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June 29, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Government manages to get budget passed with 176 NA votes
• The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) coalition government on June 28, 2019 managed to get its first full-fledged federal budget passed in the National Assembly with a majority vote.
• While the lower house approved the finance bill 2019-20, all government proposals were approved and all of the opposition`s proposed amendments were rejected.
• With a total outlay Rs7.022 trillion, the budget was passed amid the opposition`s mild protest over insertion of two bills which, according to it, were not shared with the members of opposition benches.
• The budget was passed with a majority votes as 176 members of treasury benches voted in its favour while 146 members of opposition side opposed it.
2. IMF opposes extension of amnesty scheme deadline
• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has voiced opposition to the idea of extending the deadline for the amnesty scheme, saying doing so could hurt the country`s case at the Board meeting that is scheduled to take up Pakistan request for a $6 billion bailout package on July 3.
• `The IMF is not in favour of tax amnesties,` IMF`s country representative to Pakistan Teresa Daban Sanchez.
• Commenting on Prime Minister Imran Khan`s indication to extend the amnesty scheme and come up with a plan within 48 hours, the IMF official said, `Cross country experience shows that tax amnesties have usually huge costs, such as undermining taxpayers` morale and sense of fairness, that more than offset potential short-term gains`.
• When asked whether an extension could hurt Pakistan`s case at the Board, she said, `I think so, it will certainly not help at all because it is inconsistent with the whole package.
3. PA passes budget amid rumpus by both opposition, treasury benches
• The opposition on June 28, 2019 made up for what it lacked on Tuesday (when the provincial budget was passed): resisting the passage of supplementary budget, with an hour-long noisy protest as long as the speaker read a 40 demands for grants under the bill.
• As soon as the speaker started reading the bill, grant by grant, the House lost all sense of decorum. The entire opposition gathered in front of his rostrum and a noisy hell broke loose; nothing was audible in the House for next one hour.
• Not to be left behind, around 20 Treasury members also occupied the other side of the speaker`s chair and started responding to opposition`s sloganeering. They blocked the way of the opposition so that sloganeering do not encircle chair and make things difficult. The budget was read grant by grant, totaling 40, and it was passed quickly.
4. World Bank approves three projects for Karachi
• The World Bank has approved three projects for Karachi that will help improve urban management and investment environment; mobility, accessibility and safety along selected corridors; and access to safe water services.
• These projects, approved on June 27, 2019, build on findings of the `Karachi Transformative Strategy` which estimates infrastructure needs of between $9bn and $10bn in financing over a 10-year period to meet infrastructure and service delivery needs in urban transport, water supply and sanitation, and municipal solid waste.
• World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Illango Patchamuthu while commenting on the approval of the projects said that `investments to improve institutions, services and infrastructures will further enhance the city`s contribution to the country`s economy and people`s well-being`.
• The bank approved $382 million for the `Karachi mobility project` that will improve access to jobs, mobility, and safety through a `Bus Rapid Transit` system along the 21-km `Yellow Corridor`.
5. Pakistan, Afghanistan tied by bond of brotherhood: Ghani
• Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrived here on June 27, 2019 after spending in Islamabad the first day of his two-day visit to Pakistan.
• Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar welcomed the Afghan President at Allama Iqbal International Airport.
• Mr Ghani said that he had fruitful meetings with President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan and added that Pak-Afghan relations would be strengthened in future and trade relations would also get a boost.
• `Pakistan and Afghanistan are not mere neighbours, we are more than that, we are connected by Muslim bond of brotherhood,` Mr Ghani said.
6. Senior journalist Anil Datta is no more
• Senior journalist Anil Datta passed away here on June 28, 2019. He was 70.
• He graduated from the Government College of Lahore and later settled in Karachi to begin his journalistic career. Before joining The News he had served as sub-editor and reporter at Pakistan Gulf Economist, Business Recorder and Dawn.
• Mr Datta was known for his polite demeanour as well as his impeccable skills of written and spoken English.
June 29, 2019: International Current Affairs
7. Trump-XI showdown to dominate G20 summit
• Leaders from the Group of 20 nations (G20) will meet in Osaka from June 28, 2019 in what is likely to be its most important summit since the global financial crisis.
• When the G20 met in Washington one month after the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008, they were focused on a mammoth task: how to piece the world economy back together and avoid a future crisis.
• A decade later the G20 nations face another huge challenge in resolving a US-China trade war that has rattled businesses around the world, and cast a shadow over the global economy. That’s why the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday will be so closely watched.
8. European heatwave sets new June temperature records
• A heatwave affecting much of Europe is expected to intensify further with countries – including France, Spain and Switzerland – expecting temperatures above 40C (104F) later on June 27, 2019.
• On June 26, 2019, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic recorded their highest temperatures for June. Meteorologists say hot air drawn in from northern Africa is responsible. The heat is expected to rise further in many countries over the next three days, meteorologists warn. By early afternoon, temperatures had reached 37C in Turin in Italy, 39C in the Spanish city of Zaragoza, and 39C in Avignon in southern France. In Spain, 11 provinces in the east and centre of the country are set to experience temperatures above 40C. In parts of the north-east, they may reach 45C on Friday
9. Apple moves Mac Pro production to China from US: report
• Apple Inc is shifting manufacturing of its new Mac Pro desktop computer to China from the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on June 28, 2019, citing people familiar with the matter.
• The move comes at a time when the Trump administration has threatened to impose new levies to cover nearly all imports from China and pressured Apple and other manufacturers to make their products in the United States if they want to avoid tariff s.
• Last week, Apple asked its major suppliers to assess the cost implications of moving 15-30 per cent of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia, according to a Nikkei report.
June 29, 2019: Sports Current Affairs
10. Du Plessis, Amla cruise as SA dent Sri Lanka hopes
• Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla struck unbeaten half centuries as South Africa cruised to a nine-wicket victory at the Riverside Ground on June 28, 2019 to put a major dent in Sri Lanka`s hopes of reaching the Cricket World Cup semi-finals.
• After putting Sri Lanka in to bat, South Africa were set a target of 204 as seamer Dwaine Pretorius took 3-25 off 10 overs in an innings that was interrupted by a swarm of bees that invaded the pitch and sent the players and umpires to the floor.
• Sri Lanka needed victory to move level with fourth-placed England in the race for semi-final places, but struggled with bat and ball against an opponent who have now beaten them in 17 of their last 19 meetings.