Apr 16: The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) declared Pakistan the largest country in the world to provide shelter to refugees.
As per the UNHCR report, Pakistan continued to host the largest number of refugees in the world (1.45 million), nearly all from Afghanistan.
Apr 16: The eight new members of AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan’s cabinet were allotted portfolios.
Apr 16: Government launched savings certificates for special people in line with its announcement made in the budget for the current fiscal year of 2017-18.
Apr 16: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi along with Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI Director General Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar attended the concluding ceremony of Joint Gulf Shield-1 military drill.
Apr 16: The PPP-led Sindh government approved the province’s first-ever agriculture and youth policies.
Apr 16: Pakistan’s leading human rights watchdog, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), issued its annual report titled the “State of Human Rights in 2017”. The report was dedicated to the late lawyer activist Asma Jehangir, who was one of the founders of the commission.
Note: A detailed analysis on the report has been published in May 2018 issue of Jahangir’s World Times.
Apr 16: The Judicial Commission of Pakistan recommended the elevation of Justice Munib Akhtar of the Sindh High Court as a judge of the Supreme Court.
Gulf Shield-1 Military Drill
On Apr 16, the concluding ceremony of Joint Gulf Shield-1 military drill was held in Saudi Arabia’s eastern city of Jubail.
About Gulf Shield-1
1. Gulf Shield-1 military exercise is one of the largest military exercises in the region.
2. It aims at raising the level of preparedness; enhancing mutual coordination and cooperation among the participating countries, exchange of expertise and security integration.
3. It also aimed to enable the participating forces to confront challenges and threats within a joint operation environment to achieve the concept of the joint action.
4. Participants in the exercises include military forces of high levels of training and professionalism, using many modern and sophisticated weapons.
5. The manoeuvres included launching a counterattack on ballistic missiles platforms inside enemy boundaries, chasing naval speed boats and in economic waters, striking infiltrators into Al-Khair I and Al-Khair II islands and defending the country’s border through a joint naval, army and air force operation.
6. Twenty-four countries participated in the exercise, which continued for nearly a month.
7. Besides hosts Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the other countries that took part in the exercise were the United States, the UK, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Mauritania, Malaysia, Chad, Djibouti, Niger, Comoros, Afghanistan, Oman, Guyana, Turkey, and Burkina Faso.
8. The concluding ceremony was attended by a number of princes, ministers, senior officials and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Kingdom.
Apr 18: Despite the fact that the world is making fast progress in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and spending billions of dollars annually, Pakistan has allocated only a meager amount of around $3.3 million annually. On the contrary, Pakistan’s immediate neighbour India has allocated $480 million to the fifth generation technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning and internet of things.
Apr 18: China’s Guangming Daily and All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) held China and Pakistan Media Forum in Beijing. The theme of the forum was “Belt and Road Initiative and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for China and Pakistan.”
Apr 18: PTI chairman Imran Khan initiated disciplinary action against 20 MPAs – nearly one-third of party’s lawmakers in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly – for allegedly selling their votes in the March Senate elections.
Apr 19: Seven Pakistani peacekeepers, who laid down their lives for global peace and security, were honoured with the UN medal at the UN annual Memorial Ceremony in New York.
Apr 20: The government of Pakistan received the Commonwealth Government Award for Women’s Economic Empowerment. The Award was jointly given by the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network and Global Citizen to the Government of Pakistan in recognition of the work and impact in the area of women empowerment.
Apr 20: Pakistan-American comedian Kumail Nanjiani and London Mayor Sadiq Khan were included among Time’s 100 most influential.
Apr 20: The Balochistan government decided to provide District Management Group (DMG) training to new officers of the provincial civil services. Officers will get special training from the Pakistan Army for the first time in history.
Apr 21: More than 13,600 police personnel deputed for the security of unauthorised persons across the country were withdrawn in compliance with the order of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
Apr 21: Former world champion Amir Khan won his first fight in two years by stopping Phil Lo Greco in 39 seconds.
