When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Lebanon

Deadly Overnight Clashes In Lebanon, US To Help In Bomb Probe

AP, BBC NEWS (UK), AL JAZEERA (Qatar)

Worldcrunch

BEIRUT – Overnight clashes in Lebanon have killed at least three people in the northern city of Tripoli and left dozens injured, following the funeral of senior intelligence official Wissam al-Hassan.

Al Jazeera reports that violence erupted after protesters tried to storm the offices of Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, adding that although Hassan’s funeral had been billed as a protest against Syrian meddling in Lebanon, it quickly turned into equal, if not greater, anger at Mikati and his government.

According to security officials and state-run media, there are fears that Syria's civil war is spilling over into its smaller neighbor, after Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan and at least two other people were killed in a car bomb attack on Friday, AP reports.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mikati have agreed to a joint probe into the car bomb which killed the top anti-Syrian intelligence official and two other people in an east Beirut neighborhood, a US spokesman told BBC News.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Geopolitics

Cilia Flores de Maduro, How Venezuela's First Lady Wields A Corrupt "Flower Shop" Of Power

Venezuela's first lady, Cilia Flores, is one of the country's chief power brokers and a consummate wheeler-dealer who, with the help of relatives, runs a voracious enterprise dubbed the Flower Shop.

Photo of Cilia Flores (left) and her husband Nicolás Maduro (middle)

Cilia Flores (left) and her husband Nicolás Maduro (middle)

Mauricio Rubio

-OpEd-

One of the clearest signs of tyranny in Venezuela has to be the pervasive nepotism and behind-the-scenes power enjoyed by President Nicolás Maduro's wife, Cilia Flores de Maduro.

In Venezuela, it's said that Flores works in the shadows but is somehow "always in the right place," with one commentator observing that she is constantly "surrounded by an extensive web of collaborators" — including relatives, with whom she has forged a clique often dubbed the floristería, or the "Flower Shop," which is thought to control every facet of Venezuelan politics.

She is certainly Venezuela's most powerful woman.

From modest origins, Flores is 68 years old and a lawyer by training. She began her ascent as defense attorney for the then lieutenant-colonel Hugo Chávez, who was jailed after his failed attempt at a coup d'état in 1992. She offered him her services and obtained his release, which won her his unstinting support for the rest of his life.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest