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August 20, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Bajwa to stay as COAS till Nov 2022
• Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was on August 19, 2019 given another three-year term in office by Prime Minister Imran Khan, allowing him to keep the command till November 2022.
• A notification signed by the PM, which was released by his office to the media, read: `Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is appointed as Chief of Army Staff for another term of three years from the date of completion of tenure. The decision has been taken in view of the regional security environment.
• As Gen Bajwa`s current tenure was to end on Nov 28, he will now remain in office till the penultimate year of Mr Khan`s tenure.
2. British-era Shahi Mehman Khana turned into MPAs Hostel
• The British-era Shahi Mehman Khana, also known as Royal Guest House, Peshawar was converted into hostel to provide accommodation to MPAs-elect from tribal districts.
• Officials said that provincial government had formally handed over the official guest house to the secretariat of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for accommodating the lawmakers.
• Built in 1942, Shahi Mehman Khana opposite the Governor`s House was earlier named after the then governor Sir George Cunningham.
• It was serving as official guest house. Initially, the guest house was used to house tribal elders.
August 20, 2019: International Current Affairs
3. Trump steps up phone diplomacy to defuse Indo-Pak tension
• US President Donald Trump, who promised last month to mediate between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue, spoke to Indian and Pakistani prime ministers on August 19, 2019 in a bid to defuse rising tensions between the two nuclear armed neighbours.
• Since Aug 5, when India unilaterally cancelled the constitutionally guaranteed autonomy of the disputed Kashmir region, several world leaders have emphasised the need for reducing tensions between India and Pakistan.
• President Trump, however, went beyond making public gestures and spoke directly to the leaders of the two neighbouring nations.
4. Aid cut improved ties with Pakistan: Trump
• US President Donald Trump has said his country’s ties with Pakistan have improved since he cut $1.3 billion in security assistance to Islamabad, rejecting the suggestion that aid is an effective foreign policy tool.
• Talking to reporters at his golf resort in New Jersey on Sunday evening, the US leader also recalled his July 22 meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, pointing out that it was “a very good” meeting.
• President Trump announced last year that $1.3bn aid to Pakistan would remain suspended until Islamabad removed all alleged terrorist safe havens from its territory.
5. Protesters burn parliament building in Indonesian town
• Thousands of people in Indonesia`s West Papua province set fire to a local parliament building on August 19, 2019 in a protest sparked by accusations that security forces had arrested and insulted students from neighbouring Papua province.
• The angry mob torched the building and set fire to cars and tires on several blocked roads leading to a seaport, shopping centres and offices in Manokwari, the capital of West Papua province, Vice Gov. Mohammad Lakotani said.
• `The city`s economy has been paralysed by the demonstrators,` Lakotani said. `Negotiations between protesters and the authorities are currently underway to end the riots.` Television footage showed orange flames and gray smoke billowing from the burning parliament building.
6. US tests medium-range cruise missile
• The US Defense Department on August 19, 2019 announced the test of a medium-range ground-launched cruise missile, just weeks after tearing up the Cold War-era pact with Russia eliminating that class of nuclear-capable weapons.
• The missile was launched on Sunday from the US Navycontrolled San Nicolas Island off the coast of Los Angeles, California.
• `The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight,` the Pentagon said in a statement
7. Global network`s nuclear sensors went offline after mystery blast
• The operator of a global network of radioactivity sensors said on August 19, 2019 its two Russian sites closest to a mysterious explosion on Aug 8 went offline two days after the blast, raising concern about possible tampering by Russia.
• The Russian Defence Ministry, which operates the two stations, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
• Russia`s state nuclear agency Rosatom has acknowledged that nuclear workers were killed in the explosion, which occurred during a rocket engine test nearthe White Sea in far northern Russia.
8. Saudi women get new right allowing their kids to travel
• Saudi women have got new right allowing their kids to travel and after a major policy change earlier this month in which Saudi mothers will be able to apply for passports for children in their custody and permitted to travel abroad under new guidelines.
• The changes, detailed on the website of Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports on Monday, spell out how a major policy change earlier this month – which allowed women over 21 to leave the country without a male relative’s permission from the end of August – will work in practice, Gulf News reported.
• Saudi women’s rights activists have campaigned for years against the kingdom’s guardianship system, which rendered women legal dependents of a male relative throughout their lives – typically a father or husband, but sometimes a brother or son.
August 20, 2019: Sports Current Affairs
9. Ex-hockey Olympian Zakir passes away
• Former hockey Olympian and legendary goalkeeper Zakir Hussain passed away at Wah Cantt on August 19, 2019. He was 85.
• According to the Pakistan Hockey Federation, Zakir was a member of the Pakistan squad during the 1968 Mexico Olympics where he helped the nation clinch the gold medal when stopped Australia from scoring a decisive goal in the final with his face.
• Zakir also figured in the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, where the Pakistan won a silver medal.
10. Medvedev beats Goffin for Cincinnati crown
• Russian Daniil Medvedev survived cramps and tantrum where he cracked a racquet to clinch his first Masters 1000 title with a 7-6, (3) 6-4 win over David Goffin in the final of the Cincinnati Masters.
• Medvedev saved two breaks points while serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set before winning the next four, three of them with aces to close out his dogged Belgian opponent. It was the second title of the year for Medvedev, who had lost on the past two Sundays, to Nick Kyrgios in Washington and Rafa Nadal in Montreal. “It would be not a good feeling if I lost three finals in a row so it’s just a relief and I’m so happy,” he said in a courtside interview with ESPN after playing his 16th match in 20 days.