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Maronite Bishops Urge Officials to Unify Ranks, Rebuild the State

The Council of Maronite Bishops on Wednesday expressed fear over divisions among Lebanese officials urging them to unify their ranks and rebuild the state on the foundations of equality and justice.

Following their weekly meeting under Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in his summer residence of Diman, the bishops lamented that divisions among politicians were paralyzing government work and preventing it from carrying out its duties towards the nation and citizens.

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March 14: Hizbullah is in a State of Confusion over Syria

March 14 general-secretariat coordinator Fares Soaid said Wednesday that Hizbullah is in a crisis and would put itself in a confrontation with the whole world if it continues to support the Assad regime.

“The Syrian regime is choking,” Soaid told LBC TV network. “The international community is sending signals that the regime in Syria has collapsed.”

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Ghosn Criticizes Verbal Attacks Against Army

Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn slammed on Wednesday verbal attacks on the Lebanese army by certain people he refused to name, stressing that it is the only institute that is able to safeguard the Lebanese people.

“This is the only institute that will guarantee (the security of) the Lebanese and will safeguard them,” Ghosn said in an interview with al-Manar channel.

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Geagea Says Cabinet Paralyzed, Dominated by Hizbullah and Syria

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea stressed that the Lebanese government is dominated by Hizbullah and the Syrian regime that were behind the toppling of the cabinet led by former PM Saad Hariri.

“The President (Michel Suleiman) and the Premier (Najib Miqati) are the ones who supervise the formation of the government… they had a strong tendency to form a technocrat cabinet… However, the result was the opposite,” Geagea told al-Ekhbariya Saudi channel.

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Jumblat Informs Nasrallah his Stance from Electricity Draft Law is Technical

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has reportedly informed Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah that his stance from an electricity draft-law is purely technical and has no political motives.

Jumblat told Nasrallah’s assistant Hussein Khalil that his stance is aimed at improving the conditions of the implementation of the electricity project which is based on allocating $1.2 billion to Energy Minister Jebran Bassil to generate 700 Megawatts of electricity.

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Bassil Reportedly Approves Proposal to End Electricity Standoff

A ministerial meeting aimed at finding a solution to the electricity crisis is expected to be held at the Grand Serail on Monday after allegedly progress was made on a proposal to end the standoff.

Ministerial sources told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat on Tuesday that during a previous meeting under Premier Najib Miqati at the Grand Serail, several suggestions were made to end the dispute on a draft law proposed by Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun that calls for allocating $1.2 billion to Energy Minister Jebran Bassil.

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U.N. Extends UNIFIL Mission, Condemns Attacks on Peace Keepers

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday strongly condemned attacks on U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon as it renewed the key force's mandate for another year.

Two roadside bomb attacks have hit the 12,000-strong UNIFIL force in the past four months while Israeli and Lebanese troops have opened fire at each other on the unofficial border that the peacekeepers are meant to police.

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Mansour Says Syria Made Right Step by Rejecting Arab FMs Statement

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour on Tuesday slammed what he called “the rabid campaign being waged by the March 14 camp against Lebanon’s stance in the Arab foreign ministers meeting,” saying it reflects “spiteful and sick mentalities.”

In an interview with Hizbullah’s Al-Nour radio network, Mansour stressed that “Lebanon did not voice a stance in the Arab ministerial meeting … there was rather consensus among all members, and confirmations from the head of the current session and the Arab League’s secretary-general that no statement would be issued.”

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Suleiman Holds 'Long' Phone Conversation with Assad

President Michel Suleiman on Tuesday held a long phone conversation with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad on the latest developments in the Lebanese and Syrian arenas, Voice of Lebanon Radio (100.3-100.5) reported.

The two leaders also discussed the repercussions of the recent Arab and international stances on the situations in Syria and Lebanon, VOL said.

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6 People, Including Child, Killed in Shooting over Property Ownership in Bekaa

Six people, including a child, were killed on Tuesday in a shooting over property ownership between the Kanaan and Issa families in the eastern Bekaa valley, the Army command and media reports said.

A member of the Issa family and five Kanaan family members were killed in the shooting during the traditional visit of cemeteries on the first day of Eid al-Fitr in the Baalbek town of al-Khraibeh, the National News Agency said.

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