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February 09, 201ۘ9: National Current Affairs
1. 46-nation Aman naval exercise kicks off in Karachi
• The parchum parade or flag party, as it is also known, marched in on the tune for the national song Iss parchum ke saye taley hum aik hain with every officer holding a neatly folded flag of each of the 46 participating countries in the sixth Aman-2019 Exercise, which commenced with an impressive flag hoisting ceremony at the Naval Dockyard early on February 8, 2019.
• Soon the representatives of each of the countries Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nigeria, Oman, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, USA, UK, Zimbabwe and Pakistan of course took their positions in front of their respective flagpoles. Following a three-volley gun salute, the flags were hoisted with the playing of Pakistan`s national anthem as all personnel in uniform saluted and the guests stood up in respect.
• On the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) AdmiralZafarMahmood Abbasi`s message was read out.
2. 10,000 Pakistanis who registered as Afghan refugees detected
• The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has tracked over 10,000 Pakistanis who have registered themselves as Afghan refugees for dollars, as the UN High Commission for Refugees had set $400 for each Afghan refugee returning to their homeland under a voluntary repatriation scheme.
• Current Chairman Nadra: Usman Yusuf Mobeen.
• The cases of fake identities were caught by the NADRA system when they came to obtain CNICs, as their cards had been blocked. CNICs were blocked in five different categories of suspicious cases.
• Around one million Afghan refugees had been repatriated to Afghanistan under the voluntary repatriation scheme. Each refugee ready to return home was to be given an assistance package of 400 dollars by the UN High Commission for Refugees. Even for their newborn, the UN provided assistance that was increased during different times and stood at the rate of $400 per individual at present.
3. Bao Rizwan inducted into Punjab cabinet
• Following reconciliation between the coalition partners in Punjab, PML-Q MPA Bao Rizwan has been inducted into the Punjab Cabinet. He has been given the portfolio of environment.
• Ammar Yasir who resigned couple of weeks back also resumed his official engagements on February 8, 2019.
• Governor Punjab Mohammad Sarwar administered oath to Bao Rizwan as provincial minister at a ceremony held at the Governor House.
4. Raja Basharat gets senior minister`s additional charge
• The Punjab cabinet in its seventh siting on February 8, 2019 approved senior minister Aleem Khan`s resignation and also okayed giving additional charge of senior minister local government department to Law Minister Basharat Raja.
• The cabinet also approved giving environment portfolio to PML-Q`s Bao Rizwan who was sworn in at the Governor House on February 8, 2019.
• It granted administrative and financial autonomy to the Institute of Public Health besides constituting its administrative committee.
• The cabinet also approved nominations of MPAs and technical experts on the governing bodies of development authorities in Rawalpindi, Multan, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur as well as nominations of environmentalists, horticulture experts, representatives of chambers of commerce and technical experts in the Parks and Horticulture Authorities in Lahore, Multan, Sargodha and Gujranwala.
5. National museum be handed back to federal Govt, SC orders
• The Supreme Court (SC) last month ordered that the National Museum of Pakistan be transferred back to the federal government.
• After the 18th Amendment, subjects under the control of the federal government including museums and libraries were transferred to the provinces along with subjects on the concurrent list.
• These included 13 museums across the country and 403 sites and monuments protected under the Antiquities Act, 1970.`The inept manner in which the devolution was carried out started coming to light with time. In its last days, the Ministry of Culture devolved those very heritage sites that the federal government was supposed to retain.
• According to the Constitution, subjects on the federal legislative list are under the control of the centre while those on the concurrent list belong to both but are under the control of the federal government till it decides that a province has acquired the capacity to take on the burden.
6. PM to launch 10b tree plantation drive today (February 9, 2019)
• Prime Minister Imran Khan will launch 10 Billion Tree Plantation Drive by planting a sapling at the Forest Reserve to mark the ‘Plant for Pakistan Day’ drive at Balloki on February 9, 2019 (today).
• 10,000 saplings would be planted by 2,500 school children alongside the Prime Minister Imran Khan to launch the tree plantation campaign.
• The district administration had got 2,500 acres of government land retrieved from the illegal occupants and arrest land grabbers, a Forest Reserve would be developed on the 1500 acres of land while a Wildlife Sanctuary would be built on the remaining 1000 acres of retrieved land.
7. Govt borrowed $1.8bn in six months: EAD
• The government has received an amount of $1.813 billion in loans from multilateral and bilateral sources during the first six months of the current fiscal year, according to a release issued by the Economic Affairs Division (EAD).
• The amount was borrowed from other sources as talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) continue to sputter since September 2018.
• According to the EAD data, the break-up shows that Pakistan borrowed $835.62 million from China, and $499.44m from commercial banks to meet the resource requirement. Moreover, it also took $339.06m in loans from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and $272.46m f rom Islamic Development Bank during the period under review.
• At the time of presenting the annual budget 2018-19, the EAD estimated $4.691bn of foreign inflows from multilateral and bilateral donors. However, the division subsequently revised the projections upwards by 20 per cent to $5.63bn owing to improve external environment.
February 9, 2019: International Current Affairs
8. Chinese astronomers find over 10,000 metal-poor star candidates
• Chinese astronomers have discovered more than 10,000 metal-poor star candidates, which may help shed light on the early universe and the emergence of the first stars and galaxies.
• Astronomers use the word “metals” to describe elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. This usage is distinct from the usual physical definition of a solid metal, said Li Haining, an astronomer with the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
• Astronomers believe that the majority of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium in the universe are formed in the cores of stars as they evolve. Over time, stellar winds and supernova deposit the metals into the surrounding environment, enriching the interstellar medium and providing recycling materials for the birth of new stars.
• Therefore, the lower the metal contents in stars, the older the stars in the universe.
• The research on metal-poor stars will help us understand the early universe, the origin of elements, as well as the emergence and evolution of the first generation stars and galaxies, Li said.
• However, metal-poor stars are very rare and difficult to observe, she said.
9. British actor Albert Finney dies
• British actor Albert Finney, who rose to fame on a post-war wave of gritty, working-class dramas and became an Oscar nominated international star, has died at the age of 82.
• Born in Manchester in 1936, he began his career as a Shakespearean theatre actor.
• He made his name in 1960 with Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, one of a new generation of British films dubbed kitchen-sink dramas in which he played an angry young factory worker.
• His fame spread further when he was cast as the lead in bawdy historical romp Tom Jones in 1963, which won four Oscars, including Best Picture and brought Finney the first of his four nominations for best actor.
• Finney, who twice refused official honours including a knighthood, also starred as Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and appeared in Erin Brockovich (2000) _ for which he was nominated as best supporting actor _ and the James Bond film Skyfall (2012).
February 9, 2019: Sports Current Affairs
10. Rohit Sharma became the highest run scorer in T20
• Rohit Sharma became the highest run scorer in Twenty20 International history on February 8, 2019 as India romped to a seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the second T20 at Eden Park.
• Sharma`s knock was his 16th T20 half-century and took his career tally in the format to 2,288 runs, overtaking New Zealand`s Martin Guptill on 2,272.
• The 31-year-old made his T20 debut against England in 2007 and has played 92 matches, averaging 33.15.
• However Sharma, who is standing in as captain while Virat Kohli is rested, was more interested in focusing on India`s performance than his individual achievements.
• His team dominated New Zealand with bat and ball to avenge an 80-run loss in the opening fixture in Wellington India`s heaviest ever T20 defeat.