Newspaper devotes entire issue to 'wake-up call' for the country

A man looks at the front pages of the Lebanese local English-language newspaper "The Daily Star" in the capital Beirut on August 8, 2019, which refrained from publishing news articles in its print edition today in protest against the "deteriorating situation" in Lebanon.

Beirut, Lebanon (CNN)Lebanon's leading English language daily newspaper published a blank issue on Thursday with just a list of political and economic woes that have gripped the country in recent months.

"Government deadlock," "Pollution at alarming levels," and "Public debt close to $100 million" read some of the headlines of The Daily Star's Thursday issue, with each page featuring a single message. It was meant to be a "wake-up" call for the country's officials, the newspaper's online editorial said.
"The aim is to ring the alarm bell about all the challenges that are facing the country and to urge everyone in Lebanon to work towards resolving these crises," Nadim Ladki, editor-in-chief of The Daily Star, told CNN.
In recent years, the small eastern Mediterranean country has buckled under ballooning public debt, a decaying infrastructure and political infighting. Years of government mismanagement has also led to fresh currency fears, as economic growth remains stagnant while Lebanon's public debt to GDP ratio is the third largest in the world.
    Last month, Lebanon passed a 2019 budget which Prime Minister Saad Hariri warned could be the "most austere" financial plan in the country's history.
    Earlier this week, The Daily Star reported that Lebanese banks were "bracing themselves" for a "possible downgrade."
      Thursday's sparsely worded issue summed up "stories that we cover everyday," said Ladki.
      "It's enough that people take notice (of the problems) and think," he added.