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Egypt

Why A Total Ban On Wildlife Trade Could Make Matters Worse

An outright ban on wildlife trade may exacerbate the situation. Could carefully controlling these animal markets be the best answer?

Animals for sale at a bird market in Jakarta
Animals for sale at a bird market in Jakarta
Kenzie Azmi

CAIRO — It is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic originated in a live animal market in Wuhan, China, which displayed about 50 different species of wild animals, including some endangered species.

Unregulated live wildlife markets are an easy breeding ground for diseases as the species they trade — usually originating from very different environments with different immune systems — are suddenly placed in extremely close proximity. Being crammed in cages surrounded by loud noises and other distressed animals while being handled constantly creates high levels of stress, which ends up further weakening their immune systems. This creates an ideal environment for diseases to jump from one species to another, eventually hitting humans. It may sound like a practice we should put a stop to immediately, but the situation is much more convoluted than it seems.

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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