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January 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (January 22, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

Day by Day Current Affairs (January 01, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS
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

January 22, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. PM arrives in Doha on two-day visit

• Prime Minister Imran Khan on January 21, 2019 arrived in Doha on a two-day official visit at the invitation of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
• The prime minister is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Adviser to the PM Abdul Razak Dawood, PM Special Assistant Zulfikar Bukhari, Board of Investment (BOI) chairman Haroon Sharif and chairperson of the task force on energy Nadeem Babar.
• Prime Minister Khan along with the Pakistan delegation met Qatari Prime Minister and Interior Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani at his residence.
• Besides meetings with the Qatari leadership, the prime minister will also meet the business and investment community of Qatar. He will also address the Pakistani community.
• In December last year, Qatar had opened a visa facilitation centre in Islamabad for the swift processing of visas for the Pakistani workforce wishing to work in Qatar.

2. Draft accord on Kartarpur corridor shared with India

• Pakistan on January 21, 2019 shared with India its draft of the proposed agreement on the Kartarpur corridor and called for initiation of negotiations for its finalisation.
• The Government of Pakistan has shared the draft agreement between Pakistan and India for facilitation of Sikh yatrees (pilgrims) to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, Narowal. The statement was accompanied by a short video titled `Development of Kartarpur Corridor` and 14 pictures showing development activity on the Pakistan side.
• Pakistan is to construct the nearly four-kilo metre long corridor from the border to the Gurdwara in Kartarpur Sahib, whereas India is to construct and develop the corridor from Dera Baba Nanak, in East Punjab`s Gurdaspur district, to the international border.
• The agreement, which covers the operational details of the corridor that would provide visa-free access for Indian pilgrims to the Sikh shrine, was shared with the Indian government through its High Commission in Islamabad.

3. Sindh cabinet discards 100-year-old punitive Prison Act

• The provincial cabinet January 21, 2019 decided to discard over 100-year-old punitive Prison Act of 1894 and approved Sindh Prison & Correction Act-2019 to be tabled in the provincial assembly for approval.
• The decision was taken in the provincial cabinet meeting that was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at New Sindh Secretariat.
• Home Secretary Kazi Kabir briefing the cabinet about the issues in the previous Prisons Acts of 1894 said it was primarily punitive in nature and it lacked certain aspects such as reformation, adequate security, clarity on policy and management and also lacked core focus on development of prison human resources.

4. Pilot project to detect power theft through mobile phones launched

• As the use of digital technology and artificial intelligence grows by the day, a mobile company has launched a pilot project to track and curb electricity theft in one of the most difficult areas of the country.
• The project will be implemented on the electricity feeder of Karkhano area in Peshawar that has a theft ratio of more than 54 per cent. UK`s GSMA is sponsoring the project by funding 200,000 pounds sterling, while digital solutions will be presented to the cellular company, JAZZ.
• The pilot project will be implemented by the Centre for Intelligence Systems & Network Research (CISNR) a private firm working on automation and digital solutions in various sectors.
• Introducing the concept to the media on January 21, 2019, CISNR chief executive officer Dr Gul Muhammad said it was similar to the smart metering project being introduced by the government under foreign funding.

5. Imran makes it to `global thinkers` list for 2019

• Prime Minister Imran Khan has been featured in the list of top 100 Global Thinkers by the Washington-based Foreign Policy magazine.
• `In 2018, Khan, a former cricket star, finally got the job he had long coveted: prime minister. His reward was an incredibly difficult-to-do list, starting with Pakistan`s looming fiscal and debt crisis,` says the publication.
• PM Khan shares the spotlight with other world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and US lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
• Foreign Policy is marking its 10th anniversary of the list with 10 categories of 10 people each. An additional 10 spots have been reserved for readers` picks.
• `The first group comprises thinkers who have had an enormous impact on the world in the past decade.
• The other groups are for people who have been influential in the past year: thinkers and doers 40 and under, as well as those in defence and security, energy and climate, technology, economics and business, science and health, and activism and the arts,` said the magazine website.
• It is not yet clear which category Prime Minister Khan has been selected in.

