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WORLD IN FOCUS (July-August 2013)

WORLD IN FOCUS July-August 2013 

News From National & International Press

NATIONAL

July 16: In its judgment in the media commission case, the Supreme Court ordered that all secret funds be audited by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP). The court also declared illegal and unconstitutional Rule 37(5) of the General Financial Rules (GFR).

July 16: The resignation of Punjab Governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmud was accepted by President Asif Ali Zardari.

July 16: President Zardari terminated the appointment of former chairman NAB retired Admiral Fasih Bokhari who was removed from his office by the Supreme Court on May 28.

July 16: The FPSC cancelled the Screening Test that was announced in June 2013 as a prerequisite to the CSS exam 2014. However, the Screening Test would be introduced for CSS examination 2015.

July 16: The federal government appointed Jalal Sikandar Sultan Raja as Immigration and Passports director general. He replaced Zulfikar Cheema who is now Motorway Police IG.

July 16: The Qatar government refused to install the LNG terminal at Karachi but agreed to export 500 million cubic feet LNG to Pakistan on government-to-government basis. However, Pakistan will be responsible for establishing the LNG terminal.

July 16: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong said that Pakistan and China will celebrate the year 2015 as ‘friendship exchange year’, to lay greater focus on further strengthening of bilateral cooperation and realising the dream of socio-economic empowerment of their people.

July 16: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) produced 8,161 PhD scholars up till 2012. As many as 1,039 scholars have completed PhDs in agriculture and veterinary sciences, 1,211 in arts and humanities, 1,692 in biology and medical science. In addition, 1,978 scholars have been awarded PhDs in social sciences, 1,810 in physical science, 288 in engineering and technology and 143 in business education.

July 17: The government set up a three-member commission, headed by the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO), for selection of chief executive officers (CEOs) of state-owned enterprises.Newly-appointed FTO Abdul Rauf Chaudhry will head the commission. Shams Qasim Lakha, head of the Aga Khan Foundation and well-known educationist, and Dr Ijaz Nabi, a professor of administrative sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, will be its members.

July 17:
The president on the advice of the prime minister accorded his approval to the amendments in Shariah Nizam-e-Adl Regulation 2009 along with draft Shariah Nizam-e-Adl (Amendment) Regulation, 2013 in terms of Article 247(4) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

July 18: The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet approved three projects for importing up to 1.7 billion cubic feet (BCF) of liquefied natural gas in two and a half years, starting with 200 MMCFD in six months.

July 18: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) renewed and extended Operational and Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for two years.

July 18: Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasar of the Pakistan Muslim League-N and Abdul Rauf Lala of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) were elected senators in the elections for two vacant seats from Balochistan.

July 18: The Punjab government and the United Nations system in Pakistan kicked off the One UN Programme II in the province for the next five years.

July 18: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the back-channel diplomacy with India had been restored and expressed the hope that it would bear fruits soon.

July 20: FPCCI President Zubair Ahmed Malik reappointed Engr. M. A. Jabbar as the chairman of the FPCCI Standing Committee on WTO Affairs for the year 2013.

July 21: The School Education Department Punjab has decided to incorporate tourism articles and picture stories in the curricula from class I to VIII in all schools of the province. The curriculum wing, in collaboration with the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP), has evolved these articles which contain basic information about worth-seeing historic places of the Punjab.

July 22: The corruption-devastated Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) finally got its new chairman as Muhammad Ayub Sheikh assumed the charge.


July 22: Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Chairperson Rahat Kaunain resigned from her post.

July 23: Deputy Inspector General Sikandar Hayat, a grade-20 officer, assumed charge as Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad, replacing former IGP Bani Amin Khan.

July 23: To undertake various academic activities for the promotion of the values of peace, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) decided to establish a Hajvery Sufism Chair at one of its universities.

July 24: Terrorists rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the local headquarters of the ISI, leading to collapse of a major part of the building and death of at least four officials.

July 24: The Supreme Court ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold the presidential election on July 30, instead of August 6, as sought by the federal government in a petition filed in the court.

July 24: Team leader Rehmat Ullah and Dr Naveed Iqbal, who are part of the Pak-China Friendship Expedition 2013 Climbs, became the first Pakistanis to summit the Muztagh Ata; a 7,546-metre peak in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China.

July 25: The federal cabinet decided to extend the quota system in central civil services for 20 years.

