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World in Focus (Jul-Aug 2019)

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National

July 16: World Health Organisation (WHO), during a meeting with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, recommended patient safety standards for Pakistan.

July 16: Pakistan fully reopened its airspace for all civilian traffic, following months of restrictions imposed in the wake of a standoff with India in February.

July 16: The State Bank of Pakistan announced a hike of one percentage point in the key policy discount rate, brings it to 13.25pc.

July 16: Veteran poet, broadcaster, playwright, prose writer, teacher and journalist Himayat Ali Shaer passed away. He was 93.

July 17: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) awarded veteran journalist Zaffar Abbas with the 2019 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award for “extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom”.

July 17: The prestigious CPJ’s Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award – previously known as the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award – was renamed in 2017 to honor a former board member who passed away in 2016.

July 17: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) rejected India’s request for acquittal, release and return of Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian serving naval commander sentenced by Pakistan on charges of espionage and terrorism, but asked Islamabad to provide him consular access under the Vienna Convention.

July 17: Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was arrested in a terror financing case.

July 17: The federal government decided to impose a ban on export of wheat and wheat flour.

July 17: Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasir Hamayun Sarfraz has announced to abolish the two-year conventional BA/BSc degree, replacing it with two-year market-oriented Associate Degree (AD) programme in the public and private colleges.

July 17: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) directed the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to freeze shareholdings of Shahbaz Sharif and his sons in 14 companies registered with the SECP.

July 18: NAB arrested former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in a corruption case pertaining to a multi-billion LNG deal.

July 18: Pakistan informed convicted Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav that he will be granted consular access as directed by the International Court of Justice.

July 18: In a meeting held at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, Pakistan and Iran decided to manage more than 900km common border with some ‘appropriate’ measures included physical installations such as fencing.

July 18: The SECP issued its Search and Seizure Rules 2019. The rules are part of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements to document the economy and expand Pakistan’s tax base.

July 18: Allama Munir Ahmad Yousufi, a well-known religious scholar and patron-in-chief of Anjuman Ashaat-e-Deen and Nageena Welfare Society, passed away.

July 19: An accountability court rejected an application filed by NAB seeking initiation of proceedings against maryam Nawaz for submitting a ‘fake’ trust deed in the Avenfield Properties reference.

July 19: France signed a credit facility agreement with Pakistan to finance rehabilitation of Chitral and Dargai hydel power stations. Under the agreement, the French Development Agency (AfD) will provide 50.02 million euros, including a 0.2m euro grant for the project.

July 19: Portfolio of Punjab information minister Samsam Bukhari and five other ministers were withdrawn.

July 19: Pakistan’s star female cricketer Sana Mir was included in the ICC Women’s Committee as one of the three current player representatives.

July 19: Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, a wartime commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), resigned after being called as a suspect before a war crimes court in The Hague.

July 20: The first-ever provincial elections in the seven tribal districts and six towns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were held.

July 20: Defending champions Sri Lanka retained their West Asia Cup Baseball title after sealing a thrilling 5-4 win over Pakistan in the final.

July 20: The Punjab cabinet gave approval to restoration of the Fix Daily Allowance of the Punjab Police frozen since 2005 with the average of 2013.

July 21: Independent candidates dominated the historic provincial assembly elections in the seven tribal districts of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) by securing six of the 16 general seats, while the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) grabbed five seats.

July 22: Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan met US President Donald Trump at the White House. While addressing a joint news conference, the President Trump expressed his willingness to mediate between India and Pakistan to resolve the 70-year-old Kashmir dispute, if both the neighbouring countries asked him for it.

July 22: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passed the bill for increasing the retirement age for government servants to 63 years.

July 22: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) constituted a separate unit to ensure effective and timely compliance of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan to curb terror funding. Babar Bakht Qureshi, an officer from the Police Service of Pakistan, was made director of the FATF task force in the FIA.

