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WORLD IN FOCUS (April – May 2013)


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WORLD IN FOCUS  April - May 2013

News From National & International Press 

National

April 16: A severe earthquake struck the border region of Iran and Pakistan. At least 40 people were killed and over 180 others injured while hundreds of houses collapsed, rendering thousands of people homeless.

April 16: Ayad Akhtar’s ‘Disgraced’, about a well-off Pakistani-American lawyer whose life takes unsettling turns, won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

April 17: The government finalised a Rs. 450 bn public sector development programme (PSDP) for federal projects and Rs. 627 bn defence budget for next financial year, showing an increase of 25% and 15% respectively.

April 17: The provincial Elementary and Secondary Education (E&SE) Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa introduced Hindko, Seraiki, Khowar and Kohistani languages as compulsory subjects in educational institutions from academic year 2013-14.

April 17: The Supreme Court suspended the notification regarding provision of lifetime protocol and security for former prime minister and former federal ministers.

April 17: A prominent American organisation dedicated to women’s advancement, recognised Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman, among influential women leaders in the world.

April 18: The World Bank agreed to provide $840 million for the Tarbela Dam extension project after the Ministry of Water and Power accepted the WB condition to open a separate escrow account to avoid circular debt.

April 18: Punjab University and Turkey’s Suleman Shah University signed a memorandum of understanding for academic collaboration between the two universities.

April 19: Former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf was finally arrested in judges’ detention case.

April 20: Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said that since Islam is the basis of Pakistan’s creation, it can never be taken out from the body politic.

April 20: The Lal Masjid Commission given a clean chit to the military leadership, but held former president Pervez Musharraf, former prime minister, Shaukat Aziz and their allies responsible for the 2007 operation.

April 20: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on the one hand gave Punjab’s former chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, a clean chit, but on the other declared him a non-filer of tax returns.

April 21: National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) included the picture of each and every voter on all computerised electoral rolls, making it more authentic and reliable.

April 21: The three-day International Judicial Conference culminated in the Supreme Court building adopting the ‘Islamabad Declaration 2013′ that was unanimously adopted by nine thematic groups.

April 21: For the first time, ‘Time’ magazine published seven special covers to commemorate this year’s list. Featured on the covers are actress Jennifer Lawrence, business mogul Elon Musk, rapper and music producer Jay-Z, Senator Rand Paul, tennis star Li Na, Indian actor Aamir Khan and Pakistani schoolgirl and activist Malala Yousafzai.

April 22: A full bench of the Lahore High Court allowed former premier Raja Pervez Ashraf to contest the May 11 election.

April 22: Reiterating its earlier stance, the caretaker government finally declined to prosecute former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf for treason.

April 23: Pakistan must play a positive role in bringing stability to Afghanistan as foreign troops prepared to leave the country in 2014, the head of Nato said, before a US-chaired meeting that would try to ease friction between often feuding neighbours.

April 23: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) failed to prevent 55 candidates from Punjab, belonging to ten different sectarian groups, from contesting the general elections despite the fact that they were on terrorist lists. Their names are also listed on the 4th schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

April 24: Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (R) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso nominated Farooq H. Naek as leader of the House in the Senate. The Senate Secretariat also issued the notification to this effect. Farooq H Naek, has also remained the Chairman Senate for three years.

April 24: Pakistani-born Mehreen Faruqi, an environmental engineer, is set to become the first Muslim woman to serve in Australia’s parliament.

April 24: Punjab Ombudsman Javed Mehmood ordered double pension to all pensioners without any discrimination crossing the age of 75 years.

April 24: PIA Chairman Lieutenant General (Retd) Asif Yaseen Malik constituted an austerity committee to recommend administrative measures needed to reduce the operational cost.

April 26: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) reached the finals of the World Chambers Competition 2013 by presenting its Best Youth Entrepreneurship Project to an international judging panel during a dedicated Congress session.

April 26: The government decided to inject another Rs.45 billion and 150 million cubic feet of natural gas into the power sector to increase electricity generation by about 3,500MW.

April 26: Lahore High Court Justice Umar Ata Bandial inaugurated a new urgent cell at the court. The facility of urgent cell would also be extended to LHC benches at Rawalpindi, Multan and Bahawalpur.

All kinds of cases, including civil, criminal, constitutional, writ petitions and appeals, would be received there and at the same time the objections, if any, would be addressed on the spot by lawyers or parties concerned.

April 27: During the hearing of suo moto notice of lawlessness case in Karachi, the biggest land scam in the history of Pakistan came to the fore. The Supreme Court was told that Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Port Qasim Authority (PQA) sold out 1,600 acres of most precious land on the Karachi coast to Pakistan Defence Housing Authority (DHA) at the rate of Rs.2 and Rs.2.5 per square metre.

