NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with senior editor Mindy Belz.
MINDY BELZ, REPORTER: Protests in Lebanon—We start today in the Middle East.
AUDIO: [Sounds of chanting]
Supporters of Lebanon’s two main Shiite groups, Hezbollah and Amal, attacked a camp of anti-government protesters in Beirut on Tuesday. They burned tents and lobbed rocks at police guarding the camp.
Police responded with tear gas and water cannons in the strongest show of force in two months.
The mostly peaceful protests started in October amid anger over government corruption and mismanagement. Lebanon is facing its worst economic and financial crisis in decades. The entire cabinet resigned in response to the protests, but sectarian divisions have made forming a new cabinet difficult.
The country’s largest Christian groups have refused to support former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. But he faces no opponent in his bid to take back the job he gave up in October.
Libya becomes international flashpoint—Next we go to Turkey.
ERDOGAN: [Man speaking Turkish]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his willingness to send troops to Libya during a televised interview on Sunday.
Turkey has vowed to defend the government in Tripoli against ongoing attempts to unseat it. The so-called Government of National Accord has international backing, but Turkey’s military intervention does not.
Erdogan’s move is largely seen as an attempt to gain control over the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt are already vying for underwater oil and gas deposits in the area. They say Turkey’s recent agreement with Tripoli to redraw maritime boundaries violates international law.
China football flap over Uighurs—Next we go to China.
AUDIO: [Man speaking Mandarin]
A spokesman for the country’s Foreign Ministry accused a Premier League soccer player of falling prey to fake news about the plight of the country’s Uighur Muslims.
Mesut Ozil is a forward with the London-based club Arsenal. In a tweet on Friday he criticized China for targeting Muslims for persecution. In response, Chinese state-run television pulled the broadcast of Arsenal’s Sunday match against Manchester City.
China is the Premier League’s most lucrative overseas market. Arsenal tried to distance itself from the fallout with its own social media message on the Chinese platform Weibo.
The furor over Ozil’s tweet echoes Beijing’s attacks against a U.S. basketball coach who tweeted support for pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong earlier this year. China is increasingly using its purchasing power with international companies and cultural organizations to stifle criticism.
Sudan court convicts Omar al-Bashir of money laundering—And finally, we end today in Africa.
AUDIO: [Man speaking Arabic]
A judge in Sudan has sentenced former president Omar al-Bashir to two years in detention for corruption. The charges stemmed from millions of dollars Bashir took from Saudi Arabia. He admitted to getting a total of $90 million but denied the funds were to be used for private interests.
Bashir ruled Sudan for three decades. Months of mass protests earlier this year prompted the Army to depose him. A joint civilian and military sovereign council now controls the country until it can transition to full civilian rule.
The 75-year-old former strongman will serve his sentence at a correctional facility for the elderly. He still faces another trial over ordering security forces to kill protesters earlier this year. When that’s over, the International Criminal Court would like to try him for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Those charges stem from the 2003 war in Darfur.
That’s this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Mindy Belz.