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World in Focus (September-October 2016)

World in Focus

 NATIONAL

Sep 17: Karachi Blues won the National T20 Cup.

Sep 21: PM Nawaz Sharif addressed the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Sep 21: Misbah-ul-Haq received the ICC’s Test championship mace becoming the ninth captain to receive the honour.
World in FocusOther Captains: Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith (Australia), M. S. Dhoni (India), Andrew Strauss (England), Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla (South Africa).

Did You Know?

1. The mace was produced by the then British Crown Jeweller, Asprey & Garrard, in 2001.
2. The designers produced a 90cm silver and gold-plated trophy based on a cricket stump as its shank, topped by an orb that represents the emblems of all 10 ICC Members that have played Test cricket.
3. The mace sits on a wooden base with a silver-plated plaque in front with room for engravings of the sides to hold it.

Sep 22: Shoaib Mir was appointed as chairman of the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan (SLIC).

Sep 23: Zahid A. Zaman was appointed as new DG of LDA.

Sep 23: A contingent of Russian ground forces arrived in Pakistan for the first Pak-Russian joint exercise.

Highlights

Name: ‘Friendship 2016’

1. The exercise is aimed at strengthening and developing Pak-Russia military cooperation.
2. It follows Russia’s decision in 2015 to sell Mi-35 attack helicopters to Pakistan.
3. This was the first time the two nations held  joint military drills.

Sep 24: Azadi Train, which started its journey from Islamabad on Aug 11, reached its final destination in Kohat.

Sep 25: Faisalabad bowler Asad Raza completed the rare feat of capturing all 10 wickets in an innings, against Hyderabad.

Sep 26: The Supreme Court ordered the de-notification of all recruitments made in the IHC between 2011 and 2012.

Sep 26: The first-ever seminar of Saarc member countries on anti-corruption began in Islamabad.

Sep 26: The National Assembly approved the Hindu Marriage Bill 2016.

Sep 27: Four Iranian Naval Ships — Lavan, Konarak, Falakhen and Khanjar — reached Karachi port to participate in Passage Exercise (PASSEX).

What is PASSEX?

1. It is an exercise done between two navies to ensure that the navies are able to communicate and cooperate in times of war or humanitarian relief.
2. Common drills include flashing light drills, semaphore drills, and flag-hoist drills.
3. The visit will promote peace and security in the region and enhance maritime collaboration between the two countries.

Sep 27: WEF issued Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17.

Highlights of GCR 2016-17

1. The report is an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 138 countries.
2. It identifies corruption as the most problematic factor for doing business in Pakistan, followed by crime and theft, tax rates, access to finance, government instability and coups.
3. Of the 114 global competitiveness indicators, Pakistan showed improvements on 54 key indices, whereas it lost its previous position on 50 indices.
4. Pakistan ranked last among its South Asian neighbours. India led at 39, followed by Sri Lanka 71, Bhutan 97, Nepal 98 and Bangladesh 106.
5. To improve the soft data on Pakistan, the WEF closely worked with Mishal Pakistan.
Top 5 Countries: Switzerland (1st), Singapore (2nd), United States (3rd), Netherlands (4th) and Germany (5th).

About World Economic Forum

1. The WEF is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva.
2. The Forum is best known for its annual meeting in Davos.
3. It was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German-born business professor at the University of Geneva.
4. First named the “European Management Forum”, it changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987.

Sep 27: Pakistan crushed West Indies to complete a historic clean sweep of the Twenty20 International series.

Sep 27: Pakistan overpowered India to win their first-ever Kabaddi gold in the 5th Asian Beach Games.

Sep 28: The IMF Executive Board completed the 12th and final review of Pakistan’s three-year economic reform program.

Sep 28: YouTube Pakistan was officially launched .

About YouTube

1. YouTube is headquartered in San Bruno, California, USA.
2. It was created by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim — three former PayPal employees — on 14 February 2005.
3. Google bought it on Nov 13, 2006, for US$1.65 billion.
4. The first YouTube video, titled Me at the Zoo, shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo.
5. YouTube runs across 88 countries with over 1 billion users.
6. The PTA, on 17 September 2012, ordered access to YouTube blocked, after the website did not remove the trailer of Sam Bacile’s Innocence of Muslims.

