World in Focus (December 2014 – January 2015)

world in focus

National, International News & MCQs

National
Dec 16: More than 130 schoolchildren and 10 other people were killed when heavily armed militants stormed Army Public School in Peshawar.

Dec 16: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) shelved its plans for countrywide demonstrations against the government.
Dec 16: The Supreme Court restrained the Sindh government from executing a land deal of 350 acres of Clifton Beach in Karachi.
Dec 16: In terms of death toll, the Peshawar Army School shooting was the second worst terrorist incident of its kind in human history after the September 2004 Beslan School massacre in Russia, where 186 children were among the 385 hostages killed by 32 brutal insurgents.
Dec 17: Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif lifted a moratorium on executions in the country, allowing capital punishment for those sentenced to death in terrorism cases.
Dec 18: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) ordered the release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, after his post-arrest bail plea was accepted.
Dec 17: Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif flew to Kabul to get assurances from the Afghan government and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan for action against a Kunar-based Taliban splinter group believed to be behind the Peshawar carnage.
Dec 18: Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) found another natural gas and condensate reserve in Sanghar district of Sindh province.
Dec 19: Mohammad Aqeel alias Dr Usman, the lone surviving member of a terrorist squad that attacked the GHQ, and Arshad Mehmood, one of the men accused of trying to assassinate former military ruler retired General Pervez Musharraf, were executed.
The hangings, carried out in the Faisalabad district jail, were the first death sentences carried out after the government ended a six-year moratorium on executions.
Dec 19: Pakistan became the first Asian country to be admitted to European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world’s premier scientific organisation engaged in investigating fundamental structure of the universe, as associate member.
CERN Director General Dr Rolf Heuer on behalf of CERN and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Chairman Dr Ansar Parvez signed the agreement.
Dec 19: A case was registered, at the Aabpara police station under Section 506 (2), against the chief cleric of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Aziz, following a protracted protest by civil society members against his controversial statement on massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar.
Dec 20: The Secretary General of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Amin Madani, announced that the OIC will organise a peace conference of ulema and ambassadors of Muslim countries in Peshawar to adopt a joint strategy against terrorism.
Dec 21: Auditors detected financial irregularities of up to Rs62,878 million out of the total expenditures of Rs444.78 billion, 90 per cent of all auditable expenditure, committed by 36 departments of the Sindh government during 2011-12, the audit report for 2012-13 claimed.
Dec 21: Four terrorists involved in an attack on former president Pervez Musharraf in 2003 named Ghulam Sarwar Bhatti, Zubair Ahmed, Rasheed Mehmood Qureshi alias Tipu and Akhlaq Ahmed alias Roosi, were hanged in the district jail Faisalabad.
Dec 21: The World Bank, USA and other western donors committed $1 billion for placing electricity connectivity among Central Asia and South Asia through CASA-1000 against total estimated cost of $1.3 billion.
Dec 22: A Senior PTI leader Sadaqat Abbasi resigned as president PTI North Punjab.
Dec 22: Pakistan and Russia signed a most sought-after energy deal of $1.7 billion for laying a liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline from Karachi to Lahore. The supply of LNG is expected before March 2015.
It is for the first time Islamabad and Moscow have signed an energy pact decades after their defence deal.
Dec 23: Justice Athar Minallah of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) stopped proceedings in the high treason case till the maintainability of appeals filed against the special court order to include former president Pervez Musharraf’s abettors in the case is decided.
Dec 23: The Punjab Assembly unanimously adopted three resolutions, including the one demanding effective legislation to prevent underage marriages. Two resolutions were withdrawn one already under consideration by the treasury and the other requiring revision.
Dec 23: Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat) rated Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) as the most democratic party and the PML-N as the least democratic one in its report on ‘Assessing Internal Democracy in Major Political Parties of Pakistan’.
Dec 23: The PTI appointed MNA Ghulam Sarwar as President North Punjab and Zahid Hussain Kazmi as General Secretary.
Dec 25: The federal government established National Food Security Commission (NFSC), a step forward to develop a national policy for the long-term sustainability of food security and agriculture development.
The prime minister of Pakistan will be the chairman of the newly established NFSC. The NFSC would have its own secretariat at the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Islamabad.
Dec 26: The Karachi police launched an online FIR registration project to help complainants get their cases registered through the internet without visiting police stations.
Dec 27: The government rejected calls by the United Nations and the European Union to revive moratorium on execution of convicts, noting that capital punishment for terrorists did not violate international law.
Dec 27: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formed a monitoring committee and 15 sub-committees for the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) for eradicating terrorism and set a timeframe for them to submit their respective recommendations.
Dec 28: A major fire broke out in a timber warehouse due to which 450 shops and warehouses, along with 250 houses, were gutted in Old Haji Camp in the Shershah Police precincts, causing over a one billion rupees loss.
Dec 29: A huge fire ravaged a three-storey building housing a watch market in Anarkali Bazaar, Lahore, leaving 13 people dead.
Dec 29: Uzair Baloch, an alleged leader of one of the gangs operating in crime infested Lyari, was arrested in Dubai by the Interpol while he was crossing into the United Arab Emirates from Oman by road.
Dec 29: The Islamabad High Court ordered the conditional release of Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks.
Dec 31: With the election on 612 seats reserved for labourers and peasants, the third phase of local government elections was completed in Balochistan.
Dec 31: Indian Border Security Force (BSF) fraudulently shot dead two unarmed officials of the Pakistani Chenab Rangers in Shakargarh sector of Sialkot Working Boundary.
Dec 31: Pakistan has the third highest number of newborn deaths in the world with a neonatal mortality rate standing at a staggering 36 per 1000 live births according to Dr Anwar-ul-Haq Tabassum, Punjab Provincial Coordinator, Mercy Corps, Pakistan.
world in focus 1Jan 02: The All-Party Conference convened by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to amend the Constitution to provide for trial of terror suspects by military courts for a period of two years.
Jan 02: The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent to the Government College University’s Nano Fertilizer that produces healthy food and significantly increases the crop yield.
Jan 05: Punjab Assembly unanimously passed The Punjab Local Government (Third Amendment) Bill 2014 which gives a definition for elections as per the recommendations of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The Bill was moved by Law Minister Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman.
Jan 06: The parliament passed two key government bills, amending the constitution and the Army Act to try civilian terror suspects in military courts.
As the unanimous vote on both the Constitution (Twenty-first Amendment) Bill and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill was completed in both houses of parliament, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in a speech to the Senate that more laws were on the way for the implementation of the 20-point National Action Plan against terrorism.
Jan 06: The arrival and departure of buses under the Pak-India Dosti Service was limited to Wagah border because of terrorism threats.
Jan 06: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sensitive and Vulnerable Establishments and Places (Security) Bill 2014 sailed through the provincial assembly declaring almost all public places except mosques the ‘sensitive establishments and vulnerable places.’
Jan 06: The groundbreaking ceremony of the latest marvel of Islamic architecture, the Bahria Town Grand Mosque that will be the biggest mosque of the world after Harmain Sharifain, was conducted by Noshairwan, the eldest employee of Bahria Town Karachi.
Jan 07: President Mamnoon Hussain gave his ceremonial assent to the 21st Constitution Amendment bill.
Jan 07: Pakistan’s first-ever centre for promotion of early education skills and healthy development of children was inaugurated at the Academy of Education Planning and Management (AEPAM), Islamabad.
Children’s Global Network (Pakistan) in collaboration with Open Society and Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training set up the centre.
Jan 07: The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation will remain at the federal level as it is a legal corporate entity established under the Company Act, PTDC Managing Director Kabir Ahmed Khan announced.
After the 18th Constitution Amendment, the status of the PTDC was not clear.
Jan 07: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid an official visit to Bahrain. He said that Pakistan was keen to work with Bahrain to further improve economic relations between the two friendly countries.
Jan 07: Pakistan, which hosts about 1.6 million Afghan refugees, is the biggest host country in absolute terms, a UNHCR report revealed.
Other countries with large refugee populations are Lebanon (1.1m), Iran (982,000), Turkey (824,000), Jordan (737,000), Ethiopia (588,000), Kenya (537,000) and Chad (455,000).
Jan 08: The Punjab government promulgated the Punjab Security of Vulnerable Establishments Ordinance 2015 to enhance security of vulnerable places in view of the ongoing wave of terrorism.
Jan 09: The Pakistan Army announced the establishment of the first group of nine military courts for trying civilian terror suspects.
Jan 09: The Punjab government promulgated two more ordinances, amending laws about weapons and wall chalking to enhance punishments.
By promulgating the Punjab Arms Amendment Ordinance, the government has enhanced fine and imprisonment for possessing prohibited or non-prohibited weapons and their ammunition.
The Punjab Prohibition of Expressing Matters on Walls Amendment Ordinance enhances fine from the existing Rs5,000 to Rs25,000 to Rs100,000.
It makes wall chalking a cognizable and non-bailable offence.
Jan 10: Denmark provided financial aid worth $1.6m to the Pakistan government to assist the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan and Khyber Agency.
Jan 11: At least 62 people, including women and children, were burnt alive when their bus caught fire after an oil tanker collided with it off the National Highway in Malir, Karachi.
Jan 12: The second edition of the ‘revitalised’ Pak-US Strategic Dialogue opened with focus on advancing the bilateral relationship.
The first round of the ministerial meeting was co-chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz and US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Foreign Office.
Jan 13: The US State Department declared Mullah Fazlullah, chief of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, a “specially designated global terrorist”.
Jan 13: Pakistan broke its own 16-year record for the highest number of polio cases diagnosed in a calendar year, after the tally of children afflicted by the debilitating disease crossed the 300 mark.
Jan 13: The federal government decided to extend the jurisdiction of the newly-constituted military courts to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
Jan 13: The polio vaccine being used to fight the crippling disease in our Islamic state is Halal.
A laboratory controlled by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has tested the vaccine and certified that.
Jan 14: The Punjab government, on the directions of the Punjab Ombudsman, amended the Punjab Pension Rules, which provide that divorced daughter and unmarried sister of a deceased government employee will also be entitled to family pension till life after his widow, infants and unmarried daughters.
Jan 15: Amid protests and walkouts over other issues, the National Assembly passed a resolution to condemn the latest cartoon printed by a French satirical magazine featuring the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and demand ‘decisive steps’ internationally to stop such controversies.
The resolution was moved by Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique.

