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Winter rains in Beirut finish off blast-ravaged homes

Norma Mnassakh was leaving her apartment in Beirut when a cloud of dust suddenly billowed from the Ottoman-era building next door. The abandoned home with its popular ground-floor ice cream shop had been severely damaged in the colossal August 4 explosion at the nearby Beirut port. Now, heavy rainfall has …

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Michel Aoun wants proof for US sanction of son-in-law

President Michel Aoun said on Saturday that Lebanon would seek evidence and documents from the United States that led Washington to impose sanctions on his son-in-law Gebran Bassil, a prominent Christian politician. The United States on Friday blacklisted Bassil, leader of Lebanon‚Äôs biggest Christian political bloc, accusing him of corruption …

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US sanctions key figure in Lebanese government

The U.S. administration on Friday announced sanctions on Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil, who is the son-in-law of President Michel Aoun. MTV said the sanctions were imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act, which targets those who are engaged in human rights abuses and corruption. Bassil swiftly hit back …

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Israel, Lebanon postpone border talks till next month

Israel and Lebanon held ‚Äúproductive‚ÄĚ talks over their disputed Mediterranean Sea border on Thursday and agreed to meet again next month, the United Nations and the United States said. Thursday‚Äôs meeting was the third this month between the longtime foes, mediated by the United States and hosted by the United …

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New revelations concerning Beirut Port

The first of many warnings about a deadly cargo in Beirut‚Äôs port came in February 2014, about three months after its arrival. It was made by Colonel Joseph Skaf, described by his family as a diligent customs official. Skaf, then the head of the anti-narcotics and money laundering division, informed …

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Maronite church sets terms to PM Hariri over new cabinet

Lebanon‚Äôs top Christian cleric urged Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri on Sunday to avoid back-door deals and to quickly form a new government that will start lifting the country out of financial crisis. Veteran Sunni politician Hariri was named premier for a fourth time on Thursday, a year after huge protests …

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US warns against business as usual in Lebanon

Business as usual in Lebanon is unacceptable and any new government must be committed to – and capable of implementing – reforms that bring economic opportunity, good governance and an end to endemic corruption, a top U.S. diplomat said on Thursday. ‚ÄúWhatever government comes next must commit to and have …

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Hariri back in the driver’s seat as PM

Lebanese veteran politician Saad al-Hariri was named prime minister for a fourth time on Thursday and pledged to form a new government that can tackle the country‚Äôs worst crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war. After his nomination, Hariri said he would quickly form a cabinet of specialists ‚Äúwith a mission …

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Michael Aoun promises he will pick Lebanese PM

Michel Aoun

Lebanon‚Äôs President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday he would fulfill his duty in designating a prime minister but put the onus on the new premier to launch moves to pull the country from financial crisis. Sunni leader Saad al-Hariri is poised to be named prime minister at formal consultations on …

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Churches in Lebanon want speedy formation of new cabinet

The leaders of Lebanon‚Äôs Maronite and Orthodox Christian churches urged Lebanese leaders on Sunday to stop delaying talks on forming a government in scathing sermons in which they blamed them for the country‚Äôs financial crisis and political deadlock. Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, leader of the Maronite church, was speaking a …

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New government postponed in Lebanon again

Lebanon‚Äôs President Michel Aoun has postponed by a week consultations aimed at choosing a prime minister to form a new government to tackle the country‚Äôs worst economic crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war, the presidency said on Wednesday. Aoun had been due to hold the consultations on Thursday and was …

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Maritime talks begin between Israel, Lebanon

Lebanon and Israel, formally still at war after decades of conflict, launch talks on Wednesday to address a long-running dispute over their maritime border running through potentially gas-rich Mediterranean waters. The U.S.-mediated talks follow three years of intense diplomacy by Washington and were announced less than a month after the …

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Still acting Lebanese PM warns about slashing subsidies

Lebanon‚Äôs caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Friday any step to lift subsidies now on vital goods would be unacceptable and would cause a ‚Äúsocial explosion‚ÄĚ. In a televised address, Diab, who resigned two months ago after a huge explosion damaged much of Beirut and worsened the country‚Äôs economic …

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Ex-PM Hariri wants French intervention

Lebanon‚Äôs leading Sunni Muslim politician, former premier Saad al-Hariri, called for the restoration of a French plan to lift the nation out of its worst financial crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war. Former colonial power France, which has led foreign aid efforts, has tried to rally have Lebanese leaders to …

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Netanyahu wants Lebanese to protest Hezbollah stockpiles

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused Lebanon‚Äôs Hezbollah of storing weapons near a gas company in a residential Beirut neighborhood, but the Iran-backed movement denied it. Speaking in a video to the United Nations General Assembly, pre-recorded due to the coronavirus pandemic, Netanyahu warned the depot in the …

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Hezbollah decries imperialist Macron

Hezbollah‚Äôs leader said on Tuesday his Shi‚Äôite movement welcomed French efforts to help Lebanon out of crisis but that did not mean French President Emmanuel Macron could act like the country‚Äôs ruler. In a televised address, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the heavily armed, Iran-backed Hezbollah remained ready for dialogue under …

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Dispute breaks out between Amal and Macron

Lebanon‚Äôs Amal movement expressed surprise on Tuesday over accusations by French President Emmanuel Macron that the Shi‚Äôite party triggered the collapse of talks to form a new government. Prime minister-designate Mustapha Adib quit on Saturday after failing to line up a non-partisan cabinet, dealing a blow to a French plan …

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EU angry at Lebanon for failed cabinet reshuffle

The EU on Monday criticized Lebanese politicians for their failure to form a government, after the country‚Äôs prime minister-designate quit at the weekend due to pressure from Hezbollah and its allies over key ministerial jobs. Lebanon has experienced almost a year of intense turmoil, which has been exacerbated by the …

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Betrayed Macron won’t give up on roadmap, targets Hezbollah

French President Emmanuel Macron admonished Lebanon‚Äôs leaders on Sunday for serving their own interests ahead of their country and vowed to push ahead with efforts to prevent chaos, but appeared to have no back up plan should his initiative fail. Lebanon‚Äôs prime minister-designate, Mustapha Adib, quit on Saturday after failing …

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Bulgaria finds two Lebanese guilty for terror attack

A Bulgarian court sentenced two men of Lebanese origin to life in prison on Monday over a 2012 bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver, which Bulgarian authorities have blamed on Lebanon‚Äôs Shi‚Äôite Muslim group Hezbollah. The two men were tried in absentia over the July …

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Lebanese president warns country is heading to hell

Michel Aoun

President Michel Aoun warned on Monday Lebanon was going ‚Äúto hell‚ÄĚ if a new government could not be formed but agreeing one might take a miracle after positions had hardened between rival factions. His comments in a televised address underlined the severe difficulties facing French efforts to lift Lebanon out …

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Hezbullah allies propose solution to political deadlock

A party founded by Lebanon‚Äôs Christian president made a proposal to end a dispute that has blocked the formation of a new cabinet and threatened a French drive to lift the country out of its worst crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war. The proposal, put forward on Saturday, involved handing …

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Hezbullah, Amal fall afoul of French plans

Hezbollah and the Amal Movement attempted on Thursday to see off a French initiative to form a Lebanese government of non-political technocrats not associated with the parties in power and which rotates the ministries among the country‚Äôs sects. The Hezbollah parliamentary bloc held ‚Äúthe extremely negative American role‚ÄĚ responsible for …

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