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May 27, 2019: National Current Affairs
1. Four mega projects under CPEC launched
• Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan May 26, 2019 launched four mega development projects in the fields of energy, technology and education under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
• Both the dignitaries unveiled the plaques of the four projects at a ceremony held during the visit of the Chinese vice president who is here on three-day visit.
• Under the first project, a transmission line of 660KV would be laid between Matiari and Lahore to transmit power from coal-based plants located at Thar, Port Qasim and Hub. The project would have the capacity to supply 2000MW with 10 percent overloaded capability for two hours.
• The two leaders unveiled the plaque for Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ) project to promote industrialization through optimally priced, world-class industrial infrastructure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
• The two leaders inaugurated the Confucious Institute at the University of Punjab. The institute mainly provides Chinese education, cultural promotion and cultural exchanges and other projects and activities.
• The ceremony also marked the launching of Huawei Technical Support Center to be established in Pakistan as part of Chinese tech giant’s commitment to make massive investment in Pakistan.
2. Chinese VP conferred Nishan-e-Pakistan award
• President Dr Arif Alvi conferred the Nishan-e-Pakistan award to visiting Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan in recognition of his services towards promoting the Pak-China relations, at an impressive ceremony held here at President House on May 26, 2019.
• Nishan-e-Pakistan is the highest civil award that is granted for the highest degree of service to the country and nation of Pakistan.
• Wang Qishan is a great friend of Pakistan and ardent supporter of Pak-China Friendship. He played a pivotal role in spearheading the revolutionary agenda of President Xi Jinping.
3. Govt launches website, app for moon sighting
• While launching Pakistan`s first official moon-sighting website and Hijri calendar, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on May 26, 2019 announced that Eidul Fitr would be celebrated on June 5 according to the newly developed calendar.
• An android application for moon sighting would also be available on Google Play store from May 27, 2019 (today).
• Mr Chaudhry said the moon sighting application information would be valid for five years. A number of departments collaborated to create the website and Hijri calendar, which was sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) before being presented in the cabinet meeting for approval, he added.
4. PIA to resume flights for Tokyo
• The Pakistan International Airlines has decided to resume its two weekly flights to Tokyo from May 30 after a suspension of three months.
• The problem PIA had been facing was a lack of passengers and cargo from Beijing for Tokyo. However, the issue has now been sorted out after negotiations with Japanese authorities.
• Current Federal Minister for Aviation: Ghulam Sarwar Khan
5. GB girls scale highest peak in Spain
• Two teenage girls from Ghanche district of Gilgit-Baltistan have scaled the Teide peak, the highest mountain in Spain.
• Amina Hanif, 15, and Siddiqa Batool, 17, residents of Hushey valley of Ghanche, are also the granddaughters of famous mountaineer Abdul Karim known as Little Karim.
• The two young mountaineers had started their adventure with their father, Mohammad Hanif, who is also a climber, thus becoming the youngest mountaineers to summit the highest peak in Spain.
• On May 25, they had got best hikers award after trekking the highest hiking site in Spain.
• This is the start of their career and in future, they have strong intention to scale the world`s loftiest 14, 8,000m peaks, including Mount Everest and K2, according to the Facebook post
6. China to solarise 10,000 households in Balochistan
• China has agreed to provide grant for the solarization of 10,000 households in Balochistan, establishment of five burn centres across the country, provide 20,000 scholarships to Pakistani students along with other two dozen projects under the CPEC socio-economic development cooperation.
• China has agreed to provide of one billion dollars for CPEC socio economic development cooperation to Pakistan and in the first phase both the countries have shortlisted 27 projects to be funded with China aid.
• The agreement related to CPEC socio economic development cooperation was signed in April last during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China for participation in the Belt and Road Forum. Pakistan and China have shortlisted 27 projects to be funded with China aid under CPEC socio economic development cooperation. The 27 shortlisted projects will be executed under the first phase of CPEC socio economic development cooperation.
May 27, 2019: International Current Affairs
7. Algeria poll deadline passes with ‘no candidates’
• A deadline to register for Algeria’s controversial presidential election has passed without a single candidate putting themselves forward.
• That would raise the possibility of a delay to the July 4 poll, already opposed by protesters who reject the legitimacy of any vote held under authorities they say are tarnished by corruption under ousted leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
• But several other public and private media outlets reported that retired military officer Benzahia Lakhdar, of Bouteflika’s National Liberation Front, had put himself forward.
8. Saudi women runners taking to the streets
• Women have been taking to the streets of Saudi Arabia’s cities in increasing numbers – to go running.
• Jeddah Running Community was founded in 2013, challenging cultural norms under which it has long been widely considered inappropriate for women to participate in sport in public.
• It was one of the first groups to hold mixed training sessions for women and men, though it also holds women-only meet-ups. The idea has gained traction more widely, with groups forming in other cities.
• In recent years, the conservative Gulf kingdom has reversed a ban on sports for girls in public schools and allowed women to watch football matches in stadiums. It sent its first female athletes to the Olympics in 2012.
9. Former Thai PM Prem Tinsulanonda dies at 98
• Former Thai prime minister and influential royal adviser General Prem Tinsulanonda, a towering figure over decades of turbulent politics and military interventions, died on May 26, 2019 at age 98 of heart failure, the royal palace said.
• In a career that spanned decades, Prem most recently played a role in organising the ornate coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn this month. He served briefly as the country`s regent shortly after King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the current monarchsfather, died in 2016 after a 70-year reign.
• As chairman of the prestigious Privy Council of royal advisers, Prem held one of the country`s most powerful unelectedpositions. He also sat as honorary adviser on the board of several of the country`s most prominent businesses including its largest bank, Bangkok Bank and its largest conglomeration, Charoen Pokphand Group.
10. Three French IS members sentenced to death by Iraqi court
• An Iraqi court on May 26, 2019 sentenced three French citizens to death for joining the militant Islamic State group, the first IS members from France to be handed capital punishment, a court official said.
• Captured in Syria by a US-backed force fighting the militants, Kevin Gonot, Leonard Lopez and Salim Machou were transferred to Iraq for trial. They have 30 days to appeal.
• Iraq has taken custody of thousands of militants repatriated in recent months from neighbouring Syria, where they were caught by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces during the battle to destroy the IS `caliphate`.
• The Iraqi judiciary said earlier in May that it has tried and sentenced more than 500 suspected foreign members of IS since the start of last year.