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World in Focus (July-August 2017 )

 World in Focus (July-August ’17 )

NATIONAL

July 16: Pakistan Army launched Operation Khyber-IV in Khyber Agency’s Rajgal Valley to ‘forestall entry’ of the IS group from Afghanistan.

July 16: JUI-F candidate Usman Badini won the NA-260 Quetta-cum-Chagai-cum-Noshki by-poll.

July 18: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah struck down the PEMRA’s notification regarding a ban on broadcasting of Indian dramas on private TV channels.

July 18: The Ombudsman of Balochistan, Abdul Ghani Khilji, took the oath of his office.

July 18: Punjab Revenue Minister Mian Atta Muhammad Maneka resigned.

July 19: Establishment Secretary Syed Tahir Shahbaz was appointed the Federal Ombudsman.

July 19: Elder brother of APML leader Ahmed Raza Kasuri, and a former MNA, Khizar Hayat Khan, died.

July 20: CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif sent a cheque of Rs132 million to CM Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Zehri to help 550 graduates and interns from the Awaran district.

July 20: A Pakistani student Ahmad Ali Qasim bagged top position among students from 170 countries in ACA examination, obtaining 96 percent marks.

July 20: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) appointed Olympian Hassan Sardar the head of the fresh selection committee with Ayaz Mahmood and Syed Musaddiq Hussain as its members.

July 20: Pakistan obtained a record high $10.1 billion in foreign loans during 2016-17. About 37% or $3.9 billion of the total borrowing came from China alone. This includes $2.3 billion in commercial loans and another $1.6 billion under the bilateral economic assistance.

July 21: The scientists of the Punjab Seed Council developed a new wheat variety ‘Wheat Strain 076346 (GOLD-16)’ which is suitable for plantation in Southern Punjab.

July 21: Minister of State and BISP Chairperson MNA Marvi Memon was awarded the “Grade D’ Officer” in the National Order of Merit by President of France Emmanuel Macron.

World in Focus (July-August ’17 )About the Award

1. This eminent distinction is one of the major honours of French Republic, created by General De Gaulle in 1962.
2. This distinction is granted to those people whose talents, actions and generosity deserve a public recognition.
3. Ms. Memon was presented with this award in recognition of her services for the people of Pakistan and her devotion to promote relations between France and Pakistan.
5. Marvi Memon is the first Pakistani woman to be awarded the National Order of Merit with the rank of officer.

July 21: The US refused to make the remaining military reimbursements to Pakistan for fiscal year 2016.

July 21: Eminent poet and writer Hasan Akbar Kamal died.

About Hasan Akbar Kamal

1. Mr Kamal was born on Feb 14, 1946, in Agra, India.
2. He obtained his master’s degree in English literature and taught at different educational institutions of the country.
3. Mr Kamal’s collection of poems Khizan Mera Mausam earned him an Adamjee Adabi Award.
4. Sukhan and Khushbu Jaisi Baat are two of his other collections of poems.
5. Pop band Vital Signs’ famous song ‘Hum hai Pakistani hum to jeetein ge’ and a poem ‘Khushbu jaisi baat’ sung by Tina Sani were penned by him.

July 21: The EU Ambassador in Pakistan, Jean-Francois Cautain, and Economic Affairs Division Secretary Shahid Mahmood signed an agreement for the provision of €60 million for improving nutrition in Sindh province.

July 22: Noted Seraiki poet and lexicographer Akbar Makhmoor Mughal died. He was 61.

World in Focus (July-August ’17 )About Akbar Makhmoor Mughal

1. He was born on Nov 29, 1956.
2. He was a self-taught scholar.
3. He joined different professions to earn livelihood and worked at a tyre repair shop, fixed tiles in construction sector and wrote deeds on the court premises.
4. He lived in Saudi Arabia for 10 years (from 1984 to 1994) where he worked as a labourer.
5. Makhmoor’s magnum opus is the unique unpublished Seraiki dictionary named Seraiki Akhar Pothi.
6. He collected and added at least 115,000 words of Seraiki which were missing in other available dictionaries.

July 23: Pakistan’s young wrestler Inayatullah won silver medal in the 69 kilogramme weight category in the Asian Cadet Wrestling Championship, held in Bangkok. This was after 28 years that a Pakistani wrestler secured a medal at this level. In 1989, Pakistan claimed gold in this event held in India.

