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“I don't come bearing any options, I'm going to listen to everyone,” French Special Envoy for Lebanon Jean-Yves Le Drian said yesterday after a series of meetings with political and religious leaders aimed at breaking “the political deadlock.” Le Drian’s comments came after meeting yesterday with Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rai. After arriving in Beirut on Wednesday afternoon, Le Drian held talks with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, along with the leaders of the Free Patriotic Movement, the Lebanese Forces and the Marada Movement — headed by Hezbollah and Amal Movement-backed presidential candidate Sleiman Frangieh. The envoy is ostensibly in Beirut to help find a solution to Lebanon’s political deadlock.
Hayat Mirshad, co-founder of the FE-MALE feminist collective, said the Interior Ministry vowed to “provide protection” for their festival today and tomorrow after threats against the event circulated on instant messaging apps yesterday. Among the threats, one anonymous person demanded that security personnel and the interior minister put an end to the festival, which they described as a “cover for perverted and immoral acts.” To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the FE-MALE collective is hosting a two-day festival on Friday and Saturday at Beirut Hippodrome. Mirshad linked the threats — which she said capitalized on fears of “women or the queer community obtaining their rights” — to the feminist movement’s impact on religious and extremist authorities’ “privileges and power that are built upon violence against women and their rights.” Yesterday, Hezbollah’s Loyalty to the Resistance bloc issued a statement condemning what they called "erotic perversity."
Active civil servants are expected to receive special mobile telecoms offers, caretaker Telecoms Minister Johnny Corm confirmed to L'Orient Today. Corm did not specify when the offers would begin and said his ministry is waiting to receive the full list of the staff concerned from the Civil Service Council. Mobile telecoms tariffs led yearly inflation figures for April after sharply increasing last July amid the lira’s continued depreciation. Civil servants' salaries have been raised at a much slower rate.
The Interior Ministry announced that Hannibal Gaddafi, son of late Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, was hospitalized after going on a hunger strike two weeks ago to protest his incarceration without trial in Lebanon, which has been in effect since 2015. Hannibal Gaddafi was hospitalized Wednesday after security personnel felt his condition had deteriorated, Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi told Reuters. Gaddafi has been detained in Lebanon since a prosecutor charged him with concealing information about the fate of Imam Musa al-Sadr, a Lebanese Shiite Muslim cleric and the founder of the Amal Movement who disappeared while on a trip to Libya in 1978. His disappearance is commemorated yearly on Aug. 25 by the Amal Movement.
Caretaker Social Affairs Minister Hector Hajjar announced that social aid for 93,676 Lebanese families will be granted between Monday and Tuesday. “A number of beneficiaries will also receive educational assistance for their children enrolled in public schools,” Hajjar added. The payments are part of the World Bank-funded Emergency Social Safety Net program, designed to provide social assistance to the most vulnerable households in Lebanon. A United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report released Tuesday documented increasing rates of child labor and deprivation, recommending the reinforcement of Lebanon’s social protection measures.
In case you missed it, here’s our must-read story from yesterday: “Daniel Jade, the Lebanese prodigy who became French champion”
Compiled by Abbas Mahfouz