Lebanon newspaper goes blank to protest political crisis

An-Nahar's chief executive Nayla Tueni holds a blank edition of an-Nahar newspaper during a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon October 11, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 11 October 2018
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Lebanon newspaper goes blank to protest political crisis

  • An-Nahar, which was founded in 1933, published eight blank pages in print
  • Despite more than five months of wrangling, premier-designate Saad Hariri has been unable to form a new government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s oldest newspaper An-Nahar went out to newsstands completely blank on Thursday to protest a political deadlock and economic woes in the tiny Mediterranean country.
Despite more than five months of wrangling, premier-designate Saad Hariri has been unable to form a new government, putting a precious $11-billion aid package at risk.
An-Nahar, which was founded in 1933, published eight blank pages in print and linkless white boxes on its main page online, posting headlines but no news items.
“People are tired and An-Nahar is tired of writing up your pretexts and repeated empty promises,” editor-in-chief Nayla Al-Tueni said at a press conference in Beirut.
“God knows how long we will wait to see” a decision on a cabinet line-up, she said.
A new government would be able to sign off on billions of dollars in aid pledged at a conference in April, notably to help boost the country’s ailing infrastructure.
But political parties in the small multi-confessional country have been locked in dispute over the makeup of a future cabinet.
“The situation is no longer bearable,” Tueni said, adding, however, that the newspaper was not taking sides in the ongoing wrangling.
The blank issue aimed to express “our deep moral sense of responsibility as a press institution over the disastrous state of the country,” she said.
Economic growth in Lebanon has plummeted in the wake of a series of political crises, compounded by the war since 2011 in neighboring Syria.
An-Nahar has faced financial difficulties in recent years, while other landmark newspapers have shuttered.
Successive governments in Lebanon have been unable to address a waste management crisis, or improve an electricity grid that causes daily power cuts.
In recent days, Lebanese have complained of wastewater arriving in their taps at home, with activists sharing images on social media of vegetables soaking in murky water.
The tiny country, which weathered its own civil war from 1975 to 1990, has a multi-confessional system of government that seeks to represent all religious sects.


Apple to roll out new Snoopy, Peanuts cartoon series

Updated 50 min 7 sec ago
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Apple to roll out new Snoopy, Peanuts cartoon series

  • The agreement between Apple and DHX Media is another example of the Apple brand’s ambition
  • The commitment is for DHX to produce a new animated series, specials and short programs around the Peanuts gang, a bunch of kids with the dog Snoopy.

NEW YORK: Apple will produce a new animated series starring Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, created by the late American cartoonist Charles Schulz, for its video platform, a source close to the deal said Friday, confirming press reports.
The agreement was reached with Apple, “in a highly competitive environment” and at the expense of other candidates, with the Canadian group DHX Media, which holds 80% of the rights of Snoopy and Peanuts, said the source.
DHX bought this stake, as well as rights to Peanuts gang member Peppermint Patty, for $345 million in 2017.
The commitment is for DHX to produce a new animated series, specials and short programs around the Peanuts gang, a bunch of kids with the dog Snoopy.
The Canadian group will also create educational programs including the Peanuts gang, exclusively for Apple, around space and the conquest of space.
The agreement between Apple and DHX Media is another example of the Apple brand’s ambition, given the launch, announced by several media in 2019, of its own video-on-demand service offering exclusive content.
Until now, the video content available on the iTunes platform was produced by third parties and accessible one by one, not as a subscription.
Schulz wrote and illustrated the Peanuts cartoon strip starting in 1950. The final strip ran in newspapers one day after his death in February 2000, according to the Charles M. Schulz Museum.