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World in Focus November December 2015

World in Focus Nov Dec 15

NATIONAL

Nov 16: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif performed the ground-breaking of 62-km long Gojra-Shorkot section of M-4.

Nov 18: New US ambassador to Pakistan David Hale assumed office.

Nov 19: Amjad Khan Afridi, the adviser to chief minister KP on sports, tourism, culture, archaeology, museums and culture, was ousted from the cabinet.

Nov 21: An enraged mob torched a place of worship of Ahmadi community in Jhelum.

Nov 23: The government restored the Ministry of Human Rights which it had merged with the Ministry of Law and Justice in 2013.

Nov 24: PAF’s FT-7PG aircraft crashed near Kundian, Mianwali. One pilot Ms Marium Mukhtiar embraced Shahadat.

Nov 24: An accountability court exonerated Asif Ali Zardari in SGS and Cotecna corruption references.

Nov 24: PPP and PTI decided to play role as a combined opposition in the National Assembly.

Nov 25: COAS Gen Raheel Sharif was awarded the prestigious ‘Order of Merit’ by the Brazilian government.

Nov 25: CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated the first tourist double-decker bus service at Punjab Stadium.

Nov 25: Pakistan was unanimously elected to chair WTO’s Committee on Trade and Environment.

Nov 25: Dr Asim Hussain and Sharjeel Memon were put on the ECL.

World in Focus World Times Magazine 1Nov 27: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the Maltese capital, Valetta.

Nov 27: An international magazine, “The Brofessional”, declared Pakistanis world’s most attractive people.

Nov 27: The government shared consolidated figures of the total loss of lives caused due to terrorism during the last 5 years. According to it, a total of 3,157 personnel of law-enforcement agencies were killed and 5,988 injured during this period. At the same time, a total of 5,532 civilians were killed and 10,195 were injuries.

Nov 28: CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif unveiled the state-of-the-art instrument landing system at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore.

Nov 30: Premiers of Pakistan and India met for a brief talk on the sidelines of the climate summit in Paris.

Dec 01: KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak launched the web television of the province named ‘Badloon’.

Dec 02: The iconic architect Nayyar Ali Dada resigned from the Punjab’s Culture and Heritage Committee.

Dec 03: Pakistan sent back a plane with deported migrants to Greece after the FIA found 30 passengers onboard to have been illegally deported.

Dec 04: Pakistan was re-elected to the executive council of the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Dec 05: Altaf Hussain, the London-based MQM chief, was formally booked in the Dr Imran Farooq murder case.

Dec 05: An ordinance to convert Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) into a company was promulgated.

Dec 06: The national security advisers of Pakistan and India met for a brief and unannounced meeting in Bangkok.

Dec 08: Pakistan and Afghanistan jointly hosted the Heart of Asia process ministerial meeting.

Dec 09: Pakistan and India announced to resume the dialogue on outstanding issues, ending a 2-year long stalemate.

Dec 09: The Afghan government agreed to restart dialogue with ‘reconcilable’ Taliban with the help of Pakistan, the US and China.

Dec 09: Both Afghanistan and India urged Pakistan to open a land route for Afghanistan-India transit trade.

Dec 10: Hiroshi Inomata, Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan, handed over 34 hybrid vehicles to the National Highways and Motorway Police.

Dec 11: PTI Chief Imran Khan called on Indian Premier, Narendra Modi.

Dec 11: Pakistan tested its longest-range and nuclear-capable missile Shaheen III for validation of design and technical parameters.

Dec 13: The Sindhi Culture Day was observed with great enthusiasm.

Dec 14: PM’s pecial Assistant on Aviation Shujaat Azeem resigned.

Dec 14: The federal government named 122 educational institutions in Islamabad after the martyred students of APS Peshawar.

Dec 15: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urged members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to join forces and develop comprehensive strategies to collectively confront the challenges of extremism and terrorism while speaking at the while speaking at the 14th SCO Heads of Government meeting in China.

Dec 15: Saudi Arabia named Pakistan as part of its newly formed 34-nation military alliance of Muslim countries meant to combat terrorism, without first getting its consent.

Dec 15: Pakistan conducted a successful fight test of Shaheen I-A ballistic missile, capable of delivering different types of warheads to a range of 900 km.

