Thursday, January 10, 2019

Chinese spacecraft touched the dark side of the moon. Current Affairs from 4 Jan to 9 Jan.

Current Affairs

Chinese spacecraft touched the dark side of the moon

Chinese spacecraft touched the dark side of the moon

In December 2018, Chinese spacecraft landed on the far side or dark side of the Moon that faces away from the Earth. In this historic landing, the Chang’e-4 lunar probe, made a  “soft landing” at 0226 GMT and transmitted the first-ever “close range” wide-angle color image of the dark side of the moon. A lander and a rover have been launched at a preselected landing area. The probe will begin its work of astronomical observation, surveying the moon’s terrain, landform, and mineral composition, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment.

President Trump approved ‘Asia Reassurance Initiative Act’

President Trump approved ‘Asia Reassurance Initiative Act’

On 31st December 2018, President of USA, Donald J. Trump turned the “Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA)” into law by his signature. The newly made law has set up a multifaceted U.S. strategy to increase U.S. security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region. ARIA is on purpose of authorizing  $1.5 billion over a five year period to upgrade economic, diplomatic and security cooperation with strategic regional allies. It is about U.S. relations with China, India, the ten member states of ASEAN, and Northeast Asian allies, Japan and South Korea.

Hindu religious site got national heritage status in Pakistan

Hindu religious site got national heritage status in Pakistan

In January 2018, the provincial Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in northwest Pakistan has declared the ancient Hindu religious site of Panj Tirath in Peshawar as national heritage. Panj Tirath has five pools of water and it also contains a temple and a lawn with date palm trees. It has been listed under the ambit of Chacha Yunus Park and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It is said to be Pandu’s place who was a mythical king in the Mahabharata.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa: The new chief justice of Pakistan

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa: The new chief justice of Pakistan

On January 18, 2019, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa will take charge as Chief Justice of Pakistan as per the notification issued by Ministry of Law and Justice. President Arif Alvi has appointed him and he will serve the post till December 20, 2019. He will take place of incumbent JCP Justice Saqib Nisar. He had been a brilliant student throughout his student life and earned a National Talent Scholarship. He was enrolled as an advocate of the Lahore High Court in 1979 and an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1985.

The plan of 2019 ATP World Tour tennis tournament

The plan of 2019 ATP World Tour tennis tournament

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has begun the global elite men’s professional tennis tournament which is popular with the name of the 2019 ATP World Tour from 31st December 2018 that will continue till 24th November 2019. The tour will feature 63 tournaments in 31 nations across six continents, in addition to the four Grand Slams for the 2019 tennis season. The tour will witness nine leading ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, 13 ATP World Tour 500 events, and 39 ATP World Tour 250 tournaments and many more.

The US-Mexico border

The US-Mexico border

In January 2019, US President Donald Trump has shown inclination over building a wall along the US-Mexico border. He has emphasized a steel barrier in place of a concrete wall, to prevent entry of illegal immigrants in America. Moreover, the US President is seeking 5.6 billion US dollar in Congressional funding for the wall. The head of US Steel has invited a couple of steel companies to prepare plate or a design for the physical barrier along the US-Mexico border.

The resignation of Kevin Sweeney

The resignation of Kevin Sweeney

In January 2019, Kevin Sweeney, the chief of staff of the US Department of Defence resigned from the post to work in the private sector. Sweeney had retired as a Rear Admiral from the US Navy in the year 2014 and was appointed on this post since January 2017. The move came a month later after the departure of the Defence Secretary James Mattis who left in December 2018. Besides them, many other Pentagon officials are stepping down from their post on the pretext of US pullout from Syria.

Malaysia’s king Sultan Muhammad V has left the throne

Malaysia’s king Sultan Muhammad V has left the throne

In January 2019, Malaysia’s king Sultan Muhammad V has quit the throne. This is for the first time a king has abdicated in the Muslim-majority country since it gained independence from Britain in 1957. A royal official statement read, “The National Palace informs that his majesty has resigned as the 15th king effective January 6.” He had ascended to the throne in December 2016. Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, with a unique arrangement where the throne changes hands every five years among rulers of the nine Malaysian states ruled by centuries-old Islamic royalty.

Golden Globe winners

Golden Globe winners

The 76th Golden Globe Awards were announced in Beverly Hills on 6th January 2019. Among multiple winning films is Queen biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" attracted two top prizes viz. best drama film and its actor Rami Malek won the best actor award. Civil rights dramedy "Green Book" won three prizes viz. Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy award, actor Mahershala Ali of "Green Book" won Best supporting actor and Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly won the Best Screenplay award for "Green Book". Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma" won Best Director award and Best foreign language film award. Besides these, Glen Close ( The Wife) got Best Actress in Motion Picture-Drama; Christian Bale (Vice) got Best Actor in Motion Picture or Musical or Comedy; Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) received Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Motion Picture; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse got Best Motion Picture - Animated; Justin Hurwitz (First Man) got Best Original Score - Motion Picture.

Guatemala has quit UN-backed anti-corruption commission

Guatemala has quit UN-backed anti-corruption commission

In January 2019, Central American country, Guatemala announced withdrawal from the anti-corruption commission. President Jimmy Morales charged International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala or CICIG of polarising the country and putting its security in jeopardy. It is worth knowing here that the CICIG was formed in the year 2006 at the request of the Guatemalan government to fight high rates of impunity for crimes. The move has incurred criticism from human rights groups and constitutional lawyers.

Pranav R Mehta: The new chief of Global Solar Council, USA

In January 2019, the chairman of National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), Pranav R Mehta, has taken charge as the president of Global Solar Council (GSC). The appointee knew as the Solar Man of India. On 15th January 2019, he will receive the ‘Visionary Disruptor Award’ by Solar Future during World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. It is worth knowing that India is the third largest solar market and placed among the top 5 solar players in the world.

Gita Gopinath joined IMF as Chief Economist

Gita Gopinath joined IMF as Chief Economist

Indian origin Gita Gopinath became Chief Economist of International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January 2019. With this appointment,  she has become the first woman to occupy the top IMF post. Gopinath has succeeded Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld as the eleventh chief economist of the IMF. 47-year-old Gita is the John Zwaanstra professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University. She will let the IMF continue as a place that provides intellectual leadership on important policy questions and will emphasize on comprehension of the role of dominant currencies like the dollar in international trade and finance via research.

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