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Al-Rahi: We Reject a Politicized STL, It is the Only Side that Achieves Justice

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi criticized on Monday the parties describing the international tribunal as politicized saying they should provide evidence of its politicization before making any accusations.

“We don’t accept a fake or politicized court,” al-Rahi told journalists at Bkirki. “But should we describe it as politicized just because we oppose it?” he wondered.

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Second Phase of Indictment May Include No Less than 12 Lebanese and Syrian Officials

The second phase of the indictment in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will include the names of a number of Lebanese officials close to Syria and other Syrian individuals, revealed British security sources to the Kuwaiti al-Seyassah newspaper.

These names include the four generals, former General Security chief Jamil Sayyed, former head of the presidential guard Mustafa Hamdan, former Internal Security Forces chief Ali Hajj, and former military intelligence chief Raymond Azar.

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Civil Defense Teams Struggle to Extinguish Massive Blaze at Plastic Factory

Civil defense teams are still struggling to extinguish a fire that broke out in the GPI plastic factory at the town of Mazraat Yashouh in the Metn region Sunday night.

They are facing difficulties due to the high flammability of the raw materials used in plastic manufacturing and the thickness of the smoke, which has reached as far as Keserouan and Jbeil.

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Hariri to Present Opposition Roadmap during Tuesday’s TV Appearance

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s television appearance Tuesday night is expected to set the roadmap for the opposition during the upcoming phase in Lebanon under Premier Najib Miqati’s government.

The daily An Nahar Monday reported that he will address all major issues in Lebanon, especially the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

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Charbel: If No Arrests Were Made, this Doesn’t Mean Lebanon Didn’t Cooperate with STL

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel has reiterated that the cabinet was not entitled to act on the arrest warrants issued by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, saying however that Lebanese judicial authorities were cooperating with the court to find the suspects.

In remarks to al-Joumhouria newspaper published Monday, Charbel said: “The protocol signed between Lebanon and the international tribunal states that judicial police would carry out the necessary investigation to arrest the suspects.”

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Sources: Cooperation with International Community Hinges on Commitment to STL and 1701

Premier Najib Miqati’s cabinet is facing not only the challenge of commitment to the international tribunal but also Lebanon’s implementation of Security Council resolution 1701, Lebanese official sources said.

The sources told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat in remarks published Monday that the government’s challenge is to meet the requirements of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon after the indictment that it issued in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s Feb. 2005 assassination.

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Israel Lays Hands on 1,500 sq km of Lebanese Waters as Cabinet Seeks to Confront it

Energy Minister Jebran Bassil is expected on Monday to ask both President Michel Suleiman and Premier Najib Miqati to place the issue of Lebanon’s maritime border with Israel on the agenda of the cabinet meeting this week.

On Sunday, Bassil said that Beirut will not give up its maritime rights. His comment came after Israel's cabinet approved a map of the Jewish state's proposed maritime borders with Lebanon to be submitted for a U.N. opinion.

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FM, Diplomatic Sources: International Drilling Companies Don’t Operate in Disputed Areas

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour and diplomatic sources have calmed Lebanese fears that Israel would drill for oil and natural gas in Lebanese waters saying oil drilling companies do not make investments on disputed territory.

“No company can make gas and oil investments in disputed maritime areas,” Mansour told An Nahar daily in remarks published Monday.

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Report: Hizbullah Facing Financial Crisis

The Syrian turmoil and the international condemnation of the crackdown on protesters increased Hizbullah’s concerns over the halt of weapons flow from Iran, the German Der Spiegel weekly magazine reported.

Hizbullah is currently facing a financial crisis “which contradicts the Israeli allegations,” the magazine said.

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Lebanon Denies Receiving Israeli Warning Via U.S. on Oil, Gas Fields

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour denied that Lebanon has received an Israeli warning through Washington on the maritime boundary line between the two countries and the conflict over huge oil and natural gas reserves.

In remarks to An Nahar daily Monday, Mansour said that Washington hasn’t warned Lebanon about anything linked to the issue.

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