3 October 2016, National & International Current Affairs

National

Oct 03: In a meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s political parties called for more aggressive diplomatic forays to highlight Indian atrocities against the Kashmiris.

Main Points of the Communiqué

It was unanimously resolved to:

  • Support Kashmirs’ right to self-determination as guaranteed to them in UNSC resolutions.
  • Condemn killings of Kashmiris – a grave violation of human rights, international peace and security.
  • Condemn Indian aggression, ceasefire violations that pose a threat to regional peace and security.
  • Reject Indian efforts to shift focus from its atrocities to suppress uprising for liberation in IHK.
  • Deplore continued use of draconian laws against Kashmiris and recurring curfews.
  • Reject Indian government’s ridiculous claims that Kashmir is an integral part of India.
  • Condemn India’s documented interference in Balochistan, a federating unit of sovereign Pakistan.
  • Condemn Indian attempts to destabilise Pakistan as substantiated by confession of RAW agent Kulbhushan Jhadav.
  • Regret Indian designs to scuttle all diplomatic efforts for bilateral and multilateral dialogue.
  • Condemn Indian intent to use water as a weapon.
  • Reject ludicrous Indian claims of carrying out “surgical strike” across the LoC.
  • Applaud unwavering commitment of armed forces for befitting response to Indian aggression.
  • Welcome decision of UN to send a fact-finding mission to occupied Kashmir.
  • Urge international community, especially P5, to take steps for implementation of UNSC resolutions.
  • Express Pakistan’s unwavering support to provide political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris.
  • Implement National Action Plan in letter and spirit, as agreed to in the last APC.
  • Coordinate on national security efforts and reconstitute national security committee of parliament.

Oct 03: The KSE-100 index crossed the historic threshold of 41,000 points.

Oct 03: A World Bank report `Poverty and Shared Prosperity` showed that both India and Pakistan face an uphill task in eradicating poverty.

Highlights of the report

  1. The Report places Pakistan among the countries where incomes of the poorest are growing faster than average.
  2. The poorest in Pakistan are slightly ahead of the four percent national growth rate while China tops the list with a more than 8pc growth rate. Sri Lanka is also in this category.
  3. India is placed among the countries where incomes of the poorest are growing slower than average, although it has one of the world`s fastest growing economies.
  4. While in some fields India is doing better than Pakistan, in others Pakistan is ahead.
  5. As many as 21.25pc Indians live at or below the World Bank`s poverty line of $1.90 a day compared to 8.3pc in Pakistan.
  6. And 58pc Indians make $3.10 a day, compared to 45pc in Pakistan.
  7. Although the bank hopes that Bangladesh can overcome its poverty by 2030 if it continued its robust economic reforms, 43.7pc Bangladeshis continue to live at or below $1.90 while 77.6pc live at $3.10 a day.

For complete report, click here

Oct 03: Pakistan Railways launched e-ticketing system.

Salient Features

  1. The facility enables passengers to get their seats reserved while remaining at home or at workplace.
  2. Passengers will now be able to pay for their tickets online via credit or debit cards, online bank transfers or micro transactions like UBL Omni Easypaisa or Mobicash.
  3. Following successful bookings, passengers will receive a confirmation message on their mobile phones.
  4. Everything will be handled electronically so tickets can be booked quickly and efficiently with no human interaction.
  5. Initially, the online system has been introduced for the railways flagship train ‘Green Line Express’, besides five rail cars.
  6. The e-ticketing facility will be introduced for all passenger trains in the next eight months.

Oct 03: A Pakistani engineer, Saqib Sajjad, won the Energy Engineer of the Year Award for the Middle Eastern region. The award is given annually by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE).

International

Oct 03: Colombians gave a shock defeat to the government by rejecting a historic peace accord with communist FARC rebels.

Oct 03: Estonia’s parliament elected Kersti Kaljulaid as the first woman president of the country.

Oct 03: Japan’s Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel Prize for medicine for his pioneering work on autophagy.

What is autophagy?

  1. The word autophagy originates from the Greek words auto-, meaning “self”, and phagein, meaning “to eat”. Thus, autophagy denotes “self-eating”.
  2. Autophagy is a process whereby cells “eat themselves”.
  3. It is a fundamental process in cell physiology dealing with how the body breaks down and recycles cellular components.
  4. The concept emerged during the 1960s, when researchers first observed that the cell could destroy its own contents by enclosing it in membranes – autophagosomes – for degradation.
  5. It is essential for the orderly recycling of damaged cell parts and its better understanding has major implications for health and disease, including cancer.
  6. It was first observed by Belgian scientist Christian de Duve who had won Nobel Medicine Prize in 1974 for it.
  7. Ohsumi’s discoveries in Autophagy have led to a new paradigm in the understanding of how the cell recycles its content.
  8. In his research, Mr. Ohsumi had used baker’s yeast to identify genes essential for autophagy.
  9. He explained the mechanisms for autophagy in yeast and showed that similar sophisticated machinery is used in human cells.

