Day 85, nationwide protests against increasing electricity cuts
- Demonstrators in Tripoli staged a protest outside the EDL branch and blocked roads with burning tyres to protest against severe electricity cuts for the second day in a row.
- Protesters from Tripoli, Minieh, and Deir Ammar had clashed with security forces Wednesday after storming the Qadisha Electricity Company. Tear gas and rubber bullets had been used to disperse the angry crowds.
- In Sidon, protesters also blocked the entrance to EDL to protest electricity cuts.
Boustani warns of electricity rations after February
- Following severe electricity cuts nationwide, Caretaker Minister of Energy and Water Nada Boustani said that power supply “will go back to normal” on Saturday, despite announcing measures that increase the rationing across the country, including Beirut.
- Boustani announced that further rationing could occur after February if the Electricité du Liban remains unable to open credit lines, which are included in the 2020 draft budget.
- The Minister stated later in the evening that power would gradually return as of midnight after a gas shipment started being unloaded.
Protesters barricaded inside BLOM Sassine
- Depositors staged a protest at BLOM Bank’s Sassine branch in Ashrafieh against the bank’s arbitrary and illegal informal capital controls.
- In response, security forces, hurling insults, locked in the protesters and forced out all depositors not protesting.
- BLOM released a statement falsely stating that “hooligans detained employees, kicked customers out and occupied the branch.”
Indie cinema Metropolis closes its doors
- Independent cinema Metropolis’ doors were shuttered Thursday after its inability to sustain its operations.
- Reports indicate that conflict between Empire Cinemas—which rents the space—and Sofil Center — owned by Bank Audi — as well as increasingly strenuous financial conditions have forced the cinema’s closure.
- Management, however, has expressed its willingness to re—activate Metropolis at a different location.
Judge imposes travel ban on Carlos Ghosn
- After appearing before the Lebanese judiciary Thursday morning, Carlos Ghosn was slapped with a travel ban while investigations into his case continued. His case was transferred to public prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oueidat for a decision.
- Oueidat questioned Ghosn over a “Red Notice” alert issued by Interpol on behalf of Japan as well as previous trip he had made to Israel in 2008. A group of lawyers accused him of normalization with Israel, thus violating Lebanon’s boycott law.
- The travel ban will remain in place until Ghosn’s judicial file arrives from Japan.
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