July 23: PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani was appointed the Chairperson of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Financial and Commercial Affairs Committee (F&CA).

July 23: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) revised the valuation tables for taxation of property in 20 cities including the federal and provincial capitals and Gwadar.

July 23: The government appointed Shahbaz Jameel the president and chief executive officer of the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

July 23: Former hockey Olympian and international athlete Khawaja Muhammad Aslam, father of another Olympian Khawaja Junaid, died at the age of 97.

July 24: Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa held talks with his American counterparts, during which regional security situation and bilateral military cooperation between the two countries dominated. The army chief also met US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

July 25: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry announced that Pakistan will send its “first person to space” in 2022.

July 25: The FBR established a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) cell to ensure an effective and timely implementation of measures against terror financing carried out through currency smuggling.

July 25: An anti-terrorism court awarded 308 years in imprisonment to Ghulam Rasool alias Chhotu, and others gangsters Numan and Sher Khan were awarded 299/298 years jail terms.

July 25: The biomechanical lab at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) was accredited by the International Cricket Council as a testing centre for suspected illegal bowling actions, becoming the first such facility in Pakistan.

July 26: Pakistan and Germany signed an agreement under the Pakistan-Germany Development Programme for financial assistance of €22.4 million for existing projects of renewable energy, better grid connections and improved access to financial services through the microfinance initiative of the Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC).

July 26: Begum Shamim Khan, widow of former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan and founding father of Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (GIK), passed away at the age of 83.

July 26: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from Test cricket.

July 26: President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Prime Minister Imran Khan and the two leaders discussed bilateral ties and developments in the region, including India-held Kashmir and the ongoing efforts for Afghan peace.

July 26: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi was unanimously elected as one of the four vice presidents of the Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc), the economic arm of the UN.

July 26: The United Nations put Pakistan on the list of 11 countries which have the highest prevalence of the disease — 13 percent — in its latest report.

July 27: A leading university of Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTC) in Changsha, Hunan province, announced to name its new research centre after Pakistan’s known scientist and academician Prof Dr Attaur-Rahman.

July 27: The Punjab government announced its decision to revert to Urdu as medium of instruction at the primary level in public schools from the next academic session beginning in March 2020.

July 27: The United States approved $125 million for Pakistan to provide technical support to its fleet of F-16 aircraft, practically ending a freeze on military assistance to the country.

July 27: A team of the Lahore city district government, headed by Assistant Commissioner Zeeshan Nasrullah, took possession of about five-kanal house belonging to former finance minister Ishaq Dar at the request of NAB.

July 28: According to the World Traffic Index 2019 report, there is a clear decrease in travelling time, increase in traffic rules compliance, an improvement in road safety awareness among citizens and reduction of head injury cases during traffic accidents in Lahore. According to an international survey, the provincial capital ranked 82nd among 208 countries in the list of fastest commuters during June 2019.

July 28: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) set up a Model Study Centre at Kharan, Balochistan, in a house donated by the Chief Justice of Federal Shariat Court (FSC), Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzi.

July 29: The fans voted Pakistan’s 12-run win over India at Chennai in January 1999 as the greatest match in the country’s 432-Test history.

July 30: Punjab University announced the top position holders of BA/BSc Annual Examination 2019, according to which, BSc student Noshaba Zafar got overall first position and obtained record 714 marks.

July 30: At least 17 people lost their lives when a military aircraft crashed into a populated area in the suburbs of Rawalpindi.

July 30: An accountability court approved a plea bargain worth Rs2.12 billion between suspects linked to Sindh Nooriabad Power project company and NAB.

July 31: The federal government appointed Raja Shahbaz Khan as Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of Gilgit-Baltistan.

July 31: The government appointed Tauseef H. Farooqi Chairman of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) for a term of four years. Since November 20, 2018, the slot was vacant upon maturity of the term of former chairman Brig (r) Tariq Saddozai.

July 31: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the government of Pakistan, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the Sustainable Housing Solutions on the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme.

