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Morning brief

Everything you need to know to start your Thursday

Everything you need to know to start your Thursday

A third "fist of the revolution" was erected early Thursday morning. (Credit: Carla Henoud)

BEIRUT — Here’s what happened yesterday and what to expect today, Thursday, Oct. 22.

Barring any last-minute postponements, Saad Hariri looks set to be designated prime minister at parliamentary consultations today. Going into the single day of meetings at the Presidential Palace, the former premier had not managed to garner the support of a majority of MPs; however, with no other names in contention, he appears assured of winning the nomination. The Future Movement leader would then be faced with the daunting task of forming a government. The last time he was designated, in 2018, it took eight months.

The “fist of the revolution,” a symbol of Lebanon’s Oct. 17 uprising, was replaced early this morning after being burnt to the ground last night. A group of men bearing Future Movement flags torched the monument in Martyrs’ Square in Beirut following a brief standoff with anti-establishment protesters nearby. In response, demonstrators blocked traffic on the nearby Ring Bridge. This is the second time the fist has been burned; last year, it was torched by supporters of the Amal Movement and Hezbollah.

The Internal Security Forces announced the first death of a prisoner from COVID-19. The man, who was in his 60s, died on Tuesday after he was taken to hospital from the Roumieh prison, where a total of 445 inmates have tested positive for the virus, the ISF said. The news comes after months of warnings and demonstrations by prisoners and their families over overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. The pandemic has lent renewed urgency to the push for a general amnesty law; however, MPs have failed to agree on a bill.

The director of Lebanon’s flagship public hospital warned that hospitals were once again nearing capacity after an “alarming” increase in the number of patients admitted to ICUs. Firass Abiad said hospitals were at 90 percent capacity, even after 62 new ICU beds were added. According to public health consultant Sara Chang, ICU beds in the provinces of Akkar and Bekaa are full, with those in Mount Lebanon, South Lebanon and Beirut over 90 percent filled. The country saw 1,241 new coronavirus cases yesterday, bringing the number of active cases to 34,571. Five more people died, raising the death toll to 536.


BEIRUT — Here’s what happened yesterday and what to expect today, Thursday, Oct. 22.

Barring any last-minute postponements, Saad Hariri looks set to be designated prime minister at parliamentary consultations today. Going into the single day of meetings at the Presidential Palace, the former premier had not managed to garner the support of a majority of MPs; however,...