A goodwill gesture over electricity sows discord in Lebanon

This July 16, 2018 photo, shows a privately-owned power station, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)
Updated 10 August 2018
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A goodwill gesture over electricity sows discord in Lebanon

  • A goodwill gesture to power-starved Lebanon from an energy company in Turkey has backfired
  • The barge’s arrival opened a Pandora’s box of partisan mudslinging in a country hobbled by political sectarianism and dysfunction

BEIRUT: A goodwill gesture to power-starved Lebanon from an energy company in Turkey has backfired, igniting mudslinging and corruption allegations.
This summer, the Karadeniz Energy Group lent Lebanon a floating power station to generate electricity at below-market rates to help ease the strain on the country’s woefully under-maintained power sector.
Instead, the barge’s arrival opened a Pandora’s box of partisan mudslinging in a country hobbled by political sectarianism and dysfunction.
There’ve been rows over where it should dock, how to allocate its 235 megawatts of power, and even what to call the barge.
It’s even driven a wedge between Lebanon’s two dominant Shiite Muslim parties: Amal and the militant Hezbollah.
Lebanon has faced rolling blackouts for decades and outages in the south can stretch for more than 12 hours a day.


Morocco moves toward return of military service

Updated 55 min 16 sec ago
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Morocco moves toward return of military service

RABAT: Morocco’s government is moving to restore military service, with men and women between the ages of 19 and 25 expected to serve a year in the army, navy or air force.
King Mohammed VI’s ministerial council on Monday approved the draft law that is expected to comfortably win lawmakers’ backing when tabled for parliamentary debate in October.
The council said the aim is “to strengthen the sense of citizenship among young people.”
The plan provoked an immediate outcry on social media. Critics argued that the government wants to turn young Moroccans, among the hardest hit by unemployment, into brainwashed patriots.
Refusing to serve could be punished with 1 to 3 months in prison and a fine.
Morocco abolished military service in 2006 to save money.