July 24: At least 26 people, nine policemen among them, were killed in a suicide bomb explosion near the Arfa Karim IT Tower on Ferozepur Road, Lahore.

July 24: Zafar Abdullah was appointed the acting chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakis­tan (SECP).

July 25: The opening session of a two-day Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Working Group meeting, under the auspices of the Pakistan Navy, started in Islamabad. The working group consists of 10 member nations, which include Australia, Bangladesh, France, India, Iran, Oman, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand and UAE.

July 25: A sister-city agreement was signed between Sialkot and US city of Bolingbrook, a southwest suburb of Chicago to improve business and people-to-people contacts.

July 25: Mian Asad Hayauddin was appointed the Secretary Establishment Division.

July 25: AIG Police Operations Capt. (R) Arif Nawaz Khan was appointed the new Inspector General of Punjab police.

July 25: Hamza Haroon, a young Pakistani engineer, received “Engineer of the Year” award for his outstanding work in the energy sector.

July 26: Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah restored the Multan Bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC).

July 26: The Sindh Assembly approved the establishment of an accountability body that would replace the decades-old Anti-Corruption Establishment.

July 27: Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra, signed an agreement selling 10 Super Mushshak aircraft to Azerbaijan Air Force.

About Mushshak Aircraft

1. The MFI-17 Mushshak is a light-weight, robust, two/three seats, single engine, predominantly all metal aircraft with tricycle fixed landing gear.
2. It has been developed to meet US FAR 23 certification in categories normal, utility and aerobatics.
3. It can operate from any short unprepared strip and is completely independent of any ground equipment.
4. Indigenously produced Super Mushshak aircraft is equipped with most modern equipment and capabilities which make it one of the best military trainer aircraft.
5. Approximately 300 Super Mushshak aircraft are being used by PAF and Pak Army for military training of pilots and other defence-related activities.
6. It is worth mentioning that Pakistan has recently signed agreements to export Super Mushshak aircraft to Turkey, Nigeria and Qatar.

July 27: The fourth tax directory of 1,160 parliamentarians was released according to which 139 parliamentarians paid over one million rupees in taxes in 2016.

MNA Jahangir Khan Tareen, who paid Rs53.67 million, was the richest parliamentarian in the country, while MPA Fayaz Ali Butt, with Rs1,095 tax, was the poorest.

July 27: Dr Asif Kirmani was elected unopposed to the Senate seat vacated by PPP’s Babar Awan.

July 27: A documentary on Pakistan “Among the Believers” was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Government and Politics category. It has been directed by Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi. Currently, it is banned in Pakistan for projecting a negative image of the country.

July 28: A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared that thrice-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was “not honest” and disqualified him as a member of parliament.

The Verdict

The judgement declared the prime minister “not honest” under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, and disqualified him for furnishing a false declaration under solemn oath and having failed to disclose his receivables, constituting assets from Capital FZE, in his nomination papers in terms of Section 12(2)(f) of the Representation of People Act (Ropa) 1976.

The court asked NAB to move references against the prime minister, his children and others on the basis of the material collected by the JIT, as well as other material that may be available with the bureau or the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), “having any nexus with assets or subsequently become available”, including material that may come in response to mutual legal assistance requests, sent by the JIT to different countries.

The first reference will be filed for possessing the four Avenfield House properties in London, whereas two more references will be filed against Nawaz Sharif and his sons for creating the Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment, as well as for setting up Flagship Investment Ltd, Hartstone Properties Ltd, Que Holdings Ltd, Quint Eaton Place 2 Ltd, Quint Saloane Ltd, Quaint Ltd, Flagship Securities Ltd, Quint Gloucestor Place Ltd, Quint Paddington Ltd, Flagship Developments Ltd, Alanna Services Ltd, Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron Inc, Ansbacher Inc, Coomber Inc and Capital FZE (Dubai).

Ishaq Dar will also face a reference for possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.

The court also ordered NAB to include Sheikh Saeed, Musa Ghani, Kashif Masood Qazi, Javaid Kiyani and Saeed Ahmed in the references, as well as individuals who have any direct or indirect connection with the actions of the Sharif family.

NAB can also file supplementary references if and when any other asset, which is not prima facie reasonably accounted for, is discovered.

In case the accountability court finds any deed, document or affidavit filed by the respondents to be fake, false, forged or fabricated, it should take appropriate action against the concerned person in accordance with the law.

