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Geagea Denies Suffering Heart Attack, Reiterates Rejection of Parliament Term Extension

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea denied on Wednesday that he had suffered a heart attack as some media outlets suggested.

"I reassure everyone that I am in good health and doing my work as usual at the LF headquarters in Maarab,” Geagea told MTV in the afternoon.

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Al-Rahi Urges from Erbil International Community to Mobilize to Defend Iraq's Christians

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi rejected on Wednesday “the fragmentation of peoples' security by terrorist organizations.”

He urged during a visit to the Iraqi Kurdish region of Erbil “the international community to mobilize” to thwart the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other terrorist groups.

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EDL Files Charges against 3 Contract Workers for Defamation, Shutting Company

The Electricite du Liban administration announced on Wednesday that it is taking legal action against three contract workers for their recent actions at the company's headquarters in Beirut's Mar Mikhael neighborhood, reported the National News Agency.

It said that the administration filed the charges against them for closing the company and preventing its employees from heading to their jobs.

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Huge Blaze Near Ferzol Grocery Market

Firefighters from six departments in the Bekaa Valley on Wednesday doused a huge fire that broke out near the grocery market of the eastern town of Ferzol.

According to information received by Naharnet, the blaze erupted in an area housing plastic grocery baskets.

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Report: Tough Conditions on Swap of Islamists for Lebanese Soldiers, Policemen

Jihadists, who are holding Lebanese army troops and policemen captive, have reportedly announced conditions for their release despite the denial of Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq and mediators.

Al-Qaida linked al-Nusra Front members have said they would release one soldier or security forces member held captive earlier this month in return for two Islamists jailed in Lebanon, al-Akhbar daily said Wednesday.

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Uruguay Sending Mission to Lebanon to Meet Syrian Refugees 

A delegation from Uruguay will head to Lebanon on Friday to select 120 Syrian refugees who can go to the South American country, the country's Human Rights Department said.

Forty of the refugees are scheduled to arrive in September and the rest next year.

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Qahwaji to Russia to Diversify Army Weapon Sources

Army chief General Jean Qahwaji is scheduled to travel to Russia soon to discuss ways that Moscow can provide the Lebanese army with military aid, news reports said on Wednesday.

Qahwaji aims to diversify the sources of military weapons provided to Lebanon within the $500 million quota allocated to the army and as part of the one billion Saudi grant in that regard, As Safir daily reported.

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SCC Announces Thursday General Strike, Studying Lawsuit to Halt Passing Statements

The Syndicate Coordination Committee announced on Tuesday a general strike that will take place on Thursday, in response to the Minister of Education's decision to issue passing statements to students who applied for official exams, declaring also that it is studying the possibility of filing a lawsuit to halt the minister's step.

The SCC revealed as well after its Tuesday meeting that it had considered withdrawing its decision to boycott the correction of official exams, before the parliament's education committee convened to legalize issuing passing statements.

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Cabinet Calls On Electoral Bodies to Begin Preparing for Parliamentary Polls after Deadline Expiration

The cabinet on Tuesday approved a decree calling on electoral committees to begin preparing for the parliamentary elections, a decision which implicitly determines the date of the anticipated polls despite the expiration of the constitutional deadline.

"We have signed a decree to call on the electoral committee (to start preparing for the polls) and it was referred by the Minister of Interior to the relevant authority,” Information Minister Ramzi Jreij said after the cabinet's evening session at the Grand Serail.

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Mustaqbal Urges Full Commitment to State Institutions: Presidential Polls a Priority

Al-Mustaqbal bloc on Tuesday reiterated calls for electing a new head of state “to avoid security repercussions that presidential vacuum might draw.”

Al-Mustaqbal MPs also stressed again on the necessity to “fully commit” to the state and its security institutions.

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