December 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (December 07, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS, NTS


December 7, 2018: National Current Affairs

1. Swati steps down as federal minister

• Federal Minister for Science and Technology Azam Khan Swati on December 6, 2018 handed over his resignation to Prime Minister as he wanted to face the trial against him in the apex court in personal capacity and would stay away from ministerial slot till the verdict in the case.
• Azam Swati met premier Khan and handed over his resignation to him and requested for his immediate acceptance as he did not want to give an impression of any sort of his ministerial influence in the ongoing case against him in the Supreme Court.
• In a case of a feud with slum dwellers residing near his farm house, Swati had allegedly used his influence to get a case registered against the poor family and when IG Islamabad Police refused to screw the family out of the way, he had managed to get him (IG) transferred.
• During the last hearing of the case in apex court, the Chief Justice, who was heading the bench, hinted at initiating the trial against him under Article 62 (1) (f), for his alleged meddling in the affairs of police and misuse of his office.

2. Govt decides to discard 20 public companies

• A meeting that was presided over by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar decided on December 6, 2018 to allow the provincial cabinet to discard nearly 20 public companies made by the previous government because of their alleged mismanagement and misuse of funds, and the present setup`s inability to fund them anymore.
• The meeting which was attended by senior officials concerned including the chief secretary reportedly discussed in detail how to rid of the companies not required by the province any more.
• The caretaker government of Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi had also initially decided to close down the companies which gained notoriety because of hefty pay package of their staff, alleged corruption by those who mattered and mismanagement. But it finally left the decision to the next elected government due to the advice by the officials concerned that the companies should not be closed down before the completion of NAB inquiries and audit objections against them.
• The caretaker government was told that NAB was probing affairs of many companies which were also facing audit objections. And these could not be closed down before clearance from the auditor general and NAB.
• Closing down companies would mean dumping their matters being questioned by NAB and other agencies, it was told.

3. Cabinet approves Rs25.7bn gas subsidy for exporters

• Two months after the supplementary budget 2018-19, the federal cabinet on December 6, 2018 approved another Rs25.75 billion `supplementary grant` to provide subsidised gas to five zero-rated export sectors in Punjab.
• The meeting of the federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan also ratified another decision of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet to extend Rs5.5bn subsidy to fertiliser units in the shape of cheaper natural gas. This will ensure that fertiliser prices remain stable in the market at existing rates of litter over Rs1,700 per bag.
• Speaking to journalists, the minister said the cabinet approved a supplementary grant of Rs25.75bn in ratification of a decision of the ECC to provide a mix of domestic and imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) to five zero-rated export sectors at a fixed rate of $6.5 per million British Thermal Unit (mmBtu) for both processing and captive plants. These sectors include exporters of the zero-rated sectors namely textile (including jute) carpets, leather, sports, and surgical goods.

4. Climate change costs $384m to Pakistan last year

• Pakistan has suffered an economic loss of $384 million due to extreme weather events last year, according to a new climate change index.
• Other countries including Bangladesh suffered a loss of 2.8 billion US dollars, India 13.7 billion dollars, Pakistan 384 million dollars, Sri Lanka three billion dollars, and China 30 billion dollars, China Global Television Network (CGTN) reported on Thursday while quoting the Global Climate Risk India 2019 released at the opening climate summit COP 24 in the Polish City of Katowice.
• The Asian countries are facing the most damaging impacts of rising temperatures, factors that are expected to lead to a large number of deaths and massive economic losses,
• On a global scale, Puerto Rico is at the top of the chart and five Asian countries figure among the top ten worst-affected countries due to extreme weather events. China is ranked 31st, a significant improvement from the last year’s ranking of 12th.
• The index ranked countries on the basis of the number of deaths and financial loss expected due to extreme weather events.
• Globally, more than 526,000 people died as a direct result of more than 11,500 extreme weather events in 2017, and the economic losses due to climate change between 1998 and 2017 amounted to around 3.47 trillion US dollars, according to the report. Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, and Dominica suffered the worst in 2017. Among South Asian countries, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Vietnam ranked 2nd, 4th and 6th respectively, Bangladesh ranked 9th and Thailand 10th

