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Beirut carnage and John Hume remembered (E344)

The extraordinary videos of Beirut when almost 3,000 tonnes of ammonia nitrate exploded in the port of the city sent shockwaves across the world. It was a horror on a scale unimaginable even for those who had lived through many horrors in the city and a catastrophe which adds to the ongoing tragedy. Was corruption at the heart of this explosion; why was this highly dangerous material being stored in Chamber number 12 in a Lebanese port; And who made the decision to store this shipment for six years even though authorities were made aware of it? We spoke with the celebrated Lebanese writer and commentator, Dr. Marwa Osman about the blast and its aftermath.

A mighty oak of Irish and British politics, John Hume was leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland but he was a figure who transcended this and paved the way for the Irish Republican movement to lay down the gun and enter politics. He was a great man, but he was also an ordinary man, quietly charismatic and full of courage. His friend Stephen Travers, survivor of the Miami Show Band Massacre, spoke to Sputnik to tell us about this indefatigable fighter for peace.

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