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TOPIC: lebanon

In The News

Xi-Putin Alliance, Record UK Nurses Strikes, No More Cape For Cavill

👋 Aloha!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Chinese leader Xi Jinping is reportedly quietly strengthening ties with Russia, Peru declares a nationwide state of emergency and Henry Cavill will pass on the Superman mantle. Meanwhile, growing signs that it’s only a matter of time before Belarus joins Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

[*Hawaiian]

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Iran Protests, Dissent In The Ranks: Interview With A Mole Inside The Revolutionary Guard

A member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards tells Kayhan-London that while they must stay hidden, "many" policemen, soldiers and officials sympathize with the mass protests against the Islamist regime. He also shares information about Iran's role in the Ukraine war.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards are the de facto military and economic bedrock of the Islamic regime, also acting as its ideological police tasked with crushing dissent at home and abroad.

Its generals occupy many key civil and ministerial positions, and are often the ones issuing the most brutal threats against political opponents and disgruntled Iranians. But in the current moment of political upheaval, an unknown and important factor is the view of the Guards' rank-and-file members. Are they equally zealous in defending the regime and keen to crush the nationwide uprising that erupted in mid-September, after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran police custody?

Ali is the name given here to a Revolutionary guardsman who has told Kayhan-London that he and his family turned against the country's regime "some years back."

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Surprise Ukraine-Russia Prisoner Swap, Inflated Trumps, Kale In The Womb

👋 Cześć!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Ukraine and Russia announce the war's largest prisoner swap, the Trump family faces a lawsuit for fraud and Europe’s largest salt-water lagoon is now legally a “person.” Meanwhile, Argentine journalist Ignacio Pereyra reflects on his struggles as a stay-at-home father with a three-year-old and what it says about himself, and society’s evolving ideas about masculinity.

[*Polish]

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Europe v. Turkey: A New Mediterranean Gas Race That May Turn Nasty

Europe needs new energy sources. One alternative to Russian gas could be in the eastern Mediterranean. But with Turkey also actively exploring the region for reserves, the potential for conflict is high.

It is the pride of the Turkish fleet. The bow of the "Abdülhamid Han" ship is painted red, with a crescent moon and star emblazoned on the sides. Like all four of Turkey's drillships, which are used for exploratory offshore drilling, it is named after a sultan and embodies Istanbul's claims of being a great power.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls the state-of-the-art drilling ship a "symbol of Turkey's new vision in the energy sector."

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In The News
Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger

Ukraine Refutes Dugina Accusations, UK Migrants Record, Jupiter’s Auroras

👋 Dobrý deň!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Ukrainian ridicule Russian accusations that it is behind the murder Darya Dugina last week, the UK sees a record daily number of migrants reaching its shores, and the James Webb Telescope wows us again. Meanwhile, Hong-Kong-based outlet The Initium looks at the weight of new religious groups in Japan in the wake of Shinzo Abe’s assassination by a member of the Unification Church.

[*Slovak]

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In The News
Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

China’s Missile Drills, Taliban Doubts On Al-Zawahiri, Good Great Barrier Reef News

👋 Alii!*

Welcome to Thursday, where China launches missiles in largest ever drills near Taiwan following Nancy Pelosi’s visit, Germany braces for a potential energy gas crisis next winter, and there’s good news from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Meanwhile, Die Welt visits Germany’s Baden-Baden, which went from the destination of choice for wealthy Russian tourists to a tourist ghost town.

[*Palauan, Republic of Palau]

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Geopolitics

Why Iranians And Israelis Have More In Common Than You Think

Israel's vocal support for Iranians protesting the regime will lay the grounds for ties with a future democratic Iran, whenever that may come.

-Editorial-

LONDON — It may be early to declare an end to the latest bout of anti-government protests in Iran, which began in mid-May. As late as May 30, Iranians were chanting Death to the Dictator at a football match. So far, the only foreign leader to openly voice support for protesting Iranians has been Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. On May 29, he referred to the suppression of protests in Iran in a speech in which he urged the world to hear the voice of Iranians opposing the Islamic Republic.

Bennett said the oppression of Iranians and constant threats to the security of Israel and its citizens had the same roots — namely a regime that spends Iran's resources not on the welfare of Iranians, but to pay for regional terrorism.

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In The News
Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet and Bertrand Hauger

Kremlin Pessimism, BoJo’s Toast, Airbnb Leaves China

👋 Hej!*

Welcome to Tuesday, which marks three months since the war in Ukraine started. Meanwhile, BoJo is in trouble again, and millionaires at Davos ask to be taxed more. Persian-language, London-based media Kayhan explores what the future of Lebanon could look like after the election defeat of Iran-backed Hezbollah.

[*Swedish]

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Geopolitics
Ahmad Ra'fat

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?

-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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RELIGION UNPLUGGED
Joseph Hammond*

How A Hardware Store Helped Build The Muslim Community Of Belize

In Belize, San Pedro's Muslim community revolves around the Harmouches, a Lebanese family who immigrated in the 1980s and whose hardware business is at the heart of the town.

SAN PEDRO, Belize — On tropical Ambergris Caye in Belize, Islam is a family affair. The island's largest town, San Pedro, has a population of just over 13,000, of whom some 200 are Muslims. This small yet vibrant Muslim community was launched by a single adventurous Lebanese family — the Harmouches.

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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

Afghanistan Mosque Blast, Widest Vaccine Mandate, Banksy’s Record

👋 Bonjou!*

Welcome to Friday, where a deadly blast strikes a mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan during Friday prayers, Lebanon death toll rises, and Banksy sells 15 times better when shredded. Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt reporters take us on an eerie tour of the deserted Camp Marmal, the German army's former headquarters in Afghanistan.

[*Haitian Creole]

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Lebanon
Benjamin Barthe

Clubhouse: Why This Social Platform Scares Arab Regimes

Glittering virtual lounges are popping up, inviting people to participate, solely by audio, in debates on all subjects. And, in the Middle East, the powers that be disapprove of the elites' infatuation with a trendy new app.

RIYADH — A month ago, the up-and-coming app Clubhouse took the Middle East by storm. In just a few days, the latest gem from Silicon Valley had already earned its place in the crowded market of Arab social networks. Since this audio chat platform only runs on iOS for the moment, its use is restricted to iPhone owners, i.e. the relatively wealthy classes.

But in these circles, especially in Egypt and among the ultra-connected youth of the wealthy Gulf States, followers for this new app started to grow rapidly. By mid-February, Clubhouse was the most downloaded social media app in the Saudi Arabian App Store.

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