Economy
Dec 23: After the fourth and fifth reviews of Pakistan’s economic performance, the IMF released to Pakistan US$1.05 billion under International Monetary Fund (IMF) three-year Extended Fund Facility.
Dec 29: The United Business Group (UBG), led by Iftikhar Ali Malik and S M Muneer, won the 2015 elections of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).
Dec 30: Expecting a major dip in its revenue collection, the government raised the general sales tax on petroleum products by five per cent, above the normal 17 per cent.
Dec 30: Provincial Environment Secretary Iqbal Muhammad Chohan launched the Sialkot Tannery Zone (STZ) project at Khambraanwala near Sialkot.
Jan 03: Pakistan’s per capita income rose by 10.9 per cent to Rs143,808 for the fiscal 2013-14 compared with Rs129,569 in the previous year.
Jan 06: The government agreed in principle on waiver of sales tax on replacement of SIMs during the period from 12th January to 28th February, 2015, charged by FBR provided that a proper definition of “Replacement SIM” was arrived at.
Jan 10: The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet imposed regulatory duty of Rs200 per set on import of mobile phones.
Jan 14: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) imposed regulatory duty of up to 15 per cent on import of various steel products.

Education
Dec 28: The elementary and secondary education department Punjab decided to conduct centralised examinations for grade five in the government schools to assess the students and teachers properly. The centralised exam would be conducted from the next annual examinations. Mostly, the papers would consist of multiple choice questions (MCQs) and a little room would be spared for the long question.

Elections, Appointments & Transfers
Dec 16: Former University of Gujrat vice-chancellor Prof Dr Nizamuddin was appointed chairman of the Punjab Higher Education Commission.
Dec 23: The federal government appointed Vadiyya Khalil as chairperson of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) for a period of three years.
She has previously served as a member CCP from 2010 to 2013 where she was overseeing the mergers and acquisitions and advocacy functions of the commission.
She has over 20 years of experience in corporate and commercial banking at international and national banks.
Dec 24: President Mamnoon Hussain approved the appointment of Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai as chief justice of the Balochistan High Court (BHC).
Dec 25: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif designated Leila Khan, an MNA of PML-N, as chairperson of the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP) on an honorary basis. She will not draw any salary or perks and privileges as chief of the programme.
Dec 30: Arshad Ansari of the Journalist Panel was re-elected president of the Lahore Press Club for year 2015.
Dec 31: Inspector General, National Highways and Motorways Police, Zulfiqar Cheema retired from service.
Jan 05: The government announced appointment of Senator Mushahidullah Khan as a federal minister.
Jan 06: Khalid Rahman was appointed as Managing Director of Sui Southern Gas Company by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources w.e.f. January 2, 2015.
Jan 06: Senior bureaucrat Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad was posted as the Punjab chief secretary. But, the notification to this effect was revoked within 24 hours
Jan 07: Federal Secretary for Ports and Shipping Khizar Hayat Gondal was appointed Chief Secretary Punjab instead of Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad.
Jan 09: Ziaul Haq was appointed as new managing director of Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TIP).
Jan 09: The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) elected Mir Ibrahim Rahman (Geo) as its Chairman and Sultan Ali Lakhani (Express News) as Secretary General.
The board of directors also elected Mian Aamer Mehmood (Dunya TV), Muhammad Aslam Kazi (KTN), Shakeel Masud (Dawn News), Saleem Adil (Samaa TV), as senior vice chairman, vice chairman, joint secretary and finance secretary respectively.
Sher Asfandyar Khan, Shazya Amin, Shahid Jamil, Nazafreen Saigal and Imran Riyaz were elected on the board of directors. Taher A. Khan was appointed as internal election commissioner to conduct and hold the elections.
Jan 10: Chaudhry Ishtiaq of the Professional Group won elections for the president of the Lahore Bar Association for year-2015 by defeating Arshad Jahangir Jhojha of the Friends Group.
Jahangir Bhatti and Muhammad Naveed Chughtai were elected vice presidents.
Jan 10: The Chief Justice Islamabad High Court (IHC) posted Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan, District and Sessions Judge as Registrar Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Jan 10: Shoaib Warsi was re-designated as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Managing Director of the SSGC.
Jan 15: The Prime Minister of Pakistan, who is also the Chairman Gilgit-Baltistan Council, appointed Nasir Hussain (Gilgit Division), Haji Sanaullah (Baltistan Division), Inayatullah Shumall (Diamer Division), Advocate Mushtaq Ahmad (Gilgit Division) and Haji Niamatullah (Bunji) as members of the caretaker cabinet of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Sports
Dec 19: Skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor hit half-centuries while paceman Matt Henry recorded career-best bowling figures as New Zealand thumped Pakistan by 68 runs in the fifth and final one-dayer in Abu Dhabi.
world in focus 3Dec 20: Pakistan lost to India in the Kabaddi World Cup final. Pakistan captain Shafiq Chishti alleged umpires being biased towards his team. India won the title for a fifth time in succession.
Dec 21: Third seed Sadia Gul defeated the top seed Zoya Khalid in the final of the fifth Hyderabad Commissioner Cup National Women’s Squash Championship to pick up the second title of her career.
Dec 22: Pakistan won five bronze medals in the 10th Iran Zamin Cup Karate Cadet Tournament held in Tehran.
Dec 23: The CEO of the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF), Deoraj Chaturvedi, said that the Kabbadi World Cup, which was concluded in India, was not an officially-sanctioned event.
Dec 25: Pak Army won the Premier League Rugby Championship after beating AIT club.
DHA Lahore ended in third after beating Islamabad.
Dec 26: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL) were crowned champions of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Gold tournament.
Dec 26: Islamabad Leopards’ skipper Zohaib Ahmad was declared outstanding cricketer/best all-rounder of the country’s premier tournament, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Gold.
Dec 27: Pakistan’s suspended off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was withdrawn from the 2015 World Cup.
Dec 27: The PCB confirmed the appointment of Naveed Akram Cheema as manager of Pakistan cricket team for the World Cup.
Dec 28: Sports Board Punjab (SBP) signed an MoU with British boxer Amir Khan for the promotion of boxing in the country at National Hockey Stadium.
Jan 02: Naveed Akram Cheema formally rejoined Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as manager of the national team.
Jan 03: Public fancy five-year-old bay horse ‘Hot Man’ lifted The New Year Cup.
Jan 03: Ace rider Mohammad Essa retained the Best Rider of the Year award at the Karachi Racecourse.
Jan 09: Sarah Mahboob Khan won the ladies singles final at the Kulsum Saifullah Khan National Ranking tennis tournament.
Jan 10: Mohammad Faheem subdued top seed Abdul Raheem to lift his maiden national junior under-21 snooker title.
Jan 11: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) defeated Wapda to win the 61st National Hockey Championship.

Obituaries
Dec 24: Renowned film director and lifetime chairman of the Pakistan Film Directors Association, Aslam Dar, passed away at 78.
Dec 28: A senior journalist Sulaiman A. Meenai passed away. He was 85.
Dec 29: Syed Nisar Hussain Shah Latifi, the 11th Sajjada Nashin of the Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai shrine, died. He was 67.
Dec 30: Afzal Tauseef, a prolific progressive writer and columnist, passed away. She was 78.
Dec 30: Federal Secretary Rashida Malik, wife of Azad Kashmir IG Malik Khuda Baksh Awan, passed away at the age of 54.
Jan 05: Prof Fizaur Rehman Khan, former principal of Government College University Lahore, passed away at 94.
Jan 09: Former Sindh cricket captain and first class batsman Dr Iqbal Shaikh died. He was 80.

