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Lebanese PM Saad Hariri returns to Beirut

Saad Hariri thrust Lebanon into crisis when he resigned during a trip to Saudi Arabia on 4 November.

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Lebanese PM Saad Hariri has arrived back in Beirut for the first time since announcing his resignation in Saudi Arabia more than two weeks ago.

TV pictures from Beirut international airport showed Mr Hariri being greeted by members of the security forces as he disembarked from his plane.

Mr Hariri caused a political crisis when he quit during a visit to Riyadh.

He denied speculation that Saudi Arabia had forced him to quit as part of a regional power struggle with Iran.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has refused to accept his resignation until he returns to present it in person.

On Saturday, Mr Hariri flew to Paris where he met French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been trying to broker a way out of the stalemate.

Mr Hariri stopped off briefly in Egypt and Cyprus on his way back to Beirut on Tuesday.

While in France, Mr Hariri vowed to return to Lebanon to take part in independence celebrations on Wednesday, adding: “It is there that I will make known my position… after meeting President Aoun.”

Mr Hariri abruptly announced he was resigning during a trip to Saudi Arabia on 4 November.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Hariri held talks with President Macron in Paris

In a televised statement, he said he feared assassination.

He also accused Iran of sowing “discord, devastation and destruction” in the region and alleged that the Hezbollah group, which is Iran’s ally in Lebanon, was destabilising the nation.

Hezbollah is part of a national unity government that Mr Hariri formed last year.

President Aoun accused Saudi Arabia of holding Mr Hariri against his will but both the Saudis and Mr Hariri denied this.

Mr Hariri has close ties with Saudi Arabia. He holds both Lebanese and Saudi citizenship, owns properties in the kingdom, and Riyadh is a key backer of his political party, the Future Movement.

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Chile: Landslide destroys village and kills at least five

A search continues for 15 people missing, after five died in a village in the south of the country.

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A landslide caused by torrential rain has killed at least five people in southern Chile and has destroyed dozens of houses.

Fifteen people are missing in the remote village of Villa Santa Lucía in the country’s lake region, popular with tourists.

President Michelle Bachelet has declared a state of emergency in the area.

Thousands remain without electricity and cut off from the rest of Chile.

“I have ordered rescue workers to put all the resources necessary towards protecting the people of Villa Santa Lucia,” said Ms Bachelet.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Most of the village was destroyed by the landslide

Part of the valley where the village lies, some 1,100km (690 miles) south of the capital, Santiago, was engulfed by a huge amount of mud from surrounding mountains.

Local media reported that the region had experienced unusually heavy rain for the previous 24 hours.

Dozens of people have been airlifted and taken to the neighbouring town of Chaitén.

Rescue teams are searching for survivors.

The village is near Corcovado National Park, popular with tourists for its volcanoes, fjords and forests.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The mud has blocked roads linking the area to the rest of Chile

The mudslide happened on Saturday morning, on the eve of the run-off election to choose Chile’s next president.

The authorities say the vote is going ahead as planned.

Some 14 million Chileans are eligible choose between the centre-right candidate, Sebastián Piñera, and Alejandro Guillier, who is endorsed by Ms Bachelet.

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Anita Hill to chair Hollywood harassment commission

The lawyer will head the group after a series of Hollywood sexual abuse and harassment allegations.

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A special commission to combat sexual harassment in the entertainment and media industries will be chaired by lawyer and academic Anita Hill.

The first meeting of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace was attended by a wide range of industry giants.

Spearheaded by female executives, including Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy, it will reconvene in 2018.

It comes after a string of allegations made against dozens in Hollywood.

The group was announced on Friday following a meeting convened by Ms Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, Nike co-chair Maria Eitel, lawyer Nina Show and venture capitalist Freada Kapor Klein.

A wide range of industry leaders attended the first meeting, including the chairman of Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony and Universal.

The commission said it will meet in the new year to define its scope and priorities in the wake of weeks of allegations against prominent industry figures, including Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Image copyright EPA Image caption Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is one several high-profile women spearheading the group

“The Commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power,” Ms Kennedy said.

‘Unprecedented opportunity’

Anita Hill brought sexual harassment to national prominence in the US in 1991 when she publically testified that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her when he was her boss at the Department for Education and at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

After her private allegations were leaked to the press, she testified publically at a televised investigative committee where her allegations came under attack. He was eventually confirmed in the position, despite her testimony.

Now a professor at Brandeis University in Boston, she said it was “time to end the culture of silence”.

Image copyright VT Image caption Ms Hill brought workplace sexual harassment into the national debate 26 years ago

“I’ve been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change,” Ms Hill said.

“I’m proud to be leading this newly-formed Commission on a long overdue journey to adopt best practices and to create institutional change that fosters a culture of respect and human dignity throughout the industry,” she said.

“We will be focusing on issues ranging from power disparity, equity and fairness, safety, sexual harassment guidelines, education and training, reporting and enforcement, ongoing research, and data collection,” she added.

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Hunter Harrison: CSX railway boss dies

The US transportation company’s shares fell sharply on Friday after CEO’s medical leave was announced.

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Hunter Harrison, the CEO of the US transportation company CSX, has died just days after going on medical leave.

Mr Harrison, 73, died in Florida due to “unexpectedly severe complications from a recent illness”, the company said.

The company’s shares fell sharply in trading on Friday after Mr Harrison’s leave was announced.

CSX is the third largest railway company in the US, and owns a network connecting every metropolitan area in the eastern US.

CSX said that Jim Foote would continue as acting CEO.

Mr Harrison, who joined CSX in March, had ambitious plans to change CSX.

He had a long career transforming railway companies, with stints at the helm of Illinois Central, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption CSX is best known for its freight operation

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