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World in Focus (June-July 2014)

National & International News & MCQs

National

June 17: Eight people, two women among them, were killed and over 100 injured when police clashed with activists of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) over removal of barriers from near Dr Tahirul Qadri’s Minhajul Quran headquarters in Model Town.

June 17: A federal anticorruption court granted pre-arrest bail to former Prime Minister, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in 12 different cases.

June 17: After terrorist attack on Karachi Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority suspended porter service at the airports.

June 17:Pakistan and Tajikistan agreed to strengthen economic cooperation by optimally utilising the present and new institutional mechanisms and intensifying private sector interface.

June 18: Around 30,000 people fled the military offensive against militants in North Waziristan after the authorities eased a curfew in parts of the region to let civilians leave in a sign that the campaign was likely to intensify.
The military has deployed troops, tanks and jets in the region for the crackdown on Taliban and other militants.

June 18: The National Highway Authority (NH A) gave a go-ahead to the construction of Karachi-Lahore Motorway.

June 18: KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak inaugurated the first school of investigation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police in Peshawar.

June 19: Changez Khan Marri, the eldest son of late Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, became the new chieftain of the powerful Marri tribe of Balochistan.

June 20: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif removed Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and his own secretary Dr Tauqir Shah, ‘to make it visible to everyone that justice is being done’ in the Model Town case.

June 20: Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) restrained the federal government from making appointments on high profile positions that violate the Supreme Court verdict in the Khawaja Asif case.

June 20: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) suspended the operating licences of Geo Entertainment and ARY News.

June 20: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formally launched the PM’s Laptop Scheme at the Convention Centre, Islamabad.

June 20: Sindh’s provincial borders were sealed owing to influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to recent military operation in North Waziristan.
‘No more IDPs in Sindh, we have sealed borders to some extent, ‘the CM Qaim Ali Shah said.

June 21: The government pushed its second budget through the National Assembly with ease amid some gestures to PPP ahead of threatened anti-government protests.

June 22: Over 100 ulema from various schools of thought declared Zarb-i-Azb, the military operation being carried out against terrorists and militants in North Waziristan Agency, as jihad.

June 23: Key opinion makers from India and Pakistan, including parliamentarians, former diplomats, former military officers, media persons and policy experts met in Chiang Mai for the 14th round of the Chaophraya Dialogue. It was organized by the Jinnah Institute (JI) and the Australia India Institute (AII).

The Chaophraya Dialogue is the longest consistently running Indo-Pak Track-II jointly administered by the Jinnah Institute (JI) and Australia India Institute (AII) to encourage informed policy dialogue on Indo-Pak relations. The process is now in its sixth year and has so far led to 14 rounds of dialogue.


June 23: The Supreme Court of Pakistan suspended the June 12 Sindh High Court order that allowed Musharraf to go abroad till it decides government’s appeal against removing his name from the Exit Control List.

June 23: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, through a unanimously adopted resolution, regretted the ban placed by other provinces on the entry of internally displaced persons from North Waziristan Agency into their respective regions.

June 24: A woman passenger was killed while a steward and another passenger were injured when a PIA flight coming from Riyadh came under fire during landing.

June 24: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah announced a Rs50 million financial assistance for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the wake of the North Waziristan military operation.

June 24: Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared illegal the appointment of Mohammad Malick as managing director (MD) of Pakistan Television (PTV).

June 24: The rural towns located close to the provincial capital bordering Khyber Agency and Darra Adamkhel were  divided into eight zones following deployment of army troops and extra contingents of police to stop infiltration of militants from the tribal areas.

June 25: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif launched the construction work on 4,320 megawatts Dasu hydroelectric power project in Kohistan.

June 25: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) approved eight development projects having an estimated cost of Rs38.5 billion, including a foreign exchange component of Rs20.8bn.

June 25: The United States declared two Lashkar-e-Tayyiba leaders Nazir Ahmad Chaudhry and Muhammad Hussein Gill specially designated global terrorists, an action which increases pressure on Pakistan to take punitive action against the group.

June 25: Balochistan’s provincial government appointed Arsalan Iftikhar, son of former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, as vice chairman of the Balochistan Investment Board.

June 25:
Standing Committee of Senate for Interior, presided over by Senator Talha Mehmood, approved the amendments to Pakistan protection Ordinance (PPO).

June 25: Bahria Town announced a relief package amounting to Rs5 billion for the people of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) displaced as a result of Operation Zarb-e-Azb.

June 25: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the 4,320 mega watts (MW) Dasu Hydro-Power Project at Dasu.

June 25: An Army Aviation helicopter crashed at the Multan airport, resulting in the instant deaths of Major Yasir and Captain Murtaza.

June 27: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced an increase in cash grant for families displaced from North Waziristan to Rs40,000 for Ramazan.

June 27: The International Monetary Fund disbursed $555.9 million to Pakistan, completing the third review of the country’s economic performance.

June 27: President Mamnoon Hussain signed Anti Terrorism Amendment Act 2014 which entitles a police officer of grade-17 or an officer of equivalent rank from the armed forces and civil armed forces or duty magistrate to order to shoot.

The act has provided legal standing to the federal government and civil armed forces to keep in custody for 90 days those involved in terrorism, target killing, kidnapping for ransom and extortion.

June 27: The Sri Lankan government cancelled the on-arrival visa facility for Pakistan, citing security reasons.

June 30: The Senate unanimously approved the Protection of Pakistan Bill which gives more powers to security forces combating terrorism in the country.

June 30: President Mamnoon Hussain approved the appointment of Justice Nasirul Mulk as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

June 30: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa allocated additional portfolio of Energy and Power to Muhammad Atif, Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education, with immediate effect.

July 02: Pakistan’s first-ever highest altitude meteorological climate station was installed at the K2 Base Camp ‘the Boltoro in the Karakorum that has started giving the real’ time data.

July 03:
Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali of the Supreme Court was sworn in as acting Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani.

July 03: Arsalan Iftikhar, the son of former chief justice of Supreme Court Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, resigned from the office of Vice Chairman, Balochistan Board of Investment.

July 04: The Ministry of Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education will be called ‘Federal Education and Professional Training Division.’ With this, the ministry’s name would be changed for the fourth time in three years.

July 04: Acting Advocate General of Punjab Mustafa Ramday resigned.

July 05: Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani retired after serving for over 10 years as a judge including a rather brief tenure as chief justice of the Supreme Court.

July 05: The Asian Development Bank approved a loan of $197 million for the national highway development project of Balochistan.
Under the project the two-lane highways ’79km Zhob-Mughalkot (N50) and 128km Qila Saifullah Waghum (N70) will be rehabilitated.

July 06: Justice Nasirul Mulk took oath as 22nd Chief Justice of Pakistan. President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath. Justice Nasirul Mulk will serve as Chief Justice till 16th August next year.

July 06: The name of Punjab University Department of Library and Information Sciences was changed to Department of Information Management.

July 07: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government completed the ‘rationalisation’ of the Information Department and abolished its publicity wing by adjusting its 138 officials in different departments.

July 08: The Lahore High Court suspended reinstatement of retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan as Pakistan Olympic Association’s president and sought reply from the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

July 08: The commissioning of multi-purpose Diamer Bhasha Dam on River Indus has been postponed by another about 17 years as this mega project, having strategic importance, is now expected to be completed in the year 2037 instead of 2020.

July 08: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Justice (Retd) Rauf Sheikh as Chairman Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees (ITNE).

July 09: The country is facing an ‘education crisis’ which, if not tackled now, can become insurmountable. But, given political will and resources, a reformed education system can still produce a tolerant citizenry accepting religious, ethnic and cultural diversity, and help Pakistan return to its moderate roots.

This is the crux of are port on “education reforms” in Pakistan recently released by the International Crisis Group.

July 10: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a Rs15 billion transport project to be undertaken in Karachi under the Green Line bus service on the pattern of the Bus Rapid Transport System in Lahore and Rawalpindi.

July 10: Former Supreme Court judge retired Justice Syed Jamshed Ali Shah took over as interim chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

July 10: An anti-corruption court granted interim pre-arrest bail to former commerce minister and central leader of the Pakistan People Party Makhdoom Amin Fahim.

July 10: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak approved establishment of food streets Namak Mandi and historic Gor Khatri Park.

July 11: PPP leader and former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani revealed that during his government an understanding had been reached with the establishment that then president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf would be given an honourable exit if he resigned, instead of going through impeachment proceedings.

July 11:
The Supreme Court suspended a notification which replaced Najam Sethi with Justice Syed Jamshed Ali Shah, a former judge of the apex court.