Business & Economy

World in Focus World Times Magazine 5Nov 18: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar launched the All-Share Islamic Index at the Karachi Stock Exchange.

Nov 20: The ADB approved a loan assistance of $1.4 billion for Pakistan to install smart electricity meters.

Nov 26: Mobilink and Warid announced their agreement to combine, in first telecommunication merger in Pakistan.

Nov 30: The government introduced a ‘mini-budget’ envisaging additional tax measures of over Rs40 billion.

Dec 04: The Asian Development Bank approved a $250 million loan for Pakistan to boost cross-border trade activity with its neighbouring countries by reducing customs processing time for cargo and goods at three key border points of Chaman, Torkham, and Wagah.

Dec 10: The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 for rapid industrialisation and enhancing economic activities was promulgated.

Dec 10: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan became a member of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), Malaysia.

Dec 13: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif joined the regional leaders to formally launch work on the historic TAPI pipeline, the largest gas pipeline project in the region.

Dec 15: The Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) announced a gas discovery at its exploration well in District Matiari of Sindh.

Dec 15: Ajman Free Zone Authority opened its first office in Pakistan.

Elections, Transfers & Appointments

Nov 16: The government appointed Nisar Khan as the new FBR chairman.

Nov 17: President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath of office to MNA Zahid Hamid as the Federal Minister for Climate Change.

Nov 20: Senior bureaucrat Fawad Hasan Fawad was elevated as Secretary to the PM.

Nov 23: Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhary was sworn in as minister of state for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD).

Nov 25: Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan M. Salman Faruqui was elected President of Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA) for four-years.

Nov 26: Air Marshal Asim Suleman was appointed as Director General Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Dec 01: The State Bank of Pakistan restricted the management of the National Bank of Pakistan from hiring or promoting senior executives, group heads and other senior officers without its prior clearance.

Dec 03: Vice Admiral Syed Arifullah Hussaini took over as Commander Pakistan Fleet.

Dec 14: Justice Sajjad Ali Shah took oath as 24th chief justice of the Sindh High Court.

Energy

Nov 17: Wapda signed Rs. 4.8 billion contract with the China Railway First Group for construction of a project colony and allied infrastructure for the Dasu Hydropower Project.

Nov 19: Pakistan confirmed reserves of around 200 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas and around 58 billion barrels of oil in its shale structure.

Nov 26: The ADB and Pakistan government signed loans amounting to $800 million in the energy sector.

Nov 26: The ADB agreed to disburse $800 million to Pakistan to help the country improve efficiency of its power sector.

Sports

Nov 17: PCB inducted Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan in its Board of Governors.

Nov 20: England defeated Pakistan to take ODI series by 3-1 margin.

Nov 22: India beat Pakistan in Junior Men’s Asia Cup Hockey final.

Nov 23: Pakistani bodybuilder Salman Ahmed won Gold medal at World Muscle Mania in Las Vegas, America.

Nov 30: England beat Pakistan in the final Twenty20 match in Super Over.

Dec 01: Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) elected Syed Dilawar Abbas as its senior Vice President.

Dec 03: The franchise rights of all five outfits participating in the PSL were sold out for a whopping US$93m for a 10-year period.

Dec 05: Aqeel Khan and Sara Mansoor clinched men’s and women’s singles titles respectively of the Subh-e-Nau National Tennis Championship.

People in News

Dr Mahmood A Khawaja

World in Focus World Times Magazine 3Nov 28: The International Society of Doctors for Environment, in ARREZO, Italy elected a Pakistani scientist, Dr Mahmood A Khawaja, as its new president, for two years.

M. Usman Khan & Zainab Bibi

Dec 07: Two young Pakistanis Muhammad Usman Khan and Zainab Bibi were among 60 young people from across the Commonwealth being recognised as exceptional leaders in their community.

Muniba Mazari

Dec 10: UN Women Pakistan appointed artist-writer-singer-activist Muniba Mazari as its first National Ambassador to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

Capt Haleem A. Siddiqui

Dec 11: Capt Haleem A. Siddiqui, chairman, Marine Group of Companies, was given the lifetime achievement award for his services in development and growth of ports and shipping in Pakistan.

