Do Lebanon's US Embassy attack, border clashes signal rise in extremism?

BEIRUT — A recent shooting incident at the US Embassy in Lebanon has raised concerns over the rise of extremism in the country, amid the proliferation of small armed groups, besides Hezbollah, that have been involved in cross-border attacks against Israel on the southern border. On June 5, several gunmen attempted to attack the US Embassy located in the town of Awkar, north of Beirut. Three men reportedly fired shots using small firearms toward the facility, injuring an embassy guard. The Leba

Is Israel gearing up for war with Hezbollah?

Rockets fired by Hezbollah at northern Israel last week caused days of wildfires that burned over 2,500 acres of land, raising fears of an all-out war amid fresh calls for a military escalation from Israeli officials. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Wednesday that he is prepared to take "very strong action" to restore security along the border, while Israel’s northern army commander said the military is ready for war. Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National S

How Raisi's death will test the unity of Iran's hardliners

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, 63, died in a helicopter crash in the north-western province of East Azerbaijan province on 19 May, along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and six others. To demonstrate the Islamic Republic of Iran's ability to handle any crisis, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei declared five days of national mourning and appointed First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber as interim president, with the country expected to hold early presidential elections on 28 June. How

Will the EU strike a new anti-migration deal with Lebanon?

A rising number of Syrian migrants leaving Lebanon for Cyprus in recent months has prompted Nicosia to demand that the European Union (EU) intervene to halt the influx. Senior EU officials have suggested that Brussels could strike a deal with Beirut similar to recent anti-migration pacts signed with Egypt and Tunisia, which have been criticised by human rights groups. The Cypriot government has recorded more than 2,000 Syrian refugees arriving from Lebanon by sea in the first three months of 2

Will famine in Gaza force an end to Israel's war?

The looming famine long warned about in Gaza as a result of Israel's war increasingly appears to be materialising. A report from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) released last week warned of imminent famine in North Gaza, with severe food crises expected to spread throughout the strip by mid-March to May. About 210,000 people in northern Gaza face catastrophic conditions, categorised as IPC Phase 5, the most severe level. Overall, this phase could affect up to 1.1 milli

Biden-Netanyahu rift: Are US-Israel ties at breaking point?

Last week's visit by Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz to Washington hit a nerve in the relationship between the US administration and Israel’s government, underscoring a personal dimension of the diplomatic tensions between the two countries amid the Gaza war. Gantz, former chief of General Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and defence minister, and now part of the war cabinet after Hamas's October attack, travelled to Washington for a meeting with several US officials, includin

Could Marwan Barghouti be the key to a ceasefire in Gaza?

Whenever Hamas and Israel negotiate on prisoner exchanges, the name of Marwan Barghouti, a prominent Fatah leader labelled Palestine’s Nelson Mandela, is at the top of the list. In 2011, his name was put forward to be part of an exchange deal that saw over 1,000 Palestinians freed for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, but Israel refused to release him. It was in this deal that now Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar was released from an Israeli jail. In current ceasefire negotiations, Hamas has onc

Are Hezbollah and Israel edging closer to war?

The Israeli airstrike that killed senior Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut's southern suburbs of Dahiyeh, a Hezbollah stronghold, on 2 January, marked a new escalation in the confrontation between the Iran-backed Shia group and Israel amid the war in Gaza. The event not only marked the first Israeli attack in the Lebanese capital since the 2006 war but also highlighted the intelligence and military capabilities of Israel inside Lebanon and some laxity on the part of Hezbollah's security

What do Houthi attacks in the Red Sea mean for global trade?

While the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas may not lead to the opening of a new military front in Yemen, Red Sea attacks by the Houthi group have already triggered a disruption to global trade. The Iran-backed movement has been playing a deterrent role since Israel launched its war on the Gaza Strip - killing more than 22,000 Palestinians - following the Hamas attack that killed around 1,200 Israeli civilians and soldiers on 7 October. On the official basis of acting in “solidarity with Pa

The looming human catastrophe of Israel's war in south Gaza

Following a week-long ceasefire in Gaza, Israel resumed its military campaign on 1 December, killing 700 Palestinians in just 24 hours. The long-anticipated second phase of Israel’s war saw a ground invasion of south Gaza begin over the weekend, with dozens of Israeli tanks, together with armoured personnel carriers and bulldozers, entering the southern besieged enclave on Monday as the operation expanded. As fighting persists in the areas previously occupied by Israel, their strategy for civi

