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Khalil Reveals Shocking Figures about Public Sector Wages

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil revealed shocking figures related to salaries of some state employees, a needed revelation after a public outcry provoked by government plans to cut pays as part of strict austerity measures to counter an economic collapse.

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NYPD: Man with Gas Cans Arrested at St. Patrick's church

Just days after flames ravaged the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, a New Jersey man was arrested Wednesday night after entering St. Patrick's Cathedral carrying two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and butane lighters, according to the New York Police Department.

The unidentified 37-year-old man had pulled up in a minivan outside the landmark cathedral on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, walked around the area, then returned to his vehicle at 7:55 p.m. and retrieved the gasoline and lighter fluid, said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller.

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UN Calls for Yemen Agreement to Be Implemented without Delay

The U.N. Security Council expressed "grave concern" Wednesday that agreements reached four months ago by the warring parties in Yemen have not been carried out and called for their implementation "without delay."

The council reiterated its endorsement of the Dec. 13 cease-fire agreement between Yemen's government and Houthi Shiite rebels that called for the "phased but rapid mutual withdrawals" of fighters from the key port of Hodeida, two smaller ports in the province, and Hodeida city.

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French Ambassador: Lebanese Govt. Must Implement Strict Measures

France has renewed calls on Lebanon through the French Ambassador to Lebanon Bruno Fouche to implement strict austerity measures to reduce a ballooning budget deficit and massive national debt, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Thursday.

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Parliament Approves Amendments to Implement Electricity Plan

The Parliament passed on Wednesday amendments necessary to implement an ambitious plan to restructure the country's crumbling electricity sector.

Restructuring the power sector, dysfunctional since Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war, has been among key demands for reforms by the World Bank and international donors.

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Hariri Vows Strict Austerity Reforms to Avoid Collapse

Prime Minister Saad Hariri warned Wednesday that Lebanon is heading toward an economic "catastrophe" unless the government implements strict austerity measures to reduce a ballooning budget deficit and massive national debt.

The stark warning came shortly after parliament passed amendments necessary to implement an ambitious plan to restructure the country's crumbling electricity sector. Restructuring the power sector, dysfunctional since Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war, has been among key demands for reforms by the World Bank and international donors.

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Palestinian PM Accuses U.S. of 'Financial War'

The new Palestinian prime minister on Tuesday accused the United States of declaring "financial war" on his people and said an American peace plan purported to be in the works will be "born dead."

In his first interview with international media since taking office over the weekend, Mohammad Shtayyeh laid out plans to get through the financial crisis he has inherited and predicted that the international community, including U.S. allies in the Arab world, would join the Palestinians in rejecting President Donald Trump's expected peace plan.

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$1 Billion Raised to Rebuild Paris' Notre Dame after Fire

Nearly $1 billion has already poured in from ordinary worshippers and high-powered magnates around the world to restore Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a massive fire.

Construction teams brought in a huge crane and a delivery of planks of wood to the site Wednesday morning.

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Lebanon Expresses Solidarity with France after Notre Dame Fire

Prime Minister Saad Hariri expressed sadness over the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in France that he described as a "heritage and humanitarian disaster."

Hariri added in a tweet late Monday that Lebanon expresses strong solidarity with the "friendly French people."

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Support Strong for Guaidó in Devastated Venezuelan Oil City

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has met obstacles at nearly every turn since he declared presidential powers in a bid to end socialist President Nicolas Maduro's rule, and his visit to this once-thriving oil center was no different.

He was forced to take a boat to outmaneuver police roadblocks and reach throngs of supporters waiting to hear him speak in the sweltering heat in Maracaibo, a city now infamous for its blackouts.

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