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February 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (February 20, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

Current Affairs MCQs 2019 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

February 20, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. Pakistan ready to discuss terrorism with India

• Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 19, 2019 renewed call for dialogue with India over terrorism and other contentious issues and his government`s offer for cooperation in the Pulwama attack investigation.
• However, the Prime Minister also asked India to review its policy on Kashmir that had failed to work till this day and introspect why the youth in the India-held valley had reached a stage where they didn`t fear death any more.
• Mr Khan expressed these views in a nearly six-minute-long televised policy statement on the situation arising out of last week`s attack in the Pulwama area of India held Kashmir that left 44 personnel of Central Reserve Police Force dead. It was one of the deadliest attacks in the occupied valley in nearly two decades after which recldess statements by the Indian government and political leaders as well as media created war hysteria in India.
• The prime minister said India was stuck in the past and regretted that instead of agreeing to dialogue `Pakistan has been made the whipping boy`. He hoped that despite the apparent escalation better sense would prevail and India would agree to resolve the issue through dialogue.
• Recalling Indian refusal to return to talks, PM Khan said: `Whenever we ask India to start a bilateral dialogue, it always lays a precondition of discussing terrorism.

2. Japan to provide $10.6m grant for fight against malnutrition

• The Japanese government announced on February 19, 2019 a grant assistance of $10.6 million for Pakistan to fight malnutrition, improve livelihood and increase resilience to natural disasters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan.
• The latest assistance is part of a partnership that the Japanese government signed with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in Islamabad.
• Out of the total $10.6m, $3.5m will be used for early identification and treatment of 155,000 acutely malnourished mothers and children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including families who have been displaced from Afghanistan and vulnerable host populations. `WFP is extremely grateful for the continued partnership and generosity of the Japanese government in providing emergency life-saving nutritional support for malnourished mothers and children. We are proud to be working together to support some of Pakistan`s most vulnerable families,` said WFP representative Finbarr Curran.
• The Japanese contribution also includes $3.55m towards the UNDP`s `Stabilisation through Inclusive Livelihoods` initiative in the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is being implemented in close collaboration with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the erstwhile Fata secretariat.

3. Pakistan asks UN to help de-escalate tension with India

• Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on February 19, 2019 wrote a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres drawing his attention to the deteriorating security situation in the region resulting from the Indian threat of use of force against Pakistan.
• The appeal came a day after Islamabad requested Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to represent Pakistan`s point of view over the Kashmir issue during his visit to India.
• Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi should avoid putting regional peace at stake for political point-scoring in the upcoming Indian elections without first investigating the attack on security forces in the Pulwama area of occupied Kashmir.

4. Pak Navy opens ROPME Sea Area Hydrographic Commission meeting

• Three days 8th ROPME Sea Area Hydrographic Commission (RSAHC) meeting being hosted by Pakistan Navy was inaugurated by Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Kaleem Shaukat as chief guest.
• Representatives of member states and International Hydrographic Organisation as well as Pakistan’s MoD and MoPDR attended the inaugural session. Rear Admiral (Retd) Mustafa Iptes, Director International Hydrographic Organisation was also present during the ceremony.

February 20, 2019: International Current Affairs

5. UN offers help in defusing Pakistan-India tensions

• Expressing deep concern `at the increase in tensions between India and Pakistan`, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has asked both sides to exercise maximum restraint and offered his `good offices` to ease the crisis.
• `The secretary general stresses the importance for both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions. His good offices are available if accepted by both sides,` said Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN secretary general, while responding to a question at a media briefing.
• Pakistan has accepted such offers by the UN chief in the past, but India has been reluctant to involve the world body in an issue that it terms a bilateral dispute.

6. ICJ asked to dismiss India`s plea seeking spy`s acquittal

• `We have caught you,` a fervent Khawar Qureshi said as he warned India that it could no longer dismiss or `play fast and loose with the truth` on February 19, 2019, the second day of the four-day hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the Peace Palace.
• In what is to be unprecedented, Khawar Qureshi Queen`s Counsel invited the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to declare India`s application inadmissible. `I appreciate that this is the first time it will happen, quipped Qureshi, but based on India crossing all `red lines for conduct` and manifesting `abuse of rights, lack of good faith, illegality, lack of clean hands and misrepresentation` the top UN court should never be used for what was never about counselor access, but rather political point scoring. In what he termed India`s `all or nothing` strategy, Pakistan`s top legal eagle maintained burden of proof on India had still not been disposed of.
• It was ironic, how yesterday was a `wasted opportunity` for India, as it failed to answer key questions, given that it had pleaded for a second round of hearing, he said. `Outrageous, offensive position to adopt` by not deeming it necessary to respond in the very least.

7. US states sue Trump over border wall emergency

• Sixteen US states sued President Donald Trump`s administration over his decision to declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the southern border with Mexico, saying the move violated the constitution.
• Trump announced the emergency on Friday in order to bypass Congress, which approved only a quarter of the $5.6 billion he wanted for the wall in a spending bill.
• But the lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, said the president`s order was contrary to the constitution`s presentment and appropriations clauses, which outline legislative procedures and define Congress as the final arbiter of public funds, respectively.

8. France, Germany float idea of EU council veto

• France and Germany on February 19, 2019 suggested giving the European Council, which includes member states’ leaders, the right to override the decisions of the European Commission on competition in some situations, to boost the European companies’ ability to compete internationally.
• “We must continue to argue for a fairer and more effective global level playing field, but in the meantime, we need to ensure our companies can actually grow and compete. This entails changes to existing European competition rules. France and Germany suggest examining different options… Consider whether a right of appeal of the Council which could ultimately override Commission decisions could be appropriate in well-defined cases, subject to strict conditions.” the manifesto, published by the German finance ministry, read.

9. New map of universe shows 300,000 more galaxies

• The known universe just got a lot bigger. A new map of the night sky published on February 19, 2019 charts hundreds of thousands of previously unknown galaxies discovered using a telescope that can detect light sources optical instruments cannot see.
• The international team behind the unprecedented space survey said their discovery literally shed new light on some of the universe`s deepest secrets, including the physics of black holes and how clusters of galaxies evolve.
• `This is a new window on the universe,` said Cyril Tasse, an astronomer at the Paris Observatory who was involved in the project.
• `When we saw the first images we were like: `What is this?!` It didn`t look anything at all like what we are used to seeing.
• More than 200 astronomers from 18 countries were involved in the study, which used radio astronomy to look at a segment of sky over the northern hemisphere, and found 300,000 previously unseen light sources thought to be distant galaxies.

10. Iconic fashion designer Lagerfeld dies

• The fashion world was plunged into mourning on February 19, 2019 by the death of legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld, the rapier-witted dandy who ruled over the industry for half a century.
• Chanel, the iconic French fashion house he led for nearly four decades, confirmed his passing at the age of 85, prompting an unprecedented outpouring of emotion from designers and celebrities.
• Speculation about the state of health of the man they called the `Kaiser` had been rife since he missed Chanel`s Paris haute couture week show last month, with the world`s richest brand saying he `was tired` Lagerfeld left many younger creators in the dust well into his 80s, turning out collections season after season for Fendi and his own label, as well as Chanel the world`s richest brand. With his powdered white pony tail, black sunglasses and starched high-collared white shirts, Lagerfeld was as instantly recognisable as his celebrity clients.

Day by Day Current Affairs (February 20, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

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