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U.N. Condemns 'Vandalism' and Use of Force against Lebanon Protesters

The United Nations on Monday condemned the use of force against Lebanese protesters at the hands of riot police.

"Violence from protesters and vandalism are of course unacceptable," said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

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Jumblat Meets Hariri, Tells Protesters Violence Not Useful

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat held talks Monday with caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Center House.

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Worried by Violence, Paris Urges New Government in Lebanon

France on Monday expressed concern over the violence that marred the latest demos in Lebanon, urging the formation of a new government that would carry out credible reforms.

“France is concerned over the violence in Lebanon’s demos over the past days and it stresses that the demonstrators’ legitimate aspirations should be expressed through peaceful means,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement, while reiterating its support for the right to assembly.

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Qassem Says Hizbullah against Rioting, Urges Parties to Sacrifice Shares

Hizbullah deputy chief Sheikh Naim Qassem on Monday said that his party is against “rioting,” in the wake of a week that witnessed several violent demos and acts of vandalism against many banks.

“This is rioting that we do not accept and it will only lead to further deterioration in the country, that’s why we must all press and contribute to breaking the government deadlock,” Qassem said.

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Public Uproar over Bassil's Davos Invite

The planned participation of caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil at this week's World Economic Forum has sparked a public outcry in protest-hit Lebanon, prompting calls to overturn his invitation.

Bassil has consistently come under fire from demonstrators mobilized since October 17 to demand the removal of a political class they deem incompetent and corrupt.

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Online Solidarity with Lebanese Protesters who Lost Their Eyes

Lebanese activists on Monday launched a social media campaign to express outrage and solidarity with anti-government protesters who lost eyes after being hit by rubber bullets fired by riot police.

The activists posted pictures of themselves covering one eye under the Arabic hashtag “Our Revolution Is Your Eyes”.

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Diab Meets Franjieh, Khalil, al-Khalil, May Accept 20-Seat Govt.

Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab held talks Monday at his residence with Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh, Hizbullah secretary-general’s political assistant Hussein Khalil and Speaker Nabih Berri’s political aide Ali Hassan Khalil.

LBCI television said the meeting “did not achieve tangible results in terms of resolving the obstacles delaying the government’s formation.”

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U.S. Journalist Held for 'Broadcasting Beirut Demo to Haaretz'

Lebanese security forces overnight detained an American freelance journalist on suspicion of broadcasting live footage of the central Beirut clashes to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

In a statement, the State Security agency said the U.S. citizen was at the scene of the protest near the parliament building, a location from which someone was broadcasting live to the Israeli paper.

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Hariri: Lebanon Sliding towards ‘Unknown’ While Sides Bicker over Govt.

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri lamented “obstructions” hindering the government formation while the crisis-hit country seems heading towards an “unknown” future.

Hariri said in a tweet that his “government has resigned in order to form a new one to address the popular demands, but for over ninety days obstruction continues while the country heads towards the unknown and the group concerned with the formation is taking its time to discuss the kind of government” they desire.

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Report: Investigations into ‘Suspicious’ Money Transfers Not Over Yet

The central bank of Lebanon on Monday denied reports claiming that investigations have identified the names of individuals reportedly involved in “suspicious money transfers abroad when Lebanon’s banks were closed at the start of protests, LBCI reported on Monday.

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