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Singapore Businessman Jailed for 3 Years in Sex-Bribe Case Involving Lebanese Referees

A Singaporean businessman was jailed for three years on Thursday for providing prostitutes to three Lebanese football referees in a match-fixing attempt that has put the spotlight on the city-state's role in global sports corruption.

Nightclub owner Eric Ding Si Yang, 32, was refused bail while he appeals the ruling, and state prosecutors said they would file a motion before a higher court to demand a harsher punishment.

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Serra at the End of his Mandate Hails Stability, Calls for Further Commitment to Resolution 1701

Outgoing United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon Commander Major General Paolo Serra said on Thursday that despite the challenges and the sporadic incidents in the South “unprecedented stability was achieved during the past eight years.”

“Both sides (Israel and Lebanon) continue their commitment to the cessation of hostilities even though challenges still remain,” Serra said in an interview with As Safir newspaper at the end of his term.

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Rahi Hails Hariri's Roadmap, Calls on Politicians to Abide by it

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi lauded on Thursday the roadmap established by al-Mustaqbal leader Saad Hariri, calling on parties to abide by it.

Al-Rahi described in remarks published in al-Mustaqbal newspaper Hariri's initiative as “excellent,” pointing out that it “should be implemented.”

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Bassil Making Efforts to Garner International Condemnation of Israeli Gaza Campaign

Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil made a series of contacts with Lebanon's ambassadors to the United Nations, Switzerland, and Belgium in order to condemn the Israeli campaign against the Gaza Strip, reported As Safir newspaper on Thursday.

The minister is seeking the preparation of a legal study that will be sent to the concerned international bodies to condemn Israel for its crimes in Gaza, explained the daily.

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Iranian FM for Arab, African Affairs in Lebanon to Discuss Gaza

Iranian Foreign Minister for Arab and Foreign Affairs Hussein Amir Abdul Lahyan is scheduled to arrive in Beirut on Thursday for talks with various officials, reported As Safir newspaper on Thursday.

It said that his talks will focus on regional affairs, most notably the Israeli campaign against the Gaza Strip.

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Four Rockets from Eastern Mountain Belt Hit Bekaa Towns

Four rockets landed Wednesday evening in several northern Bekaa towns after being reportedly fired from the Eastern Mountain Range which straddles the Lebanese-Syrian border.

According to state-run National News Agency, the rockets hit the outskirts of the towns of al-Bzaliyeh, Hrabta and al-Labweh.

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Public Sector Wages to be Paid 'from Reserve Funds' without Parliament Role

The salaries of public employees will be paid this month from “reserve funds” without resorting to parliamentary legislation, officials said on Wednesday, as the controversial issue of the new wage scale remained deadlocked.

Several meetings were held away from the media spotlight at the offices of MPs in parliament. The talks gathered Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, head of al-Mustaqbal bloc MP Fouad Saniora, Mustaqbal bloc MP Ghazi Youssef, Health Minister Wael Abu Faour and Lebanese Forces bloc MP George Adwan.

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Abducted Palestinian Released for $100,000 Ransom

A Palestinian man who was kidnapped a week ago in the Bekaa's district of Baalbek was freed on Wednesday after the payment of a huge ransom.

"Palestinian Mohammed Jaber, who was abducted last week in Khreibe (in the eastern city of Baalbek), has been released after the payment of a ransom,” al-Jadeed television reported.

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March 14 Slams Attacks on Iraqis, Christians, Says 'Hariri's Roadmap Most Suitable for Lebanese Endurance'

The March 14 forces on Wednesday noted that the roadmap proposed by al-Mustaqbal movement leader MP Saad Hariri is “the most suitable” for Lebanon's endurance in the face of the current developments, stressing that the election of a new president has become “more than necessary.”

“In the face of the rapid developments in the region, from the battered Gaza that is standing tall against the Israeli killing machine to Iraq that is reeling under the hammers of terrorism and dictatorship, not to mention Syria, the (March 14) General Secretariat underlines that the election of a new president according to the Constitution and the Lebanese political system's mechanisms has become more than necessary to foil the impending threats,” it said.

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Jumblat: Only Palestine Can Bestow Legitimacy on Arab Rulers

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Wednesday lashed out at the rulers of Arab countries and their stance on the relentless Israeli assault against the Gaza Strip, noting that “the human remains of martyrs will fire back at them all.”

Jumblat also blasted the stances of Russia, the United States, Germany, Iran and France.

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