The court also appreciated the hard work and efforts of JIT members and their ancillary staff in preparing the comprehensive report. The judgement also directed that the tenure of JIT members be protected and no adverse action be taken against them without informing the monitoring judge of the Supreme Court.

World in Focus (July-August 17 )July 29: Pakistan’s top tennis player Aqeel Khan and international tennis player Ushna Suhail clinched the Pakistan Open Tennis Championship men’s and ladies singles titles.

July 29: The PCB doubled the salaries of domestic players, while extending their contracts to one year from six months.

July 30: Vanessa O’Brien, a 52-year-old British-American mountaineer, scaled K2, the second highest mountain on the planet. She is the first American woman to climb the treacherous mountain.

About K2

1. At 28,251 feet (8,611 metres) above sea level, K2, which is also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori, is the world’s second-highest mountain.
2. It is located on the China-Pakistan border between Baltistan and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China.
3. Due to the difficult ascend of this mountain, K2 is also called Savage Mountain.
4. A European team first attempted to climb K2 in 1856. A member of this team, Thomas Montgomerie, named this peak “K2” as it was the second highest in the Karakoram Range. The other five peaks are named as K1 (Masherbrum), K3 (Broad Peak), K4 (Gasherbrum II) and K5 (Gasherbrum I).

Aug 01: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of PML-N won the election of Leader of the House to replace ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a one-sided contest by securing 221 votes.

Aug 02: Uzma Yousaf became the first Pakistani woman to summit the 7,027-metre Spanitik Peak (Karakoram Range).

Aug 03: Professor Jamaluddin Naqvi, political worker, author and one of the pioneers of left-wing politics in Pakistan, passed away. He was 85.

Aug 04: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi formed a 43-member cabinet with 27 federal ministers and 16 ministers of state, besides creating five new ministries and their divisions.

Aug 05: The Punjab Primary and Secondary Health Secretary Ali Jan Khan announced to observe a health service week in the province from August 15 to Aug 19.

Aug 07: Bahria Town hoisted the highest national flag in Bahria Garden City in Islamabad. This national flag was raised on a 160-foot pole and due to it, the total height of this flag is around 395 feet and its width is 25 feet.

Aug 07: The Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) decided to enter mainstream politics from the platform of a new party – ‘Milli Muslim League (MML)’.

Aug 09: The PCB elected Najam Sethi as its 30th chairman.

Aug 10: Dr Ruth Pfau, a symbol of selflessness and devotion to leprosy patients, passed away at the age of 87.

Aug 10: The law twice passed by the Sindh Assembly to repeal the National Accountability Ordinance-1999 (NAO) in Sindh became an Act of the provincial assembly to virtually end the role of NAB in provincial affairs.

Aug 10: Pakistan Air Force hero of 1965 and 1971 wars Air Marshal Inam-ul-Haque Khan (retd), 90, passed away.

About Air Marshal Inam-ul-Haque

1. He was born in Patiala, India, in 1927.
2. After migrating to Pakistan in 1947, he joined Royal Pakistan Air Force in 5th GD (P) Course, the next year.
3. He graduated as a fighter pilot in 1949, securing all the trophies.
4. In recognition of his valuable services during 1971 war, he was awarded the gallantry award of Hilal-e-Jurrat.
5. During his illustrious career, he also served as ACAS (Operations), Air Officer Commanding, Air Defence Command and DG Joint Staff at JS HQs.
6. He was also decorated with Sitara-i-Imtiaz (M) and Hilal-i-Imtiaz (M).

Aug 10: Unaiza Ali Barlas, a 20-year-old Lahore-based artist, cartoonist and animator, was officially named in the Guinness Book of World Records for creating the world’s longest strip.

Aug 11: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi removed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar as head of all key economic committees.

Aug 13: Pakistan and China agreed to further promote cooperation on all issues of mutual interest during an important meeting between visiting Vice-Premier of China and host Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Aug 15: The interior ministry directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that no government official or other VIPs would be given protocol at airports across the country.

Aug 15: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif moved a review petition before the Supreme Court, arguing that his unceremonious disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution could not have been invoked without conducting a regular trial.

Aug 15: The government appointed Javaid Jehangir, a former grade-22 officer of the Pakistan Audit and Accounts Services (PAAS), the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP).