Anusha Rehman

Dec 13: Pakistan’s Minister of State for IT Anusha Rehman Ahmad Khan was awarded Gem-Tech global Achievement Award by the United Nations Women and International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman

Dec 13: The Chinese Academy of Sciences, the large national scientific institution of China, elected the inter-nationally known Pakistani scientist Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman as its Foreign Member. He is the first scientist of the Muslim World to have this honour.

Dr Zulfiqar A. Bhutta

Dec 14: A Pakistani paediatrician Dr Zulfiqar A. Bhutta was conferred the International TUBA Academy Prize in Health and Sciences by Turkish President Tayyib Erdogan.

Places in News

Islamabad

Nov 23: The 10th session of the Pak-Afghan Joint Economic Commission was held in Islamabad. Both countries discussed concepts of two major projects import of 2,000MW electricity from Turkmenistan and development of Gwadar-Helmand road link the 10th session of the Joint Economic Commission held in Islamabad.

Karachi

Nov 26: The 11th CEO Summit Asia 2015 was held in Karachi.

Karachi

Dec 08: The 8th International Urdu Conference organised by the Arts Council Karachi.

Islamabad

Dec 08: A two-day international conference titled ‘Emergence of ISIS in Middle East and its implications for South Asia’ began at Numl, Islamabad.

Islamabad

Dec 08: The 18th Sustainable Development Conference, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) under the theme ‘Securing Peace and Prosperity’, was held at Islamabad.

Islamabad

Dec 07: The 8th South Asia Economic Summit titled “Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Development South Asia”, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), was held in Islamabad.

Lahore

Dec 08: The third Pakistan Urban Forum concluded in Lahore.

Islamabad

Dec 09: The 5th ‘Heart of Asia— Istanbul Process’ Conference was held in Islamabad. The theme of the conference, jointly hosted by Pakistan and Afghanistan, was ‘enhanced cooperation for countering security threats and promoting connectivity in the Heart of Asia region.’

Lahore

Dec 10: The 6th International Literary & Cultural Festival, a three-day long mega event, was inaugurated in Lahore by renowned writer Intizar Hussain.

Obituaries

Nov 17: Renowned fiction writer Ishtiaq Ahmed died at the age of 74.

Nov 18: Former Federal Secretary and a renowned columnist Inayatullah passed away.

Nov 21: Pakistan Peoples Party Vice Chairman Makhdoom Amin Fahim died. He was 76.

Nov 23: The writer of popular national songs Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan and Ay Watan Ke Sajeeley Jawano, Jamiluddin Aali, better known as Aaliji, died at 89.

Dec 05: Pakistan’s foremost agricultural expert and former chairman of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Dr Zafar Altaf, passed away.

Dec 06: Veteran journalist and diplomat Qutbuddin Aziz died at 86.

INTERNATIONAL

World in Focus World Times Magazine 6Nov 16: After the Paris attacks, French President Francois Hollande called on the US and Russia to join forces to destroy the IS.

Nov 17: The Philippines and Vietnam signed a strategic partnership deepening security ties.

Nov 18: At the annual APEC gathering, US President Barack Obama demanded China end artificial island building in the hotly contested South China Sea.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), founded in November 1989, is composed of 21 member-economies, namely: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States of America, and Vietnam.

Nov 21: The UN Security Council adopted a resolution that calls upon UN member states to fight “an unprecedented threat to international peace and security” posed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

Nov 21: Asia-Pacific leaders meeting in Malaysia condemned the extremist attacks from Paris to Mali, urging an int’l effort to fight the scourge.

Nov 21: China and India agreed to actively exchange intelligence on terror groups and their activities.

Nov 21: Chinese authorities uncovered an “underground bank” which illegally transferred money overseas in a case valued at $64 billion.

Nov 22: Western leaders agreed to extend sanctions imposed on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine by six months until July of next year.

Nov 22: Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous region that was handed back by Britain to China in 1997 went to the polls for the first time since huge pro-democracy protests.

Nov 24: Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border, saying the jet had violated its air space.

Nov 26: Drought, floods and other extremes of weather have become more frequent and severe in the past 30 years and pose a rising threat to food security in developing countries, the UN food agency reported.

Nov 26: India test-fired indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile having a range of 350 km.

