July 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (July 31, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS, NTS

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 July 31, 2018

  1. Modi calls Imran, sees new chapter in ties

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 30, 2018 called Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman ImranKhan to congratulate him on the victory of his party in the general elections and hoped that Pakistan and India would work to open a new chapter in bilateral ties.
  • The PTI emerged as the largest party in the National Assembly in the elections held last week and is on course to form a coalition government.
  • Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar had in an earlier statement on the elections said: `We welcome that the people of Pakistan have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections.` India, he had further said, `desires a prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours. We hope that the new Government of Pakistan will work constructively to build a safe, stable, secure and developed South Asia free of terror and violence`.
  • India had anxiously watched elections in Pakistan and its media remained very critical of Mr Khan.
  • The conversadon between Mr Modi and Mr Khan remained focused on ways for improving the relations that have mostly remained tense since the former was elected as prime minister of India in 2014. It should be recalled that bilateral dialogue between the two countries remained suspended during all these years. There have been, however, a few meetings between Mr Modi and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif mostly on the sidelines of multilateral events.
  • Additionally, Mr Sharif had travelled to Delhi to attend Mr Modi`s oath taking ceremony and the Indian premier had in December 2015 made a stop over in Lahore to greet his counterpart on his birthday and participate in his granddaughter`s wedding. These contacts did not help in resuming the formal bilateral dialogue and relations continued to touch new lows.
  1. Pakistan participating in Intl army games in China

  • Pakistan Army is participating in International Army Games 2018 for the first time started July 30, 2018 in Korla, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of China.
  • Military units from 10 countries – including China, Pakistan, Russia and Iran – are competing in Korla in three contests: the Suvorov Attack race and shooting competition by infantry fighting vehicles, the Clear Sky test for air defense units, and Safe Route, a new contest held in China this year in which teams make their way through a minefield.
  • A contingent of Pakistan armed forces is participating in one contest namely ‘clear sky’ to be hosted by China as part of international army games.
  • Another contest, Seaborne Assault, hosted by the Chinese Navy for the first time, will take place at Quanzhou, Fujian province. “As host, we will uphold the spirit of fighting, honor and win-win cooperation, and will fulfill our commitment to professionalism, openness and sharing,” Major General Ye Jianjun said at the games’ opening ceremony. Ye said he hoped the People’s Liberation Army will exchange military development with armies from different countries.
  1. Tax Amnesty Scheme expires today (July 31, 2018)

  • The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on July 30, 2018 has asked the people to take benefit from the tax amnesty scheme to declare their hidden assets by paying nominal tax under the scheme, which is expiring today (July 31, 2018).
  • FBR would take action against those who did not declare their hidden local and foreign assets under the tax amnesty scheme.
  • Prime Minister in-waiting Imran Khan had already warned to take action against tax evaders to broaden the tax base of the country.
  • Response from the tax amnesty scheme was impressive before giving one month extension. However, it was slowed down after the extension.
  • Around 2,500 declarations had been filed during July. The declarants had paid around Rs11 billion in taxes so far this month. Before extension, around 55,225 declarations had been filed in which declared value of foreign assets is around Rs577 billion and that of domestic assets is around Rs1,192 billion.
  • Declarants had paid around Rs97 billion out of which around Rs36 billion have been collected on foreign assets and Rs61 billion on domestic assets.
  1. MCL approves Rs10.75bn budget

  • The Metropolitan Corporation of Lahore (MCL) on July 30, 2018 approved its Rs10.75 billion budget for the fiscal year 2018-19, allocating over Rs2 billion for development schemes.
  • Lord Mayor retired Col Mubashir Javaid presented the budget at the MCL session held at Town Hall. It was the first session after the restoration of the local body institutions that had been suspended before the general elections.
  • The budget includes over Rs630 million for the ongoing schemes, Rs150m (streetlights installation and repair / maintenance), Rs300m (repair / maintenance of roads), Rs70m (national festivals` celebrations / observance), Rs150m (filtration plants), Rs41m (sports), Rs21m (civil defence)and Rs100m (Eidul Azha arrangements / setting up sacrificial animals` sale points etc).
  1. Trump says he is willing to meet Rouhani without `preconditions`