April 30: The provincial cabinet gave a unanimous approval to Punjab Commission on the Status of Women Ordinance 2013 after a few amendments. Under this Ordinance, a Punjab Commission, having at least 50 per cent women representation, will be formulated and at least one women member will be taken from minorities.

April 30: The Peshawar High Court banned for life former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf from contesting election for parliament and provincial assemblies and termed him an opportunist who had no respect for the law and constitution.

May 01: Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who was critically injured by fellow prisoners at the Kot Lakhpat Jail on April 26, died of cardiac arrest.

May 01: The caretaker government placed the National Crisis Management Cell, presently working under the ministry of interior, at the disposal of the ECP.

May 01: PEW Research Center survey, released eleven days before Pakistan elections, shows that 84 per cent of Pakistani Muslims favour Islamic sharia as their official law.

May 01: Since the first direct elections of December 7, 1970, Adil Abdullah Khan Rokhri of PML-N is most probably the youngest-ever Pakistani legislator to be elected to any legislative house. Born on January 4, 1987, Adil Rokhri had emerged triumphant in the February 25, 2012 by-elections from PP-44 Mianwali, when he was just 25 years, one month and 21 days old.

May 02: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) allowed the Balochistan police to interrogate retired General Pervez Musharraf over the murder of Baloch nationalist leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti.

May 03: For the first time in the judicial history of Pakistan, two female judges of the Peshawar High Court formed a bench. The division bench, comprising Justice Irshad Qaisar and Justice Musarrat Hilali, heard cases relating to 73 petitions.

May 03: Continuing their attacks on moderate political parties in Karachi, Taliban shot dead Sadiq Zaman Khattak, Awami National Party’s candidate for National Assembly along with his four-year-old son.

May 03: A public prosecutor in the Benazir assassination case, Chaudhry Zulfikar Ali, was gunned down.

May 03: A Pakistani prisoner, Sanaullah Ranje, was murderously assaulted by an Indian inmate in Jammu’s Kot Bawal jail.

May 03: A new gas reserve was found in Kirthar range according to the petroleum ministry. Italian energy giant ENI with joint venture partners Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company made the discovery in the Kirthar Fold Belt region, 270km north of Karachi.

May 03: President Asif Ali Zardari conferred Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam on Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian in recognition of his ‘pivotal role’ in further cementing and expanding the existing strategic friendship between Pakistan and China and for his untiring efforts to enhance mutual cooperation between the two countries in diverse fields.

May 03: The prime minister terminated the contracts of key top officials, including Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Nadeemul Haq, State Life Insurance Company Chairman Shahid Aziz Siddqui, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) Director General Murtaza Solangi, Alternate Energy Development Board Chief Executive Arif Alauddin and National Fertilizer Marketing Limited Managing Director Tariq Shafi Khan, with immediate effect.

May 04: The Islamabad High Court gave the go-ahead for conducting the trial of former president retired General Pervez Musharraf at his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad near Islamabad.

May 06: The Balochistan government accepted the resignation of Advocate General Amanullah Kanrani.

May 06: The caretaker government sacked Masood Siddiqui, the Managing Director of OGDCL, with immediate effect. The government also removed Irfan Nasr from the post of managing director of the Government Holding Private Limited (GHPL).

May 06: Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has completed a detailed engineering design and tender documents of the 7,100 megawatt (MW) Bunji hydropower project, and will soon initiate construction of this project.

May 07: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan suffered head and back injuries when he fell from a forklift that was carrying him up on the dais to address a public meeting in Gulberg’s Ghalib Market in Lahore.

May 08: Punjab Board of Technical Education (PBTE) Chairman Dr Muhammad Shafique said the board had digitised its 42 years’ manual record pertaining to 1962 to 2004 as well as made its all functions available online.

May 08: The Federal Ombudsman in a landmark step appointed commissioner to safeguard the rights of the children.

May 08: Ghulam Mohammad Qureshi assumed the charge as Pakistan Railways General Manager Operations.

May 08: A bright student of the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA) ’23-year-old Ahmed Ali from Quetta’ made a stellar performance in the ACCA’s financial management paper in which he remained the best performer globally by scoring 94 marks out of 100. Officially named F9, the passing rate in the financial management paper was only 43 per cent.

May 09: Ali Haider Gilani, a son of former prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, and a candidate for the Punjab Assembly, was kidnapped by gunmen. His two associates were killed in the process.

May 10: The Cervical Cancer-Free Coalition, an American research and advocacy group, released its report on cervical cancer which said an estimated 7,000 women died of the disease every year in Pakistan.

May 10: The president confirmed Justice Iftikhar Husain Shah, Justice Syed Muhammad Kazim Raza Shamsi and Justice Malik Shehzad Ahmad Khan, as judges of the Lahore High Court. Justice Chaudhry Mohammad Younas was given a six months extension.

May 11: President Asif Ali Zardari approved an amendment to election laws, increasing the amount of fine for violation of the code of conduct to a maximum of Rs100,000. Earlier, maximum fine for any violation was Rs1,000.