Sep 28: The federal and AJK governments signed an implementation agreement with a Chinese consortium for development and operation of $1.98 billion Karot Hydropower Project on river Jhelum.

Karot Hydropower Project

1. The 720-megawatt Karot Hydropower Project is a priority CPEC project to be completed in 2020.
2. It has the capability to generate 3.249 billion units of clean electricity per year.
3. The project would be constructed on a concrete gravity of 91-metre high dam with a crest length of 320 metres near the village of Gohra.
4. The dam’s reservoir will be approximately 152 million cubic metres in volume, with a length of 27 kilometres.

Sep 29: Indian forces fired across the Line of Control (LoC) in AJK, killing at least two Pakistan Army soldiers while calling it “surgical strikes against terrorism launch pads”.
What’s a surgical strike and how it is carried out?

A surgical strike is a swift, covert military attack designed to destroy specific targets. Such an assault results in damage only to the intended military target and does cause minimal or no collateral damage to surrounding structures, vehicles, buildings, or public infrastructure and utilities. Special operations forces or commando units, who are airdropped into the enemy territory, carry out surgical strikes. Air raids too can be a part of a precise surgical strike.

Sep 29: Renowned molecular biologist Dr Qasim Mehdi died.

Sep 29: The AIIB approved a $300-million loan for expansion of a hydropower project in Pakistan.

About AIIB

Founded: 25 December 2015 (Entry into force Articles of Agreement); 16 January 2016 (Open for business)

Headquarters: Beijing    Membership: 57 States
President: Jin Liqun    Committed capital: $100 billion

Sep 30: The KP government appointed Azmat Hanif Orkazai as the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Commission.

Oct 01: Pakistan Army took a group of 40 journalists to LoC to challenge Indian claim of surgical strikes.

Oct 01: Pakistan became the second most successful team in the 50-over format after beating W. Indies in the Sharjah ODI.

Oct 02: China extended its decision to block New Delhi’s appeal to the UN to label Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Chief Masood Azhar a terrorist.

Oct 03: Pakistan finished 21st in the 5th Asian Beach Games held in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Oct 03: Pakistan’s political parties called for aggressive diplomacy to highlight Indian atrocities against Kashmiris.

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

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

About the Dialogue

1. 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.
2. The decision to launch EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue was taken at the first Pakistan-EU Summit held in Brussels on 17 June 2009.
3. The first Pakistan-EU Strategic Dialogue was held in Islamabad in 2012.

Oct 05: Babar Azam hit his third successive hundred to steer Pakistan to a clean sweep of the ODI series against W. Indies.

3 Hundreds in Consecutive Innings

Zaheer Abbass and Saeed Anwar (Pakistan); Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers and de Kock (South Africa); Ross Taylor (New Zealand) and Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka).

Oct 05: The fourth Belarus-Pakistan Business and Investment Forum concluded in Islamabad.

Oct 05: Khawar Mumtaz was re-selected to head the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW).

About NCSW

NCSW, which was established on 17 July 2000, was an out-come of Pakistan’s national and international commitments such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 1995 and the National Plan of Action (NPA) for Women 1998.

Oct 06: The Anti-Honour Killing Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 and the Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 were passed by the parliament.

Anti-Honour Killing Laws

1. The law directs judges to sentence someone accused of an honour-killing to a life-term in prison, whether the victim’s immediate family forgives the culprit or not.
2. The killer would only be pardoned by relatives of the victim if he is sentenced to capital punishment.
3.The culprit would still face a mandatory life sentence of twelve-and-a-half years.
Honour killings in Pakistan

Honour killing is among Pakistan’s the most critical problems. According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), 1276 incidents of honour killings were reported in the country in the period of Feb 2014-Feb 2016 and the FIR was filed in only 400 cases. The original number of such cases is even higher as most of the cases go unreported.

Oct 06: Pakistan raised $1 billion through a 5-year international Islamic Sukuk bond at 5.5 per cent return rate.

What is Sukuk?

Sukuk are Islamic bonds structured in such a way as to generate returns to investors without infringing Islamic law (that prohibits riba or interest). They represent undivided shares in the ownership of tangible assets relating to particular projects or special investment activity. A sukuk investor has a common share in the ownership of the assets linked to the investment although this does not represent a debt owed to the issuer of the bond.

