fbpx

World in Focus (Jan – Feb 2015)

World In Focus

National, International News & MCQs

National

Jan 16: A severe shortage of petroleum products hit most parts of the Punjab province.

Jan 17: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif suspended Petroleum Secretary Abid Saeed, Additional Secretary Naeem Malik, DG (Oil) C.M. Azam and Amjid Janjua, MD of the Pakistan State Oil in connection with the petrol shortage in Punjab.

Jan 17: Prominent Islamic scholars of the country unanimously declared that any armed struggle against the State of Pakistan is ‘Haram’ (forbidden).

Jan 18: The Indian government asked PIA to vacate its offices in Delhi.

Jan 19: Pakistan moved a resolution in the 10th Parliamentary Conference of the Muslim countries held in Istanbul against publication of controversial caricatures by a French magazine.

Jan 20: The Punjab government promulgated the Punjab Maintenance of Public Order (Amendment) Ordinance 2015, which bans glorification of terrorists and their outfits at any forum and in the media. The Ordinance also regulates manufacture or sale of uniforms of law-enforcement agencies.

Jan 21: Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani accepted the resignations of four MPAs of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

Jan 21: President Mamnoon Hussain approved a 10% increase in the salaries and allowances of judges of superior judiciary.

Jan 21: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) recommended that pronouncing divorce by a man to his wife on three counts at one time should be made a punishable crime.

Jan 22: The government banned Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and Haqqani network and also froze JUD’s bank accounts, while also placing foreign travel restrictions on JuD Chief Hafiz Saeed.

Jan 23: The government announced a day of mourning for the late Saudi King Abdullah and national flag of the country remained at half mast.

Jan 23: President Mamnoon Hussain conferred Tamgha-i-Shujaat on 145 martyred students and staff members of the Army Public School Peshawar.

Jan 25: General Raheel Sharif started his five-day official visit to China. During the visit, the COAS met China’s political and military leadership.

Jan 26: A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed  by Justice Saqib Nisar, rejected a petition seeking review of the judgment in the 2000 Zafar Ali Shah case validating the October 12, 1999 military coup by Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Jan 26: A Working Women’s Forum was launched in Lahore. At the forum, lady health workers, brick kiln women workers, home-based workers (HBWs), domestic workers and factory workers would be united.

Jan 26: The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) formally inducted JF-17 Thunder fighter jets in the country’s defence force.

Jan 27: Punjab government promulgated Punjab Social Protection Authority Ordinance 2015 to provide social protection to the poor and the vulnerable, and to deal with ancillary matters.

Jan 28: The third and final phase of local government elections completed in Balochistan with the election of mayors, deputy mayors, chairmen and deputy chairmen of district councils and union councils.

Jan 29: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar resigned, citing his failure to achieve the goals he had set for himself while assuming the office on August 5, 2013.

Jan 29: Pakistan Naval Ship (PNS) Rahnaward was given the ‘Best Newcomer’ Award after its participation in the Black Sea Tall Ships Regatta.

Jan 29: The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) placed Pakistan on 77th position among 109 countries in the Global Food Security Index 2014.

Jan 29: An MoU was inked between Health Services Academy (HSA) Islamabad and the Johns Hopkins University Centers for Communication Programs to bolster capacity building in health communication in Pakistan.

Jan 30: Sixty people were killed and over 49 injured when a bomb tore through a Shia mosque, Markazi Jamia Masjid Syedu Shuhada, in Shikarpur.

Jan 30: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Bahria Town chief Malik Riaz performed the groundbreaking of Altaf Hussain University (AHU).

World in Focus 1Feb 01: The Punjab Seed Corporation (PSC) adjudged two cotton varieties evolved by the Islamia University Bahawalpur (IUB) as first and second in trials of about 46 varieties.

Feb 02: Pakistan conducted a successful flight test of the indigenously developed Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) “Ra’ad”. The Ra’ad missile, with a range of 350 km, enables Pakistan to achieve ‘strategic standoff capability’ on land and at sea.

Feb 03: The PPP filed a Rs2 billion defamation suit against Sadruddin Hashwani, a business tycoon and owner of five-star hotels, for levelling a series of allegations against former president Asif Ali Zardari.

Feb 03: The 176th Corps Commanders’ Conference, presided over by Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif, was held at GHQ Rawalpindi.

Feb 03: The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank (WB) approved five projects pertaining to Pakistan.

Feb 04: An agreement over a project pertaining to Inspection and certification system of vehicles was signed between Punjab government and a Swedish company.

Feb 05: Former Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Barrister Sultan Mehmood formally joined the PTI.

Feb 05: The Balochistan High Court abolished special seats in the Bolan Medical College and said the creation of such seats in categories A, B, C, D and E in the prospectus of the college is clear violation of articles 25 and 37 of the Constitution.

Feb 06: A report by Rangers claimed that the MQM was behind the deadly fire at a Baldia Town factory that claimed at least 258 lives.

Feb 06: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced that the local government (LG) elections would be held in May in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in November in Punjab and in March 2016 in Sindh.

Feb 09: The children’s audio version of Malala Yousafzai’s book “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World” was named Best Children’s Album at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

Feb 11: The government sent the chairman Ogra on ‘forced leave’ and removed all members of the board of management of Pakistan State Oil (PSO), blaming them for the recent petrol crisis.

Feb 11: Major reserves of iron ore as well as copper, silver and gold were discovered at Rajoia near Chiniot.

Feb 11: The government extended the purview of the Pakistan Army Act to Fata for the setting up of military courts there.

Feb 11: Chinese and Pakistani officials signed an MoU to declare Gwadar and Zhuhai (China) twin cities.

