French leader warns Lebanese politicians of last chance
French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for a media conference in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron issued a stern warning to Lebanon's political class, urging them to commit to serious reforms within few months or risk punitive action including sanctions, if they fail to deliver. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool via AP)BEIRUT French President Emmanuel Macron said Lebanese politicians have committed to a road map that begins with a government of experts to be formed in two weeks and quickly enacts reforms. French warplanes flew in formation, spraying smoke the colors of the Lebanese flag over the Jaj forest in the Byblos region. Macron also visited the port of Beirut and a hospital in Beirut, where he spoke to victims of the Aug. 4 blast.
Lebanon holds Baalbek concert despite virus, economic crisis
Musicians from the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra perform during a concert in the ancient northeastern city of Baalbek, Lebanon, Sunday, July 5, 2020. Dubbed "an act of cultural resilience," the concert aims to send a message of unity and hope to the world amid the coronavirus pandemic and an unprecedented economic and financial crisis in Lebanon. For the first time since the Baalbek International Festival was launched in 1956, this year's concert is being held without an audience, in line with strict COVID-19 guidelines. Lebanese watching the 55-minute show at home posted nostalgic sentiments on social media about bygone days that have been replaced by an economic crisis and growing poverty and hunger. Lebanon is being shaken by a severe economic and financial crisis, made worse in recent months by the coronavirus and lockdown restrictions.