Report: Lebanese Army bans its soldiers from playing PUBG video game

The Lebanese army recently issued a decree banning its soldiers from playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds mobile, according to a report from Al Arabiya English.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, better known as PUBG, is an online multiplayer game developed and published by the PUBG Corporation, where 100 players compete with each other to be the last player (or team) standing by eliminating all other opponents.

Al Arabiya reported  that Lebanese Army leadership issued an internal memo on January 4 to its soldiers prohibiting them from downloading the game or any similar games.

RELATED: Lebanese-Brazilian Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn arrested for misconduct

The memo cites the concern with communication with players all across the world that could include “the Zionist enemy” and indicated that “strict disciplinary actions [will take place] against the violators.”

PUBG is one of the most popular games in Lebanon and around the world, maintaining nearly 14 million users daily.

Egyptian actress Rania Youssef wore this dress. Now she faces jail time.

Egyptian actress Rania Youssef is facing possible jail time for wearing a revealing dress at the closing ceremony of this year’s Cairo International Film Festival, reported the New York Times.

The actress is accused of violating Egyptian morality by wearing a revealing outfit that could “incite debauchery.”

If convicted, Youssef could face a possible five-year jail term. Her trial is set for January 12.

This lacy, black dress is at the center of a criminal case in Egypt involving actress Rania Youssef. (Facebook/Cairo International Film Festival)
This lacy, black dress is at the center of a criminal case in Egypt involving actress Rania Youssef. (Facebook/Cairo International Film Festival)

The bizarre case is one of many unconventional prosecutions in Egypt under the authoritarian rule of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

In June, a Lebanese tourist was arrested for “insulting Egypt” on a Facebook Live video. She was sentenced to 8 years in jail over comments about sexual harassment and poor conditions in the conservative nation.

RELATED: Lebanese tourist arrested for ‘insulting Egypt’ on Facebook

Her sentence was cut short in September after she was freed and deported back to Lebanon.

In Youssef’s dilemma, the likeliness of prosecution is still not known. The morality-focused cases attempt to police clothing and behavior within Egyptian culture and society.

Most of these cases are unsuccessful.

Youssef has since apologized and insisted she did not mean any harm in wearing the controversial black dress.

“I didn’t expect this reaction, and if I had known, I wouldn’t have worn this dress,” the actress said in a statement.

This Lebanese-American lawyer sued the Trump administration and won

Head CNN attorney Ted Boutrous recently won the company’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his administration over their decision to revoke journalist Jim Acosta‘s press credentials to the White House.

A few days later, federal Judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to return Acosta’s press pass, according to CNN.

In the lawsuit, Boutrous and CNN claimed a “wrongful revocation” of Acosta’s credentials and argued that the Trump administration “violated CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process.”

Lebanese American CNN lawyer Ted Boutrous appears on CNN to talk about the case involving Jim Acosta's press credentials. (CNN screen grab)
Lebanese American CNN lawyer Ted Boutrous appears on CNN to talk about the case involving Jim Acosta’s press credentials. (CNN screen grab)

Acosta clashed with President Trump during a news conference this month with questions about immigration and the special counsel’s investigation. The CNN correspondent would not give up the microphone after the president attempted to move on to another reporter.

CNN hired attorney Ted Boutrous to defend Acosta and attempt to restore his credentials. Boutrous is a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and is of Lebanese descent.

RELATED: Meet Donna Shalala: America’s new Lebanese American congresswoman and fierce Trump critic

Boutrous has a history of representing clients in major cases such as Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, Hollingsworth v. Perry and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes.

WATCH: Boutrous talks about the lawsuit on CNN:

Ackawi cheese recalled in U.S. over Listeria health concerns

A brand of Ackawi cheese has been recalled in the U.S. after a routine inspection discovered positive tests for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.

Consumers who purchased the Green Cedar Ackawi cheese bearing a “sell by” date of March 26, 2019 or later are urged not to consume the cheese, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Inspectors said the health concerns were discovered Nov. 9 during a routine inspection by the FDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause a serious and sometimes fatal infection that primarily affects young children, older adults, and persons with weakened immune systems.

“Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeriosis can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women,” the FDA said in a news release.