In the case of conventional bonds, the issuer has a contractual obligation to pay to bond-holders, on certain specified dates, interest and principal. In contrast, under a sukuk structure the sukuk-holders hold an undivided beneficial ownership in the underlying assets. Sukuk-holders are entitled to a share in the revenues generated by the Sukuk assets.

Oct 06: Renowned religious scholar and former MNA Shah Turabul Haq Qadri passed away at the age of 72.

Oct 06: The UVAS awarded honorary PhD to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) DG Dr Jose Graziano Da Silva.

Oct 07: Pakistan was re-elected to the Council of Administration in the Universal Postal Union in elections held on Oct 5, 2016 during the 26th Congress of the Union.

About UPU

1. A specialized agency of the UN, the UPU was established on October 9, 1874, and is headquartered in Bern, Switzerland.
2. It establishes the rules for international mail exchanges among its member countries
3. It also makes recommendations to modernize products and services, stimulate mail volume growth and improve the quality of service for customers.
4. Pakistan has been an active member of the UPU since 1947.

Current Director General: Bishar Abdirahman Hussein of Kenya (since10 October 2012)

Member Countries: 192

Oct 07: Abid Saeed was appointed as the new chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government.

Oct 08: Governor SBP, Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, was awarded with Euromoney’s Central Bank Governor of 2016 award.

Oct 08: A magazine Emerging Markets, declared Ishaq Dar as ‘Finance Minister of the Year 2016 for South Asia’.

Oct 09: Qari Ajmal, the mastermind of the 2009 attack on Sri Lankan team, was killed in Afghanistan’s Paktika province.

Oct 10: The name of journalist Cyril Almeida was put on the ECL after his controversial report “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military”.

World in Focus

Oct 10: As per the 2016 Global Hunger Index, Pakistan has 22% of its population undernourished, though it improved from a previous “alarming” hunger level.

Key Facts

1. Ranked 108 among 118 countries, Pakistan remained on a “serious” level, scoring 33.4 against 35.1 in the 2008 index.
2. The country performed worse than its neighbours India and Bangladesh, which scored 28.5 and 27.1 respectively, but better than Afghanistan’s 34.8.
3. Another 43 countries, including India, Nigeria and Indonesia, showed “serious” hunger levels.
4. Nearly half the population in CAR and Zambia, and one in three people in Chad, are undernourished.

About GHI

1. The Global Hunger Index is a multidimensional statistical tool used to describe the state of countries’ hunger situation.
2. It ranks countries based on undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting (low weight for height) and child stunting (low height for age).
3. The Index was adopted and further developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute, and was first published in 2006 with the Welthungerhilfe, a German NGO.
4.  The Index ranks countries on a 100-point scale, with 0 being the best score (no hunger) and 100 being the worst.

Oct 11: The Punjab Safe City Project was inaugurated.

Oct 12: Pakistan soccer prodigy Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch died in a car accident.

Oct 13: Pakistan’s first ever day-night Test, and their 400th match in the longest format, started in Dubai.

Oct 14: Entomologists of the GCU Lahore, successfully genetically modified the aedes aegypti mosquito to block the transmission of dengue virus to humans.

About Aedes Aegypti

1. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the main vector that transmits the viruses that cause dengue.
2. The viruses are passed on to humans through the bites of an infective female Aedes mosquito.
3. It mainly acquires the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person.

Key Fact on Dengue

1. Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection.
2. The infection causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a lethal complication called severe dengue.
3. The global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically and about half of the world’s population is now at risk.
4. Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas.
5. Severe dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children in Asian and Latin American countries.
6. There is no specific treatment for dengue/ severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1%.

Oct 14: The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) imposed a ban on the import of all kinds of sheesha, its substances and flavoured tobacco.

Key Facts on Sheesha Smoking

1. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2015, around 3.7 million adults were using sheesha in Pakistan.
2. Sheesha smoking for one hour involves inhaling of 100-200 times the volume of smoke inhaled with a cigarette.
3. In Pakistan, it causes the death of around 108,800 people every year.
4. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of death in the world.
5. Around 1,200 Pakistani children between the age of 6 and 15 start smoking every day.
Note: According to WHO, using a sheesha to smoke tobacco poses a serious health hazard to smokers and others exposed to the smoke emitted. Even in case of use of tobacco-free sheesha, people are still at the risk of carbon monoxide and any toxins in the coal or charcoal used to burn the sheesha.