July 25: The Supreme Court de-notified PML-Q lawmaker Samina Khawar Hayat because her academic degree was found fake.

July 25: Pakistan’s strategic forces, responsible for the country’s primary deterrence programme, have taken the term ‘special degree’ one step ahead by developing what they call, ‘the world’s smallest nuclear weapons’.
These special weapons are about the size of a tennis ball. In addition, Pakistani military has developed plutonium-based anti-tank bullets which can prove very lethal for enemy armoured vehicles.

July 26: The main opposition party, PPP, boycotted the Presidential election in protest against advancing the date of polling from August 6 to July 30.

July 26: The adviser to prime minister on Civil Aviation Captain (r) Shujaat Azeem tendered his resignation to the prime minister after being unable to defend his appointment in the Supreme Court.

July 27: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Punjab government and well-known Chinese company China Power International Holdings (CPIH) for the setting up of four coal power plants of 2,400 megawatts.

July 27: Pakistan got its first mobile court as the Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan inaugurated the service.
‘The mobile courts will settle not hundreds but thousands of civil and criminal cases in remote villages and union councils by reaching there, ‘Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan said.

July 29: Three Pakistani students won ‘Honourable Mention’ for Pakistan at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held at Santa Marta, Colombia. As many as 96 countries participated in the Olympiad from July 18 to 28.

July 29: The Nawaz government sacked Naeem Yahya, Managing Director of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) with immediate effect.

July 29: Militants stormed one of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s oldest and largest central jails in Dera Ismail Khan with rockets and heavy weapons and unconfirmed reports said they succeeded in breaking the prison wall and helping some of their jailed colleagues escape.

July 30: The nominee of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N, Mamnoon Hussain, won the presidential election with ease.
Mr Hussain secured 432 votes of an existing 674-vote parliamentary electoral college against just 77 of opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Wajihuddin Ahmed.

July 31: The Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan retired Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim resigned from his post after heading the prime electoral body for a little over a year.

July 31: The government’s power policy was announced officially. It envisages an immediate increase of more than 50 per cent in the electricity tariff for consumers in industrial and commercial sectors and for domestic and agricultural from Oct 1.

July 31: Mohammad Sarwar, a UK based Pakistani businessman, was appointed governor of Punjab.

July 31: The first online FIR was registered at the Mingora Police Station following the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s decision to end thana culture and provide easy access to police stations.

Aug 01: The United States announced resumption of its suspended ‘strategic dialogue’ with Pakistan. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Islamabad on his first visit after moving to the US State Department and the change of government in Pakistan. He also hinted at continuation of the drone attacks.

Aug 01: Federal government decided to launch ‘Prime Minister Laptops National Scheme’ for free of cost distribution of 100,000 laptops among the deserving students of federal educational institutions.

Aug 01: Former State Bank of Pakistan governor Shahid Kardar was appointed the new vice chancellor of Beaconhouse National University.

Aug 02: FPSC’s annual report 2012 was presented to the President. It revealed that competition for Central Superior Services (CSS) exams is increasing as more and more candidates appear in the exam every year.

Aug 03: At least 42 people lost their lives as heavy rains lashed the length and breadth of the country.

Aug 03: President Asif Ali Zardari accepted the resignation tendered by Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim.

Aug 05: Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar was sworn in as the 35th governor of Punjab. Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial administered the oath.

Aug 05: The government notified an unprecedented 74 per cent increase in electricity tariff for industrial, commercial and bulk consumers of all distribution companies.

Aug 06: Suspected militants killed an army colonel, a captain and a senior superintendent of police (SSP) who were investigating the Nanga Parbat tragedy.

Aug 06: All the members of recently-formed PIA board of directors nominated by the prime minister resigned.

Aug 07: Around 200 members of the Youth Congress, who gathered near the Pakistan High Commission in Chanakyapuri in central Delhi, attacked the Commission building.

Aug 08: At least 30 members of the police force, including DIG (Operations) Fayyaz Sumbal and SP Traffic Mohammad Anwar Khiliji, were killed and 60 others injured after a suicide bomber blew him up at the namaz-i-janaza of a Quetta SHO who had been gunned down in the city earlier that day.

Aug 08: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that he hoped the peace dialogue with India would remain intact, adding that Pakistan was willing to work with the neighbouring country to prevent recurrence of violent incidents along the Line of Control (LoC).

