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September 13, 2018: National Current Affairs
1. 12 provincial ministers sworn in
The Punjab governor on September 12, 2018 administered oath to the 12 newly inducted provincial ministers at a ceremony at Governor`s House.
Those who took oath as ministers are: Pir Syed Saeedul Hassan Shah (Auqaf and Religious Affairs), Mehar Muhammad Aslam (Cooperatives), Syed Husnain Jahania Gardezi (Management and Professional Development), Muhammad Ajmal (Social Welfare and Bait-ul-Maal), Muhammad Akhlaq (Special Education), Ashifa Riaz (Women Development), Shoukat Ali Laleka (Zakat and Ushr), Zawar Hussain Warraich (Prisons), Mian Khalid Mehmood (Disaster Management), Muhammad Jahanzaib Khan Khichi (Transpon), ljaz Masih (Human Rights and Minority Affairs).
MPA Muhammad Akhter (PP-219) was also inducted in the Punjab cabinet and is yet to be given a portfolio.
With the new induction, the cabinet has swelled to 36 members, besides five special assistants and four advisors.
The Article 130(6) of the Constitution says the total strength of the cabinet shall not exceed 15 members or 11 per cent of the total membership of a provincial assembly, whichever is higher.
2. State ministers for revenue, frontier regions notified
Members of the National Assembly Muhammad Hammad Azhar and Murad Saeed were on September 12, 2018 awarded portfolios of state ministers for revenue, and states and frontier regions, respectively.
According to a notification issued by the Cabinet Secretariat, President Arif Alvi on the advice of Prime Minister Imran Khan allocated the portfolios to the two MNAs.
It also said that MNAs Syed Haider Ali Zaidi and Omar Ayub Khan were notified as federal ministers of maritime affairs and power division, respectively. Their portfolios had already been announced at the time of their nomination as federal ministers a few days back.
3. Pakistan, Uzbekistan to enhance defence co-op
Pakistan and Uzbekistan have resolved to explore avenues in the field of joint production ventures.
This was agreed in a meeting held between Federal Minister for Defence Production Zobaida Jalal and Ambassador of Uzbekistan Furkat Sidikov in Rawalpindi on September 12, 2018. Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defence Production, Maj Gen Ali Amir Awan was also present on the occasion.
Both sides stressed the need for exploring avenues in the field of joint production ventures.
It was further emphasized that the existing cordial relations between the two countries be translated into active cooperation in the defence production sector. The Ambassador of Uzbekistan shared that Pakistan is a resource rich nation with a vibrant economy and great potential for further growth.
September 13, 2018: International Current Affairs
4. UN teams given first access to Myanmar`s Rakhine
The UN began work on September 12, 2018 inside Myanmar`s violence-torn northern Rakhine state, the first time its agencies have been granted permission to operate there since more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled the area last year.
The UN has been waiting for access to the epicenter of the military`s `clearance operations` against the Rohingya minority since June when its refugee and development agencies signed a deal with the government.
This first step of the UN`s `confidence-building measures` is expected to take two weeks and will cover 23 villages and three additional clusters of hamlets.
5. EU lawmakers move against Hungary over rule of law
European Union lawmakers voted on September 12, 2018 to launch action against the Hungarian government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban for allegedly undermining the bloc`s democratic values and rule of law. Hungary called the vote fraudulent and vowed to challenge it.
The lawmakers voted 448-197in favour of a report recommending the launch of a so-called Article 7 procedure, which could lead to the suspension of Hungary`s European Union voting rights.
It is the first time in EU history that the European Parliament had initiated and approved such a motion, which needed a two-thirds majority to pass and was approved by 69.4 per cent of the lawmakers.
6. Putin suggests long-awaited peace treaty to Japan
Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 12, 2018 suggested that Russia and Japan should sign a much-anticipated peace treaty formally ending hostilities from World War II before the end of the year.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pushing for a way forward in the dispute, with the two leaders holding numerous meetings and reportedly getting as close to solving the row as they have ever been.
Putin suggested that Russia and Japan sign the treaty this year and solve the territorial dispute later.
For the past several years Putin and Abe have been discussing ways to solve the longstanding dispute, including making the four most southern of the Kuril Islands, which Japan calls the Northern Territories, a joint economic zone.
7. Detained Russian ship released by South Africa
South African police said September 12, 2018 they had released a Russian-registered cargo ship which was detained for three weeks on suspicion of carrying illegal weapons and explosives en route to the Nigerian city of Lagos.
The vessel, named Lada, had reportedly left Madagascar before stopping at Ngqura port outside the eastern city of Port Elizabeth, where it was held after a security check on August 19.
8. Russia deploys most advanced air defences at army drills
Russia showcased its most sophisticated air defence system on September 12, 2018, using it to repel a mock attack from the sky as part of what it describes as its largest-ever military drills.
The war games involved its state-of-the-art S-400, Russia’s latest generation surface-to-air defence system, which is considered by NATO countries to pose a threat to their aircraft.
The exercise on the Telemba military training ground – about 130 kilometres (81 miles) north of the city of Chita in Siberia – involved over 1,000 troops and over 500 pieces of military equipment. Russia’s defence ministry hailed the drills as successful.
9. EU parliament approves copyright law in blow to big tech
The European Parliament on September 12, 2018 approved a controversial EU copyright law that hands more power to news and record companies against internet giants like Google and Facebook.
Backing the draft were traditional media, in urgent search of income at a time when web users shun newspapers and television and advertising revenue is siphoned away by online platforms.
The dramatic vote in the French city of Strasbourg confirmed the European Union as Silicon Valley’s most powerful critic and follows anti-trust decisions that have cost Google and Apple billions.
Europe is also leading the political charge on protecting data privacy, and just ahead of the copyright vote warned web firms it could hold them responsible for terrorist propaganda. European lawmakers were sharply divided on the copyright issue, with both sides engaging in one of the biggest rounds of lobbying that the EU has ever seen. But, despite uncertainty ahead of the vote, MEPs meeting in Strasbourg ended up passing the draft law with 438 votes in favour, 226 against, and 39 abstentions.
10. Cancer to kill 10m in 2018 despite better prevention
Cancer will kill nearly 10 million people this year, experts said September 12, 2018, warning the disease’s global burden continues to rise in spite of better prevention and earlier diagnosis.
An estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases were predicted worldwide for 2018 – with 9.6 million deaths, said a report of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). This is up from estimated 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million deaths reported in the agency’s last assessment just six years ago.
The toll is rising as populations expand and grow older, and people in developing nations adopt unhealthy, high-risk lifestyles traditionally associated with richer economies. An increased focus on prevention – encouraging people to get exercise, quit smoking, and eating a healthy diet – led to a drop in certain types of cancer in some population groups, the IARC said.
Yet the overall number of new cases is racing ahead of efforts to contain the disease. “These new figures highlight that much remains to be done to address the alarming rise in the cancer burden globally and that prevention has a key role to play,” said IARC director Christopher Wild.