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January 13, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Pak Ambassador to US presents credentials to Trump
• Pakistan’s new Ambassador to the United States Dr Asad Majeed Khan presented his credentials to President Donald Trump at a White House ceremony in Washington on January 11, 2019.
• Ambassador Khan conveyed the greetings of Pakistan’s leadership to President Trump who reciprocated with similar positive sentiments for Prime Minister Imran Khan.
• While responding to the President’s welcoming remarks, the Pakistani envoy stated that he would work tirelessly to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.
• President Trump has said that he wants to explore opportunities for the two countries to work closely together and to renew their partnership. Ambassador Khan has replaced Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, who relinquished his charge as ambassador earlier this month
2. Pakistan Post launches export parcel service ‘EMS Plus’
• The Pakistan Post January 12, 2019 launched the export parcel service ‘EMS Plus’ for small traders to deliver their consignments in foreign countries within 72 hours at minimum rates.
• Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed formally inaugurated the service in a ceremony here at the Pakistan Post head office. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Media Affairs Iftikhar Durrani, Secretary Postal Services Pir Baksh Khan Jamali and Director General of Pakistan Post Naseer Ahmed Khan were also present on the occasion.
• Speaking on the occasion, the minister said Pakistan had got an honest leader in the person of Prime Minister Imran Khan and under his vision, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government is taking measures to make all the loss making state institutions profit generating organisations.
January 13, 2019: International Current Affairs
3. US judge recommends overturning California terror conviction
• A federal magistrate on January 11, 2019 recommended overturning the controversial 2006 conviction of a California man accused of attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan and plotting an attack in the United States.
• Hamid Hayat, now 36, who was then a young cherry-picker from Lodi, has served about half his 24-year sentence. But US Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes said he likely never would have been convicted were it not for the inexperience of his defence attorney, who failed to call alibi witnesses.
• `A reasonably competent attorney would have done more to investigate Hayat`s alibi,Barnes said in a 116-page opinion.
4. OPEC is not the enemy of the US: UAE energy minister
• Oil producer group OPEC is not the enemy of the United States, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said in Abu Dhabi.
• “We are complementing each other, we are not enemies here,” Mazrouei told an industry conference in Abu Dhabi, addressing the relationship between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the U.S., a major oil consuming country.
• OPEC and other leading global oil producers led by Russia agreed in December to cut their combined oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January to prevent a supply glut and boost sagging prices.
• The decision came despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for the oil exporters’ club to refrain from cutting production, saying it would trigger higher oil prices worldwide.
5. US Poland to co-host int’l ministerial meeting on UAE
• The United States and Poland would jointly host an international ministerial meeting on the Middle East issue next month in Warsaw.
• The meeting, called “Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East,” will be held on Feb. 13-14, and countries from various regions have been invited to participate.
• The ministerial meeting will address a range of critical issues including terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the region, the statement said.
6. Chinese cities open direct flights to Thailand, Myanmar
• Two major cities in southwest China opened direct passenger flights to Thailand and Myanmar respectively on January 11, 2019 to boost bilateral exchanges.
• 9 Air, a privately-owned budget airline in China, opened its direct flight linking Guiyang, capital of Guizhou Province, and Phuket, Thailand, a popular tourist destination.
• Outbound flights of the company’s new route depart from Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport at 10:05 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday each week.
• Return flights take off from Phuket International Airport at 1:30 a.m. local time on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
• Also, Sichuan Airlines launched a direct flight between Chongqing Municipality and Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city. Round trips are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The direct flight takes about 2.5 hours and is expected to boost bilateral trade, tourism, and exchanges.
7. Govt shutdown becomes longest in US history
• A partial US government shutdown over President Donald Trump`s demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the US-Mexico border entered its 22nd day on January 12, 2019, making it the longest shuttering of federal agencies in US history, with no end in sight.
• The closure broke a decades-old record set by a 1995-1996 shutdown under former president Bill Clinton that lasted 21 days.
• Trump originally pledged Mexico would pay for the wall, which he says is needed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs. But Mexico has refused.
8. Malaysia chooses new sultan, to be next king
• A Malaysian state announced it had a new sultan on January 12, 2019, who is expected to be elected king after the former monarch abdicated following his reported marriage to a Russian former beauty queen.
• Tengku Abdullah Shah has replaced his father, Sultan Ahmad Shah as the ruler of Pahang state, the official Bernama news agency said, citing a senior palace official.
• The move was designed to pavethe way for Sultan Abdullah to be chosen as the next king of Malaysia by the Council of Rulers, who will chose a new king on Jan 24.
• Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy with a unique arrangement where the national throne changes hands every five years between rulers of the country`s nine states. Pahang state is due to provide the next ruler.
• The country was thrown into shock on Sunday when reigning king Sultan Muhammad V abdicated unexpectedly after just two years of rule, following reports that he married an ex-beauty queen in Russia in November during a purported two-month medical leave. The abdication was the first for the country since its independence from British rule in 1957.
9. Five die in attack on Afghan police station
• Gunmen stormed a police station in western Afghanistan on January 12, 2019, killing at least five people and wounding two others, officials said, in the latest violence targeting the war-torn country`s beleaguered security forces.
• There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the raid in the provincial capital of Herat, near the Iranian border, but the Taliban have been relentless in their assaults on Afghan police and soldiers.
• Two police officers and three civilians, including a child, died in the attack that lasted nearly two hours, the provincial governor`s spokesman Jelani Farhad said.
• Another two officers were wounded. Both attackers were killed.
• Special forces of police were deployed to the area, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said.
January 13, 2019: Sports Current Affairs
10. Aleem Agha dominates PTBF National Tenpin Bowling
• Aleem Agha continued his dominance in the 5th PTBF National Ranking Tenpin Bowling Championship-2019, Masters Singles category, as the veteran had 36 pins lead over his nearest opponent Farhan Riaz after completion of 16 games at Arena Bowling Club, Karsaz, Karachi on January 11, 2019.
• The second day of the masters singles begin at 6:00pm with 18 bowlers in the first squad and as many bowlers in the second squad in the night session, the second day competitions started at 6:30pm, the entire arena was packed to capacity. The organising committee headed by Khawaja Ahmed Mustaqeem took strong notice of The Nation story regarding poor arrangements and pathetic condition of the Arena and things were back to normal, the management of the Arena was very much present at the lanes, supervising the games. The lanes were not only properly cleaned but oiled as well through state of the art oiling machine, especially brought from Islamabad.