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Uber Driver in Lebanon Arrested in Killing of Rebecca Dykes

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Rebecca Dykes, a British diplomat, was killed over the weekend after she left a party in Beirut. Credit The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, via Reuters

LONDON — A driver for Uber in Lebanon has been arrested in connection with the killing of a British diplomat in Beirut over the weekend, and the ride-hailing company said on Monday that it was cooperating with the authorities.

The body of the victim, Rebecca Dykes, was found next to a highway on the outskirts of the Lebanese capital on Saturday. She is thought to have spent Friday night at a friend’s goodbye party in the Gemmayze district of Beirut.

“We are horrified by this senseless act of violence,” said Harry Porter, a spokesman for Uber. “Our hearts are with the victim and her family. We are working with authorities to assist their investigation in any way we can.”

News outlets have reported that the suspect had a criminal record. Uber has come under intense scrutiny in the past for its lax approach to conducting background checks on drivers. In 2014, both Uber and one of its competitors, Lyft, lobbied regulators in cities across the United States to ease rules requiring the fingerprinting of drivers for background checks, a more thorough but time-consuming process.

Uber, however, uses a different approach in cities where drivers are required to be licensed by the taxi commission to drive for the company, like Beirut. Mr. Porter said that Uber in Lebanon used only taxi drivers with commercial licenses, which require government background checks.

Source: NYT > World

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