There are over 600,000 Syrian Refugees in Lebanon. [Map] is courtesy of Executive Magazine.
I think the reason for closing this branch was common sense and not rent because there’s no point in having 2 branches 5 minutes away from one another.
Two Turkish Pilots were kidnapped outside Beirut’s airport 3 days ago – Picture from Al-Akhbar
Hayat Awali, also known as 7ajje Hayat, is the spokeswoman for the families of the pilgrims and has stated yesterday that “the detention of one of their family members [Mohammad Saleh] is a political move, and that in response to that, a large group of the relatives of hostages in Azaz are heading to Beirut streets and any Turk seen there will be kidnapped”.
Skip to Minute 0:52
Ya hek Logic Ya bala!
Minister Charbel said that the “pilots are doing well” but then stated and I quote “the most important thing is that we find their location, make sure they are safe, and ensure their release”. How did he know they are doing well?
Having said that, the families of the kidnapped pilgrims have every right to get their relatives back but I really hope that they learned the Mokdad lesson and didn’t have anything to do with the kidnapping because it could only make things worse.
Speaking of bad things, Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud said “the abduction could be the last nail in the coffin of tourism”.
The need for a second airport in Lebanon is becoming imminent year after year and the latest kidnapping of the the two Turkish pilots is yet another proof that the Kleiat airport has to be turned ASAP into a second civil airport.
In terms of cost, MTV made a small report on the airport and stated that $90 million dollars were needed to renovate the airport, while Annahar estimated the cost of rehabilitation at $45 million dollars back in September 2012. Either way, both numbers seem very reasonable.
Dr. Fata is due in court Tuesday and his bond has been set at $170,000. If convicted, he might face up to 20 years in jail. Having said that, I don’t think 20 years will be enough to repair the damage he’s done in the past two years.
I mean seriously! What the hell was going through this guy’s mind to do that?
Here are few excerpts from Medscape.com (Thanks Nicole)
“This oncologist and other employees also reported that Dr. Fata ordered intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) for patients whose antibody levels did not warrant the therapy. One nurse practitioner (NP) told federal agents that she pulled the charts for 40 patients scheduled for IVIG therapy and saw that 38 had neither low antibody levels nor a recurrent infection, which is another indication for the treatment. The NP consulted 2 other employees about the issue, and the 3 of them canceled the IVIG therapy for the 38 patients.
Dr. Fata’s employees had internally challenged other practices they considered unethical, such as fabricating cancer diagnoses in patient records to justify insurance claims for chemotherapy and positron emission tomography (PET) scans, according to interviews conducted by federal agents. Some employees quit over these issues. The employed oncologist, who had considered quitting, described working with Dr. Fata as “living with this hell.”
Dr. Fata has not yet had his day in court to refute these charges. “He vehemently denies all the allegations,” said Christopher Andreoff, the physician’s attorney, in an interview with Medscape Medical News.
Dr. Fata ordered chemotherapy for all patients with advanced cancer who would not benefit from it, according to the employed oncologist interviewed by federal agents. “No other physician would do this and would let the patients die in peace,” the complaint quotes the oncologist as saying. In April 2012, the American Society of Clinical Oncology said that administering chemotherapy to patients with advanced cancer who would not benefit from it is 1 of 5 practices that oncologists must abandon.”
“The current and former employees paint a picture of a physician who was obsessed with administering chemotherapy, no matter the circumstances. “A male patient fell down and hit his head when he came to MHO,” the complaint alleged. “Dr. Fata directed [an NP] that he must receive his chemotherapy before he could be taken to the emergency room.” Dr. Fata’s order was carried out. The man eventually died from the head injury.” [Medscape.com]
And from MyFoxDetroit
A Detroit-area doctor has been charged with bilking the government of tens of millions of dollars by deliberately misdiagnosing patients with cancer and illegally billing Medicare for the treatment.
Dr. Farid Fata will remain behind bars until at least Tuesday as a third federal judge considers whether or not to grant him bail. He was arrested last week on charges he ripped off Medicare for millions of dollars by giving chemotherapy to patients who didn’t need it and diagnosing cancer when the illness wasn’t apparent, MyFoxDetroit.com reported.
Fata owns Michigan Hematology Oncology, which has offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park. The government says the clinics billed $35 million to Medicare over two years.
Fata earned about $24.3 million in drug infusion billings directly to Medicare, “more than any hematologist/oncologist in the state of Michigan during that time period,” FBI agent Brian Fairweather wrote in the criminal complaint.
A magistrate judge had said Fata could be released from jail under strict conditions, but prosecutors appealed. They fear Fata will flee to his native Lebanon if released from jail, claiming he has access to millions of dollars to finance a flight. [Fox News]
I contacted Animals Lebanon last week to see if they have any updates regarding the Beirut River crocodile and to ask them if we can visit the site and help them search for the crocodile. I was told that there’s usually someone there between 10 and 12 everyday and that anyone can pass by. Also and more importantly, I was informed that there are two crocodiles and not just one and that the second one is twice the size of the first.
So I took my brother and headed on Thursday morning to the Beirut River. The first spot that I went to was the one right before the slaughter house next to the U-Turn that takes you back on the Hazmieh highway. The two pictures shown above are from that spot but I didn’t find any crocodiles there. There were 3 men looking as well for them but with no luck. I asked them if there’s another spot to look at and they told me to go inside the slaughter house and head towards the end where they once spotted one of them.
I went inside the area where the slaughter house is located and there was no one at the door. As soon as I got to the second spot, I opened the door to go down and almost fainted from the smell. I always wondered why people are not visiting the crocodile site and thought they were scared of them, but believe me the smells are scarier than the crocodiles.
The place is polluted beyond belief and the sad part is that I found people living there. I am not sure if they work at the slaughter house or are refugees from Syria (as I found a lot of Anti-Assad slogans on the walls) but no one should live in such a shit hole.
As far as the crocodiles are concerned, I spent a good half hour but didn’t find anything. The water is dirty and I am sure toxic as well and I honestly don’t envy the teams from Animals Lebanon and the Civil Defense for having to go there everyday.
I think the Minister of Environment should make an extra effort and provide the necessary for the local teams and maybe get a team of experts to locate the crocodiles ASAP and take them out of this river before it’s too late.
On a last note, It would be nice if the concerned parties do something about the slaughterhouse and the other surrounding buildings by at least monitoring who goes in and out and cleaning it up because I am confident the place violates every hygiene standard out there.
Mabrouk to the Lebanese Armenian team!
The 9th Pan-Homenetmen games, which had brought together 650 athletes from 17 countries, concluded yesterday, Aug. 3, with the Homenetmen of Lebanon winning the overall title.
Homenetmen Lebanon secured the overall title by winning the chess, ping-pong, and track and field competitions; securing second place in the girls’ basketball tournament; and winning third place in soccer, boys’ basketball, and women’s basketball. [Armenian Weekly]
Back in April, I posted an update about the sea lion stating that the Ministry of Environment was taking charge of that matter. However and according to Animals Lebanon, The Ministry decided to leave the sea lion where she was and by that jeopardized her life.
The NGO had warned the Ministry that the sea lion is a captive raised California sea lion, not native to this region and not used to surviving in the wild, and releasing the animal in the wild is against the recommendations of the IUCN, yet no one listened. They even offered a large pool with security for the animal.
At this point, no one knows what happened to the sea lion but it is definitely not the happy ending we were hoping for. Let’s hope the Beirut crocodile doesn’t face a similar fate.