Aug 12: After ceasefire violations on the Line of Control in Kashmir, the government said the most-favoured nation (MFN) trading status for India was not under ‘immediate consideration’.

Aug 12: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived on a two-day visit. He expressed concern over the killing and maiming of people by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones.

Aug 12: The Sindh police acquired the multimillion-rupee cellular phone caller location system technology which has so far remained in the exclusive use and mandate of the intelligence agencies.

Aug 12: The army appointed Maj Gen Aamer Riaz as director general of military operations (DGMO). He succeeds Maj Gen Ishfaq Nadeem.
Gen Riaz, previously as a brigadier, had served as commander of special services 111 Brigade.

Aug 13: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon advised Pakistan to mend fences with its neighbours and focus on people-centred development.

Aug 14: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for de-escalation of tensions on the Line of Control (LoC) and sought United Nations help for resolving the Kashmir dispute.

Aug 14: The Punjab government launched its Emergency Enrollment Campaign to combat illiteracy in the province. It will target 3.5 million four-to-16-year-old out-of-school children (OOSC). The campaign’s tag line is Freedom from Illiteracy (jahalat say azaadi).

Aug 14: Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif sanctioned the formation of Punjab Energy Council for speedy implementation of energy projects. The chief minister will be the chairman of the council which will meet twice a week.

Aug 15: The government and opposition parties in the National Assembly agreed to set up a multi-party house committee to probe complaints of rigging in the
May 11 elections and suggest electoral reforms to evolve better checks.

Aug 15: The government announced Sitara-i-Imtiaz for Prof Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin, vice-chancellor, University of Gujrat, for his services in the field of education.

Aug 15: Major General Sarfaraz Sattar was appointed Director General Military Intelligence.

INTERNATIONAL

July 16: Egypt’s first interim government since the military toppled democratically and freely elected president Mohamed Morsi was sworn in. The Muslim Brotherhood, the influential movement from which Mr Morsi hails, rejected the military-chosen 35-member cabinet.

July 16: In an effort to prevent 100,000 girls and women across South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka) from falling victims to labour trafficking in the Middle East, the United Nations Labour agency and United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) launched a new programme which aims at ending such practices.

July 16: Panama’s president Ricardo Martinelli told RPC radio that his country has seized a North Korean-flagged ship carrying what appeared to be ballistic missile and other arms that had set sail from Cuba.

July 16: President Vladimir Putin watched Russia’s biggest military manoeuvres since Soviet times, involving 160,000 troops and about 5,000 tanks across Siberia and the far eastern region in a massive show of the nation’s resurgent military might.

July 17: Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, the famously bloodthirsty boss of Mexico’s most notoriously violent drug cartel, the Zetas cartel, was captured by Mexican marines.

July 17: A Bangladesh war crimes tribunal sentenced a top Islamist politician to death for crimes during the 1971 war of independence.

July 17: In the Indian state of Bihar, 25 children died and dozens needed hospital treatment after apparently being poisoned by a school meal.

July 17: The UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said it was still seeking $8.6 billion of the record $12.9 billion it needs to help 73 million people engulfed in crises around the world this year.

July 17: Britain legalised gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal assent to a bill approved by lawmakers, paving the way for the first same sex weddings in 2014. This makes Britain the 15th country worldwide to legalise gay marriage.

July 17: President Nicols Maduro of Venezuela and MS Cilia Flores were married after having resisted formally tying the knot for about two decades.

July 19: US President Barack Obama sent the nomination papers of Nisha Desai Biswal, an Indian-American, to the Senate, informing the lawmakers that he intended to appoint her the new Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs.

July 21: Philippe ascended the throne of Belgium after the emotional abdication by his father Albert II, vowing to strive for unity in a nation divided by language and tradition. The new sovereign, who at 53 becomes the seventh ‘King of The Belgians’, was sworn into office by the joint houses of parliament.

July 21: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc won a decisive election victory, cementing his grip on power.

July 22: The Acting President and Senate Chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari approved appointment of Abid Sher Ali as minister of state for water and power.

July 22: The European Union agreed to put the armed wing of Hezbollah on its terrorism blacklist, a move driven by concerns over the Lebanese militant group’s roles in a bus bombing in Bulgaria and the Syrian war.