People in News
Hassan Noman
Dec 16: Hassan Noman, a renowned soccer player from Burewala, was declared best goal-scorer of Fifa Interactive World Cup (WC) 2015 season-1.
Dr Amjad Saqib
Dec 17: Dr Amjad Saqib’s immense contribution in social sector entrepreneurship and Sharia-compliant microfinance was acknowledged by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Thomson Reuters. He was bestowed on the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for the Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge Award (EFICA).
Jam Khan Sundrani
Dec 20: Jam Khan Sundrani, an education activist from Ghotki district of Sindh, hit the news when news reports in media said that when a child in any home in the kutcha area or the floodplain bordering Ghotki refuses to go to school or fakes a tummy-ache, his or her parents only have one advice to give: “Run along to school, my child, or Jam Khan Sundrani will come to get you and take you there himself!”
If the children are facing some issue in school, Jam makes sure that it is resolved, if transport is a problem, Jam will be waiting outside their homes on his motorbike to take them to school and personally ensure that they do not miss a single lesson. During floods, walking in waist-deep water he has carried children to school on his shoulders. He also makes sure that the teachers are present at their jobs six days a week.
Muhammad Azfar Ahsan
Dec 25: Organisation for Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America (OPEN) awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” to Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, founding CEO of Pakistan’s leading conference management organisation Nutshell Forum, in recognition of his contribution, commitment, performance, exemplary work ethic and dedication in the event management sector.
Asif Ali Zardari
Dec 30: The chieftainship of the Zardari tribe was conferred upon Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari.
He succeeds his father, Raees Hakim Ali Zardari, who headed the tribe until his death on May 24, 2011.
Syed Waqar Hussain Shah
Dec 31: Syed Waqar Hussain Shah became the 12th Sajjada Nashin of the Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai shrine.
Fiza Farhan
Jan 07: 28-year-old Fiza Farhan, co-founder of Buksh Foundation, was included in the list of American business magazine Forbes’ list of 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs for 2015.

Places in News
Lahore
Dec 16: Two-day international conference on “Environment and Sustainable Development” began at Government College University Lahore under the auspices of the university’s Sustainable Development Study Centre (SDSC) and Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Pitafi Village, Ghotki
Dec 28: The 306th annual Hindu festival — Sindh Shaddani Darbar — got under way at Hayat Pitafi village near Mirpur Mathelo town of Ghotki district.
Ormara
Dec 31: A 1.8-metre-long sunfish that accidentally got entangled in fishing net off Ormara, Balochistan, was safely released by fishermen recently.
The sunfish weighed about 450kg.
Gwadar
Jan 07: A 60-inch long leatherback turtle that accidentally got entangled in fishing net in Gwadar was released back into the deep sea.
It’s the second time in 10 months that leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) that are rarely found along Pakistan’s coast has been caught and released.

International
Dec 16: The Washington-based group Global Financial Integrity (GFI) revealed that nearly $1 trillion was illicitly drained from developing countries in 2012, representing a record level of corruption, money laundering and false trade documentation.
Dec 16: Jeb Bush, son to one former US president and brother to another, threw his hat into the ring for the 2016 race.
Dec 16: Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta said he’ll give up his doctorate in law after years of being accused of plagiarising swathes of his PhD thesis.
Dec 17: The United States and Cuba made a historic breakthrough in their Cold War stand-off, moving to revive diplomatic ties and launch measures to ease a five-decade US trade embargo.
Dec 17: The head of the US Agency for International Development, Rajiv Shah, said that he would step down from his post in February.
Dec 17: The Palestinian group Hamas must be removed from the European Union’s terrorism blacklist, but its assets will stay frozen for the time being, a European court ruled.
Dec 17: The Church of England named Libby Lane — a saxophone-playing vicar with a taste for football — as its first female bishop.
Dec 17: The European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the recognition of a Palestinian state “in principle”, following a series of votes on the issue in EU nations that enraged Israel.
Lawmakers approved the motion by 498 votes to 88 with 111 abstentions.
Dec 17: The Lok Sabha observed a brief silence in memory of 141 Pakistanis, including at least 132 children, killed by terrorists at a Peshawar school and passed a resolution condemning the “despicable and cowardly” terrorist attack.
Dec 17: North Korea marked the end of a three-year mourning period for the late leader Kim Jong Il, opening the way for his son, Kim Jong Un, to put a more personal stamp on the way the country is run.
Dec 18: Boko Haram kidnapped at least 185 people, including 100 women and children, in northeast Nigeria.
Dec 18: A Nigerian military court sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny after they refused to deploy for an operation against Boko Haram Islamists in the northeast.
Dec 18: People around the world lived on average to a ripe old age of 71.5 in 2013, up from 65.3 in 1990, a study said, noting the gains came despite big increases in liver cancer and chronic kidney deaths.
Global life expectancy rose by 5.8 years in men and 6.6 years in women between 1990 and 2013.
Dec 19: India’s government introduced legislation billed as the biggest tax reform since independence. The long-awaited goods and-services tax (GST) would eliminate a slew of levies currently in place to create a single internal market.
Dec 20: Israel was asked by the UN General Assembly to compensate Lebanon for $856.4 million in oil spill damages it caused during its 2006 war with Hezbollah.
Dec 20: President Barack Obama signed the National Defence Authorisation Act for the fiscal year 2015, a massive annual defence policy bill which grants $1 billion to Pakistan for the expenses made by its army in support of the US military operations in war-torn Afghanistan.
The Act sets overall defence spending at $578 billion, which has provision for release of Coalition Support Fund amounting to $1 billion to Pakistan.
Dec 20: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won a confidence vote to get his tax-cutting 2015 budget through the Senate.
Dec 20: The death toll from Ebola in the three worst-affected countries in West Africa has risen to 7,373 among 19,031 cases known to date, the World Health Organization said.
Dec 21: The radical Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of India started converting Christian tribal people to Hinduism in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat.
Dec 21: New Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, whose anti-graft platform propelled him to the top job, urged politicians to stamp out entrenched corruption in one of Europe’s poorest countries.
world in focus 2Dec 21: The United States said that after Jan 2, US forces in Afghanistan will not target Mullah Omar and other Taliban leaders unless they posed a direct threat to the US.
Dec 22: Thousands of Spaniards including humble restaurant workers and care home residents celebrated wins in the world’s biggest lottery draw, scooping up shares in over 2.2 billion euros ($2.7bn) in prizes doled out across the country.
El Gordo, or “the Fat One”, is the top award millions vie for every year in the traditional Christmas lottery, which had Spaniards on tenterhooks for four hours as the ceremonial draw took longer than usual to throw up the big prizes.
Dec 22: Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse suffered a setback to his re-election hopes when a key minister and his minority Muslim party quit the coalition government.
Dec 22: Afghan security forces launched an operation against TTP militants in an eastern province. TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, which borders Pakistan’s restive tribal areas.
Dec 23: Suspected tribal separatists killed at least 33 people, including women and children, in India’s north-eastern state of Assam.
Police suspect militants of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) were behind the attacks.
Dec 23: Lawmakers in Ukraine overwhelmingly adopted a bill dropping Ukraine’s non-aligned status, a classification given to states such as Switzerland that refuse to join military alliances and thus play no part in wars.
Dec 23: Syed Mohammad Qaisar, a former junior minister in a Bangladeshi military government was sentenced to death after a war crimes tribunal found him guilty of atrocities during the country’s war of independence.
Dec 23: Results for Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections rejected Narendra Modi’s plans to repeal Article 370 and with it key constitutional privileges that protect Kashmiri Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs against Delhi-backed cultural and economic encroachments.
Dec 24: India conferred its highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, on former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is credited with bringing about a thaw in relations with Pakistan.
The Bharat Ratna was also conferred on the late Indian educationist Madan Mohan Malviya, who established India’s renowned Banaras Hindu University and also took part in the country’s independence movement.
Only 43 people have been honoured with the title since its inception, including scientist C.V. Raman and star cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
Dec 25: Iran launched six-day military drills in a show of strength stretching several hundred kilometres from the Strait of Hormuz to the Gulf of Aden.
Close to 13,000 personnel will take part in the drills, which will be the first time Iran has organised military manoeuvres so far from its coastline.
Dec 26: Malaysia’s worst flooding in decades forced some 118,000 people to flee as Prime Minister Najib Razak came under fire after photos showed him golfing with US President Barack Obama during the calamity.
Dec 27: Residents of Myanmar’s commercial hub Yangon went to the polls for the first municipal elections in six decades.
Dec 27: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko dismissed the country’s prime minister, central bank head and other top ministers, in the biggest government reshuffle since 2010.
Dec 28: Latvia takes over as European Union president, putting it on the front line of negotiations with neighbouring Russia over the deadly crisis in Ukraine.
Dec 28: Sri Lanka’s main Muslim party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, quit the government and pledged support to the opposition in a move seen as the biggest setback yet to President Mahinda Rajapakse’s re-election bid.
Dec 28: Nato formally ended its war in Afghanistan, holding a low-key ceremony here after 13 years of conflict that have left the country in the grip of worsening violence.
Dec 29: Cameroon sent warplanes into action against Nigerian Boko Haram fighters for the first time.
Dec 29: China blocked the last remaining way to access Google’s popular e-mail service.
Dec 29: An Egyptian court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria issued an indefinite ban on an annual Jewish pilgrimage — held since 1979 the year Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty — in the Nile Delta province of Baheira marking the birthday of a Moroccan rabbi Yacoub Abu Hasira, saying it went against local traditions.
Dec 29: The soldiers who stand guard outside Britain’s royal palaces were moved behind metal fences because of fears of a terror attack. The Royal Guards, a popular tourist attraction outside royal residences because of their ceremonial uniforms, have been separated from the public, with armed police providing additional protection.
Dec 30: The richest people on Earth got richer in 2014, adding $92 billion to their collective fortune in the face of falling energy prices and geopolitical turmoil incited by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The net worth of the world’s 400 wealthiest billionaires on December 29 stood at $4.1 trillion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world`s richest.
Dec 30: Amit Shah, the head of India’s ruling party BJP, was acquitted of murder, kidnapping and extortion charges, exonerating the controversial politician in a trial that had undermined the government’s promise to usher in a new era of clean politics.
Dec 30: Bangladesh’s war crimes court sentenced a senior Jamaat-i-Islami leader, A.T.M. Azharul Islam, to death for rape, mass murder and genocide during the country’s 1971 war. He is the 16th person and the 11th Islamist to be convicted of atrocities by the International Crimes Tribunal.
Dec 31: The UN Security Council failed to adopt the Arab coalition’s bid calling for the creation of a Palestinian state and an end to Israeli ‘occupation’. The United States and Australia voted against the resolution while France, China and Russia were among the eight countries that voted for it. Britain along with Lithuania, Nigeria, Korea and Rwanda abstained from the vote.
Dec 31: President Mahmud Abbas signed a Palestinian request to join the International Criminal Court, seeking a new avenue for action against Israel. He also signed the applications to join 20 other international conventions.
Jan 01: India scrapped its 65-year-old Planning Commission, replacing it with National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) that will act more like a think tank or forum in contrast with the Commission which imposed five-year-plans and allocated resources to hit set economic targets.
Jan 01: Saudi Arabia made health insurance mandatory for people coming to the country on visit visa.
Jan 01: A New Year’s stampede on Shanghai’s historic waterfront killed at least 36 revellers and injured dozens more.
Jan 01: China’s Three Gorges dam broke the world record for annual hydroelectric power production, more than a decade after it became the world’s largest power plant.
Jan 02: The Eurasian Economic Union, a trade bloc of former Soviet states, expanded to four nations when Armenia formally joined, a day after the union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan began.
Jan 03: Turkey’s government authorised the building of the first church in the country in nearly a century. The church is for the tiny Syriac community in Turkey and will be built in the Istanbul suburb of Yesilkoy on the shores of the Sea of Marmara, which already has Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Catholic churches.
Jan 07: Heavily armed men shouting religious slogans stormed the headquarters of a satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris, killing 12 people.
Jan 07: UN chief Ban Ki-moon accepted the request by Palestine to join the International Criminal Court, a move that would open the way for war crimes complaints against Israel.
The decision grants the Hague-based ICC jurisdiction to open cases starting April 1 on serious crimes committed in the Palestinian territories.
Jan 09: India-held Kashmir was brought under direct rule by New Delhi when President Pranab Mukherjee placed the region under Governor’s Rule.
Jan 09: Russia passed a controversial law banning transvestites and transsexuals from driving, prompting sharp criticism from rights activists, including a prominent Kremlin adviser.
Jan 09: Two brothers suspected of attacking the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were killed when police stormed their hideout.
Jan 09: A US judge sentenced British hate preacher Abu Hamza to life behind bars for 11 terrorism and kidnapping convictions, calling his crimes that spanned the globe “evil” and “barbaric”.
Jan 10: A tail section from the crashed Air Asia plane became the first major wreckage lifted off the seabed. The plane, flying from Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people on board, went missing on December 28.
Jan 10: The FBI and US Justice Department prosecutors recommended bringing felony charges against retired General David Petraeus for allegedly providing classified information to his former mistress while he was director of the CIA.
Jan 10: The Paris Observatory announced that it was adding a “leap second” to clocks. At midnight on June 30, dials will read 11:59:60 for one second as clocks pause to allow the Earth’s rotation to catch up with atomic time.
Jan 12: The Afghan government finally unveiled its 25 cabinet nominees as well as nominees for director of the Afghan intelligence service and governor of the Central Bank.
Jan 12: Coming of age tale “Boyhood” won the coveted Golden Globe for best drama, while the quirky period caper “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was the surprise winner for best comedy or musical, in a big upset to awards season front-runner “Birdman”.
The first major awards for the Hollywood film industry this year were scattered widely among many films, potentially setting up a complex race towards the industry’s top honours, the Oscars.
Jan 13: An Egyptian appeals court overturned a three-year prison sentence against ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak on corruption charges and ordered a retrial in the sole case pending against him.
Jan 14: Japan’s Cabinet approved a record 96.3 trillion yen ($814 billion) government budget for the coming fiscal year after a tax hike to accommodate rising outlays for social security and defence.
Jan 14: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government approved a record $42 billion military budget, with outlays rising for a third year to counter China’s rising military might.
Jan 15: Dark comedy ‘Birdman,’ and stylish crime caper ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ topped the Oscars nominations list with nine each, firing the starting gun on the home stretch of Hollywood’s awards race.
Jan 15: Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu of committing “crimes against humanity” comparable to those of the gunmen behind the Paris attacks that left 17 dead.
Jan 15: Pope Francis condemned killing in God’s name but warned that religion could not be insulted, weighing into a global debate on free speech ahead of a rapturous welcome in the Philippines.

