World leaders have offered support to Lebanon following a massive explosion that killed at least 73 people and wounded more than 3,700 in the capital, Beirut.
While the cause of the explosion was not immediately clear, Lebanon’s internal security chief Abbas Ibrahim said the site of the blast in the port area of the city was housing highly explosive materials.
The explosion released shockwaves through the city, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky.
Hours after the blast, ambulances continued to carry away the wounded as army helicopters helped battle fires raging at the port. Officials expect the death toll to rise.
Here’s how the world has reacted:
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed solidarity with the Lebanese and said France was sending resources to the site of the blast.
“I express my fraternal solidarity with the Lebanese after the explosion which claimed so many victims and damages this evening in Beirut. France stands alongside Lebanon. Always. French aid and resources are being transported on the spot [of the explosion],” Macron wrote on Twitter.
J’exprime ma solidarité fraternelle avec les Libanais après l’explosion qui a fait tant de victimes et de dégâts ce soir à Beyrouth. La France se tient aux côtés du Liban. Toujours. Des secours et moyens français sont en cours d’acheminement sur place.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 4, 2020
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also sent a message of support to Lebanon, writing on Twitter that France is ready to assist any need the Lebanese authorities will express.
The German foreign ministry said staff at the German embassy were wounded in the explosion.
“The wounded also include embassy personnel,” the ministry said. “We cannot for the moment exclude German nationals figuring among the dead and wounded.”
The German embassy building, located not far from the port, was damaged but the “seriousness of the damage cannot yet be determined for now,” the foreign ministry said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said through her spokeswoman that she was shocked by the event and promised aid for Lebanon.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Tehran was ready to assist in any way and urged Lebanon to “stay strong”.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the great and resilient people of Lebanon,” Zarif wrote on Twitter.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the great and resilient people of Lebanon. As always, Iran is fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary. Stay strong, Lebanon. 🖤🇱🇧
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) August 4, 2020
“As always, Iran is fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary. Stay strong, Lebanon.”
Israel said it had offered humanitarian aid to Lebanon via foreign channels, as the neighbours have no diplomatic relations. “Under the direction of Minister of Defence Benny Gantz and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi, Israel approached Lebanon through international defence and diplomatic channels to offer the Lebanese government medical humanitarian aid,” Gantz wrote on Twitter.
The Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio took to social media to wish “a speedy recovery” to those wounded in the blast.
“Italy is close to Lebanese friends in this tragic moment. Our thoughts go to the families of the victims, to whom we express our deep condolences, and to the injured people, to whom we wish a speedy recovery,” Di Maio said.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein expressed his country’s grief over the Beirut blast, and offered to help in “any way we can”.
“Malaysia stands together in grief as our thoughts and prayers accompany the strong people of Lebanon,” he said in a Twitter post. “We stand ready to support any way we can.”
Malaysia stands together in grief as our thoughts and prayers accompany the strong people of 🇱🇧 Lebanon. We stand ready to support any way we can. Initial reports from our @MYEmbBeirut show that all Malaysians there are safe and have been advised to stay at home #PrayForLebanon pic.twitter.com/tpJJ8HAo5x
— Hishammuddin Hussein 🇲🇾 (@HishammuddinH2O) August 5, 2020
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani called President Michel Aoun to offer condolences, according to the state-run Qatar News Agency. The Gulf country said it would send field hospitals to support Lebanon’s medical response.
HH the Amir held via telephone a conversation with Lebanon’s President, during which His Highness expressed his condolences to the President and the brotherly Lebanese people on the victims of the explosion in Beirut port, wishing a speedy recovery for the injured. #QNA pic.twitter.com/5ZcFzarhzp
— Qatar News Agency (@QNAEnglish) August 4, 2020
Sheikh Tamim wished “a speedy recovery for the injured”, QNA reported, adding that he “expressed Qatar’s solidarity with brotherly Lebanon and its willingness to provide all kinds of assistance”.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said it is following with great concern the consequences of Beirut’s port explosion, according to the state news agency.
The statement also affirmed the kingdom’s full support and solidarity with the Lebanese people.
#Statement | The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is watching with grave concern the aftermath of the explosion that occurred in the port of #Beirut today, which resulted in deaths and injuries.
— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@KSAmofaEN) August 4, 2020
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu offered his condolences to the Lebanese people, adding that Ankara was ready to assist in “every way”.
“Wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives in the explosion occurred in the port of Beirut. Condolences to the brotherly and friendly people of Lebanon. Hoping there won’t be any more losses. Ready to assist our Lebanese brothers & sisters in every way,” said Cavusoglu.
Turkish President Erdogan also offered humanitarian assistance in a phone conversation with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his readiness to help Lebanon in any possible way.
