Protests Continue after Lebanese Cabinet Rejects Trash Proposals
After a five-hour cabinet meeting yesterday, the Lebanese government is no nearer to resolving the country’s trash crisis, which has catalyzed large protests in Beirut. The cabinet rejected a list of proposed waste management contracts to restart the country’s stalled trash collection, citing high costs quoted by potential contractors. Hezbollah ministers and their political allies ...
After a five-hour cabinet meeting yesterday, the Lebanese government is no nearer to resolving the country’s trash crisis, which has catalyzed large protests in Beirut. The cabinet rejected a list of proposed waste management contracts to restart the country’s stalled trash collection, citing high costs quoted by potential contractors. Hezbollah ministers and their political allies staged a walkout of the meeting after four hours on account of what they called the political theater of other politicians. The issue has now been referred to a ministerial committee to work up new options at lower cost.
Protests continued last night, with many activists gathering at Riad al-Solh Square. Some stragglers toward the end of the night clashed with police forces, throwing rocks and lighting plastic barriers on fire. Organizers of the “You Stink” organization, which rallied the first round of protests, have called for more large protests next Saturday. “In the beginning, this was a battle over the trash issue,” organizer Marwan Maalouf said. “But now there is a general battle against the political class.”
Turkish Intelligence May Have Leaked Intel about U.S.-Trained Forces
Turkish intelligence may have provided information about the deployment of U.S.-trained Syrian rebels to extremist groups, rebel groups have told McClatchy. They charge that the intelligence facilitated the capture of Division 30 rebels by Jabhat al-Nusra shortly after they entered the country last month. U.S. officials deny that Turkey leaked intelligence, though some anonymous Turkish officials said the accusations were credible.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross has suspended operations in Aden, the beachhead of the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, after gunmen stormed their offices and robbed equipment.
- Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga began a new offensive last night to take back several towns from the Islamic State in Kirkuk province.
- Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has issued a statement denying that they held hostage British oil engineer Robert Semple, who was rescued by Emirati forces earlier this week.
- Three gunmen killed two police officers guarding a post office in a drive-by shooting in the northern Sinai peninsula.
- The U.S. Department of Defense’s Inspector General is investigating whether civilians at Central Command improperly rewrote portions of reports on the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State to present an overly-rosy assessment of its progress.
Arguments and Analysis
“The UN Security Council debates gays and ISIS: Why this is a bad idea” (Scott Long, a paper bird)
“Those targeted as the ‘people of Lot’ in Iraq and Syria aren’t large populations. They need places where they can live quietly, without being ‘out’ in any Western way, without daily state harassment, and with some protection from violence in families or communities. They need to be left alone. To get the governments to leave people alone would entail engaging with Iraqi (and Syrian) opinion on sexuality in ways that no state or international NGO has done so far, and furthering the very limited elite sympathy for LGBT victims that years of violence (especially in Iraq) elicited. It might involve finding tacit enclaves where let-alone policy was possible; parts of pacified Southern Iraq or Kurdistan could do, though such areas, already purged to extirpate diversity, would look with suspicion on Sunni or Arab migrants respectively. It’s all a long shot, but it’s also the best realistic hope for most lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”
“International relations theory and the new Middle East: three levels of a debate” (Morten Valbjorn, Project on Middle East Political Science)
“The Arab uprisings have not only impacted the Arab world but also scholarship about Arab politics. Much of the debate, in particular in the beginning, was about identifying the initial and underlying causes of the unexpected and dramatic events that began in 2011. However, the debate has increasingly also concerned broader questions regarding the implications for a future ‘new Middle East’ and for the future study of Arab politics. The latter issue, concerning the analytical implications of the Arab uprisings, has been demonstrated in (self)reflections about whether we got it all wrong before 2011 and whether there is a need for completely new kinds of theories and approaches; or, alternatively, whether our ‘old’ theories have been vindicated now that the dust has begun to settle again.”
-J. Dana Stuster