Feb 11: A report based on World Bank findings stated that Pakistan’s taxation policies on mobile sector mainly lacked transparency and harmonization.

Feb 12: The Peshawar High Court directed the provincial government to award licences of prohibited bore weapons to lawyers like doctors and teachers.

Feb 14: The Punjab government signed an agreement with an international institution Frost and Sullivan for preparing a master plan of Lahore Knowledge Park.

Economy

Jan 16: Sindh Bank became a part of the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme with an initial allocated amount of Rs 100 million.

Jan 31: The State Bank of Pakistan issued a Rs20 commemorative coin to mark the Pakistan-China Year of Friendly Exchange 2015. The 27.5mm coin weighs 10 grams and contains 75 per cent copper and 25pc nickel with serration on its edges.

Jan 24: The State Bank of Pakistan made a cut of 100 basis points in the interest rate.

Jan 31: Federal Minister for Finance Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar said the National Tax Number (NTN) would be abolished on July 1, 2015 and NICs would be used for all tax purposes and the filing of returns; however, the NTN system would remain intact for companies.

Feb 09: The Textile Policy 2014-19 was announced by the Textile Minister, Abbas Khan Afridi. The policy offers about Rs64.15 billion cash subsidy to the textile and clothing sector to boost exports to $26bn by 2019 from $13bn.

Feb 09: The federal government introduced major budgetary measures by taxing more than 285 importable items, including furnace oil used in power generation, and increasing tax rates on all services following an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Feb 11: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) established an Islamic Finance Department to regulate and develop the Islamic financial market.

Appointments & Transfers

Jan 21: President Mamnoon Hussain approved the appointment of Imran Aziz Khan Advocate as Deputy Attorney General at Lahore.

Jan 23: Capt. (retd) Zaffar Iqbal Awan, assumed charge as Inspector General of Police, Gilgit-Baltistan. He replaced Mohammad Saleem Bhatti.

Jan 28: The Judicial Commission approved elevation of Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Maqbool Baqir to the Supreme Court and recommended the appointment of retired Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan as chief justice of the Federal Shariat Court (FSC).

A meeting of the commission presided over by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk also approved the appointment of Justice Faisal Arab as chief justice of the Sindh High Court.

Feb 04: Usman Yousaf Mubeen was appointed as the new chairman of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. An MIT graduate, Usman is now the youngest-ever head of any leading Pakistani organization.

Feb 07: Justice Raja Jalaluddin assumed charge as the acting chief judge of the Gilgit-Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court. He was made acting the chief judge after the retirement of Justice Rana Arshad.

Feb 07: Retired Brig Rashid Malik was elevated to the post of president of the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA).

Feb 14: President Mamnoon Hussain appointed Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs, Chaudhry Mohammad Barjees Tahir, as governor of Gilgit Baltistan.

Sports

Jan 21: Punjab women, with 3048 points, won the first National Women Pentathlon Championship at Punjab Football Stadium.

Jan 24: Pakistan earned silver medal after losing the final to India in the Asian Beach Volleyball Championships, in Male, Maldives.

Jan 26: Holdem won the two-day Coca Cola Bridge Championship held at Islamabad Club.

Jan 26: The Pakistan Rugby Union president Fawzi Khawaja was elected as an elected council member for Asian Rugby Union (ARU) for two years.

Feb 03: Wapda’s Ali Faisal dethroned Asim Qureshi, also of Wapda to recapture the 51st National Table Tennis title at Bahawalpur.

Feb 01: National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) outwitted Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) 2-0 courtesy to early ascendency to scoop up the inaugural Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Hockey title at the Army Stadium.

Feb 07: Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was cleared to bowl after passing biomechanic tests on his re-modelled action.

Feb 09: Hamza Akbar clinched a victory over Shahram Changezi in the best of 15 frames final to recapture the title in the 40th National Snooker Championship.

Feb 09: 15-year-old girl Mehak Gul bagged the title of Punjab Women Chess Championship.

Feb 11: World Boxing Council (WBC) gave affiliation to Pakistan.

Feb 12: Guinness World Records (GWR) officially clarified that Punjab Youth Festival (PYF) 2014, under the banner of Sports Board Punjab (SBP), has overall achieved 30 Guinness world records.

Feb 12: Wapda won the first All-Pakistan Sher-e-Punjab Kabaddi Tournament by defeating Pakistan Air Force.

Feb 15: Nadir Magsi of Sindh, already winning the title for four consecutive years, emerged champion of the 10th Cholistan jeep rally 2015.

World in Focus 2People in News

Kaleemullah

Jan 16: Pakistan football team captain Kaleemullah hit the news when he was named Kyrgyzstan’s Player of the Year.

Aftab Sherpao

Jan 18: The Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) re-elected Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao as the party chairman.

Malala Yousafzai

Jan 26: Pakistan’s teenage rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai made it to the list of 500 most influential people in Britain.

Dr Kalimullah and Younis Lehri

Jan 28: Dr Kalimullah of PkMAP and Younis Lehri of PML-N were elected mayor and deputy mayor of the Quetta Metropolitan Corporation, respectively.

Mohammad Amir

Jan 29: The ICC gave permission for banned Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir to return to domestic cricket with immediate effect.

Saman Malik

Jan 31: Saman Malik, a broadcast journalist and a documentary filmmaker, won the Patsy Pulitzer Prize for innovative documentary journalism with her latest documentary titled The Cost of Living.

Dr Muhammad Qasim Bhugio

Feb 03: The government appointed Dr Muhammad Qasim Bhugio as the chairman of Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL).

