French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Beirut on his second visit since the horrific port explosion, hours after Prime Minister-Designate Mustafa Adib was assigned to form a new government and on the eve of Lebanon’s revival of its first centenary. President Emmanuel Macron landed Monday at Beirut airport.
Crisis-ridden Lebanon has a new Prime minister. It is Mustapha Adib, who previously served as Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany. He was appointed to the position on Monday after he received the endorsement of most parliamentary blocs. His appointment was announced by the Lebanese presidency.
The United States has welcomed the conviction of a Hezbollah member by an international tribunal for the murder of Rafic Hariri. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed satisfaction with the sentencing of Salim Ayyash in absentia, and said that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization serving the sectarian goals of Iran.
Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan called for the necessity to impose general lockdown measures for a period of two weeks after a sharp increase in cases of COVID-19 disease, at a time when the country is suffering from the devastating effects of the explosion of Beirut Port.
After 15 years, the attention of the Lebanese, and the world’s attention, is on the city of The Hague, as the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is scheduled to issue its verdict in the case of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, in which four people affiliated with Hezbollah are being tried.
An American official called for a transparent and credible investigation into the explosion that occurred in the Beirut port, saying that Lebanon can never go back to an era when “anything happened” in its ports and at its borders. However, he did not speak explicitly about an international investigation.
In the first session after the explosion of the port city of Beirut, the Lebanese parliament approved the declaration of a state of emergency on Thursday. It is a move that raises the fear of human rights organizations due to the restrictions it contains on freedom of assembly.
Beirut is reeling from the horrendous, tragic explosion that occurred on August 4th. Thereafter, the Prime Minister resigned amid an investigation of the blast and failure to act previously. Furthermore, civil unrest and anger followed the explosion. There are over 1,000 injured in clashes with the police and the army.
The Israeli public is losing its trust in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israel government. They feel that Netanyahu is abusing the privileges of his position as Prime Minister. The attempt to make a unified government between Benny Gantz and Netanyahu seems to be a failure.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced that he, as well as the entire government, has resigned. The Prime Minister made the announcement in a speech in a brief, televised speech broadcast live to the nation. Diab said in the speech that they, like the people, want to find those responsible for the Beirut Blast.
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, wants an independent investigation to establish the root cause of last Tuesday’s “Beirut Blast.” However, the Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, and the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, are opposed to it. Instead, they argue that it is an internal affair, and foreign powers should keep off.
Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdussamed resigned after the explosion in Beirut Port. The minister said, “I apologize to the Lebanese.” She added, “we did not live up to your expectations.” Elsewhere, world leaders held a summit Sunday to raise aid to Lebanon.
A new wave of protests has broken out in Lebanon in response to a massive explosion that destroyed part of the port and downtown Beirut on Tuesday evening. On Saturday, a group of angry protesters, apparently led by a number of former army officers, stormed the Lebanese Foreign Ministry building.
Amid political turmoil in Rajasthan, there is talk of an atmosphere of fear in the BJP ahead of the coming Assembly session. As per the report of India Today, some MLAs have been shifted to Gujarat due to a fear of floor-crossing of MLAs in the Rajasthan BJP. The BJP considers it safe to send some MLAs to Gujarat.
Pope Francis today sent the first aid of €250,000 to Lebanon “to meet the needs of the Lebanese Church in these times of difficulty and suffering.” The donation “is intended as a sign of His Holiness’s attention and closeness to the affected population and of his fatherly closeness to people in serious difficulty.”
Tuesday’s Beirut blast has so far claimed at least 154 lives. The information was relayed on Friday by the Lebanese Health Minister, Hamad Hassan. The minister added that 120 of the wounded are in a critical condition. The previous last balance sheet by the Ministry of Health had reported 149 deaths.
French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Beirut today and announced his intention to “organize international aid” to Lebanon following the devastating explosions in the port of the Lebanese capital. He also called upon the country’s leaders to implement reforms without delay.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her condolences to the victims of the Beirut explosion, pledging to provide aid to Lebanon. At the same time, a German relief team is heading to Beirut, and German organizations are collecting donations for the victims of the explosion.
Pope Francis has today asked the international community to step in and help Lebanon overcome the serious crisis caused by Tuesday’s explosions. The same plea for help was made by the Lebanese government, and several countries have already responded to the calls for help.
In an open letter to the European Union, 236 lawmakers from Europe and the United States called on the EU Friday to impose a full ban on the Lebanese militant group and political party, Hezbollah, throughout its territory. The lawmakers said in their letter that banning Hezbollah’s military arm was not enough.
The Lebanese Ministry of Health announced that there were 166 new cases of COVID-19, a single-day high after the outbreak in February. According to National News Agency (NNA) statistics, so far, a total of 2,334 cases have been diagnosed and 36 died.
