Large blaze erupts in port a month after explosion

The blaze broke out where an aid agency had been storing food and cooking oil.

Firefighters and military officials spent hours battling the fire, using helicopters to drop water on it, before getting it under control on Thursday.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is not yet known.

What happened?

Footage shared on social media showed port workers running away as the fire broke out at the duty-free zone in the port on Thursday. The blaze sent a plume of dark smoke over the Lebanese capital.

Angry protesters storm government ministries

Several thousand people are on the streets protesting. Police have fired tear gas at stone-throwing demonstrators.

Sounds of gunfire have also been heard from central Martyrs' Square.

In a televised address, Lebanese PM Hassan Diab said he would ask for early elections as a way out of the crisis.

"We can't exit the country's structural crisis without holding early parliamentary elections," he said. The issue will be discussed in cabinet on Monday.

Macron visits Beirut as residents rage at their leaders

President Michel Aoun said the blast was caused by 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse.

Many have accused the authorities of corruption, neglect and mismanagement.

The blast killed at least 137 people and injured about 5000 others, while dozens are still missing. A two-week state of emergency has begun.

Beirut port officials under house arrest as rescue efforts continue

The blast killed at least 135 people and injured more than 4000 others. A two-week state of emergency has begun.

President Michel Aoun said the blast was caused by 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse.

Customs chief Badri Daher said his agency called for the chemical to be removed, but "this did not happen".

"We leave it to the experts to determine the reasons," he said.

Ammonium nitrate is used as a fertiliser in agriculture and as an explosive.

Lebanon begins 'total' shutdown as cases increase

The government had been easing restrictions imposed two months ago to try to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Shops, restaurants and hair salons had been allowed to re-open. But they now have to close again.

The efforts to fight the coronavirus have had a crushing impact on the economy, which was already in a dire state before the pandemic.

Lebanon started negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday to secure financial assistance it urgently needs.

Lebanon has reported 870 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 26 associated deaths.

Tonga hold on against gallant Lebanon

In Saturday's end-to-end affair, which will go down as one of the most-exciting tussles of the tournament, Tonga's first-half display was just enough to get them over the line.

England captain wants improvement

England ground their way to a patchy 29-10 win against Lebanon last week, with coach Wayne Bennett saying they "lost their way in the second half", and the Wigan Warriors captain wants more consistency at Perth Stadium.

"I think the Australia game it was disappointing not to get the result, but the performance was reasonably good and it was probably a little bit vice-versa in the second game," he said.

"This week it's about getting the win, but also improving our performance."

Lebanon rocked by big injury toll

While they defended stoutly and asked a couple of questions in attack, injuries plagued the brave Lebanese who might struggle to find 17 fit players ahead of next week's likely quarter-final showdown with Tonga. 

Skipper Robbie Farah came into the game with a heel injury, Michael Lichaa was forced off in the second half with an ankle complaint, while five-eighth Mitchell Moses also left the field with whiplash, although he says he will be fine. 

Moses justifies the hype

Heavily touted as a youngster at the Wests Tigers, Moses justified the hype following a mid-season switch to the Parramatta Eels that saw him guide the blue and golds to the finals for the first time since 2009. 

Lebanon fans were hoping to see something similar from the talented playmaker and the 5,492 at Canberra Stadium weren't disappointed as Moses took the game by the scruff of the neck in the final 10 minutes to seal the Cedars' first World Cup win. 

I want to give back to Lebanon: Farah

Those are the immortal words of coach Herb Brooks (portrayed by Kurt Russell in the film Miracle) ahead of the USA's shock win over the USSR in the 1980 Winter Olympics ice hockey gold medal match.