July 11: The Supreme Court reinstated Mohammad Malick as the managing director (MD) of Pakistan Television (PTV) until a final decision on his appeal against the July 7 verdict of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

July 11: After much debate in and outside parliament and strong opposition by certain political parties and human rights groups, the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance-2014 was finally signed into law by President Mamnoon Hussain.

The new law will remain in force for two years and provides sweeping powers to law enforcement agencies and the military to deal with outlaws and terrorists.

July 13: “Pakistan’s urban air pollution is among the most severe in the world and it engenders significant damage to human health and the economy, according to a newly released report titled “Cleaning Pakistan’s Air”.

July 13: Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated the signal-free Azadi Chowk flyover and an alternative route of new Circular Road.

The project was completed in a record period of 165 days at a cost of Rs5.35 billion. The total length of the flyover interchange is 2.53km and it will benefit 200,000 vehicles daily.

July 13: The Army announced replacing Director General Sindh Rangers Major General Rizwan Akhtar, who was assigned the task to lead the Karachi operation on September 05 last with Major General Bilal Akbar.

July 14: A Pakistani television journalist, Faizullah Khan, was jailed for four years in Afghanistan for travelling to the country illegally to interview the Taliban leaders.

July 15: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan called for a complete “audit” of results of the general elections held in May 2013.

July 15: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif awarded ‘privilege and honour cards’ to about 200 top taxpayers. The cards will entitle them to avail some special services.

July 15: The Islamabad High Court ordered the suspension of Pervez Rathore, acting chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), and Kamaluddin Tipu, a member of the watchdog.

Appointments

June 17: Athar Minallah, the former spokesman for former CJ Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, the ex-chief justice of Pakistan, took oath as additional judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

With his appointment, the IHC judges’ strength has now risen to four.

June 17: The Lahore High Court chief justice appointed Justice Ali Baqar Najafi as one-man tribunal for holding a judicial inquiry into the Model Town incident.

June 17: Justice Khwaja Imtiaz Ahmad took oath as chief justice of the Lahore High Court. Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar administered the oath.

June 18: The newly-appointed Inspector General of Police, Balochistan, Mohammad Amlesh, assumed the charge of his office.

June 19: The federal government appointed special secretary, Law Division, Justice (R) Muhammad Raza Khan as the chairman of 8th Wage Board on the terms and conditions admissible to a judge of a high court.

June 24: The federal government appointed renowned legal expert and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) central leader Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf Gujjar Advocate as member of Pakistan Electronic Regulatory Authority (Pemra).

June 28: Saifullah Chattha was appointed chief secretary of Balochistan. Mr Chattha will replace Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad who was transferred to Islamabad and posted as federal secretary commutations.

July 01: Mohammad Riaz replaced Karamat Hussain Niazi as Secretary for National Assembly. Mr Niazi was due to retire in 2007 but continued working on extensions which he was repeatedly granted by the successive speakers of the lower house of parliament.

July 08: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the appointment of Azam Khan Hoti, the most senior officer of Information Service, as Information and Broadcast acting secretary.

July 10: Parliamentary committee approved four names for the appointment of Federal Shariat Court judges. The judges nominated by the committee are Justice (R) Dr. Fida Muhammad, Justice (R) Riaz Ahmed, Justice (R) Najam Hassan and Justice (R) Zahoor Ahmed Sherwani.

Obituaries

June 19: Muttahida Qaumi Movement MNA Tahira Asif who was critically injured in a gun attack died.

June 19: Legendary landscape artist Khalid Iqbal died. He was 85.

June 19: Unidentified armed men killed Pashto singer Gul Naz inside her house.

June 20 A judge of the Environmental Protection Tribunal, Sakhi Sultan, was killed in his office in Samungli road area.

June 22: Former Senator, MNA and MPA from Mian Channu, Pir Shujaat Hasnain Qureshi 71, passed away.

June 27: Prominent Pashto comedian Murad Ali, popularly known as Gul Bali, died.

July 13: Shahzada Mohammad Aslam Khan Ahmedzai, former commander of Kalat State Force passed away. He was 90.

July 14: The bureaucrat-turned-writer, Jamil Ahmed, who was the author of ‘The Wandering Falcon’, passed away at the age of 81.

Sports

June 21: Pakistan put up a mixed show in the 5th Asian Men & Women Throwball Championship 2014 in Kuala Lumpur when they finished third in the women`s competition.

People in News

Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry

On June 29, UN World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO) Secretary General appointed Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry, an eminent Pakistani climate change expert, his special envoy on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Services for Asia.