6. Manzoor Kakar takes oath as Senator

• Newly elected member from Balochistan Manzoor Ahmed Khan Kakar took oath as Senator on January 21, 2019.
• Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani administered the oath. Later the newly elected Senator signed membership register. Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate Manzoor Ahmad Kakar won Senate elections by obtaining 38 votes while the candidate of the joint opposition BNP-Mengal’s Ghulam Nabi Marri received 23 votes

January 22, 2019: International Current Affairs

7. Afghan Taliban resume peace talks with US envoy in Qatar

• The United States and the Taliban on January 21, 2019 resumed their talks in Doha aimed at ending the stalemate over participation of Afghan government in negotiations for a political settlement of the conflict.
• Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement said: `Following American acceptance of the agenda of ending invasion of Afghanistan and preventing Afghanistan from being used against other countries in the future, talks with American representatives took place today in Doha.
• The talks would continue on January 22, 2019.
• Doha meeting happened as the Taliban fighters attacked an Afghan intelligence agency National Directorate of Security installation in Maidan Shahr, Kabul, killing and wounding dozens of security personnel. The two sides US and Taliban had last met in December 2018 in Abu Dhabi in a meeting facilitated by Pakistan and observed by Saudi Arabia and UAE. It had been agreed at the meeting that the engagement process would be continued. But, arranging the next round of talks became difficult due to the Taliban`s inflexibility over negotiating with the Afghan government. The Taliban have, meanwhile, been insisting that US should instead withdraw its forces and release Taliban prisoners.

8. China`s birth rate falls to lowest ever since 1960

• China`s population grew at a slower rate last year despite the abolition of the one-child policy, official data showed on January 21, 2019, raising fears an ageing society will pile further pressure on an already slowing economy.
• China`s government raised the limit to two children in 2016 to rejuvenate the world`s most populous country, which has nearly 1.4 billion people, and experts say it may remove the cap next year.
• But the change does not seem to have inspired couples to have more children, partly due to urbanisation and the higher cost of living in the world`s second biggest economy, according to experts.
• `Decades-long social and economic transformations have prepared an entirely new generation in China, for whom marriage and childbearing no longer have the importance as they once did for their parents` generation,` said Wang Feng, a sociology professor at University of California, Irving.

9. Israel claims hitting `Iranian targets`

• Israel struck what it said were Iranian targets in Syria on January 21, 2019 in response to missile fire it blamed on Iran, sparking concerns of an escalation after a report that 11 fighters were killed.
• Israel announced the strikes against facilities it said belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards` Quds Force as they were occurring, continuing its recent practice of speaking more openly about such raids.
• It said the strikes were in response to a medium-range, surf ace-to-surf ace missile the Quds Force fired from Syria at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Sunday, which Israeli air defences intercepted.
• `The air force struck a strong blow against Iranian targets in Syria after Iran fired a missile from there toward Israel,` Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

10. Total lunar eclipse woos sky watchers

• An unusual set of celestial circumstances came together over January 20, 2019 night and the wee hours of Monday for sky watchers in Europe, Africa and the Americas, where the moon was fully obscured before lighting up again with a faint red glow.
• In the streets of Mexico City, Los Angeles and Paris and in the Moroccan desert, moon gazers turned to the sky to observe the phenomenon, around midnight in the Americas, and shohly before dawn in Europe and Africa.
• The eclipse lasted about three hours: during the first hour the full moon was gradually swallowed up by the shadow of the Earth, then an hour of total eclipse where it was not invisible but instead appeared tinted in hues of red, orange and pink, followed finally by its full reemergence, bright and shining.
• The full Moon appeared bigger than normal because it was closer to the Earth about 222,000 miles (358,000 kilometres) away earning it the nickname `super Moon.` Other monikers include a `Wolf Moon,` a traditional way of coining an eclipse in the month of January, and a `Blood Moon` because of its rusty, red colour. Hence the name for this year`s event: a `super blood wolf Moon.` At its peak, where night skies were clear of clouds, Venus and Jupiter shone brightly in the night sky.

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