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Arab Forum for Environment and Development Concludes Consultation Meetings on Green Economy in Cairo, Beirut, Amman

The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) concluded Wednesday in Amman a series of consultation meetings to discuss the first draft of its upcoming report on an Arab Green Economy, due to be released in October 2011. The AFED report will address the transformations needed to achieve desired economic, social, and environmental sustainability goals in Arab countries. The report will address the enabling strategies and development policies for navigating a green transition in eight sectors: energy, water, agriculture, tourism, waste management, industry, cities/buildings, and transportation. The Arab Green Economy report is the fourth annual report by AFED, and follows publication of three reports, Arab Environment: Future Challenges in 2008, Impact of Climate Change on Arab Countries in 2009, and Water: Sustainable Management of a Scarce Resource in 2010.

The consultation meeting in Amman was hosted by the University of Petra (UOP), under the patronage of its President H.E. Dr. Adnan Badran, Former Prime Minister of Jordan and Chairman of AFED Board of Trustees. Fifty officials, authors, experts, business executives and civil society organizations from Jordan and abroad addressed urban city planning, green buildings and tourism. They included H.E. Mr. Khaled Irani, Former Minister of Environment and Energy, H.E. Ms. Suzanne Afanah, Former Minister of Tourism, the report’s main editor Hussein Abaza, and a wide spectrum of participants from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Oman, UAE, Morocco, United Kingdom, USA and Sweden. The meeting discussed specific strategies to institutionalize green practices that reduce energy and water consumption and enhance the quality of life, while promoting economic growth and employment.

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Carwan Gallery to Launch "Milan does Beirut"

Carwan Gallery will launch its first group show "Milan does Beirut" during Milan Design Week 2011 between April 12 and 17, and will present unique objects from seven contemporary designers who all share a unique talent and approach towards design craftsmanship.

Established in Beirut, Carwan is the first pop-up gallery promoting limited-edition design in the Middle East. Through exhibitions in various locations and worldwide design events, Carwan features the work of international cutting-edge designers. The gallery showcases unique contemporary objects such as collector furniture, lighting and "objets d'art".

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Grenade Blast in Beirut’s Southern Suburbs kills couple

Lebanese security officials said on Tuesday a hand grenade has exploded in an apartment in a southern Beirut suburb, killing a man and his wife.

The officials said they believe the grenade went off by mistake as the man, Ali Jaber, was playing with it at his home in Beirut's Chiyah neighborhood.

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Relatives of Lebanese Stranded in Abidjan Rally at Foreign Ministry in Beirut

Relatives of Lebanese expatriates stranded in civil war-torn Ivory Coast staged a sit-in Sunday in front of Lebanon's foreign ministry in Beirut, demanding a solution to the humanitarian crisis.

A number of expats who had managed to return to Lebanon also took part in the sit-in.

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Caretaker PM Unveils Statue of ex-PM Hariri: They Have Turned the Weapons against Beirut in Your Absence

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri credited on Thursday slain former Premier Rafik Hariri with rebuilding Beirut, saying that he helped transform it from a ghost town to a “city of dreams.”

Hariri made his statements during a ceremony unveiling a statue of the former prime minister before the Grand Serail in downtown Beirut.

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Pro-Assad Syrian Laborers Rally in Beirut for 2nd Day

Some 300 Syrian laborers demonstrated in front of their country's embassy in Beirut on Monday to express their support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"We are with Assad and against any change," said protester Mohammed Hilal, 18, one of tens of thousands of laborers employed in Lebanon, mainly in the construction sector.

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Beirut Justice Palace Evacuated After Hoax Bomb Threat

Several halls at Beirut’s Justice Palace were evacuated on Tuesday after a bomb threat which turned out to be a hoax, the state-run National News Agency reported.

It said a man made an anonymous phone call saying a bomb was planted in one of the halls. However, a bomb disposal squad did not find any explosives after a thorough search.

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WikiLeaks: Elias Murr Believes Hizbullah Cannot Launch Rockets from Downtown Beirut

A leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar Saturday revealed that Defense Minister Elias Murr believed that the Lebanese army would be able to swiftly deploy its troops in southern Lebanon.

The WikiLeaks cable, dated August 8, 2006, said that Murr informed then U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffery Feltman that 15,000 soldiers would be able to deploy in the South within 12 hours if they are ordered to do so.

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ISF Arrests Top Drug Trafficker

Internal Security Forces arrested a top Lebanese drug trafficker during a raid in Beirut’s southern suburbs at dawn Friday, the ISF general-directorate said in a statement.

It said an ISF patrol arrested the trafficker, identified by his initials as A. Aa., during a raid on his house in Bourj al-Barajneh.

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Nasrallah to Deliver a Speech on Saturday During Rally in Support of Uprisings

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah will make a speech during a ceremony scheduled to be held on Saturday in support for uprisings in Arab countries, the party’s media office announced.

The statement said late Thursday that Nasrallah will address supporters during the ceremony aimed at sending a message of support for the people of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen.

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