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U.S. Energy Envoy to Visit Beirut after Joint Stance on Maritime Dispute with Israel

A top U.S. official is expected to visit Beirut to discuss with top Lebanese officials the demarcation of the maritime border with Israel, an issue which was thoroughly discussed by Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Speaker Nabih Berri over the weekend.

Amos Hochstein, who serves as the Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs leading the Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR) at the U.S. Department of State, will travel to Beirut this week.

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General Security Thwarts Bombing Plot in Beirut

Security forces thwarted a plot to bomb an area in Beirut at the order of the Islamic State, reported Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) on Saturday.

It said that two Lebanese suspects were tasked by the IS in Syria's al-Qalamoun region to carry out the attack.

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Lebanese Officials Warn of Huge Pro-Assad Refugee Influx

Lebanese officials have warned of a huge Syrian refugee influx to Lebanon if the so-called Damascus battle erupts, An Nahar daily reported on Friday.

The ministerial sources told the newspaper that if such an influx takes place, the displaced Syrians will include supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad from different sects.

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Hollande's Envoy in Beirut Soon over Presidential Crisis

French President Francois Hollande's envoy is expected to visit Beirut in the coming weeks in an effort to revive France's efforts to resolve the Lebanese presidential deadlock.

An Nahar daily on Thursday quoted ministerial sources as saying that the Director of the Department of the Middle East and North Africa at the French Foreign Ministry, Jean-François Girault, will visit Beirut at the end of the month or in early July.

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Release of Hostages Reportedly Awaits Qatar's 'Ransom Payment'

The release of the Lebanese servicemen taken hostage by jihadists last year is awaiting Qatar's payment of a ransom, which is part of the prisoner exchange deal, al-Akhbar daily reported on Thursday.

The newspaper quoted ministerial sources as saying that the release of the hostages hinged on the payment of “huge amounts of money to the terrorists as part of the deal.”

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Al-Rahi, Archbishop of Milan to Visit Erbil on Friday

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi is scheduled to travel to the Iraqi Kurdish region of Erbil on Friday to follow up the situation of Christians who have been displaced as a result of the Islamic State group's onslaught.

Al-Joumhouria daily said that al-Rahi will be accompanied during the one-day visit by the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, who arrived in Beirut on Wednesday, and several members of the Lebanese Council of Maronite Bishops.

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Lebanese Army Denies French Missiles are Malfunctioning

The Lebanese army denied on Wednesday that Milan anti-tank missiles delivered by France to the Lebanese army under a Saudi grant two months ago are dysfunctional.

The military said in a communique that army experts had thoroughly inspected the missiles during delivery.

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Naameh Landfill Back in Spotlight as Closure Deadline Nears

Lebanon is expected to face an environmental crisis next month when a landfill which lies in the town of Naameh south of Beirut is scheduled to be closed in accordance with a government decision, An Nahar daily reported on Wednesday.

The July 17 deadline for the closure of the Naameh landfill also coincides with the expiry of the contract with Sukleen, which is responsible for collecting and transporting the garbage in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, said the newspaper.

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Derbas Urges Joint Action with Jordan to Resolve Refugee Crisis

Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas has called for joint Lebanese-Jordanian action to establish safe areas in Syria to help the refugees return to their country.

“There is a need for joint Lebanese-Jordanian work to ask for safe areas in Syria,” Derbas told An Nahar daily published on Tuesday.

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Lebanese Man Arrested at Lagos Airport for Smuggling Drugs in Underwear

A Lebanese man has been arrested in the airport of the Nigerian city of Lagos for trying to smuggle drugs to Lebanon in his boxer shorts, the head of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said Wednesday.

Yves Awad, 23, was apprehended by officials of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) with about 260 grams of cocaine at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.

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