Sports
Dec 16: Kumar Sangakkara set a record for the most runs in a calendar year.
When former skipper Sangakkara, who will retire from ODIs after next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, got to six, he broke Ricky Ponting’s record for the most international runs, in all formats, for a calendar year.
The former Australia captain had scored 2,833 in 2005.
Dec 17: South African captain Hashim Amla and his senior lieutenant A.B. de Villiers both hit centuries as South Africa took command after early setbacks on the first day of the first Test against the West Indies.
Dec 21: Nicol David regained the world title in her most exciting final, saving four match points in a row to overcome the third-seeded Egyptian Raneem el Weleily in the World Squash Championship final.
David also extended her record of world titles to eight.
Dec 21: Real Madrid defeated San Lorenzo of Argentina to win the Club World Cup and secure their fourth trophy of 2014.
Dec 23: German skiing ace Felix Neureuther recorded his 10th World Cup victory by winning the men’s slalom.
Dec 28: Wild Oats XI won the Sydney to Hobart yacht race for a record eighth time. Australian-owned Wild Oats crossed the finish line to complete the 70th edition of the blue water classic in an unofficial time of 2 days, 2 hours and 2 minutes.
Dec 29: New Zealand wrapped up a crushing eight-wicket victory against Sri Lanka to cap their most successful year in Test cricket.
Dec 30: Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid were the big winners in the Globe Soccer Awards.
Ronaldo received the Best Player of the Year award and Marca fan’s favourite player of the year, then watched as his Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti won Coach of the Year, his club president Florentino Perez received Best President of the Year and then Real Madrid were presented as the Best Club of the Year.
Dec 31: Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali was named champion of champions for 2014 by Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Sicilian had been named top Italian the previous year when he won the Giro d`Italia.
Jan 03: Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakara became only the fifth to make 12,000 runs in career.
Jan 11: Roger Federer beat Milos Raonic at the Brisbane International to register his 1,000th ATP career win and collect his 83rd title.
Jan 11: Faf du Plessis smashed 119 from 56 balls with 11 fours and five sixes to record the highest score by a South African in the shortest format of international cricket. His was the second fastest century in Twenty20 Internationals.
Jan 11: West Indies produced a record chase against South Africa when they crossed the target of 232 runs in the highest successful run chase in Twenty20 International cricket, beating India’s 211 against Sri Lanka in 2009.
Jan 13: Snooker’s great showman Ronnie O’Sullivan equalled the record for century breaks when he rolled in the 775th of his career at the Masters.
Jan 13: For the third time, Cristiano Ronaldo was voted the world’s best football player. He won the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the second year running.

Elections & Postings
world in focus 4Dec 31: Beji Caid Essebsi was sworn in as Tunisia’s first freely-elected president.
Jan 09: With heavy support from the Tamil and Muslim voters, Maithripala Sirisena, the joint opposition candidate in Sri Lanka’s presidential election, emerged victor in the race with a 51.28 per cent vote, beating incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa who secured 47.58pc.
Jan 15: Saudi Arabia appointed its senior diplomat Abdullah Mardob Al-Dahrani as new ambassador to Pakistan. The Saudi mission in Islamabad was without a full-fledge ambassador for eight months which has been the longest period of time.
Dec 17: Somalia’s president appointed political heavyweight Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as country’s new prime minister. He becomes is now the first person to hold the post twice.
Jan 01: China appointed a top official of the ruling party’s propaganda department as president of the Xinhua news agency, the key mouthpiece of the Communist state.
The appointment of Cai Mingzhao, a vice director of the propaganda department, is the latest of several replacements in the party’s key information and media agencies over the past year.

Economy
Dec 23: The Indian government ordered a cut of nearly 20 per cent in its 2014-15 healthcare budget due to fiscal strains.
Jan 13: China’s trade surplus soared by almost half last year to a record $382 billion, but the world`s second-largest economy again missed its trade growth target due to weakness overseas.
Exports increased 6.1 per cent to $2.34 trillion in 2014, while imports rose 0.4pc to $1.96tr.
Jan 14: Honda unveiled a hydrogen-powered car it aims to begin selling in March 2016 in Japan.

