Lebanese justice minister resigns

  • Lebanon’s Justice Minister Marie Claude Najm, Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad, and Environment Minister Damianos Kattar have all resigned from their post.

  • Lebanese police fired tear gas to try to disperse rock-throwing protesters blocking a road near Parliament in Beirut on Sunday in a second day of anti-government demonstrations triggered by last week’s devastating explosion.

  • International leaders joined a virtual donor conference led by France and the UN in the aftermath of the devastating explosion, pledging nearly $300m in humanitarian assistance that will be “directly delivered to the Lebanese population”.

  • US President Donald Trump has announced that the US will give “substantial” aid to Lebanon, but did not specify how much.
  • The IMF said it is willing to redouble efforts to help Lebanon after the devastating explosion, but said all of the country’s institutions needed to show willingness to carry out reforms.

    Monday, August 10

    09:25 GMT – Lebanon justice minister resigns

    Lebanese Justice Minister Marie Claude Najm said in a statement she had presented her resignation from the government, citing the catastrophic explosion at the port of Beirut.

    Najm said she was resigning “out of my conviction that staying in power in these conditions, without fundamental change to the system, will not lead to the reform which we worked to achieve”.

    She called on the rest of the government to resign, and said she had also pressed for early elections due to the scale of Lebanon’s crisis.

    Tuesday’s massive explosion in Beirut tore through thousands of homes, blowing off doors and windows, toppling cupboards, and sending books, shelves, lamps and everything else flying.

    Within seconds, more than a quarter of a million of the Lebanese capital’s residents were left with homes unfit to live in.

    There are estimates that say 6,200 buildings were damaged.

  • 06:40 GMT – Iran says Beirut blast should not be politicised

    Iran said countries should refrain from politicising the massive blast in Beirut last week, adding that the United States should lift sanctions against Lebanon.

    “The blast should not be used as an excuse for political aims … the cause of the blast should be investigated carefully,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told a televised news conference.

    “If America is honest about its assistance offer to Lebanon, they should lift sanctions.”

    06:10 GMT – Blast destroyed landmark 19th century palace in Beirut

    The Sursock palace, built in 1860 in the heart of historical Beirut on a hill overlooking the now-obliterated port, is home to beautiful works of arts, Ottoman-era furniture, marble and paintings from Italy – collected by three long-lasting generations of the Sursock family.

    The house in Beirut’s Christian quarter of Achrafieh is listed as a cultural heritage site, but Roderick Sursock – owner of Beirut’s landmark Sursock Palace – said only the army has come to assess the damage in the neighborhood. So far, he’s had no luck reaching the Culture Ministry.

    “In a split second, everything was destroyed again,” says Sursock.

    04:20 GMT – Nine Lebanese MPs, two ministers resign from government

    Nine members of parliament and two ministers have so far resigned from their position in Lebanon, according to an Al Jazeera tally.

    Manal Abdel Samad, the information minister, and Damianos Kattar, the environment minister, resigned their posts on Sunday as the government comes under heavy pressure following the explosion on Tuesday.

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