Today News


Fitch warns against slow Cabinet formation

Ratings agency Fitch has warned against a drawn-out Cabinet formation process, as this would delay necessary reforms.

With Berri’s re-election sealed, focus shifts to new Cabinet


With the new Parliament starting its term Tuesday and the re-election of Speaker Nabih Berri for a new four-year mandate assured at Parliament session Wednesday, attention is focused on the next move of forming a new government following…

Monday, May 21


Coastal privatization approval causes concern

A coastal resort project in the northern town of Anfeh has been thrown back into the spotlight in the past week as reports emerged that it would be approved before the Cabinet entered caretaker status.


Syria army moves into Yarmouk after Daesh evacuations end

Evacuations of Daesh (ISIS) fighters from their final stronghold in Syria's capital ended on Monday, bringing President Bashar Assad closer to a major milestone in the seven-year war.

Cabinet ends its final session

After discussing a range of items for six hours, Cabinet ended its final session Monday before it becomes caretaker government, with tension erupting over over diplomatic appointments, a Baabda Palace source told The Daily Star.


Hezbollah sanctions won't halt govt formation: Bassil

Recent United States sanctions against top Hezbollah leaders will not impact formation of Lebanon’s new government, despite concerns it could slow down the process, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil told Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar in remarks…


Lebanon enters new political phase

Blocs set to hold deliberations to decide whom to vote for as speaker

Sunday, May 20


Abraaj issues may go beyond health fund

Two separate examinations into the alleged misuse of money at embattled Middle Eastern investment firm Abraaj Group found potential irregularities in its $1 billion health care fund as well as its other vehicles, according to people with…

Plastic-bottle boat criticizes Lebanon's pollution


Lebanese American University students and environmental activists completed the maiden voyage Sunday of the country’s first ever Phoenician-style trireme made of thousands of plastic bottles.

New York Plaza’s Ashkenazy, Alwaleed sue owner

Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co., the investors trying to buy New York’s historic Plaza Hotel, sued the property’s majority owner for allegedly reneging on an agreement that gives the…

Schoolteachers need more than just appreciation


Two weeks ago was Teacher Appreciation Week, and I intended to write on the subject, but a more newsy topic intervened.


2 blocs now represent Chouf-Aley: Arslan

Lebanese Democratic Party chief MP Talal Arslan said Sunday that the Chouf-Aley district was now being represented by two parliamentary blocs, and that his alliance with the Free Patriotic Movement would stand firm.


Hamadeh: Hezbollah sanctions to hamper govt formation

Education Minister Marwan Hamadeh said Sunday that recent United States sanctions on Hezbollah would slow the formation of Lebanon’s new government, the state-run National News Agency reported.


US, French fire backs advance against Daesh in east Syria: Observatory


Arab and Kurdish fighters were advancing on Sunday against Daesh (ISIS) in eastern Syria thanks to close artillery support from allied American and French forces, a monitor said.


The Garten shuttered for playing Quranic verses

Beirut Governor Ziad Chebib shuttered popular Beirut nightclub The Garten Saturday after a video circulating on social media purported to show recordings of Quran verses being played at the club.


Syria seeks to crush insurgent pocket, denies evacuation deal


Syrian troops fought on Sunday to crush the last pockets of resistance by Daesh (ISIS) militants trapped in an enclave south of Damascus, state media said, denying a report that insurgents had begun leaving in a withdrawal agreement.

Saturday, May 19


Nadine Labaki’s 'Capharnaum' wins Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival


Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s Capharnaum won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival Saturday.


Beirut orders investigation into nightclub that played Quranic verses

Beirut Governor Ziad Chebib ordered an investigation into a nightclub Saturday after a video circulated on social media purporting to show recordings of Quran verses being played at the club.


Power barges on current Cabinet's final agenda: Abi Khalil


Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said that he will bring up the issue of power barges at Cabinet's session next Monday, according to an interview published Saturday in Al Joumhouria newspaper.

Friday, May 18


Future grants Hariri ‘exceptional powers’

The Future Movement’s political bureau Friday released details of its plan for the coming post-election months, with Prime Minister Saad Hariri being granted exceptional powers as head of the party as the new Lebanese government is set to…

Finance Ministry, BDL do $5.5B swap

The Finance Ministry Friday swapped $5.5 billion worth of Lebanese pound bonds held by BDL with dollar-denominated Eurobonds to meet its refinancing needs in foreign currency and to cover the cost of debt servicing until the end of 2018,…

China stands to gain in Iran after U.S. quits nuclear deal


The U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran could scare off European investors, but oil-thirsty China could step into the void and ramp up business links with the country.

Egypt holds rates as oil price rise stokes inflation worries


Egypt’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged Thursday, as the government prepares for a new round of fuel subsidy cuts against a backdrop of rising global oil prices.

U.S. president fomenting damaging trans-Atlantic rift


President Donald Trump’s dismissive treatment of Europe is beginning to erode the trans-Atlantic alliance, which for many decades has been the central pillar of U.S. national security policy.


France freezes company assets over Syria chemical weapons


France on Friday imposed a six-month asset freeze on several international companies allegedly linked to a chemical weapons programme in Syria, as ministers meeting in Paris vowed that governments that gas their own people would not go…


Geagea eyes Hezbollah and reform

A Christian party that made big gains in Lebanon's general election says it will use its stronger position to press for Hezbollah's weapons to be brought under government control and to root out corruption in the heavily indebted state.


EU launches measures to protect European business in Iran


The European Commission said on Friday it had started the process of renewing a sanctions-blocking measure to protect European businesses in Iran, after the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord and re-imposed sanctions on…


Lebanon in jaws of shark panic but fears unfounded: experts

While sharks kill a statistically insignificant number of people annually worldwide, millions of the apex predators are caught and killed each year due to unsustainable fishing practices and unfounded assumptions that they are man-eaters.

Thursday, May 17


U.S. official warns against Hezbollah Cabinet role

A senior U.S. official Thursday described Hezbollah as a cancer that must be removed, urging the Lebanese government not to include the party's members in the new Cabinet.


EU to launch moves to block US sanctions on Iran Friday: Juncker


The EU will Friday begin moves to block the effect of US sanctions on Iran in the bloc, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said, as part of efforts to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran.