Sit-ins, protests planned in Lebanon as government dialogue to end deadlock kicks off

Lebanon's prime minister says he hopes that political talks between senior politicians will help end government paralysis that has sparked angry street protests.

Tammam Salam spoke to journalists outside of parliament Wednesday, where politicians were gathering for the first session of the so-called "national dialogue" meetings. Activists gathered near parliament, which was closed off by security forces. They shouted "thieves!" as the convoys of politicians drove by.

A huge anti-government protest was planned for Wednesday night.

Salam also called for a Cabinet meeting later Wednesday to discuss the issue of garbage collection. Anger about the heaps of trash accumulating in Beirut's streets after the authorities closed its main landfill July 17 boiled over this summer, with thousands protesting in the street against the government.