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August 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (August 1, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS, NTS

CSS Dimes Daily Current Affairs
Written by Shahzad F. Malik


 August 1, 2018

  1. US warns against IMF bailout for Pakistan that helps China
  • US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo has warned the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the Trump administration will not allow it to lend US dollars to Pakistan for repaying China.
  • In an interview to CNBC, broadcast on July 31, 2018 evening, Secretary Pompeo also expressed the desire to engage with the new Pakistani leadership in a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • The Financial Times reported earlier this week that Pakistan may seek an IMF bailout package of up to $12 billion to strengthen its fragile economy.
  • Interviewer Michelle Caruso Cabrera, however, depicted Pakistan`s possible request as borrowing money from the IMF to repay China, reminding Secretary Pompeo that IMF loans also include US taxpayer dollars.
  • The media interpreted this as a message to Pakistan, indicating that Washington will oppose its request for a bailout package from the IMF.
  • Ultimately, Pakistan will search for other options if the road to the IMF is blocked.
  • The reported $12bn package would be Pakistan`s largest bailout from the IMF.
  1. Religious parties clinch over 9pc share of votes in National Assembly

  • Despite the participation of 12 religious parties in the electoral battle this year, the far-right groups managed to secure only 5,203,285 (9.58 per cent) of the total 54,319,922 votes polled across the country as most of them saw a decline in their vote bank when compared to the 2013 general election.
  • The highest votes in favour of religious parties were cast in Punjab (2,704,856 votes) but that contributed to only 7.98pc of the province`s overall vote bank the lowest among all provinces as per the preliminary results released by the Election Commission of Pakistan. As compared to Punjab, their performance was better in Sindh where the religious parties received 1,116,644 votes (10.57pc of the total votes polled). However, religiously motivated groups dominated the electoral space in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where nine parties collectively secured 18.84pc of the votes polled, followed by Balochistan (16.78pc).
  • The recently revived Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) an alliance of various religious parties headed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman`s JUI-F and the Jamaat-i-Islami managed to secure 12 seats with 2.5 million votes for the National Assembly. Earlier in 2002, the MMA had emerged as the country`s third largest party with 3.1 million votes and 59 of its candidates had won. The alliance disintegrated when the JI boycotted the 2008 general elections. The JUI-F, however, took part in them. The JUI-F secured 760,000 votes in 2008 and 1.4 million votes in the 2013 general elections, while the JI had secured 960,000 votes in 2013.
  1. Pakistan assures US of its commitment to Afghan peace talks

  • In a meeting between US Defence Secretary James Mattis and Ambassador Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, Pakistan has reiterated its commitment to playing a part in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.
  • In his meeting with the US defence chief at the Pentagon, Ambassador Siddiqui also briefed Mr Mattis on Pakistan`s efforts to enhance its cooperation with Afghanistan.
  • This was the new Pakistani envoy`s first formal meeting with the US defence chief and Pakistan`s Defence Attaché Kamal Anwar Chaudhry also accompanied him.
  1. Pakistan, Russia sign MoU for naval cooperation

  • In a landmark development, Pakistan and the Russian Federation have signed a memorandum of understanding for naval cooperation.
  • The MoU was signed during a visit of Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Kaleem Shaukat to the Central Naval Museum at Saint Petersburg.
  • Both sides, while appreciating the conclusion of the MoU, expressed that the memorandum will certainly boost the existing bilateral naval collaboration between the two navies.
  • The Vice-Chief of Naval Staff also called on Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation. They exchanged views on professional matters and security situation in the Indian Ocean region.
  1. Use of words FATA, PATA banned

  • In view of 31st Constitutional amendment, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa caretaker chief minister banned use of words FATA and PATA in official correspondence/communication or documents and directed for using he words merged areas or merged districts in official correspondence, a notification stated.
  1. Three in five babies not breastfed within first hour of birth, report says

