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Raad: Some Candidacies Could Hamper Presidential Elections

Head of the Loyalty to Resistance bloc MP Mohammed Raad stated on Friday that some of the presidential candidacies could hamper the upcoming elections, pointing to the necessity of choosing a president who “preserves and defends the resistance’s choice.”

Raad also voiced hopes that the presidential elections are held on time.

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Al-Rahi Congratulates Geagea on Candidacy, Political Platform

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi has congratulated Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on the announcement of his candidacy and his presidential platform.

Al-Rahi telephoned Geagea on Thursday night and thanked him for sending a delegation to hand him a copy of his program, the LF leader's press office said.

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Berri: Conditions Not Ripe to Hold Presidential Elections on Wednesday, Hopes Hariri Will Attend

Speaker Nabih Berri voiced his skepticism that the parliamentary session to elect a president will be held, saying that the conditions to ensure its success are “not ripe yet,” reported As Safir newspaper on Friday.

He remarked: “The conditions may not be ripe at the moment, but that does not mean that they will not be available before next Wednesday.”

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Israel Releases Kidnapped Shepherds

The Israeli army released late Thursday two Lebanese shepherds, the same day it kidnapped them from Lebanese territories in the South.

The Lebanese army said in a communique that shepherds Hassan Zahra and his brother Ismail Zahra, who hail from the border town of Shebaa, crossed into Lebanon through the Naqoura crossing with the help of U.N. peacekeepers.

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Germany Investigates Suspected Lebanese Radical

German prosecutors have said they're investigating an alleged Lebanese member of a hard-line Islamic group in Syria and two suspected accomplices accused of helping him procure money and supplies.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday the main suspect is believed to have trained and fought in Syria last year with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaida-linked group.

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Syrian Helicopter Launches Two Raids on Arsal's Khirbet Daoud

Syrian military aircraft carried out fresh raids Thursday on the outskirts of the Bekaa border town of Arsal.

“A Syrian helicopter launched two strikes on the Khirbet Daoud area in Arsal's outskirts,” state-run National News Agency reported.

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Stolen Car Stirs Bomb Scare in Arsal

Security forces on Thursday suspected the presence of a bomb in a car parked in the Bekaa border town of Arsal, which turned out to be stolen.

“The Arsal State Security department asked a military expert to inspect a black GMC Envoy SUV that was parked on the side of the road in Arsal's Wadi Hmayyed near the amusement park,” state-run National News Agency reported.

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Salam Meets al-Rahi, Sees No Reason for Presidential Elections to Be Postponed

Prime Minister Tammam Salam expressed on Thursday his optimism that the presidential elections will be held on time and according to democratic practices.

He said: “We believe that the polls can be held given that Lebanon has been respecting its democracy as demonstrated through the formation of the government and the various parliamentary sessions that have been held lately.”

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Arab-Israeli Journalist under House Arrest after Lebanon Visit

An Arab Israeli journalist has been arrested after making a visit to Lebanon, his mother said Thursday, on suspicion he could have joined a "hostile organization."

Majd Kayyal, 23, from the northern coastal city of Haifa, crossed into Jordan on March 23 and traveled on to Lebanon for a conference organized by As-Safir newspaper, Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency said.

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Abdullah Azzam Brigades Member Arrested, Death Penalty Issued against 6 Fugitives

Army Intelligence arrested a member of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades terrorist group, while Military Examining Magistrate Fadi Sawan asked on Thursday for the death penalty against six Palestinian fugitives on charges of forming an armed group aimed at carrying out terrorist attacks.

Palestinian Bilal Kayed Kayed was arrested on charges of carrying out criminal acts in Lebanon, announced the army in a statement.

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