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Jumblat: Finalizing Budget More Important than Futile Debate

Progressive Socialist Party leader ex-MP Walid Jumblat on Thursday called for finalizing the stalled 2019 state budget.

Lamenting that the PSP's recommendations on seaside properties and a progressive taxing system were rejected by the majority of political forces, Jumblat tweeted that “finalizing the budget is more important than impeding it or engaging in a futile and obstructive debate.”

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3 Sons of ex-MP Yaaqoub Arrested in Bednayel

Three sons of controversial ex-MP Hassan Yaaqoub were arrested Thursday in the Baalbek district town of Bednayel.

The National News Agency said an army patrol apprehended the trio at their home, seizing weapons and amunition.

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Kanaan Unveils Huge Numbers of Illegally Hired State Employees

The head of the finance parliamentary committee MP Ibrahim Kanaan on Thursday unveiled a final report related to the file of employment in public administrations, disclosing that 5,473 civilian employees were hired after August 21, 2017, among them only 460 in a legal manner.

“32,009 people were hired before August 2017 in a blatant crime,” Kanaan lamented.

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Khalil Signals Preparations for 2020 State Budget

Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil circulated a memo to the ministries and state departments to start preparing the draft budget of 2020, were discussions will expectedly start with ministers next week, LBCI reported on Thursday.

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Hajj Hassan Reveals Political Interference in Mobile Sector

MP Hussein Hajj Hassan, Head of the Media and Telecom parliamentary committee revealed on Thursday that there had been political interventions in the past to allow certain companies to operate Lebanon's mobile phone services, the National News Agency reported.

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Report: Bassil’s 12 Suggestions that Pushed Budget Approval Until Friday

As the government was finalizing its budget discussions during a session on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil made 12 suggestions to include in the budget and slash the deficit which pushed its approval until Friday, media reports said on Thursday.

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Four Lebanese Students Die in California Car Crash

Four Lebanese students from the southern town of Yaroun have been killed in a car crash in the U.S. state of California, Lebanon's National News Agency said.

It identified the four as Hussein Saleh, Hussein Saab, Hussein Ghasham and Hussein Ayyoub.

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Berri Hails 'Victory' in Border Demarcation Talks

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Wednesday described the outcome of the U.S.-mediated talks over the demarcation of the southern territorial and maritime borders as a “victory for the Lebanese stance.”

“He is optimistic and he considers what has happened so far as a victory for the official and popular Lebanese stance in terms of preserving sovereignty regarding the territorial and maritime resources,” MP Ali Bazzi said about Berri's stance following the weekly Ain el-Tineh meeting.

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Airport to Get New Baggage Inspection System, Search Points

Interior Minister Raya al-Hassan announced Wednesday that the Internal Security Forces will introduce a new system for “inspecting travelers' baggage in a faster and more secure way” at the Rafik Hariri International Airport.

The system will be installed after the end of the expansion works.

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Khalil: State Budget Finalized and I'm Satisfied

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil has announced that the draft 2019 state budget has been finalized and that he is “satisfied” with the result.

“The discussions of the budget have ended and no real amendment has been introduced. Wednesday we'll be before a new scene and what's important is to accompany it with governmental action and I'm satisfied,” he told al-Joumhouria newspaper in remarks published Wednesday.

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