Fawad Khan

Feb 01: Pakistani actor Fawad Khan won the Best Debut Male Filmfare Award for the movie Khoobsurat. He is the first Pakistani to win this award.

Usman Yousaf Mubeen

Feb 04: Usman Yousaf Mubeen became the youngest-ever head of any leading Pakistani organization after his appointment as Chairman Nadra.

Ziauddin Sardar & Ali Usman Qasmi

Feb 07: Ziauddin Sardar and Ali Usman Qasmi emerged as the joint winners of the The Karachi Literature Festival Peace Prizes 2015 for their books “Macca,” and “The Ahmadis and the Politics of Religious Exclusion in Pakistan,” respectively.

Places in News

Sahiwal

Jan 16: The students and faculty members of the Mechanical Engineering Department (MED) of COMSATS, Sahiwal campus, manufactured a blue aerodynamic environment-friendly one-seated small car.

Istanbul

Jan 19: The 10th Parliamentary Conference of the Muslim countries was held in Istanbul.

Islamabad

Feb 03: A seminar titled ‘Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances in Asia: Building Solidarity, Breaking Barriers’ was held in Islamabad. The event was organised by the International Commission of Justice (ICJ) and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).

Peshawar

Feb 04: A two-day trade fair was organized by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan in collaboration with Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Peshawar.

Karachi

Feb 06: The three-day 6th Karachi Literature Festival commenced at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi.

Lahore

Feb 06: The First Annual Conference on Mathematics and Statistics Models in Economics, Finance and Applied Sciences took place at the Lahore School of Economics’s (LSE) main campus.

Lahore

Feb 09: The five-day book fair held under the auspices of Lahore International Book fair (LIBF) Trust ended.

Lahore

Feb 12: The Pakistan Human Capital Forum (PHCF) hosted its 26th event on ‘Leading Strategic Turnarounds – The Stories Behind Success,’ in Lahore.

The PHCF, with its chapters in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi, is the only national learning forum in Pakistan.

Lahore

Feb 12: Beaconhouse organised an art competition featuring the work of young artists from 10 countries and 200 schools. The contest was hosted by Beaconhouse-Newlands and had two categories: an exhibition of pre-submitted artwork entitled “Young Canvas” and a live art competition titled “Mussawir”.

Obituaries

Jan 22: Former secretary Wapda, Khwaja Ghafoor Ahmad, died.

Jan 26: Pakistan’s first woman federal minister Begum Kulsum Saifullah Khan passed away at 91.

Jan 27: Senior journalist, writer and film producer Ali Sufiyan Afaqi passed away at 82 years.

Jan 29: The widow of late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti died.

Feb 01: International Majlis-e-Tahafuz Khatam-e-Nabuwat Ameer and senior member of Majlis-e-Amla Wifaqul Madaris Al-Arabia, Pakistan Maulana Abdul Majeed Ludhianvi died at 87.

Feb 02: Former chief justice of Peshawar High Court Justice (R) Abdul Karim Kundi, passed away. He was 82.

Feb 03: Dr Nasim Hasan Shah, a former chief justice of Pakistan, died at the age of 86.

Feb 03: Classical singer Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shaggan passed away. He was 85.

Feb 14: The mother of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif and Maj Shabbir Sharif (Nishan-i-Haider) died.

Feb 15: Qazi Maqsood Gul, a renowned Sindhi poet having 10 books to his credit, died. He was 65.

International

Jan 16: French, German and Belgian police arrested more than two dozen suspects in anti-terrorism raids.

Jan 16: EU regulators charged Luxembourg with giving illegal tax breaks to Internet shopping giant Amazon.

Jan 16: A report by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that record-breaking temperatures scorched the planet last year, making 2014 the hottest year in more than a century.

Jan 16: Dark comedy “Birdman” won seven awards including best actor for Michael Keaton while coming-of-age drama “Boyhood” took best picture and best director for Richard Linklater among four prizes at the Critics’ Choice awards.

Jan 16: Muslims across the Middle Eastern and African cities marched against a new sketch of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) published by a French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The largest march was held in the Jordanian capital Amman.

Jan 16: A British-built probe that vanished 11 years ago was found on the surface of Mars, solving an enduring mystery of space exploration.

Jan 16: The International Criminal Court opened a preliminary inquiry into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories.

Jan 16: Arizona became the first state in the US to pass a law requiring high school students to pass a civics exam before graduation. The proposal requires high school students to correctly answer 60 of 100 questions on the civics portion of the US citizenship test.

Jan 17: The Islamic State freed more than 200 captive members of Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority.

Jan 17: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged $2.5 billion in humanitarian and development aid for countries affected by the Islamic State (IS) group’s bloody expansion in Iraq and Syria.

Jan 17: Militiamen in control of Yemen’s capital seized President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi’s chief of staff Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak.

Jan 18: German police banned a planned rally by the anti-Islamic Pegida movement and other public open-air gatherings in the eastern city of Dresden.

Jan 19: Saudi border guards were given orders to shoot infiltrators on sight.

Jan 20: Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu signed a military cooperation deal with Iran.

Jan 20: Costly centralised welfare programmes are inefficient tools to reduce inequality in South Asia, the World Bank said, advising governments to transfer the money to local administrations instead.

Jan 21: Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Iran’s first vice president under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was sentenced to five years in prison.

Jan 21: US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting President Barack Obama, in violation of the protocol.

Jan 21: Malaysia’s highest court rejected a final bid by the country’s Catholic newspaper for the right to use the word “Allah” to refer to the Christian God.

Jan 21: The highest level US delegation to visit Cuba in decades launched two days of historic talks in Havana to end Cold War-era animosity and re-establish diplomatic relations.

