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Report: Russia smuggling Ukrainian grain to help pay for Putin's war

When the bulk cargo ship Laodicea docked in Lebanon last summer, Ukrainian diplomats said the vessel was carrying grain stolen by Russia and urged Lebanese officials to impound the ship.

Moscow called the allegation "false and baseless," and Lebanon's prosecutor general sided with the Kremlin and declared that the 10,000 tons of barley and wheat flour wasn't stolen and allowed the ship to unload.

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Mikati says devaluation of pound will be gradual

Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati has reassured that the new official exchange rate of LBP 15,000 against the dollar will be implemented “gradually” and that initial exemptions will include banks' balance sheets and housing and personal loans.

The Lebanese pound has been officially pegged at 1,507 to the dollar since 1997, a rate that has not reflected reality for years as the currency has been in free-fall.

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Lebanon's dwindling rain leaves farmers struggling for water

Farmers in a small town perched on a northern Lebanese mountain have long refused to accept defeat even as the government abandoned them to a life off the grid.

Harf Beit Hasna receives almost no basic services. No water or sewage system, no streetlight or garbage collection. The only public school is closed. The nearest pharmacy is a long drive down a winding mountain road.

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Methane blast in Baltic Sea highlights global problem

As serious as the methane escaping from ruptured pipelines on the floor of the Baltic Sea may be, there are alarming incidents of massive methane releases around the world frequently.

Climate scientists have found that methane emissions from the oil and gas industry are far worse than what companies are reporting, despite claims by some major firms that they've reduced their emissions. That matters because natural gas, a fossil fuel widely used to heat homes and provide electricity, is made up of methane, a potent climate warming gas. It escapes into the atmosphere from well sites and across the natural gas distribution network, from pipelines and compressor stations, to the export terminals that liquefy gas to ship it overseas.

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Dollar's official exchange rate to become LBP 15,000 as of November

Lebanon will weaken its official exchange rate for the first time in more than two decades, the Finance Ministry and a Central Bank official said, as part of efforts to tackle a crippling financial crisis.

In a statement, the Ministry called the move a "necessary corrective action" and noted that the Central Bank has approved it. The decision is a "step to gradually unify exchange rates" in the country, it added.

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Kremlin says 'absurd' to accuse Russia of Nord Stream gas leaks

The Kremlin said Wednesday it was "stupid and absurd" to suspect that Russia was behind gas leaks on the Nord Stream pipelines to Europe, deemed to be a "deliberate act" by the EU.

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ADB to devote $14B to help ease food crisis in Asia-Pacific

The Asian Development Bank said Tuesday it will devote at least $14 billion through 2025 to help ease a worsening food crisis in the Asia-Pacific.

The development lender said it plans a comprehensive program of support to help the 1.1 billion people in the region who lack healthy diets due to poverty and soaring food prices.

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Pound stabilizes but turmoil continues for UK economy

The British pound stabilized in Asian trading on Tuesday after plunging to a record low a day earlier, as the Bank of England and the British government tried to soothe markets nervous about a volatile U.K. economy.

The instability began to have real-world impacts, with several British mortgage lenders withdrawing deals amid concern that interest rates may soon rise sharply.

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In wealthy Dubai, poor get free bread from machines

With the cost of living surging, free hot bread distribution for the poor has been introduced in Dubai, a rich Gulf emirate where millionaires rub shoulders with hard-working migrants.

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Lebanon approval of 2022 budget is one step towards IMF loan

Lebanon's parliament has approved the 2022 budget, one of the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund to action a bailout for the crisis-stricken country.

Lebanon and the IMF had reached a conditional agreement on a $3 billion loan in April to help the country tackle its economic crisis, but the global lender last week condemned the "very slow" progress Beirut has made towards implementing reforms.

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