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November 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (November 23, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS, NTS

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Written by Shahzad F. Malik
WELCOME TO CSS TIMES DAY BY  DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS, YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR UP-TO-DATE AND DAILY TOP CURRENT AFFAIRS 2018 FOR PREPARATION OF CSS, PMS, BANKING, NTS, RAILWAYS AND ALL COMPETITIVE EXAMS.  “DAY TO DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS” BASICALLY IS TOP 10 NEWS SUMMARY ON CURRENT HAPPENINGS OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE FOR ALL EXAMINATIONS

 November 23, 2018: National Current Affairs

1. India agrees to opening of Kartarpur border

• In a rare positive development in Pakistan-India ties, New Delhi has accepted an Islamabad offer about building a new border crossing and road connecting their two provinces called Punjab, making it easier for Sikh pilgrims to visit a religious site in Pakistan.
• The Indian cabinet agreed on November 22, 2018 to avail Pakistan`s offer about a corridor in view of the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, next year.
• India`s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the decision at a press briefing and said the 550th birth anniversary would be celebrated in a grand manner.
• India`s External Affairs Ministry conveyed the decision to Pakistan`s High Commission in Delhi and urged `the Government of Pakistan to recognise the sentiments of the Sikh community and to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in its territory from the International Border to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahibto facilitate easier access and smooth passage of Indian pilgrims throughout theyear.

2. Mahathir, Imran pledge to boost trade, economic ties

• Pakistan and Malaysia have vowed to strengthen their trade and economic relations.
• According to a joint statement issued on the conclusion of Prime Minister Imran Khan`s two-day visit to Malaysia on November 22, 2018, the two countries had decided to improve their bilateral economic and strategic ties, expand trade and investment and create favourable conditions for commerce and business in both countries.
• The volume of trade would particularly be enhanced in palm oil, agricultural products, food retail, Halal products and automotive parts and cooperation would be improved in education, energy, science and technology and telecommunication.
• PM Khan reached Kuala Lumpur on a two-day official visit on November 20, 2018. He visited the country on the invitation of his Malaysian counterpart Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

3. Feminist poet Fahmida Riaz is no more

• One of the most courageous feminist voices coming out of the literary circles in Pakistan and distinguished Urdu poet, translator and fiction writer Fahmida Riaz passed away on November 21, 2018. She was 72.
• Ms Riaz was born on July 26, 1946 in Meerut, India. Her father worked in the education sector and was involved in efforts to improve the education system in Sindh. When Pakistan gained independence, her father was transferred to Hyderabad, Sindh, where the family shifted for good.
• Ms Riaz acquired her early education from a school in Hyderabad and went on to graduate from Zubeida College.Her growing up in the city meant that apart from Urdu, she was able to learn Sindhi, and subsequently as her interest in literature grew, she became well-versed in Persian as well.
• Her first collection of Urdu poems titled Pathar Ki Zaban was published when she was 22 years old. It was well received. When her second book Badan Dareedah hit the bookstalls, it created a stir in literary and social circles. The conservative section of Pakistani society accused her of employing bold, sexually explicit language. She took all of that in her stride.

4. Cotton imports via Torkham crossing allowed

• The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on November 22, 2018 allowed cotton imports from Afghanistan and Central Asian States (CAS) via Torkham border provided that all sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures were fulfilled.
• The ECC meeting, presided over by Minister for Finance Asad Umar, also approved sale of 200,000 tonnes of wheat to the poultry industry as well as payment of Rs1.066 billion dues to the families of deceased employees of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). The meeting deferred gas load management for winter months until the next meeting.
• The import of cotton via Torkham a major border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan was allowed on the request of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA).
• The committee directed that all SPS regulations shall be abided during the import process. The textile importers would also have to produce a certificate from the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) for the commodity`s origin.

November 23, 2018: International Current Affairs

5. Chief of Russia`s military intelligence agency dies

• Russia`s military intelligence chief who oversaw a series of notorious operations abroad has died after a long illness, with Moscow praising him on November 22, 2018 as a `great man` and a patriot.
• Igor Korobov, 62, had headed the defence ministry`s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) since 2016 and was the target of US sanctions.
• Under his tenure the GRU has become a byword for Russian meddling in Western affairs.
• Korobov`s 57-year-old first deputy, Vice Admiral Igor Kostyukov, has been appointed acting GRU chief and is likely become his successor, state news agency TASS said, citing a military source.

6. Koreas connect DMZ road across border

• North and South Korea have connected a road across their shared border for the first time in 14 years.
• The dirt road, which is wholly within the Demilitarised Zone that divides the peninsula, will be used for joint operations next year to recover remains from the 1950-53 Korean War.
• The 12-metre-wide construction of the route in Cheorwon, near the mid-point of the DMZ, is one of several steps agreed at the Pyongyang summit between the South`s President Moon Jae-in and the North`s leader Kim Jong Un in September.
• The neighbours also pledged to remove bunkers and weapons from the border truce village of Panmunjom.But Seoul and Washington are pursuing increasingly different approaches to the nuclear-armed North.

7. India dissolves held Kashmir`s legislature

• India`s government has dissolved held Kashmir`s state assembly in a sudden move that could lead to fresh elections and further turmoil in the disputed region also claimed by Pakistan.
• The move, which came after two rival local alliances staked claims to form a government in the heavily-militarised region, was seen to strengthen the hand of the New Delhi government, which has ruled occupied Kashmir directly since June and is gearing up for next year`s general election.
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s hand-picked governor said he dissolved the legislature late on November 21, 2018 in the absence of a stable government in Jammu and Kashmir.
• Malik is the first politician to be appointed governor of India-held Jammu and Kashmir in decades, with the role traditionally reserved for non-political figures.

8. UN says greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere hit new high

• The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the main driver of climate change, have hit a new high, the UN said on November 21, 2018, warning that the time to act was running out.
• Ahead of the COP 24 climate summit in Poland next month, top United Nations officials are again trying to raise the pressure on governments to meet the pledge of limiting warming to less than two degrees Celsius, as enshrined in the 2015 Paris accord.
• In an open letter to all states ahead of COP 24, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned of cataclysmic consequences if the world didnot rever se course.
• US President Donald Trump, who pulled his government out of the Paris agreement, again appeared to cast doubt on climate science.

9. Iran failed to declare chemical weapons

• The United States accused Iran on November 22, 2018 of failing to declare a toxic arms programme to the global chemical warfare watchdog, in breach of international agreements.
• US envoy Kenneth Ward told the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague that Tehran was also seeking deadly nerve agents for “offensive purposes”.
• Tehran did not immediately respond to the accusations, which add to tensions with Washington over Iran’s nuclear programme, terrorism, and the war in Syria.
• The US is also concerned that Iran is pursuing central nervous system-acting chemicals for offensive purposes.

10. Silent plane with no moving parts makes ‘historic’ flight

• The blue glowing jets of science fiction spacecraft came a step closer to reality on November 21, 2018 as US physicists unveiled the world’s first solid-state aeroplane powered in flight by supercharged air molecules.
• More than a century on from the Wright brothers’ first artificial flight, scientists hailed the “historic” test of the new technology, which could eventually slash greenhouse-gas emissions from aviation. Ever since Orville and Wilbur Wright’s momentous glide in the winter of 1903, aircraft have been driven by propellers or jets that must burn fuel to create the thrust and lift needed for sustained flight.
• A team of experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology managed to unlock a process known as electroaero dynamics, previously never seen as a plausible way to power an aircraft. They were able to fly the new plane, with a wingspan of five metres (16 feet), a distance of 55 metres at a speed of 4.8 metres-per-second.

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