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November 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (November 11, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS, NTS

Written by Shahzad F. Malik

 November 10, 2018: National Current Affairs

1. 80pc of Pakistan`s poor live in rural areas, says World Bank report

• Rural areas in Pakistan remain much poorer than urban areas and are far more disadvantaged in all respects of service delivery, and the present conditions show the decline in poverty has not reduced the urban-rural gap by much.
• According to a World Bank report titled `State of Water Supply, Sanitation and Poverty in Pakistan` Balochistan has by far the highest rural poverty rate, with more than 62 per cent of its rural population living below the poverty line. However, the gap between rural and urban poverty is the widest in Sindh at almost 30 percentage points. In contrast, the urban rural gap in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was 13 and 15 percentage points, respectively.
• The report said that the poverty head count rate in rural Pakistan was twice as much in urban areas 36pc versus 18pc and the gap had remained virtually unchanged since 2001-02. Combined with the slow pace of urbanisation only about 35pc of the country`s population lived in urban areas in 2014 this gap indicated that 80pc of Pakistan`s poor continued to live in rural areas.
• Rural households, it said, faced a substantial disadvantage in virtually all aspects of service delivery. Nationally, the rural net enrolment rate was 13 percentage points lower for primary school and 11 percentage points lower for middle school than in urban areas. For girls, these gaps stood at 17 and 14 percentage points, respectively. The rural female literacy rate, at 28pc, was also less than half of that in urban areas.

2. Pakistan highlights UN role in building peaceful world

• Amid rising unilateralism threatening multilateralism, Pakistan November 9, 2018 underscored the role of the United Nations as the best vehicle for creating a peaceful world order.
• “A rules-based order with the UN at its core remains an abiding and fundamental element of my country’s foreign policy,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the UN Security Council.
• Speaking in a debate on the role of multilateralism, the Pakistani envoy said that UN Charter principles of sovereign equality of States, non-interference and peaceful settlement of disputes were critical. As true multilateralism means that decision-making bodies must be fully representative of the aspirations of all member states — small, medium and large — Pakistan embraces Security Council reform for those purposes.
• The Pakistani envoy, praising the accomplishments fostered by the United Nations in the pursuit of internationally-shared goals for the common good, said that today such multilateralism is under assault.

3. Sindh bans purchase of new vehicles for officials

• The Sindh cabinet on November 10, 2018 decided to impose a ban on purchase of new vehicles for officials for three years and phase out use of polythene bags within three months.
• The cabinet also decided to release 12 ailing prisoners and form a committee to review amendments to the police transfers and postings law.
• These decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and attended by ministers, advisers, special assistants and government officials, Murtaza Wahab, adviser to the chief minister on information.
• The provincial cabinet, during the meeting, approved a proposal to authorise the governor, the chief minister, assembly speaker, chief justice of the Sindh High Court, chief secretary, inspector general of the Sindh Police and two additional inspectors general to use armoured vehicles.
• The ministers or any officers identified to have threat would be provided an armoured vehicle available in the pool. The chief minister was told that there were 28 vehicles of 1800cc available in the pool for ministers. Most of the vehicles have already been allotted to ministers.

4. Driving heavy bikes banned in residential areas at night

• The police on November 10, 2018 banned heavy bikes from being driven in the capital`s residential areas at night.
• The Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) has said that the ban was imposed to counter noise pollution around residential areas and hospitals at night-time following a number of complaints.
• All heavy bikes sport and cruisers and normal bikes that are modified to produce noise are banned from being driven on roads in and around residential areas, and roads adjacent to them, between 9pmand 6am, an ITP officer said. There is no ban on driving these vehicles on highways.

5. Pak-IMF policy level talks from next week

• Policy level talks between Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) would start from next week that would finalise the volume of loan and conditionalaties of the new borrowing programme.
• The IMF team, which had arrived Islamabad on November 6, had so far held technical discussion with Pakistan’s authorities. Economic ministries had shared data with the visiting IMF delegation during the technical level talks. Both the sides would initiate policy level talks from week, which would be headed by Finance Minister Asad Umar from Pakistani side. The talks between IMF and Pakistan will continue till November 20.

6. Bank of Punjab president resigns

• The Bank of Punjab President Naeemuddin Khan has resigned from his post one month before the expiry of his second term. Naeemuddin served the bank as president for around 10 years after taking the charge in 2008. He has over 30 years diversified international banking experience.
• He had been at the helm of BoP affairs since the last one decade, overseeing the turnaround of the bank from the brink of bankruptcy and converted it into a profitable entity.

November 11, 2018: International Current Affairs

7. US ends refuelling of aircraft from Saudi-led coalition battling insurgents in Yemen

• Saudi Arabia and the United States have agreed to end US refueling of aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition battling Houthi insurgents in Yemen, halting a divisive aspect of US support to a war that has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.
• The move, announced by the coalition on Saturday and confirmed by Washington, comes at a time when Riyadh, already under scrutiny for civilian deaths in Yemen air strikes, is facing global furore and potential sanctions over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate on Oct 2.
• The United States and Britain late last month called for a ceasefire in Yemen to support UN-led efforts to end the nearly four-year long war that has killed more than 10,000 people and triggered the world`s most urgent humanitarian crisis.
• Saudi Arabia has a fleet of 23 planes for refuelling operations, including six Airbus 330 MRTT used for Yemen, while the United Arab Emirates has six of the Airbus planes, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya al-Hadath channel reported on Saturday.

8. Iran reopens trade gate at Taftan

• Pak-Iran trade gate was reopened on November 10, 2018 in Taftan after three weeks by Iranian authorities. The gate was closed on October 16 due to Hazrat Imam Hussain’s Chehlum ceremonies.
• According to Levies sources, Zero Point, a trade gate at Taftan area of Chaghi, has been reopened for all kind of business activities by both side countries which were suspended after closing of trade gate.
• Businessmen of Taftan expressed their happiness over resumption of trade activities through the Zero Point gate

9. WB to grant Belarus $160m

• The World Bank (WB) will grant Belarus an additional loan of $160 million to implement energy conservation projects, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus and Director of Department for Energy Efficiency Mikhail Malashenko said.
• Work is underway to raise additional financing to the tune of $160 million. There is an agreement in principle of the World Bank. The loan will be used to build facilities running on local fuel and to implement pilot projects to improve energy saving in apartment houses.
• He emphasized that construction of facilities running on bio fuel is an energy-saving project that will pay back soon and will help reduce the prime cost of heat energy considerably.

10. Macron, Trump in show of unity after defence row

• French President Emmanuel Macron sought to defuse a row with US counterpart Donald Trump on November 10, 2018, hailing the “great solidarity” between their countries after Trump blasted his proposals for a European army.
• The two leaders held talks at the presidential palace in Paris ahead of World War 1 commemorations taking place in the shadow of a new nationalist surge worldwide.
• Their body language was less warm than during Trump’s last trip to Paris in July 2017 and Macron’s visit to the White House in April, underscoring a general cooling in relations which were further strained by a late-night tweet by Trump on defence.
• Macron attempted to smoothe over the divisions, saying he shared Trump’s view on the need for Europe to boost defence spending.

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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.
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