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Syrian Citizen Shortly Abducted in Akkar

A Syrian man, who was kidnapped by gunmen in the northern district of Akkar, was released overnight, the state-run National News Agency reported on Thursday.

Masked armed men abducted on Wednesday the Syrian national, who was only identified by his initials as H.B., in the area of Bebnine and al-Abdeh, NNA said.

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Report: Wife of Parliament Guard is Mossad Agent

A guard at the Lebanese parliament, who has been recently arrested for suspected ties with Israel, was proved to be innocent but investigators found links between his wife and the Mossad, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Thursday.

The unidentified guard was apprehended several weeks ago after police raided his house and took two laptops that belong to him and his wife, it said.

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Report: Lebanese Bank at Forefront of Suspicious Money Laundering Operations

The branches of the Lebanese banks abroad, in particular Bank Audi SAL–Audi Saradar Group, are reportedly being used by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to fund the organization, despite confirmation by Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh that the group has no transactions in Lebanon.

A banking source told al-Akhbar newspaper published on Thursday that the talks of U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Daniel Glaser, who recently visited Lebanon,focused on the branches of the Lebanese banks in Turkey and Iraq and their financial operations there.

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U.S. Deputy Secretary of State to Meet Prominent Leaders during Short Visit

The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is expected to carry out a two-day visit to Lebanon to discuss the latest developments and the bilateral ties.

Local newspapers said that Blinken, who will arrive on Sunday, will hold talks with Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan, Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji and Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh.

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Sources: Rahi Praised Army during Meeting with Qahwaji

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi lauded the military leadership during a meeting he held with Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji, sources in Bkikri said on Thursday.

The sources told al-Joumhouria newspaper that the meeting between al-Rahi and Qahwaji, which was held on Tuesday, was “positive.”

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12 Charged with Abducting Syrian Defectors, Handing Them to Regime

State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr on Wednesday charged 12 people with “luring” and “abducting” defected Syrian soldiers and handing them to their country's regime.

“Saqr filed a lawsuit against 12 people – including 3 detainees of whom one is a serviceman – on charges of luring soldiers defected from the Syrian regime, kidnapping them and handing them to Syrian authorities in return for personal benefits,” state-run National News Agency said.

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Cabinet 'Renews Trust' in Salam in Wake of Debate over his Stance at Arab Summit

Prime Minister Tammam Salam stressed on Wednesday that his position at the recent Arab League summit stemmed from his keenness on Lebanon and its role in the Arab community.

Information Minister Ramzi Jreij said: “Salam emphasized that his stance reflected Lebanon's interest to remain within the Arab fold.”

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Daryan Praises Saudi's 'Bold' Decision in Yemen

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan lauded on Wednesday the “bold” decision taken by Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz to maintain stability in Yemen.

“We back the stability of the Arab world,” Daryan said.

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Australian Convicted for Marrying Off 12-Year-Old Daughter to Lebanese

An Australian man was convicted Wednesday of procuring his 12-year-old daughter for sex by letting her marry a man more than twice her age in an Islamic ceremony.

The father, who cannot be named to protect the girl's identity, was found guilty of procuring a child under the age of 14 for unlawful sexual activity and encouraging the pair to have intercourse despite denying the charges.

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3 Syrians Abducted in Arsal in Retaliation to Kidnapping of Hussein Seifeddine

Gunmen from the Ezzeddine family appeared on the streets of the northeastern border town of Arsal in the wake of a series of kidnappings in the area over the past few days, reported the National News Agency on Wednesday.

It said that gunmen abducted three Syrian youths from the Syrian town of Qara in response to the kidnapping of Hussein Seifeddine on Tuesday.

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