“The pictures and videos from Beirut tonight are shocking. All of my thoughts and prayers are with those caught up in this terrible incident. The UK is ready to provide support in any way we can, including to those British nationals affected,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.
The pictures and videos from Beirut tonight are shocking. All of my thoughts and prayers are with those caught up in this terrible incident. The UK is ready to provide support in any way we can, including to those British nationals affected.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) August 4, 2020
President Donald Trump said he sent his sympathies to Lebanon for the dozens of people killed and thousands wounded in the blast, which he cast as an attack, and offered US help.
“The United States stands ready to assist Lebanon,” Trump said at a White House briefing. “We will be there to help. It looks like a terrible attack.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the blast as a “tragedy” and offered US assistance to Lebanon.
“We are monitoring and stand ready to assist the people of Lebanon as they recover from this horrible tragedy,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter.
Two huge explosions rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky [AFP]
Pompeo in an accompanying statement said that the US will wait for the findings of Lebanese authorities on the cause of the blast.
“Our team in Beirut has reported to me the extensive damage to a city and a people that I hold dear, an additional challenge in a time of already deep crisis,” said Pompeo, who has spoken in the past of his personal interest in Lebanon.
Trixie Mattel’s Twangy Cover, Aquihayaquihay’s Sunny Future, And More Songs We Love
Allan Villanueva / Getty Images The search for the ever-elusive “bop” is difficult. Playlists and streaming-service recommendations can only do so much. They often leave a lingering question: Are these songs really good, or are they just new? Enter Bop Shop, a hand-picked selection of songs from the MTV News team. This weekly collection doesn’t…
Allan Villanueva / Getty Images
The search for the ever-elusive “bop” is difficult. Playlists and streaming-service recommendations can only do so much. They often leave a lingering question: Are these songs really good, or are they just new?
Enter Bop Shop, a hand-picked selection of songs from the MTV News team. This weekly collection doesn’t discriminate by genre and can include anything — it’s a snapshot of what’s on our minds and what sounds good. We’ll keep it fresh with the latest music, but expect a few oldies (but goodies) every once in a while, too. Get ready: The Bop Shop is now open for business.
Something is frayed on “Sencillo,” the wonderfully languid latest effort from self-described “anti-boy band” Aquihayaquihay. As much as Steve Aoki’s label signees sound embattled as they sing in Spanish, the sounds themselves direct the song’s emotionality toward hope. Embracing both modern bedroom-production hallmarks and an exploration of past R&B-pop sounds, “Sencillo” plays like a completely welcome meeting of past and present while also pointing to a sunny future. —Patrick Hosken
Trixie Mattel: “Video Games”
Trixie Mattel opened up a beer and said, “Get over here and play my ‘Video Games.'” The RuPaul’s Drag Race legend takes her body to Pioneertown and gives Lana Del Rey’s 2011 melancholy single an Old West country-music twist. The dramatic cover features Trixie strumming her trusty autoharp, but it also serves cowboy shootout realness with some ominous desert outlaw whistles. We hope you like the bad girls, honey, because Trixie really brought it with this cover. Lana Del Rey? More like Lana Del SLAY. —Chris Rudolph
Kristen Ford: “Stick Shift Corolla”
Nashville-based alt rocker Kristen Ford piles on the breakup feels in this moody track from No Plans, her new EP. Tension grows verse by angst-fueled verse. “I don’t want you back / Time don’t work like that,” Ford insists, although if the explosive guitar and drums punctuating the final verse are any indication, that realization doesn’t undo the hurt that’s been done. —Sam Manzella
Lulu Simon: “Strangers”
Pop music has a new rising star, and she comes from a pretty impressive pedigree. On her new single “Strangers,” Lulu Simon, daughter of Paul Simon and Edie Brickell, gets breezily bitter about an ex who can’t quite accept that a relationship has met its expiration. Over a stacked production of ’80s synths and electronica pops, Simon’s lyrics read like a diary or a heated string of texts — you know, the unhinged ones you send in quick succession to a friend when you’ve got some feelings and you’ve got to get them out. Considering that her sarcastic yet sweet debut “Wasted” is just as much of a bop, it looks like there’s more where that came from. —Carson Mlnarik
Cautious Clay: “Agreeable”
Cautious Clay’s voice is smooth, his arms are open wide, and on “Agreeable,” he sounds about a thousand miles high. Much like “Cheesin’,” the virtual posse cut he anchored earlier this year, the elastic artist stretches and flexes in equal measure here — but the party’s over in just two minutes. Before you know, you’re back on the ground. You might not even know you left it. —Patrick Hosken
John K: “Happiness”
The lyrical melancholy of the emerging pop crooner John K’s latest single betrays its peppy title. Here, “Happiness” functions less like an expression of joy than a painful reminder of better days long gone: “Happiness, are you there? / Are you gone? Are you comin’ back?” Yet, delivered by a voice that a new listener might mistake for Troye Sivan or Sam Smith, it seems pleasant all the same. —Coco Romack
Bosco: “4th of July”