Mr Muhammad Ali

On July 01, Pakistan Ordnance Factories General Manager Muhammad Ali was awarded Nobel Peace Prize Certificate for the year 2013. The Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 was awarded to the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), where Ali served for more than seven years as inspector and became the first Pakistani team leader (chief inspector).

Prof Dr Abdul Rauf Shakoori

On July 10, Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST) declared Punjab University School of Biological Sciences’ Prof Dr Abdul Rauf Shakoori as number one biological scientist in the country.

Samiullah Khan

On June 22, Former PPP MPA Samiullah Khan was appointed political assistant to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Asma Jahangir

On June 25, Asma Jahangir, the former president of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), was nominated to a three-member panel to advise UN on alleged human rights violations committed during final stages of armed conflict in Sri Lanka.

Malala Yousafzai

On June 30, Young Pakistani education advocate, Malala Yousafzai, won the 2014 Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia.

Places in News

Lahore

On June 29, a multi-party conference was hosted by Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) came out with a five-point charter of demands which declared the ruling party leaders as responsible for the June 17 Model Town police action that claimed 10 lives.

Karachi Water and Sewerage Board

On June 29, the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board sent a bill on account of provision of water and services charges for sewerage to the sister of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and a great leader of Pakistan Movement, the late Fatima Jinnah, 47 years after her death.

The bill amounts to Rs. 263,774 and she has been directed to pay the amount within 10 days of receipt of the notice, or the connection of water and sewerage can be disconnected.

Wafaqul Madaris Al-Arabia Pakistan (WMAA)

On July 10, Wafaqul Madaris Al-Arabia Pakistan (WMAA) was given a special award at a function in Jeddah by the Saudi organisation, Rabita Al-Alam Al-Islami for preparing maximum number of Huffaz (those who learn Quran by heart) in the world in a year.
London

On June 27, three recipients of the Victoria Cross, the United Kingdom’s highest military award, from present-day Pakistan were honoured at a ceremony held in London this week to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

International

June 17: Britain and China signed trade deals worth more than £14 billion ($28bn), during a visit to London by Premier Li Keqiang aimed at resetting economic and diplomatic ties.

June 17: Iraq’s prime minister fired top security commanders in a major shake-up as fighting approached Baghdad in a militant onslaught that the UN warned risked breaking the country up.

June 17: An Egyptian cabinet led by Ibrahim Mahlab was sworn in, with most positions from the previous military-installed government retained.

June 18: Former Turkish military chief Kenan Evren, who came to symbolise the military’s dominance over Turkish political life, was sentenced to life in jail for leading a 1980 coup.

June 19: Republican Kevin McCarthy was selected as the new majority leader in US House of Representatives.

June 22: UN cultural agency Unesco granted its prized World Heritage status to the Grotte Chauvet, a prehistoric cave in southern France containing the earliest known figurative drawings.

Delegates at Unesco’s World Heritage Committee met in Doha, Qatar.

June 23: The removal of Syria’s chemical weapons material was completed, the Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations (OPCW-UN) announced.

June 23: A Sudanese woman Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, 26, who gave birth in prison after being sentenced to hang for apostasy, was freed.

June 23: India announced ratifying an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to expand oversight of its civilian nuclear programme, in a move aimed at unblocking a major nuclear partnership with the United States.

June 23: A Pakistani flag was seen during the World Cup Group ‘H’ match between Russia and Belgium at the Maracana Stadium.

June 23: A Bangladeshi court sentenced eight Islamist, including Harkat-ul-Jihad al Islami (HuJI) outfit, Mufti Abdul Hannan, to death for a 2001 bomb attack that killed 10 people and wounded scores more during the country’s main celebrations for the Bengali New Year.

June 23: May 2014 was so hot that it set a new record for the planet, marking the warmest May over land and water since record-keeping began in 1880.

June 24: A vast wetland in Botswana, a prehistoric cave in France and an ancient land formation in the US are among a host of new sites that have been added to the Unesco world heritage list over the last few days, pushing the total number to 1,007.

The Okavango Delta in Botswana became the 1,000th site to be in scribed on the UN cultural agency’s coveted list, which has been active since 1978 and commands strict rules for conservation from host nations.

June 24: Philippine President Benigno Aquino, whose country was brutally invaded by Japan in World War II, supported Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe’s plan to expand the scope of his country’s armed forces.

