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Adwan: Geagea Can't Compel Nominees to Withdraw, Berri Patriotic Par Excellence

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea is willing to compete with Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun for the presidency but he cannot compel the other candidates to withdraw from the race, LF bloc MP George Adwan has announced.

Geagea “is ready to contend with General Aoun for the presidential post, but we can't oblige others to refrain from nominating themselves,” Adwan said in an interview with al-Liwaa newspaper to be published Monday.

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Salam Receives Message from Hollande on Independence Day Hoping for Election of President

Prime Minister Tammam Salam received on Sunday a message from French President Francois Hollande on the occasion of Independence Day, during which he expressed France's keenness on Lebanon's unity, stability, and sovereignty.

He added: “As prime minister, you are keen on safeguarding state institutions at this critical time and this should be translated into the election of a president as soon as possible.”

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Army Arrests Suspect Linked to Bhannine Clashes

The army carried out on Sunday raids against a number of houses in the northern region of Bhannine in search of wanted suspects, reported the National News Agency.

It said that it arrested a suspect linked to clashes that erupted in the region last month.

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Gemayel Fears Obstruction of Presidential Polls Aimed at Altering Lebanese Entity

Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel condemned on Sunday the ongoing vacuum in the presidency, calling for holding a dialogue session in order to elect a president.

He said: “We fear that the unconstitutional obstruction of the polls is aimed at paving the way to altering the Lebanese entity.”

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Meat Shop Shut in Tripoli for Failing to Meat Health Standards as Inspectors Attacked in Sabra

A meat shop was shut in the northern city of Tripoli on Sunday for failing to meet food safety standards as health safety inspectors were assaulted in the Sabra region in Beirut.

The National News Agency said that the meat shop, located at the Abou Ali roundabout, was closed after spoiled food was discovered there.

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Report: New President Expected before New Year

The upcoming weeks could be decisive in determining the election of a president given the regional and international interest to end the vacuum at the Baabda Palace, reported the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Sunday.

Christian sources from the March 14 camp told the daily that France, the Vatican, and Saudi Arabia are pressuring Lebanese powers to end the vacuum.

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Henri Helou: Aoun's Initiative Lacks Most Basic Principles of Democracy

Democratic Gathering MP and presidential candidate Henri Helou criticized Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun's initiative aimed at ending the presidential deadlock, saying that it basically calls for eliminating the other, reported the Kuwaiti daily al-Anba on Sunday.

He told the daily: “His initiative lacks the most basic principles of democracy.”

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Lebanese Form Giant 'U' for Unity on Independence Day

Nearly 2,000 people gathered in Beirut Saturday to form a giant letter "U" -- standing for unity -- as the country struggles to contain the fallout from neighbor Syria's civil war.

Organised by the Beirut Celebration non-governmental organisation, the event marked Lebanon's 71st Independence Day anniversary.

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Ministerial Meeting with Economic Committees in Solidarity with Food Safety Campaign

Ministers stressed on Saturday their support to the food safety campaign waged by Health Minister Wael Abou Faour, considering it a necessity to end the chaos in the country.

“Establishing a food safety association would end such a crisis on the long term,” Agriculture Minister Akram Shehayeb said during a meeting between several ministers and the Economic Committees at the Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture in Beirut's Hamra area.

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Soldier Killed, Three Injured in Car Accident in Hermel

A soldier was killed and three others were injured on Saturday after their car flipped over in the Bekaa town of Hermel due to bad weather.

The state-run National News Agency reported that three soldiers were critically wounded.

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