May 11: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) surprised most pundits by scoring a thumping victory, mainly in Punjab, and is set to form the next federal government. Imran Khan’s PTI also impressed with an impressive performance coming close to becoming the second largest party in the country.

May 11: The government ordered the bureau chief of New York Times in Islamabad to leave the country on the eve of general elections for ‘indulging in undesirable activities’.

May 12: Despite some irregularities and violence at polling stations, the general elections 2013 were ‘relatively fair’ according to preliminary observations of the Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen).

A report released by Fafen Chairman Zahid Islam during a press conference said that in some areas of the country, including parts of Karachi, people were not freely allowed to take part in voting process and in some constituencies women were barred from casting their votes.

May 13: Nawaz Sharif, poised to become prime minister for a third time after a decisive victory in the elections, said that the mistrust which had long dogged relations with India needed to be addressed. He also pledged to strengthen relations with the United States, but called its drone campaign in Pakistan`s tribal region a challenge to national sovereignty.

May 13: Accepting responsibility for PPP’s electoral defeat, former prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, quit the post of the party’s senior vice chairman.

May 14: PML-N president Nawaz Sharif said, ‘We will have a good working relationship with Imran Khan and steer the country out of crisis,’ after visiting the bed-ridden Khan at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital.

May 14: Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Sherry Rehman, resigned following PPP’s defeat in general elections. Ms Rehman who played a crucial role in normalising relations with the US after tense events of 2011-12 tendered her resignation to caretaker Prime Minister.

May 14: The interim government transferred Secretary Interior Javid Iqbal from his office and appointed him as chairman State Life Insurance.

May 14: Ministry of Science and Technology withdrew a petition from the Supreme Court against a renowned scientist, who had cloned locally the cheapest interferon for the poor hepatitis patients, after disgracing him for the years by lodging false cases and inquiries against him.

Quoting the FIA report, the secretary told the bench that the allegations of misappropriation of funds allocated for the invention of the cheapest interferon injection proved false.

May 15: Born on April 1, 1987 in Sabirabad, Karak, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf MPA-elect from PK-40, Karak-I, Gul Sahib Khan Khattak, is the youngest lawmaker among the 99 members who entered the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly as a result of 2013 general election.

Of the 59 new faces, who have made it to the provincial assembly for the first time in 2013 general elections, Gul Sahib is the youngest lawmaker-elect. Tufail Anjum, who has won the election on PTI ticket from PK-29, Mardan-VII, was born in 1985.

Another MPA-elect Babar Khan, who has won the election from the platform of Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP), was born on January 1, 1983.

May 15: Pakistani film ‘Lamha’ won the award for Best Feature Film at the DC South Asian Film Festival 2013 in Washington.

May 15: National Highway Authority’s (NHA) Chairman Hamid Ali Khan was removed. Dr Sajjad Hussain Baloch, who served as chairman of the Gwadar Development Authority, was made the NHA chief.

May 15: Arif Naqvi, the founder and chief executive officer of the Abraaj Group, was chosen as one of the five honourees under the 2013 Oslo Business for Peace Award. Mr Naqvi was given the award at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway.

International

April 16: A long-awaited merger between Swiss commodities trader Glencore with mining giant Xstrata won a green light from China`s regulator, clearing a key final hurdle.

April 16: Three people were dead and more than 140 injured from the twin bomb attack on Boston’s Boylston Street near the endpoint of the city’s famed marathon.

April 16: The New York Times won four Pulitzer Prizes, including two awards for its reporting on the actions of US companies like Apple and Wal-Mart Stores overseas, and another for an examination of the hidden wealth of the Chinese premier’s family.

April 16: Red Cross chief Peter Maurer condemned the US drone strikes outside areas officially engulfed in armed conflict, warning against a creeping expansion of the definition of what constitutes a battlefield.

April 16: Organised crime gangs dealing in fake goods, drugs, human trafficking and the illicit wildlife trade earn nearly $90 billion annually in East Asia and the Pacific, a UN report showed.

April 17: Margaret Thatcher was laid to rest with military pageantry, in a funeral reflecting the polarising impact of Britain’s longest ‘serving post-war prime minister.

Queen Elizabeth II led mourners from the British establishment and 170 different countries in bidding farewell to the Iron Lady.

April 17: Australian High Commissioner Peter Heyward announced that his country will give $4.2 million to the Election Commission of Pakistan for the upcoming general elections.

April 18: A massive explosion at a Texas fertiliser factory killed as many as 15 people, and levelled much of this small Texas town.

April 18: A US warship designed to fight in coastal areas arrived in Singapore for its Southeast Asian deployment, underlining President Barack Obama’s new strategic focus on Asia.

April 19: US lawmakers formally unveiled a sweeping immigration bill.

April 19: Serbia agreed to cede its last remaining foothold in the country`s former province of Kosovo, striking a historic accord to settle relations in exchange for talks on joining the European Union.

