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July 20, 2019
1. First-ever PA elections in Fata merged districts today
• The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has finalised all arrangements to hold the first-ever elections on 16 Provincial Assembly seats in merged districts of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa today (July 20, 2019).
• As many as 313 candidates would be in the run for the elections, taking place on July 20, 2019 (today).
• According to available data, a total 2,801,834 voters including 1,130,529 female voters and 1,671,305 male voters would use their right of vote in the historical elections.
• The ECP has also directed for installation of CCTV cameras at all 1,897 polling stations.
• Meanwhile, at least 34,497 security personnel including Army have been deployed for maintaining law and order situation during first-ever historic elections for 16 general seats of Khyber Pakthunkhwa Assembly for merged areas of erstwhile FATA to be held today.
2. Six Punjab ministers get new portfolios
• In a major reshuffle, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on July 19, 2019 reassigned portfolios to six provincial ministers.
• According to a notification, Syed Sumsam Bukhari has been relieved of the charge of Minister for Information and Culture. He has now been made Minister for Consolidation of Holdings Department instead. Minister for Industries, Commerce and Investment Mian Aslam Iqbal has been given the additional charge of Information and Culture. Minister for Higher Education Yasir Humayoun has been relieved of the additional charge of looking after tourism department. Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Muhammad Taimoor Khan has been given the additional task of looking after tourism and Archaeology instead.
• The additional charge of Local Government and Community Development Department has been taken away from Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs Basharat Raja. He has been given the additional charge of Social Welfare and Bait-ul-Mal Department instead, relieving Muhammad Ajmal who has been made Member of Chief Minister’s Inspection Team.
• The chief minister will himself oversee the affairs of Local Government and Community Development, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries.
3. HEC to replace BA/BSc, MA/MSc with associate degree
• The Higher Education Commission while phasing out two years BA/BSc and MA/MSc programmes on July 19, 2019 announced adopting new nomenclature of associate degree in documents related to two-year post-higher secondary education programmes.
• Chairman HEC Dr Tariq Banuri said that the objective of phasing out two-year BA/ BSc degree programme and replacing it with Associate Degree and subsequent alignment with the four-year BS programme is to ensure that students pass out after acquiring a broad-based education and have practical skills to compete in the field and contribute for socio-economic development in the country.
• The new nomenclature, Associate Degree, shall be adopted in all documents and announcements related to two-year post-higher secondary or equivalent programmes and the previous nomenclature of BA/BSc programmes shall be discontinued.
4. Consensus must for programme success: IMF
• The International Monetary Fund programme faces significant risk from a failure to build political consensus around its key components, the IMF resident representative to Pakistan has said.
• Failure to get off the `grey list` of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) could also complicate access to private financing from global markets, she pointed out.
• Teresa Daban Sanchez made these observations during a policy symposium titled Pakistan Economy and IMF Programme: Challenges and Opportunities, held at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Friday. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar, FBR chairman Shabbar Zaidi and Dr Abid Suleri also spoke on the occasion.
5. Book showcasing Pakistani cuisine launched at UN
• A beautifully illustrated book, featuring recipes of Pakistani cuisine, was launched at a glittering ceremony, with Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, saying that she helped to commission this for the benefit of the global community at the UN.
• “Dining Along the Indus” was put together by Nestle, a Swiss multinational food and drink processing company, under Ambassador Lodhi’s direction and the project took several months to complete.
• It will go to top UN officials and to 192 countries represented at the UN. Apart from the food and the recipes, the book also celebrates the splendor of Pakistan, with colourful and striking pictures depicting a country which is modern, but with ancient roots and a rich cultural heritage.
July 20, 2019: International Current Affairs
6. Kosovo PM Haradinaj resigns over war crimes summons
• Kosovo’s prime minister has resigned after a war crimes court in The Hague summoned him for questioning as a suspect.
• Ramush Haradinaj, 51, served as a rebel commander in the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict, which eventually led to Kosovo declaring independence.
• He said he stepped down so he could attend court as an ordinary citizen.
• Mr Haradinaj, who denies war crimes charges, has been tried and acquitted twice at the UN tribunal.
• Mr Haradinaj said he would be questioned next week.
7. Ponzi scam mastermind detained in Delhi over $500m fraud
• An influential businessman was arrested by Indian police on July 19, 2019 over a half-billion dollar ponzi scheme that allegedly defrauded tens of thousands of mostly Muslim investors.
• Mohammed Mansoor Khan was detained at New Delhi airport upon his return from Dubai, where he had fled last month after winding up his scandal-hit company.
• Mansoor Khan founded I Monetary Advisory (IMA) Group in Bangalore in 2006 and lured over 100,000 backers with promises of lucrative returns that kept to Islamic principles of finance.
• But in recent months nearly 50,000 investors complained that the company had failed to make payments, prompting an investigation by authorities in southern Karnataka state.
8. World`s longest electric road trip ends in New Zealand
• A Dutch sustainability advocate completed the longest ever journey in an electric vehicle in New Zealand on July 19, 2019 after a three-year drive that took him through more than 30 countries.
• Wiebe Wakker set off from the Netherlands in March 2016 in his `Blue Bandit` to showcase the potential of sustainable transport, funded by donations from those following his trip on social media.
9. Rare sneaker collection bought at auction for $850,000
• Sotheby’s first-ever sneaker auction isn’t scheduled to end until July 23, but it’s already a success. That’s because one man has bought 99 of the 100 exceedingly rare shoes that were up for bidding, for a grand total of $850,000.
• The new owner of the shoes, Sotheby’s says, is Miles Nadal, an entrepreneur and collector of classic cars. Nadal started the marketing and communications firm MDC Partners Inc., but stepped down in 2015 amid an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission into his expenses, the company’s accounting practices, and trading of the company’s securities by third parties.
July 20, 2019: Sports Current Affairs
10. Cunha wins third straight 25km open water race
• Ana Marcela Cunha keeps setting the bar higher in open-water swimming at the world championships.
• The 27-year-old Brazilian won an unprecedented third consecutive 25-kilometre race on July 19, 2019 and her second gold medal of the Gwangju titles after winning the 5-kilometre race on July 17, 2019.
• Cunha, who won the 25-kilometre race titles in 2015 and 2017, took her fifth gold medal and lith overall at the world championships. She also won the 25-kilometre event in Shanghai in 2011, giving her four over the marathon distance.
• Cunha finished in 5 hours, 8 minutes, 3 seconds, 8.60 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Finnia Wunram of Germany.
• Lara Grangeon of France claimed the bronze, 18.20 seconds behind Cunha.
• The race was held in rainy conditions, heavy at times, and the safety kayaks often had difficulty staying close to the swimmers.