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4 October 2016, National & International Current Affairs

National

Oct 04: The White House shut down an ongoing petition, hosted on a White House web page called “We the People,” that sought to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism.

Oct 04: The 3rd session of the EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue was held in Brussels, Belgium.

About the Dialogue

The EU-Pakistan ad hoc Summits were held in 2009, 2010 and in March 2012, in which, a new political framework called the 5-year Engagement Plan was endorsed by both sides.

The decision to launch EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue was taken at the first Pakistan-EU Summit held in Brussels on 17 June 2009.

The first Pakistan-EU Strategic Dialogue was held in Islamabad in 2012.

The next EU-Pakistan Joint Commission will be held in November in Islamabad.

During the Session:

The two sides welcomed the continued strengthening of relations between the European Union and Pakistan.

They agreed to work on replacing the Five-Year Engagement Plan, adopted in 2012, with an EU-Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan.

They agreed that every effort will be made to finalise the new Engagement Plan by the middle of 2017, for approval by the next EU-Pakistan Summit.

Both sides discussed migration and refugees issues.

The Pakistan side underlined the need for addressing the root causes of migration and taking an integrated approach encompassing different aspects of migration.

The EU acknowledged the challenges faced by Pakistan in hosting over 3 million refugees.

They agreed to further strengthen cooperation on migration issues, including irregular migration.

They reaffirmed their commitment to the continued implementation of the EU-Pakistan Readmission Agreement.

On regional security, the EU encouraged Pakistan to continue its efforts in promoting peace in Afghanistan and appreciated Pakistan’s support for a successful outcome of the Brussels Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan on 5 October 2016.

The Pakistan side apprised the EU about recent developments in the region, including the current situation in Kashmir.

Noting with concern the recent developments, the EU side underlined the need for resolving disputes through dialogue and constructive engagement.

Oct 04: The government cleared four projects of about 1,420 megawatts of power generation capacity based on indigenous fuels.

The Board also allowed conversion of 660MW Lucky and 350MW Siddiquesons Power from imported coal to Thar coal.

Projects

Athmuqam Hydropower Project at Neelum River 350MW

Turtonas-Uzghor Hydropower Project at Golen Gol River in Chitral 58MW

Kalam-Asrit in Swat district 197MW

Gabral-Kalam in Swat district 101MW

Oct 04: The SBP reported that housing finance to GDP ratio in Pakistan is of below one percent, one of the lowest in the world.

Oct 04: Renowned football coach Muhammad Khalid Ludhianvi died at 96.

International

Oct 04: The 28-year-old Janice Buco of Philippines won the seventh season of Vietnam Idol.

She is the first Filipino and foreigner to ever join and win the contest.

Oct 04: Three British scientists won the Nobel Physics Prize.

Winners

One half to:

David J. Thouless: University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Other half to:

  1. Duncan M. Haldane: Princeton University, NJ, USA
  2. Michael Kosterlitz: Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

For: Theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”

Significance

Their research work centres on Topology, a branch of mathematics involving step-wise changes like making a series of holes in an object.

Their research broke new ground in the 1970s and 1980s and is being honored decades later as recognition of its lasting impact.

The trio “opened the door” to a new, previously hidden world in which matter takes unusual states.

Their elegant theoretical discoveries had inspired scientists in the intervening years.

They are credited with groundbreaking work revealing the secrets of exotic matter such as superconductors, materials that conduct electricity with no loss to resistance.

This may lead to the development of new materials for use in advanced electronics or computers.

What is Topology?

Topology is a branch of mathematics that investigates physical properties of matter and space that remain unchanged under deforming forces, including stretching. It holds exceptional promise for quantum computing and tiny quantum devices as topological states can transport energy and information without overheating, unlike traditional quantum mechanics. Topology describes properties that only change step-wise. It explains how a material’s shape can be completely deformed into new one without losing its core properties.

Oct 04: The celebration of World Space Week started.

About WSW

World Space Week is an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition.

The United Nations General Assembly declared in 1999 that World Space Week will be held each year from October 4-10.

These dates commemorate two events:

October 4, 1957: Launch of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, thus opening the way for space exploration

October 10, 1967: The signing of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activites of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.

It is the largest annual space event in the world.

2016 Theme: “Remote sensing: Enabling Our Future”.

Oct 04: Turkey suspended 12,800 police officers — more than 5 percent of the country’s entire police force — over suspected links to Fethullah Gulen.

Oct 04: Google unveiled its new Pixel smartphone with artificial intelligence built-in.

What Google Says?

With Pixel, we obsessed over every detail, from the industrial design to the user experience. We carefully sculpted the surfaces of the phone, and rounded the edges to make it easy to grip. We used 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 on the front display and back glass to accent the aerospace grade aluminum body. The glass on the back also features Pixel Imprint, our fingerprint sensor, which is placed on the back of the phone where your finger expects it. You can even swipe it to access your notifications. And no matter what you’re using your phone for, you’ll need a battery that lasts all day and charges fast — up to seven hours in 15 minutes.

Oct 04: The two-day, European Union-led donor conference on Afghanistan started in Brussels.

Oct 04: Cutting-Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC), Asia’s largest tech fair, kicked off near Tokyo.

Oct 04: Amnesty International said that ten countries, including Pakistan, accounting for 2.5 percent of world GDP are hosting more than half the world’s refugees.

Top 10 Countries (estimated figures)

Rank

Country

Refugees

1

Jordan

2.7 million

2

Turkey

2.5 million

3

Pakistan

1.6 million

4

Lebanon

1.5 million

5

Iran

979,400

6

Ethiopia

736,100

7

Kenya

553,900

8

Uganda

477,200

9

DR Congo

383,100

10

Chad

369,500

Oct 04: Maria Sharapova’s two-year doping ban was reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Oct 04: Estonia elected Kersti Kaljulaid, 46), as country’s first female president.

About Kersti Kaljulaid

Kersti is a trained biologist specialising in genetics and also holds an MBA from University of Tartu.

In the late 1990s she had worked as investment banker at Hansapank that was later taken over by Swedbank.

In 1999, she had joined the office of the then Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar as an economic policy adviser.

Since May 2011, she has been serving as the representative of Estonia in the European Court of Auditors (ECA).

She is Estonia’s fifth President and will succeed the current president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves on 10 October 2016.

She is also the youngest person to get elected as President of Estonia.

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