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Derbas, Bassil at Loggerheads over Syrian Refugees

Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil were on Friday at loggerheads over the Syrian refugee crisis after accusations that the authorities were accepting more displaced Syrians despite a decision not to do so.

Derbas and Bassil briefly argued over the issue during a cabinet session held at the Grand Serail on Thursday after the foreign minister told the government that he had information about the entry of more Syrian refugees to Lebanon.

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Berri Cancels AIPU Meeting after Saudi Snub

Speaker Nabih Berri has canceled the meeting of the Arab Inter-parliamentary Union (AIPU) that was set to be held in Beirut end of April after he was informed by Saudi Arabia that it would not attend the talks, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Thursday.

Berri informed Arab parliaments that “the conference has been canceled for non-Lebanese reasons,” said al-Joumhouria.

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Al-Jadeed, al-Khayat Contempt Case Starts at STL

The contempt case against al-Jadeed TV network and journalist Karma al-Khayat, accused of obstructing justice, kicked off on Thursday at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague.

Al-Khayat and al-Jadeed S.A.L. are charged with two counts of contempt and obstruction of justice under rule 60 of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

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Huthi Spiritual Leader Buried in Beirut's Southern Suburbs

The alleged spiritual leader of Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen has been reportedly buried in Hizbullah's stronghold of Beirut's southern suburbs.

Sheikh Abdul Malek al-Shami was laid to rest on Monday near the grave of Hizbullah's military commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a 2008 car bomb blast in the Syrian capital Damascus.

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Derbas Optimistic on Result of Donors Conference, Throws Weight behind Salam

Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas has said he was optimistic that Lebanon would receive a good share of pledges made by international donors at a conference that was held in Kuwait last week.

“We are optimistic. Lebanon's share is good,” Derbas told al-Liwaa newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday.

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Spanish King to Visit Beirut Next Week

Spain's King Felipe VI is expected to visit Beirut next Tuesday to meet with several Lebanese officials and members of his country's contingent in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, local dailies reported.

The king will be accompanied by a high ranking ministerial delegation, said the newspapers.

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Report: Wife of Parliament Guard is Mossad Agent

A guard at the Lebanese parliament, who has been recently arrested for suspected ties with Israel, was proved to be innocent but investigators found links between his wife and the Mossad, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Thursday.

The unidentified guard was apprehended several weeks ago after police raided his house and took two laptops that belong to him and his wife, it said.

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Dahiyeh Security Plan Reaches Zero-Hour

A security plan set to be implemented in the capital Beirut and its southern suburbs has entered the final stages as security forces are mobilizing to deploy heavily in the area to clamp down on outlaws.

Sources told al-Mustaqbal newspaper published on Tuesday that the security plan will kick off in April and will include all the neighborhoods of Dahiyeh, including Hizbullah's strongholds.

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Earth Hour Kicks off in Australia, Lebanon Joins in at 8:30 Local Time

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the sails on the nearby Opera House went dark Saturday, as lights on landmarks around Australia were switched off for the global climate change awareness campaign Earth Hour.

Millions are expected to take part around the world in the annual event, including Lebanon which is set to join in at 8:30 Beirut time, organised by conservation group WWF, with hundreds of well-known sights including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Seattle Space Needle set to plunge into darkness.

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Hariri, Erdogan Discuss Strengthening 'Moderation' in Region

Al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri held talks Wednesday in Ankara with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the “dangers” that are threatening the Middle East region and means to strengthen moderation, his press office said.

“The meeting, which lasted nearly an hour and a half, tackled the situation in the Middle East. It also focused on the need to unify efforts to deal with the risks threatening the region and strengthen the moderate majority in the Arab and Muslim worlds,” the office said in a statement.

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