Nov 26: Senior Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan commander Khan Said Sajna was killed in a US drone strike in the remote hills of eastern Afghanistan.

Nov 27: Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat unveiled a new $1 billion Commonwealth Green Finance Facility (CGFF) to support environmental projects within the 53-nation bloc.

Nov 27: British Prime Minister David Cameron announced funding for a Commonwealth counter-extremism unit at the CHOGM summit in Malta.

Nov 28: President Putin signed a decree imposing a raft of punitive economic sanctions against Turkey.

Nov 28: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced regret over Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane.

Nov 29: The Global Gender Gap Report 2015 was issued which said that despite an additional quarter of a billion women entering the global workforce since 2006, wage inequality persists, with women only now earning what men did a decade ago.

Nov 30: World leaders launched an attempt to hold back the earth’s rising temperatures at COP 21 in Paris.

Dec 01: Nato announced to keep some 12,000 troops in Afghanistan for an extra year in 2016.

Dec 02: The richest tenth of the world’s people produce half of all carbon emissions, while the poorest half most threatened by droughts and super storms linked to climate change produce only one tenth, Oxfam said.

The richest 10 per cent have, on average, carbon footprints 11 times that of the poorest 3.5 billion people on the planet, the campaign group said in a report to coincide with talks in Paris this month on a global deal to slow climate change.

Dec 02: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) invited Montenegro to become the 29th member of the US-led military alliance.

Dec 02: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced to devote nearly all their wealth roughly $45 billion to solving the world’s problems in celebration of their new daughter, Max.

Dec 03: Britain joined the US-led bombing campaign against IS over Syria when its Royal Air Force planes based in Cyprus carried out the “first offensive operation against Daesh terrorist targets inside Syria”.

Dec 03: In its first-ever estimate of the impact of food-borne diseases, the UN health agency found that almost one in 10 people globally get sick each year from food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites and chemicals.

Dec 04: Lawmakers approved plans for Germany to take on a direct role in the battle against the militant IS group in Syria, answering France’s appeal for help after the deadly Paris attacks.

Dec 05: Negotiators from 195 nations delivered a blueprint for a pact to save mankind from disastrous global warming, raising hopes that decades of arguments will finally end with a historic agreement in Paris.

The planned deal would aim to break the world’s dependence on fossil fuels for energy, slashing the greenhouse gas emissions from burning oil, coal and gas that are causing temperatures to rise dangerously.

Dec 06: A car bombing claimed by the militant Islamic State group killed the governor of Yemen’s city Aden.

Dec 07: Venezuela’s opposition won control of the National Assembly by a landslide, altering the balance of power 17 years after Hugo Chavez kicked off the socialist revolution.

Dec 07: Thirty-six countries gave the official start to an initiative to promote geothermal energy in developing economies as a cleaner alternative to oil, gas and coal.

The Global Geothermal Alliance, launched on the sidelines of the UN climate talks in Le Bourget, aims at a six-fold increase in geothermal electricity production and a tripling of geothermal-derived heating by 2030.

Dec 08: The United States deployed a P-8 Poseidon spy plane in Singapore for the first time ever.

Dec 08: Latvia’s first female prime minister, Laimdota Straujuma, announced her resignation.

Dec 09: Time magazine named German Chancellor Angela Merkel as its “Person of the Year 2015”, hailing her leadership for navigating debt and refugee crises that threatened to tear the European Union apart.

Dec 09: The Scottish university revoked an honorary degree it awarded to US presidential hopeful Donald Trump amid an outcry over a call by the Republican front-runner to bar Muslims entry to the US.

Dec 10: Members of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, which helped build democracy in the violence-torn country after the 2011 revolution, collected the Nobel Peace Prize in the Norway’s capital.

Dec 10: Sri Lanka signed the International Convention for the Protection Of All Persons Against Enforced Disappearances.

Dec 10: Rahmatullah Nabil, the head of Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS) resigned over disagreements with President Ashraf Ghani.

Dec 10: An Indian court approved giving conditional pardon to David Headley amid reports that he has offered to become approver in the Mumbai terror case.

Dec 10: The Bombay High Court acquitted actor Salman Khan in a hit-and-run case.

Dec 10: At least 50 people died in the 27-hour siege of Kandahar airport by Taliban fighters.

