December 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (December 28, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

Important Current Affairs Daily Updates
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

December 28, 2018: National Current Affairs

1. Pakistan, UK sign amended prisoner transfer accord

• Pakistan and the United Kingdom on December 27, 2018 signed an amended prisoner transfer agreement that will give convicted offenders in either country the opportunity to serve their sentence closer to home and allow them to prepare for their reintegration into their home community when they are eventually released from prison.
• The agreement was signed by Interior Secretary retired Major Azam Suleman Khan and British High Commissioner in Pakistan Thomas Drew.
• The agreement was approved in principle during British Home Secretary Sajid Javid`s visit to Pakistan in September. It restores and updates a previous agreement between the UK and Pakistan and includes strengthened assurances that all transferred prisoners serve the appropriate sentence before being released.

2. Miller, Bajwa discuss Afghan reconciliation process

• The commander of the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, Gen Austin Scott Miller, on December 27, 2018 met Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters.
• Matters of mutual interest with reference to regional security and the ongoing Afghan reconciliation process were discussed during the meeting.
• Both dignitaries expressed unanimity of views on the importance of political resolution of the Afghan situation and underlined that only an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led inclusive process could lead to peace in Afghanistan.
• They reaffirmed the need for continuing harmonised efforts against terrorists and for effective border management.
• Gen Bajwa said Pakistan was committed to efforts for peace in Afghanistan as it was important for peace in Pakistan as well.
• Separately, Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Yurevish Dedov also called on Gen Bajwa.
• During the meeting, matters related to regional security and bilateral cooperation were discussed.

3. CPEC has no military dimensions, says Pakistan

• Pakistan on December 27, 2018 made it clear that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had no military dimensions.
• Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal, during his last weekly press briefing of the current calendar year, had been asked to comment on a report published in a section of US media alleging that the CPEC was not only about economy and trade but had military dimensions as well.
• The CPEC was an economic project between Pakistan and China. `The CPEC has helped Pakistan improve its economy, particularly energy and infrastructure sectors have improved under it.
• The CPEC is a bilateral economic project, which is not against any country.

4. Sabzwari made SECP chairman

• The government appointed Farrukh H. Sabzwari chairman of the Securities and Exchange Chairman of Pakistan (SECP) on December 27, 2018 after the position had remained vacant for around 18 months.
• In a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Federal Cabinet approved his appointment as new chairman of the corporate sector regulator. He will take over the affairs of SECP after a notification is issued by the Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs.
• Sabzwari is an MBA with more than 25 years of domestic and international professional experience in capital markets. Before joining the regulator, he was serving as the chief executive of BMA Capital Management.
• Mr Sabzwari was appointed as Commissioner on Nov 15, along with Amir Khan who was serving as an executive director at the regulator. The other three commissioners at the SECP include Tahir Mahmood, Shaukat Hussain and Shauzab Ali.

December 28, 2018: International Current Affairs

5. Indian lower house approves end to Muslim instant divorce

• The lower house of India`s parliament on December 27, 2018 approved a bill to implement the Supreme Court`s ruling that found the Muslim practice of instant divorce was unconstitutional.
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s government doesn`t have a majority in the upper house and will need some opposition support to make the bill a law.
• Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that allowing Muslim men to divorce by `triple talaq` violated the constitutional rights of Muslim women.
• Most of the 170 million Muslims in India are Sunnis governed by the Muslim Personal Law for family matters. It includes allowing Muslim men to divorce their wives by saying `talaq`, the Arabic word for divorce, three times.

6. Trump declares end to US `policeman` role in Iraq visit

• President Donald Trump used a lightning visit to Iraq his first with US troops in a conflict zone since being elected to defend the withdrawal from Syria and declare an end to America`s role as the global `policeman`.
• Mr Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania, landed at Al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq after what he described as a stressful, secrecy shrouded flight on a `pitch black` Air Force One.
• He spoke to a group of about 100 mostly special forces personnel and separately with military leaders before leaving a few hours later after a visit that sparked controversy in Iraq.
• A planned meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi was scrapped and replaced by a phone call, the premier`s office said.
• Mr Trump invited Abdel Mahdi to visit Washington and he accepted, according to the White House.

7. Taliban urge US to leave Afghanistan or face Soviet-style defeat

• The Taliban warned the United States on December 27, 2018 it would face the same fate as the Soviet Union in the 1980s if it did not leave Afghanistan, as Washington considers slashing troop numbers.
• In a taunting message sent on the 39th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of the war-torn country, the Taliban said US forces faced `humiliation` and could `learn a great deal` from the experience of their Cold War foe. The Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989, ending a decade-long occupation and precipitating a bloody civil war and the emergence of the Taliban.
• `Take heed from the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan and abandon thoughts of testing the mettle of the already proven Afghans,` Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement in English, Dari and Pashto.
• The Taliban have not formally responded to the news that Trump had decided to withdraw roughly half of the 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan.

8. Russia tests missile 27 times faster than speed of sound

• Russia`s new strategic weapon has rendered any missile defences useless at a small fraction of their cost.
• The Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle flies 27 times faster than the speed of sound, making it impossible to intercept, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told Russian state television.
• The new weapon `essentially makes missile defences useless.
• Borisov spoke a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw what he described as the conclusive successful test of the Avangard and hailed it as a reliable guarantee of Russia`s security for decades to come.
• In December 26, 2018`s test, the weapon was launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains. The Kremlin said it successfully hit a practice target on the Kura shooting range on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometres (3,700 miles) away.

9. UAE reopens embassy in Syrian capital, boosting Assad

• The United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus on December 27, 2018, the latest sign of efforts to bring the Syrian government back into the Arab fold.
• The UAE broke ties with Syria in February 2012, as the repression of nationwide protests demanding regime change was escalating into a devastating war.
• Nearly seven years later, the Emirati flag was raised again during a ceremony attended by diplomats and journalists.
• An acting charged affaires has already started working, an Emirati statement said, stressing that the UAE was `keen to put relations back on their normal track`.
• A visit to Damascus by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir earlier this month had been interpreted by some observers as a sign of regional efforts to end Syrian President Bashar al Assad`s diplomatic isolation.

10. American completes first unaided solo trek of Antarctica

• An American adventurer has become the first person to complete a solo trek across Antarctica without assistance of any kind. Colin O`Brady, 33, took 54 days to complete the nearly 1,600-km crossing of the frozen continent from coast to coast.
• His voyage was tracked by GPS, and live updates of the trip were provided daily on his website
• O`Brady and an Englishman, army Captain Louis Rudd, 49, set off individually on Nov 3 from Union Glacier in a bid to be the first to complete a solo, unassisted crossing of Antarctica.
• In 1996-97, a Norwegian polar explorer, Borge Ousland, made the first solo crossing of Antarctica but he was wind-aided by kites on his voyage. In 2016, an English army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Worsley, died while trying to complete an unassisted solo crossing of Antarctica.

About the author

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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