Oct 14: Azhar Ali became the first century-maker in day and night format of Test cricket. He also became only the second triple century maker for Pakistan against the West Indies after Hanif Mohammad and Younas Khan.

Oct 14: The Sindh Government made mandatory for teaching the Sindh language in all the schools of the province.

Oct 15: The ECP suspended the membership of as many as 337 lawmakers for their failure to submit their statements of assets and liabilities

Why Suspension?

Under the Representation of People Act, all members are required to submit to the ECP statements of assets of their own, their spouses and dependents annually by Sept 30, and the ECP is required to issue a notification by Oct 15 to suspend membership of those who fail to do so.

Oct 15: Ali Yaldram and Masood Mallhi from Punjab University’s Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) bagged an international award for a radio drama depicting Pakistan’s struggle to cope with the growing scourge of militancy.

World in Focus

INTERNATIONAL

Sep 16: Former Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi died.

Sep 16: Nadia Murad Basee Taha was appointed UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

Who is Nadia Murad?

1. Ms Murad, a 23-year-old Yazidi woman, survived trafficking at the hands of ISIL (Daesh).
2. She was recently named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2016”.
3. Her appointment marks the first time a survivor of atrocities is bestowed with this distinction.

Sep 17: Three-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Edward Albee, died at 88.

Sep 18: Gunmen killed 17 Indian soldiers in an attack on army base in Uri area in Baramula district of India-held Kashmir.

Sep 19: The 17th summit of the NAM concluded in Venezuela.

Top 5 Facts about NAM

1. The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a group of states which are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.
2. Its 120 members represent nearly 50% of global population.
3. The NAM was conceived by India’s Jawaharlal Nehru; Indonesia’s Achmad Sukarno; Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser; Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah; and Yugoslavia’s Josip Broz Tito.
4. It was never established as a formal organization, but became the name to refer to the participants of the Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries first held in 1961.
5. NAM’s first summit took place in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in June, 1961.

Sep 19: Joint naval exercises of China and Russia, dubbed as Joint Sea-2016, concluded.

Sep 19: Vladimir Putin’s United Russia won a record number of seats in State Duma.
About State Duma

1. State Duma is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the upper house is the Federation Council of Russia.
2. The term of 450-member Duma is five years.
3.  It is headquartered in central Moscow.
4. The State Duma was introduced in 1906 and was Russia’s first elected parliament.

Sep 19: Paralympic Games 2016 ended in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Sep 19: The world leaders adopted “The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants” at UN General Assembly’s first-ever Summit for Refugees and Migrants, held in New York, USA.

Sep 21: Delhi’s 7-Race Course Road, Indian Prime Minister’s official residence, was renamed as Lok Kalyan Marg.

Sep 21: The International Day of Peace was observed.

Significance: The International Day of Peace acknowledges the efforts of those who have strived to end conflict and promote peace. This day is also observed as a day of ceasefire.

Sep 21: The 193 countries of the United Nations signed a landmark declaration to rid the world of drug-resistant infections or Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or superbugs.
What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) or superbugs?

Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites, also termed as “superbugs,” change, when exposed to antimicrobial drugs. As a result, the medicines or drugs become ineffective and infections persist in the body further increasing the risk of spread to others.

Sep 22: Syrian aid group White Helmets won the prestigious Right Livelihood Award dubbed as ‘Alternative Nobel’ prize.

About White Helmets

1. Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, is a volunteer civil defence organization. It was formed in 2013 and now numbers more than 2,700 volunteers.
2. The group’s 3,000 members operate across the country, including the governorates of Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Homs, Deraa and Damascus.

Sep 22: Afghanistan signed a peace agreement with Gulbadin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-i-Islami, Afghanistan’s second-biggest militant group.

Sep 22: Indian Air Force (IAF) fired long range air-to-air MICA missile from Mirage-2000 Upgrade combat aircraft.

Sep 23: The UNSC approved a resolution urging quick global implementation of CTBT that would ban nuclear tests.

What is CTBT?

1. The CTBT was adopted by the UNGA on 10 September 1996 — Resolution 50 (1996).
2. It opened for signature in New York on 24 September 1996, when it was signed by 71 States.
3. It bans all nuclear explosions for both civilian and military purposes.
4. 183 States have signed the Treaty and 166 States have deposited their instruments of ratification.
5. The NPT was adopted on 12 June 1968 at New York and entered into force on 5 March 1970.