Physiological functions

Autophagy can rapidly provide fuel for energy and building blocks for renewal of cellular components, and is, therefore, essential for the cellular response to starvation and other types of stress. After infection, autophagy can eliminate invading intracellular bacteria and viruses. Autophagy contributes to embryo development and cell differentiation. Cells also use autophagy to eliminate damaged proteins and organelles, a quality control mechanism that is critical for counteracting the negative consequences of aging.

Disruption of the autophagy processes of the cell has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and other disorders that appear in the elderly. Mutations in autophagy genes can cause genetic disease. Disturbances in the autophagic machinery have also been linked to cancer. Efforts are on to develop drugs that can target autophagy in various diseases.

If not for Professor Ohsumi’s research in the 1990s, the world would not have known the fundamental importance of autophagy in physiology and medicine.

Oct 03: The World Habitat Day (WHD) was observed

This day is celebrated on the first Monday of October every year.

2016 Theme: “Housing at the Centre”.

Background

The United Nations General Assembly had every year on the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day by passing resolution 40/202 in 1986. The observance of the day seeks to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the habitat of future generations.

Oct 03: The United States won the Ryder Cup for the first time in eight years.

About the Ryder Cup

  1. The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States.
  2. It is named after the English businessman Samuel Ryder who donated the trophy.
  3. Originally contested between Great Britain and the United States, the first official Ryder Cup took place in 1927.
  4. The next contest will be on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National in Paris, France from 28 to 30 September 2018.
  5. Silversmith Thomas Lyte became an official supplier of Ryder Cup trophies and awards in 2008.

Oct 03: An Afghan calligrapher Mohammed Sabeer Khedri Hussani, and his 9 students, created the world’s largest Holy Quran.

About the Masterpiece

  1. The calligraphy work has been done on 218 pages, having a dimension of 228 cm length and 155 cm width.
  2. All the 30 parts of the Holy Quran has been done in 30 different designs.
  3. It weighs 1,102 pounds, and has 218 pages of cloth and paper bound inside an embossed leather cover made from the skins of 21 goats.
  4. The book cost a million dollars to create, and was paid for by Islamic spiritual leader Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi.
  5. The Quran combines gold script with millions of tiny colorful dots, forming highly symbolic decorations around the giant pages.
  6. The book was completed in 2009, but a room at the cultural center had to be built to house it.

Oct 03: Hungarians overwhelmingly voted “no” in a national referendum on whether to accept more migrants.

Oct 03: The US military paid a UK PR firm, Bell Pottinger, over half a billion dollars in the wake of the 2003 Iraq invasion to create fake terrorist videos, an investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported revealed.

Oct 03: Saudi government announced that the workers will be paid according to the Gregorian calendar instead of the Islamic Hijri calendar.

Oct 03: The EU struck a tentative deal with Afghanistan to take back migrants ahead of a conference in Brussels aimed at securing international financial aid for the war-ravaged nation.

Oct 03: India defeated New Zealand in the second Test to clinch the series and reclaim the top spot in the world rankings.

Oct 03: Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a halt to an agreement with the United States on plutonium disposal, citing Washington’s “unfriendly actions”.  

Oct 03:  Winners of 2016 Aga Khan Award For Architecture Announced

The winners of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture were announced. The US$1 million Aga Khan Award for Architecture is awarded every three years to projects that are judged to set new standards of excellence while addressing the needs of communities in which Muslims or Islamic heritage have a significant presence.

The winners are:

BANGLADESH:   Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, Dhaka (Architect: Marina Tabassum)

A refuge for spirituality in urban Dhaka, selected for its beautiful use of natural light.

Friendship Centre, Gaibandha (Architect: Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury/URBANA)

A community centre which makes a virtue of an area susceptible to flooding in rural Bangladesh

CHINA: Micro Yuan’er Children’s Library and Art Centre, Beijing (Architect: ZAO/standardarchitecture / Zhang Ke)

A children’s library selected for its embodiment of contemporary life in the traditional courtyard residences of Beijing’s Hutongs

DENMARK: Superkilen, Copenhagen (Architect: BIG- Bjarke Ingels Group, Topotek 1 and Superflex)

A public space promoting integration across lines of ethnicity, religion and culture

IRAN:  Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge, Tehran (Architect: Diba Tensile Architecture / Leila Araghian, Alireza Behzadi)

A multi-level bridge spanning a busy motorway has created a dynamic new urban space

LEBANON: Issam Fares Institute, Beirut (Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects)

A new building for the American University of Beirut’s campus, radical in composition but respectful of its traditional context

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