July 31: The FBR notified the structure of the anti-benami regime to deal with white-collar crime in the country.

Aug 01: The FBR created a post of Director General (DG) Anti-Benami Initiative (ABI) with the claim to ensure efficient and effective implementation of the law.

Aug 01: Senate Chair­man Sadiq Sanjrani survived a crucial no-trust vote with as many as 14 members of the opposition parties ditching the party leadership.

Aug 01: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government removed its Advocate General Abdul Lateef Yousafzai and appointed lawyer Shumail Ahmad Butt his successor.

Aug 02: The government appointed Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, a grade 22 officer of PAS, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission (DCPC).

Aug 02: Pakistan’s Mahoor Shahzad made history as she became the country’s first woman badminton player to break into the top 150 in world rankings.

Aug 03: A model court in Karachi used videoconferencing technology to record the testimony of a 90-year-old witness who could not appear before the court due to her illness in a murder-cum-robbery case.

Aug 03: Mohammad Asif defeated Mubashir Raza to regain the title in the 11th National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) ranking snooker championship.

Aug 04: A special meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) was held. The NSC warned the world that India’s irrational actions could destabilise the region, and vowed to firmly respond to any act of Indian aggression.

Aug 04: Sindh Governor Imran Ismail administered oath to four new ministers Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Abdul Bari Pitafi, Ikram Dharejo and Sohail Anwar Siyal.

Aug 04: The Aga Khan University (AKU) was ranked among the world’s top 100 universities for clinical medicine and among the top 200 for public health in the latest ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Aug 04: The Youm-i-Shuhada for the police martyrs was observed.

Aug 04: Pakistani gamer Arslan “Ash” Siddiqui won the Tekken 7 Championship at the Evolution Championship Series — or Evo 2019 tournament — held in Las Vegas, USA, becoming the first national player in the history to do so.

Aug 05: Pakistan vowed to go all out to counter the illegal Indian action of ending the autonomous status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir as Prime Minister Imran Khan started reaching out to world leaders to take them into confidence on the implications of Delhi’s move for regional peace and stability.

Aug 05: The Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) imposed a ban on the use of comp­re­ssed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by all public service vehicles (PSVs), including school vans, to ensure “safety of public life and property”.

Aug 05: Defending champions National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) defeated Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) to win the title for an overall fifth time at the 65th retired Air Marshal Nur Khan National Hockey Championship.

Aug 05: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) named former Olympian Khawaja Muhammad Junaid as manager-cum-chief coach of the Pakistan hockey team.

Aug 06: The government  constituted a seven-member committee to probe Reko Diq fiasco and identify those responsible for imposition of massive $6 billion penalty against Pakistan by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Aug 06: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) shifted its hub for international flights from Karachi to Islamabad.

Aug 06: COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa affirmed the Pakistan Army’s support to Kashmiris in their struggle for freedom and said they were prepared to go to “any extent to fulfill their obligations” in this regard.

Aug 06: Ali Salman Siddique, former member of Punjab Assembly (MPA) and National Assembly ticket holder of PTI from Sheikhupura, was appointed Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (Tevta) chairman.

Aug 07: Pakistan’s top national security body, the NSC decided to downgrade diplomatic ties with India and suspend bilateral trade in response to New Delhi’s move to annex Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Aug 07: NAB took former finance minister Dr Miftah Ismail and former Pakistan State Oil managing director Sheikh Imranul Haque into custody after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected their applications for extension in pre-arrest bail in the LNG import scam.

Aug 07: The United States informed Pakistan that it has removed a 25-mile travel ban and other restrictions imposed last year on Pakistani diplomats and diplomatic staff stationed in the country.

Aug 07: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $500 million loan agreement with Pakistan to support first phase of the Trade and Competitiveness Programme in the country.

Aug 07: The SBP decided to introduce a Modaraba-based Islamic Refinance Scheme for working capital financing of small and low-end medium enterprises.

