US Govt. Shutdown appears imminent : Senate sets vote that’s likely to fail

Temporary government funding runs out at midnight Friday and there’s still no agreement on a temporary extension. Democrats are demanding that a stopgap include a provision permanently shielding some undocumented immigrants from deportation, while Republicans want to keep that issue separate from funding and budget negotiations. Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day: […]

Dark Caracal: Analysis of Lebanon’s recently discovered state-sponsored hacking

If Edward Snowden taught the world anything, it’s that governments now have the ability to pry into the personal and political affairs of their own citizens at relative ease, and Lebanon is no exception. In the wake of the bombshell revelations illustrating the country’s state-sponsored spying activities – directed at its own people – Lebanon […]

Marada chief compares Lebanon FM Bassil to Syria’s Ghazi Kanaan

Marada Movement chief and former presidential candidate MP Suleiman Frangieh launched a fierce verbal attack Thursday against the Free Patriotic Movement and compared its leader Jebran Bassil to Ghazi Kanaan, the long-time head of Syria’s security apparatus in Lebanon. “I reiterate that our project won through President Michel Aoun’s election, and in the strategic issues […]

Pope Tawadros: Church refuses extremist Torah explanations toward Jerusalem

CAIRO , EGYPT – “We refuse violence, coercion and religiousness of Arab Palestinian conflict. We also refuse the use of religion away from its main purposes. We refuse extremist explanations of Torah that deny others and impinge on their rights,” said Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria. During his speech at the International Conference in support […]

Macron dispatched adviser to sway Palestinians not to trash Trump’s peace plan

French President Emmanuel Macron dispatched his deputy national security adviser, Aurélien Lechevallier, to the Palestinian city of Ramallah this week to convince Palestinian leaders to give President Trump‘s peace plan for the region a chance, Axios reported on Thursday. French and Palestinian officials told the news outlet that Lechevallier met with various senior Palestinian officials, including the head of […]

True believers want peace for Jerusalem, pope tells imam

by Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service Christians, Muslims and Jews who are sincere about their faith must be committed to protecting the special character of Jerusalem and to praying and working for peace in the Holy Land, Pope Francis wrote in a letter to the grand imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar University. Only a special, internationally […]

Pence’s trip to Israel raises political and religious fears

If anybody thought a visit by America’s evangelical Vice President, Mike Pence, to Israel’s key holy sites would ease tensions at one of the lowest points in Israeli-Palestinian relations in years, perhaps they should think again. Pence, who champions the rights of Christians in the Middle East and typically fights in Israel’s corner, is set […]

Lebanese hacking campaign could be part of something much larger

There’s a string of spyware campaigns operating out of a government building in Lebanon, according to new research from Lookout Security and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Dubbed “Dark Caracal,” the new group is linked to attacks on thousands of victims in more than 21 different countries, a range of targets so broad that researchers believe […]

Lebanon’s spying agency turns smartphone Into selfie spycam: report

Lebanon’s intelligence service may have turned the smartphones of thousands of targeted individuals into cyber-spying machines in one of the first known examples of large-scale state hacking of phones rather than computers, researchers say. Lebanon’s General Directorate of General Security (GDGS) has run more than 10 campaigns since at least 2012 aimed mainly at Android […]