Lebanon
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Al-Rahi from Batroun: We Won’t Allow Anyone to Determine Our Fate

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Sunday said Lebanon needs “a new mentality, a new vision and a democratic rhetoric,” stressing that “we will not allow anyone to determine our fate.”

“Those who came before us had paid a heavy price throughout the consecutive and long stages,” al-Rahi added during a meeting with MP Samer Saade, MP Boutros Harb’s representative George Harb and a number of political figures on the second day of his pastoral visit to the northern region of Batroun.

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Qabbani Calls for Ending Dispute on STL to Consolidate Stability

Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani said Sunday that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon should not be part of the political bickering because it is a legitimate institution established by a U.N. Security Council resolution.

“This court is an institution that has international legitimacy from a Security Council resolution that established it. That’s why it should be left out of the political rhetoric,” Qabbani said in a statement.

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Legal Expert Says Nasrallah’s Evidence Baseless, Computers Document Belongs to UNTSO

A document aired on al-Manar TV allegedly proving that U.N. investigators probing ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s murder case had transferred IT equipment to Israel is baseless, a legal expert hinted to An Nahar daily published Sunday.

The expert said that the document, which was aired during a televised speech made by Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday night, has a UNTSO stamp.

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Death Threat to Lebanese Judge: A Message and a Bullet

“What should I say, everything is clear,” said Judge Wael Murtada after receiving a death threat, An Nahar newspaper reported Sunday.

The daily said that the threat came in the form of a bullet stuck to his vehicle’s window with a message: “Death for you.”

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Report: 3rd Alleged CIA Agent is Cadre in Hizbullah’s Telecom Network

The third alleged CIA agent that has confessed to spying on Hizbullah is a cadre in the Shiite party’s telecommunications network, al-Mustaqbal daily reported Sunday.

Last month, Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced that members of his group had confessed to being CIA agents and accused Israel of turning to the U.S. spy agency when it failed to infiltrate his party.

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French Official Urges Lebanon to Fully Back STL ‘No Matter What’

A French official has said that he would ask Lebanese Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi to exert all efforts to cooperate with the international tribunal “no matter what the price might be.”

Francois Zimeray, who is France’s Ambassador for Human Rights, said in remarks published in the Saudi al-Watan daily on Sunday that he would ask Qortbawi “about the future intentions on the international court and how Lebanon would cooperate with it.”

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Opposition: Nasrallah is Challenging the State and Taking the Cabinet as Captive

March 14 general-secretariat coordinator Fares Soaid has said that Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s keenness on the cabinet proves that the arms of the Shiite party have taken the country captive.

“The keenness that the man showed on the cabinet of Premier Najib Miqati confirms once again that Hizbullah puts the entire Lebanese republic under the captivity of its arms,” Soaid told An Nahar daily published Sunday.

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Berri Hails Calm in Aftermath of STL Indictment but Expects More Accusations Soon

Speaker Nabih Berri has said that Beirut was as calm as Norway’s capital Oslo when the Special Tribunal for Lebanon handed General Prosecutor Saeed Mirza a copy of the indictment in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination case.

In remarks to An Nahar daily published Sunday, Berri said that Shiites proved their “commitment to the instructions of the political and religious leaderships and were not shocked by the accusations against the four people.”

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Hizbullah Rules Out Arrests in 'Void' U.N. Hariri Case

Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday ruled out the arrest of four members of his party indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for the 2005 assassination of Lebanese former premier Rafik Hariri.

In his first reaction to the charges by the STL, Nasrallah also rejected "each and every void accusation" made by the Netherlands-based court, which he said was heading for a trial in absentia.

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Arslan Hands Written Resignation, Suleiman and Miqati to Discuss it Monday

The premiership received on Saturday Minister Talal Arslan’s written resignation from cabinet, reported LB television.

President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati will discuss this issue on Monday.

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