• FILE -- In this August 22, file photo, a Lebanese activist holds a poster with pictures of Lebanese Cabinet ministers during a protest against the ongoing trash crisis, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. To the casual visitor, Lebanon may look like a relative success story: a tiny slice of modernity and coexistence in a turbulent region plagued by violence and extremism _ but the reality is quite different. For residents, it’s a failed state  eaten away by a sectarian political class, and while recent trash protests have challenged that system, others argue it’s what’s allowed a country of 4.5 million people from 18 recognized sects to survive. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

    Lebanon: Shiny on the outside, rotting from the inside

    BEIRUT (AP) — To the casual visitor, Lebanon may seem like a tiny slice of Mediterranean modernity and coexistence in a turbulent region plagued by violence and extremism.