Lebanon begins all-day curfew as virus spins out of control

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese authorities began enforcing an 11-day nationwide shutdown and round the clock curfew Thursday, hoping to limit the spread of coronavirus infections spinning out of control after the holiday period.

For the first time, residents were required to request a one-hour permit to be allowed to leave the house for “emergencies,” including going to the bakery, pharmacist, doctor, hospital or airport.

Arab states want Lebanon PM Hariri to mediate between Turkey, Saudi Arabia

13 Jan 2021; MEMO: Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri's recent visit to Turkey came with an Arab mandate to open the doors of mediation between Ankara and Riyadh, Lebanon's Al-Jadeed TV channel reported.

Hariri's unannounced visit to Istanbul and his "private meeting" with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier this week aimed to open the doors of mediation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, with Emirati approval, the station said.

Lebanon plans 11-day, 24-hour curfew, hospital beds fill up

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese authorities tightened a nationwide lockdown Monday, including an 11-day, 24-hour curfew, amid a dramatic surge in coronavirus infections and growing criticism of uncoordinated policies many blame for the spread of the virus.

News of the restrictions to be implemented starting Thursday morning sparked panicked grocery buying as people lined up outside of supermarkets to stock up, raising fears the crowds could further spread the virus.

Lebanon: Chief urges UNIFIL to build on progress already made in 2021

BEIRUT, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Head of Mission and Force Commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Stefano Del Col urged on Saturday the UNIFIL and all involved parties to show in 2021 more determination in moving toward the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1701.

"In 2021, let's continue to build on the progress we've made, together," a statement by UNIFIL quoted Del Col as saying in a message on the occasion of New Year.

Del Col said that the UNIFIL has, in 2020, seen occasional yet serious tensions across the Blue Line.

Four Planes Hit By Stray Bullets In New Year Celebration In Lebanon

BEIRUT, Jan 2 (NNN-NNA) – Random bullets, fired in celebration of New Year in Lebanon, hit four Middle East Airlines (MEA) planes, at Beirut’s airport yesterday, LBCI local TV channel, reported.

One of the planes was received lately by MEA. It was supposed to fly to Dubai yesterday morning, according to the report.

LBCI noted that, every airplane out of work for maintenance purposes, causes daily losses of 200,000 U.S. dollars.

Arab region faces two scenarios for economic growth in 2021: UN report

BEIRUT, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on Tuesday projected the growth rate in the Arab region next year at either 3.5 percent or 2.8 percent.

The ESCWA report, "Survey of Economic and Social Developments in the Arab Region," said that the actual path will hinge on the ability of Arab countries to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused losses of about 140 billion U.S. dollars for the region, resulting in an estimated -3 percent growth contraction in 2020.

Hundreds of Syrian refugees flee Lebanon camp as tents torched

28 Dec 2020; MEMO: Hundreds of Syrian refugees fled their makeshift camp in north Lebanon after their tents were torched when fighting broke out between local youths and camp residents, aid officials said on Sunday, as reported by Reuters.

At least three were injured in the incident on December 26 in the Miniyeh region near the coastal city of Tripoli, which was followed by angry youths setting the campsite on fire, Lebanon's state-owned National News Agency said.

Lebanon: Hezbollah doubled its precision-guided missiles in a year

Beirut, Dec 28 (AP-PTI) The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said Sunday his group now has twice as many precision-guided missiles as it had a year ago, saying Israel's efforts to prevent it from acquiring them has failed.

Hassan Nasrallah, in an end-of-year interview with the Beirut-based Arabic Al-Mayadeen TV, said his group has the capability to strike anywhere in Israel and occupied Palestinian territories.

French investigators to question Carlos Ghosn in Lebanon

BEIRUT (AP) — A team of French investigators will come to Beirut next month to participate in interrogating former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, a Lebanese justice ministry official said Saturday.

The official gave no specific date or details of what information the investigators would seek from Ghosn.

Former auto executive Ghosn, who is a Lebanese, Brazilian and French national, fled Japan in a dramatic escape that drew headlines last year, arriving in Lebanon on Dec. 30, 2019.

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