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October 2018

Day by Day Current Affairs (October 08, 2018) | MCQs for CSS, PMS, NTS

Written by CSS Times

 October 08, 2018: National Current Affairs

1. Pakistan`s ability to withstand external shocks diminishes

  • The World Bank has said that Pakistan`s ability to withstand external shocks has diminished and risks will remain predominantly on the downside with declining reserves and elevated debt ratios.
  • In its South Asia Economic Focus titled `Budget Crunch` released on October 7, 2018, the World Bank says appropriate policy responses to correct these imbalances and increased buffers to absorb future shocks will reduce these risks and support a positive growth outlook.
  • Such responses would entail increased flexibility of the exchange rate, strengthening the fiscal position through renewed efforts to improve revenue collection and better coordination between federal and provincial governments to reduce public spending, the report says.
  • The country`s macroeconomic situation remains fragile.
  • The World Bank projected GDP growth to decelerate to 4.8 per cent in fiscal year 2019 as authorities are expected to tighten fiscal policy to correct imbalances. However, growth is expected to recover in fiscal year 2020 and reach 5.2pc as macroeconomic conditions improve.

2. FATF team arrives to examine steps taken against terror financing

  • Pakistan will try to convince on October 8, 2018 a nine-member visiting team of global experts through its legal and institutional systems and framework to establish that it has done enough to block terror financing through money laundering and illegal remittances, including Hundi and Hawala.
  • The team of the Asia Pacific Group (APG) an arm of the Paris based Financial Action Task Force arrived Pakistan on October 7, 2018 to begin a 12-day `on-site inspection` of the country. The team will review systems, networks and mechanisms of various institutions and agencies to ascertain if Pakistan was following through on its global commitment to get out of the FATF grey list.
  • The on-site inspection will verify actions taken and progress made by Islamabad.
  • The APG delegation comprises experts from British Scotland Yard, US Department of Treasury, Financial Intelligence Unit of Maldives, Indonesian Ministry of Finance, Peoples` Bank of China, Justice Department of Turkey and three members of the APG will stay here and review progress made by authorities on a 10-point action plan it was given in June this year to address global concerns.
  • The FATF decided in February to place Pakistan on its grey list in June on a campaign pushed through by the United States and its European allies for allegedly not doing enough to ban UN and US-designated religious organisations and rein in their activities.

3. Visa services in Jalalabad to resume today (October 8, 2018)

  • Pakistan`s Consulate General in Jalalabad, which remained closed for over one month, will resume its visa operations from October 8, 2018.
  • `Pakistan`s Consulate General in Jalalabad which was closed on 30th August 2018 will resume its visa operations, after assurances by the Afghan government that all necessary and required security will be provided to the Consulate Generals.
  • All visa applicants in Jalalabad and surrounding areas within the jurisdiction of the Consulate General could now apply for visa with the Consulate General with effect from Monday 8th October 2018.
  • The decision had been made after assurances by the Afghan government that all necessary and required security will be provided to the consulate generals.
  • Pakistan had closed the consulate after Nangarhar Governor Hayatullah Hayat interfered in its working. Pakistan termed the intervention a violation of the Vienna Convention of the Consular Relations, 1963 and its embassy in Kabul had asked the Afghan authorities to honour the diplomatic privileges enjoyed by the consulate under international treaties.

4. ADB will provide $7.1b to Pakistan: Official

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $7.1bn in financing assistance to Pakistan to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth over the next three years.
  • According to ADB, the economy of Pakistan is facing crisis and necessary action must be taken for the development of private sector, trade promotion and institutional reforms.
  • ADB is also re-engaging in education, health, social safety net through income support program.
  • ADB officials, during visit, met with Finance Minister, Planning and Development Minister and education minister as well as other government officials and development partners.

