Zachary Weaver

It seems eerily calm in one of Beirut’s most contentious front-line neighbourhoods just days after Lebanon voted for a new parliament.

In the days leading up to the election on Sunday and before the results were announced, Lebanese government troops and armoured vehicles were deployed at the Tayouneh roundabout that divides the two neighbourhoods. The army had orders to deter supporters from carrying out provocative actions

Haddad, like many others, fears Hezbollah’s powerful armed forces, which they accuse of being the party’s tool to assert power and dominance in the country’s political landscape.

Post-election polarisation is a concern for some, including Ibrahim, a resident of Tayouneh, where last year some of the worst sectarian clashes in decades shook the Lebanese capital.

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Canada Soccer, which has been riding a wave of goodwill since John Herdman’s team qualified in style for the World Cup, now finds itself engulfed in controversy over a scheduled friendly match with Iran next month in Vancouver.

“This was a choice by Soccer Canada,” Trudeau said in St. John’s. “I think it wasn’t a very good idea to invite the Iranian soccer team here to Canada. But that’s something that the organizers are going to have to explain.”

In a statement, the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims called for Canada Soccer “to cancel the game immediately.”

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The polls, the first since Lebanon was ravaged by its worst ever economic crisis and a cataclysmic explosion at Beirut port in 2020, were seen as a prerequisite for a crucial IMF bailout.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its main allies had the support of around 70 lawmakers in the outgoing parliament but will now fall just short of the 65 seats needed to retain a majority.

One of the most notable victories notched up by independents was the election in southern Lebanon of Elias Jradeh and Firas Hamdan for seats that Hezbollah and its allies had not lost in three decades.

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Preliminary results from Lebanon’s parliamentary election suggest allies of the Iran-backed Shia Muslim group Hezbollah have lost support.

The Maronite Christian Lebanese Forces party, which has close ties to Saudi Arabia, said it gained five seats.

Sunday’s vote was the first election since a 2019 nationwide uprising against a political elite widely seen as corrupt and ineffective.

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Voting closed on Sunday evening in a parliamentary election that was the first since Lebanon’s economy began to spiral in late 2019, leading hundreds of thousands to protest in the streets against the country’s rulers.

Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi said in a news conference that voter turnout was 41 percent, and with just a few polling stations still unaccounted for no major changes were expected. The turnout figure is lower than the 49 percent seen in 2018.

Many Hariri supporters had called for a boycott of the election, and in the Beirut neighbourhood of Tarik Jdide — where portraits of Hariri still hang from buildings — residents in Hay Berjaoui blocked a main road with an inflatable swimming pool and a swing set.

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Yemen’s government will permit citizens living in areas controlled by Huthi rebels to travel on Huthi-issued passports, an official told AFP, removing a barrier to long-awaited commercial flights out of the capital Sanaa.

The government is “not responsible for any data contained” in the Huthi-issued documents, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity since they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Yemen’s embassy in Washington said on Twitter that Yemeni authorities had accepted “a UN proposal to use (Huthis’) docs on an interim basis & only during the #truce”.

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The United States will allow some foreign investment in areas of northeast Syria outside government control without coming under sanctions, it said on Wednesday, a move it says is aimed at helping a region previously controlled by Islamic State.

The United States has imposed tough sanctions on Syria over the government’s role in the civil war that has raged since 2011 but it has put money into “stabilisation” activities in the areas its allies took from Islamic State.

Investment in areas previously held by the militant group was needed to prevent a resurgence of Islamic State by allowing it to recruit and exploit local grievances.

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UN watchdog warns ‘only countries making bombs’ are enriching uranium at that level of purity

The Iranians are making unrealistic demands and blowing off the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog. The Israelis, once again, are threatening to bomb. And the Americans are warning that they’re willing to walk away.

Rafael Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the Financial Times the situation was “very concerning” as Iran’s nuclear programme had become more sophisticated over the past two years.

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Zachary Weaver

Zachary Weaver

I am blessed with a funny gene that makes me enjoy life to the fullest. I love to travel, eat and jog. I write interesting topics. I also love to take pictures.