Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab (left) reviews a guard of honour during a ceremony held in Beirut, Lebanon. AP
Lebanon faces a "catastrophe", Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Wednesday after his newly unveiled cabinet held its first meeting to tackle the twin challenges of a tenacious protest movement and a nosediving economy.
Diab, the successor to Saad Hariri who quit as prime minister in late October, vowed to meet demands from the street — but demonstrators were unconvinced.
Renewed clashes broke out near parliament in downtown Beirut on Wednesday between protesters hurling stones and fire crackers and police firing water cannons and tear gas, an AFP correspondent said.
The Lebanese Red Cross said least 22 people were injured, seven of them hospitalised.
Diab, a 61-year-old academic, was thrown in at the deep end for his first experience on the political big stage and admitted that the situation he inherited was desperate.
"Today we are in a financial, economic and social dead end," he said in remarks read by a government official after the new cabinet's inaugural meeting in Beirut.
"We are facing a catastrophe."
Al-Akhbar, a newspaper close to the powerful Hezbollah movement that gave its blessing to Diab's designation last month, called his administration a "Government of last resort".
Western sanctions on the Iranian-backed organisation are stacking up and economists have said the new government might struggle to secure sorely-needed aid.Agence France-Presse
An unprecedented wave of protests forced closure of banks in the country. On Thursday banking sources told media that country's banks will seek to prevent capital flight when they open on Friday but without imposing formal capital controls after a two-week closure due to nationwide protests which led the prime minister to resign.
Just before the security forces moved in on Saturday, two women and two men were manning the roadblock on the ring road. They said they have been at the roadblock for 10 days and have no plan to dismantle it but added that they would not fight the army. They let through an ambulance and a motorcycle.
After protesters marched in Beirut, Tripoli and other cities, Samir Geagea, head of the Lebanese forces party, said his group was resigning from the government.
The rain that began on Monday is the heaviest since South Korea's weather observations began 115 years ago, according to President Yoon Suk-yeol, who apologised for the "inconveniences".
Girls are allowed to attend primary school and women journalists are interviewing government officials -- unthinkable during the Taliban's first stint in power in the 1990s.
The statement issued by the Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office and its news department followed almost a week of missile firings and incursions into Taiwanese waters and airspace by Chinese warships and air force planes.