Lebanon’s interior minister accuses Uber of not checking records

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Lebanon's Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk talks after closing the polling stations during Beirut's municipal elections in the Interior ministry in Beirut, Lebanon May 8, 2016. (REUTERS)
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Uber drivers show their identity cards and drivers license outside the company's in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, during a protest against Lebanon's interior minister Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk warning against using Uber after a driver for the ride-hailing service was arrested in connection with the murder of a British woman who worked at the U.K. Embassy. (AP)
Updated 21 December 2017

Lebanon’s interior minister accuses Uber of not checking records

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s interior minister said on Thursday that Uber driver suspected of murdering a British embassy worker last week had served time in prison, and he accused the company of not checking criminal records of its drivers.
The body of Rebecca Dykes was found strangled on Saturday next to a highway outside Beirut. Police detained a suspect on Monday and said the crime was not politically motivated.
Minister Nohad Machnouk said the driver had three priors on his judicial record involving drugs and had been imprisoned on that basis.
“This company, when it hires drivers, and lets them work within its organization, does not check their priors,” he said at a news conference.
An Uber spokesperson said all drivers the company uses in Lebanon are fully licensed by the government and must have a clear judicial record.
The spokesperson said a copy of the driver’s judicial record published by local media, showing no judgments against the driver, was accurate. Uber confirmed in an email that he was a licensed taxi driver with a clean background check.


Yemen prisoner exchange talks open in Switzerland

United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths. (AP)
Updated 19 September 2020

Yemen prisoner exchange talks open in Switzerland

  • The Yemen conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, and sparked what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis

GENEVA: Rival parties in Yemen’s war opened UN-sponsored talks on Friday aimed at an exchange deal for the release of more than 1,400 prisoners, the UN said.
The internationally recognized government and Iran-backed Houthi rebels agreed to exchange some 15,000 detainees as part of peace deal brokered by the UN in Sweden in 2018.
The two sides have since made sporadic prisoner swaps, but the release of 900 loyalists in exchange for 520 insurgents — if it materializes — would mark the first large-scale handover since the war erupted in 2014.
“The #Yemen Prisoners & Detainees Committee meeting started today. I am grateful to #Switzerland for hosting it & to @ICRC for co-chairing,” UN envoy Martin Griffiths tweeted, without giving an exact location for the talks.

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The two sides have since made sporadic prisoner swaps, but the release of 900 loyalists in exchange for 520 insurgents — if it materializes — would mark the first large-scale handover since the war erupted in 2014.

“My message to the Parties is: conclude discussions, release detainees swiftly, bring relief to thousands of Yemeni families,” he wrote.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), for its part, said it was ready to help with the return of detainees to their families.
A source close to Yemen’s presidency said on Wednesday that the talks in Switzerland would “lay out the final touches” after agreement was reached with the ICRC “on all logistical arrangements.”
Gen. Nasser Mansour Hadi, brother of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, along with several politicians and journalists, would be among those released, he said.
A former senior intelligence official, the general has been held by the rebels ever since they overran Sanaa in late 2014.
The Yemen conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, and sparked what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.