April 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (April 28, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

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April 28, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. Discussion on second phase of CPEC begins

• Pakistani and Chinese leadership on April 27, 2019 began discussions on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor`s (CPEC) next phase at the end of the Belt and Road Forum (BRF), which concluded with a call by Chinese President Xi Jinping for Belt and Road Initiative partners to contribute to its `high-quality development`.
• Prime Minister Imran Khan on April 27, 2019 began the bilateral component of his four day trip to China with a meeting with Vice President Wang Qishan in which he was accompanied by his delegation. The prime minister will meet President Xi on April 28, 2019 (today)before returning to Pakistan.
• China would in the CPEC`s next stage also commit to social sector cooperation for which it would be investing $1billion in 27 education, health, agriculture, water and irrigation, human resource development and poverty alleviation projects. The agreement on social sector cooperation would be signed during PM Khan`s visit.


2. 2.3m children not vaccinated against polio in last campaign

• In what appeared to be an alarming situation, the number of children not vaccinated during the first four days of the last anti-polio drive across the country has reached 2.3 million, alarming figures that have never been reported in any previous campaign.
• An official privy to the information said both the refusal cases and missed children have been an area of serious concern for the global partners like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UNICEF supporting Pakistan to eradicate the crippling disease.
• The dismal figures of the recent anti-polio drive also alarmed the federal and provincial authorities, prompting them to call an emergent meeting to mull over the situation.
• The Technical Advisory Group under the Global Polio Eradication Initiative that was expected to visit Pakistan in coming weeks might also take up the matter with the authorities.
• On unsatisfactory response by Pakistan, global partners might also recommend or impose certain travel restrictions on the country.


3. World Bank to give $400m to support research project

• The World Bank will support Pakistan in promoting research excellence and strengthening governance in the higher education sector with a loan of $400 million, which is expected to be approved before the end of current fiscal year.
• The World Bank financing will come from the International Development Association (IDA), and the total cost of the project has been estimated to be $2,437.60m.
• The Higher Education Development project to be implemented by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) will help promote relevant and cutting-edge research in universities with a focus on specific strategic sectors for socio-economic progress in the country. This will be done through providing competitive research, innovation and commercialisation grants to researchers and entrepreneurs.


4. Lateef Afridi elected PHCBA president

• Senior lawyer Abdul Lateef Afridi of the Awami National Party-affiliated Malgaray Wakeelan was elected president of the Peshawar High Court Bar Association on April 27, 20191.
• He defeated two candidates in the annual PHCBA elections on April 27, 2019.


5. US imposes visa sanctions on Pakistan

• Pakistan has joined the list of nations that have been slapped with sanctions within the framework of a US law under which countries that refuse to take back deportees and visa over-stayers will be denied American visas.
• The United States has imposed sanctions on Pakistan as Islamabad has refused to take back its citizen deportees and visa over-stayers. “Consular operations in Pakistan remain unchanged. This is a bilateral issue of ongoing discussion between the US and Pakistani governments and we are not going to get into the specifics at the time”, a State Department spokesperson.


April 28, 2019: National Current Affairs

6. More nations joining Belt and Road, $64bn deals signed

• Chinese President Xi Jinping said on April 27, 2019 $64 billion in deals were signed at a summit on his Belt and Road Initiative and more nations would join the global infrastructure programme as he sought to ease concerns over the colossal project.
• Xi and 37 world leaders wrapped up a three-day forum in Beijing with pledges to ensure that projects on the new Silk Road are green and financially sustainable following concerns about debt and environmental damage.
• His signature foreign policy aims to reinvent the ancient Silk Road to connect Asia to Europe and Africa through massive investments in maritime, road and rail projects -with hundreds of billions of dollars in financing from Chinese banks.


7. UK ready to host Imran-Modi meeting

• The United Kingdom is ready to host Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi – or any new elected Indian premier after the national polls – for talks amid speculations of a meeting in London on the sidelines of cricket World Cup in the coming weeks.
• British officials told that the UK was playing a ‘leading role’ to defuse Pak-India tension.
• “We (UK) have been open about it. We want these countries to live together peacefully. If they (Imran Khan and Modi) meet here, we will be happy. We have conveyed this to Pakistan and India,” said an official.
• Another official said Pakistan and India had not so far shown any intent for the two PMs meeting. “Our good offices are always open for such positive meetings,” he added.
• Indian election trend so far suggests that Narendra Modi will win the election again, albeit with a reduced margin of victory.


8. Big 3 agree on Afghanistan troop exit

• Representatives of the United States, China and Russia reached an 8-point consensus during meetings in Moscow last week on the Afghan peace process.
• In a joint statement following the trilateral meeting on the Afghan Peace Process
• The Trump administration is committed to withdrawing forces from Afghanistan to end more than 17 years of war.
• US, China, Russia reach 8-point consensus during trilateral meeting
• Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is in the middle of a trip that began April 21 and ends May 11. It includes stops in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, and the United Kingdom.


9. Canada to impose dumping duty to protect steel jobs

• Canada has said it will enact final special tariffs, called safeguards, to protect Canadian steel workers` jobs in the face of foreign steel being dumped on the Canadian market.
• The Department of Finance said that based on a Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CIT T) report the government would enact final safeguards for imports on heavy plate and stainless steel wire. Safeguards are emergency measures allowed under international trade law to respond to a sudden rise in imports.
• Some of the new measures include conducting a timely and targeted review of dumping cases and greater flexibility for the Canada Border Services Agency to address price and cost distortions in foreign markets when determining whether dumping has occurred, among others, the finance department said.


10. Amazon tribe wins first victory against oil companies

• Ecuador`s Waorani indigenous tribe won their first victory against big oil companies in a ruling that blocks the companies` entry onto ancestral Amazonian lands for oil exploration activities.
• After two weeks of deliberations, a criminal court in Puyo, central Ecuador, accepted a Waorani bid for court protection in Pastaza province to stop an oil bidding process after the government moved to open up around 180,000 hectares for exploration.
• The lands are protected under Ecuador`s constitution that establishes the `inalienable, unseizable and indivisible` rights of indigenous people `to maintain possession of their ancestral lands and obtain their free adjudication.` Crucially, however, the wealth in the subsoil is owned by the state.


Day by Day Current Affairs (April 28, 2019) MCQs for CSS, PMS

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