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Riachi Says FPM 'Threw Over' the Rest of Maarab Agreement

As the conflict widens between the Lebanese Forces and Free Patriotic Movement over ministerial shares, caretaker Information Minister Melhem Riachi said the FPM “had obtained what it wanted from the Maarab Agreement and shunned other elements of the accord," Asharq al-Awsat daily reported on Saturday.

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Berri Blasts 'Time Wasting' on Govt., Decries Power Ships, Generators

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Friday warned over the “wasting of time” in the government formation process as he urged a comprehensive solution for the country's chronic power generation crisis.

Speaking at an AMAL Movement rally at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut, Berri criticized officials who are “abandoning responsibility for the country, paralyzing the state and undermining what's left of the economy.”

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Aoun Says Move to Install Private Generator Meters 'Fair for All'

President Michel Aoun waded Friday into the controversy over the state's decision to compel power generator providers to install meters for billing their customers.

“This is a fair measure for all parties concerned, pending the finalization of drastic solutions that would put an end to the electricity crisis,” Economy Minister Raed Khoury quoted Aoun as telling him during a meeting in Baabda.

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Kanaan Slams 'Hesitation', Urges 'Priorities Govt.'

Strong Lebanon bloc secretary MP Ibrahim Kanaan called Friday for what he described as a “priorities government.”

“Lebanon is the third in the world in terms of its debt-to-GDP ratio! And after the approval of two state budgets with a reform recommendation to lower the state's spending on associations, employment and funds; to control deficit and borrowing; and to finalize financial auditing; some are still justifying, launching theories and hesitating!” Kanaan tweeted.

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Rahi, Ibrahim Meet, Discuss Refugees File, Stress Need to Lineup Govt.

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi discussed with General Security head Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim on Friday the file of Syrian refugees, and the delayed formation of Lebanon’s government.

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Hariri Meets Bukhari

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri held talks on Friday with Saudi head of mission in Lebanon Walid Bukhari where talks focused on annual pilgrimage issues “without touching on the government formation process.”

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Mashnouq Meets Brazilian Official: Defense, Security Agreement Underway

Caretaker Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq held talks on Friday with Special Secretary for Strategic Affairs of the Brazilian government Hussein Kalout where discussions highlighted preparations for upcoming visit of Brazilian president to Lebanon, the National News Agency reported.

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Berri: Hariri’s Stance on Syria Ties Impractical

In light of conflicting views over restoring ties with Syria, Speaker Nabih Berri said Lebanon "needs to coordinate efforts" with the neighboring country, noting that he plans to call for a legislative session if a government is not formed soon.

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Roads Blocked after Journalist Zahran Insults Hariri

Roads in Beirut and elsewhere were blocked on Thursday in protest at remarks by the journalist Salem Zahran against Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

In Beirut's Corniche al-Mazraa area, protesters blocked a vital highway with burning tires and garbage bins to condemn the “insult” against the prime minister.

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STL Prosecution's Final Brief Explains 'Hizbullah Link', Highlights Activities of Safa, Ghazaleh

The Prosecution of the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon has submitted a “Final Trial Brief” that explains the links between Hizbullah and the supposed assassination squads who murdered ex-PM Rafik Hariri and draws attention to meetings and phone calls between senior Hizbullah and Syrian officials prior to the February 2005 attack.

The report says slain Hizbullah commander Mustafa Badreddine was “the leader of the three-man team that coordinated the Attack.”

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