June 24: Suspected Boko Haram militants abducted more than 60 women and girls in the latest kidnappings in northeast Nigeria.

June 25: Britain became the first Western country to sell an Islamic bond, attracting 2.3 billion pound s ($3.9bn), more than 10 times the amount it was looking to sell.

The government raised 200 million pounds from the five-year sukuk issue, part of an effort to boost London’s position as a centre for Islamic finance.

June 25: Zhang Zhijun, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office, China’s most senior official ever to visit Taiwan, met his counterpart to try to improve relations after mass protests in Taipei earlier this year.

June 25: Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel nominated General John Campbell, an army officer who commanded troops in volatile eastern Afghanistan to take over command of the US-led force in the country.

June 26: The World Health Organization called for “drastic action” to fight the deadliest Ebola outbreak on record, as it announced an 11-nation meeting to address the growing crisis.

June 27: Rosneft signed its second major agreement with BP since sanctions were imposed on the Russian oil company’s chief executive. The five-year agreement will supply BP with up to 12 million tonnes of refined oil products and involves a pre-payment of at least $1.5 billion arranged by leading global financial institutions, Rosneft said.

June 27: European Union leaders picked former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker to become the bloc’s new chief executive. With the move, the EU leaders broke a decades-old tradition of choosing the president of the European Commission by consensus.

Summit chairman Herman Van Rompuy said 26 of the bloc’s 28 countries voted for Juncker, with only Britain and Hungary opposing him.

June 27: US special Mideast envoy Martin Indyk resigned to return to a Washington think-tank in a move symbolising the collapse of the latest American effort to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

June 27: Ukraine signed a free-trade and political cooperation agreement with the European Union that has been at the heart of the country’s political crisis.
Georgia and Moldova signed similar deals, holding out the prospect of economic integration and unfettered access to the EU’s 500 million citizens.

June 28: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah sacked the country’s deputy defence minister, Prince Khaled bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz.

June 29: Islamist militants fighting in Iraq and Syria announced the establishment of a ‘caliphate’.

In an audio recording distributed online, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS) declared its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “the caliph” and “leader for Muslims everywhere”.

July 01: A watershed free-trade deal between China and Switzerland, which was signed in Beijing July 2013, came into force, the first such accord between the Asian giant and a mainland European economy.

Senior Swiss and Chinese officials marked the debut of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) at a ceremony in the northern city of Basel, a highly symbolic location given its historical status as a hub for commerce along the River Rhine.

July 01: The European Court of Human Rights upheld France’s controversial burqa ban, rejecting arguments that outlawing full-face veils breaches religious freedom.

July 01: Major General Delali Johnson Sakyi of Ghana was appointed Chief Military Observer and Head of Mission for the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

July 01: Saudi King Abdullah appointed Prine Khaled bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz as new spy chief.

July 02: NASA launched a satellite designed to track carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas that is responsible for global warming.

July 02: The US Navy promoted a woman Michelle Howard as vice chief of naval operations, the number two job in the service with the rank of a four-star admiral, for the first time in its 238-year history, a milestone for females in the American military.

July 04: Queen Elizabeth was officially named the biggest warship Britain has ever built.

July 04: Russia’s parliament passed a bill requiring Internet companies to store Russians’ personal data inside the country in an apparent move to pressure sites such as Facebook and Twitter into handing over user data.

July 05: An Egyptian court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 36 other Islamists to life in prison, and confirmed death sentences for 10 others, most of them on the run.

July 06: The Israel military carried out 10 air strikes on Gaza in response to rocket fire into southern Israel as hopes faded of a renewed truce with its Islamist foe Hamas.

July 07: Afghan officials released preliminary election results showing former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai well in the lead for the presidency but said no winner could be declared because millions of ballots were being audited for fraud.

July 07: Britain’s finance minister announced a $428 million deal with India’s military after arriving in the country to seek stronger t4rade and investment ties with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

July 08: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott signed an economic partnership pact as well as an agreement on military equipment and technology transfers.

July 08: India asked a United Nations military observer group on Kashmir to vacate a government-provided bungalow in New Delhi, in a toughening stance against a mission that Indians have long opposed.

New Delhi considers the whole of Kashmir as an integral part of the country and has bristled against external involvement in the region including the U.N. Military Observers Group on India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) that was set up in 1949 after their first war.

July 08: Somalia’s Islamist Shebab rebels launched a major bomb attack and armed assault against the country’s presidential palace, penetrating the heavily-fortified complex and fighting a major gun battle with security guards.