Apr 22: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) appointed Farmanullah Anjum a permanent Director General for its Quality Assurance Division (QAD), after a lapse of more than four years.
Apr 22: The Supreme Court made vice chancellors of three public sector universities – Fatima Jinnah Medical University (Rawalpindi), Faisalabad Medical University and Rawalpindi Medical University – resign.
The vice chancellor of Lahore College for Women University, Prof Uzma Qureshi, was suspended by the CJP after she insisted that she was appointed on merit.
Apr 22: Awami National Party provincial vice-president and former minister Nimroz Khan died.
Apr 22: Karachi retained the Moenjodaro Trophy by winning the 17th Sindh Games. Overall runners-up were Hyderabad while Sukkur grabbed third spot.
Apr 23: A moot of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was held in Beijing.
Apr 24: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) formally approved the National Water Policy (NWP) with consensus and directed Wapda, Punjab and KP to work out net hydel profit arrears in accordance with the A.G.N. Kazi formula.
Note: An informative article on National Water Policy is included in this issue of JWT.
Apr 24: COAS Gen Bajwa paid his first visit to Russia. During his visit, Pakistan and Russia reaffirmed their commitment to intensify bilateral military cooperation.
Madeeha Gohar Another gem lost
On Apr 25, Ajoka Theatre founder, playwright, actor and director of social theatre Madeeha Gohar passed away. She was 62.
About Madeeha Gohar
1. Born in 1956 in Karachi, she received her education in English literature and went to UK to receive a degree in Theatre Science.
2. After her return from UK, she founded Ajoka Theatre in 1984.
3. The versatile actor and director was well known for her theatrical contributions through Ajoka Theatre. Ajoka’s plays have been based on social issues and human rights such as female literacy and honour killings.
4. Ajoka has performed in various countries across Asia and Europe and has also staged productions in backyards and open spaces in poor localities to raise awareness.
5. Through her dedication to theatre, Gauhar became the recipient of Pride of Performance and other national and international awards.
6. The artiste was awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the government of Pakistan in 2003 and the Fatima Jinnah Award in 2014 for her remarkable services.
7. The government of Netherlands also recognised Madeeha’s contributions to theatre and rewarded her with the Prince Clause Award in 2006.
8. In 2006, Madeeha became the first Pakistani to be honoured with the prestigious Prince Claus Award for her leadership of Ajoka.
Apr 26: The government of Pakistan issued Pakistan Economic Survey 2017-18. According to the survey, the country’s economy provisionally grew at a pace of 5.8 percent in the outgoing fiscal year, which is the highest in 13 years.
Apr 26: The Islamabad High Court disqualified Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif for not disclosing his salary drawn from a UAE company.
Apr 27: Government approved a 20-year income tax holiday in addition to exemption of duties on machinery imports to attract investments in oil refineries.
Apr 27: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic affairs Miftah Ismail was appointed a federal minister, making it possible for the unelected leader of the ruling PML-N to present the country’s budget for the next financial year.
PM Abbasi also gave three ministers of state Marriyum Aurangzeb, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Anusha Rehman, the status of federal ministers. Another MNA of the ruling PML-N, Laila Khan, was inducted in the cabinet as a minister of state.
Apr 27: The PML-N government made history by presenting its sixth budget.
Apr 28: The first-ever Science Festival for schoolchildren in Gwadar district was held.
Apr 29: President Mamnoon Hussain inaugurated National Sports City in Narowal.
Apr 30: Pakistan became the hottest place on earth when the temperature crossed 50 degrees Celsius in Nawabshah on the last day of the year’s fourth month, breaking its own record of 49.2 Celsius which was recorded in 2017.
May 01: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the Islamabad International Airport. Built at a cost of Rs105 billion, it is not only the country’s largest but also the first greenfield airport.
May 01: Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez was cleared by the ICC to resume bowling in international matches.