Aug 08: The National Development Council (NDC) approved the constitution of CPEC Authority for ensuring fast track implementation of CPEC projects.

Aug 08: Pakistan closed Samjhauta Express train service with India.

Aug 08: The new Pakistan envoy to the UAE Ghulam Dastagir begun his assignment at Pakistan Embassy Abu Dhabi.

Aug 08: Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and vice president of PML-N, and her cousin Yousuf Abbas were arrested by NAB in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

Aug 08: The Supreme Court rejected a petition seeking review of its Jan 23 verdict of restoring the five-year sentence awarded to Shah Hussain by a sessions judge of Lahore on March 30 last year.

Aug 09: The Balochistan government announced its first mineral policy.

Aug 09: The Federal Cabinet approved replacing Farrukh Sabzwari with Aamir Khan as chairman SECP, for a period of three years and appointed Syed Masoud Ali Naqvi chairman of the SECP Policy Board in place of Khalid Mirza.

Aug 13: PHF submitted the first instalment of fifteen thousand dollars through Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) to International Hockey Federation (FIH) as a fine for pulling out of the Pro Hockey League at the eleventh hour.

Aug 14: Pakistan’s Indepen­dence Day was observed as ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ to express solidarity with Kashmiris and highlight their plight.

Aug 14: Ejaz Sanjrani, the younger brother of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, was appointed special assistant to the chief minister of Balochistan.

Aug 14: President Arif Alvi allowed grant of military awards and commendation certificates to 578 officers and soldiers of Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force. The PAF pilots who shot down two Indian fighter jets in the post-Pulwama aggression at the Line of Control in February were prominent among the recipients of the awards.

Aug 15: Pakistan’s ICC’s elite panel umpire, Aleem Dar equalled West Indies’ Steve Bucknor’s record of officiating the most number of Test matches which is 128.

 International

July 16: Francois de Rugy, a senior French cabinet minister and close ally of French President Emmanuel Macron resigned.

July 16: International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde announced her resignation.

July 16: German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen was elected president of the European Commission.

July 17: The United States banned visits by Myanmar’s army chief and three other top officers due to their role in the “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya minority.

July 17: The divisive final season of “Game of Thrones” smashed the record for most Prime time Emmy nominations by a drama series in a single year, earning a whopping 32 nods.

July 17: Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was once one of the world’s most powerful and notorious criminals, was jailed for life.

July 18: At least 33 people were dead and dozens injured after a man set fire to an animation studio in the Japanese city of Kyoto.

July 18: The US House voted to block $8.1 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other allies.

July 18: Pope Francis appointed British-born Matteo Bruni a new Vatican spokesman.

July 18: The International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended Zimbabwe Cricket with immediate effect.

July 19: Benjamin Netanyahu  became Israel‘s longest-serving prime minister, snatching the title from the country’s founding father and first leader, David Ben-Gurion.

July 19: French President Emmanuel Macron announced the creation of a space command within France’s air force.

July 19: Agnes Heller, a prominent Hungarian philosopher and dissident who repeatedly found herself unwelcome in her own country, died.

July 19: India’s batting icon Sachin Tendulkar, South Africa’s pace bowling legend Allan Donald and former Australia woman fast bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick were inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

July 19: The Dutch government accepted that the state was partially liable for the deaths in 1995 of 350 Muslim males who were expelled from a UN base and killed by Bosnian Serb forces at Srebrenica.

July 20: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman approved hosting US forces in the Kingdom to boost regional security and stability.

July 20: Algeria won the African Cup of Nations for the first time in nearly three decades, beating Senegal in the final.

July 20: Veteran Indian politician Sheila Dikshit, New Delhi’s longest-serving chief minister, died. She was 81.

July 21: Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage activist whose Friday school strikes protesting government inaction over climate change helped sparked a worldwide movement, received the Freedom Prize in France.

