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Report: Controversy over Cabinet ‘Quotas' of President, Premier

As political parties wrangle to allocate ministerial seats in the new government, controversy persists on whether the President and Prime Minister should have shares in the Cabinet separate from the shares allocated to their blocs.

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Judge Refers Hajj, Ghabash to Military Court

First Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghaida has issued an indictment in the case involving Lieutenant Colonel Suzanne al-Hajj, prominent actor Ziad Itani, and hacker Elie Ghabash, the State-run National News Agency reported on Thursday.

The indictment referred both Hajj and Ghabash to the permanent military court, while prevented the retrial of now-acquitted Itani, said NNA.

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Ibrahim: Contacts Underway with Syria to Return Refugees

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim said on Thursday that contacts are in progress with the Syrian government in order to repatriate the Syrian refugees back to their homeland.

“Contacts with Syrian authorities are underway in a bid to return thousands of refugees back to their homes. The issue is imminent,” said Ibrahim during the inauguration ceremony of the General Security center in Jdeideh.

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Mashnouq Urges Aoun’s Intervention to Curb ‘Rampant Chaos’ in Baalbek

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq has urged President Michel Aoun on Thursday to hold intensive meetings with political and security officials in order to control the deteriorating security situation in the eastern Bekaa town of Baalbek.

“I have asked President Michel Aoun to hold successive intensive meetings with political and security officials in order to put an end to the rampant chaos in Baalbek,” Mashnouq told reporters after the meeting.

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Report: Hariri Wants Cabinet Share Comparable to Aoun’s on ‘Power Balance’ Grounds

In light of insistence to allocate a share in the new government for President Michel Aoun separate from the one allocated to the Strong Lebanon bloc, demands were raised that Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri should also have a share for the Premiership separate from that of al-Mustaqbal bloc, the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat daily reported on Thursday.

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Palestinians in Lebanon Fear US Cuts Could Close UN Schools

When the teacher asked the English class how to change a sentence from the active to the passive voice, Sarah's hand shot up from the front row, and as soon as she was called upon she answered correctly.

The 10-year-old Palestinian girl has come a long way since she arrived in Lebanon after fleeing Syria's civil war five years ago, and is now a star student at an elementary school run by the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, which also provides trauma counseling.

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Rahi from Paris: Formation of ‘Confidence’ Cabinet Calls for Cooperation with Fares

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi currently on an official three-day visit to Paris attended a dinner banquet on Tuesday evening at former Deputy Prime Minister Issam Fares's Paris residence, the National News Agency said on Wednesday.

The two men held a closed-door meeting where they discussed the general developments in Lebanon, and the prospects of the forthcoming stage after the formation of the new government, NNA said.

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Aoun: U.S. Should Help Lebanon Return Refugees Back to Syria

President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday that the United States must help Lebanon return the Syrian refugees back to safe areas in their homeland.

“The US should help Lebanon facilitate the return of Syrian refugees to safe areas in Syria and not wait for a comprehensive political solution to the Syrian crisis,” said Aoun.

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Lawmaker Says President Share in Govt. Not Stipulated in Constitution

A newly elected lawmaker emphasized on Wednesday that the issue of the president’s share in the government is not subject to any constitutional provisions.

“Nothing in the constitution speaks of a share of the President in the government,” said MP-elect Albert Mansour in an interview to VDL (93.3).

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Jumblat: All Three Druze Portfolios Are PSP’s Share

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat emphasized that three ministerial seats allocated to the Druze community will strictly be of the PSP’s share, noting the parliamentary elections results that saw his Democratic Gathering bloc record significant outcome, the daily An Nahar daily reported on Wednesday.

“The entire share allocated to the Druze community in the Cabinet shall be allocated to the PSP. We are asking for a legitimate demand as a result of the (parliamentary) elections no more and no less,” Jumblat said in remarks to the daily.

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