How the Beirut explosion was a government failure

From Vox.

And why Lebanon is on the verge of collapse.

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On August 4, 2020, a massive explosion rocked Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. The blast occurred when sparks in a warehouse hit a stockpile of ammonium nitrate — a highly explosive material — that was stored in the city’s port. It was one of the largest accidental explosions in history and it couldn’t have occurred at a worse time for Lebanon.

For the past several years, the country has been sliding into an economic depression and a political crisis. The root causes began during the country’s 20-year civil war and extend to the organization of the government, in which control is divided among the country’s many religious sects.

After years of corruption and negligence, Lebanon’s people are now stuck picking up the pieces.

Sources and additional reading:

New York Times Visual Investigations:

Carnegie Endowment:

Ahmad Barclay:

The Economist:

Ziad Abu-Rish / Jadaliyya:


Financial Times:

Mohamad Bazzi / Foreign Affairs:

Dion Nissenbaum, Nazih Osseiran, Georgi Kantchev and Benoit Faucon / The Wall Street Journal: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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