Dec 11: Three astronauts, from the United States, Russia and Japan, successfully completed a rare night-time landing on Earth in the wintry Kazakh steppe after returning from the International Space Station.

Dec 11: A settlement was reached in a US lawsuit with Warner/Chappell Music over the copyright to “Happy Birthday to You” that will put one of the world’s most recognisable songs in the public domain.

Dec 12: Nearly 200 nations adopted a global pact to fight climate change, calling on the world to collectively cut and then eliminate greenhouse gas pollution but imposing no sanctions on countries that don’t.

The “Paris Agreement” aims to keep global temperatures from rising another degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) between now and 2100, a key demand of poor countries ravaged by rising sea levels.

Dec 12: Saudi women voted for the first time, in a tentative step towards easing sex discrimination.

In another first, women were allowed to stand as candidates in the polls for municipal councils, the country’s only elected public chambers.

Dec 12: Gambia’s president declared the country an Islamic republic.

Dec 13: Ecuador and Sweden signed a pact that would allow WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be questioned by Swedish authorities at Ecuador’s embassy in London.

Dec 13: Representatives from 17 countries including Egypt, Germany, Russia, Turkey and China signed a joint statement calling for an immediate cease-fire in Libya.

Dec 14: The European Union and the UN refugee agency launched a joint programme in Athens to create 20,000 places for asylum seekers eligible for relocation in the bloc and in Greece.

Dec 14: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched its Human Development Index in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

Dec 15: US Secretary of State John Kerry met Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin to seek agreement on how best to push forward efforts to halt Syria’s brutal civil war.

Dec 15: The IAEA’s Board of Governors passed a resolution that would end its long-running inquiry but allows inspectors to continue to police Iran’s nuclear programme.

Dec 15: Saudi Arabia announced the formation of a 34-nation Islamic military coalition to fight terrorism, with a joint operations centre based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations . The states it listed as joining the new coalition included Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and several African nations.

World in Focus World Times Magazine 2

Economy

Nov 17: China National Nuclear Corp concluded an agreement with Argentina to finance and build two nuclear power plants in the country.

Nov 21: The Asian Development Bank and Japan announced a five-year, $16 billion “partnership” in the region.

Nov 22: During the 27th ASEAN Summit at Kuala Lumpur, Asean leaders signed a declaration establishing the ASEAN Economic Community, as part of a larger Asean community that aims for political, security, cultural and social integration.

Nov 23: Iran announced to increase its natural gas export capacity in preparation for the lifting of international sanctions at the Third GECF Gas Summit held in Tehran.

The 12-member GECF accounts for a combined 67 percent of the world’s proven natural gas reserves.

Nov 25: The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a unit of the World Bank, issued its first South African rand-denominated green bond, raising around $71m.

Nov 27: Moscow slapped sanctions on Ankara a few days after the downing of the Russian plane by Turkey.

Nov 28: Companies from China and South Africa signed 23 deals worth $930 million.

Nov 30: South Korea ratified an FTA with China that would remove most tariffs between Asia’s largest and fourth-largest economies.

Nov 30: The IMF included China’s yuan, also called the renminbi, into its elite reserve currency basket. The yuan will join the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen and British pound next year in the basket of currencies the IMF uses as an international reserve asset.

Dec 02: The EU and Vietnam signed a free trade deal that removes nearly all tariffs between Europe and one of the world’s last communist states.

Dec 04: Chinese President Xi Jinping announced $60 billion of assistance and loans for Africa at a summit in Johannesburg.

Dec 08: The United States lodged with the WTO a complaint accusing China of tax discrimination against foreign-made aircraft.

Dec 08: Canada and Mexico won WTO approval to impose up to $1 billion a year in trade sanctions against the US over its country-of-origin labelling requirement for beef and pork.

Dec 14: China and the UAE renewed their local currency swap agreement for a further three years.

Elections & Appointments

Nov 27: The Commonwealth appointed its first female secretary-general when leaders chose Dominica-born lawyer Patricia Scotland to take over the running of the 53-country organisation. At their biennial summit in Malta, Commonwealth heads of government chose Scotland, a former attorney general to the British government, to take over from Indian Kamalesh Sharma on April 1, 2016.

