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Poverty in Lebanon’s ‘city of billionaires’ drives deadly migration

Poverty in Lebanon’s ‘city of billionaires’ drives deadly migration

IN the city from which Lebanon's richest politicians hail, the poorest residents once again mourn their dead. Among them, were Mustafa Misto, a taxi driver in the city of Tripoli, and his three young children, whose bodies were found off Syria's coast on Thursday after they left Lebanon on a migrant boat carrying more than 100 people. Lebanese transport minister Ali Hamie told Reuters 95 people died in the accident, including 24 children and 31 women. It marks the deadliest such voyage yet from Lebanon, where mounting despair is forcing ever more people to attempt the perilous journey on rickety…
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Vatican mulling Jerusalem meeting between pope, Russian patriarch

Vatican mulling Jerusalem meeting between pope, Russian patriarch

PHILIP PULLELLA THE Vatican is studying the possibility of extending Pope Francis' trip to Lebanon in June so he can fly to Jerusalem to meet their Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who has backed Russia's war in Ukraine, two sources told Reuters. It would be only their second meeting. Their first, in Cuba in 2016, was the first between a pope and a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church since the Great Schism that split Christianity into Eastern and Western branches in 1054. Kirill, 75, has given his full-throated blessing for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a position that has splintered the…
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Lebanon says ‘final’ gas deal with Egypt to be signed June 21

Lebanon says ‘final’ gas deal with Egypt to be signed June 21

TIMOUR AZHARI LEBANON will sign a "final" agreement to import gas from Egypt on June 21, its energy ministry told Reuters, after months of delays to a plan viewed as critical to boosting power supplies for Lebanon's stricken economy. The plan, first floated in summer of 2021, is part of a U.S.-backed effort to address Lebanon's crippling electricity shortages using Egyptian gas supplied via Jordan and Syria. A U.S. official said earlier this week that final approval of the agreement between the countries would allow Washington to evaluate whether the deal was in compliance with U.S. sanctions on Syria, after…
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Ethiopian maids ‘dumped’ in the streets in Lebanon as COVID hits

Ethiopian maids ‘dumped’ in the streets in Lebanon as COVID hits

ETHIOPIAN mother Alemtsehay Nasir went to Lebanon dreaming that her maid's job would let her earn money to make a better life for her young son. But she was fired when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and her employers dumped her on the streets. The 32-year-old was left on the curb outside the Ethiopian consulate in a suburb of Beirut, one of hundreds of women abandoned by employers without the means to get home after the pandemic hit, on top of a financial crisis that has devastated the Lebanese economy. Lebanese labour laws offer little protection for migrant workers. The best…
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‘Treated like slaves’, African and Asian migrant workers bear brunt of Lebanon crisis

‘Treated like slaves’, African and Asian migrant workers bear brunt of Lebanon crisis

ALAA KANAAN CHANTING their national anthem in the departure hall of Beirut airport, a group of migrant workers prepared to return home and close a chapter on their time in Lebanon which drove some to despair. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which supports many domestic workers in Lebanon, says as many as 10,000 migrants have asked to be repatriated because their wages collapsed after the country plunged into a deep financial crisis a year ago. Many employers stopped paying salaries in dollars and some foreign workers said they were leaving with their wages unpaid. The numbers of those asking…
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Lebanon government resigns amid outrage over Beirut blast

Lebanon government resigns amid outrage over Beirut blast

MICHAEL GEORGY LEBANON’s prime minister has announced his government's resignation, saying a huge explosion that devastated the capital and stirred public outrage was the result of endemic corruption. The August 4 detonation at a port warehouse of more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate killed at least 163 people, injured more than 6,000 and destroyed swathes of the Mediterranean capital, compounding months of political and economic meltdown. In a televised address, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said he backed calls by ordinary Lebanese for those responsible for "this crime" to be put on trial. Diab made the announcement after the cabinet,…
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