May 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (May 23, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS


May 23, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. Pakistan revives talks offer to India in impromptu meet

• Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in an informal chat with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on May 22, 2019 told her that Pakistan remained ready for dialogue with India. The two had an unscheduled and informal interaction on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperadon Organisation`s (SCO) meeting of foreign ministers in Bishkek.
• `I made it clear to her that we want to amicably resolve all issues,` Mr Qureshi said in a brief statement circulated by his public relations staff after the interaction.
• The foreign minister reminded his Indian counterpart that Prime Minister Imran Khan in his inaugural speech had said that if India took one step (towards normalisation), Pakistan would take two. `We are ready for dialogue even today,` Mr Qureshi stressed.

2. $3.2bn Saudi oil facility to begin on July 1

• The Saudi oil facility promised to Pakistan in October last year for supply of crude oil and its products on credit is set to begin from July 1, which will help partially offset increasing pressure on the exchange rate.
• The Saudi facility will get activated in July and provide about $3 billion worth of oil supplies on deferred payments.
• Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh later took to Twitter to thank Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman for his continuous support for the people of Pakistan. `From 1st July 2019 KSA is activating the deferred payment for petroleum products facility of US$275m per month,` the minister said, adding that the facility amounting to $3.2bn per annum would be available for three years. `This will strengthen Pakistan`s balance of payments position,` Dr Hafeez said.

3. BoI chairman quits, finance secretary also set to be replaced

• Board of Investment (BoI) chairman Haroon Sharif, who was appointed eight months ago, tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan on May 22, 2019. Later in the day reports emerged that Secretary Finance Younus Dagha is also likely to be replaced within days.
• Mr Dagha had developed differences with Adviser to PM on Finance Hafeez Shaikh over the negotiations with the IMP. `Dagha felt that the adviser had negotiated a bad deal for Pakistan,` the source says. The differences emerged in the last round of meetings with the IMP.
• `The team led by former finance minister Asad Umar, of which Dagha was an important part, had softened the IMF programmein significant ways,` the source claims.
• Shaikh wanted the programme to be `front loaded`, meaning most of the difficult reforms to be done upfront rather than being lagged out over a period of time. This is what created differences between them, reaching to a point where Dagha did not participate in the last few rounds with the IMF before the programme was finalised.

4. Patrol vessel built with Chinese help launched

• The Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW) on May 22, 2019 launched a 1,500-tonne state-of-the-art Maritime Patrol Vessel (MPV) built for the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA).
• The MPV is a multi-mission vessel with a steel hull and aluminium super structure of 95 metres length and 12.2 metres breadth and can achieve maximum speed up to 26 knots. The ship has been built in technical collaboration with the China Shipbuilding & Trading Company (CSTC) and Huang Pu Shipyard, China. It is fully equipped to enforce maritime security, search and rescue missions in the maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Pakistan.
• Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Kaleem Shaukat graced the occasion as the chief guest.

5. Mirza Ali from GB scales Mount Everest

• Mountaineer Mirza Ali scaled the Mount Everest, the world`s highest peak, on May 22, 2019, thus becoming the first Pakistani climber to have done seven summits in all the seven continents of the world.
• Seven summits means climbing the highest peak in each and every continent of the world.
• Mirza Ali, who is brother of Samina Baig, the first and youngest Pakistani woman to climb Everest in 2013, was part of an eight-member expedition to summit the highest peak.
• The expedition members started the adventure in the first week of April.
• According to the Alpine Club of Pakistan, Ali scaled the mountain on May 22, 2019 and hosted the Pakistani flag atop it.
• Pioneer Adventure had organised the expedition.

May 23, 2019: International Current Affairs

6. India claims another first for world`s fastest cruise missile

• India said the world`s fastest cruise missile passed another key test on May 22, 2019 when it successfully hit a land target after being fired from a fighter jet.
• India is developing the supersonic BrahMos missile which has a top speed of 3,450 kilometres (2,140 miles) per hour with Russia, and according to media reports wants to soon start selling it abroad.
• The missile is one-and-a-half times faster than the old Concorde supersonic jet.
• The Indian defence ministry said a specially converted Su-30 MKI fighter jet successfully fired the 2.5-tonne missile, which has a range of about 300 kilometres (185 miles).

7. Risk of N-war now highest since WWII, says UN expert

• The risk of nuclear weapons being used is at its highest since World War Two, a senior UN security expert said, calling it an `urgent` issue that the world should take more seriously.
• Renata Dwan, director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), said all states with nuclear weapons have nuclear modernisation programmes underway and the arms control landscape is changing, partly due to strategic competition between China and the United States.
• Traditional arms control arrangements are also being eroded by the emergence of new types of war, with increasing prevalence of armed groups and private sector forces and new technologies that blurred the line between offence and defence, she told reporters in Geneva.
• With disarmament talks stalemated for the past two decades, 122 countries have signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, partly out of frustration and partly out of a recognition of the risks, she said

8. Omani woman becomes first Arab author to win Man Booker prize

• Jokha Alharthi of Oman became the first Arab author on May 21, 2019 to win the Man Booker International prize for her novel, Celestial Bodies, which depicts life in her small Gulf nation.
• Omanis hailed the writer`s `historical achievement` and praised her for bringing `honour` to their nation.
• The 50,000-pound ($64,000) Man Booker prize celebrates translated fiction from around the world and is divided equally between the author and the translator.
• The judges said Celestial Bodies was `a richly imagined, engaging and poetic insight into a society in transition and into lives previously obscured`.

9. S. African parliament re-elects Ramaphosa as president

• South African lawmakers on May 22, 2019 re-elected Cyril Ramaphosa as the nation`s president, two weeks after the ruling ANC party returned to power in legislative elections.
• Ramaphosa was `duly elected president of the Republic of South Africa, chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng told parliament. Ramaphosa was the only name nominated by lawmakers in Cape Town.
• MPs from the African National Congress, which won 230 out of 400 seats on May 8, choose the head of state in the parliament`s first postelection sitting.
• The ANC won the ballot with 57.5 percent of the vote, its thinnest majority since the end of apartheid.
• Ramaphosa will be sworn in on May 25, 2019 and is expected to name a deputy president and cabinet at the weekend.
• Under South Africa`s 1996 constitution, electors vote for a party, and the party selects individuals who go to the National Assembly, which then chooses the head of state.

May 23, 2019: Sports Current Affairs

10. Pakistan women go down to SA despite Nida record

• Nida Dar struck the fastest half century by a Pakistani woman but it wasn`t enough to prevent her side from losing the fourth Twenty20 International to South Africa at Willowmoore Park on May 22, 2019.
• Nida scored 75, completing her fifty in 20 balls the second-fastest in women`s international cricket, as Pakistan set South Africa a target of 173, which they reached in the last over with four wickets remaining to level the five-game series at 2-2. The deciding fixture will be played on Thursday.
• Earlier, Nida jot eight fours and three sixes in her 37-ball knock, missing out on the record for the fastest fifty by just two balls.
• New Zealand`s Sophie Devine holds that record, scoring a half-century off just 18 balls against India in 2005 in Bangalore.

Day by Day Current Affairs (May 22, 2019), MCQs for CSS, PMS

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