BEIRUT: Lebanon’s public debt swelled by nearly $5 billion during the term of former premier Najib Mikati’s Cabinet, the secretary-general of the Association of Banks in Lebanon said. “Based on the statistics provided by the Finance Ministry, the public debt rose by $5 billion, 60 percent of which is foreign currency,” Makram Sader told The Daily Star.He added that total debt up to April stood at $59.1 billion.
Mikati formed his Cabinet in June 2011 and resigned in March 2013, paving the way for the appointment of Tammam Salam as the prime minister-designate for Lebanon.Sader was reacting to Moody’s latest report which revises its outlook for Lebanon from stable to negative.
The ratings agency also downgraded the three leadings banks in the country due to their wide exposure to public debt and the government’s failure to implement reforms.
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi demanded on Tuesday the formation of a neutral cabinet to bridge the gap between the March 8 and 14 alliances and achieve reconciliation.“The March 8 and 14 coalitions sit on one table to save the country,” al-Rahi told reporters at Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport before heading to the Vatican.
He pointed out that a national unity government should be formed after the two sides reach reconciliation and amend the ties.The Patriarch called on the Lebanese to act responsibly, stressing that there's no need to hold a spiritual summit currently as there are no disputes between Muslim and Christian spiritual leaders.
“The most important matter is to achieve reconciliation between the March 8 and 14 camps in order to maintain Lebanon's highest interest,” al-Rahi said.
The army announced that it will immediately respond to any further cross-border attacks by the Syrian military after a helicopter gunship attacked on Wednesday.
"Army units deployed in the (Arsal) area took the necessary defensive measures to respond immediately to any similar violations," an army statement said, in a rare warning against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
President Michel Suleiman stated that Lebanon "has the right to take the necessary measures to defend its sovereignty," urging an end to the "Syrian violations" against Arsal.
"These raids put the security and safety of Lebanese people in danger and it contradicts with revolutions regulating the relations between both countries," he expressed in phone calls with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati, caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji and Head of the Lebanese-Syrian Higher Council Nasri Khoury.
The Army Command's communique came hours after a Syrian airstrike targeting Arsal injured at least one person earlier on Wednesday.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the pro-opposition monitoring group, the boy, Mohammad Qataa was shot in the face and neck a day after being seized. "The Observatory cannot ignore these crimes, which only serve the enemies of the revolution and the enemies of humanity," said the group's leader Rami Abdulrahman. The group is based in Britain and uses a network of observers across Syria.
A photo released by the Observatory showed Qataa's face with his mouth and jaw bloodied and destroyed, as well as a bullet wound in his neck. The group based its report on witness accounts of the killing, said Qataa, who was a street vendor selling coffee in the working-class Shaar neighborhood. The boy had been arguing with someone when he was overheard saying: "Even if the Prophet Mohammad comes down (from heaven), I will not become a believer."
The gunmen, who belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a militant group that started off known as the Nusra Front, took the boy on Saturday and brought him back alive in the early hours of Sunday to his wooden stand, with whiplash marks visible on his body. "People gathered around him and a member of the fighting brigade said: 'Generous citizens of Aleppo, disbelieving in God is polytheism and cursing the prophet is polytheism. Whoever curses even once will be punished like this." "He then fired two bullets from an automatic rifle in view of the crowd and in front of the boy's mother and father, and got into a car and left," the report said.
BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman discussed Tuesday the weekend killing of an anti-Hezbollah protester with Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad. “The meeting today at Baabda Palace came in the wake of Sunday’s incident outside the Iranian embassy,” Environment Minister Nazem al-Khoury told the Voice of Lebanon radio station.
He said that during his meeting with Raad, Sleiman “would speak honestly about the requirements during this critical phase Lebanon is going through.” The meeting comes a day after the Lebanese leader urged Iran and Hezbollah to assist in the probe into the killing of a protester outside Tehran’s mission in Beirut.
Lebanon will "pay the cost" of the Syrian conflict, a top Roman Catholic cardinal said in an interview. "Where do the refugees go? The Christians go to Christian homes in Lebanon, the Druze go to Druze homes in Lebanon, the Alawites go to their relatives (in Lebanon)," said Jean-Louis Tauran, who was secretary of state under pope John Paul II.
"This country already has the problem of Palestinian refugees, those from the civil war of the 1980s, and now those from Syria," the 70-year-old French cardinal added in the interview.
More than 500,000 Syrians fleeing the conflict have sought refuge in Lebanon, which is increasingly being sucked into the war."Lebanon will pay the cost. I've said that since the start" of the conflict, now in its third year, said the cardinal, who as the most senior cardinal in the order of deacons had the honor of announcing the election of Pope Francis in March.
"We have always said, save Lebanon in order to save the Christians, and not save the Christians to save Lebanon. It has a heritage of inter-faith dialogue and conviviality."
Syria dominated Lebanon politically and militarily for 30 years until 2005, and continues to exercise significant influence through its allies.
On Friday, the Lebanese army warned a plot was being hatched to embroil Lebanon in the Syrian war.
BEIRUT: One protester was killed and several were injured Sunday outside the Iranian Embassy in the Lebanese capital as protesters prepared to demonstrate against Hezbollah’s military intervention in neighboring Syria. A Daily Star journalist on the scene saw men in black shirts with yellow ribbons around their arms shoving protesters away from the site as they exited buses some 200 meters from the embassy complex.
