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STL Dismisses Charges against Al-Jadeed over Jurisdiction, Khayat's Trial to Continue

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon ruled on Thursday that trying al-Jadeed television over contempt does not fall into its jurisdiction, dismissing hence the charges filed against the TV network.

“The tribunal does not have the jurisdiction to look into the charges issued against al-Jadeed TV,” STL Contempt Judge Nicola Lettieri announced during an STL session in The Hague.

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Cabinet Approves Lebanese University File, Pays Public Employees' Salaries

The cabinet approved on Thursday the contentious long-awaited Lebanese University file after agreeing on the appointment of deans and contract teachers. The ministers also agreed on paying the salaries of public employees from the Budget's reserves.

"We agreed on appointing deans to head 14 faculties at the LU,” Information Minister Ramzi Jreij announced after the cabinet's session on Thursday afternoon, noting also that an agreement was reached on applying a rotation scheme in the appointment of future deans.

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Singapore Businessman Jailed for 3 Years in Sex-Bribe Case Involving Lebanese Referees

A Singaporean businessman was jailed for three years on Thursday for providing prostitutes to three Lebanese football referees in a match-fixing attempt that has put the spotlight on the city-state's role in global sports corruption.

Nightclub owner Eric Ding Si Yang, 32, was refused bail while he appeals the ruling, and state prosecutors said they would file a motion before a higher court to demand a harsher punishment.

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Serra at the End of his Mandate Hails Stability, Calls for Further Commitment to Resolution 1701

Outgoing United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon Commander Major General Paolo Serra said on Thursday that despite the challenges and the sporadic incidents in the South “unprecedented stability was achieved during the past eight years.”

“Both sides (Israel and Lebanon) continue their commitment to the cessation of hostilities even though challenges still remain,” Serra said in an interview with As Safir newspaper at the end of his term.

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Rahi Hails Hariri's Roadmap, Calls on Politicians to Abide by it

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi lauded on Thursday the roadmap established by al-Mustaqbal leader Saad Hariri, calling on parties to abide by it.

Al-Rahi described in remarks published in al-Mustaqbal newspaper Hariri's initiative as “excellent,” pointing out that it “should be implemented.”

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Bassil Making Efforts to Garner International Condemnation of Israeli Gaza Campaign

Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil made a series of contacts with Lebanon's ambassadors to the United Nations, Switzerland, and Belgium in order to condemn the Israeli campaign against the Gaza Strip, reported As Safir newspaper on Thursday.

The minister is seeking the preparation of a legal study that will be sent to the concerned international bodies to condemn Israel for its crimes in Gaza, explained the daily.

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Iranian FM for Arab, African Affairs in Lebanon to Discuss Gaza

Iranian Foreign Minister for Arab and Foreign Affairs Hussein Amir Abdul Lahyan is scheduled to arrive in Beirut on Thursday for talks with various officials, reported As Safir newspaper on Thursday.

It said that his talks will focus on regional affairs, most notably the Israeli campaign against the Gaza Strip.

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Four Rockets from Eastern Mountain Belt Hit Bekaa Towns

Four rockets landed Wednesday evening in several northern Bekaa towns after being reportedly fired from the Eastern Mountain Range which straddles the Lebanese-Syrian border.

According to state-run National News Agency, the rockets hit the outskirts of the towns of al-Bzaliyeh, Hrabta and al-Labweh.

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Public Sector Wages to be Paid 'from Reserve Funds' without Parliament Role

The salaries of public employees will be paid this month from “reserve funds” without resorting to parliamentary legislation, officials said on Wednesday, as the controversial issue of the new wage scale remained deadlocked.

Several meetings were held away from the media spotlight at the offices of MPs in parliament. The talks gathered Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, head of al-Mustaqbal bloc MP Fouad Saniora, Mustaqbal bloc MP Ghazi Youssef, Health Minister Wael Abu Faour and Lebanese Forces bloc MP George Adwan.

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Abducted Palestinian Released for $100,000 Ransom

A Palestinian man who was kidnapped a week ago in the Bekaa's district of Baalbek was freed on Wednesday after the payment of a huge ransom.

"Palestinian Mohammed Jaber, who was abducted last week in Khreibe (in the eastern city of Baalbek), has been released after the payment of a ransom,” al-Jadeed television reported.

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