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November 30, 2018: National Current Affair
1. India offered `grand gesture on terror` if it responds
• Prime Minister Imran Khan on November 29, 2018 said Pakistan could make a `grand gesture` to India on its terrorism concerns, but that was contingent upon appropriate reciprocation by New Delhi.
• `There can be a grand gesture, but there has to be a response from India,` he told a delegation of Indian journalists who had come to Pakistan to cover the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor. The prime minister was asked if Pakistan could attend to India`s terrorism-related worries.
• India has been holding up bilateral dialogue because of what it alleges terrorism emanating from Pakistani soil. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj reiterated Indian concerns on the day Pakistan inaugurated work on the construction of the Kartarpur corridor, which had created hopes of forward movement in fractured ties between the two countries. `Terror and talks cannot go together. The moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, the dialogue can start. Dialogue is not only connected with Kartarpur,` she had told journalists in India.
• Besides not agreeing to resume bilateral dialogue, India has said it would not attend a Saarc summit in Islamabad as long as the terrorism issue is not dealt with. Saarc summits cannot take place even if one of the member states of the South Asian alliance refuses to attend. Indian refusal has, therefore, practically suspended the working of Saarc as heads of states and govern-ments of member countries, who hold the supreme authority in the functioning of the bloc, have not been able to meet for the last over two years.
2. Number of HIV patients in Balochistan tops 5,000
• The number of HIV/Aids patients in Balochistan has crossed the 5,000 mark, a situation creating uneasiness among people, says Dr Afzal Khan Zarkon, provincial chief of the Aids Control Programme.
• Around 71 prisoners incarcerated in different jails had been found to be infected with HIV/Aids.
• The disease, so far, had claimed 6,200 lives across the country with 231 in Balochistan alone, adding the purpose of observing this day was to create awareness among the masses about this deadly disease. Some 911 patients, out of the registered 1,134, were being treated free of charge under the Aids Control Programme.
• Some 1,033 people had been registered in Quetta with 301 belonging to Turbat
• Some 4,404 prisoners in Quetta and Turbat jails were tested and 71 among them were found infected with Aids/HIV which no doubt was a tragedy.
3. Pakistan, Russia aim strategic partnership
• Pakistan and Russia November 29, 2018 vowed to translate friendship into multidimensional strategic partnership.
• Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met Russian Ambassador Alexey Y Dedov of the Russian Federation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
• The two sides appreciated the positive developments in bilateral relations and agreed to translate the existing friendship into a multidimensional strategic partnership, said a foreign ministry statement.
• In the recent months, Pakistan has hugged Russia tightly as the United States continues its hostile policy towards the only nuclear armed Muslim-majority country.
• Russian President Vladimir Putin had also refused to condemn the 2016 Uri attack and China also denied supporting India’s bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group membership. Russia’s neutrality gave Pakistan the boost they wanted as Islamabad took the Kashmir issue to the global powers.
• Both the sides have signed defence agreement, held joint military exercises and Russia is investing $2 billion in South-North gas pipeline project.
4. Pakistan-China joint air exercise begins November 30, 2018
• Air forces of Pakistan and China will conduct a joint training exercise Shaheen-VII at an airbase in Pakistan from November 30, 2018.
• China will send its fighter jets, bombers and early warning AWACS planes to the exercise which will run until December 23, Col Ren Guoiang said during his monthly briefing held here.
• The exercise was part of the annual cooperation plan between the two countries and it would strengthen bilateral cooperation and help improve combat capabilities of both the sides.
• Shaheen series of exercises between the two countries, who are close partners, began in March 2011 and has since gone through six major iterations.
5. Writer Altaf Fatima passes away
• Eminent writer Altaf Fatima breathed her last on November 29, 2018 after a prolonged illness. She was 91.
• Born in 1927 in Lucknow, UP, Altaf Fatima was an Urdu novelist, short-story writer, and an expert on poet-philosopher Dr Muhammad Iqbal.
• At the time of Partition, she moved to Lahore and earned a bachelor’s in education and a master’s degree from the University of Punjab.
• Her novel Dastak Na Dou is regarded as one of the defining works in the Urdu language. An adaptation was presented on Pakistan television and an abridged translation was serialised by monthly Herald.
November 30, 2018: International Current Affairs
6. Georgia elects first woman president
• Georgia`s newly elected President Salome Zurabishvili on November 29, 2018 hailed her victory as a step forward for women and a move closer to Europe for the ex-Soviet republic.
• With all votes counted, the country`s election commission said the French born former diplomat, backed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, had taken 59.52 per cent of the second round vote.
• Her rival Grigol Vashadze, from an alliance of 11 opposition parties led by exiled ex president Mikheil Saakashvili`s United National Movement, took 40.48 per cent.
• The opposition denounced the election as a fraud. But while raising some serious concerns, foreign observers said the vote was `competitive` and well-run.
7. Turkey changes name of US embassy street to Malcolm X
• Turkey on November 29, 2018 changed the name of the street on which the new US embassy will be located after the American black Muslim civil rights campaigner Malcolm X.
• The new American embassy is still being built in Cukurambar district in Ankara on what was formerly called 1478 street.
• Construction contractors BL Harbert have said the new complex is expected to be finished by 2020.
• The renaming comes after the Ankara city council decision last month to change the name to Malcolm X Street.
8. Trump cancels G20 meeting with Putin, cites Ukraine crisis
• US President Donald Trump on November 29, 2018 abruptly cancelled a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Argentina, registering his disapproval of Russia`s treatment of Ukraine and casting new uncertainty over US-Russia ties.
• Trump said he pulled out due to tensions over Russian forces opening fire on Ukrainian navy boats and then seizing them and their crew on Sunday near Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
• His decision also comes as a federal investigation into his 2016 election campaign`s ties to Russia is intensifying.
• Trump`s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty on November 29, 2018 to lying to Congress about a proposed Trump real estate project in Russia.
• `Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!` Trump tweeted.
9. Russia succeeds in stopping HIV spread
• Russia has managed to halt the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after five years of declining infection rates, the head of the national health and epidemic watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said.
• “The growth rate dropped from 13 percent in 2013 to only 2 percent in 2017 and reached minus 2 percent in the first 10 months of this year, meaning we have successfully stopped the viral spread,” Anna Popova told reporters
November 30, 2018: Sports Current Affairs
10. Hockey WC: Argentina, New Zealand score hard-fought wins
• Agustin Mazzilli and Gonzalo Peillat scored a brace each to help Olympic champions Argentina eke out a 4-3 win over Spain, while New Zealand scraped past France 2-1 in their opening matches of hockey World Cup on November 29, 2018.
• Six places may separate the two teams in world rankings but world number eight Spain gave Argentina, ranked second, a run for their money in the high-scoring match that produced end-to-end hockey.
• Argentina will play New Zealand in their next pool match on December 3, while Spain will be up against France.