People in News
Rob and Paul Forkan
Dec 23: A decade after being orphaned by the Asian tsunami, British brothers Rob and Paul Forkan are successful entrepreneurs who are giving back to the Sri Lankans who helped them by building an orphanage.
The brothers, their two younger siblings as well as their parents Kevin and Sandra were relaxing in their hotel complex on December 26, 2004, when the giant wave crashed through their bungalows. Rob and Paul managed to climb on the roof and clung on as the water rushed by.
Amir Khan
Dec 24: Amir Khan, a British boxing champion of Pakistan origin, dedicated his WBC welterweight title to the victims of the Taliban attack on a Peshawar school and announced that he would auction the pair of shorts, carrying a waistband made from 24-carat gold thread is worth 30,000 pounds, he wore during his latest match to raise funds for rebuilding the school and for other projects.
Hillary Clinton
Dec 29: Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton emerged as the woman most admired by Americans, followed by television icon Oprah Winfrey and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.
Clinton, a likely 2016 US presidential candidate, won the honour for the 13th year in a row, earning 12 per cent of the votes.
Adam Sandler
Dec 24: Comedian Adam Sandler topped Forbes’ list of Hollywood’s most overpaid actors for a second consecutive year, nudging out Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks for the honuor.
Thomas Piketty
Jan 01: France’s influential economist Thomas Piketty, author of the best-seller “Capital in the 21st Century”, refused to accept the country’s highest award, the Legion d’honneur, in protest against the Socialist government’s policies.
Madhu Bai Kinnar
Jan 05: A low-caste transgender in central India, Madhu Bai Kinnar, became the country’s first to win civic polls and be declared mayor. Madhu won the municipal election in Raigarh in the central state of Chhattisgarh.
Gyan Mani Nepal
Jan 11: Nepalese civil servant Gyan Mani Nepal became the country’s first Integrity Idol.
The online contest, which eschewed the glitz of popular television talent shows, saw nearly 10,000 people cast their votes via text message and Facebook in a bid to encourage honesty in the corruption-ridden Himalayan nation.

Places in News
Dec 18: A summit on security in the sub-Saharan Sahel region of Africa, where armed Islamic extremists linked to al-Qaeda are active, opened in Mauritania, attended by five heads of state.
The meeting was part of the “Nouakchott Process”, named for an initiative launched in Mauritania’s capital in March 2013 to boost security cooperation among 11 participating states.
The summit, whose theme was “a space made secure for global development,” was the first since Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal signed up to the process.
Bangkok, Thailand
Dec 20: The 5th Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Summit under the theme “Committed to Inclusive and Sustainable Development in the GMS” was held in Bangkok, Thailand. Vietnam’s Prime Minster Nguyen Tan Dung, Laos Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, China’s Premier Li Keqiang, Myanmar’s President Thein Sein and Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao participated in the event.
Tokyo, Japan
Jan 14: An investment seminar was organised by the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), co-sponsored by Pakistan’s Board of Investment (BoI), in Tokyo. Speaking at the occasion, the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar sought Japan’s technical assistance and investment in renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, thermal and biogas.

Obituaries
Dec 19: Mandy Rice-Davies, a model implicated in the Profumo affair that scandalised 1960s Britain and almost brought down the government, died at the age of 70.
Dec 18: Italian actress Virna Lisi, who played opposite Hollywood stars including Frank Sinatra in the 1960s and later established herself an acclaimed character actress, died at the age of 78.
Dec 22: Dr Lee W. Wattenberg, a medical researcher who helped jump-start the field of cancer prevention, finding weapons in the food people eat — including chemical compounds in broccoli, cabbage, coffee and garlic — died at 92.
Dec 23: Anna Stoehr, a 114-year-old woman who challenged Facebook after the social media site wouldn’t let her list her real age, died.
Dec 23: The former coach of heavyweight champions Vladimir and Vitali Klitschko, Fritz Sdunek, died at the age of 67.
Dec 26: Former England batsman Geoff Pullar died aged 79. Pullar made his debut against India in July 1959.
Jan 01: Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Omar Karami died aged 80.
Jan 02: Mario Cuomo, the three-time governor of New York and a leading voice of the Democratic Party’s liberal wing who turned down several invitations to seek the US presidency, died. He was 82.
Jan 4: He Zhenliang, a key figure in returning China to the Olympics in the 1980s after an absence of almost three decades and in securing the 2008 Summer Games for Beijing, died. He was 85.
Jan 07: Julio Scherer Garcia, one of the most influential Mexican journalists of the past half century, died. He was 88.
Jan 07: Actor Khan Bonfils, known to ‘Star Wars’ fans for playing Jedi master Saesee Tiin in ‘The Phantom Menace’, died. He was 43.
Jan 09: Australian actor Rod Taylor, famous for his role in Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1963 thriller “The Birds,” died aged 84.
Jan 10: Italian neo-realist film director Francesco Rosi, known for his trenchant documentaries and exposes, died at 92.
Jan 12: Anita Ekberg, who became an international symbol of lush beauty and unbridled sensuality in the 1960 Federico Fellini film “La Dolce Vita,” died. She was 83.

2014 Review

National
Jan 01: The first-ever national Police Shuhada Day was observed.
Jan 04: The government appointed Dr Miftah Ismail as chairman Board of Investment (BoI).
Jan 10: The Nadra Chairman Tariq Malik resigned.
Jan 11: Imran Khan and Abdul Sattar Edhi were included in the list of the most admired persons on this planet.
Jan 12: Belgium’s King Philip appointed Dr Ata ul Haq as advisor on economic diplomacy.
Jan 15: Senior British diplomat Philip Barton took over as UK’s High Commissioner to Pakistan.
Jan 16: Salman Aslam Butt was appointed as the attorney general of Pakistan.
Jan 16: The KP government bifurcated Kohistan district in Upper and Lower Kohistan, raising the number of districts to 26.
Jan 17: Nawaz Sharif was awarded an honorary PhD degree by the GCU, Lahore.
Jan 17: The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Peshawar the largest endemic poliovirus ‘reservoir’ in the world.
Jan 24: A Pakistanio stuent, Rai Haris Manzoor, made a new world record by passing the O-Level exam at the age of 9 years.
Jan 26: Former justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan was appointed as chairman Missing Persons Commission.
Jan 27: Irfan Siddiqui was appointed as Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Affairs.
Feb 03: Former governor SBP, Dr Shamshad Akhtar, assumed charge as executive secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap) at its headquarters in Bangkok.
Feb 07: The Sindh government established its own HEC with Dr Asim Hussain as its chairman.
Feb 12: Pakistani siblings Mirza Ali and Samina Baig reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m), Africa’s highest peak.
Feb 18: Former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf finally appeared before the Special Court.
Feb 18: Pakistani journalist Sidra Iqbal was awarded the 4th Annual GR8! Women Awards 2014.
Feb 24: The KP government approved establishment of Air University and Technical University in Nowshera.
Feb 25: The federal cabinet approved the national security policy.
Feb 27: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf ended blockade of Nato supplies to Afghanistan.
Feb 28: The Wapda completed 130MW Duber Khwar hydropower project.
Mar 26: Government negotiators held first face-to-face talks with Taliban leaders.
Mar 31: Hameed Haroon and Sarmad Ali were elected president and secretary general of the APNS for 2014-15.
Apr 07: The National Assembly passed the Protection of Pakistan Bill 2013.
Apr 15: Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi became the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
April 16: Pakistan-born visual effects artist Mir Zafar Ali bagged his third Oscar.
Apr 17: Islamabad-based Jamia Hafsa renamed its library in honour of Osama bin Laden.
Apr 20: Pakistan and UAE navies commenced a seven-day joint exercise Nasl al Bahr.
Apr 22: Pakistan Navy was accorded “Observer Status” of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS).
Apr 24: The Sindh government created sixth administrative division named Bhambhore.
Apr 28: Ashraf Mahmood Wathra was appointed Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.
Apr 28: Sindh became the first province to set the minimum age of marriage at 18 years.
May 14: The Punjab government promulgated “The Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Ordinance 2014”.
May 22: Pakistan and China signed a $1.6 billion agreement for a metro train project in Punjab.
May 24: CM Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, granted the status of division to Shaheed Benazirabad district.
May 24: Pakistan and China began their joint air exercises, codenamed “Shaheen-III”.
June 01: The relaxation extended to Pakistan by the WHO expired. Polio vaccination certificates became mandatory for all people travelling abroad
June 02: Russia lifted an embargo on sales of weapons and military hardware to Pakistan.
June 06: The Pemra suspended the licence of Geo News for 15 days and fined it Rs10 million.
June 12: PNS Dehshat, built at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Ltd (KS&EW), was inducted into Pakistan Navy’s fleet.
June 15: Pakistan Army launched a comprehensive operation “Zarb-e-Azb” in North Waziristan.
June 17: Justice Khwaja Imtiaz Ahmad took oath as chief justice of the Lahore High Court.
June 17: 14 people were killed in Polics-PAT workers clash at Minhajul Quran headquarters in Model Town, Lahore.
June 20: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif launched the PM’s Laptop Scheme.
June 25: The ground-breaking ceremony of the 4,320 mega watts (MW) Dasu Hydro-Power Project at Dasu was performed.
July 06: Justice Nasirul Mulk took oath as 22nd Chief Justice of Pakistan.
July 11: The Protection of Pakistan Ordinance-2014 was signed into law by the President.
July 23: The single-engine plane of 17-year-old American-Pakistani pilot Haris Suleman crashed in the sea.
July 26: Samina Baig became the first Pakistani woman to climb all seven highest peaks in the seven continents.
July 28: The EU stopped PIA from bringing cargo to the member states owing to security concerns.
Aug 11:  Pakistan Vision 2025 was unveiled by the Prime Minister.
Aug 12:  Prime Minister requested the Supreme Court to announce a commission to investigate PTIs rigging allegations.
Aug 14:  Pakistan Navy took over the command of the multinational naval counter-terrorism coalition force.
Aug 16: “Inqilab” and “Azadi” marches settled down in Islamabad.
Aug 17: PTI Chairman Imran Khan ordered his supporters to launch a civil disobedience movement against the government.
Aug 18: New Delhi called off the proposed meeting of foreign secretaries of the two countries.
Aug 22: Asma Shirazi was awarded the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism.
Aug 22: Shah Mehmood Qureshi submitted the resignations of PTI MNAs.
Aug 28: Security forces got freed Prof Ajmal Khan, Vice Chancellor of the Islamia University Peshawar.
Sep 01: A mob of protesters from the PTI and PAT sit-ins stormed the headquarters of Pakistan Television (PTV).
Sep 07: Heavy floods hit Punjab causing colossal losses.
Sep 18: Maj Gen Bilal Akbar took over as the 12th director general of Pakistan Rangers, Sindh.
Sep 22: The government appointed Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar as next chief of the ISI.
Oct 02: All decimal coins of paisa 1,2,5,10,25 and 50 ceased to be a legal tender.
Oct 08: Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah was sworn in as Chief of the Naval Staff.
Oct 08: Grand Jamia Mosque, the world’s 7th largest mosque, was opened in Bahria Town Lahore.
Oct 10: Education activist Malala Yousufzai, aged 17, became the youngest Nobel Prize winner.
Oct 16: The WHO held Pakistan responsible for nearly 80 per cent of polio cases reported globally.
Oct 19: The head office of “Edhi Foundation” was robbed.
Oct 21: Pakistan and Russia held the 2nd Round of Bilateral Strategic Dialogue.
Oct 21: Dr Tahirul Qadri declared an end to his party’s sit-in on Constitution Avenue, Islamabad.
Oct 24: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced imposing polio emergency in the country.
Oct 27: Pakistan won a seat as member of the administrative council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies.
Oct 31: The much feared tropical cyclone Nilofar almost completed its cycle without hitting Pakistan and India.
Nov 07: Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar took over as the 21st head of ISI, succeeding retired Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam.
Nov 12: Maryam Nawaz resigned as Chairperson of the Prime Minister Youth Loan Programme.
Nov 14: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani came to Pakistan on a two-day fence-mending trip.

