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January 28, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
1. Punjab plans five sister cities with China
• The Punjab government has plans to create sister cities arrangement s between five cities of Punjab and China.
• The Punjab local government and community development department is presenting a Letter of Intent (LoI) for the creation of sister cities in Punjab cabinet`s 24th meeting scheduled for Jan 30 (Thursday).
• The Punjab government plans to develop Faisalabad and Qingdo; Rawalpindi and Wuhan; Bahawalpur and Nanjing; Taxila and Datong; and Multan and Xian as sister cities as a part of Pakistan-China Year of Friendship Sisters Cities 2019.
• The local government department will also take up an MoU between Lahore and city of Xuzhou, Jiangsu province of China
2. ECP complete as new chief, members sworn in
• The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is complete after a little over a year`s hiatus as the new chief election commissioner (CEC) and two ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan took the oath of their offices on January 27, 2020.
• Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed administered the oath to Mohammad Jalal Sikandar Sultan as the new Chief Election Commissioner at a ceremony on January 27, 2020.
• Judges of the Supreme Court, the attorney general, officers of the ECP, Supreme Court Federal Judicial Academy and Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, prominent lawyers and law officers attended the swearing-in ceremony Later, Nisar Durrani and Shah Mohammad Jatoi were sworn in as ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan, respectively.
3. Senior journalist Khalique Zuberi passes away
• Senior journalist Khalique Zuberi passed away on January 28, 2020 after a brief ailment. He was 80.
• His Namaz-i-Janaza (funeral prayer) was offered at the National Press Club which was attended by his colleagues.
• Mr Zuberi started his career from PPI in late 60s as economic journalist and then moved to Pakistan and Gulf Economist in 70s where he worked under the editorship of Ibnul Hassan. He was made its editor in mid-80s and remained on the post for a decade. He gave a new dimension to economic and budget reporting
4. Senate passes bill to allow paternity leave to employees in Islamabad
• The Senate on January 28, 2020 passed a bill allowing a maximum of 30-day paternity leave to the employees of `public and private establishments under the administrative control of the federal government` with full pay besides a mandatory six-month maternity leave for a female employee on the birth of the first baby.
• The opposition-dominated Senate passed the Maternity and Paternity Leave Bill 2018 tabled by PPP Senator Quratulain Marri despite its strong opposition by the treasury members through a majority vote. The bill will now be transmitted to the National Assembly for its passage.
• Ms Marri had introduced the bill in November 2018 and it was approved by the house committee on finance headed by another PPP senator and former law minister Farooq Naek in its meeting on December 12 last year
5. Mystery over crash of US military aircraft in Afghanistan
• A plane which US officials described as a small US military aircraft crashed in a Taliban controlled area of central Afghanistan on January 27, 2020, and the insurgent group claimed to have brought it down.
• The US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said there were no indications so far that the plane had been brought down by enemy activity. One of the officials said there were believed to be fewer than 10 people on board. Pictures and a video on social media purportedly from the crash site showed what could be the remains of a Bombardier E-11A aircraft.
• Footage published by a Taliban affiliated account showed a person speaking Pashto walking around a crashed plane that looked similar to a craft used by US forces in Afghanistan for communications purposes
6. Trump insists Israeli-Palestinian plan has a `chance`
• President Donald Trump said alongside visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on January 27, 2020 that his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan has a `chance` despite being flatly rejected by the Palestinians.
• Trump, who is also meeting with Netanyahu`s election rival Benny Gantz later on January 27, 2020, said the plan would be unveiled at 12pm on Tuesday.
• Palestinians have already panned the White House peace plan, saying it is overwhelmingly biased toward Israel. No Palestinian leaders were invited to the White House
7. Rallies held in 30 US cities against controversial Indian law
• Protests against India`s new citizenship laws were held in 30 US cities on January 26, 2020 as thousands of Indian-Americans came out on the streets to vent their anger.
• In Washington, hundreds gathered outside the White House, chanting slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, they said, was undermining their country`s secular constitution. Hundreds more camped outside the Indian Embassy, circling Mahatma Gandhi`s statue, as the embassy celebrated India`s Republic Day.
• Embassy officials and their security staff tried to stop the protesters from getting close to the main entrance but gave up as the crowd pushed ahead, peacefully.
8. PCB award for Umar Gul
• Fast bowler Umar Gul was honoured in Lahore on January 27, 2020 for his Pakistan record figures of five for six in T20Is when PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani presented him with a crystal plaque.
• The ceremony took place in the PCB Chairman`s office after the third Twenty20 International between Pakistan and Bangladesh was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
• Umar Gul recorded figures of 3-0-6-5 against New Zealand at The Oval in Pakistan`s successful ICC Men`s T20 World Cup 2009 journey in England. Umar was the tournament`s leading wicket taker with 13 wickets as Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in the final at Lord`s by eight wickets.
• Umar`s 5-6 remained a world record until Sri L anka`s Ajantha Mendis took 4-1-16-6 against Australia in Pallekele in August 2011. India`s Deepak Chahar presently holds the record for besting bowling performance following his figures of 3.2-0-7-6against Bangladesh in Nagpur in November 2019.
9. Pakistan retain top ranking after third Bangladesh T20 rained off
• Pakistan won the T20 series against Bangladesh 2-0 after the third and final match was washed out due to intermittent drizzle here at the Gaddafi Stadium on January 27, 2020.
• It is also the first International T20 match in Pakistan which has been abandoned due to rain.
• The rain started around midday and continued in spells to finally force the umpires to call off the play 40-minute before the cut-off time.
10. World mourns basketball legend Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash
• Basketball legend Kobe Bryant`s death in a helicopter crash along with his teenage daughter sparked an outpouring of grief across the worlds of sports and entertainment on January 27, 2020.
• Bryant, 41, was traveling Sunday with his 13-yearold daughter Gianna and seven other passengers and crew when their helicopter slammed into a rugged hillside in thick fog in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles. There were no survivors.
• A five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Bryant is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history.
• He was an iconic figure who became one of the faces of his sport during a glittering two-decade career with the Los Angeles Lakers
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