Jan 22: Macau, the Chinese territory known for casino gambling, outperformed the rest of the world’s major cities economically in 2014, a Brooking report said.

Jan 22: Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi resigned, throwing the country deeper into chaos days after Houthi rebels battled their way into his presidential palace.

Jan 23: Libby Lane became the Church of England’s first female bishop despite entrenched opposition from traditionalists.

Lane, 48, will go from being a regular parish priest to taking on one of the trickiest jobs in the Church of England since King Henry VIII founded it in 1534.

Jan 23: Thai authorities banned the ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from politics for five years.

Jan 24: UN member states agreed to begin negotiations on a treaty to protect marine biodiversity in ocean areas extending beyond territorial waters.

Jan 25: India and the United States reached an agreement to end the deadlock on their six-year-old civilian nuclear power agreement, their leaders said.

Jan 25: Radical leftwing party Syriza won Greece’s general election. Syriza took between 35.5 per cent and 39.5pc of the vote, compared to between 23pc and 27pc for the conservative New Democracy party.

Jan 26: A small drone flying at low altitude crashed into the White House complex before dawn, the US Secret Service said.

Jan 26: Colombia’s 22-year-old model and business student Paulina Vega was crowned Miss Universe.

Jan 26: Radical left leader Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as Greece’s new prime minister after forming a surprise alliance with Independent Greeks.

The 40-year-old broke with tradition and took a secular oath rather than the Greek Orthodox religious ceremony with which prime ministers are usually sworn in.

Jan 26: US President Barack Obama ended a landmark day in India with a pledge of about Rs0.4 trillion ($4 billion) in investments and loans; seeking to release what he called the “untapped potential” of a business and strategic partnership between the world’s largest democracies.

Jan 27: Dubai became the busiest airport in the world surpassing London’s Heathrow. Traffic at the airport increased 6.1 per cent last year to 70.47 million passengers.

Jan 29: Microsoft launched an Outlook app for rival handsets running on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

The move will allow users of iPhones, iPads and Android-powered smartphones and tablets to more easily access the email service popular with many businesses.

Jan 31: An Egyptian court banned the armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas and listed it as a terrorist organisation.

Jan 31: India succeeded for the first time in using a mobile launcher to test-fire Agni V, a long-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead deep inside rival China.

Feb 01: Japan successfully launched a back-up spy satellite.

Feb 01: The gas-rich Middle Eastern state Qatar became the biggest shareholder in British Airways.

Feb 01: Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai was named in the Debrett’s list of 500 most influential people in Britain during 2015. She was named in the list of “Philanthropists and Activists”.

Feb 03: Britain became the first country in the world as its House Commons voted by 382 to 128 in favour of allowing the creation of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) babies with DNA from three people.

Feb 03: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) of the United Nations ruled that neither Serbia nor Croatia had committed acts of genocide in the events following collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Feb 03: The Islamic State group released a video purportedly showing a Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage.

Feb 04: At least 25 people were killed when a Trans Asia Airways passenger plane plunged into a river in Taiwan.

Feb 06: Yemen’s Huthi rebels announced that they had taken over control of the country and set up a group to replace the parliament.

Feb 06: The Supreme Court of Canada struck down a ban against doctor-assisted suicide, while suggesting that it should be available only for competent adults suffering from an incurable disease.

Feb 07: North Korea test-fired a new anti-ship cruise missile.

Feb 07: A US judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Marshall Islands against the United States that accused Washington of failing in its obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament.

Feb 09: “Boyhood” took the best film and director trophies at the British Academy Film and Television Awards, while “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, won the biggest haul of prizes, with five.

Feb 09: A riot broke out outside of a major soccer game in Egypt, with a stampede and fighting between police and fans, killing at least 25 people.

Feb 09: Sam Smith took home three of the top four awards at Grammy’s, including song and record of the year for “Stay With Me,” and best new artist, while Beck won album of the year.

Feb 10: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP collapsed on its face taking a pathetic tally of three seats out of 70 that make up the Delhi assembly. The three were the only ones that Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could not win.

Feb 10: A US Senate panel voted unanimously in support of Ashton Carter to be the new secretary of defense.

Feb 10: Russian President Vladimir Putin wrapped up a visit aimed at boosting ties with Egypt with Cairo and Moscow agreeing to build the Arab country’s first nuclear power plant.

Feb 10: The US urged a meeting of the G-20 leading economies not to resort to currency devaluations to boost exports.

Feb 11: Europe’s prototype space plane splashed down in the Pacific on schedule after a 100-minute flight to test key re-entry technologies.

Feb 11: A power blackout hit most of the energy-rich Kuwait, disrupting traffic and a number of vital facilities but leaving oil installations unaffected.

Feb 11: US President Barack Obama asked Congress for its backing to fight the Islamic State (IS) group without geographical limits, but with curbs on the use of ground forces.

Feb 11: A North Carolina man murdered three Muslim students, including a married couple, in the university town of Chapel Hill.

Feb 12: A new peace roadmap aimed at ending the 10-month war between Ukraine and pro-Moscow rebels was agreed in Belarus, but Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that “big hurdles” remained.

Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged from the summit in the Belarussian capital Minsk, saying he, Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had agreed on the main points.

Feb 13: The Muslim population of England and Wales is growing faster than the overall population, with a higher proportion of children and a lower ratio of elderly people, but Muslims still form small minority of the overall population, according to the Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) study of data from the 2011 census.

Feb 14: A state court in Gujarat acquitted all the 70 accused in a case of mass murder in the orgy of anti-Muslim violence that swept through the region in February-March 2002.

