Lebanese take to the streets to protest political stalemate

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks during a conference at Chatham House in central London on December 13, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 December 2018
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Lebanese take to the streets to protest political stalemate

  • Lebanon’s political factions are deeply divided over the war in neighboring Syria and other issues
  • Sunday’s protests in Beirut were organized by the Communist Party but drew others frustrated by the country’s deepening political and economic crisis

BEIRUT: Hundreds of Lebanese have taken to the streets to protest against a political stalemate that has prevented the formation of a new government seven months after elections.
Sunday’s protests in Beirut were organized by the Communist Party but drew others frustrated by the country’s deepening political and economic crisis.
Wearing red scarves and raising red flags, protesters complained about corruption, poor public services and spiraling public debt that is more than 150 percent of GDP.
One banner reads: “Off to the streets: enough talk. ” Protester Osama Assad said failure to form the government only “doubles the risks.” Hanna Gharib, of the Communist Party, said the protests would escalate.
Lebanon’s political factions are deeply divided over the war in neighboring Syria and other issues.


Syrian businessman linked to Assad arrested in Kuwait

Mazen Al-Tarazi has been living in Kuwait for a long while. (AFP/File)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Syrian businessman linked to Assad arrested in Kuwait

  • The businessman has a publishing and advertising company in Kuwait
  • He is blacklisted in the EU

KUWAIT CITY: A prominent Syrian businessman with close ties to Syrian President Bashar Assad has been arrested in Kuwait, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Mazen Al-Tarazi was arrested late Monday at his offices, his lawyer Badr Al-Yacoub told AFP.
He said that he did not yet know the reasons behind his client’s arrest.
Local authorities did not immediately release the charges against Tarazi.
But Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas, citing unnamed informed sources, reported that the businessman is accused of money laundering and printing texts without authorization.
A longtime resident of Kuwait, Tarazi owns a publishing and advertising firm in partnership with a high-profile local businessman, Ahmad Al-Jarallah.
Jarallah confirmed to AFP that police had raided his offices on Monday night and arrested Tarazi’s secretary and two Al-Hadaf magazine employees.
Tarazi is on an EU blacklist of Syrian nationals who have been banned from entry to European states and whose assets have been frozen over their role in the Syria war.