April 19: The United States unveiled plans to sell $10 billion worth of advanced missiles and aircraft to Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in a bid to counter the threat posed by Iran.

April 20: A self-styled ‘apostle’ of Hugo Chavez, Nicolas Maduro, who took office of Venezuela’s president on April 19, climbed from humble beginnings as a bus driver to the pinnacle of power in the shadow of his charismatic predecessor.

April 20: Iraqis voted in the country’s first polls since US troops departed.

April 20: A 19-year-old suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings with his older brother was captured by police after a day-long manhunt.

April 21: China accused the United States of human rights violations through military operations abroad and failing to protect its own citizens from gun violence, in a rejoinder to a US rights report.

April 21: A US tycoon, Stephen Schwarzman, founder of investment company Blackstone, pledged to donate $300 million to Beijing’s Tsinghua University to fund a scholarship programme that will recruit students from countries around the world to study in China.

April 22: Paraguayans elected Horacio Cartes, leader of the Colorado Party and one of the country’s richest men, as the President of the country. He won a five-year term with 46 per cent of the vote.

April 22: The speaker of Bangladesh’s parliament Abdul Hamid was elected unopposed as president. Hamid is a 69-year-old stalwart of the ruling Awami League party who has been serving as acting president after the death of his predecessor Zillur Rahman on March 20.

April 23: Human Rights Watch launched a campaign to ban Terminator-style ‘killer robots’ amid fears the rise of drone warfare could lead to machines with the power to make their own decisions about killing humans.

April 23: The French parliament defied months of angry protests by approving a bill that is to make France the 14th country worldwide to legalise same-sex marriages.

April 26: Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s portrait will be featured on a new five-pound note. Bank of England Governor Mervyn King made the announcement.

April 26: New Delhi alleged that Chinese soldiers had advanced nearly 20km into Indian-claimed territory after intruding across the disputed border earlier this month, a report said.

April 27: Ethiopian Airlines became the world’s first carrier to resume flying Boeing Co’s 787 Dreamliner passenger jets, landing the first commercial flight since the global fleet was grounded.

April 27: Nato member Turkey signed up to become a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that is dominated by China and Russia, and declared that its destiny is in Asia. The memorandum of understanding was signed in Kazakhstan’s commercial capital Almaty.

April 28: An unemployed bricklayer shot two Italian policemen in a crowded square outside the premier’s office just as Italy’s new premier, 46-year-old Enrico Letta, was being sworn in.

April 28: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro renewed a strategic alliance with Cuba, signing $1 billion in cooperation agreements two weeks after his election to replace the legendary Hugo Chavez.

April 28: Japan’s former vice finance minister Takehiko Nakao assumed the presidency of the Asian Development Bank. The ADB says Nakao assumed the presidency of the Manila-based regional development lender, succeeding Haruhiko Kuroda, who stepped down in March. Japan, the ADB’s biggest donor, nominated Nakao last month to lead the bank.

April 29: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to renew efforts to find a solution to a decades-long territorial row that has prevented the two sides from signing a World War II peace treaty.

April 29: Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed that his office has received money from the US Central Intelligence Agency over the past decade, with wads of cash reportedly handed over in suitcases and backpacks.

April 30: Over three-quarters of Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia want Sharia courts to decide family law issues such as divorce and property disputes, a new survey says.

April 30: The Netherlands’ Willem-Alexander was sworn-in as Europe’s youngest monarch after his mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicated.

May 01: Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer hauled in $36.6m in pay, bonuses and stock last year after just six months at the helm of the Internet firm. Mayer’s base pay of $454,862 was fattened with a $1.12 million performance bonus and about $35 million in stock.

May 01: President Evo Morales announced the expulsion of USAID from Bolivia, accusing the US development agency of meddling in the country’s internal affairs. The leftist president of South America’s poorest country said the US Agency for International Development was in Bolivia ‘for political purposes, not social ones.’

May 02: Almost 260,000 people, half of them young children, died of hunger during the last famine in Somalia, according to a UN report, with the world body admitting it should have done more to prevent the tragedy.

May 02: A British businessman James McCormick was sentenced to 10 years in jail after a judge described him as having ‘blood on his hands’ for selling fake bomb detectors to Iraq and other countries and endangering lives for profit.

May 03: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra filed a defamation suit against an influential cartoonist, Chai Rachawat, alleging he compared the premier to a prostitute in a Facebook post.

May 03: Internet giant Google recognised the Palestinians’ upgraded UN status, placing the name ‘Palestine’ on its search engine instead of ‘Palestinian Territories’.