May 02: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan launched its National Human Development Report (NHDR) – Unleashing the Potential of a Young Pakistan. The report reveals that 76.9 percent youth in Pakistan leave education for financial reasons and hope for a second chance at education.
The NHDR report-2017 reveals that Pakistan currently has the largest generation of youth ever recorded in its history, making it one of the youngest countries in the world and the second youngest in the South Asian region after Afghanistan.
May 02: Record-breaking squash player Jahangir Khan, who won 555 consecutive competitive matches, was bestowed with the honour of Outstanding Achievement in Sport Award, by the Asian Awards.
About the Great Jahangir Khan
1. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Jahangir Khan became World Amateur Squash Champion at the age of just 15 years and it was just the start of a record-breaking professional career.
2. Khan’s career reads like a record book.
3. He became the youngest ever World Open champion at 17, going on to win the title six times.
4. He won the prestigious British Open a record 10 times.
5. He played the second longest match in squash history and was unbeaten in 555 consecutive matches over 5 years and 8 months.
6. In the words of Time Magazine, “if winning is everything, then Khan is the greatest.”
May 03: The National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to rename the Physics department of QAU Islamabad after famous scientist Abu al Fatah Abdul Rehman Al-Khazini instead of Dr Abdus Salam.
The resolution was moved by PML-N’s Captain (R) Safdar.
May 03: Minister of State for Human Rights Barrister Usman Ibrahim was promoted to the rank of federal minister.
May 04: The Supreme Court barred Ms Bahria Town Karachi from selling any plot or constructed apartment in the housing scheme on the outskirts of the port city, declaring the grant of land by the Malir Development Authority and its exchange with the land of the private land developers illegal and void ab initio.
May 05: The US Ministry of Education awarded Assistant Professor Noor Fatima of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) with the Martin Luther King Junior Award for her contribution to education, peace, and ideas for humanity as a team leader. She is the first South Asian woman to receive this award.
May 05: The eighth annual Judicial Conference, organised by the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, was held in Islamabad. The declaration of the Conference highlighted the need to enforce the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), and added that terror suspects as well as terrorist organisations must be declared proscribed without delay.
Speaking at the concluding ceremony, the CJP Mian Saqib Nisar constituted a committee to oversee the implementation of the recommendations discussed at the conference over the next four months. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa will head the committee comprising judges, jurists and experts from various professional fields.
May 05: Sardar Naveed Haider Khan was elected president of the Punjab Football Association (PFA).
Engr Usman Iftikhar Commonwealth Person of the Year
Pakistani-Australian engineer Usman Iftikhar received the Commonwealth Person of the Year Award from Prince Harry. Iftikhar was given the highest honour of Commonwealth for young achievers for his efforts to help refugees in Australia. The engineer co-funded Catalysr, which aims to enable refugees and migrants in the region to develop their own business plans and make money using the skills they have.
May 06: The UAE and Pakistan signed a $200 million cooperation agreement to execute Phase III of the UAE-Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP).
May 06: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal narrowly escaped an assassination attempt during a corner meeting in his constituency in Narowal.
May 06: On repeated requests from China, Pakistan’s top judicial policymaking body has asked the country’s high courts and lower judiciary not to issue ex parte stay orders in respect of CPEC-related projects.
May 06: Federal Areas defeated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by five wickets to retain their Cool & Cool presents Pepsi Pakistan Cup title.
May 07: The Supreme Court dismissed the review petitions of former army chief Gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg and former ISI head Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani against the implementation of its order passed in 2012 in the famous Asghar Khan case.
May 07: Dr Mohammad Suleman Khan was made the 40th chief of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the civilian spy agency of the country.
May 07: The Balochistan government approved the term of the office of the Balochistan Public Service Commission’s chairman, Justice (Retd) Mehta Kalash Nath Kohli, for five years.
May 07: Punjab’s provincial cabinet headed by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif revived 20 percent public sector job quota for three divisions of south Punjab – Multan, Bahawalpur and DG Khan – besides the districts of Bhakkar and Mianwali.
