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Lebanese winemaker produces pioneering blue wine

A Lebanese winemaker has started the production of a unique blue-colored wine, made from a water-soluble pigment in the mountains of Lebanon.

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Piter Abi Unes owns Chateau Wadih in the Byblos mountains, about 1,300 meters above sea level. He makes the blue wine from a substance called anthocyanin, which is a compound that gives black grapes their dark color.

“If you add (anthocyanin) to the wine from white grapes, you get a blue wine,” Unes told Sputnik News in a April 24 interview. “I make dry blue and dessert wine. So you can choose according to your taste.”

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The wine is sold online for $16, and can be shipped to some parts of the world. The website describes the drink as an “eletric blue color wine, made by adding pigments to a white wine with the blue component of the grapes skin – a must try wine.”

Unes told Sputnik he is slated to start ramping up production this summer, and ship his first batch to Italy.

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He also plans to launch a non-alcoholic beer produced from apples.

To view more on Chateau Wadih, visit their Facebook page.

Trump: U.S. is proud of ‘close ties’ with Lebanese people

President Donald Trump praised countries who pledged to help Lebanon, and expressed ‘close ties’ between the U.S. and Lebanese people, according to a White House statement.

The statement was issued on the heels of the CEDRE conference in Paris, held earlier in April to support Lebanon’s development and reform efforts.

“I commend the government of Lebanon’s progress, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri, to address these pressing challenges,” the White House said in a statement. “The United States is proud of our close ties with the Lebanese people, and stands in support of Lebanon’s efforts to strengthen its legitimate state institutions.”

International donors pledged $11 billion in loans and grants to support Lebanon’s economy, officials said. Trump said he believes Lebanon has hope for a better future.

“Lebanon is a country facing countless challenges, including an unprecedented influx of refugees and the corrosive influence of Iran and Hezbollah,” the statement added. “But as we can see from the success of this conference, Lebanon is also a country with many friends and enormous potential.”

READ THE FULL STATEMENT:

I send my greetings to those who participated in the April 6 “CEDRE” Investment Conference on Lebanon and the Lebanese people. Lebanon is a country facing countless challenges, including an unprecedented influx of refugees and the corrosive influence of Iran and Hizballah. But as we can see from the success of this conference, Lebanon is also a country with many friends and enormous potential.

I commend the government of Lebanon’s progress, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri, to address these pressing challenges. Lebanon has now passed a budget in two consecutive years, increased Lebanese Armed Forces deployments in the south, and defeated ISIS in Lebanon. And, it will soon hold historic parliamentary elections. These are all steps toward improved governance and a more secure Lebanon.

I also welcome and support Lebanon’s plans to strengthen its economy through its Capital Investment Plan and its commitment to implement necessary reforms, including combatting corruption, increasing transparency, and improving accountability and fiscal management. Undoubtedly, Lebanon’s ambitious set of infrastructure projects presents great opportunities to strengthen Lebanon’s economy and enhance economic prospects for the whole country. American companies will look forward to the new opportunities that the Capital Investment Plan will offer in Lebanon.

The United States is proud of our close ties with the Lebanese people, and stands in support of Lebanon’s efforts to strengthen its legitimate state institutions and develop an open, free economy that serves all Lebanese.

Lebanese Red Cross member killed by gunmen in Yemen

A Lebanese Red Cross worker was shot and killed by unknown gunmen on April 21 while working in Sana’a, Yemen.

Hanna Lahoud, 37, was in charge of the Red Cross detention program in Yemen. Officials said he was on his way to a prison when armed assailants attacked his vehicle.

He was transported the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

In a news release, the International Committee of the Red Cross said, “We condemn this brutal and apparently deliberate attack on a dedicated humanitarian worker.”

The ICRC is a humanitarian institution based in Geneva that was founded in 1863.

“We are all in shock. Hanna was a young man full of life and was widely known and liked,” said Robert Madini, the Red Cross Middle East director. “Nothing can justify Hanna’s murder and we are in deep mourning for our dear friend and colleague. Our hearts and thoughts are with Hanna’s loved ones and friends.”

The Red Cross has been delivering aid to Yemen since the start of the country’s civil war in 2015.

To read the full ICRC statement on the incident click here.

Audiences are not digging ‘Beirut’ movie, reviews show

Audiences don’t seem to be digging the new movie ‘Beirut,’ which hit the silver screen on April 11. The film has a rotten 56% score on movie review site Rotten Tomatoes.

Several movie buffs have complained the plot follows a stereotypical action sequence. One user wrote, “Pretty generic [movie], but at least Jon Hamm is easy on the eyes.”

The film follows the story of a former American diplomat who returns to service in Beirut in order to save a colleague from a group responsible for the death of his family.

John Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Dean Norris and Shea Whigham all star in the espionage thriller film.

Social media users have complained the film dehumanizes Arabs and Muslims and ignores the political complexities of the Lebanese Civil War.

In a New York Times article, culture reporter Sopan Deb called the film offensive and dehumanizing. He says there are no Lebanese actors featured in the film, and cites the hashtag #BoycottBeirutMovie as evidence of the trailer’s reception in Lebanon.

Critics also say the film wasn’t shot in Lebanon, and has no Lebanese actors, directors, or cast members.

Daniel Schindel of The Film Stage writes, “Beirut has zero character as a setting, reduced to a generic backdrop of rubble and sand.”

The movie was released on April 11, 2018 and is currently playing in theaters in the U.S. and around the world.

ABC News anchor hosts live broadcast from Beirut

ABC News anchorman David Muir hosted a live broadcast from Beirut in the wake of major developments in Syria.

The news anchor, who has been reporting on air since 2009 on ABC World News Tonight, delivered the special report in response to President Donald Trump’s strikes on Syria.

You can watch the broadcast on ABC News, here.

VIDEO: Comedian compares Lebanese and Japanese driving

A Lebanese-Canadian comedian compared Lebanese and Japanese driving styles in a hilarious new YouTube video.

The video titled “How Lebanese People Drive Vs. How Japanese People Drive” is the newest in his series called “FRAJALICAN,” which are skits of comedian Mike Hachem and his French-Japanese friend.

Hachem creates and uploads comedic videos about Lebanese culture on his YouTube channel.

Watch his newest skit here:

To watch more of Mark Hachem’s videos, check out his Facebook page by clicking here.

Lebanese beauty blogger Maya Ahmad lives it up at Coachella

Lebanese Instagram star and beauty blogger Maya Ahmad partied hard at the Coachella music and arts festival in Indio, California.

The YouTube and Instagram star, who has more than half a million subscribers and 1.1 million followers, posted a photo on her Instagram page dressed in denim shorts and a cropped neck top.

The Coachella festival is one of the largest, most profitable music festivals in the world. It features artists from many genres of music, including rock, indie, hip hop and electronic dance movement.

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A post shared by M A Y A (@themayaahmad) on Apr 15, 2018 at 2:36pm PDT

Maya’s Instagram post said, “#Coachella Day 2. Still not over Beyonce.” Beyonce was one of many well-known performers at the festival.

To see more of Maya’s page, click here.

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