Lebanon Sees Second Straight Night of Violent Anti-government Protests
Anti-government demonstrators and security forces in Lebanon clashed for the second straight night on Wednesday, leaving at least 45 people injured, according to the Lebanese Red Crescent. Some of those injured were journalists. Many of the protesters were demanding the release of compatriots arrested the previous night. The ongoing protests broke out in mid-October over new taxes imposed to help cover huge deficits and heavy foreign debt. They have generally been peaceful, even festive, and have become an almost nightly feature of the landscape, mostly in Beirut but also in other cities and towns, and along major highways. Perhaps most notably, they led to the resignation of prime minister Saad al-Hariri and his entire government. Protesters remain unhappy, however, saying prime minister-designate Hassan Diab, as a former education minister, is part of an old guard that must go if there are to be economic and social reforms in a country often split by inter-confessional conflicts.