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Security Forces Arrest Wives of Suspect in Bleiq's Murder and Others Involved

The Internal Security Forces raided on Saturday the house of the murderer of Wissam Bleiq, a member of Beirut's firefighting department, and arrested his two wives in addition to five people who helped him flee to Syria, the ISF said in a statement on Saturday.

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People Block Akkar Road Protesting Withdrawal of Municipal Chief from Polls

Supporters of incumbent municipal chief of Akkar al-Atiqa in the district of Akkar, Khaled al-Bahri, blocked roads on Saturday protesting his decision to resign and withdraw his nomination from the upcoming municipal elections, the state-run National News Agency reported.

The campaigners blocked the road with dirt in front of the polling stations in the Akkar Secondary School.

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Last Minute Preparations ahead of Municipal Elections in North and Akkar

Fourty-eight hours before the polling stations open in the North and Akkar governorates, Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq followed up on the administrative, security and logistical preparations to ensure a smooth municipal electoral process on Sunday, al-Joumhouria daily reported.

The total number of voters eligible to vote in the governorate of the North is 580,095, while 269,910 voters in the district of Akkar, said the daily.

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Australian Producer Loses Job over Lebanon Child Recovery Operation

The producer behind an Australian television program's involvement in a mother's botched child-snatching operation in Lebanon has lost his job, as the show's founder dubbed the debacle "the gravest misadventure in the program's history."

The comment by Australia's "60 Minutes" founder Gerald Stone came amid the release of a damning internal review into the incident, in which the program paid a so-called child recovery agency to snatch an Australian woman's two children back from her estranged Lebanese husband.

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Mashnouq Says Torza Elections Will Be Held on Time

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq announced on Friday that the municipal elections in the northern town of Torza will be held as scheduled on Sunday.

The minister had previously issued a decree postponing the polls in the Bcharre town.

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Hbesih, Geagea in Heated Dispute over Qoubaiyat Municipal Polls

Tensions were high on Friday between Mustaqbal Movement MP Hadi Hbeish and Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea over Sunday's municipal elections in the northern town of Qoubaiyat.

Geagea had stated earlier during the day that it would be inevitable that the elections take on a political turn if it seeks to advance its developmental ambitions to which Hbeish later said that the residents of the town themselves will further its aspirations.

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General Security Arrests Palestinian Involved in Arms Trade

The General Security announced that it has arrested a Palestinian refugee for his activity in trading arms and ammunition, the state-run National News Agency reported on Friday.

“Within its framework to follow-up the activities of terror groups and its sleeper cells, the General Security arrested, based on the Public Prosecutor's request, Palestinian refugee A.A. for having activities in the trade of weapons and ammunition,” said a statement issued by the General Security Directorate.

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Report: Army Controls Situation in Bekaa amid Fears of Vengeance Killings

Military sources stressed on Friday that the security situation in the eastern Bekaa Valley has been controlled and that the army has deployed its troops to counter any reactions following a spat of revenge killings in the area, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday.

“The security situation in Bekaa is under control. The army has carried out a wide deployment plan amid fears that responses could arise after Maarouf Hamieh killed Mohammed al-Hujeiri,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

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Report on Glaser's Visit: U.S. Fight against Hizbullah Ongoing and Escalating

U.S. Assistant Treasury Secretary for Terrorist Financing Daniel Glaser stressed that his country is keen on Lebanon’s stability, assuring that the U.S. sanctions law only targets Hizbullah, As Safir daily reported on Friday.

“There is no random or discretionary application of the U.S. law, and there are no intentions to target a specific Lebanese group. We have announced that the aim of the law is to fight Hizbullah. We are not visiting the country to negotiate the law with Lebanese delegations, but to discuss the ways of its implementation,” the daily quoted Glaser during his visit to Lebanon.

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Hochstein Encourages Lebanon to Benefit from Energy Potentials

The U.S. Department of State's Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos J. Hochstein encouraged during his visit to Lebanon on Thursday the government officials to take advantage of Lebanon’s potential to attract investment to successfully develop its hydrocarbon sector.

Amos met with several Lebanese officials where discussions focused on the Lebanese and regional energy issues.

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