Beirut (AFP) – Lebanese protesters enraged by official negligence blamed for Beirut’s enormous and deadly explosion vowed Sunday to rally again after a night of street clashes in which they stormed several ministries.”Prepare the gallows because our anger doesn’t end in one day,” warned one message circulating on social media in response to Tuesday’s earthquake-strength blast of a huge pile of industrial chemicals.While the exact circumstances that led to the blast are not yet known, protesters say it could not have happened without the kind of corruption and incompetence that has come to defi…
Putin joins Trump as Nobel Peace Prize candidate, report says
Russian leader Vladimir Putin has reportedly joined President Donald Trump as a dark horse candidate for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.According to Newsweek, the state-owned Russian news agency Tass made the announcement and insisted the Russian government wasn’t responsible for nominating its own strongman.A collective of Russian public figures including writer Sergey Komkov were reportedly behind Putin’s nomination. It’s unclear what the former KGB agent — who annexed a neighboring country, is credibly accused of tampering in U.S. elections and has seen his adversaries poisoned — was nominated ... (more…)
US slaps sanctions on Iran judge over wrestler’s execution
The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on an Iranian judge who sentenced a wrestler to death over his role in protests -- an execution that triggered international outrage.
Navid Afkari, 27, who had won national competitions, was hanged earlier this month after being convicted of murder during demonstrations two years ago in the southern city of Shiraz.
The United States said it was taking action against Judge Seyyed Mahmoud Sadati, voicing alarm over allegations that Afkari was tortured in custody to force a confession.
"His killing was an unconscionable act," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
France sees record in new coronavirus infections, with more than 16,000 cases in 24 hours
France reported a new record for daily coronavirus infections on Thursday a day after the government announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in major cities which have provoked an outcry from local politicians and business owners.
Figures from Public Health France showed that 16,096 people had tested positive for Covid-19 over the last 24 hours, a record—even though experts advise that testing during the first coronavirus wave in March-April captured only a fraction of cases.
The centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron announced a series of new measures on Wednesday to try to slow the spread of the disease, including the closure of all bars and restaurants in Marseille and earlier closing times in Paris and elsewhere.