Michel Aoun leaves office
Lebanese President Michel Aoun leaves the presidential palace a day before his term officially ends, and amid a stalemate over who will succeed him. Aoun delivered a farewell speech to a large crowd of his supporters, who were gathering at the Baabda Palace, east of Beirut. He talked about the recent agreement with Israel to demarcate Lebanon’s maritime borders. He said the deal secured the nation's access to its natural resources, adding that the future revenues should be used to repair the Lebanese economy. Aoun took office in 2016. The parliament has so far failed to agree on his successor during four recent voting sessions. Lebanon has also been without a prime minister for over a month. A presidential vacuum could deepen the political crisis in Lebanon, which is already struggling against one of the worst economic meltdowns in the world.
Iran terror victims funeral
Iranians continue to mourn the victims of a recent terrorist attack in the southern city of Shiraz. Earlier today in the city of Shiraz, crowds of people gathered in a big procession to bid farewell to six of the victims. A similar procession has been held in the nearby city of Yasuj, the hometown of two other victims. Similarly on Saturday, thousands of mourners took part in a funeral in the northeastern city of Mashhad. On Wednesday, a gunman went on a rampage in a shrine in Shiraz, killing 13 worshippers, including women and children. Over two dozen others have been wounded. The assailant was injured by security forces and later died of his wounds in hospital. The Daesh terrorist group has claimed responsibility. Iranian officials have pledged to bring those responsible to justice.
South Korea Halloween stampede
South Korea’s president declares a period of national mourning after a Halloween crush in the capital Seoul leaves at least 151 people dead. Yoon Suk-yeol says the incident is a tragedy and disaster in the heart of Seoul that should have never happened. 19 foreigners are among the fatalities. They include nationals of Iran, China and Norway. The toll is expected to rise. Scores of people have also been injured, some of them critically. The stampede took place as South Koreans marked their first Halloween in three years, after the government lifted mask-wearing and social distancing COVID-19 restrictions. Hundreds of revelers packed into an already-crowded alley. People at the top of the sloped alley fell over, resulting in the rush. Most of the dead are women in their twenties.