Aug 15: The Ministry of Industries and Production appointed Sher Ayub Khan the chief executive officer (CEO) of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) for a period of three years.

INTERNATIONAL

July 16: Roger Federer of Switzerland won his eighth Wimbledon title, becoming the first man to win 8 titles of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament in the history of the event first held in 1877.

July 16: Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza defeated Venus Williams to win the Wimbledon Ladies Singles.

Other Category Winners

Men’s Doubles
Łukasz Kubot (Poland) and Marcelo Melo (Brazil)

Women’s Doubles
Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina (Russia)

Mixed Doubles
Jamie Murray (UK) and Martina Hingis (Switzerland)

July 16: George A. Romero, creator of the zombie film genre with “Night of the Living Dead” and a series of sequels that left a lasting impact on horror movies, died. He was 77.

July 16: Scientists from the University of Cambridge developed super-stretchy and strong artificial (synthetic) spider silk, almost entirely composed of water.

Properties

The fibres of the synthetic spider silk are extremely thin threads and are of few millionths of a metre in diameter. They resemble miniature bungee cords and can absorb large amounts of energy. They are sustainable, non-toxic, less energy-intensive and can be made at room temperature. They can support stresses in the range of 100 to 150 megapascals, which is similar to other synthetic and natural silks.

July 17: Scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland developed a 3D-printed soft silicone heart that closely resembles and functions like the human organ.

What is 3D Printing?

3D Printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital design. There are different 3D printing technologies and materials you can print with, but all are based on the same principle: a digital model is turned into a solid three-dimensional physical object by adding material layer by layer.

Every 3D print starts as a digital 3D design file – like a blueprint – for a physical object. This design file is sliced into thin layers which is then sent to the 3D printer. From here on, the printing process varies by technology, starting from desktop printers that melt a plastic material and lay it down onto a print platform to large industrial machines that use a laser to selectively melt metal powder at high temperatures. The printing can take hours to complete depending on the size, and the printed objects are often post-processed to the desired finish.

Available materials also vary by printer type, ranging from plastics to rubber, sandstone, metals and alloys.

July 18: The US slapped fresh economic sanctions on Iran, designating 18 individuals and entities for supporting “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity”.

July 18: Zhou Qunfei, a high school dropout, became the world’s richest self-made woman.

World in Focus (July-August 17 )The Top 10 Self-Made Women Billionaires

July 18: The Committee to Protect Journalists named four journalists who won the 2017 International Press Freedom Award for their work in their respective countries despite government’s harassment, death threats or imprisonment.

The Winners

1. Ahmed Abba (Cameroon) 2. Patricia Mayorga (Mexico)
3. Pravit Rojanaphruk (Thailand) 4. Afrah Nasser (Yemen)

July 19: The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched a joint project, the “Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants,” to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

The initiative costs 11 million euros ($12.7m) and will be implemented in partnership with the International Organisation for Migration and UNICEF.

July 19: Afghanistan’s all-girls team won a silver medal for “courageous achievement” at the FIRST Global Challenge, an international robotics competition held in Washington.

The gold medal in that category went to the South Sudan team and bronze to the Oman team, whose students were deaf.

July 19: General Francois Lecointre was appointed the new chief of the French armed forces.

July 20: BJP’s Ram Nath Kovind won the election to become the 14th President of India.

July 20: The US and European police announced the shutdown of two huge “dark web” marketplaces – AlphaBay and Hansa – that allowed the anonymous online trade of drugs, hacking software and guns.

World in Focus (July-August 17 )July 20: The UN reported that AIDS claimed a million lives in 2016, almost half the 2005 toll that marked the peak of the deadly epidemic. Not only are new HIV infections and deaths declining, but more people than ever are on life-saving treatment.

July 21: Shanghai, the largest city of China, witnessed a new record high temperature of 40.9 degrees Centigrade – the hottest point since the establishment of its benchmark weather station in 1872.

July 22: Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan inaugurated the mass production line of a long-range air defence missile dubbed Sayyad-3 (Hunter-3).

About the Missile

1. The Sayyad-3 is a long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM).
2. Designed to hit the targets at medium and high altitudes, Sayyad-3 is paired with Talash-2 launch system.
3. With operational range 120 km, it can fly as high as 27km.
4. Its design is based on the latest technologies in the world.
5. The missile can target fighter planes, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and helicopters.

