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IMF criticizes Lebanese government over slow reforms

The International Monetary Fund has said the Lebanese government's slowness to implement desperately-needed reforms was exacerbating the country's economic meltdown, even as officials met to discuss an urgent and long-delayed bailout.

The IMF statement followed a three-day visit to Beirut of the fund's representatives to discuss with Lebanese officials the implementation of reforms drawn up under a staff-level agreement between the two sides in April.

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Biden announces $2.9 billion to fight global food insecurity

U.S. President Joe Biden announced Wednesday another $2.9 billion for a fund aimed at helping to resolve global food insecurity caused in part by Russia's invasion of grain-producing Ukraine.

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Long a haven for wealth, Dubai will enforce UK court rulings

The United Arab Emirates has called on its courts to begin enforcing the judgements of British courts, in a move that could affect the city of Dubai's status as a haven for the world's wealthy.

The decision, which affects all noncriminal civil, financial and marital cases, is already in effect and does not need to be drafted into law.

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Banks inclined to extend strike as Mawlawi denies recommending closure

The Association of Banks in Lebanon is inclined to extend the closure of banks until Monday, al-Jadeed TV reported on Wednesday.

Quoting unnamed sources, al-Jadeed said the decision to extend the strike “came after days from a meeting that was held with caretaker Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi, who advised the Association to extend the strike until a security plan for protecting banks is finalized.”

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Iran to supply Lebanon with 600,000 tons of fuel over five months

Iran has informed the Lebanese delegation in Tehran of its approval of supplying Lebanon’s with 600,000 tons of fuel over a period of five months, al-Manar TV reported.

Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mujtaba Amani meanwhile announced that “good news will be soon declared about what has been agreed on regarding Iranian fuel and cooperation in the field of electricity between the delegation of the Lebanese Energy Ministry and the relevant officials in Iran.”

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Lebanon aims to adopt long-delayed IMF reforms in October

Crisis-hit Lebanon hopes to adopt key reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund for a long-delayed but urgently needed bailout before the end of next month if there is "political will," Lebanon's caretaker economy minister said Tuesday.

Amin Salam spoke to The Associated Press after meeting with an IMF delegation that has been visiting Lebanese officials since Monday. The reforms would include restructuring the country's banking system and banking secrecy laws.

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Karish gas field key to Israel's energy strategy

Israel is preparing to activate an offshore gas field partly disputed by Lebanon, aiming to boost energy exports to Europe but risking further tensions with its northern neighbor.

Israel and Lebanon, still technically at war, have engaged in on-off U.S. mediated talks since 2020 to delineate their Mediterranean border, which could allow both parties to boost offshore natural gas exploration.

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UN chief warns global leaders: The world is in 'great peril'

Warning that the world is in "great peril," the head of the United Nations says leaders meeting in person for the first time in three years must tackle conflicts and climate catastrophes, increasing poverty and inequality — and address divisions among major powers that have gotten worse since Russia invaded Ukraine.

In speeches and remarks leading up to the start of the leaders' meeting Tuesday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cited the "immense" task not only of saving the planet, "which is literally on fire," but of dealing with the persisting COVID-19 pandemic. He also pointed to "a lack of access to finance for developing countries to recover -- a crisis not seen in a generation" that has seen ground lost for education, health and women's rights.

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Markets struggle ahead of another Fed rate hike

Stock markets dropped again Monday, extending last week's rout as investors brace for another big rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve that they fear could drag down the global economy.

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Scholz to visit Saudi as Germany seeks energy supplies

Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit Saudi Arabia and meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of a Gulf trip, his spokesman said Monday, as Germany rushes to secure energy supplies.

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