Category Archives: News

Carlos Slim Helu still world’s richest man

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Carlos Slim Helu is the world’s richest man for the fourth year in a row. He clocks in at $4 billion more than a year ago, thanks to surging stock prices at his financial arm, Grupo Financiero Inbursa, and at his Grupo Carso industrial and retail giant. [Link]

The first Arab Billionaire is Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal with $20 billion, followed by Mohammad Al Amoudi with $13.5 billion. Both are from Saudi Arabia.

As far as Lebanese billionaires are concerned, Prime Minister Najib Mikati tops the list for the second year in a row with $3.5 billion dollars followed by his brother Taha Mikati with the same amount. The richest of the Hariris is Bahaa with $2.4 Billion then ex-PM Saad Hariri with $1.9 Billion dollars.

You can check out the full list of billionaires as of 2013 [Here].

CNN: Did Phoenicians beat Columbus by 2000 years?

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Picture taken from CNN

Christopher Columbus has long been the poster boy Renaissance explorer who found fame and fortune by sailing from the Old World to the New. But more than five centuries later, a British adventurer plans to show that the New World could have been reached by another seafaring nation 2,000 years before Columbus. Former Royal Navy officer Philip Beale hopes to sail a replica Phoenician boat 10,000 kilometers across the Atlantic in an ambitious voyage that could challenge maritime history.

By completing the journey, Beale aims to demonstrate that the Phoenicians — the ancient Mediterranean civilization that prospered from 1500BC to 300BC — had the capability to sail to the U.S.; a theory disputed by historians. “It is one of the greatest voyages of mankind and if anyone could have done it [before Columbus], it was the Phoenicians,” said Beale.

Here’s Karl’s interpretation of the story::

USA3

Woman dies after Self-Immolation in Tyre

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That’s pretty messed up.

A 38-year-old woman died Wednesday after setting herself on fire in south Lebanon, security sources told The Daily Star.

The woman, the wife of a municipality policeman from the southern town of Jwaya near Tyre, poured gasoline over herself and set it alight, the sources said. They added that her move came after she discovered her husband’s intention to marry another woman. [DailyStar]

Lebanese demographics

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Pretty cool stats.

The US-based Lebanese Information Center recently conducted an in-depth study of Lebanon’s current demographic reality, the history of emigration from the country, as well as past and recent fertility rates among Christians and Muslims. The data was reviewed by Statistics Lebanon, a local polling and research company. [NowLebanon]

Lebanon drops 8 spots in the Press Freedom Index 2013

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“The Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “In dictatorships, news providers and their families are exposed to ruthless reprisals, while in democracies news providers have to cope with the media’s economic crises and conflicts of interest. While their situation is not always comparable, we should pay tribute to all those who resist pressure whether it is aggressively focused or diffuse.” [Source]

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Kuwait leads the way in the Arab world, followed by Lebanon, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Check out the full list [Here].

Lebanese Singer Elissa on the Pope’s resignation

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Pope Benedict XVI is almost 86 years old, had a stroke in 1991 that reportedly temporarily affected his vision. He fell in 1992 and 2009, and also had either arthritis or arthrosis, a similarly painful and debilitating joint condition. His doctor also advised him against taking any more transatlantic trips. [Source]

Here’s what came in his resignation letter:

Dear Brothers,
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.

However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is. [CNN]

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As you can see, his arguments are not convincing at all and very doubtful.

On a serious note, the pope’s resignation might pave the way for electing the first black pope in the Catholic Church’s history. Read more about Cardinal Peter Turkson [Here].

Qatar stops issuing Visas to Lebanese citizens

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I read yesterday the below statement on Naharnet but don’t know the reason behind it nor if it’s official or not. Back in September 2012, rumors spread that Qatar halted visas for Lebanese Shiites due to Hezbollah’s stance but the Qatari PM quickly denied it.

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour to MTV: The Qatari decision of halting issuing visas to Lebanese citizens is temporary.