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Report: Lebanese Consul-General Leaves Australia Over Fears of Arrest

The Lebanese Consul-General to Sydney has reportedly come to Lebanon after a warning he would be arrested if he failed to turn up at an Australian court hearing.

A warrant for Robert Naoum’s arrest is now in the process of being issued after he ignored an order to appear in court over legal and court expenses he incurred in a failed defamation action against a Sydney journalist, said the Sydney Morning Herald.

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Miqati Frustrated over Attempts to Throw Cabinet Deadlock Ball in his Court

Premier-designate Najib Miqati rejected attempts to throw the cabinet delay ball in his court, deciding to give consultations more time after Speaker Nabih Berri informed him that a de facto government would lead to negative repercussions, As Safir daily reported Monday.

Miqati’s circles told the newspaper that Miqati complied with the demand of Berri and Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat to back off from a plan to announce a de facto cabinet.

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Public Works Committee to Discuss Subsidizing Fuel for Public Transportation

The Parliamentary public works committee will hold a meeting on Tuesday to seek a solution for the constant rise in fuel prices, An Nahar newspaper said on Monday.

The head of the committee, MP Mohammed Qabbani, told the daily that the subsidy would encourage the Lebanese to make public transportation at least 70% of their transport means.

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Gueant: Paris Should Congratulate Itself for Helping Lebanon, Syria Exchange Embassies

French Interior Minister Claude Gueant has said that Paris should congratulate itself for helping Lebanon and Syria establish diplomatic relations.

In an interview published by As Safir daily on Monday, Gueant said: “You know that France is attached to Lebanon for historical reasons. Talks (by France) with Damascus helped the formation of a Lebanese government and the election of a president.”

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Berri: Regional Turmoil Should Compel Lebanese to Consolidate ‘Immunity’

Speaker Nabih Berri has lamented that the Lebanese were watching the regional turmoil at a time when they are bickering on the interior ministry portfolio rather than speeding up the formation of the new cabinet.

Berri’s visitors told An Nahar and As Safir newspapers that the speaker wondered how Lebanese officials were still busy fighting on the portfolio amid dramatic developments in the region.

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Hand Grenade Explodes in Tripoli

A hand grenade exploded behind Tinal mosque in the northern port city of Tripoli, and the army found another grenade in the area.

An Nahar newspaper reported that the army arrived at the scene after the blast on Sunday. “A force from the army and Internal Security forces arrived immediately and cordoned off the area, and began investigating,” As Safir said.

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Qassem: Govt Formation Everyone's Responsibility, State Can't Be Built with Militia Mentality

Hizbullah deputy chief Sheikh Naim Qassem on Sunday noted that "WikiLeaks documents have revealed the presence of militias in Lebanon that sought to acquire arms in order to incite sedition and civil war."

"This is what was being plotted in May 2008, according to these documents," Qassem went on to say.

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Berri: Adherence to Privileges Preventing Establishment of the State

Speaker Nabih Berri has urged the Lebanese to set the preservation of their country as a priority saying the “adherence to privileges” was preventing the establishment of the state.

“Lebanon needs the confirmation of its citizens that it represents a top priority for them,” Berri said during the annual charity dinner held by the Lebanese Association for the Welfare of the Disabled at BIEL on Saturday night.

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Report: Syria Thwarts Attempts by Armed Men to Infiltrate Lebanon

The Syrian army has thwarted attempts by “armed men” to escape to Lebanon by land and sea, the Syrian al-Watan newspaper reported Sunday.

The daily said that the Syrian military was making strong efforts to “eradicate terrorist cells” in the country.

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Ex-Spymaster: Assad’s Fall Would End Syrian Help to Hizbullah

Israel's recently retired spy chief, Meir Dagan, has said that the Jewish state would be better off if Syrian President Bashar Assad was toppled because “this will stop help to Hizbullah,” Israeli media reported Sunday.

Dagan also told a weekend conference that Assad’s fall would strengthen the Sunni camp in Syria and in the Arab world in general. “These things will be good for Israel strategically.”

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