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Hariri: Aoun Won't Wait for Bassil, Govt. May be Formed within a Week

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri announced Thursday that the new government could be formed within “a week to ten days.”

“Everyone must offer sacrifices... I urge the president to offer sacrifices to facilitate the formation of the government, regarding the deputy PM post and other issues,” Hariri said in an interview on MTV.

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Mashnouq Threatens to Seize Generators as Providers Demand 'Fair Tariff'

Caretaker Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq on Thursday warned that authorities would “confiscate any generator that stops supplying people with electricity,” as private generator providers insisted that they will not install meters unless the state allows them to charge a “fair and profitable tariff.”

“The LBP 410 per kilowatt tariff that has been set by the Energy Ministry is unfair and unprofitable and would lead to our bankruptcy,” a spokesman for the providers said at a press conference.

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Jumblat Wants 2 Key Portfolios to Give Up 3rd Druze Seat

Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblat has showed flexibility and willingness to give up one of three seats reserved for the Druze community in the new government, a media report said.

Jumblat is however conditioning this on getting “two essential portfolios: agriculture and health/public works,” al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Thursday.

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Aoun Tells Hariri 'We Can't Continue Like This'

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri did not carry any “clear Cabinet format” to President Michel Aoun during his visit to the Baabda Palace on Wednesday, a media report published Thursday said.

“He tried to explore the possibility of resolving the obstacles, especially the Christian one,” al-Akhbar newspaper reported.

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UK Envoy Visits LAF Training Center, Congratulates 10,000th Soldier Trained

On his first official visit outside Beirut to the Lebanese Army’s Special Forces School in Hamat, British Ambassador to Lebanon Chris Rampling toured the training facility and congratulated the 10,000th soldier trained, the UK embassy said on Thursday.

Rampling met with the Commander of the Special Forces Training school and heard how the joint UK- U.S. and LAF training is “benefiting Lebanon’s security in urban and rural areas,” the embassy said.

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Human Rights Watch: Lebanon Law Discriminates against Mothers

A prominent rights group has called on Lebanese authorities to amend a nearly 100-year-old law that discriminates against Lebanese women married to foreigners, denying their children citizenship.

Human Rights Watch's deputy Middle East director Lama Fakih said the 1925 law has "caused untold hardship" for thousands of families, such as denying kids and spouses national health insurance, limiting access to jobs and requiring them to apply for residency every 12 to 36 months.

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Geagea Urges Aoun to Act on Govt., Criticizes Bassil's 'Missiles Tour'

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea has urged President Michel Aoun to “personally intervene” to facilitate the formation of the new government, as he criticized the tour that caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil has recently organized for foreign ambassadors in Lebanon.

“Overcoming the formation crisis requires the personal intervention of the president, who should give each party its legitimate right. I personally call on the president to take this step according to the results of the elections,” Geagea said in an interview with the Central New Agency published Wednesday.

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Hariri Meets Aoun, Says They Agreed to 'Speed Up Govt. File'

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Wednesday met with President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace to discuss the government formation process.

“I'm very optimistic and I agreed with President Aoun on speeding up the Cabinet file because of the economic situation,” Hariri told reporters after the meeting.

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Berri Sees 'Glimmer of Hope' in Govt. Formation Process

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri announced Wednesday that he sees a “glimmer of hope” in the Cabinet formation process, revealing that a meeting will be held later in the day between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

Noting that there seems to be “a balance in concessions” regarding the government, Berri said “the response to the Israeli threats lies in forming the government as soon as possible.”

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Fenianos Says $18M Earmarked for Airport, SITA Malfunction Accidental

Eighteen million dollars have been transferred by the Council for Development and Reconstruction for improvement works at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, caretaker Public Works and Transport Minister Youssef Fenianos said on Wednesday.

At a meeting he held at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, in the presence of a senior delegation from the World Bank, Fenianos noted that the latest baggage registration system failure at the airport was not “deliberate.”

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