February 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (February 25, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS


February 25, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. Norway`s ex-PM asks world to help defuse Pak-India tension

• Former Norwegian prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik on February 24, 2019 said that there was no doubt that human rights were being violated in India-held Kashmir and urged the international community to play its role in defusing the tension between India and Pakistan triggered by the Pulwama incident.
• Speaking along with Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan at Kashmir House, he said that whenever India was asked by various nations to address the Kashmir issue it said it was a bilateral issue.
• `If [for the sake of argument] it is a bilateral issue, still dialogue should be started between the two countries over the issue of Kashmir.
• There cannot be military solution to the Kashmir dispute and, therefore, both parties should start a dialogue,` he suggested.
• He appealed to both countries to calm down the situation, adding that the United Nations had passed a number of resolutions about Kashmir as human rights were being violated there.
• `I suggest both countries should avoid use of force and a peaceful solution to the issue. The international community should also play its role in addressing the matter,` he said.

2. Pakistan looking for billions in donations to build dams

• As Pakistan faces worsening water scarcity and trouble sourcing international cash for construction of hydropower dams it has turned to an unlikely source of cash: a fundraising campaign backed by the country`s top court judges.
• Last year Mian Saqib Nisar, then the chief justice of Pakistan, donated Rs1 million ($7,400) of his own money to start the drive, calling water shortages a major national threat.
• The drive aims to raise as much as staggering $14 billion towards the cost of installing water reservoirs and other equipment for two major dams.
• Justice Nisar retired in January, but the current panel of top judges have taken over the push.
• Some politicians from opposition parties have dismissed the effort, calling it inappropriate and doomed to fail.

3. Pakistan wants to change, says US envoy for religious freedom

• Pakistan has `a desire to change` its ways and be removed from an American blacklist of countries that infringe on religious freedoms, a US special envoy said on February 24, 2019 on a tour of a Middle East.
• Sam Brownback, the US ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, said he travelled to Pakistan to discuss Islamabad being newly placed on the blacklist, which can lead to a country facing economic sanctions.
• Pakistan, home to some 200 million people, has blasphemy laws that carry death sentence for convicts.
• The US put Pakistan on its religious freedom blacklist in December, though US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held back on imposing sanctions on Islamabad.
• Mr Brownback, a Republican who served in the US Senate and later as the governor of Kansas for two terms, said he met Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who promised to appoint a point person to handle the US concerns.

February 25, 2019: International Current Affairs

4. Last year saw highest number of Afghan civilian deaths: UN

• More civilians were killed in Afghanistan last year than in any of the previous nine years of the increasingly bloody conflict, according to a UN report released on February 24, 2019, which blamed the spike in deaths on increased suicide bombings by the militant Islamic State group and stepped up aerial attacks by US-led coalition forces.
• In its annual report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said 3,804 civilians were killed last year, the highest number since the international organisation began tallying figures in 2009. Another 7,189 were wounded.
• The report comes amid efforts to find a peaceful end to the 17-year war, which have accelerated since the appointment in September of US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is to begin another round of talks with the Taliban on Monday in the Gulf state of Qatar, where they maintain a political office.
• UN envoy Tadamichi Yamamoto called the spiraling number of civilian casualties `deeply disturbing and wholly unacceptable.

5. Okinawa votes against controversial US base move

• Voters on the Japanese island of Okinawa have rejected the relocation of a controversial US military base, according to official results from a non-binding referendum on February 24, 2019.
• With 99 per cent of ballots counted, some 72pc had voted against the move with 19 pc in favour, according to the local government.
• Opponents of the relocation -some 434,000-had turned out in sufficient numbers to meet the threshold required for Okinawa Governor Denny Tamakito `respect `the result of the symbolic referendum, it said.
• For this to happen, one quarter of the eligible electorate or around 290,000 people had to vote for one of the three options: for or against relocation or a third choice of `neither.` In any case, the vote is non-binding on the central government and turnout was just above 50 percent, raising questions about what effect the referendum will have.