  • US President Donald Trump said on July 30, 2018 he would be willing to meet Iran`s leader without preconditions to discuss how to improve ties after he pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal, saying: `If they want to meet, we`ll meet.
  • Trump`s remarks represented a marked softening in rhetoric from a week ago, when he lashed out at President Rouhani in a tweet, saying: `Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.
  • Shortly before that July 22 tweet, Rouhani had addressed Trump in a speech, saying that hostile US policies could lead to `the mother of all wars`.
  • Trump said he had `no preconditions` for a meeting with the Iranians, adding: `If they want to meet, I`ll meet.
  • Hours before Trump`s statement, Tehran had ruled out talks with Washington.
  1. Long queues as Zimbabwe votes in first post-Mugabe election

  • Zimbabweans lined up on July 30, 2018 to vote in the country`s first election since Robert Mugabe was ousted, with the opposition vowing to defy alleged ballot fraud and deliver an electoral upset.
  • President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe`s former right-hand man in the ruling ZANU-PF party, faces opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) in a historic vote for the southern African nation.
  • Officials overseeing the polls, in which a record number of candidates are standing, said early signs including long queues at some polling stations suggested a high turnout nationwide. `I just have to do this. I have to see a better Zimbabwe for my kids. Things have been tough,` Tawanda Petru, 28, an unemployed man voting in Mbare, a low income district of the capital Harare, said.
  1. Cambodia`s ruling party set to win `all seats`

  • Cambodia`s flawed elections are set to hand the ruling party of strongman Hun Sen all 125 parliamentary seats, an outcome that would turn the country into a one-party state after a vote devoid of an opposition.
  • June 30`s ballot has prolonged Hun Sen`s 33-year rule, but observers say questions of legitimacy may haunt the wily political survivor as frustration sets in over lack of change.
  • In response the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the country`s only real opposition who were disbanded before the poll, issued a statement lamenting `the death of democracy` and a `new, dark day` in Cambodian history.
  • Some 8.3 million people registered to cast their ballots in thevote Cambodia`s sixth general election since UN-sponsored polls were held in 1993 af ter decades of conflict. Sok Eysan said the predicted clean sweep was based on initial results. Final figures are due August 15.Asked about the country turning into a one-party state, the CPP spokesman said it was `the decision of the people,` adding that Cambodia`s constitution allows for a multi-party system.
  1. Somalia, Eritrea to establish diplomatic ties

  • Eritrea and Somalia plan to establish diplomatic relations, their presidents said on July 30, 2018, the latest sign of thawing relations across the Horn of Africa following Eritrea`s rapprochement with Ethiopia.
  • Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi arrived in Eritrea`s capital Asmara on July 28, 2018 for meetings with President Isaias Af werki.
  • `The two countries will establish diplomatic relations and exchange ambassadors, promote bilateral trade and investment, as well as educational and cultural exchanges,` the two leaders said in a joint statement.
  • The decision by Isaias to invite Abdullahi marked a new chapter for the countries after years of sour relations, reflecting how regional politics have been transformed since a new Ethiopian leader reached out to Eritrea this year.
  • Past Somali administrations had accused Eritrea of supplying weapons to antigovernment Islamist insurgents. Asmara has repeatedly denied this, saying the accusations were concocted by its enemy Ethiopia.
  1. Kalisz caps US championships with medley double

  • Double world champion Chase Kalisz won the men`s 200m individual medley in a blistering 1min 55.73sec on July 30, 2018 to cap the US swimming championships with a second IM title.
  • Kalisz put himself a top the world rankings for 2018 heading into the Pan Pacific Championships starting in Tokyo on Aug 9.
  • Abrahm DeVine was second in 1:57.41 while Gunnar Bentz and Andrew Seliskar tied for third in 1:58.23.
  • Kalisz, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the 400m IM, swept the medleys at the World Championships in Budapest last year.
  1. Olympic champion dies in jet-ski accident

  • Norwegian cross-country skier Vibeke Skofterud, an Olympic gold medallist and double world champion in relay, has died in a jet-ski accident at 38.
  • Skofterud was reported missing on July 28, 2018. Her body was found on July 29, 2018 morning on a small island near the town of Arendal.
  • Skofterud won gold in the 4 x 5km relay at the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010. She was also part of the team that won the same event at the 2005 and 2011 World Championships. She retired from skiing in January 2014.

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