The 20pc job quota was allocated for south Punjab residents in the 1973 Constitution. However, the PML-N’s Punjab government had suspended the quota in 1997 and since then the people from south Punjab had been competing for public sector jobs on open merit.
May 08: Justice Munib Akhtar was sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
May 08: The Supreme Court suspended the notification of Senator-elect Ishaq Dar for his failure to appear in court despite repeated summons.
May 08: Daraz Group, Pakistan’s leading online retailer announced its100 percent acquisition by Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce giant.
Following the acquisition, Daraz which also operates in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Nepal will continue under the same brand name.
Daraz, founded in Pakistan in 2012, was incubated by Germany’s Rocket Internet.
May 08: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa inaugurated the work for erecting fences along the Pak-Afghan border near Panjpal area of Balochistan.
May 09: A Supreme Court bench headed by the CJP Mian Saqib Nisar ordered an inquiry into the 2014 carnage at the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar through a judicial commission comprising a judge of the Peshawar High Court (PHC).
May 10: In a tit-for-tat move, the Foreign Office announced that all the US diplomats in Pakistan would be facing restrictions under which they won’t be able to roam around without permission from the authorities concerned.
May 10: CM Syed Murad Ali Shah presented a Rs1,144.448 billion tax-free budget with Rs343.90bn development outlay for the next financial year. He requested the house to authorise expenditure for only three months from July 1 to Sept 30.
May 10: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was ranked the 68th most powerful person in the world on a list that includes 75 personalities.
May 11: PM Abbasi gave a six-year extension in the tax holiday for exports of information technology to 2025.
May 11: Presiding over a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, Prime Minister Abbasi corrected Pakistan’s dictionary on hydrocarbons by re-designating liquefied natural gas (LNG) as natural gas under the 2002 Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Act. Interestingly, the prime minister had ‘defined’ the LNG as a petroleum product under the 1961 Petrol Product (Petroleum Levy) Ordinance in April 2015.
May 11: Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir was given the additional charge of foreign ministry.
May 11: Gujrat Worriers won the first Pakistan Super Kabaddi League after beating Faisalabad Sherdils in the final.
May 12: The government appointed Shaukat Hussain as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
May 13: The two-day ‘International Conference of News Agencies’ on the theme of Pakistan’s Media: Opportunities and Challenges, News Agencies: Emerging Professional Challenges” was held in Islamabad.
May 14: The National Security Committee (NSC) rejected and denounced former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s claim about the Mumbai attacks and the subsequent trial in Pakistan as ‘incorrect’, ‘misleading’ and ‘fallacious’ and noted that it could have been spurred either by his ‘misconceptions or grievances’.
May 14: Adviser to CM Balochistan on Finance Dr Ruqayya Saeed Hashmi presented the budget 2018-19.
May 15: Rao Tehsin Ali Khan was appointed the director general of Radio Pakistan.
Tehseen, a grade 21 officer, was dismissed after an inquiry was launched into a news report by Dawn newspaper, aka Dawn Leaks, published in October 2016.
May 15: Inspector General Punjab Arif Nawaz Khan inaugurated two new apps – The Citizen Eye App and X-Service App.
May 15: Yaseen Aslam, a British-Pakistani taxi driver, who took the taxi giant Uber to court, won his case against the world’s largest taxi firm.
May 15: Brig (Retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar was reelected as the president Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for a second term.
May 15: Pakistan debutant Imam-ul-Haq saw his side to victory as Ireland’s first match in men’s Test cricket ended in a gallant last-day defeat by five wickets at the Malahide Cricket Club Ground.
Apr 16: Britain’s Prince Harry was appointed a Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, his highest-profile public role to date.
Apr 17: The National Security Council (MGK), Turkey’s top security body, recommended extending the state of emergency imposed since a failed July 2016 coup for a seventh time for three more months.