The recall affects Green Cedar Dairy Ackawi Cheese bearing a "sell by" date of March 26, 2019 or later, according to the FDA. (FDA provided photos)
The recall affects Green Cedar Dairy Ackawi Cheese bearing a “sell by” date of March 26, 2019 or later, according to the FDA. (FDA provided photos)

The recalled Ackawi cheese was distributed at retail locations in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, Michigan. There have been no reports of any major health impacts as a result of consumption.

Anyone with any questions regarding the recall can contact Hussam Harb, Plant Manager at Green Cedar Dairy at 313-584-4499.

Lebanese American cop files lawsuit, claims he was called ‘Beirut Bomber’

A Lebanese American police officer has filed a lawsuit against the San Jose, California Police Department alleging racial discrimination, reported NBC Bay Area.

Officer Nabil Haidar, a Lebanese American and Muslim officer, said his fellow officers called him “Bin Laden,” “Taliban” and “Beirut Bomber” in the days and years following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Haidar hired a California law firm to represent him in his lawsuit against the city of San Jose, the police department and police chief. He also named five other officers.

NBC Bay Area reported that the alleged harassment “escalated to a new height” after the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 to begin the Iraq War.

The lawsuit claimed that police officers allegedly said, “You’re not gonna blow up are you?” Haidar claims his fellow officers imitated his accent while saying, “I’ll kill you all.”

Haidar moved to the U.S. in 1988 and earned a bachelor's degree in criminology. (Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli and Brewer)
Haidar moved to the U.S. in 1988 and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology. (Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli and Brewer)

Haidar’s attorney said he decided to pursue legal action after he was allegedly harassed by a police sergeant at a meeting recognizing veterans.

“Captain, you forgot to mention Nabil. He is an ISIS veteran,” the sergeant allegedly said. “He was with ISIS for two years.”

The San Jose-based Mercury News reported that the city had not yet received a copy of the complaint.

“However, based on the claim filed by Mr. Haidar with the State Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and our subsequent investigation, we have not seen a basis for liability against the City,” City Attorney Rick Doyle said.

Lebanon opens first ‘blind-friendly’ supermarket in the Middle East

Marqet, the first blind-friendly supermarket in the Middle East opened Sept. 27 on Koraytem Main Road in Beirut, as part of a project launched by Lebanese non-profit Red Oak, a press release said.

According to a statement on the Red Oak website, this supermarket initiative coincides with their other recent projects aimed at bringing blind and visually-impaired persons to Lebanese museums.

The Youth Association of the Blind collaborated with Red Oak to train Marqet employees on how to support blind and visually-impaired shoppers during a two-day workshop, the release added.

Red Oak said employees at Marqet have been taught to support blind customers, walk them through the aisles, orientate them, showcase or describe products and help as they check out.

Marquet is Lebanon's first 'blind-friendly' supermarket. (Facebook/Red Oak)
Marquet is Lebanon’s first ‘blind-friendly’ supermarket. (Facebook/Red Oak)

According to Marqet’s website, it’s a one-stop shop for meats, fresh fruits, vegetables and many favorite brands like: La Boulangere Bio, Oslo, Royal Gourmet, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Qi juices, Cocoa & Co. and more.

“Smell the aromas of fresh bread baking in our bakery with its organic section, run your errands supported by our friendly staff, sip a cup of coffee and let our staff handle your order or call us from the comfort of your home and we will deliver,” the site said.

Marqet is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. everyday — including Sundays, delivery is available with no minimum order requirement and customers can find free parking.

For more information, visit: or

Former Lebanese president tweets, ‘Our hash is the best hash’

Former Lebanese President Michel Sleiman mocked Lebanon’s marijuana industry with a tweet, “Our hash is the best hash.”

Sleiman, who opposes the legalization of marijuana, said Lebanese citizens joked that Lebanese citizens should embrace the culture of marijuana.

“Wake up, Lebanese citizens. Accept the culture of hash. Our hash is the best hash,” he wrote on Twitter.

Lebanese government officials are exploring the potential economic value of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

RELATED: LAU to study ‘potential medical value’ of marijuana in Lebanon

Minister of Economy and Trade Raed Khoury said marijuana, which is illegal in Lebanon, could diversify the economy and open new markets.

“The quality (of cannabis) we have is one of the best in the world,” Khoury told Bloomberg News, adding that marijuana could become a one-billion-dollar industry.

