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Al-Rahi Urges Protesters to be Peaceful after Meeting Aoun

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi held talks Friday in Baabda with President Michel Aoun, in the wake of a night of raging protests that engulfed Lebanon over a dramatic rise in the dollar exchange rate on the black market.

“Neither through vandalization nor though burning tires we would get anything. We support a civilized revolution and it is unacceptable to tarnish Lebanon’s cultural and civilized face,” al-Rahi said after the meeting.

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Report: Salameh Still Enjoys Berri's Support amid Calls for Firing Him

Several parties who are part of Hassan Diab’s government have called for sacking Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh over the unprecedented currency crash and the subsequent protests, media reports said.

“As angry protesters were chanting slogans overnight, political forces taking part in the government were hold consultations under two titles: preventing the government’s downfall and the need to address the dollar crisis,” al-Akhbar newspaper, which is close to Hizbullah, reported on Friday.

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Cabinet Holds Emergency Session after Night of Raging Protests

Prime Minister Hassan Diab held an emergency Cabinet meeting Friday morning after a night of raging protests that saw demonstrators shut down roads across the country with burning tires in renewed protests spurred by a plunging national currency.

Scuffles with security forces broke out in several locations Thursday night as people spontaneously took to the streets after the pound tumbled to a new low against the dollar. Protesters in central Beirut pelted police and soldiers with rocks and smashed some storefronts, drawing volleys of tear gas.

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Diab 'Calls Off Appointments' to Hold 'Emergency Cabinet Session'

Prime Minister Hassan Diab has decided to hold an “emergency cabinet session,” the Premiership said Thursday evening, as the country erupted in anger over a historic rise in the dollar exchange rate in scenes reminiscent of the October 17 uprising.

“PM Hassan Diab has called off his appointments for tomorrow, Friday to hold an emergency cabinet session aimed at discussing the monetary situation,” the Premiership said in a statement.

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Salameh: Social Media Reports on Dollar Exchange Rate Misleading, Baseless

Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh on Thursday described reports that the dollar exchange rate has hit the LBP 7,000 mark as “misleading, untrue and totally baseless.”

“The reports circulating on social networking websites about the dollar exchange rate are misleading and totally baseless,” Salameh said in a statement.

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Protests Engulf Lebanon, Most Roads Blocked after Dollar Hits Historic High

Protesters took to the streets across Lebanon on Thursday as reports said the dollar was selling at at historic rate of LBP 7,000 on the black market.

The protesters blocked most of the country's roads in scenes reminiscent of the October 17 uprising.

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Hariri Says Not Seeking Return as PM, Slams Deputy PM over Powers

Ex-PM Saad Hariri on Thursday noted that he is not seeking to return as premier, as he lashed out at the Presidency and Deputy PM Zeina Akar and accused them of encroaching on the premiership’s jurisdiction.

“They are trying to establish new norms, such as the permanent presence of the deputy PM at the Grand Serail, and this is regrettable, because the premier’s powers are enshrined in the constitution,” Hariri said in a chat with reporters.

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Lebanon Confirms 14 New Coronavirus Cases, Another Death

Fourteen more COVID-19 cases were recorded in Lebanon over the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

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Japan Wants U.S. to Extradite Americans Who Helped Ghosn Flee

A Japanese prosecutor on Thursday urged the U.S. to extradite two Americans accused of helping Nissan's former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, flee the country while he was out on bail.

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Takahiro Saito said Japan has issued arrest warrants for Michael and Peter Taylor for allegedly helping a criminal escape.

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Local Currency Hits New Low despite Government Efforts

The Lebanese pound sank to a record low on the black market Thursday despite the authorities' attempts to halt the plunge of the crisis-hit country's currency, money changers said.

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