Misc. Test – 05

  1. British airline Virgin Atlantic commenced its flight operation for the country from December 13th, 2020 as the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) approved its flight operation to and from Pakistan.

  2. The United States ended its five cultural programmes with China in further escalation on December 5th, 2020.

  3. Saudi Arabia lifted a 70-year-old airspace ban in March 2018 to give Air India permission to fly over its territory and reach Israel.

  4. The World Economic Forum (WEF) organised a Country Strategy Dialogue (CSD) on Pakistan on November 25th, 2020. CSD is WEF’s signature platform for countries with rising economies and promising growth potential.

  5. Gitanjali Rao, 15, is an American inventor who is selected from a field of more than 5,000 US nominees as TIME’s first ever Kid of the Year. She has invented technologies including a device that can identify lead in drinking water, and an app that detects cyberbullying.

  6. Pakistan on November 27th, 2020 appointed retired Flight Lieutenant Khagan Murtaza as director general of the Civil Aviation Authority.

  7. Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on November 27th, 2020 signed a $300 million policy-based loan to help promote macroeconomic stability through improved trade competitiveness and export diversification. The loan agreement was signed by Secretary Economic Affairs Noor Ahmed and ADB`s Country Director Xiaohong Yang.

  8. The United States closed at least 10 bases across Afghanistan since the signing of a deal with the Taliban in February (The Washington Post reported on November 27th, 2020)

  9. India`s economy contracted 7.5 per cent between July and September 2020 for the first time since independence, official data showed on November 27th, 2020.

  10. Pakistan on November 26th, 2020 joined the Digital Cooperation Organisation (DCO), a Saudi-led initiative, aimed at promoting digital cooperation among member states.

  11. India has highest rate of bribery in Asia, reported the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) report from Transparency International (TI) on November 26th, 2020.

  12. The first-ever passenger flight – Etihad Airways flight EY 9607 – from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Israel at Ben Gurion airport on October 19th, 2020.

  13. Ten Australian elite special forces unlawfully killed 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners in war crimes. (Reported on 19th November, 2020)

  14. Dubai-based budget carrier FlyDubai started flights to Tel Aviv from November 26th, 2020. This is the first scheduled commercial service between the two cities.

  15. The United Arab Emirates stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan, over `security concerns` on November 18th, 2020.

  16. NCOC stands for National Command and Operation Centre. NCOC is nerve centre to synergize and articulate unified national effort against COVID-19, and to implement the decisions of National Coordination Committee on COVID-19.

  17. Pakistan and World Bank on November 25th, 2020 signed agreement of “Covid-19 Response, Recovery and Resilience in Education Project” worth $19.85 million.

  18. The decree against interfaith marriages for the state of Uttar Pradesh (India) was passed on November 24th, 2020. It lays out a prison term of up to 10 years for anyone found guilty of using marriage to force someone to change religion.

  19. Israel`s blockade of the Gaza Strip cost the Palestinian enclave’s economy an estimated $16.7 billion in just over a decade, the United Nations reported on November 25th, 2020.

  20. Pakistan’s cabinet approved two anti-rape laws providing for harsh punishments on November 24th, 2020. Presidential approval was given on 15th December, 2020.

  21. The CEO of SpaceX agency and chief of electric automaker Tesla, Elon Musk topped Microsoft founder Bill Gates to become the world’s second richest man on November 24th, 2020. The South African-born Musk, 49, added $7.2 billion in wealth alone following Tesla’s latest surge.

  22. Retired Admiral Fasih Bokhari, the former and 14th Chief of Naval Staff Naval Chief who also served as Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), died in Islamabad on November 24th, 2020.

  23. The legendary Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) fighter pilot Air Marshal (R) Dilawar Hussain, who was awarded Sitara-i-Jura’at for his heroics in the 1965 War against India, died on November 24th, 2020.

  24. Prime Minister Imran Khan approved the setting up of the National Intelligence Coordination Committee (NICC), reportedon November 23rd, 2020. The new body would be led by the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who would function as its chairman.

  25. The United Arab Emirates relaxed and removed a range of limits on foreign ownership of companies, reported on November 23rd, 2020.

  26. FIFA on November 23rd, 2020 banned African football head, Ahmad Ahmad, for five years after ethics investigation. Ahmad is president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

  27. PNS Zulfiquar sailed off from the Port of Aqaba, Jordan, on November 22, 2020, where it was visiting as part of Pakistan Navy’s overseas deployment to Mediterranean/ Red Sea. PNS Zulfiquar (FFG-251) is the lead ship of the F-22P Zulfiquar-class guided missile frigates since 2009. She was designed and constructed by Chinese firm, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in Shanghai, for the Pakistan Navy.