Israel is celebrating Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, this weekend, which comes seven weeks after Passover. The Feast of Weeks is also called the Day of the First Fruits, and also commemorate the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. The holiday is for one day in Israel and two days in countries throughout the world.
Today, the Lebanese government approved an economic reform plan aimed at lifting the country from a crisis that is considered the greatest threat to its stability since the civil war, between 1975 and1990. The Lebanese presidency office posted a brief tweet to that effect.
The German government announced Thursday that all activities of the Lebanese group Hezbollah will be banned, after designating the militant and political group a terrorist organization. The European Union considers Hezbollah’s militant wing, but not its political wing, a terrorist organization.
There is no sign of calm in Lebanon. Despite traffic bans in the country since March over the spread of coronavirus, Lebanese people have taken to the streets to protest corruption and the economic crisis. AFP has published a report from Beirut announcing the second day of widespread protests in Tripoli.
April 21 is Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, in Israel. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, Remembrance Day was celebrated in Israel from Yad Vashem digitally without attendance. The speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was made live online, without attendance, from the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.
The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Jan Kubis, announced that he had seen Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab‘s seriousness in working on implementing reforms and fighting corruption. After a meeting yesterday, the United Nations stressed that Lebanon’s first step to take reforms, break past corruption practices, and adopt transparency and trust.
Progressive liberal influences are affecting Orthodox Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Jews throughout the world. In the news is an article regarding the Catholic church Pope Benedict warns against relaxing priestly- celibacy rules. Pope Benedict resigned from his position and Pope Francis is his successor. Many people guess the reason for his resignation which was very unusual for a Pope to resign. He may have seen that in the future there would be pressure on the Catholic Church to institute reforms and he was not willing to make these changes. One of the changes is being talked about by Pope Francis regarding priestly celibacy rules under the pressures of his opponents that have pressured the church on the issue of immunity of Priests to sexual abuse accusations. Pope Francis has opened the Catholic Church to gays, and has endorsed interfaith dialogue.
The Lebanese Red Cross announced the injury of 75 protesters, as a result of clashes between security and protesters in Beirut, in the vicinity of Parliament in central Beirut. The demonstrators threw firecrackers and stones towards the security forces in the vicinity of Najma Square, and also threw steel separators towards them, trying to storm the iron fence.
Dozens of Lebanese demonstrators were released by security forces after two nights of angry movements in Beirut. A number of them targeted banks, and were arrested, according to attorneys accompanying them to their files. The Lawyers Committee to defend the demonstrators, through its Facebook account, announced that “all detainees were released during the demonstrations in Hamra and Mazraa on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the exception of seven foreigners who will be referred to General Security.”
Israel has seen its heaviest rainfall over the last two weeks since 1969. Fierce storms and heavy rain pounded central and northern Israel, causing massive flooding in cities, and rivers causing major damage to homes, vehicles, and infrastructure. The northern city of Nahariya suffered besieged by floods suffered the most damage from the abnormal inclement weather.
Japan has asked for the extradition of former Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Chairman, Carlos Ghosn, from Lebanon. He fled from the country in December through unconventional means after facing a slew of financial crime charges. The former auto boss has publicly revealed that he is currently residing in Lebanon.
Following the assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, stationed near Iraq’s international airport, Israel is on top security alert. Members of Hezbollah, in Lebanon, have given the America and Israel a warning of a response to this attack on American locations in the Middle East, and even on Tel Aviv.
There has been a tug of war for geopolitical influence and attempts to disrupt the already established balance throughout 2019. We also saw the formation of interesting and very invasive social media polices around the globe. Hence, there were ramifications and changes to the social media landscape:
- France implementing new measures to track and monitor the social media of its citizens.
- Russia is working to complete their digital iron curtain.
- China implementing draconian verification process impacting social credit and privacy.
- UK to ruthlessly start collecting DNA.
- We’ve also seen the rise of deep fake technology that could have a great impact on the US 2020 Presidential elections as well as on the global scale.
Let’s look at the world’s main players and regions:
After a three week lull, demonstrations will resume on Friday at the Gaza Border fence. The High National Committee for the March of Return announced the organization of demonstrations at the border Friday. The decision to resume the weekly border protests came as Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad leaders continued their discussions in Cairo with senior Egyptian intelligence officials about reaching a long term ceasefire with Israel. The Hamas delegation is headed by Ismail Haniyeh, while Islamic Jihad is headed by their secretary general.
Protesters асrоѕѕ Lebanon hаvе саllеd fоr a gеnеrаl ѕtrіkе аnd civil dіѕоbеdіеnсе on Mоndау, thе 40th day ѕіnсе the “WhatsApp Revolution” began on Oсtоbеr 17. The movement continues tо gаthеr momentum as оffісіаlѕ have ѕо fаr оffеrеd nо рrасtісаl steps tо mееt protesters’ dеmаndѕ.