Sports

World in Focus World Times Magazine 4Nov 16: Nico Rosberg won the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix for the second year in a row.

Nov 21: Jos Buttler hit the fastest one-day hundred by an Englishman.

Nov 22: Two-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain took her sixth title of the year at the Hong Kong Open, beating Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara.

Nov 23: France’s Gregory Gaultier captured his first world crown by defeating Egypt’s Omar Mosaad.

Nov 27: The first-ever day-night Test started at the Adelaide Oval between New Zealand and Australia.

In a ringing endorsement for the pink ball concept, 47,441 fans thronged into the venue for the Test.

Nov 27: India defeated South Africa in the third Test to clinch the series.

Nov 29: Andy Murray sealed Britain’s first Davis Cup title in 79 years by defeating Belgium’s David Goffin.

Dec 03: FIFA’s Executive Committee “unanimously” approved a program of reforms which includes limiting presidents to a maximum 12 years.

Dec 05: American Lindsey Vonn won Alpine Skiing World Cup women’s downhill race.

Dec 09: Cristiano Ronaldo struck 4 times to set a new record for goals in the Champions League group stage.

Dec 12: Kane Williamson became the second New Zealand batsman to score 1000 Test runs in a calendar year.

Obituaries

Nov 16: British Indian actor Saeed Jaffrey died.

Nov 22: Kim Young-sam, the former president of South Korea, died at 87.

Nov 25: Douglass C. North, a Nobel laureate whose work in applying economic theory to history offered new understanding of how societies coordinate people’s behaviour, died.

Nov 30: Fatema Mernissi, a Moroccan sociologist who was one of the foun-ders of Islamic feminism, died at 75.

Sarid served in the government of Yitzhak Rabin which signed the Oslo accords in the 1990s.

People in News

Haruki Murakami

Nov 17: Japan’s Haruki Murakami won Denmark’s top literary award, the Hans Christian Andersen Prize.

Steven Spielberg

Nov 25: President Barack Obama awarded the highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to filmmaker Steven Spielberg, the man behind Hollywood hits “E.T.”, “Jurassic Park” and “Indiana Jones”.

David Richards

Nov 27: An Australian, David Richards, set his third Christmas-themed world record in as many years by illuminating a tree in downtown Canberra with 518,838 twinkling lights. Guinness World Records confirmed that he had broken the record for the most lights on an artificial Christmas tree that had been held for five years by Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.

Walid Abulkhair

Nov 28: Walid Abulkhair, a Saudi lawyer imprisoned for defending human rights, was awarded a prestigious prize, the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize.

Places in News

Antalya, Turkey

Nov 15-16: The tenth annual meeting of the G-20 heads of government or 2015 G-20 Antalya summit was held in Antalya, Turkey. China will preside over the next summit in 2016.

Manila, Philippines

Nov 18: APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting concluded in Manila, Philippines. At the event, President Obama announced more than US$250 million in maritime aid to Washington’s Southeast Asian allies. The theme for the gathering was “Building Inclusive Economies, Building A Better World”.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nov 21: The 27th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit kicked off in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tehran, Iran

Nov 23: The 3rd Gas Summit of the 12-memeber GECF concluded in Tehran, Iran.

Istanbul, Turkey

Nov 25: Ministerial Session of the 31st meeting of Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation was held in Istanbul.

The focus of the session was “Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Development challenges of the Muslim Ummah: Improving Service Delivery”.

Valetta, Malta

Nov 27: The 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was held in the Malta’s capital, Valetta.

The Hague, Netherlands

Dec 04: The 20th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CWC) concluded held at The Hague, the Netherlands.

Qingtongxia, China

Dec 08: A two-week long joint training exercise ‘YOUYI 5’ between special forces of China and Pakistan started in Qingtongxia city of China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Dec 10: A two-day meeting of Syrian opposition groups took place in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Zhengzhous, China

Dec 15: The 14th SCO Heads of Government meeting was held in Zhengzhous, the capital of the central Henan province of China. The meeting focused on cooperation in economy, trade, transport, and people-to-people exchanges to promote regional cooperation and enhance linkages.

Dec 05: Veteran Israeli dove Yossi Sarid, who championed the cause of a Palestinian state over a political career spanning three decades, died at 75.

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