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Lebanese-Australian Lawmaker Says He's Not a Suspect in China Probe

A Lebanese-Australian state lawmaker said Monday that he was not a suspect in a police investigation into unnamed people advancing China's goals in Australia, days after his home and office were searched by police.

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U.S. Slams Hizbullah's 'Pathetic Attempt to Silence Media'

The U.S. State Department has reacted, after a Lebanese judge banned media from reporting remarks by the U.S. ambassador after she spoke about Hizbullah.

"Hizbullah's attempt to silence the Lebanese media is pathetic. To even think to use the judiciary to silence freedom of speech and freedom of the press is ludicrous. We stand with the Lebanese people and against Hizbullah's censorship," the Department said in a statement.

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Lebanese-American Mueller Report Witness to be Sentenced on Child Sex Charges

A Lebanese American businessman who was a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's report and who helped broker the release of American hostages is slated to receive at least a 10-year prison sentence on child sex charges.

George Nader was charged last June and pleaded guilty in January to bringing a 14-year-old boy from the Czech Republic to the U.S. 20 years ago to engage in sexual activity. He also acknowledged possessing child pornography.

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U.N. Food Agency Calls for Aid to Prevent Another Syria Exodus

Growing desperation in Syria could trigger another mass exodus unless donor countries send more funds to alleviate hunger and the international community ensures aid shipments can reach the war-ravaged country, the head of the U.N. food agency said Thursday.

World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley said it's critical to keep aid flowing through border crossings, at a time when growing numbers of people are "literally on the brink of starvation."

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Masks, Travel Restrictions, Testing as Virus Cases Surge

Governments and businesses are ramping up precautions as coronavirus case numbers rise to dire new levels in parts of the U.S. and around the world, potentially wiping out two months of progress.

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Lira in Free-Fall as Pompeo Says Support Hinges on Reforms

Lebanon's currency continued its downward spiral Wednesday, reaching a new low before the dollar and raising such alarm that it prompted Speaker Nabih Berri to call for a state of "financial emergency."

The Lebanese pound was reportedly selling at 6,200 to the dollar, losing more than 75% of its value. The pound had been pegged at 1,500 to the dollar since 1997.

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Syria Reports Israeli Raids on Central, South Military Posts

Syrian air defenses responded to Israeli attacks on military posts in a central province early on Wednesday, shortly after similar attacks in the south killed two soldiers, the defense ministry in Damascus said.

State media cited a military official as saying the attack targeted posts in rural areas of Hama province. Air defenses were activated and reportedly intercepted a number of the incoming missiles.

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Arab League Urges Libya Cease-Fire amid Fears of Wider War

The Arab League on Tuesday pressed Libya's warring parties and their foreign backers to halt fighting and restart peace talks, as regional tensions threaten a new escalation in the oil-rich country's years-long conflict.

Following an emergency meeting requested by Egypt, Arab League foreign ministers warned against a "continuation of military action that alters existing front lines." The statement came as a coalition of Turkish-backed forces based in the capital, Tripoli, pushed toward the key coastal city of Sirte.

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Economic Crisis, Pandemic Hit American University in Beirut

One of the Arab world's oldest and most prestigious universities, which endured civil war, kidnappings and various economic crises, is preparing for what may be the biggest challenge in its 154-year history.

The American University of Beirut is confronting a global pandemic, a severe recession and the collapse of Lebanon's currency — all at the same time — and is planning a series of sweeping layoffs and salary cuts in response.

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Abu Malek al-Talli Detained by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham

The main al-Qaida-linked group in Syria on Monday detained one of its own former commanders who had defected and set up his own hard-line outfit earlier this year after coming out against a cease-fire, opposition activists said.

The activists said a big force from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS, raided the house of Jamal Zeina, better known as Abu Malek al-Talli, on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Idlib and detained him.

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