1. US CUTS $440 MILLION FINANCIAL AID TO PAKISTAN
In another jolt to Pakistan, the United States slashed the aid to the cash-strapped nation by nearly 440 million US dollars, bringing down its commitment to just 4.1 billion US dollars.
Express Tribune reported the aid was disbursed under Pakistan Enhanced Partnership Agreement 2010.
The US apprised Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan about its decision to cut aid three weeks before his planned visit to Washington.
Last year in September, the United States’ military cancelled the financial aid worth US $300 million to Pakistan due to the growing concerns regarding Islamabad’s failure to tackle terrorism.
During his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan last month, US President Donald Trump strongly criticised Islamabad for its behaviour which led to the cancellation of US aid amounting to US $1.3 billion to the country.
2. HONG KONG TEACHERS’ RALLY STARTS ANOTHER WEEKEND OF PROTEST
School teachers in Hong Kong were marching Saturday to the official residence of the city leader as another weekend of protests got underway.
An overflow crowd rallied at a public square in the financial district before setting off for Government House, carrying signs that read “Protect the next generation” and umbrellas to ward off intermittent downpours.
Teachers said they want to show their support for the protesters, many of whom are students. They said the government should answer the protesters’ demands and stop using what they called police violence to disperse demonstrators who take over streets and besiege and deface government buildings.
Hong Kong’s protests, nearing the end of their 10th week, show no sign of relenting. Both a march on the Kowloon side of Victoria Harbour and a counter-rally backing the government were planned for later Saturday. A rally in Victoria Park has been called for Sunday by a pro-democracy group that has organized three massive marches through central Hong Kong since June.
3. SAUDI-LED COALITION FIRES FLARES OVER YEMENI PORT OF ADEN
Residents said Saudi-led coalition warplanes fired flares over Yemen’s Aden at dawn on Saturday, near camps occupied by southern separatist fighters who last week seized control of the port city which had been the interim seat of the government.
The coalition overnight on Saturday renewed a call for the separatist forces to withdraw from all sites they have recently captured in Aden.
The seizure of government military bases by separatist fighters a week ago has complicated United Nations efforts to end Yemen’s war and has exposed strains in the Sunni coalition.
Saudi state TV said separatist forces would withdraw from the interior ministry and Aden refinery on Saturday.
Local officials said that while separatist forces had moved away from the nearly empty presidential palace and central bank, there was no sign they were quitting the military camps which give them effective control of the city.
A spokesman for the separatist fighters said they would not cede control unless the Islamist Islah party, a backbone of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government, and northerners were removed from positions of power in the south.