Feb 14: “Taxi” by Iranian director Jafar Panahi won the Golden Bear prize for best film at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.

Economy

Jan 29: India overtook China as the world’s biggest gold consumer in 2014. Chinese gold demand slid by more than a third in 2014 to a four-year low of 866 tonnes.

Feb 06: According to the 2015 Hurun Global Rich List, the number of billionaires in the world has reached 2089, surpassed 2000 for the first time, with at least 67 countries now home to at least one person valued at more than $1,000,000,000.

Feb 09: Europe’s biggest bank HSBC was alleged to help rich clients globally dodge taxes through its Swiss arm.

Feb 11: Apple set a record on Wall Street when it became the first US company to be worth more than $700 billion based on the value of its stock at the close of trading. That’s almost twice the value of the next biggest company, oil giant Exxon Mobil.

Elections & Appointments

Jan 23: Tunisia’s nominated Prime Minister Habib Essid formed his new government after negotiations among secular party Nidaa Tounes and other smaller partners in the parliament.

Jan 26: Edgar Lungu was sworn-in as Zambia’s president.

Jan 28: Iran appointed Gholam-Ali Khoshroo as Islamic republic’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations in New York.

Jan 28: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Supreme Court Chief Justice Mohan Peiris and reinstated the latter’s predecessor, Shirani Bandaranayake.

Jan 28: India replaced Foreign Secretary Sujhata Singh with Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, a diplomat who was currently serving as the Indian ambassador to the United States.

Jan 31: Sergio Mattarella, a constitutional court judge from Sicily was elected as the country’s new president.

Feb 14: India’s anti-corruption icon Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in as Delhi’s new chief minister. Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung administered the oath.

Feb 15: Croatia’s first woman President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was sworn-in.

Sports

Jan 16: Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat her Czech Fed Cup teammate Karolina Pliskova to win the Sydney International women’s singles title.

Jan 25: New Zealand beat Sri Lanka in the sixth One-day International to take an unassailable 4-1 lead in their seven-match series.

Jan 27: A Chinese sailing team led by a French captain took the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, crossing the finish line in home waters to make history as the event’s first Chinese stage winners.

Jan 27: Australia’s Steve Smith capped a remarkable season by sweeping the main awards at the annual Allan Border Medal ceremony, including Australian player of the year.

Sean Abbott was named the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year.

Jan 29: Kumar Sangakkara broke the world record for the most dismissals by a wicket-keeper in One-day Internationals.

Jan 29: South Africa trounced West Indies by 131 runs in the fifth and final ODI.

Jan 29: The ICC announced to using the Super Over to determine a winner in case of a tie in the 2015 World Cup final.

Jan 30: The unseeded pairing of American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Czech Lucie Safarova won the Australian Open women’s doubles title, their first Grand Slam success.

Jan 31: Serena Williams defeated Russian ace, Maria Sharapova, to win the Australian Open, her 19th major title.

Feb 01: Novak Djokovic won his fifth Australian Open title.

Feb 01: Five-time Grand Slam singles winner Martina Hingis won her second Australian Open mixed doubles title.

Feb 01: Germany’s Olympic champion Carina Vogt defeated Austrian favourite Daniela Iraschko-Stolz to claim Sunday’s World Cup ski jump in Hinzenbach.

Feb 08: Australian cyclist Rohan Dennis became the latest rider to break the world hour record completing 52.491 kilometres on the track in Granges, Switzerland.

Feb 08: Indian Anirban Lahiri secured his breakthrough European Tour title by overhauling Austrian Bernd Wiesberger in a dramatic final round of the Malaysian Open.

Feb 09: Ivory Coast won African Nations Cup title after a 23-year drought with a win over Ghana.

People in News

Shubham Banerjee

Jan 20: Shubham Banerjee, a 13-year-old eighth-grader launched a company to develop low-cost machines to print Braille, the tactile writing system for the visually impaired. Tech giant Intel Corp. recently invested in his startup, Braigo Labs.

Peter Greste

Feb 01: Egypt deported Al Jazeera reporter Peter Greste to Australia after holding him for more than 400 days.

Malak al-Khatib

Feb 04: A 14-year-old schoolgirl, Malak al-Khatib, who had been jailed for trying to attack Israeli soldiers, has become a symbol of Palestinian anger over the arrests of children in the occupied territories.

David Beckham

Feb 09: Football legend and male model David Beckham launched a new fund for the UN children’s organisation UNICEF named “7″ — the number on the jersey he wore when he played for Manchester United.

An Indian “Woman”

Feb 09: A 32-year-old Indian “woman” who discovered she had mostly male chromosomes gave birth to healthy twins after intensive treatment in what doctors said was the “rarest of rare cases”.

Places in News

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Jan 29: The 24th Summit of the 54-member bloc, African Union, was held in Ethiopia’s capital. The official theme of the meeting was “Women’s Empowerment Year and Africa Development for the concretisation of Agenda 2063.”

Brussels, Belgium

Jan 29: During emergency talks at Brussels, the EU foreign ministers agreed to expand EU sanctions against Russia as Ukraine’s warring parties announced fresh truce talks to end a surge in fighting between Kiev and Kremlin-backed rebels.

Bristol, England

Feb 02: The British city of Bristol became the country’s first to test smoke-free zones in outdoor public places, without imposing an outright ban.

Los Angeles, USA

Feb 04: The first women-only mosque in the United States opened its doors in Los Angeles with an inaugural prayer by Edina Lekovic of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Frankfurt, Germany

Feb 07: An international exhibition titled “Paper World” was held in Frankfurt, Germany. Seven Pakistani manufacturers of stationery products participated in the exhibition.

