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January 19, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Justice Khosa takes up reins of Supreme Court
• Justice Asif Saeed Khosa finally donned his robes as the 26th Chief Justice of Pakistan after he was sworn in to the top office at a ceremony held at the Aiwan-i-Sadr on January 19, 2019.
• President Dr Arif Alvi administered the oath to him at a ceremony, which was also attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, other services chiefs, governors, judges of the Supreme Court, chief ministers, federal ministers and senior lawyers besides foreign dignitaries.
• President of the Supreme Court of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Narin Ferdi Sefik, chiefjudge of the high court of Nigeria`s Borno State Ka shim Zannah, former senior puisne judge of the Supreme Court of India and Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute`s governing committee president Justice Madan Bhimarao Lokur, his spouse Savita Lokur and former judge and founding president of Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute, Canada, Sandra E. Oxner graced the occasion. They also witnessed the court proceedings at the courtroom No 1 after the oath-taking ceremony.
• Justice Khosa has contributed hugely by clearing the backlog of cases by deciding over 10,000 cases of criminal nature since 2014.
• The chief justice is known as a scholarly judge among brother judges since his verdicts are always interspersed with quotations from William Shakespeare and other literary figures.
• In addition to a number of landmark judgements, Justice Khosa is also the author of a number of books like `Heeding the Constitution,` in 1995, `Constitutional Apologues` in 1997 and `Judging with Passion` in 2008. Also, he had edited and compiled `The Constitution of Pakistan, 1973` with all amendments till 1989, which is reprinted every year. Justice Khosa is also in the process of completing his fourth book, `Breaking New Ground`.
2. NOC granted to Raheel for heading Saudi-led military coalition
• The government has issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) regarding appointment of former army chief retired Gen Raheel Sharif as head of a Saudi Arabia-led military alliance comprising personnel from 41 Muslim countries.
• The NOC has been issued in view of an approval that was granted by the federal cabinet during its meeting held on Jan 10, according to a source.
• The issue was not on the normal agenda of the federal cabinet`s meeting but it was approved through circulation.
• Gen Sharif retired in November 2016 and joined the Muslim countries` counterterrorism coalition in April 2017 amid controversy that he could not go for any job, especially abroad, within two years of his retirement from Pakistan Army.
3. Hafiz Ammar resigns as minerals minister
• The lone minister of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PMLQ) in the Punjab cabinet tendered his resignation on January 18, 2019, exposing fissures between the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and its coalition partners.
• Punjab Minister for Mines and Minerals Hafiz Ammar Yasir handed over in his resignation to PML-Q leadership Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain andPunjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, only days after Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry of the PTI talked about creating a forward bloc in the PML-Q.
• In his resignation, Mr Yasir pointed out unwarranted interference, undue pressure and hurdles in his ministry since he assumed the portfolio over four months ago. `Owing to undue pressure and hurdles, I can no longer perform my duties, therefore, I resign, the minister stated.
• Mr Yasir had spoken to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar about the `unnecessary interference` and appointment at top positions of his ministry `without his say`. However, his grievances were not heeded to, the source added. `Despite bringing this matter to the notice of Mr Buzdar many times, no step was taken by the CM to address it, which is very disappointing, leaving the minister with no option but to resign,` he said.
4. Pakistan, Oman navies conduct joint exercises in each other`s territories
• A Pakistan Navy task group-comprising PN ship Shahjahan, Submarine Saad, and two fast attack missile crafts Quwwat and Azmat along with a maritime patrol aircraft recently participated in a bilateral exercise with Oman.
• The Thamar Al Tayyib Exercise held in both Pakistan and Oman waters alternately has been conducted biennially between Pakistan Navy and the Royal Navy of Oman since 2002. This year is its ninth edition. The exercise is undertaken to enhance interoperability and collaborative efforts towards maritime security with the ultimate aim of promoting peace in the region.
• The ninth edition saw joint planning and coordination in the harbour followed by execution of the planned serials at sea, which included maritime security, anti-air and anti-surface exercises. The exercise was witnessed by senior officials from both navies.
• Karachi Commander Vice Admiral Asif Khaliq represented the Pakistan Navy.
• The exercise culminated with a debriefing wherein Vice Admiral Khaliq expressed his satisfaction on the successful conduction of the exercise and thanked the Royal Navy of Oman for hosting the Pakistan Navy units. The RNO officials also expressed gratitude to the PN for sending its task group and making the exercise successful.
