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The Deir Ammar power plant will halt operations completely starting today, leaving only the country’s relatively small hydropower plants in service. The shutdown comes as the power plant’s fuel stock is “completely exhausted” according to Electricité du Liban. A tanker loaded with fuel oil was supposed to arrive days ago but will not dock in Lebanon until tomorrow and the fuel still needs to be tested before the plant can be restarted. The power plant isn’t the only thing shut down in Lebanon this morning. Stations for refilling household gas cylinders are closed today after shutting down yesterday to pressure the government to adopt a new tariff schedule that takes the parallel market currency exchange rate into account. Pharmacies will be closed until mid-afternoon in another protest to demand price increases. Caretaker Health Minister Firass Abiad criticized the pharmacy closure on Monday, saying that this type of action “has a negative impact on sick people.” Meanwhile, hospitals will go on strike on Thursday and Friday to protest banking restrictions. All non-emergency and non-dialysis cases will be postponed.
Lebanon received 50 buses donated by France yesterday in order to improve the country’s woeful public transit system. Speaking at the port as the buses arrived, caretaker Public Works Minister Ali Hamieh said that France is going to help Lebanon prepare a plan for the public transport sector. A spokesperson said the plan will involve public and private sector participation. A $345 million Greater Beirut Public Transport project, funded primarily by the World Bank, has been shelved amid the country’s multiple overlapping crises.
The Health Ministry yesterday denied reports of two cases of monkeypox in Lebanon. Over the weekend, several local media outlets reported the existence of suspected cases of monkeypox in Lebanon, but on Monday the ministry said “There are no confirmed or suspected cases of this disease in Lebanon until this day.” The ministry also added it would formally announce it if one were found. Cases of monkeypox have been recorded in several Western countries since the beginning of May, including in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Portugal, France and Sweden.
Two concrete blocks making up part of the wall closing off the streets leading to Parliament were removed yesterday. Earlier yesterday, a spokesperson for Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told L’Orient Today that the barriers — first erected during months-long popular protests in late 2019 — would be removed. Local media quoted police officers at the scene as saying that the work was halted prematurely because of an electricity cut, and that work to remove the remaining blocks will resume this morning.
In case you missed it, here's our must-read story from yesterday: "Firas Hamdan, a bullet and politics in the heart"
Due to Wednesday's public holiday, there will no Morning Brief tomorrow. The Brief will return Thursday morning.
Want to get the Morning Brief by email? Click here to sign up. The Deir Ammar power plant will halt operations completely starting today, leaving only the country’s relatively small hydropower plants in service. The shutdown comes as the power plant’s fuel stock is “completely exhausted” according to Electricité du Liban. A tanker loaded with fuel oil was supposed to arrive days...