Beirut deadly violence
The Lebanese army has arrested nine people in connection with gunfire in the capital during protests against a judge investigating last year's Beirut port blast. At least six people were killed and 60 others wounded in shootings and blasts. Army troops later moved in to clear the protest site. Prime Minister Najib Mikati, has declared Friday a day of public mourning for the lives of those killed. The demonstrators were outraged at what they called Washington’s interference in the investigation. They said the judge overseeing the case was being swayed by the United States.
Israeli forces have fatally shot a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli military claimed the man had been throwing fire-bombs at cars near a settlement in Beit Jala town in Bethlehem. But local sources say the incident took place during an Israeli raid on the town and that another Palestinian was arrested. This comes a day after a young Palestinian man was shot dead in southern Ramallah. In recent weeks, Israeli forces have killed several Palestinians during attacks across the occupied West Bank.
Row over Taiwan
The White House says the United States’ commitment to Taiwan is "rock-solid," amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing. Jen Psaki said the US will continue to support what she called Taiwan’s self-defense against the threat posed by China. The remarks follow recent reports that US troops have been secretly training the Taiwanese military for about a year. Neither Washington nor Taipei has denied the claim. China has repeatedly urged the US to stop its military support for Taiwan, saying it threatens regional peace. Beijing regards Taiwan as its breakaway province and maintains its sovereignty over the island under the One-China policy.