July 24: Afghanistan’s first and only female provincial governor, Habiba Sarabi the governor of the Bamyan province, and an aid worker from Myanmar’s Kachin minority, Lahpai Seng Raw, were among the winners of this year’s prestigious Ramon Magsaysay awards.
The Manila-based Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, named after a popular Filipino president who was killed in a plane crash, was established in 1957 to honour people or groups who change communities in Asia for the better.

July 24: Britain’s new prince was named George Alexander Louis. Kensington Palace said the royals were ‘delighted to announce’ their son’s name, adding that the two-day-old baby and third-in-line to the throne would be known as ‘His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge’.

July 25: President Barack Obama nominated Caroline Kennedy to become US ambassador to Japan, in the biggest foray into public service for John F. Kennedy’s sole surviving child.

July 25: The French parliament agreed to amend legislation dating back to 1881 in favour of freedom of speech. Whereas before any rude remark risked an automatic fine for ‘offending the head of state’, the president is now reduced to the same category as ministers and parliamentarians and would need to have a judge prove there had been slander or defamation.

July 27: Israel froze cooperation with the European Union on work in the Palestinian territories in retaliation for an EU directive banning funding or grants for bodies with links to Israeli settlements.

July 27: Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice (R) Markandey Katju called for the unification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh into one secular state.

July 28: Britain confirmed it briefly sent troops back to a bloody district of Helmand Province to assist Afghan forces.

July 29: US Secretary of State John Kerry named a former ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, as America’s special envoy to help shepherd new Middle East peace talks.

July 29: Britain’s Home Office confirmed it will demand a 3,000 pound ($4,630) refundable bond for visas for ‘high-risk’ visitors from six former colonies in Africa and Asia including Pakistan.

July 30: India’s ruling Congress party approved a resolution to create a new state in the southeast. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other senior party leaders agreed to grant longstanding demands for the state of Telangana to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh state.

Aug 01: The House of Representatives easily passed a bill to tighten sanctions on Iran, showing a strong message to Tehran over its disputed nuclear programme.

Aug 01: Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden left the Moscow airport where he was marooned for over five weeks, after Russia granted him one year’s.

Aug 01: Bangladesh’s main Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, was barred from contesting next year’s elections when judges declared its charter breached the secular constitution.

Aug 02: Germany cancelled surveillance accords dating from the late 1960s with the United States and Britain in the wake of revelations about vast US online spying.

Aug 02: The United States gave its strongest endorsement yet to Egypt’s new army-installed government, saying the military had been ‘restoring democracy’ when it drove Islamist President Mohamed Morsi from office.

Aug 03: Work on the main structure of the world’s second tallest skyscraper was completed, as the final beam was placed on the Shanghai Tower. The building overtook Taiwan’s 509-metre tall Taipei 101 building to become the highest tower in Asia.
Globally it is second only to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 830 metres. The tower, which costs an estimated $14.8 billion yuan ($2.4bn), will reach over 630 metres when it is finally finished.

Aug 03: Egypt’s army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi lashed out at the United States, urging Washington to do more to pressure the Muslim Brotherhood to end its rallies. The United States provides $1.5 billion in mostly military aid to Cairo every year.

Aug 03: Turkey’s top military council, the Supreme Military Council chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, decided on the forced retirement of gendarmerie force commander General Bekir Kalyoncu, who had been expected to become land forces commander.

Aug 03: Zimbabwe’s 89-year-old Robert Mugabe romped to victory in presidential and parliamentary polls. The veteran leader scored another five years in office, extending his 33-year rule with a landslide 61 per cent of the vote.

Aug 03: The New York Times Company announced that it has agreed to sell The Boston Globe newspaper for $70 million cash to the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

Aug 04: New President Hassan Rouhani told the West after taking the oath of office that the only way to interact with Iran was through dialogue, not sanctions. The 64-year-old cleric took over from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Aug 05: A Turkish court sentenced a former army chief to life in prison in a high-profile trial of 275 people accused of plotting against the democratically elected government.

Aug 05: US missions across the Middle East and Africa will be closed through August 10 after US intelligence uncovered what lawmakers said was the most serious threats of an al-Qaeda attack in years.

Aug 05: Saudi Arabia denied permission for a plane carrying Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to travel through its airspace for the swearing-in of the new Iranian president.

Aug 06: Japan unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a $1.2 billion helicopter carrier aimed at defending territorial claims.

