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Tag Archives: corruption

New dispute between Auon, Hariri threatens everything

The rift between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri over the formation of Lebanon’s new government widened on Friday. Hariri was instructed to form a new government on Oct. 22, but no progress has yet been made, leaving the country in a political deadlock to add to its …

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Beny Steinmetz found guilty as charged in Geneva court

In a landmark verdict in one of the mining world’s most high profile legal cases, a Swiss criminal court found Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz guilty of corruption and forgery on Friday and sentenced him to five years in jail with a sizeable fine. The ruling after a two-week trial is …

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Iraq postpones planned general election

Iraq’s cabinet decided on Tuesday to postpone the general election to Oct. 10 from June, the state news agency INA said. The government last year set a general election for June 6, 2021, roughly a year ahead of when it would normally be held, but Iraq’s Independent High Election Commission …

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Israelis sick of Netanyahu reign, take to streets

Thousands of Israelis on Saturday renewed weekly demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling for the long-serving leader to resign over corruption charges against him and his alleged mishandling of the coronavirus crisis. Protesters held signs reading “Go,” and “Bibi, let my people go,” referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. …

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Prosecutors make final list of charges against Netanyahu

Israeli prosecutors on Sunday released an amended indictment spelling out detailed charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a corruption case in which he is accused of trading favors with a powerful media mogul. Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three corruption cases. …

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Trump caught redhanded election rigging in Georgia recount

President Donald Trump pressured Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to “find” enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state’s presidential election, repeatedly citing disproven claims of fraud and raising the prospect of “criminal offense” if officials did not change the vote count, according to a recording of the …

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Netanyahu faces right-wing challenge as election looms

A right-wing challenge to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a March Israeli election gained momentum on Wednesday with the defection of a long-time ally to an upstart rival party. In a letter announcing his resignation from Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party and parliament, Zeev Elkin, a minister in successive Netanyahu governments, …

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New Israeli election in bid to drop Gantz

Israel on Tuesday was on course for a fourth national election in two years after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main governing partner, Benny Gantz, failed to resolve a dispute over the budget. Parliament voted late on Monday against an attempt by both men to delay a deadline of …

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Ex-PM Diab categorically refuses to talk about Beirut blast

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister, Hassan Diab, has declined to be questioned by the judge who charged him and three former ministers with negligence over the Beirut port blast, an official source said on Monday. Judge Fadi Sawan’s charges have met pushback from influential parties including Shi’ite Hezbollah and Sunni leader …

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UPDATE – Diab probe lambasted by political allies in Lebanon

Leading Lebanese parties lambasted charges brought against the prime minister and three former ministers over the Beirut port explosion on Friday, highlighting the political minefield facing the investigation. The heavily armed, Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah movement said the charges smacked of political targeting, joining a wider pushback by influential parties against …

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Lebanon’s acting PM Diab accused of causing Beirut blast

Lebanon’s investigating judge has charged caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab and three former ministers with negligence over the Beirut port blast that killed 200 people and ruined a swathe of the capital in August. The others are former finance minister Ali Hassan Khalil, as well as former public works ministers …

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Netanyahu wants to drop Gantz in new election bid

Israel edged closer on Wednesday towards a fourth national election in two years after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main governing partner, Benny Gantz, backed an opposition move to dissolve parliament. Parliament gave preliminary approval to a dissolution bill, but the legislation needs to pass three as yet unscheduled votes to …

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Iraqi democracy sentences 50 to death unfairly, UN complains

Some 50 prisoners in Iraq face possible execution on Monday following conviction on terrorism-related crimes in unfair trials, United Nations human rights experts said on Friday. The independent experts urged the Baghdad government to immediately halt all mass executions, noting that 21 prisoners had been executed in October, followed by …

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Scandal hits Erdogan house with son-in-law’s cabinet resignation

The abrupt resignation of Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law from one of Turkey’s most powerful cabinet positions shocked the government and angered some ruling party members who say the nature of his departure damages the president. Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak oversaw economic policy for two tumultuous years during which Turkey …

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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’s biggest Christian political bloc, accusing him of corruption …

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New revelations concerning Beirut Port

The first of many warnings about a deadly cargo in Beirut’s 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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Protests break out, quashed in Baghdad again

Iraqi security forces clashed with anti-government demonstrators in Baghdad on Sunday with at least 39 people, most of them police officers, injured by projectiles unleashed from each side, security officials said. Police sources said tear gas canisters being fired by security forces had injured at least seven people. A separate …

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Despite misgivings widely assumed that Hariri will be PM again

Lebanon’s former premier Saad al-Hariri appeared on course to be nominated for a fourth term as prime minister on Thursday and try to form a new government to tackle the country’s deepest crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war. Hariri needs to win the most support from parliamentarians who were holding …

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Saad Al-Hariri reiterates call for French roadmap

Lebanon’s leading Sunni Muslim politician, former Prime Minister 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 Lebanese leaders to …

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Israel to extend legislative crackdown on protestors under COVID pretext

Hundreds of Israelis demonstrated outside parliament on Tuesday against a government-backed bill likely to stifle protests near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home during the current coronavirus lockdown. The proposed law, which the government said was aimed at curbing COVID-19 infections, bans Israelis from holding street demonstrations more than one kilometre …

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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’s 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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Lebanese president warns country is heading to hell

Michel Aoun

President Michel Aoun warned on Monday Lebanon was going “to hell” 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, 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’s sects. The Hezbollah parliamentary bloc held “the extremely negative American role” responsible for …

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