Lebanese president acknowledges that he learned of the existence of nitrate in July – Middle East – International

The President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, reported this Wednesday that the explosion of last day 4 in the port of Beirut, which has caused the death of 171 people and more than 6,000 injured, has left the country losses on the order of 15,000 million dollars.

(You may be interested in: The other Lebanese tragedies brought out by the Beirut explosion)

The tragedy also turned the country upside down by the recognition of the head of state himself that for weeks before the explosion occurred, he had already known of the existence of the 2,750-ton load of ammonium nitrate that caused it.

President Aoun was informed on July 20, 2020 through the State Security report of the presence of a large quantity of ammonium nitrate in a warehouse in the port of Beirut, His Excellency’s Military Adviser informed the Secretary General of the Supreme Defense Council, “the Presidency said in a statement.

Cost of damage

Aoun reported today for the first time that initial estimates sLosses from the explosion exceed 15,000 million dollars in a call to the King of Spain, Felipe VI.

“President Aoun received a call of condolences and solidarity from King Felipe VI of Spain; the initial estimates of losses exceed 15,000 million dollars,” the Lebanese Presidency said in a statement.

(You may be interested in: Explosion in Beirut precipitates the fall of the Lebanese government)

The last known loss figure was provided by the Beirut Governorate authorities, who assured in the first days that the damages could be around 3,000 or 5,000 million dollars, some numbers that are far from those contributed by Aoun.

Felipe VI expressed his condolences and solidarity to the Lebanese president, and also conveyed the willingness of the Spanish Government to make “any additional effort” to help erase the traces of the “painful” deflagration in the Lebanese capital.

Precisely on Tuesday a plane of the Spanish Air Force landed in Beirut with emergency aid for Lebanon, including 10 tons of wheat flour donated by the Olof Palme International Foundation, as well as medical supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sent by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.

(Read here: Macron calls for international investigation into explosion in Beirut)

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock had already warned that rebuilding would cost billions of dollars.

For the second day in a row, thousands of Lebanese protested yesterday against the authorities, whom they blame for the explosion.

The president seeks the truth

But Aoun made more surprising revelations Wednesday. The recognition that he knew the fertilizer to which the tragedy is attributed came after several Lebanese media speculated that both he and the prime minister, Hasan Diab, who resigned on the 10th, knew of the existence of the large amount of ammonium nitrate in the port.

“The Presidency of the Republic has every interest in the judicial investigation to continue its course and making use of all experiences to show the complete truth about the explosion, its circumstances and those responsible for it at all levels,” according to the statement from presidency.

(Read also: Keys in the case of the attack on former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri)

And, according to his version, Aoun’s advisor made this information known in the presence of the Council of Ministers “so that it could take the necessary measures” and the secretary general of the Supreme Defense Council then sent the text to the departments ” competent “.

Aoun is under strong pressure not only from the street, where there have been constant protests since the explosion a week ago to demand the departure of the entire ruling class, salso on the part of some political sectors.

Two days ago, the president accepted the resignation of the Government presented by Diab and asked him to continue in office until the formation of a new Executive.


The explosion occurred in the port of Beirut.

No crisis of bread

For his part, the Lebanese Minister of Economy, Raoul Nehme, said this Wednesday that “there is no bread crisis” in the country and that there is enough flour for the next four months, after the devastating explosion destroyed the silos that stored wheat in the port of Beirut.

(See here: Beirut: videos show the exact moment of the huge explosion)

Lebanon’s mills have 32,000 tons storedNehme detailed on his official Twitter account, in addition to 110,000 tons that have arrived or are going to arrive within a period of two weeks. “The reserves are sufficient for four months,” according to the minister.



INPS: Privacy Guarantor opens the investigation on the bonus – Politics

The Guarantor for the protection of personal data sent a request for information to INPS and opened an investigation with regard to the methodology followed by the Institute with respect to the processing of data of the beneficiaries of the Covid bonus for VAT numbers and the news circulated in this regard.

According to what is learned from parliamentary sources, the Labor Commission of the Chamber is convened Friday at 12 noon for Pasquale Tridico’s informal videoconference hearing, president of the pension fund.

Meanwhile they have been suspended Elena Murelli and Andrea Dara. “After having listened to and verified their respective positions, the suspension provision is confirmed,” says the leader of the Lega in the Chamber Riccardo Molinari. Both deputies received the INPS bonus of 600 euros provided for VAT holders. ” having violated any law – says Molinari – it is inappropriate for parliamentarians to have adhered to this measure and for this reason we have decided and shared the suspension provision with those directly concerned. However, it is incredible that the INPS leaders have not paid the workers who have been waiting for the amount due since March and have instead paid to those who were not in difficulty. In any other country the parliamentarians would have been suspended but the INPS president would have been fired “.

“I have indicated that anyone who has taken or applied for the bonus – the secretary of the Lega Matteo Salvini had already announced in the morning at Agorà Estate – will be suspended and in case of elections not reappointed”. “Should Tridico resign? I do not prosecute anyone and I look at my house where I am inflexible. However, we will ask the president of the INPS how he managed not to pay the bonus to those who needed it to give it to the parliamentarians instead”.

Zaia, I will hear advisors then I will decide – “I will meet the vice president Gianluca Forcolin and the councilors Riccardo Barbisan and Alessandro Montagnoli. After that I will make the decisions known”. The president of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, said about the ‘bonus’ affair. “I remember that I was the first to ask the question at national level, because I think that clarity is fundamental; you must always have a straight back. After which – he specified – we are talking about a measure that is not illegal at all. , but a theme of opportunity. We have three different cases: two directors who asked for the bonus, obtained it and then documented that they had given charity by giving it to third parties; on the other hand we have a vice president who is a minority shareholder of an associate firm that has submitted applications for members and clients “.

