One customer was a debt collector that threatened to jail people if they didn't pay back loans that they never took out. Another was an offshore gambling operation that hid bets behind innocuous-sounding websites, including one dedicated to orange cats. A third was a phone-sex business catering to men with diaper fetishes or fantasies of raping women.
Ahmad "Andy" Khawaja made his fortune in online payment processing for a host of companies, providing a key conduit in e-commerce for "high risk" merchants by helping route customers' credit card purchases to banks. And recently Khawaja has shared that wealth in the form of multimillion-dollar political donations, first to Hillary Clinton and then to Donald Trump.Full Story
The new government will not be formed soon and PM-designate Saad Hariri, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblat have closed ranks in their endeavor to get the shares that they want in the Cabinet, a media report said.
“The three parties enjoy the support of Speaker Nabih Berri, who is sympathizing with their reasonable, rational and normal demands,” MTV quoted high-ranking political sources as saying.Full Story
President Michel Aoun announced Wednesday that the new government will “bring together the Lebanese components” without any “marginalization” or “monopolization.”
“Some demands have so far delayed the formation of the government,” Aoun said in a speech marking Army Day.Full Story
The sun-soaked cannabis fields are just out of reach of a nearby army checkpoint. Its production is lucrative in Lebanon, but growers fear legalizing its medical use could slash profits.Full Story
A senior World Bank official has said that the Lebanese economy is "not doing great" and urged the country's leaders to approve some $1.1 billion worth of projects put forward by the international lender, saying otherwise they could be canceled.
Ferid Belhaj, the bank's vice president for the Middle East and North Africa, told reporters in Beirut that the economy is "in a state of fragility."Full Story
Speaker Nabih Berri has met on Tuesday with caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil and Deputy Speaker Elie Ferzli at his residence in Ain el-Tineh.Full Story
Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri criticized in a tweet on Tuesday what he described as “the rush of some Lebanese politicians to go visit Syria,” in light of the conflict in Lebanon over its ties with the neighboring country largely blamed for the assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri.Full Story
The Iraqi Intelligence Service and Lebanon’s General Security Directorate have reportedly uncovered a fraud network whose members were fabricating information for the purpose of “blackmailing” a number of Lebanese banks, claiming ownership of millions of US dollars, media reports said on Tuesday.Full Story
Army Chief Gen. Joseph Aoun marked the 73rd anniversary of Army Day on Tuesday noting the army’s success in eliminating terrorists and arresting several militants in pre-emptive security operations, affirming the army’s “firm” doctrine in fighting the Israeli enemy and terrorism, the National News Agency reported.Full Story
Sources close to President Michel Aoun have reassured on the security situation in Lebanon, after a tweet by ex-MP Fares Soaid sparked concerns over a possible return to the era of political assassinations.
“The predictions about assassinations are baseless and the president reassures that Lebanon is the most safe country in the Middle East and the world,” the sources told al-Jadeed television.Full Story