July 10: Bangladesh barred official marriages between its nationals and Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya refugees, whom it claims are attempting to wed to gain citizenship.

July 10: Germany cannot insist the spouses of Turkish nationals living in the country speak basic German when they apply for a family reunification visa, Europe’s highest court ruled.

Since 2007, Germany has demanded basic German language skills from those wishing to join their partner in Germany from outside the European Union, in an effort to prevent forced marriage and promote integration.

July 10: India’s new government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled its maiden budget, promising a new era of fiscal discipline, higher growth and greater opportunities for foreign investors.

July 11: In its maiden budget, Modi government surprised many as the amount equivalent of about $33 million was set aside to help build world’s tallest statue in Gujarat.

July 11: Israeli aerial bombardment of Gaza claimed its 105th Palestinian life as Hamas pounded central Israel with rockets and the United States offered to help broker a truce.

July 12: World Malala Day 2014 was celebrated to highlight the leading role that youth can play in enabling all children to get an education.

July 12: World’s top crude consumer, the United States, is now the world’s top producer, overtaking Russia and Saudi Arabia.

In the first quarter of 2014, the US extracted more than 11 million barrels of crude per day; more than Russia’ daily output of 10.53mbpd and Saudi Arabia’s 9.45mbpd.

July 12: Britain barred a Russian delegation from attending the Farnborough air show because of the Ukraine crisis.

July 14: Beijing won a key victory in a trade dispute with Washington, as a WTO panel said the United States was wrong to slap punitive duties on a host of Chinese goods.

The battle covered an array of products including paper, steel, tyres, magnets, chemicals, kitchen fittings, flooring and wind turbines.
July 14: The Church of England overcame bitter divisions to vote in favour of allowing female bishops for the first time in its nearly 500-year history.

Sports

June 17: Indian all-rounder Stuart Binny grabbed a record six wickets for just four runs as India thrashed Bangladesh by 47 runs in a low-scoring second ODI.

June 18: Australia hired leading Test wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan as a spin bowling consultant for their team.

June 28: West Indies Cricket Board president David Cameron and Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi were elected at the ICC’s annual conference in Melbourne to the body’s five-member executive committee.

The West Indies and Pakistan will have representation on the International Cricket Council’s all-powerful executive committee alongside the “Big Three” nations India, Australia and England.

July 05: Petra Kvitova produced a majestic performance to win the Wimbledon title; ending Eugenie Bouchard’s hopes of becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam title.

July 06: Novak Djokovic won his second Wimbledon title and seventh career major with a victory over Swiss ace Roger Federer, shattering his dream of a record eighth triumph in Wimbledon.

July 09: Brazil’s dream of winning the World Cup on home soil was shattered when they suffered a humiliating 7-1 loss to ruthless Germany in an extraordinary semi-final in Belo Horizonte.

July 12: England’s Joe Root and James Anderson rewrote the record books with a Test record last-wicket stand of 198 runs in the first test at Trent Bridge.
The England duo’s stand surpassed the previous tenth-wicket Test record of 163 shared by Agar and Phil Hughes at Trent Bridge, in 2013.

July 12: South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 82 runs in the third and final one-day international. It was Proteas’ first-ever one-day series win on the island.

July 13: Substitute Goetze’s stunning extra-time winner helped Germany grab their fourth World Cup crown after a 1-0 victory over Argentina at the Maracana Stadium.

Germany’s victory ended the 24-year wait for a World Cup title and made them the first side from Europe to be crowned world champions in the Americas.

July 13: Brazil’s miserable World Cup campaign ended to a chorus of boos as the hosts slumped to a 3-0 defeat against the Netherlands in the third place playoff match.

July 14: Despite having a golden trophy in his hand, Lionel Messi just couldn’t look up and smile. This was the Golden Ball the award for the best players of the World Cup.

July 14: Colombia’s young striker James Rodriguez claimed the World Cup’s top scorer honours with six goals.

July 14: Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt defeated second seed Ivo Karlovic to win the $474,000 ATP Hall of Fame Championships.

People in News

King Juan Carlos

On June 18, a tearful King Juan Carlos sealed his abdication of the Spanish crown after a four-decade reign, leaving the throne to his 46-year-old son, Felipe VI.

James Allison & Tasuku Honjo

On June 19, an American and a Japanese immunologist James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo were named joint recipients of the Tang Prize, touted as Asia’s version of the Nobels, for their contributions in the fight against cancer.

