Latest Lebanon News

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2019 file photo, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani gives a press conference in Tehran, Iran. Iran's parliament said Thursday, April 2, 2020 that speaker Ali Larijani has tested positive for the new coronavirus and is in quarantine. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Iran parliament speaker, Israeli health minister have virus

Apr. 2, 2020 3:12 PM EDT

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s parliament speaker has contracted the new coronavirus, the country's highest-ranking government figure yet to catch the disease, while in Israel, several top officials entered quarantine when the health minister tested positive on Thursday. Iran's parliament announced Ali...

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2006 file photo, former Syrian vice president and foreign minister Abdul-Halim Khaddam speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Paris, France. Khaddam who was one of the most influential figures in Syria before he defected in 2005 to France has died in Paris Arab media outlets reported Wednesday, April 1, 2020. He was 87. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, File)

Syrian ex-VP, foreign minister dies of heart attack in Paris

Apr. 1, 2020 11:48 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Abdul-Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian vice president and foreign minister who was one of the most influential figures in the country before defecting in 2005 to France, has died of a heart attack in Paris, his son said Wednesday. He was 87. Jihad Khaddam told The Associated Press his father...

In this March 28, 2020, photo, people stand in a line outside a bank in Beirut, Lebanon, amid a financial crisis and a lockdown imposed by the government to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Lebanon. (AP Photo/Zeina Karam)

VIRUS DIARY: An unfamiliar war for those who live with war

Apr. 1, 2020 10:49 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — I’ve seen the streets of Beirut empty before, during wars when the shells were falling and under curfews after various bouts of fighting. But it is the silence that is getting to me. On the streets, at the supermarket, and even as people stand in line (one meter apart) outside banks...

In this Friday, March 27, 2020 photo, members of the Islamic Health Society, an arm of the Iran-backed militant Hezbollah group prepare to spray disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. Hezbollah has mobilized the organizational might it once deployed to fight Israel or in Syria's civil war to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus. It aims to send a clear message to its Shiite supporters that it is a force to rely on in times of crisis -- particularly after it suffered a series of blows to its prestige. Opponents angrily accuse Hezbollah of helping bring the outbreak to Lebanon, saying it delayed a halt of flights from Iran for weeks after a woman who had just arrived from Iran emerged as Lebanon's first confirmed coronavirus case. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Hezbollah shifts attention from Syria fight to battle virus

Apr. 1, 2020 10:42 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — In the streets of Beirut's southern suburbs, Hezbollah paramedics and volunteers on trucks and on foot sprayed disinfectants on shops and buildings. At a hospital where it once treated its wounded fighters, the group's medical staff set up beds for a center to deal with coronavirus patients....

Syria: Air defenses down missiles from Israeli warplanes

Mar. 31, 2020 2:48 PM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian air defenses opened fire Tuesday night on missiles launched from Israeli warplanes on the central province of Homs, shooting down some of them, state media said. State TV said the warplanes fired the missiles while flying in Lebanese airspace. The outlet said the warplanes...

People wearing protective clothings, masks and gloves, attend the funeral of a victim who died after being infected with the new coronavirus, at a cemetery just outside Tehran, Iran, Monday, March 30, 2020.The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Prisoners riot in Iran; Netanyahu goes into self-quarantine

Mar. 30, 2020 7:11 PM EDT

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Prisoners in southern Iran broke cameras and caused other damage during a riot, state media reported Monday, the latest in a series of violent prison disturbances in the country, which is battling the most severe coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East. Israel meanwhile announced that...

Int his Thursday, March 19, 2020 photo, a man smokes waterpipe at Tahrir square, Baghdad, Iraq. As the coronavirus spreads across the Middle East, cherished traditions are coming to an abrupt halt: no more coffee shops where men gather to play cards and backgammon. And most importantly, no more smoking of the beloved shisha, or waterpipe, in public places. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

With virus, cherished Mideast traditions come to abrupt halt

Mar. 28, 2020 9:21 AM EDT

BAGHDAD (AP) — Under the sign “Take out only” and a tall bottle of antiseptic by his side, Mazin Hashim, 54, rearranged the coals heating a water pipe outside his famed cafe in Baghdad. He put up the placard to satisfy recent government restrictions on movement and gatherings that are aimed...

A street musician sings and plays music on an empty lane in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, March 26, 2020. Iran is battling the worst new coronavirus outbreak in the region and authorities have advised people to stay at home and trying to enforce new policy imposing the kinds of lockdowns when the country spending the new year holidays. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Curfews extended as USAID declares aid suspension in Yemen

Mar. 27, 2020 6:24 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — As countries across the Middle East tighten restrictions on movement to curb the spread of the coronavirus, a spokesman for the U.S. Agency for International Development said Thursday that it would suspend humanitarian aid to parts of Yemen over restrictions by the Houthi rebels that predate...

In this Saturday, March 21, 2020 photo, a food delivery scooter passes Barbar Restaurant that now offers food for delivery only, after most of the shops and restaurants closed as part of the preventive measures against the coronavirus, in Beirut, Lebanon. Through 15 years of civil war and various bouts of violence since, Lebanon's Barbar eatery never closed its doors, forging ahead through difficult times while continuously serving up sandwiches to customers -- even if it meant doing so from behind sandbags during the conflict. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Coronavirus delivers tough blow to Lebanon’s dying economy

Mar. 26, 2020 2:05 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Through 15 years of civil war and various bouts of violence since, Lebanon's Barbar eatery never closed its doors, serving up sandwiches to customers even if it meant doing so from behind sandbags. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has managed to do what various wars could not: Close bars,...

Lebanese army vehicles patrol the streets urging people to stay home unless they have to leave for an emergency in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, March 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Lebanon to stop paying back all debt in foreign currencies

Mar. 23, 2020 8:44 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon will stop paying all maturing Eurobonds in foreign currencies amid a crippling economic and financial crisis and as foreign currency reserves continue to drop, the Finance Ministry announced Monday. The decision to stop paying the Eurobonds — believed to be worth about $30...