Apr 17: Former US first lady Barbara Bush, the wife of the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, and mother of the 43rd, George W. Bush, died at the age of 92. She is, to date, the only American woman to see her husband and son both sworn in as president.
Apr 18: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called snap elections in Turkey for June 24, bringing the polls forward by over a year-and-a-half to sharply accelerate the transition to a new presidential system.
Apr 18: Britain’s upper house of parliament inflicted an embarrassing defeat on Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, challenging her refusal to remain in a customs union with the European Union after Brexit.
Apr 18: Saudi Arabia launched its first commercial movie theatre, ending a nearly 40-year ban on cinemas under a push by the Crown Prince to modernise the country.
The first screening was of Marvel’s superhero movie Black Panther on a 45-foot screen in Riyadh.
Apr 19: Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov signed a decree to dismiss the cabinet after lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a no-confidence vote against the government of Prime Minister Sapar Isakov.
Apr 19: The president of the Comoros Azali Assoumani suspended the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country.
Apr 19: Vox Cinemas, owned by Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim, received a licence to operate cinemas in Saudi Arabia. Vox is investing 2 billion riyals ($533 million) to open 600 screens in the next five years in the Saudi kingdom.
Apr 19: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia held a meeting of military and security officials in Baghdad to coordinate “anti-terrorism” efforts.
Apr 19: Cuba marked the end of an era as Miguel Diaz-Canel was formally elected as the country’s new president, becoming the first leader of the Caribbean island in six decades who is not named Castro.
Apr 19: The Commonwealth summit kicked off in London. Queen Elizabeth II, the head of the Commonwealth, opened the summit for what may be the last time voicing hope that her son would be allowed to carry on her role.
Apr 19: The king of Swaziland, one of the world’s few absolute monarchs, announced that his country had changed its name to eSwatini to mark 50 years since independence from British rule.
Meaning “place of the Swazi”, eSwatini is the Swazi language name for the tiny nation landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique.
Unlike some countries, Swaziland did not change its name when it gained independence in 1968 after being a British protectorate for more than 60 years.
After independence, Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, Nyasaland became Malawi, and Bechuanaland became Botswana.
Apr 20: North Korea and South Korea opened a hotline between their leaders Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in in the Demilitarised Zone.
The line links the presidential Blue House in Seoul with the Pyongyang office of the nuclear-armed North’s State Affairs Commission, which Kim chairs – one of his most important titles.
Apr 20: An Indian court acquitted Maya Kodnani, who served as a minister in the Gujarat state government and an ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She was sentenced to 28 years in jail in 2012 over the killing of 97 Muslims in the worst massacre during the riots.
Apr 21: India’s cabinet approved the death penalty for rapists of girls below the age of 12. The executive order, or ordinance, amends the criminal law to also include more drastic punishment for convicted rapists of girls below the age of 16.
Apr 21: Indian veteran Rahil Gangjee won the Panasonic Open, in Japan, by a single stroke, his first Asian Tour victory in 14 years.
Apr 21: A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a voter registration centre in Kabul, killing at least 57 people and injuring more than 100.
Apr 21: Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats elected Andrea Nahles, a combative and outspoken former labour minister, as the first woman leader of the 155-year-old party.
Apr 21: The International Monetary Fund launched a new policy for fighting corruption. A key element of the new policy is to prevent the private sector from offering bribes and from facilitating concealment of corruption proceeds.
Apr 23: Paraguay’s Mario Abdo Benitez, who represents the country’s long-dominant Colorado conservatives, was elected as president, landing the top job in one of Latin America’s poorest countries.
Apr 23: Angolan President Joao Lourenco sacked the chief of staff of the armed forces and the head of the foreign intelligence agency.
Apr 23: Armenia’s Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian resigned after mass protests against his election.
Apr 24: The Chinese aircraft carrier formation, featuring the carrier Liaoning, held “live combat drill” in the East China Sea.
