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Morning brief

Everything you need to know to start your Tuesday

Here’s what happened yesterday and what to expect today, Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Everything you need to know to start your Tuesday

People sit at a cafe in Hamra after the coronavirus lockdown ended on Monday. (Hussam Shbaro)

Businesses and schools reopened their doors yesterday and rush-hour traffic returned as Lebanon emerged from a two-week lockdown. In an effort to ensure compliance with new COVID-19 measures, the Tourism Ministry announced that restaurants and tourism establishments with capacity for more than 10 customers must provide a certified floor plan by Friday showing that they will operate at 50 percent capacity or face closure. Meanwhile, as schools relaunched with a mixture of in-person and distance learning, caretaker Education Minister Tarek Majzoub said that his ministry is launching a digital platform that will announce daily “COVID-19 cases in schools.” He added that the Health Ministry will provide free PCR tests for teachers suspected to have coronavirus.

Parliament’s Women and Children’s Committee approved legislation that would allow mothers to open bank accounts for their minor children without having to first get court permission. Under current practice, banks have generally allowed fathers to open accounts for their minor children but have required mothers to get permission from the religious courts, which govern matters of family law. Inaya Ezzeddine, the head of the committee, said that passing the law would help to “achieve the required type of equality stipulated in the Lebanese Constitution and the bill of human rights that Lebanon has signed.” Separately, the Administration and Justice, Information Technology and Human Rights committees will meet today.

Lebanon’s next round of maritime border negotiations with Israel, originally set for Wednesday, have been postponed indefinitely. Reuters reported that Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said the parties had agreed with the United States — which is acting as mediator — that the talks would be pushed back by several weeks. Our sister publication L’Orient-Le Jour reported that the delay was given to allow the two sides to find common ground in negotiations after both sides had presented conflicting proposals, adding that US mediator John Desrocher would be meeting with Lebanese and Israeli officials in the coming days.

Lebanon's Foreign Ministry condemned the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. It said that "killings and assassinations fuel conflicts and destabilize the situation" and are "unacceptable and condemned crimes in international law." The ministry called on all sides to act with self-restraint to avoid dragging the region into "the worst scenario." Iran has blamed Israel for the assassination and vowed revenge. Any confrontation between Israel and Iran would be likely to drag in the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, and by extension Lebanon. L’Orient-Le Jour reported yesterday that during a recent clandestine visit to Lebanon, Quds Force commander Esmail Qaani told Hezbollah officials, including party leader Hassan Nasrallah, to be on alert and do everything possible to avoid provoking Israel.


Businesses and schools reopened their doors yesterday and rush-hour traffic returned as Lebanon emerged from a two-week lockdown. In an effort to ensure compliance with new COVID-19 measures, the Tourism Ministry announced that restaurants and tourism establishments with capacity for more than 10 customers must provide a certified floor plan by Friday showing that they will operate at 50 percent...