Nearly six month after prime minister-designate Saad Hariri’s coalition pipped Hezbollah in Lebanon’s June election, the two sides came together to form a joint government -after a little outside pressure. The new government will include two ministers from Hezbollah and might even lead to a period of relative stability for Lebanon. Of course, there is still that small matter of Hezbollah’s status as an armed militia. Israel seized a ship with 500 tons of weapons and ammunition apparently en route to the group. As in the past half century, Lebanon continues to be a pawn in the cross-cutting rivalries and interests of Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran that still paralyse foreign-policy decision making. The 14 March bloc of mainly Christians and Sunnis supported by the West and Saudi Arabia has 15 seats while the Hezbollah-led alliance has 10 seats, including two to Hezbollah itself. The remaining five seats in the cabinet go to people selected by a neutral president. Hariri says his new government would focus on the economy, administrative reform and a long-standing plan to privatise some state utilities. Read more: Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times
Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano While Drinking from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children is the title of a dark cabaret album by 'Voltaire'