5. Veteran journalist Shaikh Aziz passes away

  • Shaikh Aziz, a veteran journalist, author and scholar, died here on October 8, 2018 at the age of 79.
  • He suffered a heart attack on the Super Highway near Nooriabad in the morning while on way to Hyderabad.
  • Widely respected as a `giant of journalism`, Shaikh Aziz is survived by his widow, two sons and two daughters.
  • He received the Taraqqi Pasand Literary Award in 2001 and the Excellence Award in Journalism in 2000. He also served as president of the Hyderabad Press Club in 1963 and 1966, as president of the Hyderabad Union of Journalists in 1974 and as a judge at the All Pakistan Newspapers Society from 1998 to 2004.

October 8, 2018: International Current Affairs

6. US urges Pakistan to ensure Taliban cut link with Afghan cadres

  • The US military has spelled out two things it wants Pakistan to do: de-link the Pakistan based Taliban leaders from their cadres in Afghanistan and force them to participate in peace talks.
  • Gen Joseph L. Votel, commander, US Central Command (Centcom), explained the two points while commenting on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi`s recent visit to Washington at a Pentagon news briefing this weekend.
  • As Centcom chief, Gen Votel is directly responsible for the US-led war in Afghanistan, which also includes stopping the alleged cross-border attacks from Pakistan.

7. German far-right party launches `Jewish group`

  • Leaders of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) have been rebuked for belittling the significance of the Nazis and criticising a Holocaust memorial, but this has not stopped a small group of Jews from throwing their support behind the party.
  • On October 7, 2018 they formed Jews in the AfD, a political group based in the western city of Wiesbaden that seeks to foster support for the party, which says Islam is not compatible with the German constitution.
  • The AfD entered the German parliament for the first time in an election last year, drawing support from a broad array of voters angry with Chancellor Angela Merkel`s decision in 2015 to welcome almost a million, mainly Muslim asylum seekers.

8. China confirms Interpol chief detained

  • China said October 7, 2018 the president of Interpol, who vanished after returning to his homeland, was under investigation for possible criminal activity as his wife voiced concern for his life after he sent her a final text message with a knife emoji.
  • Beijing had remained tight-lipped about the fate of Meng Hongwei, who is also China’s vice minister for public security, since his disappearance was disclosed by French officials.
  • The international police organisation Interpol announced October 7, 2018 that it has received the resignation of its Chinese chief Meng Hongwei, who has been missing since September 25 and is suspected by Beijing of “violating the law”. Meng has resigned “with immediate effect” and Senior Vice President Kim Jong Yang of South Korea has become acting president, Interpol said in a statement.
  • The National Supervisory Commission, which handles corruption cases involving public servants, broke the official silence early Monday, saying in a one-line statement that Meng “is currently under investigation on suspicion of violating the law”.

9. Kim, Pompeo agree to 2nd US-North Korea summit

  • Kim Jong Un has agreed to hold a second summit with US President Donald Trump as soon as possible, after Washington’s top diplomat held “productive” talks on denuclearisation with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang.
  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Kim on October 7, 2018 for around two hours of talks followed by a lunch in the North’s capital, before flying to Seoul on a whirlwind diplomatic visit to the region.
  • Pompeo said “he agreed with Chairman Kim to hold the second US-North Korea summit at the earliest date possible,” South Korea’s presidential office said in a statement, although no specific time or location has yet been agreed. Pompeo and Kim also discussed “denuclearisation steps that will be taken by North Korea and the issue of attendance by the US government,” as well as “corresponding measures” to be taken by the US, the statement said. The visit was Pompeo’s fourth to North Korea.
  • US President Donald Trump met Kim in Singapore in June for the first-ever summit between the countries, resulting in what critics say was only a vague commitment by Kim towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

10. Piano event creates new Guinness World Record

  • A piano ensemble charity event in northern China has created a new Guinness World Record.
  • A total of 666 pianos were played simultaneously by 639 participants in Wuqiang County of Hebei Province on October 6, 2018, setting a new world record. Pianists from eight countries and regions joined hands with blind children, as well as teachers, students and music lovers from around China.
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