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via finance.yahoo09/20/2020

'Political paralysis': Lebanese patriarch points at Shi'ite leaders for cabinet delay - Yahoo Finance

Lebanon's top Christian cleric took a swipe at leaders of the Shi'ite Muslim community on Sunday for making demands he said were blocking the formation of a new government and causing political paralysis in a nation in deep crisis. Shi'ite politicians have said they must name the finance minister. France has been pushing Lebanon to form a new cabinet fast.

via gzeromedia09/16/2020

Hard Numbers: India's soaring COVID caseload, torture in Venezuela, US ranks lowest in pandemic response, next year's global economic recovery - GZERO Media

5 million: After a massive uptick in new daily COVID-19 cases on Wednesday (more than 90,000), the Indian government said the country's coronavirus caseload has now surpassed 5 million. As demand for life-saving treatment has soared, hospitals in large states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Prad...

via thehour09/16/2020

Palestinian refugee agency warns of instability amid crisis - Thehour.com

BEIRUT (AP) - The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees is experiencing a financial crisis that could force it to halt some services to an already impoverished population of more than 5 million people, the head of the agency said Wednesday. Philippe Lazzarini also warned in an interview with The Associated Press in Beirut that the spread of coronavirus, an economic meltdown in Lebanon and a huge deficit in UNRWA's budget are deepening the hopelessness among Palestinian refugees, some of whom are trying to flee the Mediterranean nation on migrant boats. UNRWA was established to aid the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes during the war surrounding Israel's establishment in 1948. It now provides education, health care, food and other services to 5.8 million refugees and their descendants in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. UNRWA's financial crisis was sparked by the loss of all funding from the United States, its largest donor, in 2018. The U.S. gave $360 million to UNRWA in 2017, but only $60 million in 2018, and nothing last year or so far this year. U.S. President Donald Trump said in January 2018 that the Palestinians must return to peace talks with Israel to receive U.S. aid money. He has since put forth a plan for resolving the conflict that heavily favors Israel and was rejected by the Palestinians. "I do believe that ceasing our activity in a context where there is such a level of despair, such a level of hopelessness, can only fuel the feeling that the Palestinian refugees are abandoned by the international community," said Lazzarini, who took office in March. Lazzarini said supporting UNRWA "is one of the best investments in stability in the region at a time of extraordinary unpredictability and...

via arabnews09/15/2020

Pompeo says Hezbollah weapons risk torpedoing French efforts in Lebanon - Arab News

PARIS: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday warned France that its efforts to resolve the crisis in Lebanon would be in vain without immediately tackling the issue of Iran-backed Hezbollah’s weaponry. President Emmanuel Macron has spearheaded international efforts to set Lebanon on a new course after decades of corrupt rule led to its deepest crisis since the 1975-1990

via arabnews09/14/2020

Jordan tightens grip on gatherings amid rising COVID-19 cases - Arab News

DUBAI: Jordan will ramp up restrictions on social gatherings in the country, Minister of State Amjad Adaileh said, quashing rumors of a two-week blanket curfew.   The move comes after the government discussed the country's coronavirus situation, led by the Minister of Health Saad Jaber, state news agency Petra has reported. Adaileh said the new restrictions include limiting

via arabnews09/13/2020

Lebanon's overcrowded prison may be courting health disaster - Arab News

BEIRUT: Reports about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Roumieh Prison, the largest in Lebanon, have caused panic among the families of inmates who fear disaster if quick measures are not taken. Several guards and inmates are reported to have contracted the virus. Lebanon’s prisons already suffer from severe overcrowding, running at 160 percent of capacity at

via arabnews09/17/2020

US imposes sanctions on businesses in Lebanon with links to Hezbollah - Arab News

CHICAGO: US authorities have imposed sanctions on two businesses in Lebanon they say are under the control of Hezbollah and profit from corruption. Sultan Khalifa As’ad, described as a Hezbollah official with close ties to both companies, was also placed on the sanctions list

via gzeromedia09/16/2020

What We're Watching: Japan's new leader, Moria refugees in limbo, Lebanon's blown deadline - GZERO Media

Who's Japan's new PM? The world's third largest economy has a new prime minister after the Japanese parliament voted to elect Yoshihide Suga to the top job just weeks after Shinzo Abe, Japan's longest serving prime minister, resigned because of health problems. Suga, a former cardboard factory worke...

