December 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (December 27, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

Important Current Affairs Daily Updates
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

December 27, 2018: National Current Affairs

1. Pakistan, Russia have ‘common interest’ in Afghan peace

• Pakistan and Russia have agreed to take the defence ties to ‘new heights’ as the two acknowledged each other’s role for Afghanistan and regional peace, officials said.
• Senior officials at the foreign ministry told that the meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow was ‘very positive’ and the two sides discussed the Afghan issue in detail.
• “Russia is upbeat about enhancing defence ties with Pakistan to new heights. They share our views on Afghanistan. The possible Taliban talks with the Afghan government and the previously held Taliban talks with the United States also came under discussions,” said one official.
• Earlier, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said that the Foreign Minister was in Russia on the final leg of his tour to the four regional countries.
• “Both sides discussed bilateral ties and regional situation, especially progress on Afghan peace and reconciliation,” he added.

2. Banned BLA leader killed in Kandahar suicide attack

• Aslam Baloch alias Achhu, a key leader of the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and the mastermind of the recent attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, has been killed along with five other leaders of the organisation in a suicide attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
• According to reports, the suicide attack was carried out at a house in the Aino Maina area, an upscale locality of Kandahar, on December 25, 2018 where the BLA leaders had gathered for a meeting.
• The other five identified slain militants are Sangat Sardaro alias Tajo, Karim Marri alias Rahim Baloch, Sangat Akhtar Baloch alias Rustam, Freed Baloch and Sadiq Baloch.

3. Trump honours fallen Pak-American Capt Humayun Khan

• US President Donald Trump has signed a bill to honour fallen Muslim US Army Captain Humayun Khan, despite long-running fights with his father, a Pakistani-American lawyer.
• The bill, filed by Congressman Tom Garrett in July 2017, renames a post office in Charlottesville, a city in the US state of Virginia, after Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004 when a vehicle packed with explosives drove into his compound.
• Humanyun Khan, who was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star, was 27 at the time. Captain Khan is revered not only in Charlottesville, but across the nation, Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine said in a statement to The Daily Progress. With the dedication of this post office, were showing the Khan family that were forever grateful for his service and sacrifice for our country.
• Humayun Khans parents, Khizr Khan and Ghazala Khan, were thrust into the spotlight when they appeared at the 2016 Democratic National Convention to criticize then-candidate Trumps Muslim ban proposal.
• There comes a time in the history of a nation when an ethical, moral stand has to be taken, regardless of the political response, Khizr Khan said. The only reason they are not repudiating his behaviour, his threat to our democracy, our decency, our foundation is just because of political consequences.

December 27, 2018: International Current Affairs

4. Iran holds talks with Taliban amid peace push

• Iranian officials have met the Afghan Taliban, a top Iranian security official said on December 26, 2018, according to the Tasnim news agency, days after the militants took part in reconciliation talks in the UAE.
• Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran`s Supreme National Security Council, made the announcement while on a visit to Kabul, several Iranian agencies reported.
• No details on where the talks took place were given by the Tasnim news agency, which is considered close to Iran`s Revolutionary Guards.

5. US offers safety and job security to Taliban

• Eager to persuade Taliban to join the Afghan peace process, the United States is of fering them a safety network that includes creating job opportunities for the insurgents.
• As the United States, Pakistan, China, Russia and other world powers expedite efforts to encourage the Taliban to join the Afghan peace process, the US Defence Department has also outlined a plan for rehabilitating the rebels in a new Afghanistan.
• The Pentagon, however, notes that while local leaders are developing programmes that may offer a path to peace on a small scale, `the Afghan government has not developed a national reintegration programme`.

6. US responsible for Yemen disaster: NYT

• America`s fingerprints are all over the war in Yemen, the New York Times said on December 26, 2018.
• The US is currently abetting in a humanitarian disaster that could ultimately rival those in Syria and Iraq in its destabilising impact on the region and the world, according to the newspaper.
• More than 10,000 people have been killed over the past three years in the civil war pitting the Houthi rebels against Saudi-backed government loyalists.
• The tens of thousands of deaths may represent only a fraction of the total victims and the US government seems to be `doing everything it can to make things worse`, an article published in NYT said.
• International aid agencies have warned that some 20 million people are at risk of dying of starvation or poverty related diseases in Yemen and a number of African countries, all of which are facing critical food shortages.
• In Yemen alone, Save the Children counts 20.7 million people, half of them children, are in dire need of aid.

7. Israel plans to build 2,200 settler homes, says NGO

• Israeli authorities have advanced plans for nearly 2,200 settlement homes in occupied West Bank, the Peace Now NGO said on December 26, 2018, the first such approval since snap elections were called earlier this week.
• A defence ministry committee with responsibility for such projects approved the plans, which are in various stages of the approval process, the settlement watchdog said in a statement.
• It said 1,159 housing units were given final approval before building permits can be issued, while 1,032 were at an earlier stage.
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s right wing government agreed on Monday to dissolve parliament and call for early elections on April 9.
• Netanyahu`s current coalition is seen as the most right wing in Israel`s history.
• Settlements play an important role in Israeli right wing politics, and Netan yahu met settler leaders in Jerusalem on December 26, 2018.

8. Japan announces withdrawal from IWC

• Japan will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in order to resume commercial whaling in July 2019, the Japanese government said December 26, 2018.
• Under IWC rules, Japan’s withdrawal will become effective on June 30, enabling the country to restart commercial whaling in nearby waters and within its exclusive economic zone starting in July, a move prone to international condemnation.
• Japan will not hunt whales commercially in the Antarctic Ocean although the country has implemented so-called “scientific whaling” for research purposes as it claims

9. Russia plans to construct airport in Syria

• Russian companies plan to construct an airport in the Syrian coastal city of Tartus as well as a joint plant producing vaccine within a framework of agreements signed during the latest session of the bilateral Intergovernmental commission, a Syrian official said on December 26, 2018.
• “A project to build an airport in Tartus at the site of an agricultural airfield within the framework of the Build-operate-transfer cooperation … There are two more projects in the field of health care, the most significant of them is the project on building the Russian-Syrian vaccine production plant,” Imad Sabuni, the head of the Syrian Planning and International Cooperation Commission, told the al-Watan newspaper. Other notable bilateral projects include rebuilding the car tires’ factory and construction of a new cement plant, the official noted.
• The 11th session of the Syrian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission was held earlier in December, during which several documents have been signed as well as a protocol covering 30 investment projects.

10. China-made jetliner completes overwater demo flight

• China’s first domestically-made regional jetliner, the ARJ21-700, has completed its first manned overwater demonstration flight in southern China’s island province of Hainan.
• An ARJ21-700 aircraft took off from Haikou Meilan International Airport and landed in the airport after a two-and-half-hour flight, showcasing its operational capacity in the tropical marine climate, according to the Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC), its producer.
• The demonstration flight has further expanded the aircraft’s operation area in China. So far, it has completed flights between dozens of domestic airports, demonstrating its adaptability to extreme conditions, such as high temperatures, high humidity, and high altitude.
• The ARJ21-700 is a jet with 78 to 90 seats and a flight range of up to 3,700 km. It acquired its aircraft type certificate in December 2014 and completed its maiden flight in June 2016. Mass production started in September 2017.

Day by Day Current Affairs (December 27, 2018)  MCQs for CSS, PMS

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Shahzad F. Malik

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.
Shahzad Faisal Malik has worked as a Graphic Designer/Content Creator at CSSTimes in the past. In his free time, Shahzad Faisal Malik enjoys watching Cricket, writing blogs for different websites and is always on the lookout for new and interesting content to share with the readers of this website.
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