• World
    The Daily Beast

    Bodies Strewn on the Ground After Apocalyptic Blast in Beirut

    A huge explosion rocked Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday destroying entire blocks of high-rise buildings and leaving at least 73 people confirmed dead, more than 3,700 wounded, and scores more feared buried under rubble and ash. The country’s interior minister said early indications were that highly explosive materials, seized and stored at Beirut’s port, had detonated. Footage of the blast showed a large plume of dark red flames and smoke before a massive explosion threw up a mushroom cloud. Powerful shock waves shattered glass, collapsed ceilings and pulled down balconies—even residents on the island nation of Cyprus, 110 miles away, heard the blast.A witness on the ground who works for the United Nations, but does not speak on their behalf, was near the port when the explosion happened. She told The Daily Beast that bodies were scattered from the blast. “There was dark smoke from a fire and then a massive blast and everyone fell to the ground,” she said. “A lot of people didn’t get up.”Entire buildings collapsed, streets glistened under blankets of shattered glass, and injured residents wandered the city covered in blood. Lebanese media carried images of people trapped under rubble. Residents rushed the injured to hospital any way they could, carrying them on their shoulders, on the trunks of cars and on ash-covered pieces of debris.“What we are witnessing is a huge catastrophe,” George Kettani, head of Lebanon’s Red Cross, told local TV network Mayadeen. “There are victims and casualties everywhere.”Abbas Ibrahim, director of General Security, told Lebanese media at a press conference that Israel was not to blame for the explosion. He pointed the finger at a depot at the port where highly explosive materials were stored after being confiscated.Local media reports also indicated that the blast may have ripped through a fireworks warehouse. It was not yet clear what ignited a fire that could be seen shortly before the main explosion.CNN’s Ben Wedeman, who is based in Beirut, was in the bureau about a kilometer away before the blast. He reported on CNN that people were tweeting photos of a fire in the port about 15 minutes before a massive blast shook the building, destroying the bureau. He described a large red cloud hanging low over the city. “The city is in a state of panic,” he said on CNN. “The city is in a state of shock.”France 24 correspondent Leila Molana-Allen wrote on Twitter that her apartment was blown apart. “All the buildings in my block are destroyed. Huge explosion in Beirut. Everyone covered in glass and blood,” she wrote.Hours after the blast at 6 p.m. local time, fires were still burning in the port district. Hospitals, already buckling under the coronavirus pandemic, were overwhelmed with patients.The blast came as the city braces for the verdict in a long-awaited trial over the assassination of former Sunni prime minister Rafik al-Hariri who was killed in a truck bomb 15 years ago. The defendants, from the Iran-backed group Hezbollah, are being tried in absentia. That verdict is expected Friday. Beirut has been under siege by angry protesters demonstrating against economic strife and alleged corruption since the October Revolution kicked off in the fall of 2019. Daily demonstrations and widespread resignations have crippled the government. Before that, the city buckled under the a civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990. Tuesday’s blast was by far the biggest explosion to hit the city since the 2006 war with Israel. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • Celebrity
    Variety

    Detail, Music Producer Known for Beyonce’s ‘Drunk In Love,’ Arrested on Multiple Sexual Assault Charges

    Music producer Detail was arrested Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after 15 sexual assault charges and five separate felony assault charges were filed against him five days earlier. The producer is being held on bail of $6.3 million. Detail, whose real name is Noel Fisher, has worked with such artists as Jay-Z, Nicki […]

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  • Celebrity
    USA TODAY Entertainment

    Cameron Diaz reveals to Gwyneth Paltrow why she left Hollywood: 'I got a peace in my soul'

    In a conversation with Gwyneth Paltrow, which streamed live on YouTube Wednesday, Cameron Diaz discussed why she stepped back from her acting career.

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  • Politics
    The Week

    Pence calls Chief Justice John Roberts 'a disappointment to conservatives'

    Vice President Mike Pence isn't happy that Chief Justice John Roberts played a role in upholding the Affordable Care Act and rejecting a Nevada church's challenge to coronavirus restrictions, calling him a "disappointment to conservatives."In an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network on Wednesday, Pence said such cases "are a reminder of just how important this election is for the future of the Supreme Court." Roberts also sided with the court's liberal wing in June to strike down a Louisiana abortion law, and Pence said that ruling should be "a wake up call for pro-life voters around the country who understand in a very real sense that the destiny of the Supreme Court is on the ballot in 2020."Soon, President Trump will publish a list of "men and women from which he will draw any future appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States," Pence added, like he did in 2016. "He kept his word, he's going to do that in the fall of 2020, and the next four years he'll keep his word and appoint more principled conservatives to our courts." EXCLUSIVE: Vice President Mike Pence calls out Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts by name. He says, "Chief Justice Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives." Watch from my interview with @VP in Florida today. Full report on @700club Thursday + clips on @CBNNews pic.twitter.com/z6IANVONr5 -- David Brody (@DavidBrodyCBN) August 6, 2020More stories from theweek.com Republicans offer $400/week unemployment benefits, but stimulus bill talks remain divided New Lincoln Project ad crowns Jared Kushner 'Secretary of Failure' GOP senator questions Trump giving RNC speech from the White House: 'Is that even legal?'

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