Lebanon’s president said an investigation into the Beirut port warehouse explosion was looking at whether it was the result of external interference, in addition to simple negligence or an accident, his office said on Friday. “The cause has not been determined yet. There is a possibility of external interference through a rocket or bomb or other act,” President Michel Aoun said in comments carried by local media and confirmed by his office.
Donald Trump has issued a pair of executive orders that would ban any US transactions with the Chinese companies that own TikTok and WeChat, saying the US must take “aggressive action” in the interest of national security. Under a Chinese law introduced in 2017, companies have an obligation to support and cooperate with the country’s national intelligence work.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been accused of sending a hit-squad to Canada in order to kill a former Saudi intelligence official. The failed plan to kill Saad al-Jabri was soon after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, court documents filed in the US allege. Mr Jabri, a veteran of the government of Saudi Arabia, fled into exile three years ago.
Sri Lanka’s powerful Rajapaksa brothers have secured a landslide victory in the country’s parliamentary election, according to final results. The prime minister is most likely to be sworn in the same position by his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and the huge win on Friday could enable them to change the constitution and strengthen the dynastic rule.
India has recorded more than 2 million total coronavirus cases, only three weeks after announcing it had hit 1 million confirmed infections, as the country’s healthcare systems buckle under the pressure of the escalating pandemic. The rising caseload sees India become only the third country to report more than 2 million cases, behind the United States — which has seen nearly 4.9 million cases — and Brazil, which has recorded more than 2.9 million.