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December 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (December 13, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS, NTS

Important Current Affairs Daily Updates
Written by Shahzad F. Malik
WELCOME TO CSS TIMES DAY BY  DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS, YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR UP-TO-DATE AND DAILY TOP CURRENT AFFAIRS 2018 FOR PREPARATION OF CSS, PMS, BANKING, NTS, RAILWAYS AND ALL COMPETITIVE EXAMS.  “DAY TO DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS” BASICALLY IS TOP 10 NEWS SUMMARY ON CURRENT HAPPENINGS OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE FOR ALL EXAMINATIONS

December 13, 2018: National Current Affairs

1. Upgraded aircraft, helicopters inducted into naval fleet

• The Pakistan Navy (PN) inducted its first marinised and upgraded ATR aircraft and Sea King helicopters (Ex Mod UK) into its fleet at an impressive ceremony held at PNS Mehran on December 12, 2018.
• The first marinised ATR aircraft, a modern and widely-operated turboprop platform, has been retrofitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors which will substantially enhance the fleet air arm`s operational capability commensurate with contemporary maritime warfare requirements.
• The induction of the two Mk 3A/ Mk 4 Sea King helicopters acquired from UK into the PN`s existing fleet of Sea King helicopters will further enhance its operational capability, particularly of troops` transfer. One of the helicopters is purpose built for search and rescue missions at sea and the other is optimised for troops-carrying role.
• Current Chief of the Naval Staff: Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi

2. Pak Navy to host multinational AMAN Exercise 2019

• Pakistan Navy will be hosting a major multinational maritime ‘AMAN Exercise 2019’ in the beginning of the next year.
• To this effect, a final planning conference was held in Karachi. Forty one representatives of participating countries attended the conference.
• The exercises will play an important role for formation of a joint strategy and consensus approach for global maritime security.
• The basic purpose of the exercises include enhancement of professional expertise in capability of joint operations and regional peace and security.
• Naval forces from across the world will be participating in the AMAN Exercises with Pakistan Navy’s declared resolve of ‘Unity for Peace.

3. Bushra Manika was Pakistan`s most googled person in 2018

• Google on December 12, 2018 released its `Year in Search` lists revealing the top most searched people, news and events in Pakistan for the outgoing year.
• According to the popular internet search engine, Prime Minister Imran Khan`s wife Bushra Manika remained the most trending person in the country for the year 2018, followed by Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, singer and actor Meesha Shafi, and journalist Reham Khan.
• According to Google`s data, the most number of searches in her name was recorded between January and February, during the time rumours of her marriage with Imran Khan were doing the rounds.
• Searches related to Meesha Shafi spiked after she became the first celebrity in the entertainment industry to accuse another celebrity, Ali Zafar, of sexual harassment.
• Meanwhile, as per the Google data, people searched Reham Khan the most during June when her biography came out.

4. Pact signed for Mangla Dam refurbishment

• The $78 million Project Implementation Letter (PIL)-2 for Mangla Refurbishment Project (MRP) was signed on December 12, 2018 between WAPDA and the USAID.
• Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Lt General (retired) Muzammil Hussain and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director in Pakistan Jerry Bisson signed the document on behalf of their respective organisations.
• The USAID grant will be spent to undertake various works of Package V-IX of the project. PIL-1 worth $72m for MRP was signed between USAID and WAPDA in 2014.
• The MRP, on its completion, will enhance generation capacity of the existing Mangla Hydel Power Station from 1,000 megawatt (MW) to 1,310 MW, thus registering an increase of 310 MW. The refurbishment works have been divided into 11 different packages which will be implemented in various phases. The generating units will be refurbished by closing down one tunnel (two generating units) at a time. Refurbishment of the first two units will be completed in year 2019, while refurbishment of all 10 generating units is likely to be accomplished by year 2024.

5. Pakistan`s power sector causes $18bn loss a year: report

• Estimating about $18bn annual loss to Pakistan economy due to inefficient power sector, the World Bank has warned the government against increasing power rates as a tool to address fiscal challenges in the sector.
• In a report `In the Dark: How Much Do Power Sector Distortions Cost South Asia` launched on December 12, 2018, the World Bank also suggested some solutions to address the power sector problems by asking authorities to prioritise gas allocation to efficient power plants and launch tariff mechanism that encourages performance.
• Pakistan`s power sector suffers from inefficiencies that cost the economy $18bn or 6.5 per cent of GDP in the fiscal year 2015, said a new World Bank report. Asked about the use of 2015 data about economic losses, a World Bank official said the situation had not changed much since then.

6. NHS ministry to undertake Pakistan`s first ever birth cohort study

• The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has decided to undertake a birth cohort study in Pakistan.
• The study, which will be initiated by professors from Bradford University and Liverpool University in the United Kingdom, will involve 25,000 people whose data will be collected from before birth and through various stages of their lives.
• Birth cohort studies can go on for 40 to 50 years and are used to collect data on diseases, social indicators and problems in nations.
• The data of babies before birth is collected, and it is then observed why some children die during their childhood and others live on for decades.

December 13, 2018: International Current Affairs

7. EU parliament approves trade deal with Japan

• The European Parliament on December 12, 2018 approved an accord with Japan that has been dubbed the world`s biggest trade deal, covering economies that represent a third of the world`s GDP.
• The agreement will go into effect in February and was celebrated as a victory for Europe as a free trade champion in the face of US President Donald Trump`s protectionism and Britain`s decision to leave the EU.

8. Lanka`s sacked PM wins confidence vote

• Sri Lanka`s former Prime Minister whose October sacking by the president precipitated a political crisis won a confidence vote in parliament on December 12, 2018.
• Ranil Wickremesinghe received 117 votes in favour in the 225-member legislative body. The result is expected to increase pressure on President Maithripala Sirisena to reappoint Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister. Sirisena has vowed not to reappoint him despite criticism that his refusal violates the constitution.
• After sacking Wickremesinghe on Oct 26, Sirisena appointed his former rival, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as Prime Minister. Sirisena had opposed Wickremesinghe`s economic policies and his efforts to investigate alleged abuses during Sri Lanka`s long civil war, which ended in 2009.

9. Tanzania signs deal for Hydel plant at heritage site

• Tanzania on December 12, 2018 signed a $3 billion agreement with two Egyptian companies to construct a huge hydroelectric plant in a game reserve that is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
• President John Magufuli witnessed the signing of the agreement with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. The companies involved are Arab Contractors and el-Sewedy Electric, an engineering services company.
• The plan was formulated in the 1980s but Tanzania did not have the capital to put it into effect until recently.
• The dam is expected to produce 5,920 gigawatts of power annually

10. DiCaprio ordered to return Oscar statue

• Leonardo Dicaprio has been ordered to return an Oscars statue. The 44-year-old actor – who ended a long career journey when he was named best actor for his role in 2015’s ‘The Revenant’ – was gifted Marlon Brando’s 1954 trophy for ‘On The Waterfront’, and he will have to hand it over to authorities due to an ongoing court case.
• Malasian financier Jho Low gave Leonardo the award after originally buying it at an auction for $600,000.
• Low – who financed the actor’s movie ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ in 2013 – is accused of committing fraud against an investment fund for billions of dollars. As well as Brando’s Oscar, the star has also handed over other presents given by Low, including a Pablo Picasso painting.
• The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences retains the right to by any of its statues by for just $1, so it’s expected that’s where the trophy will be returned to following the end of the investigation.

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