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Iraq Protesters Block Roads to Crucial Port

Anti-government demonstrators in southern Iraq blocked roads leading to the country’s main port on Monday, while the country’s central bank reduced working hours because of ongoing demonstrations, security officials said.

Protesters burned tires, blocking the roads to the Umm Qasr port, responsible for the bulk of the country’s commodities imports, a Basra security official said.

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U.S. Slams 'Russian Attempts' to Miscast Lebanon Protests as 'U.S. Plot'

The U.S. State Department on Monday accused the Russian government of seeking to “cast doubt on the authenticity of the Lebanese people’s demand to end endemic corruption.”

“Russian attempts to miscast the Lebanese people’s resolve as a U.S. plot follow a well-worn playbook,” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said.

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Army Chief Vows to Protect Protesters

Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun toured several areas around the country, visiting troops and vowing to protect the protesters.

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Lebanese Protests Test Hizbullah's Role as 'Shiites’ Champion'

Lebanon’s protests have shown unusual, overt anger at the country’s powerhouse, Hizbullah.

The Shiite group has long enjoyed a reputation among its supporters as a champion of the poor and defender of the country against Israel. That’s helped it dominate Lebanon’s political scene.

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Iran Supreme Leader Warns 'Thugs' amid Gas Price Protests

Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday backed the government’s decision to raise gasoline prices and called angry protesters who have been setting fire to public property over the hike “thugs,” signaling a potential crackdown on the demonstrations.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s comments came as authorities shut down the internet across Iran to smother the protests in some two dozen cities and towns over the rise of government-set prices by 50% as of Friday.

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Iraq Protesters Block Some Roads amid Strike Call

Anti-government protesters in Iraq have closed some roads in response to a call for a strike from an influential cleric.

The protesters are also trying to expand their presence in the Iraqi capital further after seizing control of a strategic square in central Baghdad.

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Israel Arrests Lebanese Man who Jumps Border Fence

The Israeli military says it has arrested a man who crossed its northern border from Lebanon.

It added that the Lebanese national was being held for questioning.

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France Tensions with Police on Yellow Vest 1st Birthday

Paris police fired tear gas on Saturday to push back yellow vest protesters trying to revive their movement on the first anniversary of the sometimes-violent uprising against President Emmanuel Macron and policies seen as favoring the rich.

Police deployed in force around Paris and detained 24 people around the capital by mid-morning. Officers dislodged protesters trying to block the bypass around Paris and sprayed repeated volleys of tear gas at groups gathered near Porte de Champerret, in the northwest, and Place d’Italie in the southeast of the city.

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St. Mark's Square Reopens in Venice, But Water Remains High

Tourists and residents have been allowed back into St. Mark’s Square in Venice, a day after it was closed due to exceptionally high tidal waters that swept through most of the lagoon city’s already devastated center.

Despite sunny skies, the city remained on edge Saturday due to possibly more wind-propelled high tidal waters during the weekend. The city was struck Tuesday by devastating floods, the worst in decades.

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Fuel Rations, Price Hike Hit Iranians amid Plunging Economy

Iranian authorities abruptly raised fuel prices by up to 50% and imposed fuel rationing overnight on Friday, leaving many Iranians angered amid an already plunging economy.

Across the capital, Tehran, long lines of cars waited for hours at pumping stations following the changes in energy policy, which state media announced around midnight without any prior warning to the public.

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