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Reports: Lunch Hosted by Rahme Launches Bid to Mend Aoun-Franjieh Ties

MP Emile Rahme gathered Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Frajieh's son and a son-in-law of Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun over lunch on Wednesday in a bid to mend ties between the two presidential candidates, media reports said.

The lunch banquet at downtown Beirut's Karam Restaurant brought together Aoun's son-in-law Brig. Gen. Chamel Roukoz and Franjeh's son Tony, al-Jadeed TV reported.

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Residents Protest to UNIFIL after Israeli Troops Cross Border, Nab Goats

An Israeli force crossed the Lebanese border on Wednesday and seized a goat herd belonging to a Lebanese citizen, sparking a protest by villagers, Lebanon's National News Agency reported.

“A force from the enemy's army violated the border and nabbed a flock of goats belonging to the citizen Wissam Abdul Al,” NNA said.

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Cabinet Approves Decrees Linked to Civil Defense Directorate

The cabinet adopted on Wednesday decrees on determining the conditions for the appointments of the head and members of the Civil Defense Directorate.

The decrees will pave the way for the Interior Minister to hold an exam that will lead to the potential employment of the workers, explained Information Minister Ramzi Jreij after the cabinet meeting that was held at the Grand Serail.

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Geagea Urges International Community to Intervene to 'Halt Massacres in Syria'

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea held on Wednesday the international community responsible for the prolongation of the war in Syria, labeling the developments in the country as a “major humanitarian tragedy.”

He urged via Twitter the international community to “intervene quickly in Syria to halt the massacres taking place there.”

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Harb: Hizbullah and Aoun are Doing Each Other a Favor

Telecommunications Minister Butros Harb stated on Wednesday that Hizbullah and its ally the Change and Reform bloc head MP Michel Aoun are doing each other mutual favors with regard to the presidency and the party's weapons.

“Lebanon is in a stage of paying bills between Aoun and Hizbullah. The first insists to cover the illegal weapons of Hizbullah in return for the latter's continued backing for Aoun to help him make it to the presidential post,” said Harb via Twitter.

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Beirut Police Arrest Robbery Suspects

The Internal Security Forces said on Wednesday it has arrested three Lebanese men on suspicion of robbery and impersonating police officers.

An ISF communique said a patrol arrested R.S., 44, and 30-year-old Aa. K. in the Beirut neighborhood of Jnah on Sunday for robbing a Syrian after impersonating police officers.

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Democratic Gathering Warns against Lebanon's Slide to 'Totalitarianism'

Democratic Gathering bloc MP Marwan Hamadeh has rejected to turn Lebanon into a dictatorship through the appointment of a president rather than his election.

Hamadeh told the Kuwaiti daily al-Seyassah on Wednesday that “Lebanon, which has been a slogan for democracy in the Orient, should not slide into totalitarianism where a president is appointed without elections.”

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Matar: Presidency Should Not Be Linked to Issues beyond Lebanon's Borders

Beirut Maronite Bishop Boulos Matar condemned on Tuesday the ongoing vacuum in the presidency, while hailing the recent rapprochements and initiatives that have been launched to end the dispute.

He said during a sermon marking Mar Maroun Day: “Our national dignity should not allow us to link the presidency to issues beyond our country's borders.”

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Rahi Says Lebanon Needs ‘Real Statesmen’ to End Baabda Vacuum

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi said on Tuesday that Lebanon needs “real statesmen” to end the presidential vacuum.

“We need real statesmen to be able to elect a president,” al-Rahi said in his sermon during a mass he celebrated on the occasion of Saint Maroun in Bkirki.

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Media: UAE Tries 'Hizbullah', 'Qaida' Cell Members

Separate trials have opened in the United Arab Emirates of three men accused of links to Hizbullah and 23 others for ties to al-Qaida, newspapers reported Tuesday.

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