  28. Sahibzada Muhammad Ali Sultan won the final round of fifth Thal Desert Jeep Rally on November 22, 2020.

  29. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on November 20th, 2020 inaugurated Bahimmat Bazurg Programme and distributed cards among the elderly women.

  30. Marked as World Children’s Day (WCD) every year, November 20th is a global day for children. The theme for 2020 is ‘a day to reimagine the future, for every child’.

  31. Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on November 20th, 2020 approved a $150 million supplementary grant to procure anti-Covid vaccine.

  32. The Geneva-based World Trade Organisation`s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) implementation level reached to 79 per cent in November 2020 from 34pc in June, 2018, which tangibly contributed to rise of Pakistan from 136th position to 108th position in the Global Fund`s Annual Ease of Doing Business 2020 Report.

  33. The military exercise codenamed DRUZBHA-V (Friendship – V) between Pakistan and Russian forces held in November 2020 at the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) near Kharian, Gujrat.

  34. As part of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (2016), Pakistan’s rules which would effectively govern social media platforms – known as the Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards) Rules, 2020 – are officially in effect from November 18th, 2020.

  35. Islamabad’s Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed on November 22, 2020 inaugurated the new tourist site which will be known as `Family Park`.

  36. Three US senators on November 18th, 2020 launched a bid to block the sale of F-35 jets to the United Arab Emirates.

  37. Britain announced its biggest military spending increase since the Cold War on November 18th, 2020.

  38. Boris Johnson became British Prime Minister since 24th July, 2019 and Leader of the Conservative Party after being voted in by 66.4% members. He was Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018 and Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016. The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty’s Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  Boris Johnson made his first visit to Scotland as Britain’s Prime Minister on July 29th, 2019.

  39. Britain Monarch is Queen Elizabeth II since 6 February 1952.

  40. Pakistani-born Sajid Javid appointed as the head of the U.K.’s finance ministry on July 24th, 2019. He unexpectedly resigned in February 2020.

  41. Scottish writer Douglas Stuart won the Booker Prize for fiction on November 19th, 2020 for Shuggie Bain, the story of a boy`s turbulent coming of age in hardscrabble 1980s Glasgow.

  42. Prime Minister Imran Khan on November 19th, 2020 undertook his maiden visit to Afghanistan. The two sides have, meanwhile, reactivated Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS). Afghan President Ashraf Ghani visited to Pakistan on June 27th, 2019.

  43. The Chairman, High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) of Afghanistan is Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.

  44. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on November 18th, 2020, raised Rs1.83 billion ($11.4 million) local currency `Karakoram bonds` and promised its continued support for Pakistan. This is a first issue of local currency `Karakoram bonds` by a multilateral development bank of which Pakistan is a member.

  45. President Donald Trump on November 18th, 2020 fired the US election top cybersecurity official Chris Krebs before the elections.

  46. Iraq and Saudi Arabia on November 18th, 2020 reopened their land border- the Arar border – for the first time in 30 years.

  47. England will tour Pakistan for the first time in 16 years, since a deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team bus, to play two T20 Internationals in October 2021. The English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)`s chief executive officer Tom Harrison announced on November 18th, 2020.

  48. France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and West Germany formed the Group of Six in 1975 so that the noncommunist powers could come together to discuss economic concerns, which at the time included inflation and recession following an OPEC oil embargo. Canada joined the following year. In 1998, Russia joined the club, making it the G-8, but it was kicked out in 2014 after its annexation of Crimea. So it became back to G-7. The first Group of Summit (G-6) summit took place from 15th to 17th November 1975, in Rambouillet, France. The 47th G7 summit will be held in Carbis Bay, Cornwall (United Kingdom) from 11-13th June 2021.

  49. National Assembly’s parliamentary committee on November 17th, 2020 cleared with majority vote ‘The China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020’.

  50. Frenchman Vince Reffet, part of the ‘Jetman’ team, was killed in a training accident in Dubai on November 17th, 2020.

  51. The FIFA Club World Cup, originally planned for December 2020, was held from February 1st to February 11th, 2021 in Doha, Qatar. The tournament brings together the six continental champions from across the world. Champions‎: ‎Bayern Munich‎ (2nd title).

  52. The Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) took place on 15th May 2019 in Beijing, China. This conference was aimed to reinforce regional cooperation and provide a platform for learning, exchanges, and intercultural dialogue for Asian cultures and beyond.

  53. English cricket Ian Botham was the first to score a century and take eight wickets in one innings of a test match in 1978.  The first Pakistani to score a double hundred in ODI cricket is Fakhar Zaman in 2018.