July 21: China’s Li Na became the first Asian-born player to be inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame.

July 21: The world AIDS conference opened in Mexico City.

July 21: Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao became the oldest welterweight champion in boxing history with a victory over WBA champion Keith Thurman.

July 22: India launched a rocket into space in an attempt to safely land a rover on the moon, its most ambitious mission yet in the effort to establish itself as a low-cost space power.

July 22: Australia retained the women’s Ashes after the only test match in the series ended in a draw.

July 22: Australia’s Peter McNamara, who won three doubles Grand Slam titles and became a prominent coach after hanging up his racquet, died at the age of 64.

July 23: The former Chinese premier Li Peng, reviled by rights activists and many in the Chinese capital as the “Butcher of Beijing” for his role in the crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests, died.

July 23: Lithuania’s centre-left Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis won a confidence vote.

July 23: Russia carried out its first long-range joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific region with China.

July 23: The United States Senate confirmed former soldier Mark Esper as secretary of defence.

July 24: Boris Johnson took over as Britain’s new prime minister, vowing to get a new deal to leave the European Union on October 31 — or exit without one.

July 24: Hungarian teenager Kristof Milak shattered Michael Phelps’ 10-year-old world record in the 200-metre butterfly.

July 24: US regulators slapped a record $5 billion fine on Facebook for privacy violations.

July 24: Boris Johnson appointed Sajid Javid Britain’s new treasury chief, one of the most senior jobs in cabinet.

July 25: Nalini Sriharan, India’s longest-serving female prisoner, who was convicted over the assassination of former prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, walked out of prison on a 30-day parole to arrange her daughter’s marriage.

July 25: Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, the North African country’s first leader elected in nationwide polls, died at the age of 92.

July 25: The US government announced to resume its use of capital punishment after a 16-year hiatus.

July 25: Malaysia restarted a $10-billion, China-backed rail project that is part of Beijing’s global infrastructure drive following its suspension last year.

July 25: North Korea test-fired two new short-range missiles.

July 25: President Donald Trump vetoed three congressional resolutions barring billions of dollars in weapons sales to countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

July 26: Bryan Magee, a philosopher, writer and broadcaster who sought to bring philosophy to a mass audience in Britain through radio and television, died. He was 89.

July 27: The US Supreme Court ruled in favour of President Donald Trump, allowing him to proceed with plans to divert billions of dollars in Pentagon funds towards construction of his border wall with Mexico.

July 28: An Italian coastguard vessel “The Gregoretti,” stranded in the Mediterranean with more than 130 migrants aboard was allowed to dock in the Sicilian port of Augusta.

July 28: Interpol refused Red Corner Notice against Dr Zakir Naik instructing all Interpol offices to delete all files and information on the Indian Islamic preacher.

July 28: The Indian government deployed an additional 10,000 paramilitary troops to the Indian-occupied Kashmir.

July 29: Egan Bernal became the first Colombian to win the Tour de France. The 22-year-old Bernal is the youngest rider to win the race in 110 years.

July 29: Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad smashed one of athletics’ oldest world records when she stormed to the women’s 400-metre hurdles title in 52.20 seconds.

July 29: King Salman’s elder brother Prince Bandar bin Abdulaziz al-Saud died at the age of 96. The prince was the eldest surviving son of Saudi Arabia’s founding monarch, King Abdulaziz.

July 29: India inked around Rs1,500 crore deal with Russia to acquire R-27 air-to-air missiles.

July 30: Sri Lanka’s Muslim ministers who resigned en masse in the wake of the deadly Easter Sunday bombings rejoined the government.

July 30: Malaysia’s sports-loving Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was installed as the country’s 16th king under a unique rotating monarchy system.

July 30: The United Nations reported that at least 3,812 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first half of 2019 in the war against militant groups, including a big increase in the number of casualties caused by government and foreign forces.

July 30: Indian lawmakers approved a bill to end the Muslim practice of instant divorce.