What to expect from an Israel-Hamas tunnel war in Gaza

While an expected four-day cessation in hostilities and the release of 50 Israeli hostages in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners might be a breakthrough in the six-week conflict, Israel has been clear that it will continue its deadly war on Gaza afterwards. “The war continues,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference on Wednesday. “We continue until we have achieved complete victory … Eliminating Hamas, liberating our captives and making sure that post-Hamas th

Decoding Nasrallah: Hezbollah's strategy on the Gaza war

The first speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah last Friday since the start of the war in Gaza between Hamas and Israel could be condensed into one phrase: "All options are on the table". But among the key takeaways of his speech, which lasted about one hour and twenty minutes, were useful indicators of Hezbollah’s strategy regarding its actions on the Israeli-Lebanese border and response to Israel’s ground invasion. Nasrallah claimed that Hezbollah wasn't involved in Hamas' Operation al

Why dismantling Hamas won't end Palestinian armed resistance

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pledge to 'destroy' Hamas has raised fears in the region, and internationally, about the scope of Israel’s anticipated ground invasion in Gaza. Hamas’ brutal attack on 7 October killed over 1,400 Israelis, both civilians and soldiers, wounded thousands, and saw around 200 hostages taken into Gaza. The first phase of Israel’s response has been an 11-day bombing campaign in the densely populated Gaza Strip that has killed over 3,000 Palestinians, mostl

How Long Does THC Stay in the Human Body?

Drug testing can be conducted for various purposes, such as in the workplace, diagnosing or monitoring substance abuse in hospitals, in athletic competitions, and for legal reasons. A concern for cannabis users who may be required to undergo drug testing for various reasons is how long THC, the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis, stays in the human body. The answer to this question is not as simple as it can appear because multiple factors exist. But before trying to answer this qu

Is CBD Safe for your Pets?

CBD has overwhelimingly entered our life over the last few years. Unlike THC, it has non-intoxicating effects on us but also because several studies have demonstrated its benefits in multiple treatments, including reducing anxiety, pain, and inflammation. Unsurprisingly, the CBD market has expanded recently, offering a wide array of products destined for human consumers and pets.Many pet owners have reported positive results after giving their animals CBD, including improved mood, increased app

Lebanon: Backlash as MPs introduce bill to decriminalize LGBTQ+ relationships

BEIRUT — Members of the Lebanese parliament have for the first time introduced a bill to decriminalize same-sex relationships. The proposed legislation aims to repeal Article 534 of the Penal Code, which prohibits "any sexual intercourse contrary to the order of nature" with a penalty of up to one year in imprison. Only made public in recent weeks, likely due to a leak in parliament, the bill had been introduced in early July by nine representatives, including independent members from Forces of

How Lebanon was plundered by its own central bank – DW – 08/25/2023

The 30-year tenure of the former governor of the Bank of Lebanon Riad Salameh culminated in controversy, inquiries and sanctions. What role did the once respected financial authority play in Lebanon's economic collapse? Before the start of the economic crisis in Lebanon in 2019, the governor of the country's central bank, Riad Salameh, had a strong reputation as one of the world's best. But by the end of his mandate at the Banque de Liban (BDL) on July 31, he was being described as one of the

How Lebanon was plundered by its central bank – DW – 08/24/2023

The 30-year tenure of the former governor of the Bank of Lebanon Riad Salameh culminated in controversy, inquiries and sanctions. What role did the once respected financial authority play in Lebanon's economic collapse? Before the start of the economic crisis in Lebanon in 2019, the governor of the country's central bank, Riad Salameh, had a strong reputation as one of the world's best. But by the end of his mandate at the Banque de Liban (BDL) on July 31, he was being described as one of the

Riad Salameh and the making of Lebanon's economic collapse

The farewell of Riad Salameh as the Governor of Lebanon's Central Bank could have been better. Except for a small crowd of colleagues and journalists taking pictures of him to some background music, on 31 July, the last day of his mandate, Salameh left his 30-year-long tenure with a country burdened by a crippled economy and a tarnished reputation as the face of Lebanon's financial crisis. Investigations into him and his associates extended across Lebanon and at least six European countries. I
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