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Day by Day Current Affairs (May 04, 2018)
- Barrister Ibrahim made federal minister
- Minister of State for Human Rights Barrister Usman Ibrahim was promoted to the rank of federal minister on May 3, 2018.
- President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to Mr Ibrahim as the federal minister at a ceremony held at the presidency.
- Earlier on April 27, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appointed his adviser on finance, revenue and economic affairs Miftah Ismail as the federal minister and upgraded three ministers of state Marriyum Aurangzeb, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Anusha Rehman, who were holding portfolios of information and broadcasting, capital administration development division and information technology, respectively, giving them the status of federal ministers.
- Besides, an MNA of the ruling PML-N, Laila Khan, was also inducted into the cabinet as minister of state.
2. Pakistan is Ready to share CPEC prosperity with India: NSA
- National Security Advisor Lt General (r) Nasir Khan Janjua has said that Pakistan is ready to share its CPEC prosperity with India as the neighbouring countries cannot stay enemies forever.
- For this purpose, resolution of all disputes between India and Pakistan is vital. He stated this in a seminar on the Economic Diplomacy in Global Arena and its implications for Pakistan on May 3, 2018.
- “Through the CPEC we can take India to China and Central Asia. We can serve half of northern India as it is largely covered from Bombay,” he added.
- There were several challenges to the CPEC as issues in Balochistan and Karachi have surfaced but all such attempts were foiled.
- Although there is world order dictated by the war but war needs a strong economy. Economic diplomacy and its relationship with security is need of the hour.
3. Rs250m allocated for cotton research
- Pakistan Agriculture Research Council on May 3, 2018 announced allocation of Rs250 millions for the cotton research under Competitive Grant Systems to the provinces on competitive basis.
- According to officials PARC will up-grade four labs in Islamabad, Karachi, KP, Punjab and will establish two new labs in Tandojam and Quetta. These labs will monitor pesticide residue level.
- The PARC will also create and establish provincial boards in provinces and manage province-inclusive Competitive Grants System.
- Under the project six labs in all provinces of Pakistan will be set while already established labs in Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar and Kala Shah Kaku will be upgraded.
4. Beijing ‘installs missiles’ on South China Sea islands
- Beijing May 3, 2018 reasserted its right to build “defence” facilities in the disputed South China Sea, but declined to confirm reports it had installed new missiles on artificial islands it has built in the region.
- The Chinese army installed anti-ship and air-to-air defences on outposts also claimed by Vietnam and the Philippines over the last 30 days.
- If the information is verified, it could provoke renewed tensions between countries bordering the strategically vital maritime region. At a regular briefing on May 3, 2018, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying neither confirmed nor denied the deployment. “China’s peaceful construction in the Spratly archipelago, including the deployment of necessary national defence facilities, is aimed at protecting China’s sovereignty and security,” she said.
5. US casualties in Afghanistan highest since 2015, says report
- The Afghan insurgency and US casualties in the first quarter of this year were at the level highest since 2015, when the United States drastically reduced its military presence in Afghanistan, says an official report released.
- The report by the office of the Special Inspector General Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) also shows that between January and March 2018, US forces dropped a total of 1,186 munitions in Afghanistan, the highest since 2013, when SIGAR began compiling its quarterly report for the US Congress.
- This is over two and a half times the number dropped in the first quarter of 2017.
- Statistics released by the US Air Force`s Central Command Combined Air Operations Centre shows that the United States dropped 378 munitions in January, 469 in February, and 339 in March 2018 during 215 missions.
6. Iran threatens to quit nuclear deal if US walks away
- Iran warned on May 3, 2018 it will quit a landmark nuclear deal if President Donald Trump pulls the United States out of the accord, while also criticising European states over `concessions` to the Americans.
- Trump has threatened to abandon the agreement when it comes up for renewal on May 12, demanding his country`s European allies `fix the terrible flaws` or he will re-impose sanctions.
- The nuclear deal was struck in 2015 between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, then led by Barack Obama. Under the pact, sanctions were lifted in return for a commitment not to pursue a nuclear bomb, but Iran says it is not reaping the rewards despite complying with the deal.
7. 125 die as dust storm batters India
- A huge dust storm and lightning strikes killed at least 125 people across India which braced May 3, 2018 for more wild weather.
- Dust clouds plunged swathes of north India into darkness as choking winds of more than 130 kilometres per hour swept across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, flattening houses, walls, trees and power pylons.
- At least 111 people were killed, many as they slept when walls and roofs came tumbling down on them.
- Another 14 people were killed in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh which was hammered by more than 41,000 lightning strikes on Wednesday, disaster officials said.
8. Ziaul Haq’s law to be enforced in Ramazan in Lahore
- A district peace committee headed by Deputy Commissioner Sumair Ahmed Syed has decided to arrest people who will play music in Ramazan.
- It is not clear yet how the city administration will act when music will be played during or after fasting hours. Keeping in view sanctity of the holy month of Ramazan, eating in open areas and restaurants will be banned. The city administration has decided to arrest people who will sell food at roadside restaurants, in line with Ehtram-e-Ramazan Ordinance of 1981, which was introduced by the then military ruler General Ziaul Haq. Later, amendments were made to the ordinance and now it is called Punjab Ehtram-e-Ramazan (Amendment) Act 2017.
9. No deal with US over Afridi for Haqqani or Aafia: FO
- Pakistan May 3, 2018 said it had not struck a deal over exchanging of Osama Bin Laden’s hunter Dr Shakeel Afridi with former Pakistan ambassador to US Husain Haqqani or Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
- Speaking at a weekly media briefing, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said Pakistan was not handing over Dr Afridi to the US.
- “These are all rumours. We are not handing over Afridi to the US. There is no deal,” Faisal said, adding the decision to move Afridi from Peshawar to Adiala Jail was being dealt by the interior ministry.
- On restrictions on the movement of diplomats, he said: “Discussions are continued. We will share when any information comes out.”
10. Scientists devise new, more accurate peanut allergy test
- British scientists have developed a far more accurate blood test to diagnose peanut allergy, offering a better way to monitor a significant food hazard.
- Peanuts are the most common cause of fatal food-induced anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reaction, and allergy cases among children have risen sharply in recent years. Britain’s Food Standards Agency estimates up to one in 55 children have a peanut allergy.
- In contrast to existing skin-prick and other blood tests that produce a large number of false positive results, the new diagnostic has 98 percent specificity, researchers from the Medical Research Council (MARC) reported on May 3, 2018
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