July 31: Authorities in Southern India recovered the body of coffee baron V. G. Siddhartha floating in a river, two days after his disappearance.

July 31: Israel gave rare approval to Palestinian homes in the part of the occupied West Bank it fully controls.

July 31: Pyongyang fired two ballistic missiles, days after a similar launch that the nuclear-armed North described as a warning to the South over planned joint military drills with the United States.

July 31: Authorities in the Chinese capital ordered halal restaurants and food stalls to remove Arabic script and symbols associated with Islam from their signs, part of an expanding national effort to “Sinicize” its Muslim population.

Aug 01: Japan’s parliament opened a special session with its most diverse upper house yet, including more women, two severely-disabled members and the first openly gay male lawmaker.

Aug 01: Teenager Khadijah Mellah created history by becoming the first Muslim woman to ride in a British race.

Aug 01: Indian authorities arrested former vice president of the Maldives, Ahmed Adeeb, for illegally entering the country after he arrived on a tugboat in the southern Indian port city of Thoothukudi. Adeeb was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2016 for allegedly plotting to assassinate the then-president Abdulla Yameen. He was also convicted of corruption and terrorism and faced a total of sentence of 33 years.

Aug 01: US Intelligence officials revealed that al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza has died.

Aug 01: The United States imposed sanctions against Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, effectively slamming the door on the country’s top diplomat.

Aug 02: The United States and Russia ripped up a Cold War-era missile pact, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty of 1987, in a move that raised the spectre of an arms race between the global powers.

Aug 02: India deployed over 28,000 more paramilitary troops in Occupied Kashmir to suppress the Kashmiris’ ongoing struggle for securing freedom from its illegal occupation.

Aug 02: Hungary’s David Kovari broke a Guinness World Record when he got on his bicycle and visited seven countries in a 24-hour span. He passed through Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia in a single trip of about 310 miles.

The previous record of six countries was set by German cyclist Michael Moll.

Aug 02: The founder of a banned Hong Kong independence party, Andy Chan, was arrested in a raid where offensive weapons and explosives were found.

Aug 02: Several small bombs rattled Bangkok as it hosted ASEAN foreign Ministers summit, which was also attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Aug 02: India’s Supreme Court announced to hear arguments every day in an effort to resolve a decades-old dispute over the 16th-century Babri mosque.

Aug 02: Saudi Arabia announced to allow women to travel abroad without approval from a male guardian.

Aug 03: A new round of sanctions were imposed on Moscow by the United States over the 2018 poisoning of former double-agent Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom.

Aug 03: Argentina star Lionel Messi was banned from playing for his national team for three months and fined $50,000 by CONMEBOL after he heavily criticised the South American football governing body during the Copa America.

Aug 03: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan laid the foundation stone for the first new church in Turkey since it became a modern republic in 1923.

Aug 03: India deported former Maldives vice president Ahmed Adeeb, who faces attempted murder and corruption charges at home, after he tried to enter the country on a tugboat.

Aug 04: South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis was named the CSA men’s cricketer of the year. He also bagged the ODI cricketer of the year award whereas wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock was named the Test player of the year. In the women’s category, skipper Dane van Niekerk was named the player of the year with bowling all-rounder Marizanne Kapp won the ODI player of the year award.

Aug 04: Honda’s Marc Marquez claimed his 50th career race win with victory at the Czech MotoGP.

Aug 04: Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized a foreign oil tanker in the Gulf which they said was smuggling fuel and detained seven crewmen.

Aug 04: France’s Franky Zapata became the first man to cross English Channel on a hoverboard.

Aug 04: Khmer Rouge ‘brother number two’ Nuon Chea died aged 93.

Aug 04: Sudan’s ruling generals and protest leaders signed a hard-won constitutional declaration, paving the way for a transition to civilian rule after more than seven months of demonstrations and violence.

