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People in Lebanon Stage Second Day of Anti-government Protests

Angry Lebanese took to the streets on Friday for the second day in a row to protest government economic policies. The demonstrations, featuring burning tires and trash receptacles, as well as street barricades, have been taking place in various locations around the country, including in Beirut, where people gathered on Thursday night outside the government compound to protest against a tax on Internet-based phone calls, such as those made popular by WhatsApp. The country is heavily mired in debt, which has long choked growth and propelled unemployment. Most of the unrest centers on policies aimed at raising government revenues through taxation and economic reforms that many citizens have deemed unpalatable. The protests led Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to call off a cabinet meeting scheduled for Friday to discuss next year’s national budget.