The chorus finds Bosco directing your gaze upwards — “Bombs bursting into the sky” — but even fireworks on Independence Day might have a hard time keeping your attention in this plush ecosystem populated with silken guitar waves and a treasure chest full of booming R&B rhythm. Don’t let the title fool you; this is a leafy autumn song through and through. —Patrick Hosken
OnePlus 8T Tipped to Launch on October 14: Expected Specifications
OnePlus 8T is now rumoured to launch on October 14. Previously, the phone was expected to launch later this month or sometime early October, but the new rumour suggests a slight delay due to the coronavirus pandemic that may have resulted in production hiccups. The OnePlus 8T is reported to have a different camera setup…
OnePlus 8T is now rumoured to launch on October 14. Previously, the phone was expected to launch later this month or sometime early October, but the new rumour suggests a slight delay due to the coronavirus pandemic that may have resulted in production hiccups. The OnePlus 8T is reported to have a different camera setup design than the OnePlus 8 range. The upcoming phone is tipped to be powered by the Snapdragon 865 SoC and pack 65W fast charging support.MySmartPrice has shared information relayed by tipster Ishan Agarwal hinting that the OnePlus 8T will launch on October 14. The tipster notes that there might be slight delays due to the unprecedented circumstances. In any case, the OnePlus 8T will see a delayed launch from last year, given that the OnePlus 7T was unveiled in September itself. There have been no announcements from OnePlus regarding a launch event. Given the situation, the next OnePlus event, whenever it happens, would likely be held virtually.OnePlus 8T specifications (expected)The OnePlus 8T has leaked extensively in the past and it is reported to run on OxygenOS 11-based Android 11 software and feature a 6.55-inch full-HD+ display with 120Hz refresh rate. It is said to be powered by the Snapdragon 865+ SoC and come in two configurations – 8GB + 128GB and 12GB + 256GB.There is expected to be quad rear camera setup on the OnePlus 8T that may include a 48-megapixel primary shooter, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 5-megapixel macro shooter, and a 2-megapixel portrait sensor. Up front, the OnePlus 8T may feature a 32-megapixel camera for selfies. The OnePlus 8T is tipped to include a 4,500mAh battery with support for 65W fast charging.As mentioned, there may be a redesigned camera module on the OnePlus 8T with the sensors placed on the top left corner, instead of centre.Is Nord the iPhone SE of the OnePlus world? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Trump’s ex-spy chief warns American democracy may not survive November election
September 18, 2020 by Joseph Fitsanakis The former United States Director of National Intelligence, who served in the administration of President Donald Trump as the highest-ranking intelligence official until 2019, has warned that American democracy may not survive the upcoming presidential election. In a stark editorial published on Thursday in The New York Times, Dan…
September 18, 2020
by Joseph Fitsanakis
The former United States Director of National Intelligence, who served in the administration of President Donald Trump as the highest-ranking intelligence official until 2019, has warned that American democracy may not survive the upcoming presidential election. In a stark editorial published on Thursday in The New York Times, Dan Coats warns that whether “the American democratic experiment, one of the boldest political innovations in human history”, will survive after November, remains an open question.
The Trump administration appointed Coats in 2017 to head the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which was set up in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Its mission is to direct the 17-member United States Intelligence Community and to advise the president, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council on matters of national security. In July 2019 Coats resigned, reportedly after disagreeing with President Trump’s policies on North Korea, Russia and the Islamic State.
In his editorial, Coats urges Congress to pass “emergency legislation” that will establish a “supremely high-level bipartisan and non-partisan commission to oversee the [upcoming 2020 Presidential] election”. The proposed commission would supervise the mechanisms that “tabulate, evaluate or certify the results” of the election and assure the American public that “the laws and regulations governing them have been scrupulously and expeditiously followed”, argues Coats. Additionally, it would refer “to the proper law enforcement agency” any incident of election “interference, fraud, disinformation or other distortions”.
Coats also calls on American leaders to perform what he describes as the “most urgent task [they] face”, which is “to ensure that the election results are accepted as legitimate”. Doing the opposite would mean succumbing to the pressure of enemies who “want us to concede in advance that our voting systems are faulty or fraudulent; [and] that sinister conspiracies have distorted the political will of the people”.
The former Director of National Intelligence concludes by warning that if the nation fails “to take every conceivable effort to ensure the integrity of the election”, there will be no winners, but only losers, after November. Consequently, the American voters will not simply be choosing a president, he says, but will be deciding “whether the American democratic experiment […] will survive”.
► Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 18 September 2020 | Permalink