Why a hostage-taker in Lebanon is hailed as a national hero

The gunman, named by the authorities as Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, is one of millions in Lebanon whose lives have been lost in the country. devastating economic crisis that started in October 2019.

Videos posted on social media showed Hussein pacing nervously around the bank in denim shorts and sandals, the hostages trying to reason with him. “Give me my money back,” Hussein shouted, holding his gun. “I’m running out of time.” He threatened to burn down the bank and kill everyone in it.

Details about the gunman began to emerge as the tense dispute continued. According to security sources, Hussein’s deposit amounted to $210,000. He needed money — about $10,000 — to pay for his father’s surgery. It was money he couldn’t get his hands on because, like the vast majority of Lebanese, his bank account was frozen. He said he would surrender to the police if the money was released to his brother.

As the hours passed inside the bank, people gathered in the street outside to cheer on Hussein. They chanted anti-government and even some religious slogans in support of him. The head of the Lebanon Depositors Association, Hassan Mughniyeh, goes public denounce the government and the banking elite about Hussein’s economic situation and blamed them for the impasse.

However, sympathy for Hussein grew. A flurry of social media posts praised him, and security forces began quietly speculating about the imitations. By the end of the day, he had become a national hero in the eyes of many.

A security source told CNN: “Many people in Lebanon are considering doing what he did, to put themselves in jail as they try to save their family’s bank deposits,” a source told CNN. security news told CNN. “The problem is when that trigger point occurs.”

Security sources said a large number of people deep in debt combined with rampant gun ownership in households could create problems like Thursday’s standoff.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity, due to professional codes in Lebanon, to describe the nature of the source’s inner thoughts.

Lebanon has one of the highest numbers of guns per capita in the world, according to the Small Arms Survey, a group that monitors the proliferation of weapons, with more than 30% of civilians in the country armed. gas. The country’s volatile political situation has seen many political groups build up arsenals.

Lebanon's national basketball team gives crisis country a glimmer of hope

Analysts and activists say the situation is made more volatile not only by the economic crisis but also by the government’s mismanagement of it. When the financial roundup began in October 2019, banks severely restricted access to customer deposits. However, these restrictions are arbitrary and never made into law. That means banks can release money to whoever they choose, and activists accuse politicians of taking advantage of the situation to move billions of dollars out of the country when their coffers is exhausted. They say it’s the rich stealing from the poor.

The World Bank agreed, releasing a number of reports deemed accursed indictments against a political class it accused of perpetrating.intentional depression. ”
Lebanon’s currency lost more than 90% of its value in October 2019. Its infrastructure has fallen into disrepair with power cuts lasting more than 20 hours along with shortages of fuel, bread and country. More than 80% of the population live below the poverty line – up from about 30% three years ago. The banking crisis has exacerbated the situation by denying people access to their savings.

Hours after the standoff began, Hussein turned himself into a police officer. He was promised $30,000 as part of his surrender terms. As he exited the bank, he waved to the crowd and to a nation watching with passionate attention an incident that deeply underscored their despair.


Sweden agrees to extradite a man to Turkey after NATO deal

Sweden is set to extradite a Turkish citizen back to Turkey after its Supreme Court informed the government’s decision. Angelica Vallgren, Press Secretary to the Minister of Justice, told CNN the decision is “not related” to the NATO effort in Stockholm.

  • Story: Turkey sign a tripartite memorandum with Finland and Sweden backing their bids for NATO membership at the end of June. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sweden promised to extradite 73 people to Turkey because the memorandum stipulates that Sweden and Finland will deal with Turkey’s pending extradition requests. relating to suspected terrorism under the European Convention on Extradition.
  • Why is it important: Erdogan was previouslyveto threat Sweden and Finland demanded NATO membership, accusing them of harboring members of the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party, also known as the PKK. The PKK, which seeks an independent Kurdish state, has been in armed struggle with Turkey for decades and has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Iran warns of action against its citizens after US accuses Iran of assassination plot

Iran on Wednesday rejected what it described as “baseless” US claims, following accusations that an Iranian man allegedly plotted to kill advisers to former US President Donald Trump. Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying the allegations were politically motivated. “Iran strongly warns against any action against Iranian citizens under the pretext of ‘the allegations,'” he said, according to IRNA.

  • Story: The U.S. Department of Justice announced criminal charges Wednesday against a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for allegedly attempting to orchestrate the assassination of John Bolton, the former chief of staff. senior national security positions in the Trump and Bush administrations.
  • Why is it important: Charges come as US engage in negotiations with Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal from which the Trump administration withdrew. Iran had previously asked the US to remove the Revolutionary Guard from its list of terrorist organizations.

The man wanted by Saudi Arabia blew himself up when he was arrested

A man wanted by Saudi Arabia was killed Wednesday after detonating a suicide belt in Jeddah during a manhunt operation, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said today. Friday. Three security personnel and a Pakistani citizen were injured in the explosion, the SPA said.

  • Story: The man, Abdullah bin Zayed Abdul Rahman Al-Bakri al-Shehri, is on a list of nine people wanted by Saudi authorities, SPA quoted a spokesman for the Ministry of State Security as saying. Al-Shehri was involved in a 2015 attack on a special emergency forces mosque in southwestern Saudi Arabia that killed 13 people, Saudi authorities said in 2016. .
  • Why is it important?: Terrorist attacks are rare in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom faced a wave of incidents in the early 2000s, in the years following the September 11 attacks on the United States, and then the rise of ISIS in 2014.

Around the area

A bear was found drunk and nearly passed out in Turkey after it was found drunk in Turkey on Thursday.

According to state media, locals in the city of Düzce found a honey-drunk bear on a mountainside. Deciding there was not much they could do, they decided to take the bear to the local vet.

Footage posted on social media shows the bear sitting in the back of a pickup truck, dazed and confused.

Crazy honey is different from the honey you might put in your tea because it contains grayanotoxins, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Found in some flowers in the Ericaceae family, grayanotoxins are what give mad honey its intoxicating effect.

The bear has since recovered from the sugary fog and is set to be released back into the wild, presumably in pursuit of a safer sugar.

photo of the day

US DJ and producer Marshmello teamed up with Lebanese pop star Nancy Ajram on stage in Riyadh on Thursday to perform the single

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