Lebanon's government on Wednesday looked set to fall after Hezbollah and its allies warned they would quit unless demands over a UN tribunal are met.
Lebanon's political crisis has turned into an economic nightmare for the vital tourist industry, hard hit by a slump in tourists from oil-rich Gulf states who have been told to avoid the troubled country. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain have advised their citizens not to travel to a country in the grip of its worst political crisis since the end of the civil war in 1990.
The son of slain Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was chosen on Sunday to take the mantle of her party and immediately vowed to keep up what he called her struggle for democracy. At an emotional news conference where his father was named co-chair of the Pakistan People's Party, 19-year-old Bilawal Bhutto said he was ready to lead.
Hezbollah-led opposition fighters seized control of pro-government strongholds in Beirut on Friday as gun battles rocked the Lebanese capital for a third day, edging the nation dangerously close to all-out civil war. Gunfire and the thump of exploding rocket-propelled grenades echoed across west Beirut.
Lebanon again postponed an election to choose a new head of state by a midnight Friday deadline amid continuing deadlock between rival political factions and fears of a dangerous power vacuum. The country's pro-Syrian President, Emile Lahoud, plans to step down when his term expires at midnight.