May 03: US Secretary of State John Kerry named veteran diplomat James Dobbins, who has served in difficult posts such as Kosovo, to be the new special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

May 04: Japan and Turkey signed a $22 billion contract to build a major nuclear power plant on Turkey’s Black Sea coast, a milestone for the Japanese nuclear industry as it recovers from the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

May 05: According to the final census, India’s total population on March 1, 2011, after an increase of 181.96 million persons during 2001-2011, was 1,210,726,932 or 1.21 billion which is 17.7 per cent more than it was in the last decade; with the growth of females higher than that of males.

May 05: Malaysia’s ruling coalition retained its 56-year hold on power. The Malaysian Election Commission said the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition led by Premier Najib Razak secured 112 parliamentary seats, the threshold required to form a government in the 222-seat chamber.

May 06: Syrian rebels may have used the deadly nerve agent sarin, UN rights investigator Carla del Ponte said, although her team and Washington insisted there was no ‘conclusive’ proof.

May 06: The Pentagon for the first time used its annual report on China to directly assert that Beijing’s government and military have conducted computer-based attacks against the US, including efforts to steal information from federal agencies.

May 07: The worst place in the world to give birth is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a woman has a one in 30 chance of dying as a result-while the best is Finland, where the risk of death is one in 12,200, according to ‘Save the Children mothers’ index’.

May 07: More than 300,000 babies die within 24 hours of being born in India each year from infections and other preventable causes, a report said. India accounts for 29 per cent of all newborn deaths worldwide.

May 07: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a ban on top officials and their families holding foreign accounts in a bid to improve a government image tarnished by a tax scandal and economic slowdown.

May 08: More than 73 million young people are unemployed around the world and the situation is expected to only get worse, the International Labour Organization said.

May 08: The Congress party was set for a resounding election victory in the state of Karnataka, early results showed, a rare win the party hopes will put the wind in its sails ahead of general elections in India.

May 08: Delaware has become the 11th state to approve same-sex marriage, the latest in a string of victories for those working to extend marital rights to gay and lesbian couples. Same-sex couples will be eligible for marriage licenses on July 1. The bill passed the State Senate by a vote of 12 to 9, just five days after a similar decision in Rhode Island.

May 09: British cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking announced his withdrawal from an Israeli conference in Jerusalem, prompting reports that he is supporting an academic boycott on the country.

May 09: An Arab-backed resolution calling for a political transition in Syria and strongly condemning the regime’s escalating use of heavy weapons and ‘gross violations’ of human rights was circulated to the 193-member UN General Assembly.

May 10: More than 100 of Britain’s richest people have been caught hiding billions of pounds in secretive offshore havens, sparking an unprecedented global tax evasion investigation.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) warned those involved, who were named in offshore data first offered to the authorities by a whistleblower in 2009, that they will face ‘criminal prosecution or significant penalties’ if they do not voluntarily disclose their tax irregularities.

May 10: India’s Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal were forced to quit over separate charges of corruption.

May 13: The latest weapon in the UN’s fight against hunger, global warming and pollution might be flying by you right now.

Edible insects are being promoted as a low-fat, high-protein food for people, pets and livestock. According to the UN, they come with appetising side benefits:
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and livestock pollution, creating jobs in developing countries and feeding the millions of hungry people in the world. S o m e edible insect information in bitesized form:

May 13: Four-star US General Philip Breedlove assumed command of NATO, promising to bolster the 28-member military alliance as it prepares for a difficult withdrawal from Afghanistan next year.

May 14: British Prime Minister David Cameron bowed to pressure from his restive Conservative party and published a bill to hold a referendum on membership of the European Union.

May 14: Russia expelled a US diplomat after saying he had been caught red-handed with disguises, special equipment and wads of cash as he tried to recruit a Russian intelligence agent to work for the CIA.

May 14: The US Navy successfully launched an unmanned plane off the deck of an aircraft carrier for the first time, in what officials called a breakthrough for robotic aviation.

The bat-winged X-47B drone took to the air after being launched by a catapult aboard the George H. W. Bush aircraft carrier off the coast of Virginia.

May 14: Former President Joseph Estrada was proclaimed as the new mayor of the Philippine capital, Manila, his first elected post since he was ousted in an anti-corruption revolt 12 years ago.

May 15: ‘Domplatz, Mailand’, a monumental 20th century masterpiece by German artist Gerhard Richter, was sold for $37 million at a New York City auction setting a record for any living artist.

May 15: Various nations and international organisations pledged 3.25 billion euros ($4.22bn) to help reconstruct the conflict-ridden West African nation Mali. The donors’ conference was held in Brussels.

May 15: The International Atomic Energy Agency said that a 10th round of talks with Iran over Tehran’s alleged efforts to develop nuclear weapons had failed.

May 15: The Arctic Council agreed to admit emerging powers China and India as observers, reflecting growing global interest in the trade and energy potential of the planet’s far north.

SPORTS

April 17: Punjab with 159 points won the three-day 11th National Women Cycling Championship.

April 17: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected appeals against spot fixing bans filed by disgraced former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif.

