Iran anti-US rallies
Today is a very important day in Iran’s history. It is named the National Day against Global Arrogance, and Iranians commemorate the occasion by holding rallies to condemn US policies. Hours ago, crowds of people took to the streets in different cities, in a show of anger at US atrocities towards their country, over the past four decades. In the capital Tehran, the protesters gathered outside a building that used to be the US embassy, before the Islamic Revolution. Forty-two years ago, on this day, a group of university students took over the embassy building, amid anti-US anger. Traditionally on this day, chants against the US can be heard from protesters who support resistance against Washington’s hegemony. Since the 1979 takeover of the compound, Iranians have been commemorating the event every year by holding rallies.
Saudi Arabia-Lebanon tension
The Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah has denounced an ongoing Saudi-led pressure campaign against Beirut over a Lebanese minister’s criticism of the war on Yemen. The movement’s parliamentary bloc has accused Riyadh of fabricating a crisis, saying the kingdom’s punitive measures are unjustifiable and amount to waging a war on Lebanon. In a recent interview, Lebanon's information minister called the Saudi-led war on Yemen futile and demanded an end to it. Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait, summoned their envoys to Lebanon following George Kordahi’s critical remarks. Riyadh also expelled Lebanon's envoy and banned all Lebanese imports, while the UAE withdrew its diplomats from Beirut. Following the Saudi-led pressure campaign, the Lebanese Prime Minister asked Kordahi to prioritize national interests, stopping short of explicitly asking him to resign.
'Europe back at COVID epicenter'
The World Health Organization warns of another half a-million COVID-19-related deaths in Europe and Central Asia by early next year. The WHO’s regional director for Europe also expressed grave concern over the rising number of COVID cases in the continent, saying Europe is once again the pandemic's epicenter. Kluge blamed the spike on insufficient vaccination coverage and relaxation of social distancing measures. He underlined that new cases were observed in all age groups. According to official data from EU members, new cases per day have been rising for nearly six consecutive weeks in the bloc. Meanwhile, the number of deaths in the region rose by 12% over just the past week.