Lebanon names 1st female Arab minister in charge of security

The new cabinet, unveiled during a press conference at the presidential palace, includes 30 ministers from Lebanon’s rival political clans. (AFP)
Updated 06 February 2019

Lebanon names 1st female Arab minister in charge of security

  • The new line-up is to see four women take up office, including the interior and energy ministries
  • She will be in charge of multiple, often competing security agencies, and of maintaining stability in the country

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s new interior minister has taken office, becoming the country and the Arab world’s first female official in charge of powerful security agencies.
Raya El Hassan took over Wednesday as a part of a new government named after nearly nine months of deadlock. She is one of four women in the 30-member Cabinet, a historic record for female political representation in Lebanon.
El Hassan says she is “assuming the challenge” of the ministry in charge of implementing the law and serving citizens. She will be in charge of multiple, often competing security agencies, and of maintaining stability where until recently the country has grappled with militant groups and limited spillover from the war next door in Syria.
El Hassan in 2009 also became the region’s first female finance minister.


Israeli attorney general to decide on Netanyahu charges

Updated 7 min 14 sec ago

Israeli attorney general to decide on Netanyahu charges

JERUSALEM: Israel’s attorney general scheduled a Thursday night news conference to announce his long-awaited decision on whether to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption scandals.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s ruling promises to upend the Israeli political world after two inconclusive elections.
If, as widely expected, he presses charges against the prime minister, it would deal a heavy blow to Netanyahu’s hopes to remaining in office. If Netanyahu is cleared, it would give him a major boost as the country braces for the possibility of its third election in under a year.
The allegations against Netanyahu include suspicions that he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of champagne and cigars from billionaire friends, offered to trade favors with a newspaper publisher and used his influence to help a wealthy telecom magnate in exchange for favorable coverage on a popular news site.  
Netanyahu has called the allegations part of a witch hunt, lashing out against the media, police, prosecutors and the justice system.
Netanyahu scheduled a press conference at 6:30 p.m. GMT, an hour after Mandelblit’s expected announcement.