December 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (December 04, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS, NTS


December 4, 2018: National Current Affairs

1. Egyptian envoy calls on COAS

• Egyptian Ambassador to Pakistan Ahmed Muhammad Fadel Yacoub met with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on December 3, 2018 and discussed matters of mutual interest, regional security and bilateral relations.
• The envoy visited General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and called on the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

2. CAC Pakistan Summit kicks off

• Agriculture sector is lifeline of Pakistan’s economy as it is contributing around 25 percent in economy, employing 42.3 percent of labor force and a major source of raw materials for several value added sectors, said Chinese and Pakistani experts.
• It was upshot of the speeches delivered by Chinese and Pakistani experts at CAC Pakistan Conference. Joint ventures and transfer of latest technology is pre-requisite to avail full benefits from the potential of Pakistani agriculture sector, they said.
• During the conference China Agrochemical Manufacturing Capability, Trends and future, Pakistani Crops and Demand for Agrochemicals and Machineries, Pesticides Registration Management Updates in Pakistan, Most Sold Pesticides and Future Trend in Pakistan, Pakistani Pesticides Market and Import & Export Situation, Pakistani Fertilizers Makret and Future Development, Current Status and Future Trend of Agricultural Machineries, Current Status of Chinese Agricultural Machinery Industry & leading Machinery and Technology came under discussion.

December 4, 2018: International Current Affairs

3. Soyuz spacecraft successfully docks with ISS

• The first manned Soyuz flight since a failed launch in October successfully docked at the International Space Station on December 2, 2018.
• The Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft with a crew onboard successfully docked with the Research Module Poisk of the International Space Station.
• The Soyuz rocket carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts took off from Kazakhstan and reached orbit, in the first manned mission since a failed launch in October.
• Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Anne McClain of Nasa and David SaintJacques of the Canadian Space Agency blasted off for a six-and-a-half month mission on the International Space Station.

4. Sri Lankan court bars Rajapakse from working as PM

• A court in Sri Lanka suspended Mahinda Rajapakse`s powers as prime minister on December 3, 2018 and ruled his dispute d cabinet could not govern the strife-torn island until it proved its legitimacy.
• The decision casts further legal doubt over Rajapakse`s claim to lead Sri Lanka, which has been in turmoil since his controversial appointment a month ago.
• Rajapakse, who was installed after the country`s president sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister on Oct 26, has twice been voted out by parliament but has refused to step down.

5. Catastrophic climate change if use of fossil fuel not cut: UN

• The world is `way off course` in its plan to prevent catastrophic climate change, warns the United Nations as nations gather in Poland to chart a way for mankind to avert runaway global warming.
• After a string of damning scientific reports showing humanity must drastically slash its greenhouse gas emissions within the next decade, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres told delegates on Monday at the opening of a UN climate summit: `We are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough`.
• leaders from at risk nations such as Fiji, Nigeria and Nepal plead their case at the COP24 climate talks, which aim to flesh out the promises agreed in the 2015 Paris climate accord.
• But host Poland heavily reliant on energy from coal will push its own agenda: a `just transition` from fossil fuels that critics say could allow it to continue polluting for decades.
• Nor are any of the world`s largest emitters represented at the highest level in Poland.
• The Paris deal saw nations agree to limit global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) and under 1.5C if possible.

6. Iran faces ‘chronic challenges’ beyond US sanctions

• Iran is facing “chronic challenges” that existed long before US sanctions were reimposed, the influential parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on December 4, 2018.
• “External factors do affect our economy, but there are problems persisting from before,” Larijani said at a press conference.
• He listed a number of challenges, including “big, costly government”, high interest rates that “disrupt production”, cash-strapped pension funds and a water crisis.
• The International Monetary Fund says the Iranian economy will contract by 1.5 percent in 2018 and 3.6 percent is 2019, largely due to reduced oil sales caused by the renewed sanctions.

7. Mexico’s new leader opens presidential residence to public

• On November 30 night, Mexico’s presidential residence was the scene of a gala reception for the king of Spain.
• Hours later, its doors were thrown open so tens of thousands of ordinary people could stare slack-jawed at its opulent rooms.
• Welcome to the new Mexico of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
• Mexico’s new leader is an anti-establishment leftist who has made it his trademark to reject the trappings of power.
• He has cut his own salary by 60 percent, put the presidential jet up for sale, eliminated the presidential security detail and forsaken the presidential residence, Los Pinos, opting to stay in his own modest home.
• But he didn’t stop there.
• Within hours of officially starting his six-year term at midnight on December 1, 2018 – even before taking the oath of office – Lopez Obrador, 65, had opened up the sprawling residence to the public.

8. 900-year-old gold coins found in well

• A collection of gold coins believed to have been hidden 900 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists in the ancient Israeli port city of Caesarea.
• The rare cache was found – along with a single gold earring – in a bronze pot between stones in the side of a well.
• The hoard of 24 coins appears to have been hidden by someone who hoped to retrieve it, but never returned.
• Archaeologists say the owner may have died when the city’s inhabitants were massacred by a Crusader army in 1101. The discovery, which specialists have identified as belonging to the end of the 11th Century, was made during an excavation and conservation project at the Caesarea World Heritage site.
• It was found between two stones in the side of a well at a house in a neighbourhood dating to the Abbasid and Fatimid periods.

9. Monster black hole merger detected

• Gravitational waves have been picked up from the biggest black hole merger yet detected.
• Scientists say their laser labs sensed the ripples in space-time emanating from this gargantuan collision on 29 July 2017.
• The event saw two holes, weighing more than 50 and 34 times the mass of our Sun, uniting to produce a single object over 80 times the mass of our star.
• It happened at least five billion light-years from Earth.
• The discovery follows a major data re-analysis project.

10. Scientists develop implant for heart monitoring

• Chinese scientists have designed an implant and self-powered sensor that can help monitor heart failure.
• Heart failure is a global public health problem in which the heart is incapable of pumping sufficient blood to meet the body’s needs.
• Typical symptoms include dyspnea, weakness and fatigue, which lead to poor quality of life and high costs for diagnosis and treatment.
• The endocardial pressure is a key parameter for assessing cardiac function and has important clinical implications for patients with heart failure.
• Endocardial pressure is commonly monitored by invasive and expensive cardiac catheterization, which is not feasible for long-term, continuous data collection.
• There is an urgent need to develop a minimally invasive, high-sensitive and low-cost sensor to monitor endocardial pressure in real time, which would be of great significance for cardiovascular disease diagnosis and treatment. Based on the triboelectric nanogenerator that can convert bio-mechanical energy into electricity, scientists from the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beihang University as well as the Second Military Medical University have developed a miniaturized self-powered sensor that can enter the heart with minimally invasive surgery.

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