April 18: Brendan Taylor carved his way to a career best score as Zimbabwe posted 389 in their first innings on day two of the first Test against Bangladesh at the Harare Sports Club.

April 18: The ICC allocated $422,000 to develop the National Cricket Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan; a financial boost to develop the sport in the war-ravaged nation.

April 19: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL) annexed the President’s Cup One-day title after securing a comfortable 32-run victory over Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) in the final.

April 20: Zimbabwe bowled Bangladesh out for 147 to complete a massive 335-run victory.
The winning margin was Zimbabwe’s biggest in terms of runs and almost double their previous best of 183 achieved against the same opposition and at the same venue in 2004.

April 20: Shah Hussain Shah clinched bronze medal in Asian Senior Judo championship, at Bangkok, Thailand.

April 21: Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge won the Hamburg Marathon in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 30 seconds breaking the previous course record of 2:05:58 set last year by Shami Dawit of Ethiopia. Diana Lobacevske of Lithuania took the women’s title.

April 21: Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez notched a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Austin Trout to unify the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA) light middleweight titles.

April 21: Rafael Nadal’s eight-year reign at the Monte Carlo Masters was ended when he was beaten by Novak Djokovic in the final. The Spaniard, who is the first player to win the same tournament eight times in a row, had enjoyed a 46-match winning streak.

April 21: Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede and Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya triumphed at a sombre London Marathon, as runners paid tribute to the victims of the deadly bomb attacks at the Boston Marathon.

April 22: The 20-year-old Spaniard Marc Marquez won the Grand Prix of the Americas, becoming the youngest rider to win a race in the sport’s elite MotoGP series.

April 23: ICC chief executive David Richardson urged disgraced Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif to accept their guilt and share information on fixing to start their rehabilitation.

April 23: New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was named as the winner of the Sixth Man of the Year award as the top reserve in the 2012-13 NBA season.

April 26: Pakistan Test leg-spinner Danish Kaneria lost his appeal against being found guilty of spot-fixing.

April 27: Faisal Sabzwari was elected as the new president of the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA).

April 28: Danny Garcia won a hard-fought unanimous decision over veteran Zab Judha to retain his WBA Super, WBC and Ring Magazine light-welterweight titles.

April 28: Amir Khan came back from a knockdown to beat a fast-finishing Julio Diaz by unanimous decision at Motorpoint Arena.

April 28: Rafael Nadal won his eighth Barcelona Open title in nine years with a victory over fellow Spaniard and fourth seed Nicolas Almagro.

April 28: Briton Chris Froome increased his prospects of a maiden Tour de France title by winning the Tour de Romandie stage race in solid fashion.

April 29: World number one Park In-Bee drained a birdie putt at the final hole to win the inaugural North Texas LPGA, Shootout, holding off Spain’s Carlota Ciganda by one stroke. Park claimed the sixth LPGA title of her career and her third this year.

April 30: Former FIFA President Joao Havelange resigned as honorary president of football’s governing body in a World Cup bribery case.

April 30: Former international cricketer Masood Anwar was among the five elected as the members of the Board of Governors (BOG) of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

May 02: Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gareth Bale was named England’s Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association (FWA).

May 02: Bahrain royal family member Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa became the top figure in the Asian football when he was elected the president of Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

May 03: Afghanistan’s Saleh Mohammad outplayed Syrian Omar Al Kojah in the final of the 29th Jubilee Insurance Asian Snooker Championship to land his maiden crown. Saleh remained unbeaten in the event.

May 05: The Swiss ace Stanislas Wawrinka won his first title since 2011 as he upset top seed David Ferrer to claim the title at the Portugal Open.

May 05: US sprinter Tyson Gay laid down an impressive early-season marker, winning the 100 metres at the Jamaica Invitational athletics meeting in 9.86 seconds.

May 05: Aamir Atlas Khan ended Pakistan’s fourteen-year Asian title drought when he won the men’s final at the 17th Asian Individual Squash Championship. Aamir defeated Kuwait’s Abdullah Al-Muzayne in the final of the continental event played every two years. Pakistan last won the event in 1998 when Zarak Jahan Khan defeated Kenneth Low of Malaysia.

May 06: Begum Ishrat Ashraf and Salman Iqbal Butt were elected president and secretary of the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) in place of Akram Sahi and Mohammad Zafar.

May 06: Nepal won the World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 held in Bermuda, beating Uganda, the group toppers in the round-robin stage, in the final.

May 07: Ronnie O’Sullivan outclassed Barry Hawkins to win his fifth world snooker championship and become only the third man to claim back-to-back titles at the Crucible Theatre.

May 07: Liborio Solis of Venezuela pounded out a points win over defending champion Kohei Kono of Japan to claim the World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight title.

May 08: Vusi Sibanda’s second century guided Zimbabwe to a rare series victory as they beat Bangladesh by seven wickets in the third One-day International.

