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Shakira sings at ‘magical’ cedars of Lebanon, land of her ancestors

BCHARRE: Shakira performed at the ancient cedars of Lebanon on Friday in a mountaintop concert in the land of her ancestors. The Colombian singer-songwriter delighted a crowd of thousands gathered under the stars in northern Lebanon, where she said she was proud to be singing in the land of her grandparents. “Lubnaaan! It’s amazing to be in this magical setting, it’s surreal, thank you so much for having me tonight,” she said after her opening songs, using the Arabic word for Lebanon. “This means so much to me to be…

Brazil’s World Cup defeat sends shock waves in Lebanon

BEIRUT: Brazil's surprise defeat in the World Cup has stunned fans in the Lebanese capital Beirut, where football supporters have long put their hopes in the Latin American side. "We are all Brazilian, we all love Brazil to death whatever happens," said Ali, dressed in a skin-tight shirt, after seeing his heroes lose 2-1 to Belgium on Friday and crash out of the tournament in Russia. The 24-year-old watched the match in the Shiite outskirts of Beirut, where Brazilian flags hang from buildings and shop windows are…

Israeli minister says ‘Lebanon equals Hezbollah’ after election

JERUSALEM: Hezbollah’s gains in the Lebanese election on Sunday show that the state is indistinguishable from the Iranian-backed group and that Israel should not distinguish between them in any future war, an Israeli security cabinet minister said. “Hezbollah = Lebanon,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a rightist in the Israel’s conservative coalition government, said on Twitter on Monday. “The State of Israel will not differentiate between the sovereign State of Lebanon and Hezbollah, and will view Lebanon as…

UAE pledges $200 million to support Lebanon armed forces

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates said on Saturday that it will give Lebanon's armed forces $200 million (162.5 million euros) in aid to help "stabilise" the country. The foreign ministry said that $100 million would go to the army and $100 million to other state security services in Lebanon, which borders war-torn Syria. The oil-rich Gulf country said its support was a "continuation of efforts made for the stability and prosperity of (Lebanon's) people." The "resilience and strength" of Lebanon's military and…

Lebanon PM to visit Saudi Arabia for first time since ‘resignation’

BEIRUT: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he has accepted an invitation Monday to visit Saudi Arabia, returning for the first time to the kingdom where he announced a shock resignation that he later rescinded. The November 4 resignation and his prolonged stay in Saudi Arabia stirred tensions between Riyadh and Beirut, amid suspicions he had been placed under house arrest, until France intervened and he returned to Lebanon where the announcement was reversed. Hariri on Monday said he received the invitation at a…

10 Syrians die of cold trying to flee into Lebanon

BEIRUT: Ten Syrians have died trying to flee their war-torn country into neighbouring Lebanon after they were caught in a fierce snowstorm, the Lebanese army and civil defence said. "They died of the cold. They included two children, six women and two men," said Georges Abou Moussa, head of operations at the Lebanese civil defence. He told AFP that rescue workers and Lebanese troops had retrieved the bodies together. In a statement, the army said it had received a tip Friday morning that a group of Syrian refugees …

Hezbollah criticizes Lebanon decision to allow Spielberg film

BEIRUT: Hezbollah criticized the Lebanese government on Friday for allowing cinemas to screen Steven Spielberg's film "The Post" despite calls for a ban because of the director's links to Israel. The movie premiered in Beirut this week after Lebanon's interior minister ruled against any ban. Activists in Lebanon had campaigned against the film because Spielberg gave funds to Israel during its 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. The two countries are officially enemy states. 'We reject this decision. We consider it a…

Lebanon bans Spielberg film and Israeli adventurer biopic

Lebanese authorities have banned Steven Spielberg's latest film, political thriller "The Post", and Australian drama "Jungle" to comply with a boycott of Israel, an official told AFP Monday. "Screening of the film 'The Post' has been banned," said the official from Lebanon's General Security authority, speaking on condition of anonymity. Spielberg "is blacklisted by the Arab League's boycott office, which Lebanon complies with", the official explained. The pan-Arab body maintains a regional boycott of Israel, and…