July 22: Eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt ran his first sub-10-second time of the year to win the 100m at the Diamond League in Monaco.

July 23: England achieved a dramatic win over India to claim the Women’s World Cup title.
Player of the match: Anya Shrubsole
Player of the series: Tammy Beaumont

About ICC Women’s Cup

1. The 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup was started in 1973.
2. To date, 11 World Cups have been played in 5 countries.
3. India and England have hosted the tourney three times.
4. Australia has won the women’s cricket world Cup for record six times (1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005, 2013) followed by England (four titles – 1973, 1993, 2009, 2017) and New Zealand (one title – 2000).

World in Focus (July-August 17 )July 25: Ram Nath Kovind was sworn in as India’s president.

July 25: Real Madrid reached a world record deal to sign Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for 180 million euros.

July 26: The European Court of Justice (ECJ), top court of the EU, kept Hamas on the EU terrorism blacklist and removed Sri Lankan separatist rebels, the Tamil Tigers.

July 26: The nuclear-powered USS Gerald R. Ford, the world’s largest aircraft carrier, was inducted into the US Navy Fleet.

July 26: The US Senate rejected a new Republican plan to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act.

July 27: For the first time in the United States, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos, a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases.

July 27: Iran tested Simorgh (Phoenix) space launch vehicle, a rocket that can send satellites into orbit. The Simorgh can place a satellite weighing up to 250kg in an orbit of 500km.

July 27: Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor whose celebrated career spanned nearly five decades, died. He was 73.

July 28: North Korea launched a ballistic missile, just hours after the US and Japan moved to step up sanctions against Pyongyang following its recent test of an ICBM capable of reaching parts of the United States.

July 28: The United States imposed new ballistic missile sanctions on Iran, a day after the Islamic Republic launched a rocket towards space.

July 29: Sri Lanka signed a US $1.1 billion deal to sell a 70% stake of the strategic Hambantota deep-sea port to China.

About the Port

1. Hambantota port is a deep-water port in the southern tip of Sri Lanka.
2. It sits close to busy east-west shipping lanes connecting Europe and Asia.
3. Under the deal, China Merchants Port Holding Co. (CMPort) will have a 99-year lease on the port and about 15,000 acres nearby for an industrial zone.
4. Hambantota port, overlooking the Indian Ocean, is expected to play a key role in China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, otherwise known as the new Silk Road, which will link ports and roads between China and Europe.

July 30: The 17th FINA World Championship concluded in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.
Top 5 Countries

Country     Gold   Silver  Bronze  Total
USA                 21         12          13             46
CHN                12         12          6               30
RUS                 11           6          8               25
FRA                  6           1           2                9
GBR                 5           3           3                11

July 30: Russian President Vladimir Putin asked the United States to withdraw 755 personnel from its embassy and consulates in Russia and warned ties with Washington could be gridlocked for a long time.

July 30: Sudan was declared the 39th province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

July 30: Sebastian Vettel won the Hungarian Grand Prix in a Ferrari one-two.

July 31: Scientists developed a super strong, flexible adhesive material inspired by the glue secreted by slugs that sticks to biological tissues – even when wet – without causing toxicity.

Key Facts

The bio-glue is double-layered hydrogel consisting of an alginate-polyacrylamide matrix supporting an adhesive layer that has positively-charged polymers protruding from its surface. It bonds to biological tissues via three mechanisms: electrostatic attraction to covalent bonds between neighbouring atoms, negatively-charged cell surfaces and physical inter-penetration. It makes the adhesive super strong. It has ability to transfer and dissipate stress. It can bind to tissues with strength comparable to the body’s own resilient cartilage.

Applications

The bio-glue has numerous potential applications in the medical field, either as a patch that can be cut to desired sizes and applied to tissue surfaces or can be also used as an injectable solution for deeper injuries.

July 31: French actress Jeanne Moreau, who lit up the screen in “Jules et Jim” and starred in some of the most critically-acclaimed films of the 20th century, died.

Aug 01: Indian authorities removed a copy of the Holy Quran and the Bible from a new statue of a former president APJ Abdul Kalam.

The sculpted Hindu Bhagvad Gita book was placed next to the statue before it was inaugurated by Indian PM Narendra Modi on the second anniversary of Kalam’s death.

Aug 01: China formally opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa.

Aug 01: Turkey hosted an extraordinary meeting in Istanbul of foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that was called to discuss the tensions in Turkey’s current capacity as chairman of the body.

