Latest Lebanon News

  • GSK, facing bribery claims, battles to build new sales model
    GSK, facing bribery claims, battles to build new sales model 11 hours ago

    Following a decision to cut commercial ties with outside doctors, GSK expects to increase its in-house team of physicians by 10-20 percent over the next year or so from around 1,500 at present, Chief Medical Officer James Shannon told Reuters. GSK is now investigating claims that bribes were paid to doctors in Poland, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, following a much larger case of alleged bribery in China. Chinese authorities in July accused GSK of funnelling up to 3 billion yuan (287 million pounds) to doctors and officials to encourage them to use its medicines in a case that the company has described as "shameful". The firm aims to become the first in the industry to stop paying outside doctors to promote its products, end payments for medics to attend conferences and delink incentives for sales representatives from individual sales targets. More »

  • GlaxoSmithKline Bribery Probe Extended to Jordan and Lebanon
    GlaxoSmithKline Bribery Probe Extended to Jordan and Lebanon Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is investigating allegations that its staff offered bribes to doctors in Jordan and Lebanon, according to the Wall Street Journal. It recently emerged GSK was investigating accusations of bribery at its Iraq office, while the BBC reported that the British company was also facing a criminal probe over its activities in Poland. "In total, we employ around 200 people in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq in our pharmaceuticals operations and these allegations relate to a small number of individuals in these countries," the statement said. Glaxo also said that it takes all the allegations seriously and has strict controls in place relating to compliance, antibribery and corruption. More »

  • Detained Berlusconi ally in Beirut hospital
    Detained Berlusconi ally in Beirut hospital Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    An Italian ex-senator and ally of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi who was arrested in Lebanon at the weekend was hospitalised in Beirut on Wednesday, his lawyer said. More »

  • GSK says investigating claims of bribery in Jordan, Lebanon
    GSK says investigating claims of bribery in Jordan, Lebanon Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    GlaxoSmithKline , Britain's biggest drugmaker, said on Wednesday it was investigating allegations of bribery involving some of its staff in Jordan and Lebanon, following earlier claims of corruption in China, Poland and Iraq. "GSK can confirm we are investigating allegations regarding the activity of a small number of individuals in our operations in Jordan and Lebanon," the company said in statement. "We started investigating using internal and external teams as soon as we became aware of these claims. These investigations have not yet concluded." GSK faces its biggest challenge over corruption allegations in China, where authorities in July accused it of funnelling up to 3 billion yuan (287 million pounds) to doctors and officials to encourage them to use its medicines in a case that rocked the pharmaceuticals industry. More »

  • Lebanon parliament to meet April 23 for presidential vote
    Lebanon parliament to meet April 23 for presidential vote Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    Lebanon's parliament is to convene on April 23 to elect a new president to succeed Michel Sleiman, whose term ends on May 25, the National News Agency reported Wednesday. More »

  • William And Kate Touch Down For Oz Trip
    William And Kate Touch Down For Oz Trip Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in Australia with their son George for the second part of their Antipodean tour. Many of them had been waiting hours to see the family arrive, with a teenage girl and her mother saying they had come especially from Lebanon "to see Kate, George and, of course, William". The visit comes as a newly published poll shows the royals are increasingly popular among Australians, with support for a republic in Australia dropping to its lowest level in more than two decades. One well-wisher, Ailsa Martin from the Bondi area, had been queuing from the early hours. More »

  • Speaker calls on Lebanese parliament to elect president on April 23
    Speaker calls on Lebanese parliament to elect president on April 23 Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri called on Wednesday for parliament to elect a new president on April 23, in a race overshadowed by growing violence and political paralysis. President Michel Suleiman's six-year term ends in late May. Parliament must approve his successor with a two-thirds majority but political sources say the process is likely to be delayed, possibly for months, due to divisions in parliament over the Syrian war. Lebanon's National News Agency said Berri had called Cardinal Beshara al-Rai, the head of Lebanon's Maronite Christian Church, and informed him of his decision. Under Lebanon's political system, which seeks to guarantee representation for its various sects and religions, the president must be a Maronite Christian. More »

  • Syrian army seizes ancient Christian town near Lebanon border
    Syrian army seizes ancient Christian town near Lebanon border Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    By Firas Makdesi MAALOULA, Syria (Reuters) - Syrian soldiers backed by Hezbollah fighters recaptured the town of Maaloula, north of Damascus, on Monday, military sources and state television said, further squeezing rebels' supply routes through the Qalamoun mountains into Lebanon. Islamist fighters, some from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, had taken over part of the ancient Christian town in December and held several nuns captive until releasing them in March in a prisoner-exchange deal. Government forces have recaptured several rebel-held areas and border towns in recent months, closing off supply routes from Lebanon and securing the main highway leading north from Damascus toward central Syria, Homs and the Mediterranean. More »