Apr 25: The United Nations launched a project to support youth-driven initiatives in education, science, culture and the media in Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.
Apr 26: The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that all its 104-member nations – both men and women’s teams – will be granted T20I status. At present, there are 18 members with T20I status – 12 full members plus Scotland, Netherlands, Hong Kong, UAE, Oman and Nepal.
“All Women’s team matches will be awarded T20 International status on July 1st 2018. All the men’s team matches will be given T20 International status on January 1st 2019,” ICC CEO David Richardson confirmed.
Apr 26: The US Senate voted to approve former CIA director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state.
Apr 27: The leaders of North and South Korea agreed to pursue a peace treaty and the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula at a historic summit.
Apr 27: Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a summit at a Hubei province museum in the city of Wuhan for what has been billed as an ‘informal’ meeting.
Apr 27: Former Brazilian Football Confederation president and one-time FIFA executive committee member, Marco Polo del Nero was banned for life for bribery and corruption by the FIFA ethics committee. He was also fined 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million).
Apr 29: Saudi national oil giant Aramco appointed five new members to its board of directors, including Lynn Laverty Elsenhans, the first woman in the firm’s history.
Apr 29: Rafael Nadal won his 11th Barcelona Open title after defeating Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.
It was world number one Nadal’s 55th career clay-court title while he also extended his winning streak on the surface to 46 consecutive sets.
Apr 30: Japan and its top trade partner in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates, agreed to expand economic, political and defence cooperation by signing an investment protection agreement.
Apr 30: Britain’s upper house voted to give parliament powers to block or delay a final deal on departure from the European Union.
Apr 30: Number 16, the world’s oldest known spider, died in Australia at the ripe old age of 43.
Apr 30: British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Sajid Javid the Britain’s interior minister to replace Amber Rudd, who quit the key ministerial post of home secretary after misleading lawmakers over deportation targets for illegal immigrants.
May 01: Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah was voted Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association (FWA).
The award comes a week after Salah was chosen as Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) after an outstanding season in which he has scored 43 goals in all competitions.
The 25-year-old is the first African player to win the FWA award which began in 1948.
May 02: Basque separatist group ETA announced its complete disbanding, marking the definitive end to its deadly independence campaign and to western Europe’s last armed insurgency.
May 02: Cambridge Analytica, the data firm embroiled in a controversy over its handling of Facebook user data, and its British parent firm SCL Elections ceased operations.
May 02: A damning report by the World Health Organisation revealed that India is home to the world’s 14 most polluted cities.
The Musalman One-of-its-kind newspaper
The world’s only handwritten newspaper, the Musalman, was established in Chennai in 1927 and is still the market at price of 75 paisas.
About The Musalman
Established in 1927, The Musalman is world’s only newspaper that is completely handwritten.
The four-page newspaper is based in Chennai, and has roughly 21,000 readers.
It was started by Syed Azathullah, the grandfather of its current editor, Sayed Arifullah, because “he felt there was no voice for Muslims and there should be one.”
May 03: A Turkish caricaturist Musa Kart won the International Press Drawing Prize, an award given every two years to leading cartoonists, especially those working under authoritarian regimes.
May 04: For the first time in almost 70 years, there will be no Nobel Literature Prize this year, after the Swedish Academy that selects the laureate failed to contain a deep crisis stemming from the anti-sexual harassment #MeToo campaign.
May 05: Nasa launched its latest Mars lander, called InSight, designed to perch on the surface and listen for “Marsquakes” ahead of eventual human missions to explore the Red Planet.
The $993 million project aims to expand our knowledge of interior conditions on Mars, inform efforts to send human explorers there, and reveal how rocky planets like the Earth formed billions of years ago.
If all goes as planned during the 301 million mile journey, the lander should settle on the Red Planet on Nov 26.
Insight is short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.
May 05: California’s economy surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth largest. As per the new federal data, California’s gross domestic product rose by $127 billion from 2016 to 2017, surpassing $2.7 trillion. Meanwhile, the UK’s economic output slightly shrunk over that time when measured in US dollars, due in part to exchange rate fluctuations.
