Latest Current Affairs – October 23 2018
1. Saudi to give $3-bn loan to Pakistan amid economic crisis
Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year to Pakistan to help address the country’s balance of payment crisis. It also agreed to provide a one-year deferred payment facility for import of oil, worth up to $3 billion. The development came during Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s ongoing visit to Saudi Arabia.
2. RBI lifts ban on Fino Payments Bank to open new accounts
Fino Payments Bank, one of India’s first payments banks, has been allowed to open new accounts by RBI after it submitted a compliance report. It had been barred by the central bank from adding new customers since the end of May. An RBI audit revealed that some Fino accounts had deposits in excess of the stipulated amount of ₹1 lakh.
3. India, China sign security cooperation agreement
India and China signed a security cooperation agreement during the first high-level meeting on bilateral security cooperation. The meeting was co-chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chinese Minister for Public Security, Zhao Kezhi. The agreement will strengthen cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism and organised crimes among others, the Home Ministry said.
4. Punia wins silver, becomes 1st Indian with 2 WC medals
Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia won the silver medal at the World Championships to become the first Indian to have two World Wrestling Championship medals. Punia, who lost 9-16 to Takuto Otoguro of Japan in the final of the 65 kg freestyle event, later dedicated his silver medal to the victims of the Amritsar train mishap.
5. World’s longest sea-crossing bridge spanning 55km opens in China
Chinese President Xi Jinping has officially opened the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge, nine years after its construction first began. The $20-billion bridge, which spans 55 kilometres, connects Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai. The bridge, designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons, has been built using 400,000 tonnes of steel, enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers.
6. Richard Branson steps down as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop
Billionaire Richard Branson said he is stepping down as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, adding the company needs a more actively involved leader. Earlier, it was reported that Saudi Arabia terminated a deal with the supersonic transport system maker after Branson halted investment talks over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in Saudi’s Istanbul consulate.
7. India, China ink 1st-ever internal security cooperation pact
India and China inked their first-ever internal security cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening assistance in counter-terrorism, organised crimes and exchange of information. Home Minister Rajnath Singh led a meeting with China’s Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi in which India reportedly asked China to support its bid at UN to name JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist.
8. PM Modi conferred with Seoul Peace Prize
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been conferred with the Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth. The Seoul Peace Prize was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul. The award was established to crystalise Korean people’s yearning for peace on the Korean peninsula and in the rest of the world.
9. ‘Padmaavat’ officially selected at 2018 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus “Padmaavat” has been officially selected for Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival this year. Actors Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh featured in the movie, which was 2018’s first blockbuster.
10. US to pull out of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia
US President Donald Trump confirmed that the United States will pull out of the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which it had signed with Russia during the Cold War.
The INF treaty was signed in December 1987 between the then US President Ronald Reagan and his USSR counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles.
The treaty banned all nuclear and conventional missiles, as well as their launchers, with ranges of 500–1,000 km or 310–620 miles (short-range) and 1,000–5,500 km or 620–3,420 miles (intermediate-range).
11. Tea Board of India to launch an app named Chai Sahay
Tea Board of India is planning to launch an app aimed at guiding small growers, whose share in total tea production is increasing. The proposed name of the app is Chai Sahay (tea help). The main objective is to establish better two-way communication, that is, between the manufacturer and customers.
The regulatory authority has invited bids for the design, development and maintenance of the android-based mobile app. With the proliferation of smartphones, Tea Board is keen to develop a mobile application for better monitoring of activities.
12. PNB Metlife unveiled an app named Khushi
PNB Metlife, a Life insurer, unveiled an app named ‘Khushi’. The app is an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered customer service. The app is designed to be a one-stop shop providing insurance-related information, anytime, anywhere, such as policy features, premium due details besides providing fund value and portfolio details. Kushi has the ability to understand customer intent and provide tailored responses.
13. Kimi Raikkonen won US Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first Formula 1 win in five years in the United States Grand Prix. Hamilton finished third in his Mercedes behind Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
14. China inaugurated its first private research university
China’s first private research university has been officially inaugurated in Zhejiang Province’s Hangzhou city. Five Nobel laureates attended the founding ceremony of Westlake University in Hangzhou. It aimed at pushing forward national higher education reform.