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Hugo Shorter Appointed UK Ambassador to Lebanon

Hugo Shorter has been appointed as the British Ambassador Designate to Lebanon in succession to Tom Fletcher who took up another appointment outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, announced the embassy in a statement on Thursday.

He will be assuming his post initially as Charge D’Affaires with immediate effect.

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Man Arrested for Tossing Grenades in Bekaa

General Security said on Thursday that it has arrested a Lebanese man on charges of tossing grenades in towns in the eastern Bekaa Valley and recruiting people to carry out similar attacks.

The agency's general directorate said in a communique that the man was arrested as part of general security's role in tracking terrorist groups and dormant cells.

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Bid to Smuggle Narcotics Thwarted at Airport

Authorities at the Rafik Hariri International Airport thwarted an attempt to smuggle narcotics into the country en route from Brazil, through Addis Ababa and Cairo, the state-run National News Agency reported on Thursday.

The scheme was thwarted Thursday when a Swedish national tried to smuggle the ample amounts of narcotics, that almost weigh 18kg, in 12 plastic containers, NNA added.

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Reopening of Naameh Landfill Hinges on Jumblat

Sources close to Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat have expressed conflicting views about the reopening of Lebanon's largest landfill in Naameh in an attempt to resolve the country's snowballing garbage crisis.

Some sources told al-Akhbar daily published on Thursday that guarantees made by al-Mustaqbal movement for the transfer of part of the Beirut and Mount Lebanon trash to the Srar landfill in Akkar and to the waste plant in Sidon would pave way for Jumblat to take a decision to reopen the Naameh landfill.

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Berri Throws Dialogue Ball in Rival Parties' Court

Sources close to Speaker Nabih Berri have warned that Lebanon's rival leaders would be held responsible for the worsening of the country's crises if they take the dialogue session set to be held this month for granted.

The sources told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat published on Thursday that the officials “will be held fully responsible for any deterioration (in the situation) in the country if they disregard Speaker Berri's attempt to salvage” Lebanon.

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FPM Convoys Roam Streets ahead of Friday Demo

The Free Patriotic Movement staged another motorized protest on Wednesday to mobilize supporters ahead of Friday's downtown Beirut demonstration.

The convoys gathered outside the Mirna Chalouhi Center in Sin el-Fil before roaming several towns and villages in the Metn region.

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Hariri Slams 'Baseless Rumors' on Alleged Qatari Role in Protests

Al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri stressed Wednesday that “rumors implicating the name of the State of Qatar in the current Lebanese events are definitely baseless.”

“Qatar is a brotherly state that cares about Lebanon's stability and it did not hesitate to help the country under all circumstances,” Hariri tweeted.

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Presidential Elections Postponed to September 30

A session to elect a president was postponed again after the needed quorum at parliament was not met.

Speaker Nabih Berri scheduled the next session for September 30.

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Environment Minister Says Protests 'Directed at Wrong Person'

Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq refused on Wednesday to budge on his decision to remain in office despite protests calling for his resignation over his failure to resolve the waste crisis.

Following talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail, al-Mashnouq said the protests are “directed at the wrong person.”

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Mashnouq: Future Attempt to Assault State Institutions Will be Dealt with by Force

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq emphasized on Wednesday that future attempts by protesters to occupy and rally at state institutions will be “dealt with immediately.”

He announced in a press conference to address the recent civil society protests: “Future attempts will be dealt with by force.”

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