June 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (June 19, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS, NTS

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June 19, 2018

  1. UN official says he tried to engage with Pakistan, India on Kashmir
  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, said on June 19, 2018 that he has sought to engage substantively with both India and Pakistan over the past two years regarding the situation in Kashmir, on both sides of the Line of Control.
  • Refusals by both India and Pakistan to enable unconditional access have led the UN body to conduct remote monitoring, with first report issued last week, he said.
  • He urged the Human Rights Council in Geneva to consider establishing a commission of inquiry for a more comprehensive investigation of the human rights situation in Kashmir.
  1. UAE calls for `unconditional` rebel withdrawal from Yemen port
  • The UAE, a key player in the coalition battling Houthi rebels in Yemen, on June 18, 2018 warned the insurgents to withdraw unconditionally from the flashpoint port city of Hodeida, after UN peace efforts fizzled.
  • `There can be no conditions in any offers to withdraw,` the United Arab Emirates` minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, told a press conference in Dubai. `If the rebels wanted to set conditions, they should have thought of that a year ago … Now is not the time to negotiate.
  • Houthi rebels have controlled Hodeida, a key entry point for desperately needed aid, since 2014, when they drove the government out of the capital Sanaa and seized large swathes of the country. Saudi Arabia and its allies chief among them US-trained UAE troops -intervened in the conflict on the government`s side in March 2015, sparking what the United Nations has called the world`s worst humanitarian crisis.
  • The alliance last week launched a major operation to drive the rebels out of Hodeida, triggering fears of a fresh humanitarian crisis in a country already on the brink of famine.
  1. President Mamnoon in Dushanbe on 4-day visit
  • President Mamnoon Hussain left for Dushanbe on June 19, 2018 on a four-day official visit.
  • Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon had invited Hussain. The president will also participate in the high-level international conference on “International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028, to be held on June 20. This will be the president’s first visit to Tajikistan. The conference is being organised by the Tajik government in cooperation with the UN and its entities, particularly the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and other partners.
  • The conference is the first of the series of conferences that the Tajik government plans to hold on a bi-annual basis to facilitate the Implementation of the New Decade for Water for Sustainable Development.
  1. Trump unveils plans to set up `Space Force`
  • US President Donald Trump on June 19, 2018 said he was ordering the establishment of a sixth branch of the military to clear the way for American dominance of space.
  • `It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,`Trump said before a meeting of his National Space Council.
  • `We are going to have the Air Force and we`re going to have the `Space Force.` Separate but equal. It is going to be something. So important,` he said later.
  • Trump framed space as a national security issue, saying he does not want `China and Russia and other countries leading us`.
  • The United States, however, is a member of the Outer Space Treaty, which bars the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in space and only allows for the use of the moon and other celestial bodies for peaceful purposes.
  1. CIA classifies two Hindu groups as `militant religious outfits`
  • US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has classified two Hindu groups Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal as `militant religious outfits` and called Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) a nationalist organisation.
  • The entries in the latest update of the CIA World Factbook stirred widespread protests in India where protesters also claimed that a map posted with the changes also shows a section of the India-held Kashmir and the entire Azad Jammu and Kashmir as part of Pakistan.
  • The report points out that despite high growth rate compared to the rest of the world, `India`s government-owned banks faced mounting bad debt in 2015 and 2016, resulting in low credit growth. The economy slowed in 2017 due to shocks of demonetisation and introduction of GST.
  1. Former Israeli minister charged with spying for Iran
  • A former Israeli government minister who once admitted to trying to smuggle ecstasy tablets has been charged with spying for Iran.
  • The Shin Bet domestic security agency said former energy minister Gonen Segev was charged with “offences of passing information to the enemy in time of war and espionage against the state of Israel.”
  • An investigation by the Shin Bet and the police found that Segev was recruited and acted as an agent on behalf of Iranian intelligence.
  • A police statement said he was arrested last month on his return to Israel after being refused entry to the West African state of Equatorial Guinea because of his criminal record.
  1. Remittances to developing countries to exceed $6.5tr between 2015-2030: UN
  • The United Nations agency tasked with boosting rural development has estimated that remittances sent to developing countries could cross $6.5 trillion between 2015 and 2030, involving over one billion senders and receivers.
  • The agency, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said in 2017, 200 million migrants sent 481 billion dollars to remittances-reliant countries of which 466 billion dollars went to developing countries, helping sustain about 800 million people across the world. This amounts to more than three times the annual official development assistance that countries give in aid, the rural development agency said.
  • Close to half of remittances will go to rural areas where poverty and hunger are the highest, according to IFAD.
  1. Japan, South Korea ban Canadian wheat over GM plants
  • The world’s sixth largest wheat producer sought to reassure trading partners on June 18, 2018 that genetically modified wheat plants discovered on an Alberta farm were few and posed no food safety risks, after Japan and South Korea halted Canadian wheat imports.
  • Wheat sales contribute about Can$11 billion (US$8 billion) to the Canadian economy each year. The temporary import bans were another blow to Canadian farmers who faced costly delays in getting grains to markets this year due to a disruption in rail shipping to ports blamed on winter storms.
  • “outh Korea and Japan have initiated a temporary suspension of trade in wheat while they undertake a review of the comprehensive investigation and testing already completed by Canadian officials.
  1. Iraq’s first Kurdish airline launched
  • Iraq’s first Kurdish airline launched on June 19, 2018 with a flight to Sweden, after years of delays owing to the IS offensive in the country.
  • The airline currently has three planes and hopes to increase its fleet to 10
  • The company advertises flights to five European countries including Germany and the UK, targeting destinations with large Iraqi communities and investors who operate in Iraq.
  1. Napoleon hat sells above estimates
  • A two-cornered military dress hat thought to have belonged to Napoleon went for 350,000 euros ($406,000) at auction on June 18, 2018, the latest sale to highlight the boundless appetite for all things associated with the emperor.
  • The final price far exceeded the expected 30,000 to 40,000 euros for the distinctive `bicorne` hat, which Napoleon wore sideways rather than with points at the front and backso he could easily be spotted on the battlefield. The identity of the buyer was not disclosed.

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