Dubai, UAE

Feb 09: The second annual UAE Government Summit was held in Dubai. The three-day event came to an end with the closing remarks from His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who hailed the spirit of workers in the UAE.

Spain

Feb 13: Spain emerged as the most amorous nation as Spanish people sent more love-related messages on Viber than any other region last year, ahead of Franc, Italy and Japan.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Feb 14: Yemen’s Gulf Arab neighbours held an extraordinary ministerial meeting in Riyadh to discuss developments in the restive country where a Shia militia had seized power.

Science

Jan 16: A woman treated with a revolutionary embryonic stem-cell therapy for severe heart failure was doing well three months after the operation. The patient, 68 at the time of the procedure last October, was given juvenile heart cells that had been grown in the lab from human precursor cells.

Jan 27: International astronomers  discovered the oldest known star encircled by five Earth-sized planets, signalling that planets formed throughout the history of the universe.

The system is 11.2 billion years old and was born near the dawn of the galaxy, said the report in the Astrophysical Journal.

Feb 03: The latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted a rise in global temperature of between 0.3 and 4.8 degrees Celsius (0.5 to 8.6 Fahrenheit) by the late 21st century.

Obituaries

Jan 18: Egyptian actress Faten Hamama, an Arab film icon and Omar Sharif’s former wife, died at the age of 83.

Jan 18: Dr Vernon B. Mountcastle, whose studies of how brain cells conspire to process perceptions and movement laid the foundations of modern neuroscience, died. He was 96.

Jan 22: Tony Verna, inventor of sports TV’s instant replay, dies at 81.

Jan 23: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah died early and his brother Salman became king, the royal court in the world’s top oil exporter said in an official statement.

King Salman named his half brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir, rapidly moving to forestall any fears of a succession crisis.

Jan 24: The King of Norway’s brother-in-law Johan Martin Ferner, who was part of the sailing team that won silver at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, died. He was 87.

Jan 29: Charles H. Townes, a visionary physicist whose research led to the development of the laser, making it possible to play CDs, scan prices at the supermarket, measure time precisely, survey planets and galaxies, and even witness the birth of stars, died. He was 99.

Jan 29: Australian golfing great and British Open winner Kel Nagle died at the age of 94.

Jan 30: Rod McKuen, a ubiquitous poet, lyricist and songwriter whose work met with immense commercial success, died at 81.

Jan 30: R.K. Laxman, whose satirical comic strip featuring a character he called the Common Man appeared daily on the front page of The Times of India for more than five decades, died. He was 93.

Feb 01: Carl Djerassi, the chemist widely considered the father of the birth control pill, died at 91.

Feb 07: South African anti-apartheid writer Andre Brink, 79, died.

Feb 08: Turkish traditional music singer Muzeyyen Senar, known as the “diva” of the modern republic and whose career spanned half a century, died. She was 96.

Feb 11: Val Fitch, who shared the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics for work that revealed a surprising imbalance in the laws of nature and helped explain why the collision of matter and antimatter has not destroyed everything in the universe, died. He was 91.

Feb 12: Veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon died.

Feb 14: Gary Owens, a radio and TV announcer and voiceover artist who will always be remembered as the voice of the seminal NBC comedy series Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, died at 80.

Feb 15: Assia Djebar, an Algerian-born writer and filmmaker whose widely admired work explored the plight of women in the male-centric Arab world, died. She was 78.

MCQs

National

1. On Jan 19, Pakistan moved a resolution against publication of controversial caricatures by a French magazine in the 10th Parliamentary Conference of the Muslim countries held in______.
(a) Mecca    (b) Riyadh
(c) Istanbul    (d) Rabat

2. The current speaker of Sindh Assembly is ______.
(a) Shehla Raza
(b) Syed Sardar Ahmad
(c) Agha Siraj Durrani
(d) Peer Mazharul Haq

3. On Jan 23, President Mamnoon Hussain conferred ______ on 145 martyred students and staff members of the Army Public School Peshawar.
(a) Tamgha-i-Jurat
(b) Tamgha-i-Shujaat
© Tamgha-i-Basalat
(d) Sitara-e-Jurat

4. On Jan 23, Capt. (retd) Zaffar Iqbal Awan assumed charge as IGP______.
(a) Gilgit-Baltistan  (b) Punjab
(c) Sindh            (d) Balochistan

5. The PAF formally inducted JF-17 Thunder fighter jets in the country’s defence force on ______.
(a) Jan 26    (b) Jan 28
(c) Jan 30    (d) Jan 31

6. On Jan 28, Dr Kalimullah of ______ and Younis Lehri of PML-N were elected, respectively, as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Quetta.
(a) PPP        (b) PTI
(c) PkMAP    (d) JWP

7. On Jan 28, the Judicial Commission approved appointment of retired Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan as chief justice of the ______.
(a) Sindh High Court
(b) Federal Shariat Court
(c) Peshawar High Court
(d) Balochistan High Court

8. On Jan 28, Justice Faisal Arab was appointed as the chief justice of the ______ High Court.
(a) Islamabad    (b) Lahore
(c) Sindh     (d) Balochistan

9. Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar resigned on ______.
(a) Jan 26    (b) Jan 28
(c) Jan 31    (d) Feb 01

10. On Jan 29, Pakistan Naval Ship ______ was given the ‘Best Newcomer’ Award at the Black Sea Tall Ships Regatta.
(a) Rahbar    (b) Rahnaward
(c) Quaid    (d) Rahnuma