via arabnews09/14/2020

Beirut blast aid faces an obstacle course in Lebanon - Arab News

DUBAI: No sooner had the explosion of Aug. 4 devastated Beirut than the Lebanese diaspora came to their home country’s rescue. The extent of the damage to homes and infrastructure was still not clear, but no one was under any illusion about the blast’s severity given that the shockwaves were felt more than 200 km away in Cyprus. By the morning of Aug. 5, Impact Lebanon, a

via arabnews09/14/2020

More talks on Lebanese cabinet as deadline in doubt - Arab News

BEIRUT: Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib said on Monday he had met Lebanon’s president for more consultations, raising doubts that he could form his cabinet by a deadline agreed with France of early this week to start hauling the nation out of deep crisis. Lebanese leaders promised French President Emmanuel Macron in Beirut on Sept. 1 to form a government in two weeks,

via arabnews09/13/2020

PLO official calls for joint Arab security plan - Arab News

AMMAN: The secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) executive committee, Saeb Erekat, on Sunday said that Palestinians would remain committed to the two-state solution even if 193 countries moved their embassies to Tel Aviv. He said that no other option could ensure peace and security — nor bring an end to the conflict. “There are 51 percent Muslims

via arabnews09/13/2020

How Lebanon can chart a new path forward - Arab News

The explosion that rocked Beirut on Aug. 4 shocked the world. It caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries, leveling some central sections of Lebanon’s capital while wreaking extensive damage throughout the city. The human and physical toll is immense, and given its location, the blast has knocked out the city’s port and many of its businesses. This has brought most

via arabnews09/13/2020

Arab coalition targets Houthi bases in Sanaa - Arab News

Saudi-led Arab coalition aircraft launched a series of raids on Houthi militia and sites in Sanaa and its suburbs during the early hours of Sunday.  The coalition targeted Al-Dailami Air Base, Al Arabiya TV reported., where they destroyed four Houthi drones. Local sources told the Saudi news channel that the raids targeted artillery base, which the militia uses as a weapons

via arabnews09/16/2020

Warnings as Lebanon misses government formation deadline - Arab News

BEIRUT: France said on Wednesday it regretted that Lebanese political leaders have failed to form a new government in line with a commitment made to President Emmanuel Macron, but that it was not too late to do so. The statement by Macron’s office came after Lebanese politicians missed a 15-day deadline to form a crisis Cabinet, with many remaining deadlocked on Wednesday on

via foxnews09/15/2020

Pa. Gov. Wolf slams Trump, state Republicans after judge declares COVID shutdown 'unconstitutional' - Fox News

One day after a Trump-appointed federal judge declared his coronavirus-related lockdown orders "unconstitutional," Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf responded Tuesday morning, promising to appeal the ruling and accusing the state's Republican-majority legislature of "fear-mongering."

via project-syndicate.org09/14/2020

The New Eastern Mediterranean Crisis by Hrishabh Sandilya, Kyriaki Chatzipanagiotou and Sarah Morsheimer - Project Syndicate

While much of the world remains distracted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey is trying to reshape its geopolitical neighborhood, and Lebanon is descending into another domestic crisis. The situation is ripe for another migration crisis, for which European countries are woefully unprepared.

via eureporter.co09/14/2020

EU solidarity in action: €211 million to Italy to repair the damage of the harsh weather conditions in autumn 2019 - EU Reporter

The European Commission granted €211.7 million from the EU Solidarity Fund to Italy following the extreme weather damages in late October and November 2019. This EU assistance will contribute to alleviate the extraordinary financial burden of the severe damages caused by floods and landslides, including the flooding in Venice. It will finance retroactively the restoration of vital […]

via arabnews09/13/2020

Lebanon's overcrowded prison may be courting COVID-19 health disaster - Arab News

BEIRUT: Reports about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Roumieh Prison, the largest in Lebanon, have caused panic among the families of inmates who fear disaster if quick measures are not taken. Several guards and inmates are reported to have contracted the virus. Lebanon’s prisons already suffer from severe overcrowding, running at 160 percent of capacity at

via arabnews09/13/2020

High COVID-19 recovery rates put GCC region in the limelight - Arab News

DUBAI: Relatively high rates of recovery from COVID-19 infection have put the GCC bloc in the limelight even though their efforts to keep new cases under control have produced mixed results so far. The number of coronavirus cases in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region crossed 1,676,497 on Sept. 8, according to Worldometers data collated by the journal MEED. Of the