The Lebanese American University is studying the potential economic value of marijuana in Lebanon. (File photo)
The Lebanese American University is studying the potential economic value of marijuana in Lebanon. (File photo)

Meanwhile, Sleiman joins a growing list of Lebanese officials opposing the marijuana industry. He said Lebanon should look into other industries to grow its economy.

“Lebanon, a country which exported the alphabets, cannot find solutions for its economy other than exporting hash,” Sleiman questioned.

VIDEO: Irish soldier stationed in Lebanon flies home to surprise daughter

An Irish soldier stationed in Lebanon returned home to Ireland to surprise his 8-year-old daughter. The special reunion was captured on cell phone video and posted to Facebook.

Daniel Downey is a member of the Irish Army based in Lebanon. His 8-year-old daughter Danni had not seen her father for several months, reported The Independent.

Downey interrupted his daughter’s dance class for a reunion to remember.

WATCH: Irish soldier stationed in Lebanon flies home to surprise daughter:

Danni’s aunt said the family spent more than four months planning the special reunion, The Indepedent added.

Vice Admiral Mark Mellett visits members of the Irish Army stationed in Lebanon. (Irish Defence Forces)
Vice Admiral Mark Mellett visits members of the Irish Army stationed in Lebanon. (Irish Defence Forces)

According to the Irish Army, more than 300 Irish personnel are currently serving the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon.

“The UNIFIL mission ‘Monitor, Support and Assist’ involves extensive mobile patrolling throughout the Irish area of operations, including ground-holding, monitoring the Blue Line and humanitarian operations,” their website said.

FBI director meets with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun

FBI Director Christopher Wray and several U.S. officials visited with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun at the country’s presidential palace in Baabda.

In a statement, Aoun said Lebanon was thankful for U.S. support to the Lebanese Armed Forces. He said Wray expressed his support to the Lebanese army for helping to fight militant groups across the country.

“Wray visited Lebanon to reaffirm the U.S. government’s commitment to the Lebanese-American partnership,” Aoun said in a statement released by the state-run Lebanese National News Agency. “They discussed issues relating to the close law enforcement and security cooperation between the United States and Lebanon.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray visited with Lebanon's President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda. (Lebanese National News Agency)
FBI Director Christopher Wray visited with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda. (Lebanese National News Agency)

The meeting was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard, and representatives from the offices of Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

“Lebanon is a key partner on law enforcement, including the fight against terrorism and the preservation of cultural heritage through preventing antiquities trafficking,” Aoun added. “Director Wray’s visit highlights the importance that the United States places on its relationship with Lebanon, and our continued commitment to the security of both the United States and Lebanon.”

The U.S. has provided more than $1 billion in military assistance to Lebanon since 2006, according to the Associated Press.

Christopher Wray formally replaced former FBI head James Comey in September 2017.

WATCH: FBI Director Christopher Wray meets with President Michel Aoun in Lebanon:

Meet Saudi Arabia’s first female anchor: A graduate from Lebanon

A Lebanese American University graduate made history as the first female news anchor on a main news program in Saudi Arabia, reported The Daily Mail.

Weam Al Dakheel recently became co-anchor of Al Saudiya’s 9.30 p.m. bulletin, the main news program on Saudi Arabia’s state-run television network. She will work anchor alongside Saudi journalist Omar al-Nashwan.

Weam Al-Dakheel is Saudi Arabia's first female news anchor. (Twitter/Saudi TV)
Weam Al-Dakheel is Saudi Arabia’s first female news anchor. (Twitter/Saudi TV)

Al Dakheel graduated from the Lebanese American University, according to her Facebook page. She was previously a reporter for CNBC Arabia and an anchor for Al-Arab News Channel in Bahrain.

The journalist set a milestone in the conservative country, known for its tight restrictions on women. Saudi Arabia only recently lifted its widely criticized ban on female drivers.

Following Al Dakheel’s first broadcast, many Twitter users expressed their support for the promising future of female journalists in Saudi Arabia.

“This is big from Saudi Arabia,” wrote one Twitter user. “(She is) confident, focused (and) beautiful.”

WATCH: Weam Al Dakheel anchors the main 9:30 p.m. news broadcast in Saudi Arabia:

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