May 06: During two days of talks in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, foreign ministers and diplomats of the 53-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation launched a campaign to mobilise international support for action against Myanmar over the Rohingya refugee crisis.
May 07: The state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and China Huadian Hongkong Company Limited (CHDHK) signed an agreement to form a joint venture company to set up a coal-based power plant with a capacity of 1,320 megawatts.
May 07: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was sworn in for a new term. After taking oath, he announced to keep his long-serving prime minister Dmitry Medvedev in the position, signalling that he would keep faith with a policy direction that has brought Russia into conflict with the West.
May 07: Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah claimed victory in the elections, leaving Saudi-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri as the main loser.
May 08: President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, as his administration pledged to find a comprehensive and lasting solution to the so-called Iranian threat.
May 08: A court in the Maldives sentenced the country’s chief justice Abdulla Saeed to four months and 24 days in prison on charges of obstructing government administration and justice.
May 08: Armenia’s parliament elected Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan as the country’s new prime minister.
May 09: A Berlin labour court found the city was right to bar a teacher who wears a Muslim headscarf from teaching primary school classes, rejecting her discrimination complaint.
May 10: The Trump administration turned down Islamabad’s request to put the name of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar leader Umer Khalid Khurasani aka Abdul Wali on the UNSC sanctions committee’s list.
May 10: The US Treasury imposed fresh sanctions against six people it linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Qods Force and three Iranian entities.
May 10: Najib Razak became the first prime minister of Malaysia ever to lose a general election, after he was handed defeat by his former mentor, Mahathir Mohamad.
May 10: Ninety-two-year-old Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as the world’s oldest elected leader after a stunning election win that swept Malaysia’s establishment from power after more than six decades.
May 10: A 104-year-old Australian scientist David Goodall committed assisted suicide in Switzerland where he went to die after his home country denied him the right to seek help in taking his own life.
May 11: Seventy prominent religious scholars from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia issued a declaration saying that violent extremism and terrorism, including suicide attacks, are against Islamic principles, in an effort to convince the Afghan Taliban to end violence.
May 11: The Philippine Supreme Court ousted its chief justice, Maria Lourdes Sereno, a critic of the country’s authoritarian president, in an unprecedented vote by fellow judges.
May 11: World number one Rafael Nadal set a new record of winning 50 consecutive sets on a single surface by beating Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
May 13: Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon after singer Netta Barzilai beat 25 other contestants with her upbeat song ‘Toy’ whose lyrics have been embraced by the #MeToo movement.
Eurovision was first held in 1956 with the aim of uniting Europe after World War II. Today it has an estimated global audience of around 200 million people, more than the Super Bowl in the USA and has served as a global launching pad for the likes of ABBA and Celine Dion.
May 13: China’s first entirely home-built aircraft carrier, which is still unnamed, began sea trials in the nohhern port of Dalian to ‘test the reliability and stability of its propulsion and other system’.
May 14: The United States succeeded in getting its diplomat Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall, the defence attaché at the US embassy, who was involved in a fatal road accident, out of Pakistan after the Pakistani officials who had been preventing his exit succumbed to Pentagon’s pressure.
May 14: Israeli forces killed more than 70 Palestinians on the Gaza border in clashes and protests, which also left more than 2,400 Palestinians wounded, erupted before a White House delegation and Israeli officials opened the embassy at an inauguration ceremony in Jerusalem.
It was the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war.
May 14: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) launched its database of public and private borrowing, noting that worldwide debt has now reached a new record high of $164 trillion, equal to 225pc of global GDP. This surpasses the previous high of 213pc recorded in 2009.
May 14: Kevin O’Brien scored Ireland’s first Test hundred on the fourth day of their inaugural Test against Pakistan at Malahide.
May 15: India’s Shashank Manohar was re-elected chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) for another two years.
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