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Bassil Urges Abolishing Unproductive Institutions, Raising Taxes on Banks

Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil on Tuesday called for abolishing “unproductive public administrations” and raising taxes on banks, as part of suggestions he made in Cabinet to further reduce public spending.

Speaking after the weekly meeting of the Strong Lebanon bloc, Bassil said he raised five suggestions in Cabinet related to “the state's size, funds waste and tax evasion, debt interests and trade balance.”

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Satterfield in Beirut for Talks, Sfeir Condolences

U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield arrived Tuesday in Beirut for talks with Lebanese officials.

Satterfield began his visit by offering condolences in Bkirki over the death of ex-Maronite patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir.

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Hit with Arrest of Ex-Chair Ghosn, Nissan Profit Nose-Dives

Japanese automaker Nissan, reeling from the arrest of its former chairman Carlos Ghosn, reported Tuesday that annual profit nose-dived to less than half of what it earned the previous year, and forecast even dimmer results going forward.

Nissan Motor Co.'s profit for the fiscal year ended March totaled 319.1 billion yen ($2.9 billion), down from 746.9 billion yen the previous fiscal year — the worst showing since the global financial crisis a decade ago.

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Ambassadors of Iran, Syria and Others Offer Condolences over Sfeir Passing

Foreign diplomats, Lebanese officials, religious and security figures flocked to Bkirki for the second on Tuesday to offer their condolences to Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi over the passing of former Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir.

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Bassil to Present ‘Initiative’ at Cabinet to Slash State Deficit

The Cabinet held another budget session on Tuesday amid reports that Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil plans to present an “initiative” that will help in slashing the state’s budget deficit.

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Foreign Ministry Condemns Attacks on Ships in UAE Waters

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry condemned in a statement the sabotage attacks on four commercial civilian ships in the UAE's territorial waters.

The Ministry voiced calls on the United Nations and the international community to seek to maintain the security, safety and freedom of global maritime navigation.

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Report: US Bank Officials 'Commend' Lebanese Banking Sector

In the framework of regular visits organized by the Association of Banks in Lebanon to financial capitals, a delegation from the Board of Directors of the Association of Banks last week visited New York and Washington, media reports said on Tuesday.

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Khalil: More Budget Sessions Will Be Needed

Lebanon’s Cabinet is holding successive meetings to finalize an already belated state budget which Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said requires more discussions probably until Friday, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.

“Currently we are studying the budgets to be allocated to the ministries, discussions are touching on the smallest details which makes it unlikely to finalize discussions today. We might need additional meetings probably until Friday,” Khalil told the daily.

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Human Rights Watch Urges Probe into al-Dika's Death in Custody

Human Rights Watch on Monday called for an "impartial investigation" into the death of a Lebanese detainee over allegations he was tortured while in custody, a charge police have denied.

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Bou Saab Says Servicemen Wages Won't be Cut as Govt. Vows 'Reforms'

Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab on Monday reassured that the salaries and other compensations of active and retired servicemen will not be touched, as the Cabinet held another budget session.

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