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Army: Will Show No Leniency with Attempts to Disrupt Municipal Elections

The Lebanese army said on Friday that it took the needed security measures to help the smooth operation of the upcoming municipal elections in Beirut and Bekaa-al-Hermel, the Army Command Orientation Directorate said in a statement on Friday.

“On the occasion of holding the municipal and mayoral elections that are set to be held in Beirut and Bekaa on May 8, army units have deployed in these two governorates to ensure the safety of the electoral process, and enable the citizens to safely and democratically express their views at the ballot boxes,” said the statement.

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U.S. Accuses Prominent Lebanese-Origin Panama Family of Money Laundering

The United States has named Panama's prominent Waked family, who run a large luxury goods, duty-free shop and real estate business, as a major drug money-laundering organization.

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Report: Senior Politician Anticipates 'Imminent' Election of a President

A prominent Lebanese official said that it is likely for the Lebanese to “sleep one day to wake up and find that a president has been elected,” As Safir daily reported on Friday.

“I am certain that we are now slowly approaching the end of the vacuum at the top state post. The coming summer could be a stage of setting the foundation for the election of a president next autumn,” said the senior politician on condition of anonymity.

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Report: Formal Request to Prosecute Ministry Employees in Illegal Internet File

The Financial General Prosecutor sent Thursday afternoon a request related to the illegal internet file to Telecommunications Minister Butros Harb asking for permission to pursuit some of the employees at his ministry, particularly OGERO employees, after the minister objected to the form addressed earlier, al-Joumhouria daily quoted prominent judicial sources on Friday.

During a parliamentary media committee meeting on Thursday, Harb noted that the request to prosecute some of the staff at his ministry did not respect the norms nor did it include the necessary investigations on which he can build his decision upon.

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Cabinet Postpones State Security Issue as Bassil Accuses OGERO Chief of 'Theft'

The cabinet on Thursday postponed discussing the thorny issue of the State Security agency as Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil reportedly accused OGERO chief Abdul Menhem Youssef of “theft.”

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Hariri Says Beirut Won't 'Drown in Trash' Anew, Urges Votes for 'Rafik Hariri Project'

Al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri stressed Thursday that he will not tolerate another garbage disposal crisis in the capital Beirut as he called on Beirut's voters to defend “Rafik Hariri's project” in Sunday's municipal polls.

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Al-Rahi to Meet Hollande during 4-Day Visit to France

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi will meet with French President Francois Hollande during a four-day visit to France that will begin on Saturday, Lebanon's National News Agency reported Thursday.

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Nasrallah Meets Khamenei Aide, to Deliver Speech Friday

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah met Thursday at his office with Ali Akbar Velayati, the international affairs adviser to Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei, the party said.

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Fadlallah: Illegal Internet File Will not Be Covered up

MP Hassan Fadlallah vowed on Thursday that the judiciary will continue on investigating the case of the illegal internet, stressing that this issue will not be victim of a political cover-up.

He said after a meeting of the parliamentary media committee: “This file will not be subject to a cover-up and all low- and high-ranking officials linked to the case will be held accountable.”

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Salam Meets Mashnouq: Hopes Municipal Polls Will Lead to Presidential, Parliamentary Elections

Prime Minister Tammam Salam called on Thursday for a heavy turnout in the upcoming municipal elections, saying they are an occasion for the people to exercise their rights.

He hoped that the polls will “pave the way to holding the presidential and parliamentary elections.”

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