In this extraordinary case, Secretary Rice has directed the State Department to waive the requirement for American citizens departing Lebanon to reimburse the United States Government for their travel costs.
We want to do everything we can to facilitate the departure of American citizens from Lebanon. Today's step removes one potential worry for our citizens at this difficult time.
The shops have been taken over by the most exclusive and expensive international outlets. Many of the streets where the souks were are now jammed till the early hours of the morning with busy pavement cafes and restaurants.
There are similar transformations all over town. New hotels, restaurants, beach clubs and vast, gleaming shopping malls have sprung up.
Beirut [which] has been pulling in record numbers of visitors, is beyond the average backpacker budget. Most tourists are Arabs from Gulf states on "high-end, high-spend" holidays. It became particularly popular as wealthy Arabs steered clear of the US after [9/11].
Recent events in Lebanon underscore the need for caution and sound personal security precautions . . . Since February 2005, there have been 15 separate bombings in Lebanon, resulting in ten dead and 121 wounded.
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