11. Pakistan was ranked at ______ position among 109 countries in the Global Food Security Index 2014.
(a) 77th        (b) 87th
(c) 96th        (d) 100th

12. On Jan 31, the SBP issued a commemorative coin of ______ denomination to mark the Pakistan-China Year of Friendly Exchange 2015.
(a) Rs5        (b) Rs10
(c) Rs20        (d) Rs 50

13. The groundbreaking of the Altaf Hussain University (AHU) was performed in Ganjo Takkar area of ______.
(a) Karachi    (b) Hyderabad
(c) Ratto Dero    (d) Larkana

14. On Feb 01, Pakistani actor Fawad Khan won the Best Debut Male Filmfare Award for the movie ______.
(a) Khoobsurat    (b) Madamji
(c) Kick        (d) Badlapur

15. On Feb 02, Pakistan conducted a successful flight test of the indigenously developed Air Launched Cruise Missile ________ .
(a) Hatf III    (b) Ghaznavi
(c) Ra’ad        (d) Ghauri

16. On Feb 03, the ______ Corps Commanders’ Conference was held at GHQ Rawalpindi.
(a) 174th    (b) 176th
(c) 184th    (d) 186th

17. On Feb 04, Usman Yousaf Mubeen was appointed as the new chairman of ______.
(a) Ogra        (b) Nadra
(c) OGDCL    (d) Pemra

18. On Feb 06, the first annual Conference on Mathematics and Statistics Models in Economics, Finance and Applied Sciences was held in ______.
(a) Lahore    (b) Karachi
(c) Islamabad    (d) Faisalabad

19. On Feb 07, Ziauddin Sardar and Ali Usman Qasmi won the Karachi Literature Festival Peace Prizes 2015 for their books “______,” and “The Ahmadis and the Politics of Religious Exclusion in Pakistan,” respectively.
(a) Persecution    (b) Wounded
(c) Trial        (d) Mecca

20. Retired Brig Rashid Malik became the president of Sindh Olympic Association (SOA) on ______.
(a) Feb 05    (b) Feb 07
(c) Feb 09    (d) Feb 11

21. On Feb 09, the children’s audio version of Malala Yousafzai’s book won a(n) ______ award in the Best Children’s Album category.
(a) Emmy    (b) Oscar
(c) Grammy    (d) Musica

22. On Feb 11, major reserves of iron ore as well as copper, silver and gold were discovered at Rajoia near______.
(a) Chiniot    (b) Jhelum
(c) Kamalia    (d) D.G. Khan

23. On Feb 11,  Chinese and Pakistani officials signed an MoU to declare ______ and Zhuhai (China) twin cities.
(a) Lahore    (b) Sialkot
(c) Gwadar    (d) Peshawar

24. On Feb 11, the ______ established an Islamic Finance Department to regulate and develop the Islamic financial market.
(a) KASB        (b) SBP
(c) KSE        (d) SECP

25. “She is the only man left in the Punjab.” Lord Dalhousie said these words about ______.
(a) Razia Sultana
(b) Rani Jindan
(c) Naseem Khanum
(d) Preet Kur

26. The military operation at Lal Masjid Islamabad was named Operation ______.
(a) Silence    (b) Freedom
(c) Rah-i-Nijat     (d) Rah-i-Haq

27. Ghulam Hyder Jamali is the incumbent IGP of ______.
(a) Punjab    (b) Khyber PK
(c) Sindh     (d) Balochistan

28. Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy left Muslim League and launched Awami Muslim League on June 23, ______.
(a) 1946        (b) 1947
(c) 1948        (d) 1949

29. ‘From Jinnah to Zia’ is written by ______.
(a) Liaquat Ali Soldier
(b) Justice Muhammad Munir
(C) K.K. Aziz
(d) Hamid Khan

30. Harappa is an archaeological site in ______.
(a) Sindh        (b) Punjab
(c) Khyber PK    (d) Balochistan

International

1. On Jan 16, EU regulators charged ______ with giving illegal tax breaks to Internet shopping giant Amazon.
(a) Croatia    (b) Russia
(c) Luxembourg    (d) Germany

2. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an agency of ______.
(a) England    (b) Australia
(c) United States    (d) China

3. The International Criminal Court opened a preliminary inquiry into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories on ______.
(a) Jan 14    (b) Jan 16
(c) Jan 18    (d) Jan 20

4. On Jan 16, Arizona became the first US state to pass a law requiring high school students to pass a civics exam before graduation.
(a) Arizona    (b) Philadelphia
(c) S. Carolina    (d) Ohio

5. Yazidi religious minority mainly lives in ______.
(a) Yemen    (b) Jordan
(c) Iraq        (d) Syria

6. Sana’a is the capital of ______.
(a) Lebanon    (b) Jordan
(c) Syria         (d) Yemen

7. The anti-Islamic Pegida movement is operative in ______.
(a) Greece    (b) Germany
(c) Sweden    (d) France

8. On Jan 20, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu signed a military cooperation deal with ______.
(a) India        (b) China
(c) Iran        (d) Bangladesh

9. On Jan 21, Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Iran’s first vice president under former president______, was sentenced to five years in prison.
(a) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
(b) Ali Khamenei
(c) Mohammad Khatami
(d) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

10. ______ is the current speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
(a) Dennis Hastert    (b) John Boehner
(c) Newt Gingrich    (d) Nancy Pelosi

11. On Jan 21, ______ highest court rejected a final bid by the country’s Catholic newspaper for the right to use the word “Allah”.
(a) Malaysia’s    (b) Tanzania’s
(c) Jordan’s    (d) Indonesia’s

12. On Jan 21, the US delegation launched two days of historic talks in ______.
(a) Washington    (b) New York
(c) Artemisa    (d) Havana

