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Lebanon Clashes Threaten to Crack Open Fault Lines

Clashes between Lebanese protesters and supporters of Hizbullah group are putting Lebanon's military and security forces in a delicate position, threatening to crack open the country's dangerous fault lines amid a political deadlock.

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Pope in Japan Meets Victims, Voices Concern over Nuke Power

Pope Francis voiced concern about nuclear power Monday after meeting with victims of Japan's 2011 nuclear disaster, saying the development of future energy sources must take environmental considerations into account.

Francis didn't explicitly urge a ban on nuclear energy during his emotional encounter with victims. But he recalled that Japan's Catholic bishops called for the abolition of nuclear power plants in the aftermath of the "triple disaster," in which three reactors at a nuclear plant in Fukushima melted down after an earthquake triggered a tsunami.

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Key Lebanon Roads Blocked after Hizbullah, AMAL Supporters Attack Protesters

Key roads around Lebanon were blocked by anti-government protesters on Monday following clashes throughout the night with AMAL and Hizbullah supporters.

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Reports: Fakhoury in Poor Health, Lebanese Officials Encouraged Him to Return

Lebanese-American citizen Amer Fakhoury, who has been held in Lebanon since mid-September on suspicion that he tortured prisoners at the Israeli-run Khiam prison, is in poor health and his condition is life-threatening, his family has said, citing doctors.

No charges have been filed against Fakhoury. His lawyer, Celine Atallah, said it remains unclear why he's being held. Fakhoury, however, was once a member of the former Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army militia. He also worked as a senior warden at a former prison described by human rights groups as a center for torture.

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Protesters Rally near U.S. Embassy to Deplore U.S. Statements

A number of demonstrators who are part of the anti-corruption protest movement that is sweeping the country on Sunday rallied near the U.S. embassy in Awkar to denounce recent U.S. statements about the situation in Lebanon.

Heightened security measures were taken in the area as a security cordon was imposed several hundred meters away from the embassy to prevent protesters from approaching it.

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Germany again Deports Lebanese Convict Back to Beirut

German authorities have again deported a Lebanese man who was convicted of drug dealing and deported earlier this year but then returned to Germany.

The German news agency dpa reported that Ibrahim Miri was handed over to Lebanese authorities on Saturday in Beirut.

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Protesters Close Exchange Shops in Tripoli as Uprising Enters Day 38

Protesters closed exchange houses during a demonstration in the northern city of Tripoli, as the country grapples with nationwide protests entering 38th day demanding an overhaul of the whole political class.

The protesters say exchange houses are trading US dollars to the Lebanese pound contrary to the local currency peg set by the central bank.

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Trump Denigrates US Diplomats, Pushes Conspiracy Theories

Offering his own take on five long days of public hearings, President Donald Trump brushed off the impeachment inquiry as "total nonsense" on Friday and bad-mouthed a number of the U.S. diplomats who testified to Congress about his Ukraine pressure campaign.

In one breath, Trump said House Democrats looked like "fools" during the hearings on Capitol Hill. In another, he offered a window into his political strategy ahead of an expected House vote to impeach him. If that happens, the Senate would hold a trial on whether to oust him from office.

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Mystery Grows over Trump Administration Hold on Lebanon Aid

The Trump administration is withholding more than $100 million in U.S. military assistance to Lebanon that has been approved by Congress and is favored by his national security team, an assertion of executive control of foreign aid that is similar to the delay in support for Ukraine at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday congratulated Lebanon as the country marked its independence day but made no mention of the hold-up in aid that State Department and Pentagon officials have complained about for weeks.

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Iran Net Outage First to Effectively Isolate a Whole Nation

Internet connectivity is trickling back in Iran after the government shut down access to the rest of the world for more than four days in response to unrest apparently triggered by a gasoline price hike.

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