  54. Pakistan observed Surprise Day on on 27th February, 2021 on the occasion of second anniversary of  the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) retaliatory action. PAF conducted six airstrikes at multiple locations in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The airstrikes were part of PAF military operation code-named ‘Operation Swift Retort’ and were conducted in retaliation of Indian Air Force (IAF) airstrike in Balakot on 26th February, 2019.

  55. The UFI Global CEO Summit 2020 (GCS) was held in Rome, Italy, from 5th to 7th February, 2020. The 2021 edition of the GCS moved to Hamburg (Germany).

  56. Manchester city of England clinched the fourth Primer League Title (Football) after winning 2018 and 2019 session.

  57. Mena Mangal, an Afghan journalist, was shot dead on 11th May, 2019 in south-east Kabul.

  58. Iran on 8th May, 2019 announced its partial withdrawal from the nuclear deal of 2015, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It completely withdrew in January 2020.

  59. The UAE Cabinet on 9th June, 2019 adopted the National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031.

  60. The NASA’s Cassini-Huygens mission was related to the planet Saturn’s moon landing on January 12th, 2005.

  61. The Pacific Vanguard exercise was held off the coast of Guam (America) in September 2020. It involved the naval forces from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

  62. RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. RIMPAC is held biennially during June and July of even-numbered years from Honolulu, Hawaii, with the exception of 2020 where it was held in August. The theme of RIMPAC 2020 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.”

  63. Algeria in 2019 became officially recognised as malaria-free country in the WHO African Region, making it the third African country to eliminate one of the world’s leading killer diseases. El Salvador has become the first country in central America and the third in all Americas.

  64. The permanent resident system named ‘Golden Card’ was launched in the United Arab Emirates on 21st May, 2019.

  65. The Sudirman Cup is the world mixed team badminton championship which takes place every two years. The 2019 Cup was won by China.

  66. The National Democratic Alliance leader Narendra Modi sworn in as 15th Prime Minister of India for a second consecutive five-year term on 30th May, 2019. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar  is the current Minister of External Affairs of India since 31 May 2019. Rajnath Singh is serving as the Defence Minister of India. Amit Anil Chandra Shah is the Minister of Home Affairs.

  67. Every year on 29th May, the United Nations commemorates the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. As this year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR1325), the theme for Peacekeepers’ Day 2020 is “Women in Peacekeeping – A Key to Peace.” On 15th January 2020, the first-ever female Pakistani UN peacekeeping team in South Kivu received recognition for serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), known as one of the most dangerous war fronts in the world for women.

  68. The Christchurch Call to Action Summit (also called the Christchurch Call), was a political summit initiated by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that took place on 15th May 2019 in Paris, France, two months after the Christchurch mosque shootings of 15th March 2019. Nine Pakistanis were also killed.

  69. The first police station started its operations in South Waziristan’s Wana on June 15th, 2019.

  70. Ali Jahangir Siddiqui has been Pakistan’s ambassador-at- large for foreign investment since June 14th, 2018.

  71. On November 23, 2020, President-elect Joe Biden announced former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would serve as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. Pakistan-born Ali Zaidi appointed White House climate advisor. Antony J. Blinken was sworn in as the 71st U.S. Secretary of State on January 26, 2021. Blinken is the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser. The current US National Security Advisor is Jake Sullivan. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Salman Ahmed, the second Pakistani-American in the Biden’s team, will serve as the director of policy planning at the US State Department.

  72. The Balochistan Assembly in October 2020 established a separate nursing corner and feeding room inside its building, becoming the first assembly in Pakistan to do so.

  73. Syrian & Russian air strikes and shelling killed at least 28 people in the south of Idlib province and the north of Hama province on 13th June, 2019.

  74. The UAE’s Gargash condemned a Yemen’s Houthi  rebel missile attack which wounded 26 civilians  in the southwestern Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport, was attacked on June 12th, 2019.

  75. Syria handed over management of the country’s largest port, Tartus port, to a Russian firm Stroytransgaz for 49 years on June 12th, 2019. Idlib, Latakia, Hama, East Ghouta and Aleppo are the famous provinces of Syria.

  76. President Dr Arif Alvi conferred Nishan-e-Pakistan, the country’s highest civil award to the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina – Sefik Dzaferovic – on 5th November, 2020.

  77. President Arif Alvi inaugurated a digital launch of Financial Pakistan Expo 2020 at Aiwan-e-Sadr on 9th November, 2020.

  78. The University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore launched Pakistan’s first-ever “Centre for Happiness & Well-being” to initiate programs to define and measure parameters of happiness on 9th November, 2020.

