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Damage at the site of the blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon. Photo taken August 5, 2020

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo

What We’re Watching: Lebanon’s lackluster port probe resumes, Kanye’s troubles Down Under, Rwanda-DRC tensions

Will Lebanese port blast victims ever get justice?

The long-stalled investigation into the July 2020 Beirut port blast that killed at least 218 people got very messy this week. After a 13-month hiatus, the investigation resumed with Judge Tarek Bitar charging three high-ranking officials – including former PM Hassan Diab – with homicide with probable intent. (The charges related to the unsafe storage at a port warehouse of hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate that ultimately exploded, decimating large parts of the city.) But then, the chief prosecutor (yes, the prosecutor!) announced on Wednesday that he was charging the judge for reopening the case. It’s unclear what the exact charges against him are, but Bitar, the second judge to oversee this investigation, has been subject to intimidation for pursuing the case. Meanwhile, the prosecutor also ordered 17 suspects in pre-trial custody to be released. Indeed, this is the latest sign that a culture of impunity plagues Lebanon. Meanwhile, as the elite continue to line their pockets, Lebanon’s economic situation remains catastrophic. Just this week, the US said it was rerouting aid funds to help cash-strapped Lebanon pay security personnel’s wages over fears that the security situation could spiral.

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White nationalists give Nazi salutes while taking part in a swastika burning at an undisclosed location in the US state of Georgia.

REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Exclusive GZERO/Maru Poll: With hate speech rising, Americans want a crackdown on social media

The recent, unhinged anti-Jewish rants by musician and designer Kanye West are only the most prominent example of a wider phenomenon: antisemitism is rising in the United States.

Last year, attacks nationwide targeting Jewish people, property, or institutions rose by 35% to more than 2,100, according to the Anti-Defamation League. That’s the highest level since the ADL began tracking antisemitism more than 40 years ago.

This tracks a broader trend: Across 15 major US cities, hate crimes – that is, acts of violence that target a specific community – rose more than 20% last year, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. That was true for attacks on Blacks, LGBT, Latinos, Asians, and Whites.

Those are the facts, but how do Americans perceive things? Do they feel that hate is rising? And if so, what should be done about it? As part of GZERO’s new polling partnership with Maru Public Opinion, we asked them.

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