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January 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (January 25, 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 25, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. Cabinet approves merger of all media regulatory bodies

• The federal cabinet on January 24, 2019 approved formation of the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA) that envisages merger of all bodies regulating media, including the print and electronic media.
• In a separate meeting that was also attended by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, the government approved a new visa regime under which nationals of about 60 countries would be granted visa on arrival at Pakistani airports.
• Against the backdrop of the tragic incident in Sahiwal in which three members of a family were killed in a police operation, Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to revamp Punjab police on the pattern of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police.
• Media body with the formation of PMRA, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and the Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) would be merged into the new organisation.

2. Successful `training launch` of ballistic missile Nasr

• The army on January 24, 2019 announced successful `training launch` of tactical ballistic missile Nasr, saying that it had augmented the country`s full spectrum deterrence.
• Pakistan successfully conducted training launch of short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Nasr to enhance the operational efficiency of Army Strategic Forces Command besides re-validating the desired technical parameters.
• One of the features of the latest test was that the missile was fired in a salvo of four missiles, which experts say represents a technological feat.
• The 701km range Nasr missile, is a high precision, shoot and scoot Weapon System with the ability of in-flight maneuverability.
• Pakistan had inducted the Nasr missile in its strategic arsenal in 2017 and its first training launch was held in July 2017.

3. State Bank receives $1bn from UAE

• The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)received $1 billion from the UAE on January 24, 2019 following an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) in Abu Dhabi on Jan 22.
• The ADFD has agreed to provide $3bn to Pakistan in three instalments to help bridge the country`s current account deficit.
• `The SBP has received $1bn from UAE today,` said Chief Spokesman SBP Abid Qamar.
• Prior to this, Pakistan had approached China and Saudi Arabia for funds to avoid a balance of payments crisis. The country`s current account deficit rose to $7.9bn in the first half of the current fiscal year and is likely to reach $16-18bn by June 30.
• Finance Minister Asad Umar, while presenting the mini-budget in the parliament on Wednesday, remarked that the government may also enter into an International Monetary Fund led programme. However, he also said that the government is not in a hurry as it considering other options including bilateral support.
• The government signed a similar deal of $3bn with Saudi Arabia earlier and the kingdom has so far placed $2bnintheSBPaccountwhereasthelasttrancheof$1bn is expected in February. Saudi Arabia also agreed to supply $3bn oil on deferred payments.

4. Pakistan, Iraq agree on MoU for safe migration of Pak manpower

• Pakistan and Iraq have agreed to finalize the signing of longstanding memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the earliest aimed at ensuring legal and risk-free migration of the Pakistani manpower to Iraq.
• The agreement was reached between Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development and Iraqi Labor Minister Dr Basim Abdul Zaman Majeed Al Rubaie during a meeting held in Baghdad.
• It was agreed that both the countries would work together for safe and legal migration of workforce from Pakistan.
• Both the dignitaries discussed the ways for finalizing the MoU pending for the several years. Under the MoU, Pakistan would share data of skilled manpower to Iraq.
• Both sides also agreed that Iraqi government would also facilitate Pakistani businesses by ensuring speedy processing of business visas.

January 25, 2019: International Current Affairs

5. Iraq approves largest-ever $118bn budget

• Iraqi lawmakers on January 24, 2019 approved the government`s 2019 budget, which at $111.8 billion is one of the largest ever for the oil-rich country.
• It represents a nearly 45 per cent increase from last year and awards even more money for public salaries, including those of the northern Kurdish region.
• Nearly 90pc of the budget comes from oil revenues.
• Iraq expects to export 3.9 million barrels per day in 2019, including 250,000 bpd from the Kurdish region, at an average of $56 per barrel.

6. Venezuela`s military backs Maduro, accuses Guaido of `coup`

• Venezuela`s powerful military high command threw its weight behind President Nicolas Maduro on January 24, 2019 as opposition leader Juan Guaido pressed a direct challenge to his authority with the backing of the United States and key Latin American allies.
• Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino, a general, accused Guaido of attempting a `coup d`etat` and said Maduro, 56, is `the legitimate president`. Eight generals who command of strategic regions of the country reiterated their `absolute loyalty and subordination` to the socialist leader in messages carried on state television.
• Maduro was re-elected in May in snap elections boycotted by the opposition and denounced around the world as fraudulent. He has held onto power in the face of mass protests, international pressure and opposition efforts to oust him.
• Crucially, he has consistently retained the support of the military high command.

7. Ties between US, Russia and China `dysfunctional`: UN

• The world is facing worrying `fragmentation`, UN chief Antonio Guterres said on January 24, 2019, warning that the relationship between the United States, Russia and China was worryingly out of kilter.
• `The relationship between the three most important powers, Russia, the United States and China, has never been as dysfunctional as it is today, the UN secretary general told the World Economic Forum in Davos.
• Guterres said the ongoing shift away from a world dominated previously by two Cold War superpowers was creating `a bit of a chaotic situation`.
• `We no longer live in a bipolar or unipolar world, but we are not yet in a multipolar world,` he said.
• `Power relations (are) becoming unclear,` he added, urging countries to work together and support multilateralism.
• The United States has been locked in a trade war with China and others that has rocked the financial markets and sparked fears of a slowdown in the global economy.

8. Scientists to explore Indian Ocean depths

• Scientists prepared on January 24, 2019 to embark on an unprecedented, years-long mission to explore the Indian Ocean and document changes taking place beneath the waves that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades.
• The ambitious expedition will delve into one of the last major unexplored frontiers on the planet, a vast body of water that`s already feeling the effects of global warming. Understanding the Indian Ocean`s ecosystem is important not just for the species that live in it, but also for an estimated 2.5 billion people at home in the region from East Africa, the Arabian peninsula, South and Southeast Asia.
• The Nekton Mission, supported by over 40 organisations, will conduct further dives in other parts of the Indian Ocean over three years. The research will contribute to a summit on the state of the Indian Ocean planned for late 2021.
• The Ocean Zephyr is preparing to leave Bremerhaven, Germany, on the first leg of trip.

9. Mullah Baradar to lead Taliban in talks with US

• A co-founder of the Taliban was appointed as the leader of its political office in Qatar on January 24, 2019 to strengthen its hand in peace talks with the United States as they try to establish a mechanism to end the 17-year Afghan war.
• Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was released from a prison in Pakistan in October last year, has been authorised to lead the political team and take decisions, two Taliban sources in Afghanistan said.
• The Taliban issued a statement to announce Baradar`s appointment and a reshuffle in their team to put senior leaders into key positions as the talks with US officials gain momentum.
• US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad`s meeting with the Taliban representatives, which was originally due to run over two days, entered its fourth day on January 24, 2019.

10. Sultan Abdullah named as new Malaysian King

• Malaysia’s Conference of Rulers on January 24, 2019 named Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as the country’s 16th king, who serves as the constitutional head of state.
• In a statement from the Keeper of the Ruler’s Seal, Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, Abdullah will be officially installed as King or Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Jan. 31, replacing his predecessor Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan state who resigned on Jan. 6.
• The 59-year-old Abdullah became sultan of the Malaysian state of Pahang, succeeding his father Sultan Ahmad Shah, 88, who abdicated on Jan. 11 due to ill health.
• Abdullah is heavily involved in sports and is a council member of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) and a council member of FIFA, the football international governing body.

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