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27 October 2016, Daily National and International Current Affairs

National

Oct 27: Pakistan declared an official of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, Surjeet Singh, as persona non grata and asked him to leave the country after the same treatment was meted out by India to a staffer of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, Mehmood Akhtar.

What happened?

Pakistan staffer Mehmood Akhtar was arrested outside the gates of the Delhi zoo, where police allege he was planning to meet Indian contacts he had recruited.

Police said Mehmood Akhtar, and two Indians – Subhash Jangir and Maulana Ramzan – were caught carrying forged documents, lists of army officers stationed at the India-Pakistan border and maps showing Indian troop deployments.

What does personae non gratae mean?

  1. Persona non grata (plural: personae non gratae) is a Latin phrase which literally means an unwelcome person.
  2. A person so declared is no longer welcome in the host country and is usually forced to return to his or her native country immediately.
  3. It is the most serious form of censure which one country can apply to foreign diplomats, who are otherwise protected by diplomatic immunity from arrest and other normal kinds of prosecution.
  4. The opposite of persona non grata is persona grata, however it is very rarely used.

Definitions

Professor Gamboa in On the Law of Diplomacy

“An expression in reference to a diplomat who is no longer welcome to the government to which he is accredited after he has already been received and has entered upon his duties, or before arriving in the territory of the receiving State.”

International Law Dictionary

“A Latin term indicating that a diplomatic agent of a state is unacceptable to the receiving state. This can take place either before the individual is accredited, indicating that the proposed appointee is unacceptable to the host state and will not be received, or after the accreditation process in response to some real or alleged impropriety by the diplomatic agent.”

Article 9 of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961

  1. The receiving State may at any time and without having to explain its decision, notify the sending State that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata or that any other member of the staff of the mission is not acceptable. In any such case, the sending State shall, as appropriate, either recall the person concerned or terminate his functions with the mission. A person may be declared non grata or not acceptable before arriving in the territory of the receiving State.

2.If the sending State refuses or fails within a reasonable period to carry out its obligations under paragraph 1 of this article, the receiving State may refuse to recognize the person concerned as a member of the mission.

Famous persona non grata

  1. Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain (by Italy)
  2. Kurt Waldheim, former Secretary-General of the United Nations (by US and other countries)
  3. Mario Vargas Llosa the winner of Nobel Prize in Literature (by Peru)
  4. László Sólyom; President of Hungary (by Slovakia)
  5. Günter Grass, the recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature (by Israel)

On September 7, 2012, the Canadian government declared all Iranian diplomats in Canada personae non gratae.

Oct 27: Two polio workers from Pakistan, Syed Latif and Azra Altaf, received awards in Paris for their commitment towards eradication of the crippling disease.

Oct 27: The Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) was launched by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

About PMIC

  1. The PMIC has been created by the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Karandaaz Pakistan.
  2. It has been funded by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the KfW, a German government-owned development bank.
  3. The PMIC aims to help create a new supply chain for microfinance services.

Chairman: Zubyr Soomro

Microfinance in Pakistan

Microfinance is central to Pakistan’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy, launched in May 2015. At present, 4.2 million Pakistanis are accessing microfinance services out of an estimated potential market of 20.5m.

Oct 27: World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2016 reported that Pakistan is the eighth most lawless country in the world, though it has improved its position by three slots, in a comparison of over the previous year’s index.

10 Most Lawful Countries

10 Most Lawless Countries

Denmark

Norway

Finland

Sweden

Netherlands

Germany

Austria

New Zealand

Singapore

The United Kingdom

Venezuela

Cambodia

Afghanistan

Egypt

Cameroon

Zimbabwe

Ethiopia

Pakistan

Uganda

Bolivia

  International

Oct 27: Special forces from China and Saudi Arabia held their first joint anti-terrorism drills. The two-week training took place in China’s southwestern city of Chongqing from October 10.

Oct 27: China’s Communist Party elevated President Xi Jinping to “core” leader, putting him in the same revered ranks as Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

What’s a ‘Core’ leader?

The term “core” leader dates back to the turbulence of 1989, when Deng used it to anchor the shaky authority of Jiang Zemin, who had been abruptly appointed general secretary. Deng also said he and Mao were the core leaders of their respective generations, suggesting that they had near unassailable authority. In China, such titles are a powerful political currency, and Mr. Xi’s new status will resonate through the party hierarchy.

Oct 27: The International Olympic Committee stripped three Kazakh weightlifters, Zulfiya Chinshanlo, Maiya Maneza and Svetlana Podobedova, of gold medals won at the London 2012 Games for doping.

Oct 27: Two Yazidi women Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar were awarded European Union’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for year 2016.

About Sakharov Prize

  1. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is annual award given by the European Parliament.
  2. It was established in December 1988 and is named after Soviet scientist (physicist) and dissident Andrei Sakharov.
  3. The first prize was jointly awarded to Nelson Mandela and Russian human rights campaigner Anatoly Marchenko.
  4. It is awarded annually on or around December 10 (also celebrated as Human Rights Day), day on which UN General Assembly ratified Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
  5. This year the prize, worth 50,000 euros ($55,000), will be presented at a ceremony on December 14 in Strasbourg.

2011    Asmaa Mahfouz (Egypt), Ahmed al-Senussi (Libya), Razan Zaitouneh (Syria), Ali Farzat (Syria), Mohamed Bouazizi (Tunisia)

2012    Jafar Panahi, Nasrin Sotoudeh (Iran   )

2013    Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan)

2014    Denis Mukwege (Dr Congo)

2015    Raif Badawi (Saudi Arabia)

 

Oct 27: The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, The Living Planet.

The study was published as assessment by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

What the Report says?

  1. Animal populations plummeted by 58% between 1970 and 2012, with losses on track to reach 67% by 2020.
  2. The creatures being lost range from mountains to forests to rivers and the seas and include well-known endangered species such as elephants and gorillas and lesser known creatures such as vultures and salamanders.
  3. The collapse of wildlife is, with climate change, the most striking sign of the Anthropocene, a proposed new geological era in which humans dominate the planet.
  4. The biggest cause of tumbling animal numbers is the destruction of wild areas for farming and logging: the majority of the Earth’s land area has now been impacted by humans, with just 15% protected for nature.
  5. Poaching and exploitation for food is another major factor, due to unsustainable fishing and hunting: more than 300 mammal species are being eaten into extinction, according to recent research.
  6. Pollution is also a significant problem with, for example, killer whales and dolphins in European seas being seriously harmed by long-lived industrial pollutants.
  7. Vultures in south-east Asia have been decimated over the last 20 years, dying after eating the carcasses of cattle dosed with an anti-inflammatory drug.
  8. Amphibians have suffered one of the greatest declines of all animals due to a fungal disease thought to be spread around the world by the trade in frogs and newts.
  9. Rivers and lakes are the hardest hit habitats, with animals populations down by 81% since 1970, due to excessive water extraction, pollution and dams.
  10. Losses of wildlife will impact on people and could even provoke conflicts

Find full report here:

http://awsassets.panda.org/downloads/lpr_living_planet_report_2016.pdf

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