LEBANON

Refugees dismayed over halt in food aid

Syrian refugees in Lebanon panicked Tuesday over news that the United Nations suspended food aid to 1.7 million refugees due to lack of funds - a decision officials said threatens to starve thousands of families and add pressure on the already strained countries hosting them.

On Monday, the U.N. World Food Program suspended an electronic food voucher program serving refugees, saying donors failed to meet their commitments. The end of the program, which allows refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt to buy food in local shops, means that "many families will go hungry," the U.N. agency said.

"If the U.N. stops helping me, I don't know what will happen to me," said a refugee who asked to be identified by her first name Aisha out of fear of retaliation. "I get my food and everything through the U.N." - AP
TAIWAN

President quits post

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou said Tuesday that he is stepping down as chairman of the ruling Nationalist Party following stinging defeats in local elections over the weekend that cast a shadow over his pro-China policies. "Over the last 120 years, the Nationalist Party has encountered countless failures, but has never been categorically defeated and each time we pick ourselves back up again," Ma said in the statement. "Let us take today's loss and turn it into a new victorious beginning." - AP

ZAMBIA

Political rivals fight

Clashes flared in Zambia's capital after the ruling party split into two factions that nominated their own candidates for next month's presidential election. Two "rival groups" fought in Lusaka, damaging a taxi and throwing a brazier full of hot coals into it, police spokeswoman Charity Munganga said. - Bloomberg