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Tag Archives: corruption

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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Jumblatt places all bets on French rescue plan

Leading Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt said on Wednesday it seemed some people did not understand that French-led efforts to lift Lebanon out of crisis were the last chance to save the country. Lebanon is in the throes of a crippling economic and financial meltdown that marks the biggest threat to …

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Netanyahu wants to investigate anti-corruption investigators

Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, Israel’s attorney general has accused Netanyahu of trying to discredit the country’s criminal justice system while he is on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He denies any wrongdoing. Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party and allies voiced anger this week after Israel’s Channel …

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Italy also wants to overturn power in Lebanon

Italy’s prime minister said it was time for Lebanon to rebuild trust between the people and its institutions, joining France’s call for change in a nation devastated by a year-long economic crisis and last month’s massive explosion at Beirut port. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was visiting Beirut a week after …

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Patriarch Al-Rai wants anti-corruption Lebanese cabinet

Lebanon’s top Christian cleric said on Sunday a new government must deliver urgent economic and other reforms in the national interest, rather than returning to past corrupt ways that have plunged the Middle Eastern nation into an economic crisis. Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, leader of the Maronite church, has an …

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Israelis protest Netanyahu’s corona failures again

Thousands of Israelis protested outside the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night, pressing ahead with a monthslong campaign demanding the embattled Israeli leader resign. The protest came as Israel is coping with record levels of coronavirus infections. Demonstrators have been protesting Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus …

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Nasrallah willing to negotiate new political order in Lebanon

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday the powerful Shi’ite movement was open to discussing a new political order in Lebanon if all factions agree to it, as foreign donors press for deep reforms to tackle the country’s multiple crises. The presidency has called for parliamentary consultations on Monday …

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Congress goes after Pompeo for misusing state resources

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced contempt proceedings against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday, citing his refusal to comply with a subpoena for records into his “transparently political misuse” of department resources. The Democratic chairman of the committee, Eliot Engel, also cited a speech Pompeo recorded in …

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Protesters go on anti-government rampage in Iraq

Protesters in the southern Iraqi city of Basra set fire to parliament’s local office on Friday as security forces fired live rounds in the air to disperse them, a Reuters witness and security sources said. The protesters had gathered to demand that Iraq’s parliament sack the provincial governor after two …

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Germany tells Lebanon how to manage its affairs

Germany’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that Lebanon needed a government that can fight corruption and enact reforms as he toured Beirut port, scene of the devastating explosion that has triggered protests and led the government to resign. Last week’s blast at a warehouse storing highly-explosive material for years killed …

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Israelis take to streets over corrupt, inept Netanyahu

Thousands of Israelis rallied outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem on Saturday as anger mounted over corruption allegations and his handling of the coronavirus crisis. “Your time is up”, read the giant letters projected on to a building at the protest site, as demonstrators waved Israeli flags and …

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Netanyahu objects to democrati right of protesters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struck back on Sunday at demonstrations calling for his resignation, accusing protesters of trampling democracy and the Israeli media of encouraging them. Netanyahu, who was sworn in for a fifth term in May after an election, has often complained of press bias against him, and some …

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Bloodletting on Baghdad streets with latest protests

Clashes between Iraqi protesters and security forces in central Baghdad killed at least two demonstrators overnight, security and medical sources said on Monday. It was the first such deadly incident in months at Tahrir Square, which became a symbol of anti-government protests during months-long mass unrest last year. The protesters …

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Rami Makhlouf exposes double dealings for Assad regime

Syrian businessman Rami Makhlouf revealed on Sunday he had set up a web of offshore front companies to help President Bashar al Assad evade Western sanctions, in a social media post blasting the government for investigating his business empire. One of Syria’s richest and most powerful businessmen, Makhlouf said security …

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Fresh protests for Netanyahu to quit

About 2,000 Israelis rallied outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday as protests mounted against him over his handling of a worsening coronavirus crisis and alleged corruption. Wearing protective masks, the demonstrators marched from Netanyahu’s official residence to Israel’s parliament, holding up signs that read “Crime Minister” …

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