (1500 GMT) to debate whether to allow witness testimony at the impeachment trial of the 74-year-old former Republican president

7. Peru health minister resigns over ex-president vaccine scandal: TV

• Peru’s health minister resigned on February 12, 2021, state TV reported, amid a growing scandal over claims that former President Martin Vizcarra was vaccinated against Covid-19 before the jab was available to the public.
• Pilar Mazzetti — who had served as the country’s minister of health since July last year — has presented her letter of resignation to President Francisco Sagasti, state television network TV Peru reported. The government is yet to formally confirm she is stepping down

8. Germany wants troops to stay on in Afghanistan

• Germany wants to extend its military presence in Afghanistan, where it has the second largest contingent after the United States, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on February 13, 2021.
• Peace negotiations between the government and the Taliban “will not be concluded before the end of March,” when Germany’s annual mandate is due to expire, he told the Funke media group

9. US seeks more Covid info from China, has ‘concerns’ on WHO probe

• The United States has ‘deep concerns’ about China’s early response to the Covid-19 crisis and wants Beijing to “make available its data from the earliest days of the outbreak,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on February 13, 2021.
• The statement came days after a World Health Organisation team of inquiry returned from Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the pandemic, and suggested the virus might have originated with frozen seafood products, not from a Chinese lab as some have suggested

10. Pretorius stars as SA level T20 series

• Devastating bowling by paceman Dwaine Pretorius, who claimed career-best 5-17, followed by superb batting from Reeza Hendricks and Pite van Biljon inspired South Africa to a crushing six-wicket win over Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium on February 13, 2021 and level the three match T20 series 1-1.
• It was South Africa`s first victory of the ongoing tour after losing the two-Test series and the first T20I by a close margin of three runs on Thursday

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