Lebanon to Charge WhatsApp Calls in Bid to Raise Money

The cabinet hopes to raise an additional $219 million for its debt-ridden budget. Lebanon has been running a deficit of 150 percent of its gross domestic product and has been looking for ways to slash spending.

Lebanon import woes deepen as supply chains buckle under coronavirus

“The interruptions because of the lack of cash dollars, the lockdowns abroad, we’re going to see the impact in two months,” said Nabil Fahed, an importer who heads the supermarket syndicate. “The supplies will not be there…I’m really worried about this”.

Roundup: Decision to control agro-product prices raises fears among farmers in Lebanon

Likewise, President of the Beqaa Farmers Association Ibrahim Tarshishi told Xinhua that farmers cannot withdraw their money or transfer any cash to foreign countries to buy pesticides and equipment due to banks’ restrictions while banks no longer offer loans to farmers to enable them to maintain their operations.

Lebanon’s number of COVID-19 cases rises to 575

Expatriates returning to Lebanon are seen in quarantine in a hotel in Beirut, Lebanon, on April 8, 2020. Lebanon’s number of COVID-19 infections increased on Wednesday by 27 to 575 while the death toll remained unchanged at 19, the National News Agency reported. (Photo by Bilal Jawich/Xinhua)

Coronavirus in the Middle East: Creativity to help knows no bounds

Baytna Baytak — Arabic for “my house is your house” — aims to house medical staff next to their workplace by connecting them with nearby hosts. By easing the pressure of dealing with housing in Beirut and elsewhere in Lebanon, it hopes that healthcare workers can feel free to focus on their work.

Seek help, say Middle East women’s groups as domestic violence surges

Reporting by Ban Barkawi @banbarkawi, Menna A. Farouk; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org

Donald Trump dismissed Health Secretary Alex Azar’s January warning on coronavirus as ‘alarmist’ and cut him off during a phone briefing, report says

‘While the media would rather speculate about outrageous claims of palace intrigue, President Trump and this Administration remain completely focused on the health and safety of the American people with around the clock work to slow the spread of the virus, expand testing, and expedite vaccine development,’ Judd Deere, a spokesman for the president, said. 

The perils of political and religious extremism, writes Brahma Chellaney

The current global crisis has no parallel. The Chinese Communist Party, by initially covering up the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, helped unleash the world’s worst pandemic in more than a century. The “world is paying a big price,” as United States President Donald Trump said, for what the world’s largest, strongest and longest-surviving autocracy did. […]

Tomie dePaola, CT-Born Children’s Author Dies

Strega Nona, his most endearing character, originated as a doodle at a dull faculty meeting at Colby Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, where dePaola was a member of the theater department. The first tale was based on one of his favorite stories as a child, about a pot that keeps producing porridge. “Strega […]

The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump: Tough times but progress being made

The ruling means that voters in the state who have not cast absentee ballots will be forced to decide between health risks posed by the spread of COVID-19 and their participation in the democratic process as states across the nation have postponed their elections until June. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Health Care: US […]