13. On Jan 22, ______ President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi resigned.
(a) Egyptian    (b) Yemeni
(c) Lebanese    (d) Somali

14. On Jan 23, Libby Lane became the Church of England’s ______ female bishop.
(a) First        (b) Second
(c) Third        (d) Fourth

15. Church of England was founded by King ______ in 1534.
(a) Charles II    (b) James II
(c) Henry VIII    (d) William II

16. On Jan 23, Thai authorities banned the ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from politics for ______ years.
(a) 4        (b) 5
(c) 8        (d) 15

17. On Jan 25, radical leftwing party Syriza won ______ general election
(a) Luxembourg’s    (b) Greece’s
(c) Germany’s    (d) Sweden’s

18. On Jan 26, ______ Paulina Vega was crowned Miss Universe.
(a) Colombia’s    (b) Venezuela’s
(c) Uruguay’s    (d) Scotland’s

19. On Jan 26, ______ was sworn in as Greece’s new prime minister.
(a) Konstantinos Simitis
(b) Antonis Samaras
(c) Lucas Papademos
(d) Alexis Tsipras

20. According to the rankings of 2014, ______ Airport is the busiest airport in the world.
(a) Heathrow    (b) Dubai
(c) Philadelphia     (d) Manchester

21. On Jan 28, Iran appointed Gholam-Ali Khoshroo as its new permanent ambassador to the ______.
(a) IMF         (b) US
(c) UN        (d) UK

22. On Jan 29, ______ overtook China as the world’s biggest gold consumer.
(a) India         (b) US
(c) Kuwait    (d) Qatar

23. On Feb 03, ______ became the first country in the world to allow the creation of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) babies with DNA from three people.
(a) Luxembourg     (b) China
(c) Britain    (d) Denmark

24. On Feb 06, ______ Huthi rebels took over the control of the country and set up a group to replace the parliament.
(a) Nigeria’s    (b) Somalia’s
(c) Tunisia’s    (d) Yemen’s

25. On Feb 06, the Supreme Court of ______ struck down a ban against doctor-assisted suicide.
(a) Australia    (b) Canada
(c) Estonia    (d) United States

26. On Feb 10, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won ______ seats out of 70 seats in Delhi Assembly.
(a) 67        (b) 68
(c) 69        (d) 70

27. On Feb 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to build ______ first nuclear power plant.
(a) Iran’s        (b) Syria’s
(c) Egypt’s     (d) Lebanon’s

28. On Jan 09, ______ passed a controversial law banning transvestites and transsexuals from driving.
(a) India        (b) Nigeria
(c) China        (d) Russia

29. On Feb 11, ______ set a record on Wall Street when it became the first US company to be worth more than $700 billion.
(a) Microsoft    (b) Apple
(c) Facebook    (d) Samsung

30. On Feb 14, “Taxi” by ______ director Jafar Panahi won the Golden Bear prize for best film at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.
(a) Saudi        (b) Iranian
(c) Lebanese    (d) Qatari

Sports

1. On Jan 21, ______ women won the first National Women Pentathlon Championship.
(a) Khyber PK    (b) Sindh
(c) Punjab    (d) Balochistan

2. In the Asian Beach Volleyball Championship, held in Male, Maldives, Pakistan won the ______ medal.
(a) Gold        (b) Silver
(c) Bronze    (d) Consolation

3. The world record for the most dismissals by a wicket-keeper in ODI cricket is held by ______.
(a) Ian Healy     (b) K. Sangakkara
(c) Rashid Latif    (d) M.S. Dhoni

4. On Jan 31, Serena Williams defeated ______ to win the Australian Open.
(a) Maria Sharapova
(b) Venus Williams
(c) Martina Hingis
(d) Li Na

5. On Feb 08, ______ Anirban Lahiri secured his breakthrough European Tour title.
(a) Indian        (b) Nepalese
(c) Bangladeshi    (d) Bhutanese

6. On Feb 09, ______ won African Nations Cup title after a 23-year drought.
(a) Mozambique    (b) Ghana
(c) Ivory Coast    (d) Nigeria

7. On Feb 15, ______ won the 10th Cholistan jeep rally 2015.
(a) Ali Salman    (b) Nadir Magsi
(c) Zulfiqar Ali    (d) Zeeshan Mirza

Obituaries

1. On Jan 22, ______, the inventor of sports TV’s instant replay, died.
(a) Tony Verna    (b) Martin Ferner
(c) Rod McKuen    (d) Kel Nagle

2. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah died on ______.
(a) Jan 21    (b) Jan 22
(c) Jan 23    (d) Jan 24

3. Pakistan’s first woman federal minister, Begum Kulsum Saifullah Khan, passed away on ______.
(a) Jan 24    (b) Jan 25
(c) Jan 26    (d) Jan 27

4. On Jan 30, R.K. Laxman, whose character, the Common Man appeared daily on the front page of ______ for more than five decades, died.
(a) The Times of India
(b) Hindustan Times
(c) The Hindu
(d) Indian Express

5. On Feb 01, ______, the chemist widely considered the father of the birth control pill, died.
(a) Andre Brink    (b) Gary Owens
(c) Carl Djerassi    (d) Bob Simon

6. Dr Nasim Hasan Shah, a former chief justice of Pakistan, died on ______.
(a) Jan 31    (b) Feb 03
(c) Feb 08    (d) Feb 10

7. On Feb 11, Val Fitch, who shared the 1980 Nobel Prize in ______, died.
(a) Chemistry    (b) Physics
(c) Peace    (d) Medicine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *