An Update From Beirut on the Devastation Which Government Incompetence and Indifferent Politicians Are Responsible For
We begin and go to Beirut for an update on the devastation caused by the massive explosion yesterday and speak with Habib Battah, a Beirut-based investigative journalist, filmmaker and founder of beirutreport.com who has covered Lebanon and the Middle East for over 15 years and teaches journalism and media studies at the American University of Beirut. He joins us to discuss what appears to be the result of the spectacular incompetence of a cynical political class in a country run by warlords whose people are fed up with constant electricity blackouts, the lack of government services or any kind of responsiveness amid rising poverty, food shortages, a refugee burden and an overstretched medical system now overwhelmed by casualties and a Covid infection. With 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in unsafe conditions since 2014, compared to the two tons of ammonium nitrate used in the Oklahoma City bombing, the explosion was so powerful it could be heard 150 miles away in Cyprus. With hundreds dead and thousands injured and 300,000 made homeless, the port area and the upscale waterfront neighborhood is completely destroyed along with the country’s grain storage silo which was obliterated, meaning that a food-insecure nation will now face even more hunger.
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