The protesters barely had time to raise their banners before they were beaten up, and several were injured with sticks, he said.Several of the men in black shirts then opened fire in the air to disperse the demonstrators. They fired over two dozen shots.In a statement, the Lebanese Army said a citizen was killed as a result of a fight outside the embassy.
“Upon the arrival of a convoy belonging to a political aide in Bir Hassan for a protest outside the Iranian Embassy over the ongoing events in Syria, a fight broke out between members of the convoy and some citizens during which one of the individuals opened fire using a pistol that led to the serious wounding of a citizen, who later died,” the military said.
The protest had been planned and organized by the Lebanese Option Gathering, and the party’s founder, Ahmad al-Asaad, identified the fatality as Hashem Salman, who headed the party’s student committee.
Our Wednesday series Twitticisms is back, featuring the jocular jests and witty wisecracks of Twitter’s funniest.
Cue the laugh track:
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
The Newcomers Guide To Twitter is a ten-part series of introductory lessons, tips and suggestions for people using Twitter for the first time. Please share these articles with your friends, family, colleagues and anyone you know who is struggling to[…]
As Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn have become an integral part of our everyday routines, sharing private information about ourselves publicly to these channels has in turn become the norm which, in some cases, can be hazardous.
During tonight’s LA Dodgers vs. New York Yankees game at 7:05 p.m. EST, there will be as much game-time entertainment online as on the field as 85-year-old Vin Scully takes over the Dodgers’ Twitter account for his first live tweetcast.[…]
Did you know that 91 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing?
And with good reason, too – blogs give websites 434 percent more index pages and 97 percent more index links, and B2B companies that actively blog generate 67[…]
Earlier this morning, CNBC personality and noted monetary hawk Rick Santelli told Wall Street Journal reporter Jon Hilsenrath he never predicated his arguments against Fed easing on inflation fears. Of course, the lack of accelerating inflation over the past few years[…]
Dunkin Donuts is coming out with a new gluten-free menu, but 94% of its customers probably have no need for it. Gluten-free products, which exclude any food made from wheat, rye, or barley, have taken off in recent years. Many[…]
Neymar has already scored two goals for Brazil in the Confederations Cup. But he saved his best footwork for this assist on Brazil's second goal against Mexico. Neymar deftly moved through two Mexican defenders before a sweet pass gave Jô[…]
News of Mark Zuckerberg's trip to South Korea is resulting in widespread speculation that Facebook is working with Samsung, the world's largest smartphone-maker, to build a phone specifically tailored for the social network.
In April Facebook launched Home, a software tool[…]
Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world.
Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting stories. A report in the Washington Post[…]
More than 12 million Americans were victims of identity fraud in the past year, according to a recent study. Twelve million. I was one of them. Against my better judgment, I curiously clicked on a questionable direct message from a[…]
Vine is quickly becoming the go-to place for, well, everything. Users of Twitter's video-sharing service have uploaded six-second clips to scare you, impress you, and now, to help you become the next Iron Chef
We've assembled our 15 favorite cooking[…]
Is your financial knowledge a little rough around the edges? Do you ever experience the burning desire to handcraft a sail boat? Have you frequently found yourself wondering if you should button the top button or just leave it open,[…]
Vatican City, Jun 19, 2013 / 12:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Theologians at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have approved a second miracle granted through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, moving him closer to being declared a[…]
Vatican City, Jun 19, 2013 / 09:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis warned two Vatican offices attending his morning Mass against being hypocrites, stating it makes everyone “bad.”
“We think about the hypocrisy in the Church and how bad it[…]
Washington D.C., Jun 19, 2013 / 04:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic Medical Association has seen “steady growth” in membership, providing fellowship for Catholic medical professionals as conscience rights and religious freedom are increasingly threatened.
“We’ve become more effective at[…]
New York City, N.Y., Jun 19, 2013 / 12:07 am (CNA).- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed bill to dramatically expand legal abortion in the state died in the state senate following months of Catholic and pro-life opposition.
Washington D.C., Jun 18, 2013 / 05:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Despite passing the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy faces an uncertain future as President Obama's administration has suggested that he will[…]
Korat, Thailand, Jun 18, 2013 / 04:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A new home for the elderly in Thailand will seek to restore respect for senior citizens and to fight the escalating problems of elderly abandonment and suicide in the country.[…]
Vatican City, Jun 18, 2013 / 01:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Christians are called to be evangelists, seeking out the sheep who are lost rather than staying at home tending to the few who have never left, Pope Francis said at[…]
Homily #120513t ( 09min) Play - In confirmation we are given the grace to give witness to the truth of Christ. God never gives a test without the means to pass.
Mass: Sunday 6th Week of Easter -[…]
We anticipate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima today because it falls on Sunday this year.
Mass: Saturday 5th Week of Easter - Wkdy - Form: OF
1st: act 16:1-10
Resp: psa 100:1-2, 3, 5
Girl In Progress hits theaters May 11th (http://bit.ly/GIPresources) "An inspiring & accurate glimpse into a young person’s real struggle between a God given sense of what is right vs. what is merely popular or formed solely by societal norms… A[…]