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Msallem: Freedom of Expression Must be Practiced Under the Law

Head of the Public Relations division of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) Lt. Col. Joseph Msallam said on Saturday that freedom of expression is a righteous demand only if it is practiced under the law.

“We believe in freedom of expression which is a constitutional right, but it should be expressed under the law, which means the protests should not be violent” said Msallam in a press conference he held against the backdrop of Thursday's downtown demonstrations that turned violent and stretchered till a late hour.

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U.S. Delivers Hellfire Missiles, Precision Munitions to Lebanese Army

The United States delivered Friday a new shipment of Hellfire missiles and artillery munitions to the Lebanese army, the U.S. embassy said in a statement.

“Ambassador David Hale visited Beirut Airbase this morning to inspect America’s latest delivery of 'Hellfire' missiles and artillery munitions to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF),” it said.

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Families of Arsal Captives Hold Sit-in by Interior Ministry, Lament Negligence of their Case

The relatives of the kidnapped servicemen held a sit-in on Friday in front of the Interior Ministry and blocked the road near the Central Bank in the Beirut area of Hamra, demanding the release of their sons after more than 14 months of captivity.

The families also prevented the security forces from reopening the Banks Street in downtown Beirut after it was blocked during the civil society protests on Thursday.

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Arrest Warrant against al-Atrash for Belonging to IS, al-Nusra

Military Examining Magistrate Judge Imad al-Zein issued on Friday an arrest warrant against Ibrahim al-Atrash for belonging to the Islamic State extremist group and al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front.

The state-run National News Agency said al-Zein questioned al-Atrash and later issued an arrest warrant against him.

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Army Carries Out Raids in Bekaa, Shoots Syrian in an Escape Attempt

The Lebanese army shot a Syrian national in the leg on Friday after he attempted to escape during an army raid on the Bekaa border area of Masharii al-Qaa, the state-run National News Agency said.

The Lebanese army carried out raids on the Syrian encampments in the area, NNA said on Friday.

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Protests at Military Tribunal, Interior Ministry to Press for Release of Detainees

Civil society activists held sit-ins near the military tribunal in the Mathaf area and the Interior Ministry in Sanayeh on Friday to call for the release of those detained during a protest they held a day earlier in downtown Beirut.

Security forces used water cannons and eventually fired tear gas canisters on Thursday night to disperse dozens of anti-government protesters who tried to get past security barricades and reach parliament.

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Shorter Hopes Russian Meddling in Syria Won't Affect Lebanon's Presidential Polls

British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter hinted on Friday that the Russian interference in Syria could make choosing a new Lebanese head of state more difficult.

"We are concerned about the effect of the Russian intervention in Syria on Lebanon. But so far it is still not clear how that would affect the internal dynamics," Shorter told An Nahar daily in an interview.

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Report: Richard Jones to Temporarily Head U.S. Mission

U.S. diplomat Richard Jones is expected to replace Ambassador David Hale pending the arrival of the new head of mission Elizabeth Richard, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday.

Jones, who served as Ambassador to Beirut between 1996 and 1998, will arrive in the coming days to take over the mission, informed sources said.

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Berri Says Cabinet, Parliament Paralysis is a 'Myth'

Speaker Nabih Berri has reiterated that the cabinet should convene to resolve the people's issues, describing the paralysis of the government and the parliament as a “myth.”

Berri told his visitors that the national dialogue, which he is chairing, has not discussed the issues that are on the cabinet's agenda, except for the waste crisis.

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Cabinet to Convene on Waste Crisis but Faces Dark Future

Prime Minister Tammam Salam is expected to call for a cabinet session to put into execution the waste management plan of Agriculture Minister Akram Shehayyeb.

The session will unlikely face a paralysis over differences between cabinet members on several controversial issues.

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