April 2020

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs/News (April 21, 2020) for CSS, PMS


April 212020: National / International Current Affairs

1. Islamabad, Kabul agree to boost engagement framework

• Pakistan and Afghanistan on April 20, 2020 agreed on revitalising their bilateral engagement framework Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) which has been largely dysfunctional for the past 10 months and promoting economic cooperation.
• The revival of the forum was agreed between the two countries during a telephonic conversation between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his acting Afghan counterpart Haneef Atmar.
• This was the first contact bet ween the two foreign minister sever since Mr Atmar was given charge of the Afghan foreign ministry on April 4. Mr Atmar`s appointment is yet to be confirmed by the Afghan parliament.

2. Zakat, Baitul Mal funds come under SC scrutiny

• Lack of transparency in distribution of Zakat and Baitul Mal funds came under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court on April 20, 2020. The court sought opinion of religious authorities whether such funds could be used for administrative purposes of paying salaries and meeting day-to-day expenses.
• A five-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, had taken up a suo motu case about measures taken by the federal and provincial governments to combat the coronavirus pandemic. It ordered the authorities to seek advice from the Council of Islamic Ideology as well as Mufti Taqi Usmani, an Islamic scholar and former judge of the Shariat Appellate bench of the apex court, if such funds could be used for paying salaries and meeting day-to-day expenses.

3. Minimum Nisab set at Rs46,329 for Zakat deduction

• People maintaining a minimum of Rs46,329 balance in savings, profit and loss sharing or similar bank accounts in Pakistan on the first day of Ramazan will be liable to pay 2.5 per cent Zakat on the total balance.
• A notification issued by the Poverty Alleviation and Social Division, quoting Administrator General Zakat for lunar year 1440-41 AH, said the Nisab had been fixed on the basis of the value of 52.5 tolas silver. This year the Zakat Nisab had been increased by Rs1,914 because of surge in gold and silver price.
• The Nisab was fixed at Rs 44,415 in the previous year.

4. Lockdown in Azad Kashmir extended till April 24

• Azad Jammu and Kashmir government has extend­ed the lock-down in the state till 24 of this month.
• The spokesman of the government Dr. Musta­fa Bashir Abbasi briefing media persons in Muzaf­farabad on April 20, 2020, said government would an­nounce its next strategy regarding the lockdown policy after the consultation with all stakeholders on Wednesday.
• He said that no new coronavirus positive case was reported in the state today while the tests of 16 patients were found negative

5. In a first, US oil prices crash to negative territory

• US oil prices crashed to unprecedented lows on April 20, 2020 as futures in New York ended in negative territory for the first time amid a devastating supply glut that has forced traders to pay others to take the commodity.
• With space to store oil scarce, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for May delivery ended trading at -$37.63 a barrel ahead of Tuesday`s close for futures contracts when traders who buy and sell the commodity for profit would have had to take physical possession of it.
• `It`s a contract for something that nobody wants to buy,` said Matt Smith of Clipper Data.

6. Taliban kill 23 Afghan troops in fresh wave of attacks

• The Taliban have killed at least 23 Afghan troops and nine civilians, officials said on April 20, 2020, as a fresh wave of violence grips Afghanistan despite a deal with the US and a worsening coronavirus crisis.
• Under the terms of the US-Taliban deal, the Afghan government and the insurgents were by now supposed to have concluded a prisoner exchange and started talks aimed at bringing about a comprehensive ceasefire.
• But the stalled prisoner swap has been beset with problems with Kabul claiming the Taliban are demanding the release of some of the group`s most notorious warriors and peace talks seem as elusive ever amid ongoing attacks.

7. Sri Lanka to hold elections on June 20

• Sri Lanka`s election commission on April 20, 2020 set the country`s Parliament elections for June 20, invoking a hitherto unused legal provision to avoid a possible constitutional crisis if the country failed to hold the vote because of the coronavirus.
• The commission had to decide whether to open the polls, which could expose more people to the virus, or let the country plunge into its second constitutional crisis in less than two years.
• Ratnajeevan Hoole, one of the three commission members said after the meeting that the commission decided to invoke a section in the Parliamentary Elections Act that allows the panel to issue necessary directions to manage any special or unforeseen circumstances.

8. Wildlife photographer Peter Beard found dead

• Peter Beard, the influential photographer renowned for his wildlife shots, was found dead after going missing several weeks ago. He was 82 years old.
• `We are all hean broken by the confirmation of our beloved Peter`s death,` his family said in a statement. Beard, who was suffering from dementia, went missing on March 31.
• A hunter found his remains over the weekend in a remote wooded area of a state park in Long Island, east of New York City, local police said. Police were called to the site in Camp Hero State Park in Montauk, on the tip of Long Island, and the deceased`s clothing was found to match those Beard had worn.

9. Birds will face energetic shortfalls in future

• Wild birds can cut the temperature of their beaks when food is scarce to help them preserve energy and prevent heat loss, a study has found.
• Researchers at the University of Glasgow used thermal imaging technology to measure the body surface temperature of birds faced with food shortages. Small songbird, the great tit, was used in the study and measurements showed that shortly after food became unavailable the birds allowed their beak to cool.

10. Pakistan confirms participation in Asian Beach Games

• Instead of postponing the sixth Asian Beach Games, scheduled to be staged from Nov 28 to Dec 6 this year, the organisers have continued to make arrangements for holding it as the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) on April 20, 2020 confirmed its participation by sending entry by sports and entry by number forms.
• `In consultation with the national sports federations concerned, Pakistan Olympic Association president retired Lt Gen Syed Arif Hasan has approved the participation of Pakistan`s contingent in the following disciplines: athletics, handball, ju-jitsu, kabaddi, sailing, volleyball, wrestling,` a press release issued by the POA on Monday stated.
• `At present, the organising committee of the Asian Beach Games is speeding up the preparation in an orderly manner, hoping to bring everyone a trendy, green, fantastic and magnificent Asian Beach Games at Sanya, China,` the release added.

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs News (April 21, 2020) for CSS, PMS

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