Aug 04: Australia’s Nick Kyrgios captured the ATP Washington Open tennis title, defeating Russia’s 10th-ranked Daniil Medvedev.

Aug 05: The Indian government rushed through a presidential decree to abolish articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, which grants a special status to Indian Held Kashmir.

About the Move

The occupied valley would be bifurcated into two Union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature, he said, amid uproar from the opposition in the Upper House. Following the announcement, Rajya Sabha witnessed a strong uproar as the opposition parties staged a walkout of the House in protest.

Aug 05: South Korea and the United States began their annual joint military exercises, defying warnings from North Korea that the war games will jeopardise its nuclear negotiations with the US.

Aug 05: Mike Pompeo became the first US Secretary of State to visit Micronesia.

Aug 05: Mike Pompeo became the first US Secretary of State to visit Micronesia.

Aug 06: The Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas of World Resources Ins¬titute (WRI) revealed that nearly a quarter of the world’s population lives in 17 countries facing extremely high water stress, close to “day zero” conditions when the taps run dry.

Aug 06: Former Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj passed away.

Aug 06: UN Secretary General António Guterres warned the world against rising tensions between nuclear-armed states India and Pakistan.

Aug 06: India’s Lok Sabha, lower house of parliament, passed the Modi government’s bill to split the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories governed from Delhi.

Aug 06: Nobel Prize-winning US author Toni Morrison died at the age of 88. Author of 11 novels, she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, having published her first novel, The Bluest Eye, in 1970.

Aug 08: The speaker of Poland’s parliament tendered his resignation after the opposition accused him of using government planes for personal travel.

Aug 08: Kyrgyzstan’s former president Almazbek Atambayev was detained in a major security operation.

Aug 08: South Africa batsman Hashim Amla retired from all forms of international cricket.

Aug 09: China cautioned India against unilateral actions saying those could further complicate the escalating tensions on held Kashmir as it pledged to continue supporting Pakistan at multilateral forums.

Aug 10: India’s Sonia Gandhi once again took the reins of the main opposition Congress party, replacing her son Rahul.

Aug 10: Disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in prison while awaiting trial on charges that he trafficked underage girls for sex.

Aug 10: Honda’s world champion Marc Marquez celebrated a record 59th MotoGP pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Aug 12:  A US delegation arrived in Turkey to begin working with Ankara on creating a buffer zone in northern Syria, under a plan strongly rejected by Damascus.

Aug 12: Top seed Rafael Nadal overwhelmed Russia’s Daniil Medvedev to win his fifth Rogers Cup.

Aug 13: Australia announced a Aus$500 million ($340 million) climate change package for Pacific countries but received a lukewarm response from low-lying island nations demanding urgent action from their powerful neighbour to curb its carbon emissions.

Aug 13: The Saudi Aramco struck a $15 billion (Pak Rs 2,403 billion) accord with India’s $75 billion Reliance Industries, owned by richest Asian tycoon and the 13th richest person in the world, Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani, to acquire a 20 percent share in the biggest oil refinery on the planet.

Aug 13: Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council Manu Sawhney announced that Women’s T20 cricket will be included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in which eight international teams will compete at Birmingham, England.

Aug 13: A coalition of 22 US states and seven cities sued President Donald Trump’s administration to block it from easing restrictions on coal-burning power plants.

Aug 14: Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg set sail for New York, heading for a UN summit on a zero-emissions yacht skippered by a member of Monaco’s ruling family.

Aug 14: An administrative court in Rome ruled that a Spanish rescue ship carrying around 150 migrants be allowed to enter Italian territorial waters.

Aug 14: An Indian court acquitted six men of the killing of a 55-year-old Muslim dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, citing lack of evidence.

Aug 15: Israel barred a planned visit by two US congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib who have supported a boycott of the country over its treatment of the Palestinians.

Aug 15: Former India and Tamil Nadu cricketer VB Chandrasekhar passed away aged 57.

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