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U.S. Pressure on Hizbullah May Hamper Govt. Formation

Growing U.S. pressure on Hizbullah, including a new wave of sanctions targeting its top leadership, may hamper the formation of a new government that Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri was overwhelmingly chosen to form on Thursday.

Hariri's aim is to quickly recreate a national unity government that incorporates Hizbullah members to implement reforms and deal with a crippling and growing national debt, but might come under increasing pressure from the U.S. and its Arab allies to shun the militant group which says it wants to play a bigger role in the future Cabinet.

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Pierre Audi's Journey from Lebanon to Aix-en-Provence

Aix marks the spot where Pierre Audi is planting his next flag in a lifelong crusade for innovation and diversity in the performing arts, passions that trace back to his boyhood in Lebanon.

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Pierre Audi's Journey from Lebanon to Aix-en-Provence

Aix marks the spot where Pierre Audi is planting his next flag in a lifelong crusade for innovation and diversity in the performing arts, passions that trace back to his boyhood in Lebanon.

The celebrated opera director and arts programmer, wrapping up a 30-year tenure at the Dutch National Opera, is taking charge of the monthlong Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, one of Europe's oldest and most respected summer music festivals.

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Speaker Berri Re-Elected to Post, Ferzli as Deputy Speaker

Speaker Nabih Berri has been re-elected for a sixth consecutive term on Wednesday with an overwhelming majority of 98 votes out of the parliament’s 128-seat assembly.

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U.N. Chief Urges Hizbullah to 'Halt Military Action'

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly criticized Hizbullah for operating as the most heavily armed group and a political party in Lebanon and urged it to halt military activities inside and outside the country, including in Syria.

In a report to the Security Council obtained by The Associated Press, Guterres also called on Lebanon's government and armed forces "to take all measures necessary to prohibit Hizbullah and other armed groups from acquiring weapons and building paramilitary capacity" outside the authority of the state.

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Berri's Long Tenure Embodies Lebanon's Political Stagnation

Lebanon's longtime Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri often seems like a veteran schoolteacher with a class of unruly students, using threats and jokes and occasional gavel-pounding to keep the assembly in order.

The 80-year-old has held the job for a quarter-century, and is set to be re-elected as speaker for a sixth time on Wednesday, when the new assembly convenes after national elections earlier this month — the first in nine years.

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Gunmen Try to Corner Police Reacting to Shots in French City

A group of people, some armed with guns, shot into the air in the French city of Marseille and tried to corner officers who responded to the sound of gunfire on Monday evening, police officials said.

Christophe Reynaud of the Marseille police said one resident was hit in the head with a butt of a gun and slightly injured during the incident in the Busserine district on early Monday evening.

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Pompeo Says U.S. to 'Crush Hizbullah Operatives' around the World

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday vowed that Washington will “crush” whom he called Hizbullah's operatives around the world, as he issued a steep list of demands that he said should be included in a nuclear treaty with Iran to replace the Obama-era deal.

"We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hizbullah proxies operating around the world and crush them," Pompeo said.

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U.S. to Put 'Unprecedented Pressure' on Iran, Asks It to 'Withdraw Forces' from Syria

The United States will increase the financial pressure on Iran with the "strongest sanctions in history," after Washington pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

"We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime. The leaders in Tehran will have no doubt about our seriousness," Pompeo said in his first major foreign policy address since moving to the State Department from the CIA.

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In North Korea Nuke Site Closing, Spectacle Trumps Substance

Foreign journalists will be allowed to journey deep into the mountains of North Korea this week to observe the closing of the country's Punggye-ri nuclear test site in a much-touted display of goodwill before leader Kim Jong Un's planned summit with President Donald Trump next month.

Expect good imagery. But not much else.

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