World in Focus (July-August 17 )Aug 02: Prince Philip, the 96-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, conducted his final solo public engagement, overseeing a military parade.

Aug 02: Turkey’s top military body, the Supreme Military Council (YAS), replaced military’s land, air and naval chiefs.

New Chiefs

Turkish Land Forces: General Yasar Guler
Turkish Naval Forces: Vice Admiral Adnan Ozbal
Turkish Air Force: General Hasan Kucukakyuz

Aug 02: Bangladesh’s Supreme Court scrapped parliament’s power to sack top judges, in a landmark verdict that would bolster the independence of the country’s judiciary.

Aug 02: A Thai court dismissed a case against former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat, a brother-in-law of deposed former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Aug 03: Iranian Prez Hassan Rouhani started his second term.

Aug 03: Spanish motorcycling legend Angel Nieto died at 70.

1. The 13-time world champion – whose superstition always referred to his titles as 12+1 – was a MotoGP legend and a key figure in establishing Spain as a world-beating force in Grand Prix motorcycle racing.
2. He sits second in the all-time list of most world championship titles, two behind Italian Giacomo Agostini.
3. Only Agostini and current Italy great Valentino Rossi have bettered his tally of 90 Grand Prix victories.
4. Nieto competed in his first Grand Prix at just 17 in 1964 before going on to win six world titles in the 50cc category and seven in the 125 division.
5. He retired aged 39 two years after his final world championship in 1986.

World in Focus (July-August 17 )Aug 04: Swathes of southern and eastern Europe sweltered in temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius in a heat wave nicknamed “Lucifer” that has fanned forest fires, triggered weather warning alerts and damaged crops.

Aug 05: Paul Kagame was elected for a third term as President of Rwanda.

Aug 05: India’s lawmakers elected Venkaiah Naidu as the country’s next vice-president.

He secured 516 parliamentary votes to pip rival Gopalkrishna Gandhi — the grandson of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi — who received 244 votes.

Aug 06: The music video for smash hit single Despacito, from Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, became the most-watched YouTube video ever, surpassing the record for Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s See You Again.

Aug 06: Betty Cuthbert, Australia’s “golden girl” of track and field, revered for her Olympic gold-medal feats, died.

Aug 06: The UN Security Council adopted a resolution, which imposed new sanctions on North Korea that could slash by a third the country’s $3 billion annual export revenue.

The resolution banned export by North Korea of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. It also stopped countries from increasing the number of North Korean labourers working there and also joint ventures.

Aug 06: India beat Sri Lanka in a series-clinching victory by an innings and 53 runs in the second Test. It was the first victory by an innings or more for India in Sri Lanka.

Aug 07: Iran signed the country’s biggest-ever car deal worth several hundred million dollars with French manufacturer Groupe Renault to produce 150,000 cars a year.

Aug 09: China and Malaysia broke ground on a $13 billion rail project. The planned 688km (430 mile) East Coast Rail Link will connect the South China Sea, large parts of which are claimed by China, at the Thai border in the east with the strategic shipping routes of the Straits of Malacca in the west.

It is among the most prominent projects in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build a modern-day “Silk Road” connecting the world’s second-largest economy by land corridors to Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Central Asia and maritime routes opening up trade with the Middle East and Europe.

World in Focus (July-August 17 )Aug 09: Qatar introduced a visa-free entry programme for 80 nationalities to stimulate air transport and tourism.

Aug 12: Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner of the country’s presidential election.

Aug 11: Holocaust survivor Yisrael Kristal, who last year was recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living man, died in Israel aged 113.

Aug 12: Japan deployed its Patriot missile defence system after North Korea threatened to fire ballistic missiles over the country towards the US Pacific territory of Guam.

Aug 12: The foreign ministers of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal met in the Nepalese capital under the aegis of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, or BIMSTEC.

The ministers agreed to expedite the ratification of the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking. They also agreed to conclude early a free trade accord, implement the Paris agreement on climate change and step up cooperation among their security agencies to combat terrorism.

World in Focus (July-August 17 )Aug 14: SpaceX blasted off its unmanned Dragon cargo ship toward the Inter­national Space Station, carrying a host of science experiments and the most powerful computer ever sent into orbit.

Aug 15: Australian cyclist Stephen Wooldridge, a former Olympic and world champion, died at the age of 39.