Lebanese celebrated their 76th Independence Day Friday. However, this anniversary of the independence of the republic has its own flavor on the impact of unprecedented protests that prevail in the country, demanding the departure of the political class. “It іѕ thе first time that Lеbаnеѕе frоm аll rеgіоnѕ dеmоnѕtrаtеd wіthоut inviting a раrtу,” said a unіvеrѕіtу student іn downtown Beirut. “Thіѕ is real independence, home-grown independence.”
Lebanese dеmоnѕtrаtоrѕ hаvе bееn flocking tо thе сеntеr оf the capital ѕіnсе Tuesday mоrnіng tо block rоаdѕ lеаdіng to thе Pаrlіаmеnt, in аn аttеmрt tо prevent the ѕсhеdulеd meeting today. The рrоtеѕtеrѕ were роurіng іntо Mаrtуrѕ’ Sԛuаrе, іn сеntrаl Bеіrut, in аn attempt to dіѕruрt thе session оf the Lеbаnеѕе раrlіаmеnt, whісh wаѕ роѕtроnеd lаѕt wееk, nеwѕ ѕоurсеѕ rероrt.
Aссоrdіng tо Lеbаnеѕе nеwѕ ѕоurсеѕ, outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and his Sunni Al-Muѕtаԛbаl party, along with Shiite parties Amal and Hezbollah, аgrееd tо ѕuрроrt Mohammad Sаfаdі’ѕ nomination аѕ nеw рrіmе minister.
A ѕеnіоr UN official іn Lеbаnоn саllеd fоr the speedy fоrmаtіоn of a new gоvеrnmеnt with wеll-knоwn реrѕоnаlіtіеѕ, adding that ѕuсh a government wоuld be better рlасеd tо ѕееk іntеrnаtіоnаl аіd. Meanwhile, Lеbаnоn’ѕ banks аnd ѕсhооlѕ closed on Tuеѕdау аѕ a nеw wаvе оf unrest bеgаn, аѕ politicians struggled tо agree оn a nеw gоvеrnmеnt tо рull thе соuntrу out of іtѕ wоrѕt есоnоmіс сrіѕіѕ since the 1975-1990 сіvіl war.
Turkіѕh President Rесер Tayyip Erdоgаn, wаrnіng about Irаԛі рrоtеѕtѕ, warns thоѕе whо want to “divide thе Islamic world,” аnd said hе thіnkѕ Irаԛ’ѕ рrоtеѕtѕ соuld ѕрrеаd tо Iran. Sреаkіng tо rероrtеrѕ оn thе sidelines оf his visit to Hungаrу, Mr. Erdоgаn аlѕо сrіtісіzеd Irаn’ѕ ѕtаnсе оn the Turkish іnvаѕіоn оf nоrthеrn Syria. Hе ѕаіd Iran’s роѕіtіоn оn thе operation had “offended” Turkеу.
Lebanon’s outgoing Prіmе Minister, Sааd Hаrіrі, mеt wіth Prеѕіdеnt Mісhеl Aoun оn Thursday without аnnоunсіng рrоgrеѕѕ tоwаrdѕ fоrmіng a new gоvеrnmеnt. Bаnkіng sources also reported that mоѕt rеmіttаnсеѕ оutѕіdе thе соuntrу were still bаnnеd. The Gоvеrnоr оf Banque du Liban аlѕо соmрlаіnеd іn аn іntеrvіеw wіth reporters оf the dіffісult fіnаnсіаl situation.
Rеfеrrіng to anti-government protests іn Lеbаnоn and Iraq, the US Sесrеtаrу оf Stаtе said thаt the Lebanese реорlе hаvе соmе tо realize thаt the most іmроrtаnt еxроrt of thе Iranian regime tо their country іѕ corruption.
Dеmоnѕtrаtоrѕ blосkеd a number оf main rоаdѕ in thе Lеbаnеѕе capital, Bеіrut, аnd оthеr сіtіеѕ as рrоtеѕtѕ continued іn thе соuntrу. Dеmоnѕtrаtоrѕ, рlауіng a саt-аnd-mоuѕе gаmе with rіоt police, bеgаn tо ѕеt uр tеmроrаrу rоаdblосkѕ uѕіng garbage dumрѕ, саrѕ раrkеd оn thе rоаd, аnd tires, whісh they set on fіrе.
On Sunday Lebanon experienced different demonstrations that are the direct opposite of what the nation had been used to in recent days. In the previous days’ demonstrations, the demonstrators graced the streets to oppose the Lebanese government and the country’s political system however; thousands were on the streets today in support of the President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun.