US Treasury Issues Sanctions on Parties Affiliated with IRGC, Hezbollah According to Naharnet, “The U.S. has imposed sanctions on a group of individuals, firms and vessels connected to an oil smuggling outfit said to benefit Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. More than a dozen companies, six individuals and 11 vessels flagged from around the world — from Djibouti to Panama — are included in the sanctions package, for allegedly participating in a scheme that included blending and exporting sanctioned Iranian oil.” [Naharnet]
LAF Dismantles Narcotics, Munitions Manufacturing Facility in Baalbek Farm According to L’Orient Today, “A small workshop manufacturing various drugs was discovered in a farm located in the village of Hoch Barda, in Baalbeck, the Lebanese Army announced Friday in a statement.” [L’Orient Today]
Recent Flooding Incidents in Lebanon Sparks Controversy for Ramco, Ministry of Public Works According to L’Orient Today, “On Wednesday night, the Civil Defense said that following heavy rains during the day it had rescued two citizens who were stuck in their cars on the Ghazir coastal road and the Jounieh highway, respectively . . . Ramco, the company contracted to collect solid waste in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, on Thursday responded to caretaker Public Works Minister Ali Hamieh’s criticisms after a second spate of street flooding in these areas in two weeks, saying the problem of roads flooding ‘did not start today’.” [L’Orient Today]
Brawl Erupts at MTV Studio on Popular Program, Sar El Waet According to Arab News, “Security guards fired warning shots in a desperate attempt to stop a brawl that erupted during filming of the popular Lebanese talkshow ‘Sar Al-Waqt’ — Arabic for ‘It’s About Time.’ A video circulating online shows members of the Free Patriotic Movement political party fighting with the channel’s security staff inside the MTV studio, prompting host Marcel Ghanem to cut the live feed and call for a break. The brawl was finally halted after Lebanese troops stepped in to calm the situation.” [Arab News]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
L’Orient Today What Room for Maneuver Does the Mikati Government Have? Salah HijaziHijazi writes, “There is no new president, and the government is a caretaker cabinet. After former President Michel Aoun’s term of office expired Oct. 31, and Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati failed to put together a new cabinet, the country is for the first time facing a double vacuum at the executive level. The vacuum is likely to persist, with no sign of Parliament being able to reach a consensus on a new head of state, the 14th president of the republic since independence. The situation is all the more worrying for a country grappling with an economic and financial crisis, which demands the implementation of an action plan as soon as possible. Amid the chaos, one question is now on everyone’s lips: what room for maneuver does the caretaker cabinet have to govern the country?”
AP News Conflict, Crisis Fuel Cholera Surge Across Mideast Hot Spots Kareem ChehayebChehayeb writes, “Cholera has swept across Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq as the countries struggle with devastated infrastructure, turmoil and housing large populations of people who have been displaced by conflict. Lebanon last month reported the first cholera case in nearly 30 years. The bacterial infection has surged globally across dozens of countries this year, with outbreaks in Haiti and across the Horn of Africa as well as the Mideast. The outbreaks of hundreds of thousands of cases driven by conflict, poverty, and climate change are a major setback for global efforts to eradicate the disease.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.