Lebanon
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Estonian Video Likely to Have Been Shot in Bekaa

Official sources noted that the video of the seven Estonian cyclists kidnapped in Lebanon was probably filmed in the Bekaa area less than a week after their abduction, reported the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat on Monday.

They confirmed that the security forces’ approved a number of procedures after the recent security meeting that was held last week headed by caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

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Robert Fisk: Developments in Syria May Soon Pose Danger to Lebanon

The anti-regime protests in Syria may soon represent a danger to Lebanon, said The Independent’s Robert Fisk in an article published on Monday.

“Lebanese opposition leaders have been voicing their suspicions that the Baathist regime in Damascus – in an attempt to distract attention away from the Syrian popular uprising – is deliberately stirring sectarian tensions in a country which has only just commemorated the 36th anniversary of its own terrifying 15-year civil war,” he stated.

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Bahrain Accuses Hizbullah of Seeking to Topple its Regime

Bahrain accused Hizbullah of attempting to topple its regime, reported the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

It made its accusation in a report sent to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week.

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Qaouq: New Govt Imminent, March 14 Wants to Foil Miqati's Mission at Any Cost

Deputy Head of Hizbullah's Executive Council Sheikh Nabil Qaouq on Sunday noted that "what has been accomplished in the cabinet formation process makes us enter the final and decisive stage of this process, as intensive and serious efforts will resume after the (Easter) holiday."

The new cabinet would "save Lebanon from divisions and immunize it in the face of the U.S. schemes of sedition and chaos and Israeli threats," Qaouq said.

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Illegal Bldg on al-Ouzai Sunni Waqf Land Removed after AMAL Efforts

Following demands by Dar al-Fatwa, Lebanon's highest Sunni authority, for the removal of an illegal building built on Sunni Waqf (endowment) property in the Beirut southern suburb of al-Ouzai, AMAL Movement said it managed to convince the residents of removing the violation.

"Following reports about a construction violation in the al-Ouzai area, AMAL Movement made contacts and efforts with the residents, which led to removing the violation," the movement said in a statement.

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Al-Rahi: Lebanon Should Rise from Obstruction of Constitutional Institutions

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi said in his Easter sermon on Sunday that Lebanon is in need for the end of the paralysis in its public life and institutions, including the cabinet.

“Lebanon is in need to rise from the obstruction to its constitutional institutions, mainly the formation of the cabinet, and be up to par with the current internal, regional and international challenges,” al-Rahi said in Bkirki.

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Awdeh: We’re Incapable of Forming the Cabinet because Each Team is after its Share

Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Beirut Elias Awdeh slammed politicians on Sunday for seeking shares in the new cabinet rather than thinking about the people’s interests.

In his Easter sermon at the St. George Cathedral in downtown Beirut, Awdeh said: “Rather than forming a strong government that saves Lebanon, we are incapable of forming the cabinet because each team is … asking for shares and not for salvation for citizens.”

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Sappers Defuse Explosives Placed Under General Security Inspector’s Vehicle

Army sappers defused at dawn Sunday explosives placed under the vehicle of a General Security Department inspector near the museum area in Beirut, the National News Agency reported.

NNA said that two hand grenades and a small gas canister with nails and stones inside were placed under the BMW of the inspector, who was only identified by his initials as R.M.

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Saqr Says Syria Taking Advantage of his Friendships to Spread Lies About his Arrest

Lebanon First MP Oqab Saqr denied reports about his arrest in Syria but confirmed to pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that there was “information” about a Syrian arrest warrant against him for his alleged involvement in anti-regime protests.

Saqr denied his interference in Syria’s internal affairs and urged Syrian authorities to “end the bloodbath rather than being distracted by fabrications that harm the Syrian state, authorities and institutions.”

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Fears of Continued Cabinet Deadlock over Interior Ministry Portfolio, Tribunal’s Indictment

The cabinet is not likely to be formed anytime soon, sources told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat after Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun insisted on naming the neutral personality who would lead the interior ministry.

The sources told al-Hayat in remarks published Sunday that both Aoun and President Michel Suleiman, who are at loggerheads over the portfolio, had agreed on giving the ministry to a neutral personality.

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