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Tag Archives: corruption

Beirut blast judge renews summons of Zoaiter, Mashnouq

The judge leading Lebanon’s probe into last year’s massive port explosion has renewed his summonses of two former ministers for questioning, a judicial official said. The decision by Judge Tarek Bitar came despite intense criticism from the country’s powerful Hizbullah of the direction of the long-running investigation. Hizbullah leader Sayyed …

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Uneasy Lebanon readies itself for March polls

 Lebanon’s parliament voted on Tuesday to hold legislative elections on March 27, giving Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government only a few months to try to secure an IMF recovery plan amid a deepening economic meltdown. Lebanon’s financial crisis, which the World Bank labelled one of the deepest depressions of modern …

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Mikati won’t resign over Judge Tarek Bitar

Prime Minister Najib Miqati has noted that he does not intend to resign and that Cabinet will not convene before a solution is found for the dispute over Beirut port blast investigator Judge Tarek Bitar. “The security situation is stable and there are no fears,” Miqati said in an interview, …

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Amal, Hezbollah want judge Bitar gone

The stance of Hizbullah and Amal Movement is “a righteous demand that serves the higher national interest as to security and stability and thwarts the strife scheme whose threads are American and is being implemented with domestic Lebanese tools,” sources close to the Shiite duo said. “Some of these tools …

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Iraqis protest latest round of elections, swarm Baghdad

Hundreds of Iraqis marched in the center of Baghdad on Friday to mark two years since mass anti-government protests erupted in the Iraqi capital and southern provinces calling for reforms. Around 1,000 protesters took part in the event, including a significant number of women, many carrying photos of loved ones …

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Lebanese politicians not keen on speedy election date

The Lebanese Interior Ministry is planning to hold parliamentary elections on March 27, 2022, which is nearly six weeks before the end of the current parliament’s mandate. However, the final date for the elections has not been confirmed yet, which has added to the uncertainty many Lebanese people have felt …

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BREAKING NEWS – Algeria’s Bouteflika dies at 84

Former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who fought for independence from France, reconciled his conflict-ravaged nation and was then ousted amid pro-democracy protests in 2019 after two decades in power, has died at age 84, state television announced Friday. The report on ENTV, citing a statement from the office of current President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, did not …

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Sadr wants to run for Iraqi parliament

Iraqi populist Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said on Friday that he and his supporters would take part in an October general election, reversing a decision last month to stay out. Sadr’s bloc is part of a coalition that holds the most seats in parliament now, and is likely to …

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Defiant Diab handed subpoena for Beirut blast inquiry

The judge leading the investigation into last summer’s Beirut port blast issued a subpoena for caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Thursday after he failed to show up for questioning, Lebanon’s state news agency reported. Judge Tarek Bitar, who is leading the inquiry into the explosion, issued requests in July …

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Hariri hands list proposed cabinet to Lebanese president

Lebanon’s prime minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri said on Wednesday he had presented a cabinet proposal to President Michel Aoun and is awaiting his response on Thursday, in a move that could end almost nine months of political deadlock amid an economic collapse. “Now is the moment of truth,” Hariri, who has …

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Death toll reaches 92 for Iraqi hospital fire

The death toll from a fire that tore through a coronavirus hospital in southern Iraq rose to 92, health officials said on Tuesday, as authorities faced accusations of negligence from grieving relatives and a doctor who works there. More than 100 people were injured in the blaze on Monday night …

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EU bemouns political devision in Lebanon

The European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Sunday a fight among Lebanese leaders to secure power is at the heart of its government crisis and he urged them to set their feud aside and form a cabinet or risk a total financial crash and sanctions. Speaking after talks with …

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EU war of words escalates with Lebanon

Josep Borrell, the high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, has criticized Lebanese officials and conveyed a “severe” message for “not forming the government after nine months of the resignation of Hassan Diab’s government and nomination of Saad Hariri as prime minister-designate.” Borrell, who is also …

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Situation in Jordan escalates as ex-MP is arrested

A Jordanian MP expelled from parliament for inciting riots, has been arrested Jordan News Agency reported on Wednesday. Jordanian MPs voted earlier this month to remove Osama Al-Ajarmeh from the lower house after violence erupted in the suburb of Naour, a stronghold of the Ajarmeh tribe in southwest Amman.  Four …

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Nasrallah wants Iranian oil to solve fuel crisis

In a speech seen as an act of defiance against the Lebanese state and the US, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday insisted that Lebanon should be “negotiating with Iran to buy gasoline and diesel with the Lebanese currency if Lebanon’s shortages persist.” Seemingly unconcerned about the possibility that this …

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$200 million loan to fight power shortages in Lebanon

Michel Aoun

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun approved an exceptional loan of up to 300 billion Lebanese pounds ($200 million) on Monday for the state electricity company to import fuel for generation before supplies run out, an official statement said. Lebanon is mired in a financial crisis, caused by a mountain of debt built …

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Lebanese central banker falls under French eye

France has opened a probe into the personal wealth of Riad Salameh, central bank chief in crisis-hit Lebanon, sources told AFP Sunday. Paris financial prosecutors have opened a preliminary probe into criminal association and money laundering by Salameh, a source close to the investigation and a judicial source said, following …

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Saad Al-Hariri wants more money for UN assassination probe

Prime Minister-Designate Saad Hariri asked the Lebanese government on Saturday to pay its dues to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and for the international community to shoulder its responsibility. The tribunal was set up to prosecute those behind the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father, Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. It is …

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Lebanese now allowed to withdraw $800, a month

Lebanon’s central bank yesterday said depositors with accounts active as of October 2019 would be able to withdraw up to $400 a month plus the equivalent amount in local currency, marking a significant concession after a chaotic two days in Lebanese banking. Lebanese banks had locked depositors out of their …

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Lebanon running out of money for medical reserves

 Lebanon’s central bank said on Thursday that a system for importing subsidised medical goods could not be sustained without using its mandatory reserves and asked the relevant authorities to find a solution to the problem. Lebanon, which in the throes of a financial crisis that is threatening its stability, has …

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EU wants to sanction Lebanese politicians

The EU is drawing up sanctions on politicians in Lebanon seen as blocking the formation of a government, readying the bloc’s first penalties on its Middle Eastern ally in frustration at the ruling elite’s mismanagement, diplomats said. Led by former colonial power France, the bloc is seeking to ramp up …

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Netanyahu out, Yair Lapid to take his place

Israel’s president on Wednesday chose Yair Lapid, a centrist politician and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strongest rival, to try to form a new government, but his path to success was still uncertain. Israel’s longest serving leader, Netanyahu, 71, has been fighting to hold onto office through four inconclusive elections since …

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Netanyahu fails at deadline to form new government

A deadline for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government has expired. He had been trying for the past 28 days to build a coalition after the fourth inconclusive general election in two years, but the deadline ended at midnight on Wednesday (22:00 GMT). President Reuven Rivlin could …

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