Lebanon news updates for August 24

Protesters set a motorbike on fire during a protest against corruption and against the government's failure to resolve a crisis over rubbish disposal, near the government palace in Beirut, Lebanon August 23, 2015.  REUTERS/Hasan Shaaban
Protesters set a motorbike on fire during a protest against corruption and against the government’s failure to resolve a crisis over rubbish disposal, near the government palace in Beirut, Lebanon August 23, 2015. REUTERS/Hasan Shaaban

Here are the latest updates on current issues in Lebanon.

You Stink

The You Stink campaign said its protest that was scheduled to be held at 6:00 pm Monday was postponed. The reasons will be announced during a press conference in this  afternoon.

Medical sources  have confirmed to LBCI that a protester, who was injured in the head during Sunday’s protest in downtown Beirut, has died.

The protests turned violent for the second  day. Infiltrators among the demonstrators in Central Beirut were  throwing Molotov cocktails at security forces,  NNA reported . “Participants in the protest also set the barbed wire on fire using a burning tire, after which they portioned  it and began throwing portions  at the security forces,” NNA added.
“Participants in the protest also set the barbed wire on fire using a burning tire, after which they separated it and began throwing it at the security forces,” NNA correspondent added.
The You Stink campaign  spokesperson denied any role in the violence that took place during the protest and blamed it on  thugs.
On Sunday, You Stink and other protest organizers pulled their supporters out of Riad al-Solh Square and moved to the Martyrs’ Square after men they described as political thugs began fighting with police.

The You Stink” campaign, which began receiving the backing of Lebanese from across Lebanon, first launched its campaign against the government after the closure of the Naameh landfill caused garbage to pile up on the streets.
The Lebanese Red Cross reported last night that 45 were wounded in the protests and have been rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment.
Amal Movement Bureau denied on Monday the reports that surfaced last night accusing its members of being the Infiltrators that were behind yesterday’s riots during the peaceful protest of the You Stink group NNA reported .
Witnesses reported that while the You Stink members seemed to be highly educated and acted in a very orderly manner, the thugs acted like beasts.

You Stink activist Lucien Bou Rjeili told  VOL (93.3) radio station: The protest that was scheduled for today has been postponed, but the activities will carry on in the coming days despite what happened in Riad al-Solh square yesterday.
Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas said on Monday that “all the political sides are attempting to hijack the peaceful demonstration,” pointing that PM Tammam Salam was always positive with FPM ministers.
He insisted that the resignation of the Cabinet would drag the Lebanese and the country to the unknown.
“This Cabinet is acting as a guard until a president is elected,” he told the “Voice of Lebanon’ radio.
This comes after FPM chief Michel Aoun was accused of attempting to hijack the You Stink cause.

ISF said 99 policemen were injured during Sunday’s violence and 32 rioters were arrested.
ISF brought cement blocks to Riad al-Solh Square.

Updates: Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq arrived at Riad al-Solh Square to inspect the scene of the recent violent protests, MTV reported. He later headed to the Grand Serail to meet with PM Salam.

After meeting Salam, he told reporters: The civilian campaign has the right to demonstrate, but a group affiliated with political parties had a different agenda.( A possible reference to the thugs ).
The You Stink campaign called for taking part in a silent candlelight march that will head from the Justice Palace to the Riad al-Solh Square at 7:30 pm.
Army chief General Kahwaji warned that the army will not be lenient with security violators or those who infiltrate peaceful demos to veer them off course.
The army has taken strict security measures at central Beirut’s entrances from Ras al-Nabaa to the Martyrs Square and the bridge leading to Borj al-Ghazal, al jadeed reported

But some rioters are pelting ISF members with stones in the Banks Street in central Beirut, NNA reported Monday evening .

Travel advisory, Kuwait

LBCI reported  that the Kuwaiti embassy in Beirut  has asked the  Kuwaiti citizens not to travel to Lebanon and those residing in the country to leave it because of the security situation.

Berri says no alternative to cabinet

Lebanon Speaker Nabih Berri Says People Have the Right to Yell but no alternative for cabinet amid presidential vacuum.
According to al-Mustaqbal newspaper, Berri described the clashes in downtown Beirut as “dangerous.”
He called for containing the situation before it gets out of control.
“The roadmap starts with opening the parliament’s doors for the election of a president, and exerting efforts to reopen the Naameh landfill for only six months” pending the start of the work of firms that have won the tenders, said Berri.
Salam urged not to quit
Top diplomats have contacted Prime Minister Tammam Salam to stop him from announcing his resignation over the country’s waste management crisis which spiraled out of control over the weekend.
Ambassadors of major powers, Arab countries and the European Union called him in an attempt to convince him not to resign, An Nahar daily reported on Monday.
Salam hinted on Sunday he might step down following violent protests over the weekend against government corruption and the ongoing trash crisis.

This comes after he hinted in a news conference Sunday that if this Thursday’s cabinet session is not productive, “then there is no need for the cabinet.”

Presidential vacuum
Beirut Maronite Bishop Boulos Matar told VOL (93.3) Radio station that the solution in Lebanon starts from agreeing on a president followed by the formation of a new cabinet and then electing a parliament.

PM salam
Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas told LBCI that the cabinet will hold an extraordinary session on Tuesday afternoon.
Several ministers have cancelled their appointments for Tuesday in anticipation of a cabinet session that is expected to tackle primarily the waste-management crisis, the salaries of civil servants and grants, VOL 100.5 reported
US ambassador david Hale expressed after meeting Salam his condemnation of the violence at Sunday’s demo, voicing support for an investigation into the unrest.
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai called PM Tammam Salam asserting that the solution to all the problems is to elect a head for the state.
Hezbollah / Future Movement dialogue
The Hezbollah-Future Movement dialogue session stressed the need to “preserve freedom of expression” and highlighted “the priority of dialogue and understanding among all parties to address the various crises.”

Garbage bids
Speaker Berri called for reevaluating the waste management bids due to the high prices and the burden on the treasury or annulling the tender’s results altogether.
Ain el Helweh
Al-Jadeed reported that clashes have intensified in the Ain el-Helweh camp and the sounds of RPG blasts were echoing in the city of Sidon.