Latest Beirut News

People wearing face masks walk at a downtown street in Hong Kong Monday, April 6, 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/Vincent Yu)

The Latest: Hong Kong to remain closed to foreigners

Apr. 7, 2020 12:42 AM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: — Hong Kong to remain closed to foreigners indefinitely...

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...

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...

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,...

Workers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus, at the main market in Gaza City, Thursday, March 19, 2020. The Middle East has some 20,000 cases of the virus, with most cases in Iran or linked to travel from Iran. The vast majority of people recover from COVID-19. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Virus now in Gaza, Syria, raising fears in vulnerable areas

Mar. 22, 2020 4:45 PM EDT

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The arrival of the coronavirus in the Gaza Strip, an impoverished enclave where the health care system has been gutted by years of conflict, and Syria, which has been devastated by nine years of civil war and sanctions, raised fears Sunday that the pandemic may soon prey on...

A U.S. Marine Osprey is seen taking off from the U.S. Embassy in Aukar, northeast of Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, March 19, 2020. The aircraft took off a few hours before a U.S. senator announced that Lebanese-American Amer Fakhoury, who had faced decades-old murder and torture charges in Lebanon, was freed from a prison in Lebanon. Lebanese officials alleged that Fakhoury, 57, of Dover, New Hampshire, who had been jailed since September, was responsible for the killings and abuse of prisoners in Lebanon as part of an Israeli-backed militia two decades ago. (AP Photo/Zeina Karam)

Former member of Israel-backed militia killed in Lebanon

Mar. 22, 2020 11:18 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Unknown assailants shot dead a former member of an Israeli-backed Lebanese militia on Sunday, security officials said. The killing came three days after a jailed Lebanese-American man who belonged to the same militia was released in Beirut and flown to the U.S. Two Lebanese security officials...

FILE - IN this Thursday, March 19, 2020 file photo, a U.S. Marine Osprey is seen taking off from the U.S. Embassy in Aukar, northeast of Beirut, Lebanon. The aircraft took off a few hours before a U.S. senator announced that Lebanese-American Amer Fakhoury, who had faced decades-old murder and torture charges in Lebanon, was freed from a prison in Lebanon.  Lebanon's official National News Agency on Friday said Foreign Minister Nasif Hitti sought an explanation from Ambassador Dorothy Shea for the circumstances of Fakhoury's leaving the country.  (AP Photo/Zeina Karam)

Lebanon FM summons US envoy over American being flown out

Mar. 20, 2020 5:54 PM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon's foreign minister summoned the U.S. ambassador Friday after an American on trial in Beirut was taken out of the country by a U.S. warplane — a move that the powerful militant group Hezbollah called a “blatant violation” of Lebanese sovereignty and laws. The...