Lebanon Daily News Brief 12/19/2022

Monday, December 19, 2022


December 19th, 2022

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Top Ranking Senators Menendez, Risch Urge Biden Administration to Levy More Sanctions Against Corrupt Lebanese Financial and Political Elite
According to L’Orient Today, “The two top-ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the US Senate urged the Biden administration to levy more sanctions against Lebanon’s financial and political elite who are engaging in corruption and undermining the rule of law.”
 [L’Orient Today]


LAF, UNIFIL Hold Joint Memorial for Irish Peacekeeper
According to AP News, “The Lebanese army and U.N. peacekeepers held a memorial at the Beirut airport on Sunday for an Irish soldier killed by a mob that opened fire last week at two vehicles belonging to the U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. The attack that killed 24 year-old Pvt. Seán Rooney of Newtowncunningham took place near the southern town of Al-Aqbiya on Wednesday night, as he and seven other Irish peacekeepers from U.N. peacekeeping mission, known as UNIFIL, were on their way to the Beirut airport.” 
[AP News]

US Court of Appeals Determines Depositors’ Cases Against Lebanese Banks Can Be Tried in US Jurisdictions
According to Reuters, “The court decision, issued on Thursday in a case brought by Lebanese depositors against leading lender Bank Audi, overturned a federal district court’s decision that said Beirut courts had ‘exclusive jurisdiction’ to try cases against Lebanese banks.”

PM Mikati Alludes to Ongoing International ‘Presidency Solution’ In Preparation
According to Naharnet, “Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati revealed Monday that foreign countries are ‘preparing’ a solution for the Lebanese presidential crisis [but clarified that ‘things take time’].” 

Prison Break in Jib Jenin, Bekaa – Twenty Six Prisoners Escape
According to L’Orient Today, “Twenty-six prisoners in Jib Jenin prison, in Western Bekaa, escaped through a ventilation opening, L’Orient Today’s correspondent in the Bekaa reported on Monday. Security forces managed to capture one of the escapees Monday morning, a security source said, adding that the army’s intelligence services in the Bekaa later arrested seven more.”
 [L’Orient Today]


Tariff Hike Squeezes Struggling Lebanese as Reforms Stall

Timour Azhari and Emilie Madi

Azhari and Madi write, “Lebanon’s economic meltdown, now in its fourth year, has seen the currency lose more than 95% of its value and left eight in 10 Lebanese poor, according to the United Nations. With foreign currency coffers dwindling, the state has already lifted subsidies on fuel and most medication. Hiking the rate at which the customs fee is calculated, officials say, will boost state revenues and is a step towards unifying various exchange rates . . . The tariff jump came into effect on Dec 1. Import taxes began being calculated at an exchange rate of 15,000 Lebanese pounds per dollar instead of the old 1,507, meaning traders suddenly had to pay much more to bring in products like home appliances, telephones or car parts. That is set to pile even more financial pressure on people struggling to make ends meet.”

Read More Here

L’Orient Today
Amid the Crisis, Parents Struggle to Put their Children in the Festive Spirit

Lyana Alameddine, Sarah Abdallah, and Michael Hallak

Alameddine, Abdallah, and Hallak write, “For parents who are mentally or financially drained by Lebanon’s economic crisis, maintaining Christmas traditions is no easy feat . . .This Christmas resonates differently for most Lebanese families. While the country is in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis, some parents are doing their best to communicate the holiday spirit to their children despite the fact that their lives have changed drastically over the past three years.”

Read More Here

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.




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