May 08: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Board of Governors unanimously elected Chaudhry Muhammad Zaka Ashraf as chairman of the PCB for the next term of four years. It was for the first time in Pakistan cricket history that the PCB chief was an elected one.

May 08: Singapore won the right to host the showpiece WTA Championships from 2014 in a record five-year deal. The wealthy Southeast Asian city-state beat rival bids from China’s Tianjin and Monterrey in Mexico for the season finale, which next year will boast a purse of $6.5 million, its largest ever.

May 09: Colin Montgomerie was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Scot is the most successful British golfer in European Tour history, winning the Order of Merit eight times, including seven in a row between 1993 and 1999, and winning 31 events on tour.

May 11: Australia’s Royal Melbourne Golf Club will host this year’s edition of the World Cup of Golf, which has been played in China since 2007.

May 12: Alex Ferguson thanked Manchester United’s supporters and urged them to stand behind his successor, David Moyes, after an emotional final home game as manager at Old Trafford.

May 12: Rafael Nadal claimed a fifth title since his return from injury when the Spanish world number five dismissed 15th-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka to win the Madrid Masters title.

Everyday Science

April 16: An American researcher working in South Sudan identified a new genus of bat, with badger-like strips and a protruding snout.

April 17: Light captured from when the Universe was still in its childhood has shown a massive galaxy that churned out nearly 3,000 stars per year, a rate 2,000 greater than our own Milky Way today, astronomers said. The galaxy, called HFLS3, has a mass of stars nearly 40 billion times the mass of the Sun.

April 18: Using a potent NASA space telescope to scan the skies for planets like ours where life may exist, astronomers found the most Earth-like candidates. Two of the five planets orbiting a Sun-like star called Kepler-62 are squarely in the habitable zone’ not too hot, not too cold and possibly bearing water, NASA scientists reported.

April 20: University of Chicago researchers have created a synthetic compound that mimics the complex quantum dynamics observed in photosynthesis and may enable fundamentally new routes to creating solar-energy technologies.

April 21: Clothes that change their colour and shape depending on the wearer’s movement are being developed by researchers at a Canadian university. The project ‘ dubbed Karma Chameleon’ involves weaving electronic fabric into clothes in a way that allows the storage of energy from the body.

April 22: US manufacturer Orbital Sciences launched its first Antares rocket, paving the way for a demonstration flight to the International Space Station within months.

April 23: Inadequate levels of vitamin D may increase the risk for uterine fibroids, a new study reports. Vitamin D has been associated with reduced risk for various diseases, but this is the first to examine the connection to fibroids.

April 27: New measurements suggest the Earth’s inner core is far hotter than prior experiments suggested, putting it at 6,000°C as hot as the Sun’s surface. The solid iron core is actually crystalline, surrounded by liquid.

April 27: A hybrid farmland grass, developed by a team of UK researchers, could help reduce flooding, a study has shown. A team of plant and soil scientists said tests showed the new cultivar reduced run-off by 51 per cent, compared with a variety widely used to feed livestock.

April 30: The first peregrine falcons to be born in Paris since the end of the 19th century hatched at the top of a giant heating tower close to the Eiffel Tower. The species had come close to extinction in France.

May 01: IBM scientists unveiled what they called ‘the world’s smallest movie,’ which tracks the movement of atoms magnified 100 million times.
The film, ‘A Boy and His Atom,’ depicts a character named Atom who befriends a single atom and follows him on a journey of dancing and bouncing that helps explain the science behind data storage.

May 03: A solar-powered airplane, dubbed the Solar Impulse, which developers hope to eventually pilot around the world took off early from San Francisco Bay on the first leg of an attempt to fly across the United States with no fuel but the sun’s energy.

The plane departed from Moffett Field, a joint civil-military airport near the south end of San Francisco, heading first to Phoenix on a slow-speed flight expected to take 15 to 20 hours.

May 04: NASA is inviting members of the public to submit their names and a personal message online for a DVD to be carried aboard a spacecraft that will study the Martian upper atmosphere.

The DVD will be in NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch in November.

May 06: Millions of birds that stop at coastal wetlands during annual migrations could die as rising sea levels and land reclamation wipe out their feeding grounds, researchers warned.

May 10: Traces of water inside the moon were inherited from ancient Earth, a fresh analysis of lunar rocks has found. The findings make for a clearer picture of our cosmic neighbour, once viewed as an arid expanse, but now considered a frost-coated rock that holds water throughout.

May 10: The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has broken above 400 parts per million for the first time in human history, indicating that climate change has reached a new high.

May 13: According to new research, so-called junk DNA, the vast majority of the genome that doesn’t code for proteins, really isn’t needed for a healthy organism.

At least for a plant, junk DNA really is just it’s not required, said study co-author Victor Albert, a molecular evolutionary biologist at the University of Buffalo in New York.

May 15: A warming climate is melting the glaciers of Mount Everest, shrinking the frozen cloak of Earth’s highest peak by 13 per cent in the last 50 years, researchers have found.

