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Seven Men, Including 2 Lebanese, Charged in NY with Conspiring to Aid Taliban

Seven men, including two Lebanese citizens, were charged with selling drugs and weapons in an effort to help the Taliban fight U.S. troops overseas.

Posing as representatives of the Taliban, cooperating witnesses for the Drug Enforcement Administration approached the men in Ghana last June, asking to set up a drug relationship, prosecutors said. First, the cooperators asked if they could buy large amounts of cocaine, according to court documents. Then, they asked if the men could set up safe places in West Africa to store heroin on its way from Afghanistan to the United States, Canada and Europe.

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No Cabinet this Week as Miqati Sees Positive Signs in March 14 Speeches

Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s circles said speeches made on ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s sixth assassination anniversary had some positive signs that are “consistent with Miqati’s approach.”

The circles told An Nahar daily in remarks published Tuesday that the speeches of Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri, Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel, Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea and former minister Mohammed Abdul Hamid Baidoun at the BIEL rally were consistent with Miqati’s “conviction on the need for dialogue and moderation.”

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Clinton Accuses Hizbullah of ‘Hijacking’ Democracy

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Hizbullah of hijacking Lebanon’s democracy and stressed that only the Lebanese state should have monopoly on military power.

“There are many ways that a democracy can be hijacked,” Clinton told al-Arabiya Arab TV network in an interview aired Monday.

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U.N. Chief Reiterates Support for STL on Hariri Murder Anniversary

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reiterated Monday his support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the Lebanese people, on the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri.

"As Lebanon marks the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attack that took the lives of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others, the Secretary-General stands with the people of Lebanon in commemorating the life and achievements of Mr. Hariri and renews his condolences to the families of the victims of this crime," the U.N. chief said.

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Baidoun: Political Shiism Must Correct Its Mistakes, Lebanon Can't Have Two Armies

Former minister and AMAL Movement defector Mohammed Abdul Hamid Baidoun on Monday called on "political Shiism" in Lebanon to "correct its mistakes."

Speaking at a ceremony organized by the March 14 forces to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri, Baidoun said: "We have said more than once that the Resistance (Hizbullah) considers its weapons sacred and that a majority of the Lebanese considers the (Special) Tribunal (for Lebanon) and justice sacred."

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Hariri on Feb 14 Anniversary: We Won't Accept a State Ruled by Arms under Resistance Alibi

Outgoing premier Saad Hariri on Monday stressed that the March 14 coalition would not agree to the rise of a Lebanese political system ruled by the influence of weapons "under the pretext of resistance" against Israel.

"When we had agreed in the (previous) ministerial Policy Statement on the equation of the people, the army and the Resistance, it was because we believe that the State embraces everyone," Hariri said at a ceremony organized by the March 14 forces to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the assassination of his father, ex-PM Rafik Hariri.

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Gemayel: Majority Emerges from People's Freewill, Not Gun Muzzles

Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel on Monday noted that the Cedar Revolution has called for freedom, sovereignty, and independence, "but today it is also striving for justice and truth."

"In the name of the martyrs of freedom and dignity, we refuse to make further concessions," Gemayel stressed during a ceremony organized by the March 14 forces to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri.

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Geagea Says New Hegemony Would Lead to 'Countless Cedar Revolutions'

If the practices of the first tutelage authority had led to the Cedar Revolution, the mere signs of the emergence of another tutelage authority "will lead to countless Cedar Revolutions," Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea vowed Monday.

"They are trying once again to restore hegemony and we will confront them once more, but this time, we have learned from our mistakes and we will not fall into their trap again," Geagea added.

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New Cabinet Faces Obstacles of Distribution of Portfolios: Vetoes on Both Sides and Impossible Demands

The upcoming two days are expected to witness intense efforts to tackle the distribution of portfolios and the appointment of new ministers, even though Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati still faces obstacles through “vetoes” from the March 8 and 14 political camps, as well as impossible demands by the new majority, informed political sources told the daily An Nahar Monday.

No new development has taken place in the ongoing negotiations between Miqati and the Christians in the new majority and the March 14 camp.

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Greek Police Arrest Suspected Fatah al-Islam Militant

Police in Greece have arrested a young Palestinian identified in reports as an alleged member of Fatah al-Islam, a police source said Sunday.

Ghaleb Taleb was arrested in Athens and will be deported for illegal entry into the country following questioning by police, the source told Agence France Presse.

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