Lebanon
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'The Country is Gone': Alameh, Dib Clash over New Song

Lebanese popstar Ragheb Alameh and a number of artists have slammed remarks voiced by MP Hikmat Dib of the Strong Lebanon bloc as a “Daeshist threat.”

“This person’s head must be chopped off. What does he mean by ‘the country is gone’? What is this irresponsibility!” Dib said in an interview on OTV, referring to Alameh’s new Arabic-language political song ‘Tar el-Balad’, which roughly translates into ‘The Country is Gone’ or ‘The Country is Lost’.

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Israel Army Chief, UNIFIL Commander Discuss 'Border Tunnels'

Israel's military chief has met with the head of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon to discuss the discovery of alleged tunnels Israel says were built by Hizbullah to carry out attacks.

Last week, Israel began an open-ended operation to destroy the suspected tunnels.

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Mashnouq Says ISF Thwarted Bombing Attacks by IS

Caretaker Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq on Monday revealed that the Internal Security Forces have discovered and thwarted planned bombing attacks by the Islamic State group.

Mashnouq told reporters that the bombs were smuggled in from the rebel-held northwestern Syrian province of Idlib in buckets of cheese, and were intended for targeting places of worship, gatherings of Christians and military posts.

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Berri, Hariri Meet Aoun in Baabda after 'Urgent Invitation'

President Michel Aoun held talks Monday in Baabda with Speaker Nabih Berri and was scheduled to meet with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

Media reports said the meetings follow an urgent invitation from Aoun and are aimed at exploring means to break the government formation deadlock.

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Qaouq Says ‘No Bend, No Break’ Formula Available for Govt.

A senior Hizbullah official, Nabil Qaouq said there are many suggestions that guarantee the allocation of a ministerial seat for the so-called Independent Sunni MPs “without excluding anyone,” the National News Agency reported on Monday.

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Jubeir Affirms Saudi Backing for Hariri, Rejects ‘Iran, Hizbullah’s’ Roles

The Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir affirmed Saudi backing for Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri’s endeavors in forming a national consensus government, and “rejected Iran’s interference in Lebanon and Hizbullah’s role.”

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Israeli Troops Erect New Sand Barrier near Border

The Israeli military embarked on erecting a sand barrier in Mays al-Jabal-Tallet Sharaqi on the border with Lebanon on Monday, LBCI TV station reported.

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Report: Berri ‘Objects’ to Not Inviting Syria to Beirut Summit

Lebanon prepares for hosting the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit next month as it still struggles to form a new government, as Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri objected to not inviting Syria to the event, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Monday.

The daily said that political circles have recently raised the issue of preparations for the Beirut summit expected mid-next month, in light of aggravating conflict between the political parties over cabinet shares and quotas leaving the country “governmentless.”

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UNIFIL Says Situation Calm as Israeli Troops Cross Border Fence

The U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) reassured Sunday that the situation on the southern border is calm after Israeli drilling outside the border fence stoked the already heightened tensions in the area.

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Empty Flats Raise Fears of Real Estate Collapse in Lebanon

Ghostly apartment blocks and half-built buildings dot Lebanon, as entrepreneurs and experts fear that the country's key real estate sector is on the brink of collapse.

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