  • Syrian army seizes ancient Christian town near Lebanese border Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    By Firas Makdesi MAALOULA, Syria (Reuters) - Syrian soldiers backed by Hezbollah fighters recaptured the town of Maaloula, north of Damascus, on Monday, military sources and state television said, further squeezing rebels' supply routes through the Qalamoun mountains into Lebanon. Islamist fighters, some from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, had taken over part of the ancient Christian town in December and held several nuns captive until releasing them in March in a prisoner exchange deal. Government forces have recaptured several rebel-held areas and border towns in recent months, closing off supply routes from Lebanon and securing the main highway leading north from Damascus towards central Syria, Homs and the Mediterranean. More »

  • Hezbollah TV says 3 staffers killed in Syria's Maalula
    Hezbollah TV says 3 staffers killed in Syria's Maalula Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    Lebanon's Hezbollah television channel Al-Manar announced that three staffers were killed while covering the Syrian army's takeover Monday of the Christian town of Maalula. More »

  • Israel 'Holding Secret Talks with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait' Says Lie …
    Israel 'Holding Secret Talks with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait' Says Lie … Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    Israel is seeking to establish a diplomatic channel with some Sunni Arab states in the Gulf through secret talks, based on their common hostility towards Iran. That is according to Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, who made the hawkish remarks in an interview with newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. If confirmed, this would represent the first diplomatic contact between Israel and countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which have always been opposed to the Jewish state. Israel has thus far only signed peace deals with Egypt and Lebanon. More »

  • Assad Troops Recapture Ancient Christian Town of Maaloula
    Assad Troops Recapture Ancient Christian Town of Maaloula Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    Syrian troops loyal to president Bashar al-Assad have recaptured the ancient Christian town of Maaloula, according to military sources and state TV. The military action follows seizure of the rebel-held Syrian border town of Rankous, in the strategically located Qalamoun region, which deprives the opposition their last major base in the area and cuts off a former supply line for weapons and fighters from neighbouring Lebanon. Maaloula had earlier been overran by Islamist fighters, some belonging to the al-Qaida linked Al Nusra front, who also took 13 nuns captive from their convent. The picturesque town, just 5km from the main road connecting capital Damascus to the major flashpoint city of Homs, has changed hands at least four times in the past months. More »

  • Hezbollah shifts tactics, narrative for Syria fight
    Hezbollah shifts tactics, narrative for Syria fight Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    Lebanon's Hezbollah movement is gaining new combat experience in Syria, shedding its guerrilla tactics to fight alongside an army, and shifting its narrative to explain the battle against "Sunni extremists". More »

  • Syria's Assad says war turning in his favour
    Syria's Assad says war turning in his favour Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    By Mariam Karouny BEIRUT (Reuters) - President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday that Syria's three-year conflict was at a "turning point" due to his forces' military gains against rebels, state media said. Assad's allies have portrayed him as confident and in control and they expect him to run for and win a presidential election in July - a turnaround from last year when he looked on the verge of defeat as rebels advanced towards Damascus, struck in the heart of the capital and took control of key areas. Addressing graduate students and staff of the political science department in Damascus University: "(Assad) pointed out that there is a turning point in the crisis in Syria in terms of the continuous military achievements ... by the army and armed forces in the war against terror and in ... terms of national reconciliation," state news agency SANA reported. In recent months, government forces, backed by Lebanon's Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah fighters, recaptured several rebel-held areas and border towns, closing off rebel supply routes from Lebanon and securing the main highway leading north from Damascus towards central Syria, Homs and the Mediterranean. More »

  • -Warily, Lebanon tackles violent spillover from Syria Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    By Alexander Dziadosz TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) - For two weeks now, the rifles have been silent along Syria Street in Lebanon's Tripoli, an area shot up so often that even memorial posters of men killed just a few months ago are speckled with bullet holes. Soldiers patrol quiet streets where gunmen used to fight day and night - part of the Lebanese authorities' most serious effort yet to contain spillover from Syria's civil war since the three-year-old conflict began in its much larger neighbour. "Traffic is returning, the area is coming back to life," said Ahmed Qashour, 57, raising his voice as armoured vehicles rumbled past the tahini sesame-paste shop where he works on Syria Street, in the north of the Mediterranean port city. "But what we want, what we're asking of the government, is that this security plan continues - that it doesn't stop." Syria's civil war has divided Lebanon's politicians, while gunbattles, car bombs and rocket attacks linked to Syria have killed scores of Lebanese and revived memories of the country's own 15-year civil war that formally ended in 1990. More »

