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November 25, 2018: National Current Affairs
1. Two Indian ministers to attend Kartarpur event
• In a major goodwill gesture, Pakistan and India on November 24, 2018 invited each other`s leaders to the groundbreaking ceremonies of the Kartarpur corridor being held across the border on November 26, 2018 followed by the other on the Pakistani side on November 28, 2018.
• The Pakistan government invited Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Indian Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu besides 17 Indian journalists to the Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony on Nov 28, whereas the Indian Punjab government invited Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, to the event scheduled for Nov 26 on their side.
• Lying dormant due to the tense relations between the two countries since 1988, the proposal to construct the corridor providing visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims had been renewed by the Pakistan army chief in August this year.
• However, Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj will be unable to attend due to her prior commitments. In her place, two of her cabinet colleagues would attend the ceremony. Indian Minister for Food Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Housing Minister Hardeep S. Puri will represent their country at the groundbreaking ceremony in Pakistan.
• So far, the Congress leader and Punjab minister Mr Sidhu is the only politician to have confirmed his participation in the ceremony at Kartarpur.
2. Looming water crisis biggest risk for Pakistan economy: WEF survey
• Pakistan`s ease of-doing business is likely to be affected in the coming decade as the $300 billion economy struggles to mitigate imminent risks, according to a report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
• The report titled `Regional Risks for Doing Business` has listed water crisis, unmanageable inflation, terrorist attacks, failure of urban planning and critical infrastructure as immediate risks faced by the country with 220 million inhabitants.
• The risks were identified after the WEF carried out an `Executive Opinion Survey` between January and June. The findings were tabulated after receiving responses to survey`s risk-related questions for the South Asian region Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
• The report highlights 10 major risks to doing business in South Asia including failure of national governance, unmanageable inflation, unemployment and underemployment, failure of regional and global governance, cyber attacks, failure of critical infrastructure, energy price shock, failure of financial mechanism or institution, water crises and large-scale involuntary migration.
3. 22 civil judges promoted
• The Peshawar High Court on November 25, 2018 notified promotion of 22 Civil Judges-cum-Judicial Magistrates/Illaqa Qazis (BPS-18) as senior civil judges (BPS-19) with immediate effect.
• According to a notification issued by the PHC registrar Khwaja Wajihuddin, the decision was made by the high court`s chief justice and other judges on the recommendation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Judicial Promotion Administrative Committee.
• The promoted judges include Asadullah, Shahid Mehmood, Ejazur Rehman Qazi, Ms Mah Jabeen, Naseer Ahmed, Ms Farhana Tabassum, Syed Hasan Raza Shah, Asghar Ali, Abdul Qayum Siddiqi, Nasrullah Khan, Ubaidullah, Mohammad Ayaz, Mohammad Ishaq, Mohammad Zahoor, Islamuddin, Asmatullah, Syed Fazal Wadood, Mohammad Qasim, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Ms Shah Sultan, Qaiser Khan Afridi and Ishan-ul-Haq.
• The aim of these promotions was to cover the ever-increasing pendency by specialised administrative support. The incumbents will also perform judicial work
4. MoU signed to set up Turkish Pak Chamber
• The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) on November 24, 2018 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for establishing Turkish-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TPC) at Istanbul, Turkey on the occasion of 32nd Confederation of Asia Pacific Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) Conference on “Asia: Expanding Boundaries”.
• The MoU was jointly signed by Sr. Vice President FPCCI Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir and President TOBB Mr. Rifat Hisarciklioglu in the presence of President CACCI Mr. Jemal Inaishvili. The objective of establishing of TPC is to further strengthen economic relations through dialogue on trade and economic matter of common interest, enhancement of investment and financial flows, exchange of delegations, holding of joint activities etc. Moreover, the agreement will streamline the mechanism to expand trade facilitation
November 25, 2018: International Current Affairs
5. Bahrain holds parliamentary vote amid boycott calls
• Bahrain held a parliamentary election on November 24, 2018 amid boycott calls from dissolved opposition groups which were barred from taking part.
• The country`s two main opposition groups, the Shia Al-Wefaq and secular Waad, were barred from fielding candidates. The polls opened at 8am local time and closed at 8pm.
• King Hamad in September urged voters to take part in the vote, in which officials said 293 people including 41 women were running for parliament.
• A municipal poll coincides with the parliamentary vote.
• The tiny Gulf kingdom has been hit by unrest since 2011, when security forces crushed Shia-led protests demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.
• Bahrain has repeatedly accused Shia-dominated Iran of stoking unrest.
6. China, Brazil to launch new Earth resource satellite
• China and Brazil will launch a new Earth resource satellite next year, according to an official with the China National Space Administration.
• The new satellite, the China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-4A, or CBERS-4A, will be launched in the second half of 2019
• The CBERS satellites are Earth remote sensing satellites, specifically designed for Earth observation from orbit for non-military use, such as environment monitoring, meteorology and map making. According to Li, CBERS-4A, the new satellite to be launched, is assembled and currently going through tests in Brazil. It is set to replace CBERS-4. CBERS-4, launched in December 2014, is currently in great condition although under extended service
7. Climate change could cost US ‘hundreds of billions’ a year
• Climate change is already hurting the global economy and will cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars annually by century’s end unless drastic action is taken to cut carbon emissions, a major US government report warned on other day.
• “With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century – more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many US states,” the latest edition of the National Climate Assessment said.
• “Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century,” it added.
8. Director of two of the greatest British films dies
• Nicolas Roeg, the prominent British film director known for making provocative films and working with rock stars Mick Jagger and David Bowie over a six-decade career, has died. He was 90.
• Roeg worked with Jagger in Performance and Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth. Bowie played an alien who crashes on Earth looking for a way to save his own planet.
• Roeg’s Don’t Look Now in 1973 is regarded as one of his most outstanding successes. It is also remembered for the realistic sex scene between stars Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland.
• Roeg’s last major film was The Witches, in 1990, which starred Anjelica Huston.
November 25, 2018: Sports Current Affairs
9. Tehmina Asif elected as softball federation`s chairperson
• Tehmina Asif has been elected unanimously as the Softball Federation of Pakistan (SFP) Chairperson during the Annual General Meeting of SFP held here in Quetta.
• The meeting was presided over by SFP President Haider Khan Lehri. and was attended by SFP Secretary Asif Azeem, vice presidents, associate secretaries and members.
• Balochistan Softball Association (BSA) Secretary Nasim Khan proposed the name of Tehmina for the post of SFP chairperson which was unanimously accepted by the members.
• Haider Khan lauded Tehmina`s service in leading National Softball Academy successfully in a short period of time and promoting the game of softball.
10. Kom wins record sixth world boxing gold
• India’s Mary Kom on November 24, 2018 became the most successful female boxer in world championships history after clinching her sixth gold medal in New Delhi.
• The 35 year-old beat Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota 5-0 in the final of the 48kg category contest in front of an electric home crowd.
• Her sixth gold takes her past Ireland’s Katie Taylor, and level with the men’s record held by Cuban legend Felix Savon as the most successful pugilist ever at the world championships.
• The mother of three won a silver in the inaugural women’s edition in 2001 and then went on to win gold in each of the next five championships, with her most recent coming in Bridgetown, Barbados in 2010. Kom, who was the subject of a Bollywood film in 2014, won bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games