  79. Chairman Naya Pakistan Housing Development Authority (NAPHDA) Lt Gen (R) Anwar Ali Hyder inaugurated the First Pre-Fabricated House in Pakistan in Islamabad on November 9th, 2020. This project was completed with the help of Korean company, G-Songuo.

  80. Jean Castex is a French politician serving as Prime Minister of France since 3rd July 2020. The current President of the French Republic is Emmanuel Macron, who succeeded François Hollande on 14 May 2017. The first President of France is considered to be Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III), who was elected in the 1848 election, under the French Second Republic.

  81. The National League for Democracy party of Myanmar’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi won a majority of seats in parliament elections on November 8th, 2020, giving it a second five-year term in power. On 1st February 2021, Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested by the military during the 2021 Myanmar coup d’état after it declared the November 2020 Myanmar general election results fraudulent.

  82. Prominent constitutional lawyer and activist Hina Jilani was elected as the chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) for the next three years in an election concluded on November 8th, 2020.

  83. The lead negotiator of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, Saeb Erekat died of coronavirus on November 10th, 2020 at age 65.

  84. Iran`s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on November 10, 2020 arrived in Islamabad on two-day visit. He was accompanied by senior officials, including Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan Mohammad Ibrahim Taheriyan.

  85. Bahrain`s Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the world`s longest-serving prime minister who had held the post since independence in 1971, died on November 11, 2020 at the age of 84.

  86. A bomb blast struck a World War – I commemoration ceremony attended by Western diplomats in Jeddah on November 11, 2020, left at least two people wounded.

  87. Former captain Younis Khan confirmed as Pakistan batting coach for two years until the Twenty-20 World Cup in 2022, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on November 12, 2020.

  88. Ghana’s former president Jerry Rawlings, who emerged in West Africa in the 1980s, died on November 12th, 2020 aged 73.

  89. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) banned online payments for Indian content, on November 9th, 2020.

  90. Pakistan’s first “robot-operated” Covid-19 testing laboratory was opened in Islamabad on November 12, 2020. Built in the United Kingdom by Opencell, Future Trust launched the facility.

  91. England beat Ireland for the first time since 1985 with a 3-0 win in International Friendly football match at Wembley Stadium, London on November 12th, 2020.

  92. Jam Madad Ali Khan died on November 13th, 2020. He was 58. In 2017, he joined the PPP and became legislator of the Sindh Assembly from its platform from Sanghar in 2018 elections.

  93. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan is the wealthiest MPA in the country, with the worth of his total assets coming to Rs2.38 billion. (as reported in November 2020)

  94. The Punjab government notified abolition of an old practice called two-finger test (TFT) for examination of women rape survivors in November 2020.

  95. The first day of First Athletes Forum 2020 Pakistan, organised by Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), concluded in Lahore on November 14th, 2020. The current president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is Thomas Bach of Germany, who succeeded Jacques Rogge of Belgium in September 2013.

  96. Al-Qaeda´s second-in-command, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, indicted in the US for the 1998 bombings of its embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, was secretly killed in Iran on 7th August This has not been publicly acknowledged by the US, Iran, Israel or Al-Qaeda.

  97. Four astronauts were successfully launched on the SpaceX Crew Dragon `Resilience` to the International Space Station on November 16th, 2020.

  98. Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan resigned from his post on November 16th, 2020 in a sign of political fallout in the ex-Soviet republic after a ceasefire in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict that locked in territorial gains for Azerbaijan. Mnatsakanyan, whose departure was announced by the ministry`s spokeswoman on its Facebook page, had held the position since May 2018.

  99. Maia Sandu, a former World Bank economist and a pro-west candidate who favours closer ties with the European Union, won Moldova`s presidential vote, decisively defeating the pro-Russian incumbent, according to preliminary results released on November 16th, 2020.  Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. The capital city is Chișinău.

  100. Yoshihide Suga from Liberal Democratic Party has been Prime Minister of Japan since 14th September 2020. He was Chief Cabinet Secretary under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from 2012 to 2020 and Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications from 2006 to 2007. Japan is considered a constitutional monarchy with a system of civil law. Hirohito, original name Michinomiya Hirohito, posthumous name Shōwa, was emperor of Japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. He was the longest-reigning monarch in Japan’s history. Currently, Naruhito is Emperor of Japan. He acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne on 1st May 2019, beginning the Reiwa era, following the abdication of his father, Akihito. He is the 126th monarch according to Japan’s traditional order of succession. Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit Iran on June 12, 2019 in 41 years, was received Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Sadabad presidential palace.

  101. Asia Media Summit was established in 2004 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The summit was held subsequently in Malaysia until 2008. The 16th Asia Media Summit was concluded on 13th June, 2019 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The theme of the summit was- ‘Media Digitalisation – Focusing on Developing Markets’.