  • Berlusconi ally arrested in Lebanon ahead of mafia ruling
    Berlusconi ally arrested in Lebanon ahead of mafia ruling Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    An ex-senator friend of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was arrested on Saturday in Lebanon where he was on the run over charges of mafia ties, the Italian interior ministry announced. More »

  • Lebanon in vaccination drive against polio spreading from Syria
    Lebanon in vaccination drive against polio spreading from Syria Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    Lebanon launched a fourth round of polio immunisation on Friday, trying to prevent the disease spreading from neighbouring Syria along with the tide of refugees fleeing the three-year conflict. Protection against polio requires several vaccinations but aid workers are concerned that coverage in Lebanon has been falling off because parents were unaware of the need for multiple inoculation. The announcement earlier this week that polio had been detected in Iraq, the first of Syria's neighbours to be hit by the virus, has added to fears that it could spread further. The campaign in Lebanon targets around 600,000 Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian infants aged up to five. More »

  • Berlusconi's Ally Marcello Dell'Utri 'Flees Abroad' Ahead of …
    Berlusconi's Ally Marcello Dell'Utri 'Flees Abroad' Ahead of … Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    Silvio Berlusconi's former right-hand man, Marcello Dell'Utri, has allegedly absconded abroad days before an Italian court was expected to uphold a conviction for mafia ties against him. Police went to Dell'Utri's Milan home to take him into custody fearing he might flee ahead of the final hearing of a trial on charges of mafia association, but he was nowhere to be found. Detectives suspect that the co-founder of Berlusconi's Forza Italia party escaped to Lebanon, Guinea-Bissau or the Dominican Republic, three countries where he allegedly fostered good political relations during his years as a senator. The 72-year-old was released pending a final appeal he lodged with Italy's top court, the Court of Cassation in Rome, which is expected to deliver its verdict next week. More »

  • Hezbollah fighters say a 'duty' to help Syria's Assad
    Hezbollah fighters say a 'duty' to help Syria's Assad Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    As he pushes a cart full of tomatoes and cucumbers in the market at Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon, nothing marks out Mahmud as an experienced Hezbollah fighter. More »

  • Assad Troops and Hezbollah Recapture Rankous
    Assad Troops and Hezbollah Recapture Rankous Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    Syrian troops loyal to president Bashar al-Assad supported by Shia Hezbollah militia have regained the rebel-held Syrian border town of Rankous following weeks of heavy fighting. The recapture of Rankous, in the Qalamoun region, deprives the rebels of their last major base in the area and cuts off a former supply line for weapons and fighters from neighbouring Lebanon. The Qalamoun region is strategically situated between the cities of Damascus and Homs and lies along the border with Lebanon. Assad forces backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters have been spearheading fighting in the region since November. More »

  • Lebanese patriarch suggests housing Syrian refugees in Syria
    Lebanese patriarch suggests housing Syrian refugees in Syria Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    The head of Lebanon's Maronite Christian Church suggested on Wednesday that Syrian refugees should be housed in camps inside Syria, reflecting growing frustration among Lebanese over the burden imposed on their country by their neighbours' war. The United Nations has registered 1 million refugees in Lebanon since the conflict began three years ago, the highest concentration of refugees worldwide. They are housed in homes and local communities rather than refugee camps. Cardinal Beshara al-Rai, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, told a news conference in Geneva that the presence of so many Syrians represented a huge economic, social, political and security burden for Lebanon. More »

  • Assad's forces recapture rebel border town Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad recaptured the rebel-held Syrian border town of Rankous on Wednesday, military sources and state television said, consolidating their control over a former rebel supply line from neighbouring Lebanon. The capture of Rankous was the latest stage of an offensive by the army and Hezbollah fighters to seal off the border region and secure the main highway leading north from Damascus towards central Syria, Homs and the Mediterranean coast. "Army units completed their operations in Rankous and restored security and stability to the town after killing a large number of terrorists," state television said. Wednesday's advance took place less than a month after Hezbollah and the Syrian army recaptured the rebel stronghold of Yabroud, choking off the vital supply line into central Syria. More »