5. PIA to start flight from Sialkot to Paris, Barcelona
• Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will be starting its first Sialkot-Paris-Barcelona flight on January 20, 2019.
• Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar will inaugurate the flight for which a Boeing 777 will be used.
• The flight has been started as part of a strategy to revive national flag carrier and boost exports from the industrial city.
• With three more PIA flights including Peshawar to Sharjah, Peshawar to Al-Ain and Multan to Sharjah set to start in February and flights from Sialkot to Sharjah, Islamabad to Doha and Lahore to Muscat already operating, seven new destinations have been opened by the national flag carrier in three months.
• PIA’s flight, PK-769, will leave for Paris and Barcelona and the same flight will come back to Sialkot from Barcelona.
6. TV actor Gulab Chandio passes away
• Well-known actor Gulab Chandio passed away on January 18, 2019 at his home in Karachi after a long illness. He was 61.
• Mr Chandio was a heart patient with chronic diabetes. His family rushed him to a hospital from their house in Gulshan when his condition deteriorated. However, on their arrival at the hospital, the doctors pronounced him dead.
• Mr Chandio first attained fame for his role in Sindhi plays during the television`s golden era in the 1980s.
• Born in Shahmir Chandio village of Benazirabad district in a farmer`s house in January 1958, Mr Chandio completed his school education in the village and passed intermediate from the Government College in Nawabshah.
• In 1976, he moved to Karachi where he got a clerk`s job in the food department.
• Mr Chandio was among the hundreds of people whose service was terminated after military ruler Gen Ziaul Haq took over the country by ousting then prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto`s government.
January 19, 2019: International Current Affairs
7. Russia allows Germany, France to monitor strait it shares with Ukraine
• Russia on January 20, 2019 said it has agreed for France and Germany to monitor shipping traffic in the Kerch Strait following a naval confrontation between Moscow and Kiev last year.
• Russian ships fired on and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels in the narrow strait shared between Russia and Ukraine as the boats tried to pass from the Black Sea to the Azov Sea on November 25.
• President Vladimir Putin had `immediately agreed` to Berlin`s request to send observers to the area, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas.
• Lavrov said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had asked Putin for permission to send German specialists to the strait `over a month ago` and later requested for French observers to join the mission.
8. Stefan Lofven elected as Sweden’s PM for second term
• After 131 days without government, the Swedish Parliament approved on January 18, 2019 Stefan Lofven as Prime Minister for a second four-year term.
• A total of 115 MPs voted yes, 153 voted no and 77 abstained. To be elected, Lofven did not need to secure a majority of the vote.
• As long as fewer than 175 of the 349-member parliament voted against him, he would be elected.
9. Nasa and China collaborate on Moon mission
• The space agencies of the United States and China are in touch and coordinating efforts on Moon exploration, Nasa said on January 18, 2019 as it navigates a strict legal framework aimed at preventing technology transfer to China.
• “With the required approval from Congress, Nasa has been in discussions with China to explore the possibility of observing a signature of the landing plume of their lunar lander, Chang’e 4, using our @NASAMoon spacecraft’s instrument,” Nasa’s associate administrator for the science mission directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, said on Twitter.
• Nasa shared information from a US satellite while China told the Americans about the latitude, longitude and time of the landing “in a timely manner,” he said.
• The hope was that Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) could observe the historic touchdown of the Chinese lander on Jan 3. Nasa provided the planned orbit path of LRO to China, but it turned out the spacecraft was not in the right place at the right time.
January 19, 2019: Sports Current Affairs
10. Lahore varsity wins HEC men`s ski competition
• The fifth All Pakistan Higher Education Commission (HEC) Intervarsity Men`s Ski Championship concluded at PAF Ski Resort in Naltar Valley on January 18, 2019.
• This was the first time that the event was held at Naltar, as it was earlier organised at PAF Base Kalabagh.
• A total of 24 students from eight different universities from across the country compete d in the slalom and giant slalom categories in f reezing temperatures. A large number of spectators and ski lovers witnessed the competition, which continued at the picturesque resort for three days.
• The prize distribution ceremony of the championship was held on Friday. GilgitBaltistan Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi was the chief guest on the occasion