This story is developing
The death toll from the explosions in Beirut has climbed to 73, according to the Lebanese Health Ministry.
This church in Beirut was televising mass when the explosion took place.
Event: We are closely following reports of an explosion at or near the Port of Beirut on August 4.
We encourage citizens in the affected area(s) to monitor local news, follow the emergency instructions provided by local authorities, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at step.state.gov to receive important emergency information, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional updates. There are reports of toxic gases released in the explosion so all in the area should stay indoors and wear masks if available.
We urge U.S. citizens in the affected areas who are safe to contact their loved ones directly and/or update their status on social media. If you are in the affected area and need immediate emergency services, please contact local authorities; police can be contacted at 112, civil defense at 125, and the Lebanese Red Cross at 140. We urge U.S. citizens to avoid the affected areas/shelter in place and follow the directions of local authorities. The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State. We will continue to provide information to U.S. citizens in the area through Alerts, our Embassy website, and travel.state.gov. U.S. citizens with verifiable emergencies may contact BeirutACS@state.gov.
Actions to Take:
- Avoid the area of the incident if possible
- Monitor local media and our Embassy website for updates
- Review your personal security plans
- Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible
- Read what the U.S. Government Can & Can’t Do in a Crisis
- U.S. Embassy Beirut, Lebanon
+961-4-542600 or +961-4-543600
- U.S. Department of State – Consular Affairs
+1-888-407-4747 or +1-202-501-4444
For further detailed information regarding travel and security in Lebanon:
- Visit the State Department’s travel website Travel.State.Gov to review the Lebanon Travel Advisory, Country-Specific Information for Lebanon, and the Worldwide Caution.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive the latest security updates and make it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Beirut on Twitter and Facebook
BREAKING: Dozens feared killed, hundreds wounded in Beirut explosions: witnesses (via The Daily Star Lebanon)
Lebanon’s Health Minister says a very high number of injuries and large damage from the Beirut explosion.
Several huge explosions rocked Beirut, Lebanon Thursday, but what actually caused the massive detention, that was followed by a billowing cloud of smoke is still not known.
The explosions appeared to be consecutive with one large explosion occurring before a secondary took place, according to reporters and eye witnesses in the region. The explosions were so forceful near the port in Beirut that it sent waves of water pushing back from the center of the detention.
U.S. Intelligence and State Department officials could not be immediately reached for comment and this story is developing. It will be updated when a response is available.
Numerous social media posts on Twitter and Instagram captured the large explosion, which could be seen from miles away.
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The Tate Brothers and Associates Face Human Trafficking Charges in Romania
In a recent development, the Tate brothers, Andrew and Tristan, along with two associates, find themselves at the center of a high-profile case involving human trafficking allegations.
The charges leveled against them indicate the formation of an organized criminal group in 2021 with the intent to carry out human trafficking operations not only in Romania but also in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.
The investigation, which led to their arrest in December last year, has culminated in an indictment filed with the Bucharest court. According to the indictment, the Tate brothers are accused of luring their victims with false promises of love and marriage. Seven individuals have been identified as alleged victims, who were later coerced and subjected to a harrowing ordeal.
Prosecutors contend that the victims were taken to locations in Ilfov county, Romania, where they faced constant surveillance, intimidation, and control. The defendants allegedly forced the victims into debt and coerced them into participating in pornographic activities, with the explicit material subsequently shared on social media platforms. Shockingly, one of the defendants is accused of raping a woman on two occasions in March 2022, further amplifying the gravity of the charges.
While the trial is not expected to commence immediately, as a Romanian judge is granted 60 days to inspect the case files, it is anticipated to be a protracted legal battle. The complexity of the case and the severity of the charges will undoubtedly result in a lengthy trial process, with several years potentially passing before a verdict is reached.
Representatives for the Tate brothers released a statement acknowledging the unsurprising nature of the news but maintaining their belief in their innocence.
As reported by the BBC, the Tate brothers media team stared, “While this news is undoubtedly predictable, we embrace the opportunity it presents to demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation.”
They expressed their eagerness to present a comprehensive body of evidence meticulously collected over time, which they believe will substantiate their claims of innocence and restore their tarnished reputation.
However, it should be noted that additional charges, such as money laundering and trafficking of minors, are still under investigation. If evidence is uncovered to support these allegations, a separate indictment could be filed, further complicating the legal proceedings for the defendants.
Andrew Tate, who gained notoriety through his participation in the reality television show Big Brother, has a controversial past, having been removed from the show in 2016 following a video that appeared to depict him assaulting a woman.
Despite subsequent bans on social media platforms due to his contentious statements, he has managed to amass a following, particularly among young men, by promoting an ostentatious and hyper-masculine lifestyle.
As the case unfolds, public attention will undoubtedly be drawn to the trial, with many eagerly awaiting the outcome and hoping for justice to be served for the alleged victims. The complex web of charges and the high-profile nature of the defendants ensure that this trial will be closely monitored and scrutinized by the media and the public alike.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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