International
Jan 01: Greece began a six-month stint as president of the European Union.
Jan 12: Sheikh Hasina was sworn in for a third spell as Bangladesh’s prime minister.
Feb 03: Janet Yellen was sworn in as the first woman chair of the US Federal Reserve.
Feb 10: Sushil Koirala was elected Nepal’s new prime minister.
Feb 14: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after a 49-day stint resigned.
Feb 16: Somayya Jabarti became the first woman editor-in-chief of a daily in Saudi Arabia.
Feb 16: Powerful Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr announced his exit from politics.
Feb 20: India’s parliament approved a plan to create 29th state.
Feb 21: Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi formed new government in Italy.
Feb 21: Indonesia instituted the world’s biggest manta ray sanctuary.
Mar 5: Perenna Kei, a 24-year-old Hong Kong-based woman was named the world’s youngest billionaire.
Mar 05: Swami Vivekanada Subharti University in Meerut suspended 67 Kashmiri students for cheering Pakistan during the India-Pak Asia Cup match.
Mar 06: Lawmakers in Crimea voted to join Russia.
Mar 18: President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty claiming the Black Sea region of Crimea as Russian territory.
Mar 24: An Egyptian court sentenced 529 supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi to death.
Mar 27: Philippines’Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed an historic pact with President Benigno Aquino’s government.
Mar 27: The WHO officially certified India and 10 other Asian countries free of polio.
Apr 05: Afghans flocked to polling stations nationwide.
Apr 05: Europe launched the first satellite of its multibillion-euro Copernicus Earth observation project.
Apr 07: Indians began voting in the world’s biggest election.
Apr 16: A South Korean ferry “MV Sewol,” carrying 462 on board sank.
Apr 17: The Indian government installed Admiral Robin K. Dhowan as the new navy chief.
Apr 23: President Mahmood Abbas’s PLO and Gaza-based group Hamas agreed to a unity pact.
Apr 24: The tiny Pacific republic of the Marshall Islands sued the United States and eight other nuclear-armed countries, accusing them of failing their obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament.
May 02: Landslides buried a village in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 2600 people.
May 06: The world’s five nuclear powers, the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France, signed a protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in Central Asia.
May 12: The UN appointed Maj Gen Kristin Lund as the first woman to command UN peacekeeping operations.
May 13: India’s government named Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh Suhag as country’s new army chief.
May 20: Thailand’s army chief imposed martial law, but insisted the intervention did not amount to military coup.
May 26: Narendra Modi was sworn-in as India’s 15th prime minister.
May 29: Ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won the presidential election in Egypt.
June 05: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won a new seven-year term with nearly 90 per cent of the vote.
June 18: King Juan Carlos sealed his abdication of the Spanish crown after a four-decade reign.
June 24: The Okavango Delta in Botswana became the 1,000th site on the UNESCO’s world heritage list.
June 25: Britain became the first Western country to sell an Islamic bond.
June 27: EU leaders picked former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker as the bloc’s new chief executive.
July 12: World’s top crude consumer, the United States, became the world’s top producer.
July 17: A Malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in rebel-held east Ukraine.
July 18: People around the world celebrated “Mandela Day”.
July 22: The reform-minded governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, was declared the winner of Indonesia’s presidential election. July 22: Chinese authorities shut an OSI plant a supplier to McDonald’s and KFC in China for mixing out-of-date meat with fresh product, re-labelling expired goods and other quality problems.
July 24: Kurdish politician Fuad Masum was named Iraq’s new president.
July 24: Far-right hawk Reuven Rivlin was sworn in as Israel’s 10th president.
Aug 05: A South African village became the first in the world to be powered by fuel cells.
Aug 05: An Afghan soldier shot dead Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene; the highest-ranking American officer to be killed since 9/11.
Aug 13:  Iran-born Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman to win Fields Medal — the Nobel Prize of mathematics.
Aug 14:  The UN announced its highest level of emergency for the crisis ignited by the IS militants.
Aug 15:  Panama celebrated the 100th anniversary of its famous canal.
Aug 21: Turkey’s ruling party chose Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to be the new prime minister.
Aug 26: A ceasefire was agreed to by Israel and the Palestinians, ending 50 days of the deadliest violence in a decade.
Aug 28: Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey’s president.
Sep 19: Scots rejected independence in a referendum that left the centuries-old United Kingdom intact.
Sep 23: A prominent academic from China’s mostly-Muslim Uighur minority, Ilham Tohti, was jailed for life for “separatism”.
Sep 24: India’s unmanned Mangalyaan spacecraft successfully entered the orbit of Mars after a 10-month journey.
Sep 29: Ashraf Ghani became the new Presidnt of Afghanistan while Abdullah Abdullah took over as country’s CEO.
Sep 30: Afghanistan and the US signed the Bilateral Security Agreement.
Sep 30: The world’s first “interactive microbe zoo,” Micropia museum, opened in Amsterdam.
Oct 01: Former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg took over as the 13th Secretary General of Nato.
Oct 08: Facebook officially purchased WhatsAppfor $21.8 billion.
Oct 14: British lawmakers voted to recognise Palestine as a state, in a symbolic vote.
Oct 15: Australia’s Richard Flanagan won the Man Booker prize for his novel ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’.
Oct 16: Yogurt became New York’s official state snack.
Oct 20: The WHO Nigeria and Senegal as Ebola-free.
Oct 20: Joko Widodo was sworn in as the President of Indonesia; world’s third-biggest democracy.
Oct 22: Canada’s capital was jolted by the fatal shooting of a soldier and an attack on the parliament building.
Oct 27: Brazil re-elected Dilma Rousseff as country’s president in.
Oct 30: Sweden officially recognised the state of Palestine, becoming the first major European country to do so.
Nov 07: A veteran US diplomat and Pakistan expert, Robin L. Raphel, was arrested by the FBI.
Nov 12: The Netherlands unveiled the world’s first solar bike path.

