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Road-Blocking Protests Renew as Currency Slides, Economy Sags

Protesters closed the Beirut areas of Qasqas, Corniche el-Mazraa and the roundabout of Cola on Wednesday amid rising anger as the dollar exchange rate hit new highs amid an unprecedented economic and monetary crisis driving Lebanese into poverty.

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3 Injured in 'Gas Explosion' at Clinic in Iranian Capital

Iranian state television is reporting an explosion from a gas leak in a medical clinic in northern Tehran has injured at least three people.

The explosion Tuesday night led to fire and state TV said firefighters were battling the blaze.

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Protests over Power Cuts, Currency Drop, Bread Price Hike

Protesters closed several major roads in Beirut and several regions on Tuesday amid rising anger as the currency hit a new record low on the black market, electricity cuts increased and the government raised the price of bread for the first time in more than a decade.

As prices increased over the past weeks, people have been rushing to supermarkets and groceries to buy goods. On Tuesday afternoon, Al-Makhazen Coop, one of the largest retailers in the country closed its stores in Beirut.

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Pompeo Urges U.N. Arms Embargo on Iran's 'Terrorist Regime'

Calling Iran "the world's most heinous terrorist regime," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to extend the U.N. arms embargo against Tehran, which expires in October, and reject "extortion diplomacy."

The United States has circulated a draft Security Council resolution to extend the arms embargo indefinitely, and Pompeo said the United States' "overwhelming preference" is to work with its 15 members to adopt it.

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Judge who Banned Interviews of U.S. Ambassador Resigns

The Lebanese judge who issued a ruling banning foreign and local media from interviewing the U.S. ambassador in Beirut resigned Tuesday, according to state media.

Judge Mohammed Mazeh was referred to questioning by the Judicial Inspection Board for the ban, which caused an uproar in Lebanon.

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Syria Donors Gather as Virus, Economic Chaos Deepen Crisis

Donors from around 60 countries and international agencies are meeting Tuesday to drum up financial aid for Syria as the coronavirus and economic chaos wreak even more havoc in a country shattered by a conflict now in its 10th year.

The war has killed more than 400,000 people and sparked a refugee exodus that has destabilized Syria's neighbors and impacted Europe. Around 11 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and some 9 million don't have enough to eat. More than half of the population have no jobs.

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Israel Undeterred by International Opposition to Annexation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears determined to carry out his pledge to begin annexing parts of the occupied West Bank, possibly as soon as Wednesday.

His vision of redrawing the map of the Holy Land, in line with President Donald Trump's Mideast plan, has been welcomed by Israel's religious and nationalist right wing and condemned by the Palestinians and the international community.

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Support for Putin Wanes in His Former Russian Stronghold

In 2011, the industrial city of Nizhny Tagil was dubbed "Putingrad" for its residents' fervent support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Nine years later, it appears the city 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) east of Moscow no longer lives up to that nickname.

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Shea Meets Hitti, Says Page Turned on Judge's Controversial Ruling

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea held talks Monday with Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti, after which she announced that the page has been turned on a controversial ruling against her by a Lebanese judge.

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Lebanese-Australian Lawmaker Says He's Not a Suspect in China Probe

A Lebanese-Australian state lawmaker said Monday that he was not a suspect in a police investigation into unnamed people advancing China's goals in Australia, days after his home and office were searched by police.

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