Ex-financial chief says bankers smuggled $6bn out of Lebanon

14 July 2020; MEMO: The former in the Lebanese Ministry of Finance, Bifani said Monday that Lebanese bankers have smuggled nearly $6 billion out of the country since October despite financial regulations imposed to save the country from the worst financial crisis in 30 years, a former Ministry of Finance official revealed yesterday.

Lebanon: Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn says helping everyone who stood by him

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn is helping everyone who stood by him, he said in an interview broadcast on Saturday, though he declined to comment on cases of people accused of helping him flee to Lebanon from Japan.

Ghosn, the ex-chairman of an automaking alliance of Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp was arrested in Japan in late 2018 on charges of underreporting his salary and using company funds for personal purpose - charges he denies.

Lives will be lost as Syria aid access cut, aid agencies warn

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A U.N. Security Council resolution that leaves only one of two border crossings open for aid deliveries from Turkey into rebel-held northwestern Syria will cost lives and intensify the suffering of 1.3 million people living there, aid agencies said.

Western states had pressed for aid access to continue through two crossings at the Turkish border, but Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s main ally in his war against, and China vetoed a last-ditch effort on Friday to keep both open.

As Lebanon crisis spirals, families barter for food

08 July 2020; MEMO: One Lebanese woman asked for sugar, milk, and soap in exchange for a child’s dress. Another wanted canned goods in return for gym equipment.

A 65-year-old seamstress now exchanges her sewing services for food, because her clients can no longer afford to pay her.

Bartering on Facebook has become the last resort for some people in Lebanon, where a financial meltdown has sent prices skyrocketing this year.

Hundreds protest against increased power cuts in Lebanon

BEIRUT, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds protested on Sunday near Lebanon's state power utility Electricite Du Liban (EDL) against increased power cuts in the country, a local media outlet reported.

Protesters highlighted the increased corruption and money squandering at EDL, vowing escalatory measures as peaceful demonstrations are not reaping positive results, said Elnashra, an online independent newspaper.

Lebanon, Iraq discuss exchanging oil for food

05 July 2020; MEMO:Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab and Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar discussed on Friday exchanging Iraq’s oil with Lebanon’s food and other industries, news agencies reported.

According to Anadolu Agency, the discussions took place during Jabbar’s visit to Beirut and his meeting with Diab and other Lebanese ministers.

Families of Syria detainees hope for news amid US sanctions

BEIRUT (AP) — Alaa Arnous and his family found the photo of his father Mohammed online last week, the first proof of his fate since he was seized by Syrian government forces seven years ago. The image showed his corpse, his face battered and bruised, his mouth hanging open.

The elder Arnous was among thousands of Syrians who, since their country’s civil war began in 2011, went missing into Syrian government prisons. Survivors and rights groups say thousands more are known to have died under torture.

Lebanon blocks Iran cargo ships from docking over US sanctions fears

02 July 2020; MEMO: Iranian cargo ships in Lebanese waters have been prevented from docking and unloading over fears the move may lead to the extension of US sanctions onto the Mediterranean state, according to a report by Al-Hurra.

The imports include foodstuffs, medicine and fuel, among other items and are intended to help alleviate the deteriorating living standards in Lebanon as the country faces its worst economic crisis since the end of the civil war in 1990.

Lebanese Defence Minister Accuses IMF Of Basing Support On Political Considerations

BEIRUT, July 2 (NNN-NNA) – Lebanese Defence Minister, Zeina Akar, accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of basing its support for Lebanon on political considerations, LBCI TV channel reported.

“The IMF decided not to open up to our government, even if it announces readiness to offer great support, when structural reforms are achieved,” Akar said.

Lebanon must not wait for foreign aid, she added, noting, officials can save the country if they work seriously on structural reforms without wasting more time.

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