A selection of articles, features and investigations undertaken in Lebanon, including a look at Lebanon's underground BDSM scene, the use of deadly Lannate poison on Beirut's streets and how one town's mayor resorted to burning trash.

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A selection of articles, mojo packages and radio pieces undertaken worldwide, including video reports on Scotland's relationship with the EU and refugee integration in Berlin.

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A collection of interviews and stories on the refugee crisis worldwide. Particular focus on Syrians now living in Scotland, told from their own perspectives.

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EU’s deal with Turkey is endangering migrants

Refugee and migrant arrivals in Europe are expected to reach more than one million before the end of 2015, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

That would make this year’s arrivals nearly five times the total in 2014.

The organisation said that 990,671 migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East have entered Europe so far this year, via a combination of irregular land and sea routes.

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Building on our Jamaican ties

When Scots think of Jamaica it’s unlikely to be in terms of our shameful historical links.

Jamaica was a focal point of Scotland’s involvement in the slave trade and a campaign group, launched last year, are determined to bring that issue to the fore.

Scotland Jamaica appeared before the Holyrood petition committee on Tuesday, to call for Scotland to acknowledge its heritage of slavery and begin building new economic and development bonds with the island.

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A social soup revolution is simmering across Scotland

There’s something special about soup. Whether it’s the classics – Scotch broth, lentil, Cullen skink, oxtail – or a more exotic taste, a bowl of soup is the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold Scottish night.

Almost everyone will have fond memories of their granny’s lentil soup – a thousand tiny variations passed down through the generations.

It’s simple, cheap and healthy – not to mention a clever way to trick the kids into having their five a day.

But more than that, soup is a leveller. It brings people together to enjoy a shared experience.

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From Edinburgh, via the Basque Country and public sex, to an award winning film

PIKADERO (Pi-ka-de-ro, noun   1. A riding school   2. A public place for sexual encounters)

From tough times spring success: a study of how the economic downturn impacts on the sex lives of young Spaniards won new Scottish director Ben Sharrock the Michael Powell Award for best British feature film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

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Lebanon animal welfare law one step closer to becoming a reality

The smile hasn’t left the face of Animals Lebanon Director Jason Mier since it was announced Wednesday that the organization’s animal welfare bill had been approved by the Cabinet after over three years of campaigning.

“So much time and resources, by so many good people, and the outcome is exactly what we hoped for,” Mier tells The Daily Star.

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Burj Hammoud: Lebanon’s Little Armenia

When you cross the Beirut River and enter the municipality of Burj Hammoud it seems like another city entirely. Whether you walk down the main promenade, taking in the sights and smells of the famous basterma (pastrami) restaurants, or get lost in the maze of streets selling every kind of artisanal product, Burj Hammoud is distinctly one thing: Armenian. Lebanon is home to around 230,000 persons of Armenian descent, the sixth largest Armenian population outside Armenia worldwide. They came at the beginning of the 20th century, refugees from the Medz Yeghern (Armenian for “the Great Crime”) – the systematic extermination of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian population – disputed as genocide in modern day Turkey, but accepted as such by a growing number of states and individuals worldwide.

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Al-Jazeera journalist detained in Amman over custody dispute

A veteran Al-Jazeera correspondent has been arrested in Amman, Jordan, for refusing to give up custody of her 5-year-old daughter.

Eight hours ago, Rula Amin, posted the news of her arrest with the following tweet: “#rula amin being arrested by police in amman demanding I give up my 5 year old daughter.” There has been no further correspondence from Amin.

Speaking to The Daily Star, a colleague and close friend of Amin, Mysa Khalaf, said Amin was being held in a woman’s detention center in Amman but had not yet been charged.

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Leaks show Lebanese authorities sought spyware

A hacking suite for governmental interception, right at your fingertips. That is how Italy-based spyware company Hacking Team describes its Galileo Remote Control System, billed as a way to “bypass encryption, collect relevant data out of any device and keep monitoring your targets wherever they are, even outside your monitoring domain.” In a twist of irony, HT was itself the victim of a mass hack in July. Termed a “corporate enemy of the Internet” by Reporters Without Borders in 2013, the company had repeatedly denied selling its products to repressive regimes. Entrepreneurial hackers, unsatisfied with these denials, resorted to dumping a treasure trove of 400 GBs worth of data onto the company’s own Twitter feed – renamed “Hacked Team.”

In among these leaks was correspondence with the intelligence branch of the Lebanese Army, General Security and the Cyber Crimes and Intellectual Properties Bureau – all seeking to purchase Galileo.

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Residents angry as Broummana say it has ‘no choice’ but to burn its trash



The sound of crickets drowned out all other noise as The Daily Star watched as a procession of Sukleen trucks and unmarked pickups filled with sand weaving their way down a mountain path to a makeshift dump at the top of the River Valley on Broummana’s outskirts.

Concerned residents, watching from their homes overlooking the valley, said the garbage dump began two weeks ago Friday, first with nondescript trucks and then with Sukleen.

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