Aug 06: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani offered an olive branch to the United States in talks on Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme.

Aug 06: Don Graham, whose grandfather bought the venerable Washington Post at a 1933 bankruptcy sale, announced in a letter to staff that the paper had been sold to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Aug 06: The United States ordered Americans to leave Yemen ‘immediately’ but also acknowledged that Al Qaeda cells in the Afghan-Pakistan region had been decimated.

Aug 06: Taiwan’s scholar-turned defence minister resigned in less than a week after taking office to replace his predecessor. He was accused of plagiarism.

Aug 07: US President Barack Obama scrapped a Moscow summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, with the White House citing a lack of progress in relations and ‘disappointment’ over the Edward Snowden affair. The rare decision to cancel the talks set for next month came after Mr Obama accused the Russians of slipping back ‘into a Cold War mentality’.

Aug 07: The world’s second-largest offshore wind farm, the Greater Gabbard wind farm, capable of generating enough electricity to power over half a million homes, was opened officially off the Suffolk coast, England.

Aug 12: India unveiled its first indigenously built aircraft carrier, a landmark moment in the $5 billion project that seeks to project the country’s power. When the INS Vikrant comes into full service in 2018, India will join an elite club of nations that have designed and built their own aircraft carriers including Britain, France, Russia and the United States but not China.

Aug 12: India successfully test-fired indigenously developed and nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile, having a range of 350km, from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur.Prithvi, the first missile developed under India’s prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, is capable of carrying 500kg to 1,000kg of warhead and propelled by liquid propulsion twin engines and uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory.

Aug 13: Norway’s intelligence agency blocked a US company, Apple, from flying over Oslo to take 3D aerial photos for its map application, citing national security.

Aug 14: Gmail users have no ‘reasonable expectation’ that their emails are confidential, Google said in a court filing. Google and its peers are under pressure to explain their role in the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance of US citizens and foreign nationals.

Aug 14: After 22 years of service, ‘Doctors Without Borders’ announced pullout from Somalia saying that armed groups were killing and abducting aid workers.

Aug 14: India’s 18 sailors on board a submarine were killed when the marine exploded and sank.
The fully-armed INS Sindhurakshak, returned by original manufacturer Russia earlier this year after a major refit.
The disaster is thought to be the Indian Navy’s worst since the sinking of a frigate by a Pakistani submarine in 1971.

Aug 15: Supporters of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood stormed and torched a government building in Cairo, while families tried to identify hundreds of mutilated bodies piled in a Cairo mosque a day after they were shot dead by the security forces. The health ministry said 578 people were killed and thousands wounded in the worst day of civil violence in the modern history of the most populous Arab state.

SPORTS

July 16: Martina Hingis became one of the youngest members of the International Tennis Hall of Fame when the five-time Grand Slam champion was officially inducted into it.

July 18: Bismah Maroof became the first Pakistani and 4th player overall to score 1000 or more runs in women’s one-day internationals.

July 20: Australia’s great Shane Warne was inducted into the International Cricket Council (ICC) Hall of Fame.

July 21: Marcel Hug clinched his third consecutive 10,000m T54 title at the International Paralympics Committee IPC Athletics World Championships.

July 21: Austria’s Yvonne Meusburger won her first-ever WTA Tour Title as she claimed the Claycourt Nurnberger Gastein Open, beating Andrea Hlavackova in the final.

July 21: World number one Serena Williams racked up her 51st win of the year when she cruised past home player Johanna Larsson in the Swedish Open final.

July 21: Chinese star Wu Minxia claimed a record sixth gold medal in the 3m synchronised diving event at the world championships in Barcelona.

July 21: A 14-year-old Thai students, Pachara Khongwatmai, became the youngest male to win a major professional golf tournament.

July 22: The newest winner of cycling’s showcase race, Chris Froome became the first Tour de France champion to be crowned since Armstrong was stripped of his seven titles, for doping.

July 24: India captain Virat Kohli became the fastest batsman in the history of the game to score 15 one-day international hundreds as India cruised to a six-wicket victory over Zimbabwe.

July 25: Pakistan Captain Misbah-ul-Haq led Pakistan to a four-wicket victory over West Indies in the fifth and final One-day International to clinch the series 3-1.

July 26: In the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Twenty20 competition for the departments, Habib Bank Limited (HBL) clinched the title.

