Aoun hopes for government formation in the new year
- In a press conference held prior to Christmas day mass in Bkirki, President Michel Aoun responded to caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s accusation that Bassil was really the person forming the new government.
- Aoun insinuated that he had “waited on Hariri for a hundred days” to find a solution to the premiership designation, taking a stab at Hariri’s fluctuating stance. Aoun also denied that the upcoming government will be formed by caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil despite him having the right to do so, seeing as he leads the largest parliamentary bloc.
- Aoun assured journalists that the coming government will be one made up of specialists and experts working for “all of the Lebanese, including Hezbollah.”
Torrential rains reveal cracks in weak infrastructure
- Harsh Winds, rising sea tides, and heavy rainfall signaled the arrival of Storm Loulou late Tuesday. It is expected to last till Friday.
- In Beirut’s Ain Mreisseh, the rising sea tides and winds led large waves to crash into the city’s seaside corniche, parts of which collapsed due to the force of impact. In Sidon, the heavy rainstorm paralyzed the navigation system and fishing traffic. Vehicles were trapped from the snow in Zahle, Danniyeh, Hermel, and other high altitude areas.
- According to the Transportation Control Room, eight accidents have led to two deaths and eight injuries in the last 24 hours.
Sudanese refugees condemn UNHCR’S negligence
- At least six Sudanese refugees remain in custody since their arrest on December 3 for protesting in front of the United Nations’ High Commission for Refugees’ Beirut headquarters in Jnah.
- African refugees and asylum seekers have been staging a peaceful sit-in for two months to protest the organization’s years-long stalling of their asylum claims.
- The Anti-Racism Movement penned an open-letter to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the organization’s representative in Lebanon, on Wednesday. They denounced the organization’s treatment of protesters: involving the police multiple times to break up peaceful protests, and stopping cash assistance to protesters.
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