5. Malala wins second prestigious Harvard award

• Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, is being honoured with a second prestigious Harvard University award for her work in promoting girls’ education around the world and her courageous leadership.
• The Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School announced that Ms. Yousafzai, a 21-year-old student at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, will be awarded the 2018 Gleitsman Award December 6, 2018 in Cambridge, a city in the US state of Massachusetts.
• She will receive the $125,000 prize for improving the quality of life of children around the globe.
• David Gergen, professor of public service at Harvard Kennedy School and Center for Public Leadership director, who is also a senior analyst for CNN, said Ms. Yousafzai epitomizes strength and resiliency.

December 7, 2018: International Current Affairs

6. India`s polluted air claimed 1.24m lives in 2017: study

• India`s toxic air claimed 1.24 million lives in 2017, or 12.5 per cent of total deaths recorded that year, according to a study published in Lancet Planetary Health on December 6, 2018.
• More than 51 per cent of the people who died because of air pollution were younger than 70, said the study conducted by academics and scientists from various institutions in India and around the world.
• It was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Indian government and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
• Of the total, about 670,000 died from air pollution in the wider environment and 480,000 from household pollution related to the use of solid cooking fuels.
• The Indian capital, New Delhi, was most exposed to the tiny particulate matter, known as PM 2.5, that can reach deep into the lungs and cause major health problems, the study concluded. Some northern states closer to Delhi were almost as bad.

7. Francis to become first pope to visit Arabian peninsula

• The first visit by a Pope to the Arabian Peninsula will take place in February when Francis travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
• The Feb 3-5 trip, Pope Francis` latest to a predominantly Muslim nation, will be centered around the theme of inter-religious peace.
• The Vatican said the pope had accepted an invitation from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and the tiny Catholic community there. He will attend an inter-faith meeting.
• The freedom to practice Christianity or any religion other than Islam is not always a given in the Gulf and varies from country to country.

8. All Kabul votes in election declared invalid

• All the votes cast in Kabul during the October parliamentary elections have been declared invalid by the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).
• The votes were nullified because of fraud that was detected in the city.
• Media also noted that there were concerns on the part of several observers over alleged fraud in the electoral process.
• Parliamentary elections took place in Afghanistan on October 20 and became the first such elections in the country since 2010. In 2016, the election was postponed over the country’s unstable security situation, as various militant groups, including the Taliban and the Islamic State (terrorist group banned in Russia), continued to carry out regular

9. SpaceX rocket sends worms to Int’l Space Station

• SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft was launched on other day on a way to bring worms, liquid fuel and other new experiments to the International Space Station.
• The spacecraft, riding on a Falcon 9 rocket, lifted off at 1:16 p.m. EST at the Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It is the sixth resupply mission to the space station this year.
• About 10 minutes after the launch, the spacecraft reached its preliminary orbit, then deployed its solar arrays, starting multiple thruster firings to reach the space station.
• The spacecraft, which flew to the space station in February of 2017, is carrying 36,000 roundworms in pouches to the orbiting lab and if goes well, about two or three million ones will come back to earth. It is part of a study that may offer a better understanding of why muscles deteriorate in microgravity.

December 7, 2018: Sports Current Affairs

10. Yasir Shah fastest to 200 Test wickets, breaks 82-year-old record

• On the fourth morning of the final Test in Abu Dhabi against New Zealand, Yasir Shah did not merely break an 82-year-old record, he smashed it.
• By dismissing William Somerville roughly half an hour into the morning, he picked up his 200th Test wicket in just his 33rd Test. That breaks the record for the fastest to 200 Test wickets, so long held by another legspinner, Clarrie Grimmett who reached the mark in his 36th Test. The wicket came in trademark Yasir style, the key to it the pace at which it was bowled, breaking a little but hurrying onto Somerville’s pads. The batsmen had a discussion, but ultimately decided not to take a review.
• As well as being the quickest to 200, Yasir was the joint second-fastest to 100 Test wickets (in 17 Tests) and the fastest Pakistani to 50 Test wickets (in nine Tests).

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