July 29: Brek Shea scored in the 69th minute to give the United States a 1-0 victory over Panama in the title match of the Gold Cup, North America’s biennial continental football championship tournament.

July 29: Pakistan held off a desperate late surge by the West Indies to take the second and final Twenty20 International. Pakistan won the series 2-0.

July 29: A probe ordered by India’s cricket chiefs into a betting scandal in the Indian Premier League found no wrongdoing, allowing the return of BCCI president N. Srinivasan.

July 30: The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will host the final of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, with New Zealand’s Christchurch to kick off the one-day tournament. The semi-finals will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Auckland’s Eden Park.

July 31: American teenager Katie Ledecky smashed the world record in the 1,500 freestyle for her second gold medal during a glittering session for the United States at the world swimming championships.

Aug 01: Pakistan Swimming Federation (PSF) president retired Major Majid Waseem was elected as executive member of the FINA Masters Committee.
In the World Swimming Championship in Barcelona, Miss Anum Bandey broke the national record in 200m breaststroke with a timing of 02:55.65.

Aug 01: Sri Lanka and Pakistan will share the Women’s Twenty20 Qualifiers title, after rain prematurely ended the qualifier final at the YMCA Cricket Club in Dublin.

Aug 03: Russia’s Yuliya Efimova broke the women’s 50m breaststroke world record, the fourth record to fall at these world swimming championships in Barcelona. The 21-year-old Efimova clocked 29.78secs.

Aug 04: Seam bowlers Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Morne Morkel took two wickets each to propel South Africa to a 22-run win over Sri Lanka for an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Aug 05: Tiger Woods won the Bridgestone Invitational for the eighth time in emphatic style.

Aug 05: England retained the Ashes but only after grim Manchester weather came to the team’s rescue on the final day of the third Test.

Aug 05: The 24-year-old top seed from Argentina, Juan Martin del Potro, beat John Isner in final of the Washington Open.

Aug 11: Lin Dan of China became the first player to win five world badminton championship men’s singles titles.

Aug 11: Chris Rogers became the second oldest Australian batsman after Arthur Richardson to hit a maiden century, at 35 years and 344 days.

Aug 11: Aleksandr Ivanov gave hosts Russia their first gold at World Athletics Championships and the country’s third successive title in the 20 kilometres walk. The 20-year-old timed 1hr 20min 58sec as he crossed the line to roars of delight from the crowd.

Aug 11: Teenage Thai Ratchanok Intanon won her first badminton world championship title when she upset Olympic champion Li Xuerui in the women’s singles to end China’s decade of domination in the event. In the men’s singles, Lin Dan overcame a year off to retain his title with another closely fought battle with old adversary Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.

Aug 12: Pakistan’s Saleem Raza earned sixth position in the recently concluded Swedish Disabled Invitational Golf Championships in which top 40 golfers from across the world were competing.

Aug 12: World number one Serena Williams won the WTA title in Toronto.

Aug 12: Fourth seed Rafael Nadal in just 68 minutes routed Milos Raonic to capture the ATP Montreal Masters.

Aug 14: Aamir Atlas clinched the trophy of the Independence Day Squash after defeating his younger brother Danish Atlas.

Aug 15: Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli shocked the tennis world by announcing her retirement from the sport at the age of 28.

Aug 15: The Belgian Borlee brothers made history when all three competed in the 4x400m relay, a first for the World Athletics Championships.
Twins Jonathan and Kevin, the 2011 world 400m bronze medallist, ran in their heat alongside younger brother Dylan, making his world debut, and Antoine Gillet.
It was the first time in the history of the world championships that three siblings had all competed together in the same race.

ECONOMY

July 19: Detroit became the largest city in US history to file for bankruptcy protection after decades of decline and mismanagement rendered the home of the nation’s auto industry insolvent.

July 20: The G20 agreed that boosting growth and jobs is the near-term priority for the global economy as it faces a ‘fragile and uneven’ recovery.
Finance chiefs from the G20 group of advanced and emerging nations also backed an action plan to crack down on tax avoidance by multinationals and help replenish diminished budgets.

July 20: Pakistan and China formed a task force on implementation of an MoU for construction of an economic corridor between Silk Road city of Xinjiang and Gwadar. Mr Ahsan Iqbal signed the agreement together with Mr Xu Shao, the chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission.