In Florence Bocci resigns the center right coordinator – In Florence Ubaldo Bocci resigned from the role of coordinator of the center-right in Palazzo Vecchio following the controversy over the INPS bonus of 600 euros. Bocci, already a candidate for mayor against Dario Nardella, remains in the position of city councilor. “I communicated my decision to the three group leaders of Fi, Fdi and Lega to leave the position of coordinator of the center-right in the city council – he explains to Ansa – I am a center-right man and because I realize that at this stage my figure is become cumbersome, an obstacle, I decided out of loyalty to the coalition to leave this role “. Bocci reiterates that he took the bonus “to unmask a badly done law” and that he assigned it “to charity”. “My mistake – he adds – was not receiving the bonus and then giving it to charity, but ex post, with hindsight, the mistake was not having returned it to INPS after having demonstrated the approximation of this law”.


Emil asks Jokowi for support to add Covid-19 tests to collaborate with private parties

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil. © 2020 Merdeka.com/aksara bebey

Merdeka.com – West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil submitted two proposals to increase the capacity of the Covid-19 virus test. The first proposal is to cooperate with the private sector.

“There is a service from the private sector called pay per service PCR. Because our lab is stuck at a maximum of only 15 to 20,000 if the policy is permitted, we can raise statistics with private partnerships,” he said when reporting the handling of Covid-19 in West Java, Tuesday (11 / 8).

He explained that if it is approved, the private sector will invest in the tools. Then his party will pay per patient.

“They invested in the equipment, we only gave the name of the patient or the potential person who was tested for swabs,” he said.

Next is the use of a portable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tool. The tool, said Ridwan, can be used to remote areas. He also hopes that the proposal can be approved by Jokowi.

“We have PCR as big as a suitcase, sir. So that it can be taken to remote areas in the forest in the mountains in villages that are not reached by PCR cars and facilities so that testing can be done now evenly by assigning officers,” he explained.

“Hopefully, this West Java innovation can also be a breakthrough to ensure that the level of testing does not only gather in crowded urban areas,” concluded the man who is familiarly called Emil. (mdk/fik)


They ask to postpone the election of the IDB president – Latin America – International

Through a letter, 131 personalities from Latin America asked to postpone the election of the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which is scheduled for September.

(Read also: The US kicks the board with a bid for the IDB presidency)

“We propose to postpone the election of the president at the next IDB assembly, in order to dedicate the next few months to defining strategies and priorities, after which we agree on a consensual basis who will be at the head of the institution ”, the letter explains.

Former foreign ministers, former ministers, parliamentarians, and academics from the region supported the proposal, arguing that It is “a process that has generated notable and justified concerns throughout the continent.”

The “Latin American Reflection Table”, as they call the instance from which they make this call, also mentioned that “America is still suffering the devastating impact of covid-19 in multiple dimensions and there are several months left before this lethal pandemic is overcome” .

(You may be interested in: New IDB leadership to strengthen the Americas / Opinion)

And they added: “These are times of uncertainty about when and how Latin America and the Caribbean may undertake the difficult and formidable task of inclusive reconstruction of economies ”.

This opportunity should also serve to formally confirm that a Latin American or Caribbean citizen should exercise the presidency of the institution “

One of the names that have come up to replace Colombian Luis Alberto Moreno, who currently holds the presidency of the IDB, is the nominee of the United States, Mauricio Claver-Caron, a name that did not go down well in some sectors, since traditionally the direction of that organization it has always been in the hands of a Latin American.

In the same letter it can even be read: “This opportunity should also serve to formally confirm that a Latin American or Caribbean citizen must exercise the presidency of the institution.”

(Read also: ‘Let’s not politicize the election of the IDB president ‘: Iván Duque)

Among the signatory Colombians are figures such as former presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo, former Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín,
the former Foreign Minister Rodrigo Pardo, the former director of the Banco de la República José Antonio Ocampo and Sandra Borda, a professor at the University of Los Andes.

The pulse for the IDB presidency has been stirring since the name Claver-Carone became known. In fact, the European Union (EU), through the High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, also recently asked to postpone the elections until March 2021. Borrell called Claver-Carone’s candidacy an “unprecedented” proposal.

But this Tuesday U.S rejected the idea of ​​the EU. A senior representative of the government of Donald Trump who interviewed the Efe agency, and who asked not to be identified, told that media that “any effort to hijack the electoral process by a minority of countries, and much less by non-regional countries, it would be an affront to the region and it would be questioned ”.



Callipo resigns from Consiglio Calabria – Ultima Ora

(ANSA) – REGGIO CALABRIA, JUNE 29 – “After a long and very painful reflection, this morning I resigned from the position of regional councilor of Calabria because I realized that, unfortunately, there are no conditions to carry on concretely the important mandate that a considerable number of Calabrians has given me “. This was announced in a note by Pippo Callipo, candidate for president of the center-left in the regional networks of last January, and defeated, and adviser of the movement he founded “Io resto in Calabria”. “It was traumatizing – he adds – to have to accept that any effort made would not lead to any result. Soon I understood that the rules and principles that order the activity of the Regional Council are in fact ‘compliant’ in the face of practices consolidated over the years who mortify the highest Calabrian Legislative Assembly and which clash with my mentality based on concreteness “.