SPORTS
Jan 01: New Zealand’s Corey Anderson clubbed the fastest century in the ODI history from 36 balls.
Jan 04: India won Under-19 Asia Cup by beating Pakistan in the final.
Jan 07: Imran Farhat became only the second Pakistani to score a triple hundred twice in first-class cricket.
Jan 15: Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or.
Jan 25: Chinese ace Li Na became the oldest women’s Tennis champion.
Jan 30: Kenya lost One Day International (ODI) status.
Jan 30: New Zealand’s Kathy Cross became the first woman on the ICC Associate and Affiliate panel of umpires.
Feb 07: Russia’s Sochi Winter Olympics officially got underway.
Feb 07: Kumar Sangakkara became the second batsman in history to score a triple century and a hundred in the same match.
Feb 08: The International Cricket Council approved wide ranging changes to its structure that puts India, England and Australia in control of the world game.
March 04: Pakistan defeated Bangladesh in its biggest run chase in one-day internationals, reaching 329-7 with a ball to spare.
Feb 17: Brendon McCullum and Bradley John Watling of New Zealand broke the world record for the highest sixth-wicket partnership with a 352-run stand against India.
Feb 17: Kuldeep Yavdav became the first Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in Under-19 World Cup history.
Feb 26: Mahela Jayawardene became only second player after India’s Sachin Tendulkar to appear in 600 or more int’l matches.
March 01: South Africa won their maiden ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup title.
March 08: Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by five wickets in the final of the Asia Cup.
Mar 30: Ahmed Shehzad became the first Pakistani batsman to score a century in Twenty-20 cricket.
Mar 23: Australia triumphed in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, claiming their eighth title.
Apr 06: Australia overpowered England to win their third consecutive Women’s World Twenty20.
Apr 06: Sri Lanka lifted their maiden World Twenty20 title.
May 07: Afghanistan won the ACC Premier League title.
June 15: Australia outclassed the Netherlands to grab their third World Cup Hockey title.
July 12: England’s Joe Root and James Anderson made a Test record of last-wicket stand of 198 runs.
July 13: Germany grabbed their fourth World Cup crown after a 1-0 victory over Argentina.
Aug 02: Nicola Adams became the first female Commonwealth Games boxing champion.
Sep 06: South Africa won a first-ever tournament final against Australia.
Sep 07: Japan’s Kei Nishikori became the first Asian man to make a Grand Slam final.
Sep 24: The Qatar women’s basketball team forfeited a game at the Asian Games after being refused permission to wear hijab.
Sep 28: Peshawar Panthers won the national T20 cricket title after outgunning Lahore Lions in final.
Oct 02: India beat Pakistan in a penalty shoot-out to win back the Asian Games hockey title after 16 years.
Oct 25: Younis Khan surpassed former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq as the highest century maker for his country. He is also the first Pakistani to score centuries in both the innings against Australia.
Oct 30: Younis Khan became the first batsman in 90 years to hit three hundreds in consecutive innings against Australia.
Nov 02: Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq broke the Test record for the fastest fifty and equalled that of the quickest century.
Nov 10: Pakistan team set a new record in the history of Test cricket, as all top five batsmen of Pakistan scored over 80 runs.
Nov 13: Misbahul Haq surpassed the joint record for most wins held by former skippers Imran Khan and Javed Miandad.
Nov 13: Rohit Sharma smashed the highest individual ODI score with a breathtaking knock of 264 runs against Sri Lanka.

ECONOMY
Jan 10: The SECP approved issuance of first-ever listed Sukuk issue by the KESC amounting to Rs. 6 billion.
Feb 06: The SBP granted licence to Sindh Bank for the commencement of Islamic banking operations.
Apr 23: The cellular service providers, Mobilink, Telenor and Ufone picking up licences for 3G services while Zong acquired a licence for both 3G and 4G services.
May 21: China signed a landmark deal to buy Russian natural gas.
May 29: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty with Kazakhstan and Belarus creating a vast trading bloc.
Sep 04: Pakistan assumed charge of the 10-member ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry for three years.
Sep 19: Chinese online giant, Alibaba, made its historic Wall Street trading debut.
Sep 22: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s initial public offering became the world’s biggest in history at $25 billion.
Sep 23: The European Central Bank launched the new 10-euro banknote.
Nov 14: The SBP placed KASB Bank under moratorium for six months.
Oct 17: The United Kingdom became the first foreign country to issue offshore renminbi bonds.
Nov 08: Danish company OW Bunker, the world’s largest ship fuel supplier, declared bankruptcy.

EVERYDAY SCIENCE
Jan 17: A critically endangered species of marine turtle was found for the first time in Pakistan.
Jan 23: The “fastest ever” broadband speed was achieved in a test in London.
Feb 27: NASA confirmed 715 newly discovered planets outside the solar system.
Sep 22: Nasa’s MAVEN spacecraft began orbiting Mars.
Oct 04: A 36-year-old Swede became the world’s first woman to give birth after receiving a womb transplant.

OBITUARIES
Jan 07: Hong Kong media mogul Sir Run Run Shaw.
Jan 11: Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon
Jan 17: The spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohra community Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin.
Jan 31: Prof Dr Khawaja Amjad Saeed, the Founder Principal of Hailey College of Banking & Finance, University of the Punjab.
Feb 07: Veteran actor Ghayyur Akhtar.
Feb 21: Founder of the ARY Group, Haji Abdul Razzak Yaqoob.
Feb 22: Veteran film writer, director and lyricist Aziz Meeruthi.
Feb 24: Former interior minister Gen (retd) Hamid Nawaz.
Feb 16: William Duff, the British banker who transformed Dubai into a financial powerhouse.
Mar 16: Former IGP and chief minister’s adviser Jehanzeb Burki.
Mar 20: An iconic wit, writer, raconteur and Urdu buff Khushwant Singh.
Apr 17: Colombia’s Nobel-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Apr 19: Motorways DIG Mirza Shakeel Ahmed.
Apr 27: Former Punjab chief secretary Javed Qureshi.
May 16: Zille Huma, noted singer and daughter of melody queen Noor Jehan.
June 10: A veteran politician and head of Balochistan’s Marri clan, Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri.
May 28: Celebrated African-American author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
May 28: Sultan Azlan Shah, the founder of Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup.
June 25: Legendary character actor Eli Wallach.
July 10: India’s acting legend Zohra Sehgal.
July 26: A veteran journalist and editor-in-chief of the Nawai Waqt Group, Majid Nizami.
Aug 03: Veteran politician and the last crown prince of the princely state of Swat, Miangul Aurangzeb.
Aug 08: Anita Ghulam Ali former education minister of Sindh.
Aug 04: Dick Smith, Hollywood’s preeminent master of film make-up.
Aug 12:  Robin Williams, the actor whose madcap comic style made him one of television and film’s biggest stars.
Aug 13:  Legendary actress Lauren Bacall.
Aug 19: Pakistan’s first-ever world champion in any sport, squash star Hashim Khan.
Aug 22: Acclaimed Indian writer Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy.
Sep 04: Leading ghazal and playback singer Habib Wali Mohammad.
Sep 15: The longest serving physician of the country Dr S.M. Rab.
Sep 24: Oleg Ivanovsky, a Russian engineer who helped design Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit Earth, and Vostok 1, the craft that carried the astronaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.
Oct 21: The chairman of Iran’s Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani.
Nov 03: Renowned Marathi and Bollywood actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar.

MCQs

National
1. The tragic Peshawar massacre took place on ______.
(a) Dec 16    (b) Dec 17
(c) Dec 18    (d) Dec 19

2. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a moratorium on executions in the country on ______.
(a) Dec 16    (b) Dec 17
(c) Dec 18    (d) Dec 19

3. On Dec 19, Mohammad Aqeel alias Dr Usman and Arshad Mehmood were executed in ______ Jail.
(a) Sukkur    (b) Multan
(c) Faisalabad    (d) Adiala

4. On Dec 19, Pakistan became the ______ Asian country to be admitted to CERN, as associate member
(a) First        (b) Second
(c) Third        (d) Fourth

5. The incumbent chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) is ______.
(a) Parvez Butt    (b) Ansar Parvez
(c) Anwar Ali    (d) Ishfaq Ahmad

6. The total estimated cost of placing electricity connectivity through CASA 1000 is ______ billion.
(a) $1.0        (b) $1.3
(c) $2.0        (d) $2.3

7. On Dec 22, Pakistan and ______ signed an energy deal of $1.7 billion for laying an LNG pipeline from Karachi to Lahore.
(a) Turkey    (b) China
(c) Russia    (d) Japan

8. The supply of LNG Karachi-Lahore Pipeline will be available before ______ 2015.
(a) March    (b) April
(c) May        (d) June

9. The present chairman of the Punjab Higher Education Commission is ______.
(a) Dr Salman Rizvi
(b) Dr Akhtar Shumar
(c) Dr Mhjahid kamran
(d) Prof Dr Nizamuddin

10. On Dec 23, ______ was appointed as chairperson of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) for a period of three years.
(a) Leila Khan    (b) Vadiyya Khalil
(c) Salma Rashid    (d) Adeeba Butt

11. In its report entitled ‘Assessing Internal Democracy in Major Political Parties of Pakistan,’ the Pildat ranked ______ as the most democratic party.
(a) JI        (b) PML-N
(c) PTI        (d) MQM

12. On Dec 24, Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai was appointed as the chief justice of the ______ High Court.
(a) Peshawar    (b) Karachi
(c) Islamabad    (d) Balochistan

13. On Dec 25, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif designated______ as chairperson of the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP).
(a) Fozia Ali    (b) Salma Maroof
(c) Hina Butt    (d) Leila Khan

14. On Dec 25, the federal government established National Food Security Commission (NFSC) with ______ as its chairman.
(a) President
(b) Prime Minister
(c) Minister for Agriculture
(d) Minister for Water & Power

15. Sindh Shaddani Darbar is an annual ______ festival.
(a) Christian    (b) Parsi
(c) Buddhist    (d) Hindu

16. Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari became the chief of the Zardari tribe on ______.
(a) Dec 18    (b) Dec 25
(c) Dec 28    (d) Dec 30

17. On Dec 30, ______ of the Journalist Panel was re-elected president of the Lahore Press Club for year 2015.
(a) Arshad Ansari
(b) Habib Shaukat
(c) Sohail Warraich
(d) Amin Hafeez