July 20: China emerged as the second largest market for Pakistani products after the United States in the fiscal year 2012-13.
The State Bank reported that the biggest importer for Pakistan is the US as exports to US in FY13 were to the tune of $3.878 billion. The second highest exports were for China as it paid $2.697bn for Pakistani products in FY13. This development took place during the last five years.

July 23: Japan formally joined negotiations for a US-led trans-Pacific agreement, raising hopes for a free trade deal which would cover nearly 40 per cent of the global economy.

July 24: Sri Lanka signed a deal with a Chinese company to build a $1.4 billion city complex on reclaimed land near the harbour of the capital Colombo.
The state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will reclaim 230 hectares (568 acres) next to the new Colombo South port.

July 26: Britain’s finance ministry said that the country’s ambassador to the European Union, Jon Cunliffe, will serve as deputy governor for financial stability at the Bank of England after Paul Tucker steps down later this year.

July 26: Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) was inducted as a member of the technical committee of credit guarantee (TCCG), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) constituted for the implementation and monitoring of the credit guarantee scheme for small and rural enterprises.

July 27: China and the European Union defused their biggest trade dispute by far with a deal to regulate Chinese solar panel imports and avoid a wider war in goods from wine to steel.

July 27: The Punjab government has signed an MoU with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary institution of the World Bank, to get technical help to make Punjab Revenue Authority and recovery system of general sales tax more efficient.

July 27: The Asian Development Bank will assist Pakistan to prepare and adopt a strategic plan in road network improvement in Sindh.

July 29: Saudi Arabia unveiled a massive infrastructure project. The Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) awarded three major contracts worth $22.5 billion for the construction of 176 km, six-line metro network in the city.

July 29: Gas started flowing to energy-hungry China through a pipeline from Myanmar, a Chinese state oil company said.
The 793-kilometre (492-mile) pipeline runs from Kyaukpyu on resource-rich Myanmar’s west coast, close to the offshore Shwe gas fields, and across the country.

July 30: Amjad Parvez Janjua took the charge as the new Managing Director (MD) of Pakistan State Oil (PSO); the nation’s leading energy company.

July 30: A meeting of the cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) was held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. One of the initiatives taken by the government to diversify exports is promoting the export of value-added gold jewellery. For this purpose, there are special schemes in operation currently to facilitate jewellery exporters whereby they are able to import gold without payment of any duty on the condition that this gold is re-exported after converting it into value-added jewellery.

July 31: Pakistan and Brazil agreed on a new visa regime that will allow the business communities of both sides to obtain five-year multiple entry visas. The move is expected to increase economic and trade relations between the two countries.

Aug 01: Pakistan’s inflation rose 8.3 per cent in July 2013 from a year ago, the highest since September 2012, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

Aug 02: China breached the rules of global commerce by imposing duties on imports of US chicken, the World Trade Organisation ruled, saying Beijing must fall into line.

Aug 03: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) agreed to extend a loan facility of 750 million euros to Pakistan. The IDB will also provide a trade facility of $150 million for import of fertiliser and petroleum products.

Aug 13: Russian crude giant Rosneft signed an oil and gas agreement with Azerbaijan’s state energy firm aimed at loosening the European Union’s ties with the key Caspian market.
The deal was sealed on the sidelines of talks in Baku between visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Aug 14: Eurozone climbed out of recession at last with surprisingly strong growth of 0.3 per cent in the second quarter led by Germany and France.

EVERYDAY SCIENCE

July 16: The US space agency announced the discovery of Neptune’s 14th moon. The Hubble Space Telescope captured the moon as a white dot in photos of the planet on the outskirts of our solar system. The new moon ‘Neptune’s tiniest at just 12 miles (19.3 kilometres) across’ is designated S/2004 N 1.

July 24: Google unveiled a slimmer, more powerful tablet computer on its Nexus brand and a thumb-sized device that lets popular mobile gadgets feed online content wirelessly to television sets.

July 24: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding solar development project was signed between the Punjab government and an international consortium of five countries, including Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria and Pakistan.

July 26: Scientists implanted a false memory in the brains of mice in an experiment that they hope will shed light on the well-documented phenomenon whereby people ‘remember’ events or experiences that have never happened.

July 26: Swiss researchers said that people really do have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep when the moon is full, even when they can’t see it.