Sep 23: India signed a deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France for around $8.7 billion.

Sep 24: Iran started its first web-based national census.

Sep 25: The world’s largest radio telescope, Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope, went into operation.

Key Facts

1. It has been built at a cost of 1.2 billion yuan ($180 million).
2. It dwarfs the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico as the world’s largest radio telescope.
3. Its reflector is as large as 30 football fields.
4. It will take nearly three years to calibrate the instruments of telescope to become fully operational.
5. It is made up of 4,450 panels.
6. It has 500-metre diameter, giving it more sensitivity.

Sep 26: India won their 500th test by beating New Zealand.

Sep 26: Arnold Palmer, the King of Golf, died at 87.

Sep 27: The World Bank reappointed Jim Yong Kim to a five-year term, beginning July 1, 2017.

Brief Profile

1. Mr Kim was born in South Korea but moved to the United States at the age of five and grew up in Muscatine, Iowa.
2. He graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. in human biology from Brown University in 1982.
3. In 1987, Mr Kim co-founded Partners In Health, a non-profit organization now working on 4 continents.
4. He was awarded an M.D. at Harvard Medical School in 1991, and a PhD in Anthropology at Harvard University in 1993.
5. He is the 12th President of the World Bank and has been on the post since July 1, 2012.
6. The Forbes Magazine ranked him at 45th place on its list of the world’s 50th most powerful in 2015.

About World Bank

1. The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs.
2. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA).
Formation: July 1944.
Headquarters: Washington DC, United States.
Motto: Working for a World Free of Poverty.
Membership: 189 countries (IBRD), 173 countries (IDA)
Note: The World Bank is one of the 5 components of the World Bank Group, which is part of the United Nations system.

Sep 28: Former Israeli president Shimon Peres died aged 93.

About Shimon Peres

1. Polish-born Peres, whose family moved to then British-ruled Palestine in the 1930s, was part of almost every major political development in Israel
2. He served in a dozen cabinets and was twice prime minister, though he never won a general election.
3. He was first elected to Israel’s parliament in 1959 and barring a brief interlude in early 2006, held his seat for 48 years, until he became president in 2007.
4. He shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with the late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for reaching an interim peace deal in 1993, the Oslo Accords.

Sep 28: The US Congress overrode Presidential veto of Jasta.

Sep 28: The UN banned global trade in highly endangered pangolins, the world’s most poached mammals.

Sep 28: The Saarc summit scheduled to take place in Islamabad on November 9 and 10 was postponed.

Sep 30: Europe’s pioneering Rosetta spacecraft concluded its 12-year journey.

Sep 30: The International Criminal Court in The Hague ruled that destroying cultural antiquities is a war crime.

Oct 01: The European Union (EU) ministers approved the ratification of Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Oct 01: The OPEC countries agreed to cut oil production to a range of 32.5 to 33.0 million barrels per day (bpd).

About OPEC

Established: Created at the Baghdad Conference in Baghdad, Iraq, on September 10–14, 1960
Headquarters: Vienna, Austria.
Founding Members: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
Secretary General: Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo (Nigeria)

Oct 01: Iran unveiled its drone named Saegheh, or lightning.

Oct 03: Colombians rejected country’s historic peace accord with communist FARC rebels.

Oct 03: The World Habitat Day (WHD) was observed. The day is celebrated on the first Monday of October every year.

Oct 03: The US won the Ryder Cup for the first time in 8 years.

About the Ryder Cup

1. The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States.
2. It is named after the English businessman Samuel Ryder who donated the trophy.
3. Originally contested between Great Britain and the United States, the first official Ryder Cup, took place in 1927.

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

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

Oct 03: Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a halt to an agreement with the United States on plutonium disposal.

Oct 04: The celebration of World Space Week started.

International WeeksAbout WSW

1. World Space Week is an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition.
2. The United Nations General Assembly declared in 1999 that World Space Week will be held each year from October 4-10.
3. These dates commemorate two events:

October 4, 1957: Launch of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1.

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

Oct 04: Cutting-Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition, Asia’s largest tech fair, started near Tokyo.

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

Oct 05: Brussels Conference on Afghanistan was held in the Belgian capital.