Richard Thaler, Johnson-Sirleaf & Kiran Mazumdar

On June 22, US economist Richard Thaler, Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Indian entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw received the 2014 Global Economy Prize of the Kiel Institute for World Economy.

Monica Gill

On June 23, Miss India USA, Monica Gill, won this year’s Miss India Worldwide competition, which was held in Abu Dhabi.

Martti Ahtisaari

On June 25, former Finnish president and Nobel laureate Martti Ahtisaari was appointed as an advisor to an international inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. He will be one of three international experts assisting a team of 12 investigators in their controversial probe, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said.

Jozef Wesolowski

On June 27, a Roman Catholic Church tribunal — Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — ordered to defrock Jozef Wesolowski, a Polish archbishop accused of child sex abuse in the Dominican Republic.

Ravshan Irmatov

On July 06, Uzbekistan referee Ravshan Irmatov made football history when he took charge of a record ninth World Cup game, the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica.

Amit Shah

On July 09, India’s ruling BJP elevated controversial leader Amit Shah to the post of its new party president. Mr Shah is a close aide from Gujrat of Prime Minister Narendra Modiand is being tried in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter killing after spending some days in jail.

Dr Masuma Hasan

On July 13, Dr Masuma Hasan, former Cabinet Secretary and Ambassador of Pakistan, was named Goodwill Ambassador of the World NGO Day Initiative, in recognition of her experience as Chairperson of The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs and her commitment to the cause of women’s empowerment as President of the Board of Governors of Aurat Foundation.

Emma Watson

On July 08, British actress Emma Watson became the new Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s gender equality arm, UN Women, the organization announced. The harry Potter alumna and recent graduate of Brown University is the first ambassador appointed under the leadership of Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Under Secretary-General and executive director of UN Women.

Places in News

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

On June 25, the Saudi Arabia government completed elaborate and comprehensive arrangements for the holy Quran recitation at Makkah’s Mosque ahead of Ramazan. The holy Quran, along with commentary and translation, is available for download in most of the world’s major languages, including Sinhalese, Telugu, Somali and Chinese.

Kashmir

On July 04, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was greeted by near-empty streets lined by security personnel on his first official visit to India-held Kashmir, as local leaders enforced a strike to demand political dialogue about the future of the disputed region.

Schools and shops were shuttered and normally busy roads were free of traffic in Srinagar.

Britain

On July 10, more than one million public sector workers went on strike in Britain over pay and spending cuts by the government imposed as part of its austerity programme.

The strike, the biggest since Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government took power in 2010, involves a wide range of workers from teachers and civil servants to street sweepers and park attendants.

Obituaries

June 24: Former Venezuelan president Ramon Jose Velasquez, known for his role in opposing dictatorship in the South American country, died. He was 97. He was the last living former president of Venezuela.

June 24: Felix Dennis, a flamboyant, boastfully profligate, immensely successful British businessman who built a publishing empire that included Maxim, America’s most successful young men’s lifestyle magazine, died. He was 67.

June 25: Legendary character actor Eli Wallach died aged 98.

Wallach made a name for himself in Hollywood with a string of villainous and gritty roles in classics such as The Magnificent Seven, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and The Godfather: Part III.

June 28: Legendary US soul artist Bobby Womack, who influenced and wrote for generations of musicians, died aged 70.

June 30: Allen Grossman, an award-winning poet, whose work bridged the Romantic and Modernist traditions, claiming nobility and power for poetry as a tool for both engaging the world and burrowing into the self, died in Chelsea, Mass. He was 82.

July 07: Eduard Shevardnadze, who helped end the Cold War as the Soviet Union’s last foreign minister before becoming president of Georgia, died at the age of 86.

July 08: Real Madrid legend Alfredo di Stefano, considered of the greatest footballers ever, died aged 88. The striker known as the “Blonde Arrow” is ranked alongside Pele, Maradona and Johan Cruyff.

July 10: India’s acting legend Zohra Sehgal passed away at 102.

July 12: Bassist Charlie Haden, who helped change the shape of jazz more than a half-century ago as a member of Ornette Coleman’s groundbreaking quartet and liberated the bass from its traditional rhythm section role, died. He was 76.

July 14: South African Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer, an unwavering moralist who became one of the most powerful voices against the injustice of apartheid, died at the age of 90.

Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991.

 

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