Aug 04: Japan launched the world’s first talking robot, Kirobo, into space to serve as companion to astronaut Kochi Wakata who will begin his mission in November.
The android took off from the island of Tanegashima in an unmanned rocket also carrying supplies for crew onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Aug 04: Glacier systems that feed two key rivers in South Asia will badly retreat this century, but demands for water are still likely to be met, a study predicted.
Scientists agree that the onward march of the greenhouse effect will shrink the glaciers, but there is little consensus on the volume and rate of ice loss and the impact on water availability.

Aug 05: Scientists unveiled the world’s first lab-grown beef burger, serving it up to volunteers in London in what they hope is the start of a food revolution.
The 140 gramme (about five ounce) patty, which cost more than 250,000 euros ($330,000) to produce, has been made using strands of meat grown from muscle cells taken from a living cow.

Aug 12: Scientists cloned a colony of rabbits that glow bright green in the dark, in an attempt to advance research into treatments for life-threatening illnesses. Researchers based in Hawaii and Turkey produced a litter of eight rabbits, two of which glow green in the dark. Dr Stefan Moisyadi, a biogenesis researcher, said the rabbits are like “an LED light”.

Aug 12: Energy generated through nuclear fusion could be available in the next decade, according to a world authority on the subject. Prof Steven Cowley, chief executive of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, believes the world’s first nuclear fusion power plant in France could be producing viable electricity in the 2020s. Nuclear fusion is regarded as the holy grail of energy. It is the same process which powers the Sun and all the other stars in the universe.

Aug 14: Adrian Glover of the Natural History Museum and his team discovered two new species of bone-eating Antarctic worms, Osedax anatrcticus and Osedax deceptionensis.

Aug 15: Astronomers have, for the first time, detected in X-rays a planet outside our solar system pass in front of its parent star. The image was taken of a planet in HD 189733- a system which is 63 light-years from Earth – using Nasa’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency’s XMM Newton Observatory.

OBITUARIES

July 17: Britain’s former 400m world indoor record-holder and Olympic medallist Todd Bennett died at 51.

July 17: Herbert M. Allison Jr., a former president of Merrill Lynch who was appointed to lead and help rescue a troubled Fannie Mae and who later ran the federal government’s bank bailout programme, died. He was 69.

July 20: Helen Thomas, the irrepressible White House correspondent who used her seat in the front row of history to grill 10 US presidents often to their discomfort, died. She was 92.

July 23: British comedian Mel Smith, who became a household name in Britain for a series of television sketch shows in the ’70s and ’80s died. Smith found fame starring in hugely popular shows ‘Not The Nine O’clock News’ and ‘Alas Smith and Jones’ and went on to direct films such as ‘Bean and The Tall Guy’.

July 24: Djalma Santos, a trusty right back who won two World Cups with Brazil and was widely considered one of the Brazil’s greatest defenders, died. He was 84.

July 24: Former welterweight champion Emile Griffith, best known for the brutal 1962 world title fight that claimed the life of bitter rival Benny Paret, died. He was 75.

July 24: Ali Hassan Chandio, a Sindhi nationalist and Chairman Sindh National Movement (SNM), passed away.

July 27: Barnaby Jack, a prominent hacker who discovered a way to have automatic teller machines spit out cash and was set to deliver a talk about hacking pacemakers and other wireless implantable medical devices died.

July 29: Peace activist Garry Davis, who dramatically renounced his US citizenship in the dark days of the Cold War and founded a government for self-declared ‘world citizens’, like himself, died at the age of 92.

July 29: Renowned cricket commentator and former president of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) Munir Hussain died. He was 83.

Aug 03: Senior voiceover artist Hasan Shaheed Mirza died. He was suffering from cancer. He was 63.

Aug 03: Noted scholar, researcher and literary icon Dr Farman Fatehpuri died after a long illness. He was 87.

Aug 05: Quresh Pur, the host of Kasauti, arguably the most popular quiz show in the history of Pakistani television, passed away. He was 81.

Aug 05: Britain’s Admiral John ‘Sandy’ Woodward, who led the Royal Navy task force during the 1982 Falklands War, died. He was 81.

Aug 07: Hashim B. Sayeed, who established one of the first factories in Karachi after partition and immortalised the brand of Pakistan Paper Products in minds of three generations of students with the symbolic three Ps, passed away. He was 85.

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