Economy

April 16: The Federal Board of Revenue constituted two task forces to work out modalities for increasing revenue and enhancing efficiency within the tax machinery.

The first task force would be headed by deputy chairman, Inland Revenue Service (IRS), and would have five members while the second task force will be headed by deputy chairman of customs.

April 20: The Group of 20 economic powers pledged ‘ambitious’ steps to spur growth and job creation to get the crisis-scarred global economy back on track.
Talks focused much on the stagnation in Europe, the financial leaders of the world’s biggest economies said the major crises had been overcome but growth was ‘too weak’ and unemployment ‘too high.’

April 20: Japan won its bid to enter talks on a massive Pacific trade pact after winning over its last opponent, Canada, for a proposed agreement that would account for more than 40 per cent of the global economy.

April 20: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reached a framework agreement with Tunisia on a two-year, $1.75 billion standby loan deal.

April 20: Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades unveiled a package of measures aimed at keeping Cypriots in employment as the massive costs of a Eurozone bailout deliver a huge blow to the island’s economy.

April 22: A division bench of the High Court of Sindh restrained the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and its subordinate officers from recovering over Rs60 million sales tax from a textile company.

April 24: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) approved draft Pharmaceutical Industry Cost Accounting Records Order, 2013 to standardise the cost accounting procedures in pharma industry as per international requirements.

April 26: The federal government appointed Tahir Mahmood as acting chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

April 29: The overall sales volume of medicines in the country swelled to Rs.192.9 billion in 2012 from Rs.123bn in 2009, with the pharmaceutical industry growing at a cumulative annual growth rate of 16.12 per cent.

April 29: Pakistani national and Doha Bank executive Raheela Khan was named a 2013 Yale World Fellow, Yale University President Richad C. Levin announced.

May 02: Japan and the United Arab Emirates signed a nuclear cooperation agreement during a visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

May 04: The Asian Development Bank is facing a funding crunch as the lending agency struggles to reduce widespread poverty in emerging market nations and improve ramshackle infrastructure, India warned.

The Asia-Pacific region, despite boasting the world’s fastest-growing economies, is still home to around two-thirds of the world’s poor, with some 1.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day.

May 07: The size of Pakistan’s economy decreased by Rs600 billion during the outgoing financial year as it stood at Rs. 22.909 trillion compared to the earlier official projection of Rs. 23.5 trillion in the aftermath of rebasing of economy from 1999-2000 to 2005-06.

May 07: A currency swap arrangement (CSA) between the State Bank of Pakistan and People’s Bank of China (PBoC) was implemented, the central bank said.

The swap agreement amounts to Chinese Yuan (CNY) 10 billion ($1.62bn) and Rs140 billion ($1.45bn).

May 08: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) decided to establish a shariah advisory board to cater to the growing market demand for this segment.

The board would be the central advisory body to the SECP and would have the mandate to guide Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) and Islamic Capital Markets in their transactions to make them in accordance with the principles of Shariah.

May 08: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) agreed to invest $99.1 million to improve water supply, sanitation, and solid waste management facilitates in eight cities in Sindh.

The investment was made under the ‘Sindh Cities Improvement Investment Program (SCIIP) Tranche 2 which aims to provide urban utility services to more than 6m residents in eight towns in north Sindh including Jacobabad, Gothki, Khairpur, Larkana, New Sukkur, Rohri, Shikarpur, and Sukkur.

May 08: Roberto Azevedo of Brazil was named to take the helm of the World Trade Organisation as it struggles to revive stalled talks on liberalising global commerce and to help develop poorer nations.

May 08: Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) to jointly pursue a generation project of up to 600 megawatts as a mark of cooperation between the two companies on the development of one of the largest coal reserves around the world in Thar.

May 10: Stocks posted massive gains for the third day in a row with the KSE-100 index up by 255 points to settle at new all-time high of 19,916 points.
Foreign portfolio inflow amounted to $4.08 million. From January to-date, foreigners have bought $198m worth of Pakistani stocks.

May 11: The Group of Seven top economies is committed to ‘nurturing’ world economic recovery, British finance minister George Osborne said following a meeting of the international body that also pledged to further slash countries’ huge public deficits.

May 13: The Karachi stock market hit an all-time high following Nawaz Sharif’s strong victory in landmark elections, which revived hopes the steel tycoon’s pro-business agenda could spark an economic revival.

The benchmark index of top 100 shares rose by 1.65 per cent to 20,244 points, surpassing the 20,000 mark for the first time.

May 13: China’s shadow banking activities have risen nearly 70 per cent over the past two years and now total more than half the size of the world’s second largest economy, ratings agency Moody`s said.

May 14: Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso extended services of Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Ansar Javed till June 30, 2013.

May 15: Wazir Ali Khoja was removed from his post of Managing Director National Investment Trust (NIT) by the Finance Division (Investment Wing) of the government.


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