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- 1 February 03, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
- 1.1 1. Imran heads to Malaysia on Mahathir`s invitation
- 1.2 2. IMF mission arrives to review performance under bailout package
- 1.3 3. WHO advises people to avoid untested virus `cures`
- 1.4 4. Somalia declares locusts a ‘national emergency’
- 1.5 5. Saudi Arabia blocks Iran from OIC meeting
- 1.6 6. UN begins 75th anniversary year amid distrust, shifting power centres
- 1.7 7. First virus death outside China reported
- 1.8 8. UK police kill man after `Islamist-related` stabbings
- 1.9 9. Aqeel clinches Federal Cup title
- 1.10 10. Djokovic rallies from brink to win eighth Australian Open
February 03, 2020: National / International Current Affairs
1. Imran heads to Malaysia on Mahathir`s invitation
• Over six weeks after his last-minute pull-out from a summit in Kuala Lumpur, Prime Minister Imran Khan, along with a delegation comprising his cabinet members and senior officials, is leaving for Malaysia on February 3, 2020 (today) on a two-day official tour on an invitation of Prime Minister Dr Tun Mahathir Mohamad.
• PM Khan would have one-on-one discussion with his Malaysian counterpart, besides holding several meetings on issues related to bilateral and regional interests.
• They are expected to witness the signing of important agreements and memoranda of understanding after delegation-level talks, according to an official statement issued by the PM Office. The two leaders would also have a joint press stakeout, the statement added
2. IMF mission arrives to review performance under bailout package
• A staff mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is in town for an 11-day second review of Pakistan performance under the $6 billion bailout package signed in July last year amid a massive revenue shortfall in the first seven months of the current fiscal year.
• The completion of the review against a significantly modified 39-month programme in November last year would determine if the government would secure disbursement in March of another tranche of about $450 million direly needed to build market confidence and foreign exchange reserves. Pakistan has so far secured about $1.44bn through an upfront release of about $991m in July and first installment of about $452m in December last year.
• Of the total $6bn extended fund facility, Pakistan would actually receive net inflows of about $1.65bn until 2023 as it would be repaying about $4.36bn to the IMF during the same period.
3. WHO advises people to avoid untested virus `cures`
• The World Health Organisation on February 2, 2020 urged people across the globe to avoid untested medicines and herbs that are being offered with claims that they can cure the novel coronavirus.
• The novel corona is a new strain of virus that has not been previously identified in humans. Now officially named 2019-nCoV, the strain was detected in December 2019 when China reported its outbreak in Wuhan.
• Referring to various supposed cures and medicines being offered across the globe, particularly on the internet, a WHO advisory reminded the general public that `to date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the novel coronavirus.
4. Somalia declares locusts a ‘national emergency’
• Somalia on February 2, 2020 declared a locust infestation sweeping the Horn of Africa to be a national emergency, as insects devastate food supplies in one of the poorest and most vulnerable regions in the world.
• “The Ministry of Agriculture… has declared a national emergency in view of the current desert locust upsurge, that poses a major threat to Somalia’s fragile food security situation,” the ministry statement read.
• Experts say the locust swarms are the result of extreme weather swings, and Somalia’s declaration — the first country in the region to do so — is aimed at boosting national efforts in tackling the hungry insects
5. Saudi Arabia blocks Iran from OIC meeting
• Saudi Arabia has barred an Iranian delegation from an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Jeddah on February 3, 2020 where US President Donald Trump`s Middle East peace plan will be discussed, the Iranian foreign ministry said.
• Saudi authorities have not issued visas for the Iranian participants, ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
• `The government of Saudi Arabia has prevented the participation of the Iranian delegation in the meeting to examine the `deal of the century` plan at the headquarters of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation,` Mousavi said, the Fars news agency reported
6. UN begins 75th anniversary year amid distrust, shifting power centres
• As the United Nations enters its 75th year, the world is still rife with mistrust: the United States remains the dominant superpower but is on the wane, while Asian power is growing in the face of an increasingly fractured Europe, with an explosive Middle East sandwiched in between.
• In the New York headquarters of the United Nations, the Cold War never really ended, as demonstrated by a scene recently observed in its hallowed hallways: a US diplomat spotted hiding behind a wall to listen in on what the Chinese ambassador was telling a group of journalists.
• Even if the world has managed to avoid a third World War, conflicts drag on for years and the risk of a more widespread conflagration remain high, as witnessed by the recent near-miss when US President Donald Trump ordered the killing of a top Iranian general in Baghdad while the Security Council simply looked on.
7. First virus death outside China reported
• The Philippines on February 2, 2020 reported the first death outside China from the new coronavirus, as Chinese authorities delayed the opening of schools in the hardest-hit province and tightened the quarantine in one city by allowing only one family member to venture out to buy supplies.
• The Philippine Department of Health said a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan was hospitalised on Jan 25 with a fever, cough and sore throat and died after developing severe pneumonia. The man`s 38-yearold female companion, also from Wuhan, tested positive for the virus as well and remains hospitalised in isolation in Manila.
• The death toll in China rose by 45 to 304, and the number of cases worldwide climbed past 14,550, according to China`s National Health Commission and other nations. The vast majority of those infected are in China; about 150 cases have been reported in two dozen other countries.
• The US has recorded eight cases.
• British police on February 2, 2020 shot dead a man in London wearing a `hoax device` and suspected of stabbing two people, leaving one of them with life-threatening injuries, in an `Islamist-related` terrorist incident.
• The Metropolitan Police said armed officers responded immediately `as part of a proactive counter terrorism operation` when they shot the attacker, who was declared dead at the scene a busy south London street packed with February 3, 2020 shoppers.
• An eye-witness described seeing a man `with a machete and silver canisters on his chest` fleeing from police before they opened fire.
9. Aqeel clinches Federal Cup title
• Veteran Aqeel Khan won the 33rd Federal Cup National Ranking tennis tournament`s men`s singles title after defeating Muzammil Murtaza at the PTF Complex on February 2, 2020.
• Ageel, the long serving national champion built up the 2-0 lead by breaking Muzammil`s first game.
• Muzammil leveled the score in the first set breaking the Aqeel`s fourth game.
• Muzammil won the first 6-3 thanks to his powerful strokes from the baseline
10. Djokovic rallies from brink to win eighth Australian Open
• Novak Djokovic was looking weary and worn down at the Melbourne Park on February 2, 2020.
• He felt dizzy and trailed Dominic Thiem in the Australian Open final miscues mounting, deficit growing.
• Djokovic did what he does, though. He refused to lose, waited for a chance to pounce and found his best tennis when absolutely necessary.
• Even threw in a wrinkle, serve-and-volleying twice when facing break point.
• Regaining his stamina and strokes, and showing some gutsy creativity, Djokovic came back from the brink to edge Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 for an eighth Australian Open title, second in a row and 17th Grand Slam trophy overall moving him within two of Rafael Nadal and three of Roger Federer on the all time list while also reclaiming the top ranking from Nadal.
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