18. On Dec 31, Syed Waqar Hussain Shah became the ______ Sajjada Nashin of the Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai shrine.
(a) 11th        (b) 12th
(c) 13th        (d) 14th

19. Pakistan has the ______ highest number of newborn deaths in the world.
(a) Second    (b) Third
(c) Eighth    (d) Eleventh

20. The Punjab Assembly passed ‘The Punjab Local Government (Third Amendment) Bill 2014,’ on ______.
(a) Jan 01    (b) Jan 03
(c) Jan 05    (d) Jan 08

21. Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 was approved by both houses of the parliament on ______.
(a) Jan 04    (b) Jan 05
(c) Jan 06    (d) Jan 09

22. The Bahria Town Grand Mosque will be the ______ biggest mosque of the world.
(a) Second    (b) Third
(c) Fourth    (d) Fifth

23. On Jan 06, ______ was appointed as Managing Director of Sui Southern Gas Company.
(a) Zulfiqar Ali    (b) Habib Asghar
(c) Leila Khan    (d) Khalid Rahman

24. On Jan 07, Pakistan’s first-ever centre for promotion of early education skills and healthy development of children was inaugurated in ______.
(a) Lahore    (b) Islamabad
(c) Quetta    (d) Karachi

25. On Jan 07, the UNHCR declared Pakistan, which hosts about ______ Afghan refugees, the biggest host country in absolute terms.
(a) 1.0 million    (b) 1.6 million
(c) 2.4 million    (d) 3.0 million

26. The Pakistan Army announced the establishment of the first group of nine military courts for trying civilian terror suspects on ______.
(a) Jan 06    (b) Jan 07
(c) Jan 09    (d) Jan 10

27. The current Chief Secretary Punjab is ______.
(a) Khizar Hayat Gondal
(b) Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad
(c) Khalid Rahman
(d) Naveed Akram Cheema

28. The incumbent chairman of Pakistan Broadcasters Association is ______.
(a) Mir Ibrahim Rahman
(b) Sultan Ali Lakhani
(c) Shakeel Masud
(d) Mian Aamer Mehmood

29. On Jan 10, ______ provided financial aid worth $1.6m to the Pakistan government to assist the IDPs of North Waziristan and Khyber Agency.
(a) Japan    (b) Norway
(c) Russia    (d) Denmark

30. The second edition of the ‘revitalised’ Pak-US Strategic Dialogue opened on ______.
(a) Jan 08    (b) Jan 10
(c) Jan 12    (d) Jan 14

International
1. Global Financial Integrity is a global anti-corruption group based in ______.
(a) London    (b) Paris
(c) Washington    (d) Hamburg

2. On Dec 16, ______ Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced to give up his PhD in law after being accused of plagiarism.
(a) Italy’s     (b) Canada’s
(c) Romania’s    (d) Belgium’s

3. On Dec 17, the United States and ______ made a historic breakthrough in their Cold War stand-off.
(a) Russia    (b) Cuba
(c) Vietnam    (d) China

4. Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an ______ by birth.
(a) American    (b) Indian
(c) Ethiopian    (d) Italian

5. On Dec 17, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke became the first person to hold the post of Prime Minister of ______ twice.
(a) Yemen    (b) Sudan
(c) Somalia    (d) Nigeria

6. On Dec 17, the Church of England named ______ as its first female bishop.
(a) Miri Gold    (b) Ilana Mills
(c) Eileen Harrop    (d) Libby Lane

7. The European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the recognition of a Palestinian state on ______.
(a) Dec 16    (b) Dec 17
(c) Dec 19    (d) Dec 20

8. Lok Sabha is the lower house of the parliament of ______.
(a) Bhutan    (b) Nepal
(c) India        (d) Bangladesh

9. North Korea officially mourned the death of its Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-il, for ______.
(a) 6 Months    (b) 1 Year
(c) 2 Years    (d) 3 Years

10. On Dec 18, a ______ military court sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny after they refused to deploy for an operation against Boko Haram.
(a) Kenya    (b) Nigeria
(c) Algiers    (d) Niger

11. Nouakchott is the capital of ______.
(a) Mauritania    (b) Tanzania
(c) Somalia    (d) Mozambique

12. On Dec 20, the UN General Assembly asked ______ to compensate Lebanon for $856.4 million in oil spill damages.
(a) Syria        (b) Jordan
(c) Egypt        (d) Israel

13. On Dec 20, the 5th Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Summit was held in ______.
(a) Hanoi    (b) Bangkok
(c) Vientiane    (d) Beijing

14. Matteo Renzi is the incumbent prime minister of ______.
(a) Italy        (b) Germany
(c) France    (d) Laos

15. National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) is a separatist group in ______.
(a) China    (b) Thailand
(c) India        (d) Philippines

16. On Dec 22, Afghan security forces launched an operation against TTP militants in eastern province namely ______.
(a) Balkh        (b) Kunar
(c) Helmand    (d) Ghazni

17. On Dec 23, lawmakers in Ukraine adopted a bill dropping Ukraine’s non-aligned status with ______.
(a) Isaf        (b) Nato
(c) ANZUS    (d) BALTRON

18. On Dec 24, India conferred the Bharat Ratna on Atal Bihari Vajpayee and ______
(a) Madan Mohan Malviya
(b) Sachin Tendulkar
(c) Amitabh Bachchan
(d) Abdul Kalam Azad

19. India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, was launched in ______.
(a) 1947        (b) 1951
(c) 1953        (d) 1954

20. Yangon is a city in ______.
(a) Maldives    (b) Myanmar
(c) Cambodia    (d) Bhutan

21. The current president of the European Union is ______.
(a) Croatia    (b) Belarus
(c) Latvia    (d) Germany

22. The EU presidency rotates among the member states of the EU every ______ months.
(a) 6        (b) 12
(c) 15        (d) 18

23. Nato formally ended its war in Afghanistan on ______.
(a) Dec 24    (b) Dec 26
(c) Dec 28    (d) Dec 30

24. Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in ______.
(a) 1964        (b) 1970
(c) 1975        (d) 1979

25. Amitbhai Anilchandra Shah, commonly known as Amit Shah, is the current President of the ______.
(a) Congress    (b) BJP
(c) NCP        (d) BSP

26. The members of the Eurasian Economic Union include Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and ______.
(a) Armenia    (b) Tajikistan
(c) Kazakhstan    (d) Azerbaijan

27. Turkey’s famous city Istanbul is located near the ______.
(a) Black Sea    (b) Red Sea
(c) Marmara Sea    (d) Baltic Sea

28. On Jan 09, ______ passed a controversial law banning transvestites and transsexuals from driving.
(a) India        (b) Nigeria
(c) China    (d) Russia

29. A leap second is occasionally inserted into the atomic scale of reckoning time in order to bring it into line with ______ time.
(a) Ephemeris    (b) Solar
(c) Sun Transit    (d) Lunar

30. On Jan 9, Maithripala Sirisena was sworn in as the new president of ______.
(a) Maldives    (b) Sri Lanka
(c) Nepal    (d) Bhutan

Sports
1. The Kabaddi World Cup 2015 was won by______.
(a) Canada    (b) Iran
(c) India        (d) Pakistan

2. Nicol David is a Malaysian ______ player.
(a) Hockey    (b) Squash
(c) Tennis    (d) Badminton

3. On Dec 21, a ______ club, Real Madrid, defeated San Lorenzo of Argentina to win the Club World Cup.
(a) French    (b) Spanish
(c) Australian    (d) German

4. In the 10th Iran Zamin Cup Karate Cadet Tournament, held in Tehran, Pakistan won ______ bronze medals.
(a) 5        (b) 7
(c) 9        (d) 12

5. On Jan 11, the Swiss ace Roger Federer registered his ______ ATP career win.
(a) 500th    (b) 750th
(c) 1,000th    (d) 1500th

6. On Jan 13, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo was voted the world’s best football player for the ______ time.
(a) First        (b) Second
(c) Third    (d) Fourth

7. The record of chasing highest target in a Twenty20 match is held by ______.
(a) South Africa    (b) West Indies
(c) Australia    (d) India

Obituaries
1. Virna Lisi, who played opposite Hollywood stars including Frank Sinatra in the 1960s, was an ______ actress.
(a) Danish    (b) Georgian
(c) Italian    (d) French

2. Anna Stoehr, who died on Dec 23, was famous for challenging ______ after the site didn’t let her list her real age.
(a) MySpace    (b) LinkedIn
(c) Twitter    (d) Facebook

3. On Dec 24, renowned film director and lifetime chairman of the Pakistan Film Directors Association ______ passed away
(a) Kaifi        (b) Aslam Dar
(c) Kamal Ahmed    (d) Aqeel Rubi

4. Syed Nisar Hussain Shah Latifi, the 11th Sajjada Nashin of the Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai shrine, died on ______.
(a) Dec 29    (b) Dec 30
(c) Jan 03    (d) Jan 05

5. Omar Karami, who died on Jan 01, was the former Prime Minister of ______.
(a) Syria        (b) Jordan
(c) Egypt        (d) Lebanon

6. On Jan 07, Julio Scherer Garcia, one of the most influential ______ journalists of the past half century, died.
(a) Cuban    (b) Mexican
(c) American    (d) British

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