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Zahra: Solution to Crisis Remains Lebanese, Eliminating STL Will Fail

Lebanese Forces leader MP Antoine Zahra stated on Thursday that the LF supports any Arab and international effort to help Lebanon, stressing that the solution to the Lebanese political crisis should remain strictly Lebanese.

Addressing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, he said: "Despite the campaign that was prepared to eliminate the tribunal, we have reached the moment of truth."

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Hobeish to Raad: We Don't Know if Indictments are Based on Telecoms Evidence

Mustaqbal MPs Samir Jisr and Hadi Hobeish on Thursday held a joint press conference in response to remarks by head of Hizbullah's parliamentary bloc Mohammed Raad on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

"We have no idea whether the indictments are based on telecommunications evidence," Hobeish told Raad.

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Report: Palestinian Fighters Received Training in Lebanon

Hamas and Islamic Jihad members have received training in Lebanon, Syria and Iran and returned to the Gaza strip to train other fighters, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The newspaper said that Iranian and Syrian experts have also improved the fighting capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants as part of an operation to restructure the force of Palestinian factions that was destroyed during Israel's last aggression on Gaza.

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Sfeir in Christmas Message Urges Lebanese to 'Sacrifice'

Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir on Thursday called in his Christmas message on the various Lebanese sides to "sacrifice" for Lebanon.

"The holidays, as every year, arrived amidst a split among Lebanese and the faithful cannot hide their concerns about their country .They are split," Sfeir said in the message.

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2 Lebanese, 1 Somali Guilty over Jihadist Plot on Sydney Army Base

Three men, including two Lebanese, were found guilty Thursday of plotting to attack a Sydney army base with high-powered weapons and kill as many people as possible to further the cause of Islam.

The Supreme Court in Melbourne heard that the men, who have been linked with Islamic extremists in Somalia, planned to continue their rampage at Sydney's Holsworthy army barracks until they were killed or captured.

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U.S.: No Idea about Saudi-Syrian Deal over Tribunal, Court to Continue Operations Despite Hizbullah Threats

A high-ranking U.S. official has denied that Washington was informed about a Saudi-Syrian deal over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and stressed the court will continue to operate despite Hizbullah's threats.

"Saudi officials have told us that they were absolutely committed to building a positive relationship between Lebanon and Syria based on mutual respect and non-interference of any side in the other party's internal affairs," the official told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat in remarks published Thursday.

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Adnan Sayyed Hussein: Suleiman Will Remain Consensus President

State Minister Adnan Sayyed Hussein confirmed that a settlement over the cabinet crisis would be reached soon and Saudi-Syrian efforts would have positive results.

He told al-Liwaa daily in remarks published Thursday that President Michel Suleiman will remain a consensus head of state and his camp will continue to seek for calm and stability.

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Lebanese-Americans, U.S. Officials Reject Threats and Back Tribunal

The Arab American Institute and the American Task Force for Lebanon said following a meeting between a group of Lebanese Americans and Obama administration officials that Lebanon must have stability and justice.

"We support the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), and reject the notion that Lebanon must choose between stability and justice," said a statement released by AAI and ATFL on Tuesday.

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French Source: Khamenei's Stance from Tribunal Unveils Differences with Damascus

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's remarks on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon showed different stances between Tehran and Damascus from the court, official French sources told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

Khamenei's dismissal as "null and void" imminent rulings by the tribunal, confirmed France's belief that despite their strategic alliance, Iran and Syria have different agendas on Lebanon, the source said.

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Ketermaya Lynching Suspects Released

All eight people arrested over the lynching of a murder suspect by an angry mob in the village of Ketermaya in April have been released, al-Akhbar daily reported Thursday.

The newspaper said that seven suspects were released on different stages and the last was set free several days ago.

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