Oct 05: The threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved.

Oct 06: The EU launched its beefed-up border force “The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCG)”.

Oct 07: Hurricane Matthew caused a widespread damage in Haiti, leaving more than 900 dead and tens of thousands  homeless.

Oct 08: Australian cricketer John Gleeson, who mystified batsmen with his unique bent finger spin, passed away.

Oct 09: The ruling Georgian Dream party won Georgia’s parliamentary polls.

Oct 10: Renowned Polish Film director Andrzej Wajda died.

Oct 10: The Council of Europe awarded its Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize to Iraqi activist Nadia Murad.

Oct 10: Turkey and Russia signed the strategic Turkish Stream gas pipeline agreement.

Oct 11: The International Day of the Girl Child was observed.

Oct 11: Ilham Tohti, a jailed scholar from China’s mostly-Muslim Uyghur minority, was awarded the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

Oct 11: Abdelilah Bekirane was re-appointed as the Prime Minister of Morocco for a second term.

About Abdelilah Bekirane

1. He was born in 1954 in Rabat, Morocco.
2. He holds a graduate degree in Physics.
3. He is a former Managing Editor of Al-Islah, Ar-Raya and Attajdid newspapers.
4. In 2016, he was elected for a fifth term in Parliament and represents Salé constituency since November 1997.
5. Since 2008, he is secretary-general of the Justice and Development Party of Morocco.
6. Benkirane has been Morocco’s Prime Minister since 2011.

Oct 13: The UK’s Metropolitan Police closed an investigation into possible money laundering by MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

Oct 13: Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest reigning monarch, died at 88.

Oct 13: Dario Fo, the Italian playwright, director and performer and the winner of 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature, died at 90.

Oct 13: The Maldives announced to leave the 53-member Commonwealth of Nations.

Oct 13: South Africa whitewashed Australia in one-day international series. It was the first 5-0 ODI bilateral series defeat for the Australians

Oct 14: Israel suspended cooperation with Unesco after the organisation adopted two resolutions on the occupied Palestinian territories including annexed east Jerusalem.

Oct 14: Wonder Woman was named an Honorary Ambassador of the United Nations as part of a larger campaign to promote equality for girls and women around the world.

About Wonder Woman

1. Wonder Woman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.
2. It was created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston, with his wife and co-creator Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and artist H. G. Peter.
3. The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941 and first cover dated on Sensation Comics #1, January 1942.
4. Wonder Woman’s character is the most iconic and well-known female comic book superhero in the world, known for her strength, fairness and compassion, and her commitment to justice, peace and equality.

Oct 15: A historic global climate deal was reached in Kigali, Rwanda at the Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP28).

Highlights

1. The Kigali Amendment, which amends the 1987 Montreal Protocol aims to phase out Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a family of potent greenhouse gases by the late 2040s.
2. The deal divides countries into three groups with different deadlines to reduce the use of factory-made HFC gases.
First group: It includes richest countries like US and those in European Union. They will freeze production and consumption by 2018. They will reduce them to about 15% of 2012 levels by 2036.
Second group: It includes countries like China, Brazil and all of Africa etc. They will freeze HFC use by 2024 and cut it to 20% of 2021 levels by 2045.
Third group: It includes countries like India, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia etc. They will be freezing HFC use by 2028 and reducing it to about 15% of 2025 levels by 2047.

What are HFCs?

Hydrofluorocarbons or ‘HFCs’ have been increasingly used in the last decade or so as an alternative to ozone damaging CFCs in refrigeration systems. Unfortunately, though they provide an effective alternative to CFCs, they can also be powerful greenhouse gases with long atmospheric lifetimes.
The three main HFCs are HFC-23, HFC-134a and HFC152a, with HFC-134a being the most widely used refrigerant.

Human Impact

The widespread use of HFCs as refrigerants will inevitably lead to increases in their atmospheric concentrations. HFCs have provided an efficient and cost effective alternative to the use of the ozone destroying CFCs, now banned under the Montreal Protocol. However, with HFC-134a and, in particular, HFC-23 having such long atmospheric lifespans (14 and 260 years respectively) HFCs do pose a significant problem.

Oct 15: The International Day of Rural Women was observed.

Oct 15: The White Cane Safety Day was celebrated around the world.

World in Focus

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