Beyond the Headlines: tear gas, fireworks and politics in Lebanon's revolution

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - There's a new government in Beirut but those on the streets are not satisfied. On this week's episode we look at what's next for the Lebanese uprising

James Haines-Young

Jan 23, 2020

January 23, 2020

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After more than three months of protests, Lebanon's politicians agreed on a new government. But this has done little to ease anger on the streets.

Hassan Diab announced the formation of his 20-member government on Tuesday and vowed to get to work on fixing the country's mounting problems.

Lebanon faces a huge economic crisis – debt has topped $85 billion, growth is flat, unemployment is rising and the currency has lost nearly 40 per cent of its value in the past three months.

An anti-government protester holds a Lebanese flag during clashes with riot police in Beirut, Lebanon. Getty Images

Anti government protesters and riot police clash during a second day of violence. Getty Images

Special forces police advance as they push back the anti-government protesters in downtown Beirut. AP Photo

An anti-government protester covered by the smoke of the tear gas, sits in the middle of a street. AP Photo

Special forces police are illuminated by laser pointers from anti-government protesters. AP Photo

A window shop smashed by anti-government protesters is seen during a protest against the new government, in downtown Beirut. AP Photo

Men pass in front of a coffee shop that was smashed by anti-government protesters. AP Photo

A Lebanese anti-government protester hurls stones at riot police. AFP

Riot police forces block a road leading to the parliament during clashes with anti-government protesters. AFP

Riot police chase an anti-government protester. AFP

Riot police detain an anti-government protester. AFP

Teargas engulfs Red Cross medics as anti government protesters and riot police clash during a second day of violence. Getty Images

Army soldiers deploy on a street where anti-government protesters clash with riot police. AP Photo

An anti government protester fires fireworks at riot police as they clash during a second day of violence. Getty Images

Smoke rises as Lebanese army soldiers walk during a protest against the newly formed government in Beirut. Reuters

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But his administration hasn't been welcomed on the streets of Beirut, where protesters are clashing most evenings with police.

One side is throwing rocks, debris and fireworks, the other is firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.

Dozens have been wounded on both sides.

On this week's Beyond the Headlines, The National's Willy Lowry reported from the tear gas-filled streets of Beirut. He spoke to young people angry at what they've called Mr Diab's "one-colour" government.

We also spoke to Nasser Saidi, a former Lebanese economy minister and former vice governor of the central bank of Lebanon. He laid out plainly the scale of the crisis and his recommendations of what the new government should do.

If you've not listened to last week's episode, check it out below.

After the death of Sultan Qaboos, Beyond the Headlines looked at the legacy of the canny negotiator and much-loved leader of Oman.

Updated: January 23, 2020 08:37 PM

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