6. Saudi Arabia names princess as first woman envoy

• Saudi Arabia on February 23, 2019 named a princess as its first woman ambassador to the United States.
• Princess Rima bint Bandar replaced Prince Khalid bin Salman, the younger brother of the powerful crown prince who was appointed deputy defence minister in a flurry of late-night royal decrees announced on state media.
• Princess Rima, the daughter of a former ambassador to the US, has been a leading advocate for women`s empowerment in the kingdom, which has faced criticism over the recent jailing of women activists.
• The princess previously worked at the kingdom`s General Sports Authority, where she led a campaign to increase women`s participation in sports.

7. Sentop elected Turkey’s new Parliament Speaker

• Turkish parliament on February 24, 2019 elected ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s lawmaker Mustafa Sentop as its new speaker.
• Sentop, a lawmaker from northwestern Tekirdag province, received 336 votes in the third round of voting by the Grand National Assembly of 600 seats. In the third round of voting, a minimum of 301 votes were needed to win the election.
• Good (IYI) Party’s candidate Imam Huseyin Filiz received 33 votes.
• A total of 542 lawmakers cast votes, while tree votes were declared invalid.
• The AK Party holds 291 seats in parliament, while the CHP has 142 seats, HDP 65 seats, the MHP 49, IYI Party 39, Felicity (Saadet) Party 2, Turkish Workers Party 2, Democrat Party (DP) 1, and Grand Unity Party (BBP) 1, and independent 3.
• Sentop, 51, was born in northwestern Tekirday province.

8. Iranian submarine conducts first underwater launch

• Over the past decade, the Islamic Republic has made major advances in developing its own submarines, as well as missiles to equip them. The country had the chance to test these in recent drills that took place near the Strait of Hormuz.
• The Iranian Navy’s Qadir-class submarine performed a launch of a modified Nasr-1 anti-ship cruise missile from a submerged state during war games dubbed “Velayat-97” that were held near the Strait of Hormuz. A video of the launch was shown by the Young Journalists Club (YJC) news outlet.
• According to Tasnim, the capability to conduct underwater missile launches will reduce the visibility of Iranian submarines on enemy radars. The original Nasr-1 missile is capable of striking targets 35 kilometres away, but it’s unclear whether the modified version, which is adapted for underwater launches, has the same capabilities.

February 25, 2019: Sports Current Affairs

9. Ingram blasts record PSL ton, keeps Kings hopes alive

• Colin Ingram set ablaze the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on February 24, 2019 night with a buccaneering maiden century by an overseas player in the HBL Pakistan Super League, which catapulted Karachi Kings to a badly-needed second win.
• The victory brought an end to Quetta Gladiators` four match unbeaten sequence.
• The former South African left-hander hammered an incredible 127 from only 59 balls with no less than eight sixes and 12 boundaries to register the highest individual score in PSL history with a series of monstrous hits.
• Ingram`s astonishing innings eclipsed Sharjeel Khan`s 117 for Islamabad United against Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai in the inaugural edition in 2016, while Kamran Akmal is the only other batsman to reach triple figures in PSL history.

10. Hasan, Pollard star as Zalmi down Sultans

• It took a Kieron Pollard cameo for Peshawar Zalmi to seal a tense five-wicket success after the red-hot Hasan Ali had made life miserable for Multan Sultans in the HBL Pakistan Super League clash at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium here on February 24, 2019.
• After restricting the Sultans to 145 all out, Zalmi almost gave it away in the run chase when they were struggling at 115-4 still 31 short of the target. But Pollard broke the shackles to smash the giant Mohammad Irfan for four consecutive sixes.
• After two dot balls the former Pakistan left-arm paceman`s next delivery sailed almost flat into the crowd over midwicket from Pollard`s bat. The fourth was effortlessly hoisted over long-off before slower full toss was lifted high, wide and handsome over the extra-cover region.

Day by Day Current Affairs (February 25, 2019) MCQs for CSS, PMS

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