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Al-Hassan Becomes 1st Female Arab Minister in Charge of Security

Lebanon's new interior minister Raya al-Hassan has taken office, becoming the country's and the Arab world's first female official in charge of powerful security agencies.

Al-Hassan welcomed the challenge, saying Prime Minister Saad Hariri put his trust in her and gave her "this big responsibility."

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PSP Delegation Says Keen on 'Accord' with Aoun, 'Pacification' with Hariri

A delegation from the Progressive Socialist Party held talks Wednesday with President Michel Aoun, in the wake of fiery stances that were voiced by PSP chief Walid Jumblat after the formation of the new government.

“Over the past period, Walid Jumblat made several visits to Baabda and we believe, on our part, that an accord was established between us. Today we reiterated Jumblat's keenness on it and we heard keenness from President Aoun on this consensus,” Industry Minister Wael Abu Faour of the PSP said.

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Berri: Confidence Sessions to be Held Tuesday, Wednesday

Speaker Nabih Berri announced Wednesday that Parliament will convene on Tuesday and Wednesday next week to discuss the cabinet's Policy Statement and vote on confidence in the new government.

Speaking to MPs during the weekly Ain el-Tineh meeting, Berri said he will call for morning and evening sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and, if necessary, an afternoon session on Friday.

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Aoun: All Indications Suggest that Lebanon Will Rise

President Michel Aoun on Wednesday reassured citizens that “all indications suggest that Lebanon will rise.”

“Crises have become behind us, the financial situation is improving and interest rates are expected to start decreasing soon,” Aoun said.

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Hassan Says Interior Ministry Post ‘Challenging,’ Vows Strict Law Enforcement

Interior Minister Raya al-Hassan, at the handover process where she received the ministry from her predecessor Nouhad al-Mashnouq, said the new post constitutes a “challenge” for her as the first female interior minister, as she vowed strict enforcement of laws.

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Mashnouq Says Acted on 'al-Hassan's Instructions' in Removing Blocks

Former interior minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq announced Wednesday that concrete blocks protecting the interior ministry were removed at the request of the new interior minister, Rayya al-Hassan.

“To answer everyone's question: I have implemented the instructions of Minister Rayya al-Hassan in the removal of the blocks,” Mashnouq said at a handover ceremony at the ministry.

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Two Suspects Arrested on Terror Charges, Links to Nusra Group

State Security Directorate in the South has arrested two Syrian nationals on terror charges, the State-run National News Agency reported on Wednesday.

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Kouyoumjian: FPM’s Support for Hizbullah Enabled its Domination

Social Affairs Minister Richard Kouyoumjian, of the Lebanese Forces, said on Wednesday that the Free Patriotic Movement has since 2005 provided a “Christian cover” for Hizbullah which enabled its domination in Lebanon, adding that the time has come for the FPM to “lessen” that backing.

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Report: Berri to ‘Bridge Gap’ between Hariri, Jumblat

Speaker Nabih Berri has reportedly launched mediation efforts to bridge the gap between Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Progressive Socialist Party leader ex-MP Walid Jumblat, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Wednesday.

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Bassil Says Aoun President Thanks to Hizbullah, FPM Won't Accept 'Syria in Lebanon'

Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil announced Tuesday that “had it not been for Hizbullah, General (Michel) Aoun would not have become president.”

“And Hizbullah must admit that had it not been for the FPM, it would not have managed to persevere in the face of Israel, terrorism or the isolation attempts,” Bassil added at a Mar Mikhail Church ceremony marking 13 years since the historic “memorandum of understanding” was signed between the two parties.

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