  • A report by Unicef and the World Health Organisation, released ahead of World Breastfeeding Week starting today (August 1, 2018), estimates that three in five 78 million babies are not breastfed within the first hour of life, putting them at a higher risk of death and disease and making them less likely to continue breastfeeding.
  • According to the report, 44pc of newborns are put to the breast within the first hour of birth. But this average masks dramatic disparities in breastfeeding rates across countries. The Global Breastfeeding Collective, a WHO and Unicef led group, aims to improve the rates of early breastfeeding initiation to 70pc.
  • Of the 129 countries whose data is available, only 22 currently meet this target.
  • The overall rate of exclusive breastfeeding for infants under six months is 40pc, only 23 countries have achieved at least 60pc exclusive breastfeeding for infants below six months, the report said.
  • This problem is particularly seen in the Americas, where only 6pc of countries have an exclusive breastfeeding rate above 60pc.
  • The collective has established a target to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding to at least 60pc by 2030.
  • According to Pakistan Demographic and Health Surveys, breastfeeding rates have not seen desired improvements over the last decade (37pc in 2006 and 38pc in 2012).
  • This combined with an increasing trend in bottle-feeding rates (32pc in 2006 and 41pc in 2012) has resulted in an undesirable situation for newborn and child health and survival.
  • In Pakistan, Unicef is supporting federal and provincial governments ensure measures to enforce the protection and promotion of breastfeeding.
  • The most recent multiple indicator cluster surveys in Pakistan show encouraging improvement in exclusive breastfeeding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan. KP has recently evidenced an increase in its exclusive breastfeeding rate by 10pc and is currently at 57pc, while GB is standing at 63pc.
  1. Putin gives Russian army a political wing

  • Vladimir Putin has created a new directorate inside the Russian army to promote patriotism, evoking memories of a Soviet practice that once saw soldiers taught the precepts of Marxism and Leninism by political commissars.
  • The move, approved by Putin in a presidential decree published on July 31, 2018, will affect Russia`s around 1 million active military service people and appears designed to ensure soldiers` loyalty at a time when Moscow is locked in a geopolitical standoff with the West.
  • Putin, commander-in-chief of Russia`s armed forces, ran as an independent candidate when re-elected to a new term in March.
  1. North Korea developing new missiles: WP

  • US intelligence agencies have found that North Korea is building new missiles, based on satellite photographs taken in recent weeks and other new evidence, The Washington Post reported.
  • Just weeks after a high-stakes summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang appears to be developing at least one or two liguid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic missiles, citing officials familiar with the intelligence.
  • The factory outside Pyongyang in Sanumdong where the work is underway produced the North`s first ICBMs capable of reaching the United States.
  • Following the Singapore summit in June, Trump had declared that Pyongyang was `no longer a Nuclear Threat, and touted his own diplomatic achievements.
  • But Kim did not publicly promise to end work at the country`s nuclear and missile facilities, instead speaking of eventual denuclearisation.
  1. Mars at closest point from Earth in 15 years

  • Earth`s neighboring planet, Mars, is closer than it has been in the past 15 years, offering unusually bright views of the Red Planet`s auburn hues.
  • `The Red Planet and Earth haven`t been this close since 2003, and won`t be again until 2035,` according to Nasa.
  • Astronomers around the world trained their telescopes on the sky on July 31, 2018, when the Red Planet was 57.6 million kilometers away.
  • Astronomers are interested in Mars travel path because it helps decide the best times for spacecraft to launch. When the Sun, Earth and Mars are lined up, with Earth sitting in between, a phenomenon called `opposition` is in effect, giving the brightest view of Mars.
  • This year`s close approach is not a record-breaker.
  • The minimum distance from the Earth to Mars is about 54.6 million kilometers and is rarely achieved.
  • The last closest approach was in 2003, when Mars was 55.7 million kilometers from Earth `and the closest it had been in nearly 60,000 years`, said Nasa.
  • Another close encounter like 2003`s will not happen until the year 2287.
  1. New Zealand declines PCB invitation to play T20 series in Pakistan

  • New Zealand`s cricket board has declined Pakistan Cricket Board`s (PCB) invitation to the Black Caps to play a three-match Twenty20 International series in Pakistan.
  • The Kiwis are set to play three Tests, three One-day Internationals and three T20 matches against Pakistan in the UA E in October this year.
  • The PCB, however, had attempted to convince New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to hold the T20s in Pakistan but NZC declined, saying the `circumstances weren`t right` for the team.
  • NZC chairman Greg Barclay told that although the board was aware that its decision would be `disappointing` for the PCB, they had opted against it.
  • The last time New Zealand visited Pakistan was in 2003 for five ODIs. A year before that, the BlackCaps had to cut their tour short following a bomb blast outside their hotel in Karachi.
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Shahzad Faisal Malik is the administrator of and is responsible for managing the content, design, and overall direction of the blog. He has a strong background in Competitive Exams and is passionate and sharing information with others.
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