World donors demand change be­fore re­build­ing Beirut

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD - BY SARAH EL DEEB AND SYLVIE COR­BET

BEIRUT — World lead­ers and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions pledged nearly $300 mil­lion in emer­gency hu­man­i­tar­ian aid to Beirut in the wake of the dev­as­tat­ing ex­plo­sion but warned on Sun­day that no money for re­build­ing the cap­i­tal will be made avail­able un­til Le­banese au­thor­i­ties com­mit them­selves to the po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic re­forms de­manded by the peo­ple.

Over 30 par­tic­i­pants to the in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence of­fered help for a “cred­i­ble and in­de­pen­dent” in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Aug. 4 Beirut ex­plo­sion, an­other key demand of the Le­banese crowds who took to the streets Sat­ur­day and Sun­day.

In Beirut, two Le­banese Cab­i­net min­is­ters, in­clud­ing a top aid to the premier, re­signed amid sig­nals that the em­bat­tled govern­ment may be un­rav­el­ing in the af­ter­math of the dev­as­tat­ing blast that ripped through the cap­i­tal. The blast killed 160 and wounded 6,000.

As the po­lit­i­cal ne­go­ti­a­tions took place, pro­test­ers con­verged again on the par­lia­ment area Sun­day af­ter­noon, set­ting off an­other night of vi­o­lent demon­stra­tions.

DANIEL CARDE/GETTY IM­AGES

Pro­test­ers out­side par­lia­ment in Beirut throw back tear gas can­is­ters fired by se­cu­rity on Sun­day.

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